Wednesday, September 28, 2011

San Fran Part III

On our final full day we decided to take the scenic route from Santa Rosa to San Francisco. Our plan was to catch the Pacific Coast Highway way up there and slowly make our way down. What actually happened is that we got on and then must have immediately got back off unknowingly. We were in an open top jeep and driving down this highway with a bunch of semi trucks (that were throwing all kind of dust and junk into our faces) and then came the smells. Evidently the road we were on was the home to a LOT of California's farm industry. Now, I love a good farm, my husband and kids can tell you that I can't pass a barn without commenting on it, I point out every horse, cow or goat to my kids and I always guess what they are growing. These farms however, were not so charming. Large quantities of farm animals (that we couldn't even see) in small spaces make for a rather "interesting" smell. When you are in an open top jeep the smell is that much more pungent and we passed one farm operation after another.  Not the scenic view we had planned on. After some GPS fiddling we finally made it to the coast and my goodness it was beautiful.

Having been born in Florida I'm not a stranger to the beach but beach combined with mountains is not something I had experienced. The Pacific Coast Hwy is narrow at that point, and twisty and curvy like you would not believe. Once we were right where we had wanted to be and snaking back and forth against the mountain Brian mentioned to me that we were low on gas. So low in fact that it had stopped showing how many miles we had remaining in the tank and was just flashing red lights at us. There are NO gas stations around there. It was also about this time that I realized I had another problem, the lack of gas was small beans compared to the car sickness I was beginning to feel. Hairpin turn after hairpin turn had me turning a lovely shade of green. To our left was a mountain and to my right was a steep drop down a cliff into the Pacific ocean and at no point was there a place to pull over. I haven't told Brian how seriously I was considering sticking my head over the side of the jeep. I dug around blindly in my purse for the little container of Dramamine which I realized suggests you take an hour before you get in my situation. Fortunately the gas held out and we made it to a gas station and bathroom.

I'm so thankful that the hotel let us check in early and I laid down for about 20 minutes and felt fine. The rest of our time we spent exploring, shopping and finally downing a whole bunch of sushi. Because doesn't raw fish sound good to everyone when your stomach has been revolting all afternoon?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

San Fran Part II

After the tour we met with one of Brian's high school friends at The Plant Cafe Organic. I tried the "plant burger" which actually doesn't have any meat, instead it's made with lentils, mushrooms, beets, cashews & bulgar wheat. It was actually pretty good but I wouldn't compare it to a real burger. After lunch we took the top off the jeep and headed up to Napa. At this point it was too late in the day for the wineries to be open so we just explored and drove around.
One of the pictures I emailed the girls. The first day there I didn't have a ponytail or a hat so I had quite a windblown look going.
We checked into Vintners Inn which I would recommend in a heart beat. Our room was great with a vaulted, beamed ceiling, and a great little terrace overlooking the fountain. After some research we settled on a small Italian restaurant that was good but not great. We woke up on Sunday and took a run through the vineyards before breakfast. Breakfast was really good, waffle with pureed fruit and fresh whipped cream. Yum AND I didn't have to feed anyone bites of my food AND I got to sit through the whole meal without getting up to serve someone, clean up a spilled drink, remind someone to take bites or chew with their mouth closed, bliss.
The type of photos my Lorie (a photographer) would email back.
Our first winery was Hop Kiln and it was a great, small and informative tasting. I blabbed that it was our first tasting and the guy was great at explaining everything and gave us some extra wine to taste as well. We ordered a few bottles and did a little shopping as well (vinaigrettes, balsamic vinegar). The next winery, Ledson, was a disappointment. Some kid ran the tasting and he clearly didn't really know anything about wines but instead had memorized a response to any possible question, blah. The grounds were pretty so we grabbed some lunch and ate next to their vineyard.
Hop Kiln Winery

That night was the wedding and we had a blast. Brian's business school buddies are great, interesting people and we had so much fun hanging out and dancing with them. I will say I am feeling some embarrassment and regret over a running man attempt. Why, why do I do that, there is never a time when the running man is attractive. The worm, that is a dance that is cool I need to practice that one.

Stay tuned for part three, it includes a wrong turn, farm animals, an empty gas tank and a bit of car sickness.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


The girls are sitting at their little table drawing.
Kate to Kendall: "This picture is for only you"
Kendall: "Why only me?"
Kate: "Because you're my best sister"
Kendall paused and then responded, "Awww, you're my best sister too"

I love it when they love each other.

Friday, September 23, 2011

If You Gooooooo To San Francisco....

My girls sing that song all the time, it cracks me up. Brian and I just came home from a getaway trip to San Francisco. We had such a great time, it was so beautiful and fun and just nice to go somewhere as a couple instead of as parents :)

I was really really good about taking pictures....on the first day. After that the only pictures I took were with my phone.

Saturday morning we woke up and headed to the Ferry Building. Honestly, it was beautiful. I was so impressed with the attention to detail. Each of the farmer's booths displayed everything so beautifully, all the logos were fantastic (and made me crave some graphic design classes), it was all really inspiring. I wanted to take pictures of everything and then steal their ideas while decorating my house.

After that we were complete tourist and took a trolley tour and loved it. Although a little chilly it was a fantastic way to see all of the city. We rode around for two hours and occasionally stopped to get out and explore.