Napa & Sonoma 2014


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For my bachelorette party / weekend, I went down to Napa and Sonoma with 5 gorgeous other girls. One of my bridesmaids/aunt/ close friend Molly planned the trip for us and everyone had such an amazing time. Molly, if you’re reading this, BIG THANK YOU for taking the time to plan the trip! It was such a blast and I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect long weekend trip.

We had an early flight on Thurs, Sept. 4th from Seattle to Oakland, CA. Prior to the trip, one of the girls (Sarah) suggested we all wear our Seahawks to show some spirit and represent our city. The hawks were also opening the NFL regular season playing against the Packers that afternoon so it was perfect. After our group decision, we ended up wearing our Seahawks jerseys into Oakland/San Francisco 49ers territory. 🙂 Our entourage entered and exited the plane sporting our jerseys but changed once we got to the Oakland airport for tea.

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Asian Sea Gals

After our short 2 hour flight, we picked up the rental car and were on our way to downtown San Francisco. We had reservations for afternoon tea at The Rotunda located in Neiman Marcus. The space was beautiful with the glass dome and had a very chic & classy atmosphere. I’ve been to one too many high tea places and I’d say tea The Rotunda was on par with London’s. They had a delicious array of tea sandwiches, sweets and pastries. The tea selection was small but all of the ones I tried were fragrant & delicious.

 

Group pic at The Rotunda

Group pic at The Rotunda

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Tier of delicious sandwiches & sweet treats

After tea, we walked around downtown looking for a Walgreens so one of the girls could pick up some toiletries. We passed by a bar and saw that they were playing the hawks vs packers game so we stopped by to pick up some drinks and enjoy the game!

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My mixed drink with coffee & whipped cream

We checked into Vino Bello Resort (our hotel) in the evening, settled down and went on a late-night run to in-n-out for dinner!

Cheeseburger & Fries ANIMAL STYLE

Cheeseburger & Fries ANIMAL STYLE

In the morning, we started the day off right by getting breakfast at Boon Fly Cafe. Let me tell you now. It is DELICIOUS! Hearty, rich and comforting- everything I tried was so good. I had the best hash browns of my life there! The shredded potato for the hash was thin but so crispy without tasting too greasy. Just perfect. Another item to note was their cinnamon sugar donuts. They were fluffy like pillows, soft & chewy. Incredible! Anyone taking a trip to Napa needs to stop by this cafe for breakfast. Go. Now. I would if I could!

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Boon Fly Cafe menu

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Bomb Donuts

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Classic Eggs benedict with hash browns & a side of bacon

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Group outside the cafe

We went on a mini road trip after breakfast to Sonoma Plaza where we walked around the square and did some shopping.

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Cute plaza within the Sonoma Plaza

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A cute chocolate shop

 

After shopping we made our way to Jacuzzi Vineyards for some wine tasting. Luckily for us, next to the wine tasting room was a specialty shop that sold Balsamic Vinegar & Olive Oils called The Olive Press. Wine + Balsamic is a dangerous combo because for the next couple hours, you know where the group and I were!

We had fun trying different kinds of wine Jacuzzi Vineyards offered. We spent a good amount of time sampling the different kinds of balsamic vinegar and balsamic + oil combinations next door as well. I ended up with a bottle of the Fig Balsamic and it is SO. GOOD. We all ended up ordering a bottle of some kind of combination which we had shipped to Seattle. 🙂

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We made a pit stop at Petaluma Creamery for some homemade ice cream before heading back to the hotel to rest before dinner in one of my favorite towns in wine country, Yountville!

The girls with their cones

The girls with their cones

To relax & unwind, we spent an hour or so in the hot tub by the pool and it felt good! It was cold outside but the hot water and steam quickly warmed us up.

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🙂

For dinner we made our way to Yountville which was only about 20 minutes from the hotel by car. Molly had reserved a table for us at Bistro Jeanty which specializes in French cuisine. Luckily with our group of 6, most of us ordered different dishes so we were able to sample all sorts of items! We had steak, coq au vin, their famous tomato soup (which is rich and definitely well worth the hype), escargot & beef bourguignon. All were delicious! My only complaint was that my beef bourguignon didn’t have enough broth but the flavor deserves a thumbs up. The baguette served before our meal was delicious. Chewy and crusty but soft. It reminded me of what you could get in Paris. Too bad there is no baguette like that here in Seattle!

Steak with some bomb ass frites!

Steak with some bomb ass frites!

beef bourguignon

beef bourguignon

With each of us carrying twin food babies, we headed back to the hotel for some fun games which I will not be talking about :).

Since we stayed up LATE the night before we started off our Saturday later than the last few days. We made our way to Oxbow Market where we picked up some green juice, a couple of the girls got some tacos inside the market that they said were really delicious & filling (sorry, forgot the name of it) and then we crossed the parking lot to check out the Napa Farmers Market.

Inside Oxbow Market

Inside Oxbow Market

While the girls had tacos at the market, Molly & I made our way to The Model Bakery around the corner for some of their famous english muffins! Last year when we were in Napa for Molly’s bachelorette, we stopped by The Model Bakery for the muffins but they were sadly SOLD OUT. This time they had plenty in stock when we were there so we snagged 2. The muffin was amazing. It was crispy, buttery and soft! Definitely the best english muffin I’ve ever had. After you stop by the boon fly cafe, you must go here. NOW.

Going along the theme of relaxation for our Saturday, we decided to visit a castle winery called Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, CA. We made a pit stop along the way in Yountville where we picked up pastries and coffee/tea at Bouchon Bakery.

Pastries from Bouchon Bakery

Pastries from Bouchon Bakery

Bouchon Bakery has almost 2000 reviews on yelp with a 4.5* rating. When we got there, the line was short and we were even able to get a table outside! Oh lucky day! I went here last year and ordered the macarons which they’re famous for and was underwhelmed. Hoping my last visit was an off day, I gave it another try this time around and it was the same. Aside from the vanilla and pistachio macs that I got, I also picked up a chocolate almond croissant and a plain croissant. The choco almond croissant was to die for and the plain croissant was probably the worst one I’ve ever had. It was dry, tasted old, not buttery or flakey.

Finally on our way to the castle, we made yet another pit stop to take pictures when we saw the welcome to Napa Valley sign (pictured at the top).

Posting with some grapes near the Napa Valley sign

Posting with some grapes near the Napa Valley sign

We made it to Castello di Amorosa and had a wonderful time touring the castle, taking a gazillion [but cute!] group pics and admiring the view from around the castle. On the bottom floor of the castle, we got to taste 5 wines and right then & there I had the absolute BEST sweet/dessert wine ever. It is the 2013 La Fantasia sparkling wine that tastes dangerously like grape juice. SOOOO GOOD. I picked up a bottle to take home and I’m sure there will be many more orders online from their website. The girls had a fabulous time at this vineyard and most of them said the castle winery was their most fav thing we did this trip. I definitely want to take Anthony here hopefully sometime soon! Perhaps next year ;).

Spice Girls at Castello di Amorosa

Spice Girls at Castello di Amorosa

Wine tasting with the crew!

Wine tasting with the crew!

View of the courtyard inside the castle

View of the courtyard inside the castle

View from the top of the castle

View from the top of the castle

For a late lunch, we stopped by Dean & Deluca to pick up picnic items like cured meats, different kinds of cheese, nuts, crackers, fig jam, chile crunch and drinks. That store has some great quality products and everything we tried was of great quality and yummy. I don’t think I had one bad thing from there. I also picked up a few items to bring home as gifts like chocolate and the chile crunch. We took our picnic items to a park in Yountville and chowed down! The weather was perfect, it was sunny, there was a bench available just for us and of course  to top it all off a mini swarm of bees. Luckily we were able to enjoy our picnic before being forced to move by the bees. No hard feelings. 😉

One of a selection of charcuterie

One of a selection of charcuterie

Fig jam from The Girl & The Fig in Sonoma

Fig jam from The Girl & The Fig in Sonoma

Rosemary crackers & marcona almonds

Rosemary crackers & marcona almonds

Cheese assortment

Cheese assortment

Olivia & I taking picnicking very seriously

Olivia & I taking picnicking very seriously

No trip to Napa is complete until you make a visit to Zuzu in downtown Napa for some spanish tapas! After our picnic we went back to the hotel to rest up before dinner. Because Zuzu is always busy in the evening, we had about a 20-25 minute wait for our table so we opted to walk around by the water/mini pier.

My girls (minus Michaela who is taking the picture!)

My girls (minus Michaela who is taking the picture!)

Once we were seated down for dinner I was feeling glum. It was sad knowing it was our last sit-down dinner together but we had fun sampling different kinds of spanish dishes like paella (my fav!), avocado gazpacho, ceviche and many more! It was also fun just talking about the entire trip and seeing what everyone’s favorite moments were.

Avocado Gazpacho

Avocado Gazpacho

Ceviche

Ceviche

Bacalao (salted cod with crostini)

Bacalao (salted cod with crostini)

Mussels with polenta cakes

Mussels with polenta cakes

Paella

Paella

Pork cheeks

Pork cheeks

Last group photo of the trip at Zuzu

Last group photo of the trip at Zuzu

After dinner we stopped by a bar to play some more games which I won’t go into detail about. Luckily I have a nice group of girlfriends who didn’t make me do anything TOO outrageous but it was still a fun time. 🙂

We hit the hay early when we got back to the hotel. In the morning, we got up latish to pack up and tidy up our room. For breakfast, we finished the leftover picnic items we had the day before. We made our way into the city after intense traffic going from Napa to downtown San Francisco. Our first stop was Philz Coffee to try their popular mojito iced coffee which was pretty good! The coffee wasn’t bitter and it was creamy and had a hint of mint to it.

Mojito Iced Coffee from Philz

Mojito Iced Coffee from Philz

Afterward, we walked around Chinatown while one of the girls stood in the ridiculously long line at Golden Gate Bakery so we could all bring back some of their famous egg tarts. We waited almost 2 hours to pick up the pastries. I’m glad I got to try the egg tart because the last time I was in San Francisco Golden Gate Bakery was on vacation for 2 weeks! I wasn’t too impressed with the tart though and don’t get why people are willing to way that long. I also prefer the short bread kind of crust vs the flakey one that they serve here. It was average at best but that’s just my opinion!

We had hoped to also pick up some Vietnamese baguettes (banh mi) from Saigon Sandwich which has great reviews on Yelp but they were SOLD OUT. Disappointing but understandable since they’re popular. We made our way to the airport to check-in, pick up a quick dinner of Chinese food to-go from the airport and were on our way back to Seattle.

Egg Tart from Golden Gate Bakery

Egg Tart from Golden Gate Bakery

It was an eventful and ultra memorable 4 days in wine country that I will never forget! I had an incredible time with this group of amazing girls and like I said at the beginning of this post, couldn’t have asked for a more perfect bachelorette weekend. I’m a very lucky girl. 🙂 Napa & Sonoma AND San Francisco treated us so well. Since I went last year in 2013, this year in 2014 it only makes sense that I make another trip in 2015. Perhaps this time I’ll be back with my husband!

@ Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

@ Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

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One thought on “Napa & Sonoma 2014

  1. melanieyam says:

    So much fun! I wish I could’ve been there to join in the partay, but this post makes me feel like I was there with you! Sounds like you ladies had a blast…

    P.S. Love the new layout 😉

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