San Francisco Part 3

 Sunday we had an early start with our van picking us up at 7:45am for our Napa/Sonoma Valley Wine Tour & Muir Woods Visit. We booked this tour and the price included 3 winery tours (with wine!), transportation for the day, and a visit to Muir Woods National Park. For $95 each, it was a good price for being able to visit Wine Country and have a relaxing day different from the city. The drive into the Muir Woods was super windy and steep on these little roads and there were a few times I thought we were going to go over the edge. My husband just laughed at me and said I was being paranoid, but I really was scared. Once we got there I was able to breathe again and we walked around the forest and marveled at the amazing trees that seemed to reach the sky.
Our first stop was in Napa, at the Mayo Family Winery. This was a smaller winery and their wine samples were very generous. Out of all the wines we tasted that day, these were our favorites. Especially for me because I love champagne and their bubbly was so tasty. Here is a link to where you can purchase it, I know I will definitely be ordering some for the fall. Champagne and Fall go together right? This winery was also a more personal setting and our group were the only ones there.
After the winery in Napa we headed to old town Sonoma for lunch and ate at the Sunflower Cafe (which was mostly all organic food). We had purchased a bottle of champagne from the Mayo Winery and were allowed to drink it during lunch with no corking fee. The champagne was so refreshing and went great with our food. We started with the goat cheese filled piquillo peppers, followed by the wedge salad and smoked duck sandwich. Again, the food was amazing (we didn’t have a bad meal on our trip). We also stopped at a cute little market and got some chocolates and fudge for later.

In Sonoma we visited two wineries, Madonna Estate (they had the most amazing barrel room!) and Cline Cellars Winery. The drive in wine country was so beautiful, filled with acres and acres of grape vines everywhere. It was so peaceful and calming, plus the weather was amazing. Cline Cellars did not let us tour their facilities or barrel room and also had their sampling set up outdoors in the cool breeze. Their main house was laid out on a huge piece of property and had the most beautiful trees. We sat on the front porch in rocking chairs and enjoyed this special time together. I am not sure if I have mentioned it yet but this was our early anniversary trip! While we missed Henry tremendously, it was nice to have some time to ourselves and focus on each other.
{This photo was not taken by me, it is from their Flickr site)

On our way back to San Francisco, we drove through old town Sausalito which was so cute and charming. I definitely want to go back and spend a few days there on our next visit. All the little wine and coastal towns have so much character to them. We didn’t get back to our hotel until almost 8pm. This will sound very un-touristy, but we were so worn out from the day that we stayed in and ordered pizza and a cal-zone (which were very yummy). We took it easy, watched TV and crashed out early. Monday morning we woke up refreshed and ready (and sad) for our last day in SF. We took advantage by heading to China Town, Fisherman’s Wharf, and up to see the Painted Ladies (totally not near each other so we did a ton of walking again!) While we were at Fisherman’s Wharf we came across this super cool Antique Coin Operated Arcade with tons of vintage/classic games that were all fully functional. We had so much fun there playing Pacman and taking pictures in the photo booths. This another “must” on my SF to do list. You won’t find any games like this at your local mall.

We also hiked it up to Alamo Square Park to see the famous Painted Ladies! A staple in nearly every movie or TV show based in San Francisco (hello Ms. Doubtfire!). You would not believe all the people there just standing and taking pictures, marveling at their awesomeness. It makes me wonder if people actually live in those houses and how they feel to have people looking at their homes year round. So, I did some googling and people do live there, one was even on the market a year ago. Check it out here to see what the inside looks like.

When we took the bus back from Alamo Sq. our stop was literally right in front of the new Converse store. It was a sign. The displays and visuals in this store were incredible. I have never seen so many converse in my life. From the classics in every color, to the Dr. Seuss shoes, there was definitely converse eye candy everywhere. They even had a design center where you could customize every part of your shoe. I wish they would bring one of these stores to Atlanta because it really it a sight to see.

We wrapped up the day with some drinks at Hotel Adagio, followed by an incredible dinner at Fino, an Italian restaurant in the classic Andrews Hotel. This was probably some of the best Italian food we both have ever had. We started with the hand cut french fries tossed with fresh garlic, parsley, truffle oil and parmesan cheese. I think our taste buds had literally exploded. If I had to choose something to eat on a weekly basis for the rest of my life, these would be on the menu. I also had the Gnocchi and it was cooked to perfection. Cooking Gnocchi can be so hard because you have to keep a constant water temperature and the water can never drop below boiling. I highly recommend this place if you visit.

Well folks, that’s a wrap on our San Francisco anniversary trip! I hope you enjoyed the photos as much as I enjoyed living those moments. I am already dying to get back. I think about the weather the most. I think it has rained every day this month in Atlanta and the humidity is like a fleece blanket wrapping over you. A friend told me today that we have had as much rain as Seattle has this summer. Fall can’t come fast enough. xoxo.

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