Sunday, January 30, 2011


After a few days in the Sonoma Valley, we decided to compare it to Napa. I have to say that surprisingly I like Sonoma far better.  Napa had a more uppity feel to it whereas Sonoma felt relaxing, calm. It was smaller, friendlier, and more intimate. In Sonoma, we felt at home - like we could happily live there one day.  Napa - although beautiful- felt very touristy.
Despite my comparison we had a fantastic time.

We had a delicious breakfast then set out to explore.


Ofcourse we had to visit Staglin - where they filmed The Parent Trap with Lindsay Lohan (when she was a cute little girl and had yet to discover drugs and alcohol). Watching that movie makes me want to move to Northern California.

Delectable lunch in Napa.
Delicious - and well worth the wait. If you ever find yourself at Rutherford Grill please order the grilled artichoke.

Stomping the grapes at Grgich

Goodbye Napa - I hope to see you again very soon!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Next stop: Sonoma
We drove north from Muir Woods on up to Sonoma.  We arrived and walked around the cutest town square. Northern California has to be one of the most relaxing places to visit.

While walking around we stumbled upon this:

David's favorite food is cheese - and not one specific type. He doesn't discriminate, he likes them all. He has this theory that there is not one thing that is not made better by adding some type of cheese.  So, you can understand why when we discovered this little shop, he was in heaven.

Wine tasting or Chocolate tastings??

We had a lovely dinner

Then settled in at the quaint Glen Ellen Inn to stay for a few nights

We had our own "secret cottage"

The next day we set out to explore the Sonoma Valley and some of its wineries.
First winery: Ledson

Second winery: Chateau St. Jean
Such a beautiful part of the country

Third winery: Kunde
They were harvesting

Fourth (and favorite): Benziger

Our absolute favorite winery in all of Sonoma Valley was Benziger (no, not the cheap Benzinger)
They run a certified biodynamic farm - which is like a step above organic. You can really taste the difference. Everything we had here was fantastic. 
We had gorgeous 75 degree, sunny weather and spent a lot of time tasting wines, eating cheese, and relaxing taking in the beautiful scenery.
We took a little tram tour around the grounds and learned a thing or two about making wine. 

After tasting wines all day, we spent the late afternoon walking around Jack London Historic Park

We visited the home of the writer/adventurer and explored the grounds where he was inspired.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

California Trip Continued: Muir Woods

Once we saw the sights in San Francisco we headed about 30 minutes outside the city in search of the famous California redwood trees.

On the way we stopped for the most delicious feast at this little restaurant...
A charming little coffe shop with the amazing breakfast. If any of you are headed to the San Fransisco area, you have to dine here.

After the much needed nourishment we made it to Muir Woods .
Much to my surprise, we did not see the huge trees I was envisioning.  I was expecting the giant redwoods- you know the massive trees with trunks you can drive through in a car. Little did I know that I would learn something on this trip. There are 2 species of "redwoods." There are the "big trees" or giant sequoia redwoods. There are also coastal redwoods which are the tallest living things on our planet. Some of them are 360 feet tall - this is what we saw in Muir Woods.

One day soon I hope to visit Sequoia National Park to see the largest trees in the world, specifically General Sherman - the circumference of its trunk is over 100 feet. For now, I'll settle for some of the tallest...

Interesting fact:  Return of the Jedi was filmed here.
It is truely an enchanting area.

After visiting the redwood trees we went to Muir Beach

And saw some seal on our way to Sonoma