Oh that Cali life…I was so excited to head out to northern California over the holidays to visit my in-laws and explore the Bay area for the first time. Going through these pictures for a second time made me realize how stunning this place is. What I would give to have a gingerbread house on top of a hill overlooking the water in Carmel. I hope you enjoy these pictures and make a point to visit this part of the country at some point in your life. It’s not to missed!
After almost missing our early 6:30 AM flight we made it bright and early to SFO the Saturday before Christmas. We went straight to meet up with my in laws and headed to Monterey to check out Carmel and 17 mile drive. I think this area was my favorite of the whole trip. Obviously – any place with a beach is always my favorite. Carmel is the cutest little town filled with quaint shops and restaurants. The beach is also SO pretty. What a place to live! We ate lunch at Hog’s Breath Inn in their cute little outside patio. The food didn’t knock me off my feet but it was a nice place to enjoy a meal outside on a nice winter day. After lunch we walked around the town and of course I snapped photos of all the cute homes and the stunning beach. I kept holding the group up while we were walking around because everywhere your turn there is a photo-op. We also did a quick drive through 17 mile drive which is a famous drive with the most picturesque views of the coastline. We ended our drive at the Inn at Spanish Bay which is a stunning 5 star property on Pebble Beach and watched the sunset overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Although we were exhausted it was a perfect way to kick off the trip.
The next day Brett and I took the Bart and headed into San Francisco to do with a quick walk through of the city. We walked through the Ferry Building a bit and then headed to get a really great brunch at Park Tavern (as per Ashley’s recommendation. I loved of the menu – I always think a combination of unique ingredients makes for a good restaurant. We walked to the wharf to check out the touristy stuff where the sea lions were a highlight for me. We saw a glimpse of the Golden Gate bridge which was really stunning and I wish we had walked even closer (next time…). I usually enjoy the architecture of the buildings and neighborhoods anytime I’m exploring a city and I loved the cream and pastel colored buildings that lined the hilly streets – a truly unique place. Plus a lot of the flowers were in full bloom which was refreshing to see in the winter. We also walked around the Marina District which was a highlight for me, grabbing a cocktail on Chestnut Street at a place called The Tipsy Pig, and later walking down Filmore to window shop the pretty stores. Definitely a city worth getting lost in by foot.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was spent with family, good food, and hikes. The day after Christmas we made the trip to Napa! I had been wanting to go to Napa for a long time now so I was really excited. First we headed to Artesa Vineyards which was my favorite stop of the 3 vineyards we went to. I honestly loved all the wines we tasted here and even picked up a half case of limited edition Pinot Noir on reserve. Can’t wait to get into some of it! We also went to Beringer for a tasting. Since Brett’s uncle is a member we were able to bring a picnic and enjoy it on the property. Don’t you just love eating cheese, meats, olives, dips, and wine? It’s the best! We capped off our trip at Mumm Napa to cheers with some bubbles. It was the perfect toast to send off the trip and the sunrise that night was another one for the books.