Sunday, January 30, 2011

Our Trip to San Francisco and Napa

Sorry this has taken me so long to write! I had so much fun on this trip, and I figured that if I didn't wait a little bit I would end up rambling on and on about it. No matter what I do I won't be able to stop myself from making this long, so I apologize in advance!

For our one-year wedding anniversary, me and my hubby decided we wanted to take a trip. Being that our anniversary is in January, it was hard to come up with a place to go that wouldn't be ridiculously cold. After a lot of thinking, we finally settled on San Francisco for two days and Napa Valley for three. Neither one of us had ever been to California, so that in itself was exciting. We had a GREAT TIME!

Union Square and our beautiful hotel!
In San Francisco we got to see pretty much everything on our list. Our first day was foggy and rainy, but the second day was ABSOLUTELY beautiful. On day one we went to the Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39. I absolutely love being near water, so I loved both of those stops. They are both must-sees in San Francisco! I was glad we walked by the Fisherman's Wharf around lunchtime, because I couldn't have passed up on eating one of those crabs! We had the famous clam chowder and a dungeness crab for lunch that day - one of the best meals I've had in a long time!

Pier 39 was pretty cool as well. We ended up on a non-so-famous pier across the harbor, which had a lot of great views and less people. Although we did have to make it to Pier 39 to see what those seals were all about (they were much cuter over there because they weren't so far away). PS: The seagulls in San Fran are HUGE! I was fascinated by them.

Our less famous pier, the seals at pier 39, a huge sea gull, and Alcatraz

We decided to buy a Muni pass which let us use every form of public transportation, including those famous cable cars. There was a lot of walking involved (and a lot of "hills" - being from flat country the hills were similar to mountains in my eyes). I was very excited to see the Painted Ladies from the opening credits of Full House! It was also a ton of fun to ride the cable car.

Pretty San Fran houses by our hotel, the Painted Ladies, riding the cable car, and one of the "hills" we hiked up
On our pretty day, we were able to take a bus to walk on the Golden Gate Bridge. My hubby is a civil engineer, so this was something he just had to see in person. Such a great experience!

We loved San Francisco a lot, but after two days of hiking up and down "hills," I was very ready for a trip to wine country! We rented a car to get there, which was definitely a good plan. We were able to visit 12 wineries in 3 days (don't judge - there's seriously nothing else to do there haha).

Our absolute favorite places were:
Paraduxx Winery - They had a very laid back atmosphere, passionate workers, and great wine. PLUS their wine has ducks on it which made me smile.
Domaine Chandon - They had beautiful grounds and good champagne. We went there in the morning of our anniversary day - great way to start the day!
Cakebread Cellars - My favorite wine hands down! They had AMAZING wine and very fun tour. They even have a room with corks installed in the ceiling...great idea.

Paraduxx, Domaine Chandon, and Cakebread
Beaulieu Vineyards - We stumbled on this one and they had some of our favorite wine. Very good!
Beringer Vineyards - I love their affordable wine, but I had no idea they had really great and expensive reserve wine (we tasted a bottle that was $115)! We did our tasting in a building that looked like a castle, and they gave us a skeleton key to go for a free tasting at another winery. Great experience!
Frog's Leap Winery - I loved this one because they used to be a frog farm and still have a farm atmosphere. The wine was good, but the tour was definitely what made this experience!

Beringer Vineyards, huge pine cones in a fireplace, our key to the next vineyard, and Frog's Leap
I was also very obsessed with the mustard that was growing in the vineyards. At this time of year all of the vines are dormant (meaning they look like sticks without leaves), BUT there are pretty yellow mustard flowers that grow throughout them. So pretty!

There is so much more I could say about this trip. I've always loved wine, but it was very interesting to get to learn so much about the process involved in making it. I now know so many random facts about winemaking that I know I will never forget. I won't be able to look at a bottle of wine the same way again! ALSO, I forgot to mention that we took corks from every winery we visited. Hopefully I'll be able to post a picture of my cork project in the near future!

It was a great time and I look forward to going back one day!


  1. Such a fun trip Steph! You and Jordan are just too cute for words. Love you!

  2. What a great way to celebrate your one year anniversary!!!!

  3. I am beyond words jealous of your trip! Looks so wonderful!!

  4. Hello :) I'm Samantha (one of Victoria's friends from middle and high school) and I've been stalking your blog. Love it!! I was on the fence about booking a flight next month to San Francisco but this post pushed me over the edge. Looks like you had an amazing trip!

  5. Thanks!! The trip was so much fun - I'd definitely recommend it! If you need any random trip advice, let me know. I feel like we figured pretty much everything out while we were there. We couldn’t find a good trip guide online, so we just decided to wing it (for the most part)!