Friday, June 14, 2013

Girls' Trip to Cali

Back in May, I had such a fun weekend in California with some girlfriends.  I met Laura Lynn at my previous job, she was one of the first people I met when I moved to Houston and I am so thankful for her!  I love having her as a friend, but I also love that she has introduced me to some of her wonderful friends - Kristin & Melissa.  We flew out SUPER early on Thursday morning and after a quick stop in Vegas - long enough to get coffee, take this picture and almost miss our flight - we were on our way to San Francisco.


After a long walk, train ride & bus ride we finally got our rental car and were off to down town.


We made a quick stop at Grace Cathedral.  It was so beautiful and full of history.




Then we were off to the Ferry Building for lunch.  We stopped at The Plant Cafe Organic and had the best Fish Tacos and enjoyed the view of the water.




We had scheduled a tour of the city so we could see as much as possible in the one afternoon that we were there.  Our tour guide was Jane...


She was like a cartoon character but she knew sooooo much about San Francisco.  We made a stop at the Mayor's office...she just opened the door and let us in like she owned the place.


We also went to the Japanese Tea Garden, which was so pretty and had awesome green tea!



I don't remember what it was called, but we stopped at this look out point - you could see forever!



The tour ended with a trip on the trolley.


We finally made it back to our car and began the journey up to Napa.  Not without stopping for the obligatory Golden Gate photo, though.


We stopped for dinner and to grab some groceries but I hardly remember it because we were so tired!  We planned to spend the day on Friday touring some vineyards in Napa.  My dad helped us out and set us up with some awesome tours.  We started with the William Hill Estate.




The pictures don't even do it justice.  It was really education and so interesting to learn about the process and just how complicated wine making is.  We went for lunch at the Bouchon Bakery in Yountville.  I am not much of a macaroon fan, but this place totally changed my mind.  This birthday cake macaroon was life changing.


Next we went to Louis Martini.



This tour took us all through the barrel storage underground and went more in depth with the process. We made a quick stop at Merryvale to pass some time before our dinner tour.  Most of the vineyards close at 4, but we found one that stayed open late and scheduled a night tour.  We had appetizers and did a walk through the vineyards and buildings at Trefethen.  It was definitely the highlight of our trip.  Our tour guide was amazing, the appetizers were amazing, and it was just a really fun night!




For some reason, we thought it would be a good idea to go grab dinner in downtown Napa at Carpe Diem after that.  We ordered food, took three bites and were over it.  The food was good but it was late and we were exhausted.

Saturday we made the short drive up to Sonoma for some more tours.  It was so interesting to me how different the farming practices between the different areas, which were fairly close, produced a totally different product.  We started at Gloria Ferrer which was on top of a hill and had the most beautiful views.



And, of course we had to stop and do the touristy thing.


We went and had lunch at Sunflower Cafe and did some shopping down town in Sonoma.  Then we went to Domaine Carneros which was in this beautiful mansion that I would like to live in.



This was definitely another highlight of the trip, another great tour guide who knew so much - very educational.  I was really surprised at how much we learned on this trip.  Our final stop of the day was at Trinitas where we did a chocolate and wine pairing.



We ended the day walking around downtown Napa with pizza and gelato.  I had so much fun with this group, I am ready to plan our next trip.  I missed my little family like crazy, but Sawyer had a fun weekend at Grandma & Grandpa's house.


Some crazy cold front came through at home, which of course I did not pack her clothes for.  Fortunately she had some PJs with pants and some cousins that were willing to share!


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