You know what the best thing about going on vacation is? Having friends that live in your destination to show you around the right way. Not only do you feel as if you are vacationing with them but it also takes the stress of organizing activities in an unfamiliar place off of your shoulders. Luckily for me, my friends live in Sonoma County which is wine country! YES! Wine country!! I’m a very lucky girl. If you say you just aren’t a wine person chances are you probably haven’t had the opportunity to taste good fresh wine or had the knowledge on what foods to pair with, or the great long history and process it takes into making one single barrel. Well unfortunately I’m not here to explain that natural process LOL I’m just here to share my recent visit.
My first stop was Francis Ford Coppola Winery. This winery really exceeded my expectations by a long shot. It’s really like an adult playground. A classy one that is. They have two tasting rooms, one downstairs and a complete opposite upstairs. A beautiful outdoor restaurant facing the vineyard and a pool filled with cabanas. Yes, heaven! Not allowing myself to get too eager at the first tasting bar I saw, I walked upstairs to try a more exquisite group of handpicked wines.
The upstairs tasting room started at $25 and even came with a cute cheese board! I really loved all four wines ESPECIALLY the (3rd) Syrah Dry Creek Valley, so much that I just had to purchase four bottles. I also snagged the Elenor because wine not? I mean look at that blend! Our sommelier informed me the owners made the Eleanor bottle for their 50th wedding anniversary. Might sound silly but I really tasted the romance when sampling this glass. Rustic (their restaurant) served various authentic Moroccan dishes which I found very unique for Northern California.
After a few hours fully enjoying Coppola I decided to do the tourist thing and go see the famous Napa Valley sign. Whilst driving through some back roads I came across such an adorable little town, Calistoga. At the end of the road we stopped by Romeo Vineyards where we were greeted with the friendliest hostesses ever and discovered an outstanding spice blend Cabernet!
Day 2 I had an amazing nights sleep courtesy of California’s grapes and green flowers. Any who, I slept in too late to follow through with my original plan so I went back to Coppola for lunch by the pool. A.k.a pizza and red wine! Today I had to make it a mission to bring home my boyfriends favorite wine. The vineyard is pretty low-key and not open to the public or on a map of any sort so this really was a mission, especially after a couple of morning glasses in wine country lol. Luckily for me I had emailed the owner from the website and pre organized a time to meet. The woman I met was so cheerful and friendly and even gave me a discount. Yay! Oh and p.s. how gorgeous are the gates uphill?
Day 3 I was mentally prepared, hydrated and set an alarm for 8am. I got ready and headed to the train station in Santa Rosa. It was my first time on a Smart Train and it was definitely a highlight of my trip! This train was new and beautiful, even had a mini bar on board. I enjoyed a cup of white wine with the green view for about 45 minutes or so til we hit our stop in Corte Madera Creek where we caught the ferry to head to San Fransisco. The boat ride was really nice. Warm and not gloomy like I expected. The coolest thing about our ride was we passed San Quentin State Prison and caught a clear view of inmates outside playing basketball. If you didn’t know, San Quentin is a maximum prison infamous for being California’s oldest prison opening in 1854 and the only facility to conduct executions.
After a short ferry ride we finally made it to the city! First stop was the Cable Car Museum which was full of history about San Francisco and the uprising of public transportation.
After learning all there is to know about cable cars, it was only right that we hop on one to head downtown for some shopping.
After having some Latin lunch on a rooftop at El Techo I explored the most unusual abundance of vintage stores. This time being just two weeks before Burning Man festival made the shopping a million times better! After shopping the food off I decided to end my day in the city at Dolores Park. The vibe here along with the warm weather was perfect! Not crowded at all and filled with different activities. I really envy this city because I don’t believe a park remotely similar back home in Los Angeles exists. The over all culture along with the vast nature of Northern California is so much different from Southern California. I’m beyond ecstatic I finally got the chance to explore this area, and explore like a local at that! Til next time