All posts filed under: California

Exploring wine country

After our brief stint in San Francisco, our party of four (including two pregnant women) escaped to wine country for a couple days of relaxation, drinking (for the boys) and eating (for the girls). It was baby moon bliss! In a couple of photos… Our first victim:  Morimoto in downtown Napa. Who needs wine when you have amazing sushi? Can you guess how many wineries we visited in two full days? Find out at the end… Our first two stops included Goosecross Cellars and the Baldacci Family Vineyards. The Baldacci wine caves. Mmm, look at all of those tasty cedar barrels. Confession:  Jay and I watched “Bottle Shock” the night before we visited Chateau Montalena Winery. We were star-struck for sure, but how you can not be? This place was beautiful. We stopped at Auberge du Soleil to enjoy some drinks on their terrace. Check out the view! Acacia’s olive trees were speaking to me.  Artesa’s panoramic views were hard to beat. The Cline Cellars‘ tasting room is held in an 1850s farmhouse. Swirling my San Pelligrino water at Round Pound Estate. No …

Hi, San Fran!

I met San Fran for the first time on a beautiful sunny October afternoon. She hosted us for several days in which we walked, bused and cable-car’d ourselves silly. We ate ourselves even sillier. I should mention that I was seven months pregnant at the time, and we traveled with another pregnant couple, which meant double the hunger hormones. This, of course, isn’t a bad thing when you’re in San Francisco. :) Here are some of my favorite photos from the trip… Tourist trap:  the Painted Ladies. Cue the “Full House” theme song!A view from the Golden Gate Promenade. Aquatic Park My husband was not going to leave the city until he rode in a cable car. I have to admit that I’m so glad we did! Vibrant Chinatown. I could’ve spent a week here alone – so much to see and eat. On our first full day in the city, we were honored to attend our friends’ wedding at the Trocadero Clubhouse in Sigmund Stern Grove. It was absolutely charming. These doughnuts = happy …

Hearst Castle

Day 6! We’re almost to the end of my photos from the trip. Hope you enjoyed looking through the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them. :) Jay and I drove to the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, Calif., Wednesday morning for a tour. The castle, also known as “La Cuesta Encantada” (Enchanted hill) was built by William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951), newspaper magnate and publisher. The estate is more than 90,000 square feet. There are a total of 56 bedrooms, 41 fireplaces and 61 bathrooms including the three guest houses and the main house. Pictured above on the left is a sitting area in the assembly room in the main house, Casa Grande. Hearst and his architect Julia Morgan worked on the castle from 1919 to 1947. When Hearst died in 1951, the Hearst corporation donated the property to the state and it is now maintained as a California state park and art museum. The dining room was massive. Hearst was a “ceiling collector” and would buy centuries-old ceilings that dictated the size of the …

Picturesque Monterey

Ahh, picturesque Monterey. This was one of my favorites places from our trip. Monterey is about 2 hours south of San Francisco and breathtaking. Jay and I woke up early Tuesday morning and filled up with food at First Awakenings, a cute hideaway café. Pigeons don’t have manners. After brunch, we walked through Cannery Row. Cannery Row, which was made famous by John Steinbeck, used to be the epicenter of the sardine-canning industry in the first half of the 20th century. The next item on our itinerary was to drive the scenic 17-mile drive, which takes you down the coast through Pebble Beach and ends at Carmel. California squirrels take time to enjoy the view. Lucky. One of the stops on the drive was the iconic Lone Cypress, Pebble Beach Company’s trademark symbol. The tree is more than 250 years old – yikes – and is actually reinforced with wire supports to keep it from falling. The Lodge at Pebble Beach. Probably Jay’s highlight from the trip. ;) The 18th hole. Incredible. I don’t play …

Sequoia National Park

Day 4! Jay and I hit the road in our Nissan Sentra rental car Monday morning to head to Sequoia National Park. The drive was about 4 and half hours northeast of Port Hueneme and very, very scenic. We entered the park through the Ash Mountain entrance, which is pictured above on the left. In above top left photo is Moro Rock. Yes, we climbed to the top of it! Bottom left is Tunnel Rock  and bottom right is a photo taken while driving through Giant Forest, home of world’s biggest trees. It took us nearly 400 steps to reach the top of Moro Rock, which is 6,725 feet high. Very steep and very scary. The Sierra Nevada mountain range. After “climbing,” we thought it was time for a nice hike to General Sherman, the largest (by volume) living tree in the world. Interesting Sherman factoids: The Sherman tree’s top is dead, so it will not grow any taller, but it does grow wider every year. Base diameter is 36.5 feet. Base circumference is 103 feet. The …