Monday, May 24, 2010

Welcome Back!

We are back on the East Coast! Well, we’ve actually been back since Wednesday evening… but have been going non-stop since then (and I have a not-so-fun head cold to show for it)

Our trip, however, was amazing! I don’t think we could have asked for a better way to celebrate our anniversary. Here is a relatively quick recap of our travels:

For those of you who don’t know, I have a panic-attack-inducing fear of flying. At the encouragement of many friends & family, I decided to try a little anti-anxiety medicine for this trip. It worked wonders! I was still worried and recited the Hail Mary during take-off, landing, and turbulence, but it definitely took the edge off. Before we left town, I asked Jeff if he was worried about flying… His response: ‘I’m only worried about delays in Houston.’

Fortunately, my worries did not become actual problems… Unfortunately, Jeff’s worry was legitimate. We were delayed by thunderstorms for 7 hours in the Houston airport. Our 9:40 pm PST arrival time slowly but surely turned into a 4:30 am PST arrival time. For the first time ever, I slept on an airplane… like a baby.

We had tickets to tour Alcatraz bright & early on Saturday morning. It was definitely worth the slight lack of sleep! Here we are with our amazing hostess, Shiva, and her boyfriend – really excited by breakfast the tour.

{these pictures cost $22 to purchase… so we just snapped a picture of the picture, right before the ‘no cameras in the picture viewing area’ announcement was made}

The rest of the afternoon was spent with a nice driving tour of the area, and thankfully, a nap. Jeff met up with his business school friends, and I had one of my favorite dinners e-v-e-r! We ate at the cutest small plate restaurant, Isa – conveniently located walking distance from Shiva’s apartment. One of my favorite parts of the city was Shiva’s neighborhood – there was tons within walking distance, people were out biking/running/walking their pups at all times of day, and they have a compost system!

Sunday was Bay to Breakers… A 7 mile run from the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. We didn’t run it, but participated with the thousands of people who walk the course dressed in costume. This was the main event for Jeff and his business school buddies… looks like they had a blast! I went with Shiva, Brian, and a huge group of their friends. We walked half of it, then split for lunch in the Haight-Ashbury area of town. I thought it was perfect this way, and had a great time!

Monday morning, Jeff & I set off for wine country! We really didn’t have a plan for this part of the trip (seriously, I don’t know how I let this happen). But it couldn’t have turned out better. We stopped at the first winery in Sonoma, Viansa. It was my favorite of the entire day – beautiful scenery and incredible wine.

After some advice and a much-appreciated map at the Sonoma Visitor’s Center, we also did wine tastings at Jacuzzi Family Winery and Wellington Vineyards. Lunch was at a cute pizza restaurant, The Red Grape, in downtown Sonoma (right off the Plaza). Definitely helpful after our tastings!

We also participated in a winery tour at Benzinger Family Winery – the country’s first biodynamic winery. They grow their grape leaves without any chemicals, run all machinery on biodiesel fuel, and only use organic, sustainable farming methods. Despite the rain, it was a great place for a tour!

We ended the night with dinner at The Girl & The Fig, after hearing about it all day from locals and the folks at the wineries. It did not disappoint! Currently tying for best meal e-v-e-r with Isa. Not to mention that they don’t charge a corking fee, so we were able to enjoy one of our 7 bottles of wine from the day! It was also conveniently located next door to the Glen Ellen Inn, where we stayed. We’d also give a huge recommendation for this bed & breakfast – we loved it!

Tuesday was our last real day in San Francisco. We woke up and immediately got on the road for Sausalito, a cute town on the water right outside of the city. After seeing a few signs, we made the last-minute decision to veer off about 20 minutes and head into Muir Woods to see the Redwood trees. I’m so glad that we did – it was one of Jeff’s favorite parts of the trip. The size of the trees is absolutely awe-inspiring.

We still made it into Sausalito in time for lunch at Fish, recommended to us by Shiva (another restaurant with all local & organic menu items... plentiful in the area & we loved that!)  It was another delicious meal, and the weather was so nice we sat outside in the sun! We were back in the city by mid-day, and hit a few more tourist locals… Coit Tower, Lombard Street, and Golden Gate Park.

{after lunch in Sausalito}

Our flight home left mid-morning on Wednesday, so we took the BART to the airport and made it without any delays! We cannot thank Shiva enough for being such an amazing hostess! We had the best time taking in all of the beautiful scenery and surroundings in San Francisco… Can’t wait for the next trip!

1 comment:

  1. Love your trip recap. Sounds like you guys had a great time! I've never been to wine country and would love to visit. I have heard fabulous things about the food in San Fran and wine country too and seems like you definitely experienced that! Glad you survived your flights :)