Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Visiting Napa Valley

Napa Valley was such an amazing experience. After the hustle and bustle of San Francisco, we were ready to slow down, enjoy the view, and drink some wine.

And let me tell you, there wasn't a bad picture to be taken in the whole place. I wonder if the residents that live there year round ever get blase about what they see around them everyday? I suppose they do, as it's just what happens. The're probably like, "Yawn...another perfectly gorgeous vineyard. Ho-hum." If you ever plan to visit Napa, go in November when the tourists are gone, the leaves are changing, and the air is crisp. The views, the pace, and the afternoon sun were simply dreamy.

Hubby and I were taken aback though by the culture, which was MUCH more chill, health oriented, friendly, and back-to-the-land than what we expected and have here in Virginia. I told my husband, "These are our people!" There was so much focus on local and quality food; it was really tempting to imagine living there. Still, I think I will always be an east coast girl!

And of course, there was the wine. We didn't go too overboard, but mainly stayed with wineries that we had targeted to visit and made reservations. By the end of our trip, our palettes were fatigued and we didn't want to even see another glass of wine!  Another highlight of our trip was being able to visit the Bean Mothership...Rancho Gordo Beans!



Thursday, December 01, 2016

Visiting Alcatraz

A visit to San Fran really isn't complete without a tour of Alcatraz, so on a foggy Sunday morning, we got up early to catch the ferry over to the island. There is really only one ferrying company that takes visitors to-and-from the island, and reservations fill up fast, so we made sure to book our tickets weeks ahead of time.

By and far, Alcatraz Island looks A LOT smaller than it really is from a distance. Expect to spend 2-4 hours walking the highlights of the 22-acre island, wear comfortable shoes, and depending on the time of year, layers of clothing. We were very lucky during our stay in that the fog cleared up perfectly by late morning, making for a gorgeous day.

The perspective vistas of the island were amazing! We definitely got our exercise that day going up-and-down all the hills, stairs, and paths inside and out the prison. I didn't know that in the 1970's, Alcatraz was occupied by Native American Indians as an act of reclamation activism. They lived on the island for 19 months!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Visiting San Francisco

The first part of our trip was in beautiful, gritty, and hip San Francisco. We stayed downtown in Union Square and even our hotel had an art exhibit in the lobby. We walked anywhere we couldn't get an Uber, and we were lucky to befriend an Uber driver who acted as our very own tour guide for most of 3 days.

We ate. Very. Well. Our favorite was a Burmese cult following named Burma Superstar. We ate there 2 times in 3 days and their Tea Leaf Salad will haunt me for the rest of my days. Ghiradelli was insane and was worth the milk farts even after eating 2 Lactaid tablets beforehand. Chinatown was amazing and we were able to sit in on a tea tasting at a tea house. And of course, there were 1,000 pics to be taken of the Golden Gate.

We got into town 2 days after the election and every single person we met wanted to strike up a conversation about what happened. At one point, our Uber was stuck in traffic due to a political protest in the street.

San Francisco, you are a young person's city and we loved you!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Gratuitous Kitteh Monday

Whew, that was nice!

Sorry I’ve been MIA for the past 2 weeks, but I spent 10 of those days on a 10-day vacation out to San Francisco and Napa Valley. It was an amazing, well-needed break for sure.

Hubby and I have been planning this trip since early spring, and it has been a couple of years since we took an honest-to-god-get-away-from-the-house vacation. We definitely needed it, especially since we left 2 days after the election and it was good to have something to take our minds off the mess that was left behind. 

We got back the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and I decided to just go ahead and take Mon, Tues, and Wed off too, since I had Thanksgiving and the day after as paid holidays from my job. So, I’ve had over 2, blissful weeks away from everything to reboot!

The kittehs missed us immensely and Chaz didn’t leave my side for several days after we got home. Here he is glued to my lap…

I'll be posting some more pics with details soon.
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