Thursday, June 28, 2012

Napa part 2: food + San Francisco day

Our wine tasting adventure in my previous post was obviously the main event of our trip, but food was a close second!

Feasting on Bouchon Bakery goods
Courtney and Joleen arrived earlier and so it was just Meghan, Brynn and I when we first got in.  We picked up our rental car and our first stop was Tartine Bakery in the Mission District of San Francisco.  The chef is a James Beard Award winner and was also recently written up in Bon Appetit.  A great way to start off the trip!
image via Tartine Bakery
After our stop at Tartine we picked up Joleen and then made our way up to Napa!  Courtney was already checked into the hotel so the rest of us got checked in and we set out for dinner at a great Mexican restaurant called La Condesa.  



guacamole and salsa sampler

On my last post about wine tasting I briefly mentioned the Oakville Grocery Company and here are some additional pictures of the store.  I want one in Seattle!


fresh bread


Joleen doing some shopping

yummy pies

Wine tasting took up most of Friday so our next big meal was Saturday morning where we did lunch at Bouchon Bakery in Yontville.  I had been wanting to go here and it totally lived up to it's expectation.  We sat outside and the setting was so lovely.  Best macaroon of my life!


We wandered around Yontville for a little bit and then made our way into San Francisco where we were spending the night.  And we of course had to do a stop a In N Out burgers - quite a treat for us Washington girls!  




We did some shopping around the city and then went to a great Italian restaurant called Perbacco - another great meal and James Beard nominee restaurant.


Sunday before we flew home we did a final big meal with a mimosa brunch!  Overall a fantastic trip!  I'm so lucky to have such a great group of friends and lots of memories were made!





Monday, June 25, 2012

Napa part 1: wine tasting

For the first part of Napa recap I'll start with the main event - our five hour wine tour!

our limo has arrived!
getting started in the limo

Our awesome limo driver Frank picked us up at the hotel and our first stop was the O'Brien Estate Winery.

touring the vineyard

I would't mind having this be my backyard

We then stopped off at an amazing gourmet deli called Oakville Grocery Company.  I could have lived in this store, everything was so fresh and yummy looking.  We had fun looking around and picked up great fixings for a picnic lunch.


Next stop was Mumm Napa Valley where we sampled the bubbly at their great outdoor patio.


relaxing at Mumm
a perfect sample
Mumm's vineryard

Not stop - Sequoia Grove and a stop lunch!  The coolest thing about this stop was one of the employees who we were chatting with had met Princess Diana!  Making the connection me->wine lady (she gave me her card but I'll keep her real name off of here) -> Princess Diana -> Prince William -> Kate Middleton.  Four degree of separation to Kate Middleton.  I am so happy!


And our last stop was the lovely Rubicon Estates - home of Francis Ford Coppola and Sofia Coppola wines.  It was so lovely!  And the Sofia bubbly is a favorite between us girls so we had to stop here.


the lovely estate




We love our Sofia!

Such a fun day with fantastic friends!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Memorial Week in Vancouver, BC

Hello friends, hope everyone had a great weekend!  I have so much to catch up on but I figured before I did my Napa post I should go back and do a Memorial weekend post.  I absolutely love Vancover, BC - I think if we didn't need a visa to live there Nick and I would move there in a heartbeat.  Nick and I spent our first anniverary in Vancouver and we had such a good time we promised we would go there more often.



It was a totally spur of the moment decision to head North of the border - we literally booked the hotel Friday after work and drove up Saturday morning.

I was super excited about where we were staying - in the lovely Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.  It's right in the middle of the city and a historial building and it was so cool to stay there!







Our first stop was of course Japadog!  Japanese style hot-dogs that got a lot of press when the 2010 Olympics were hosted in the city.



Giada is a fan of Japadog!

After our Japadog, we found a delicious gelato place - Bella Gelateria. It was amazing!  It was actually the 2012 Florence Italy Gelato Festival winner! I was so rich and delivious we will definetly be back!



We then checked out the lovely waterfront and saw a couple of cruises taking off for Alaska.  Brought back fun memories of our Greece cruise!

We love this city!
Olympic torch






Next stop was renting bikes and bikin around Stanley Park.  Such a great day to be on a bike!





After bikes we spent some more time walking around the city and  then went out to a thai restaurant that was recommended to us and then walked around the Gastown area.


Sunday morning we did brunch at the Fairmont and felt we needed a little workout so we drove north to Lynn Valley Park.  Our concierge recommended to us as a fun free thing to do with light hiking.  We didn't exactly pack our hiking gear so had to do something on the easier side.

The coolest thing about the park was the suspension bridge - 160 feet up!!  I tried to get a good picture but it was hard becasue I was gripping the ropes pretty tight!







After we got back into the city we walked around and wandered through Stanley Park.

Olympics!

Such a great weekend getaway and such a fun city - we'll be back soon for you British Columbia!

crossing the border - home sweet home!

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