Wednesday, June 10, 2009

San Fran and Napa!!

Ok, so I always forget that you have upload photos in Blogger backwards so they show up in the order you want them to, so these pictures are in COMPLETE backwards order....but last week I went to San Francisco for a tax seminar. The seminar was really good. I learned SO MUCH and really enjoyed everyone I met. Alex took Thursday and Friday off from work and flew into San Francisco so we could make a weekend of it. We stayed in San Fran through Friday night and then went to Napa for the day Saturday.

Before I get into ALL the pictures, I have to give Alex major kuddos. He planned our whole day in Napa very thoroughly from breakfast to the super sweet cottage we stayed in Saturday night. It was SO well planned and very romantic. I told him he could plan our vacations going forward. :)

Ok, so we stayed in this amazing cottage Saturday night in Napa Valley. It had everything...jacuzzi tub, fireplace, porch swing, chiminea (sp?) outside and in true Napa style they gave you wine and snacks in your room. They also bring you a basket of fresh pastries, fruit and juice every morning. The pastries were made at this bakery in Napa called Bouchin Bakery. The pastries were FABULOUS!

Here we are after our full day in Napa, chilling on the Porch Swing


We walked through the Robert Mondavi Vineyard
Alex wanted to show the tiny grapes
This was part of our cottage
Cute huh ?


Our second vineyard we visited was "Pride Mountain Vineyards." It is at the VERY top of Spring Mountain. It is a family owned vineyard. It is on the border of Napa and Sonoma, so they have to grow their grapes seperately and can't cross blend any of the grapes in order to be able to label the bottles Napa or Sonoma.

They had this A-MAZING picnic area where you could over look all the rolling mountains. It was SO gorgeous. Alex had worked it out so that we stopped at a little market earlier in the day and had a picnic lunch ready to go.

This is our attempt at a dipping picture.
Because of the timer Alex had to run over and then he dipped me in the wrong direction.
I told him it looked like he was throwing me off the mountain. :) (don't worry - he's not)


Pretty huh? I felt like I was in The Sound of Music. Minus the nuns....I did see a few Amish people though. "The Hills are Alive" can popping in my head.






So GORGEOUS!! This was the view from Pride Vineyard.





It was obviously very bright and windy.



At Pride, they did a Progressive Wine Tasting. We tasted wine as we toured the caves.
We even got to taste wine directly from the barrel.



Second Stop on our Progressive Wine Tasting - Pride's merlot



Our first Vineyard stop was at Beringer Vineyard. Beringer has been around since the late 1800s.
This mansion is amazing. They have completely restored it. All the wall decor and stainglass is original. It was VERY interesting!



At Beringer, we did a Private Tasting. It was a lot of fun and the wine was FABULOUS!!

This picture was taken from the parking lot of The Culinary Institute of America dormitories. Can you imagine if this was your view in the morning???



Gotta have kissy pictures in the wine country.
We are Oakland Market here picking up our picnic supplies.






Ok, so this tree was HUGE!!! Anyone know what kind of tree this is? That is me at the bottom to show how TALL it was.


More Oakland Market pics, we had some time to kill and were admiring the view.





Saturday morning we ate at Gillwood's for breakfast. It was in downtown Napa. This area was super cute. It reminded me of Uptown Park in Houston.
I got the best Egg's Benedict I have ever tasted!

Alex got pancakes.



As Stacey would say...On our way to Napa at the 'butt crack of dawn'. Alex and I can't figure out what is going on with his hand. I told him it reminded me of my Grandpa Farm. He always had his hand like that. (Mom? Scott? Amanda?? Can you see what I am talking about??)

OK, now we are back in San Fran. On Friday we took the Alcatraz Tour.
This is the view from Alcatraz looking back at San Francisco.

Doing the audio tour at Alcatraz. Alex was testing out the Isolation Cells.

Alex and I waiting for the Audio Tours. We are in the SHower Room at Alcatraz.




This Seagull caught itself a crab.


Fisherman's Wharf
This is as close to the Golden Gate Bridge as we got.

Lombard Street from the Cable Car
(Curvyest Street)


Waiting for the Cable Car
(Random side note: We tried to take the Cable Car on Thursday, but a Taxi hit one, so they were all shut down - it was blocking the area where they turned around, so none of them could run)

China Town


I am sure you noticed all the fleeces in our pictures. IT was a chilly 50-60 degrees while we were there. Lots of layers.
We had such a great time and just like our last trip to California, we already have a FULL list of things to do when we go back. California has so much to offer and other than the OUTRAGEOUS prices for food...it is quickly becoming one of our favorite places to visit. Second to Disney OF COURSE!!
Speaking of Disney, I am sure you noticed in our countdown above that we leave in less than 3 months. We made ALL our dinner reservations yesterday. It is going to be so much fun. Lots of quality time with Mom and Dad!

5 comments:

Scott O said...

Very Elmer! Looks like fun!

The Olson's said...

SO much fun! All of the pictures are beautiful. Can we please plan a family vaca???? :)

Stacey said...

looks like a blast. jeff is big on going places at the butt crack of dawn... i don't get it. glad ya'll had fun!

Natalie said...

Oh Tonya. just wanted to say hi. glad you are doing well. I liked the one of alex dipping you- it made me laugh that you were backwards. miss you

kd_rundle said...

Ha! Tax seminar turned vacation...sounds quite familiar - that's how the Rundle family took a lot of our family vacations...one was even to Disney World! Great blog - I'll have to tell Wendy to check it out.

"I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are your works, and my soul knows it very well."



~Psalm 139:14