Thursday, May 31, 2012

California Vacation Part 3: Napa Valley

Our second full day in San Francisco was our winery tour of Napa Valley. We arrived at the marketplace at 8:00am to meet our tour. We needed a quick breakfast, so we got an egg sandwich on a croissant and cappuccinos at a nearby place. Once we met up with our tour group, we piled onto a bus and made our way out to Napa.

On our way, we crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge and stopped for pictures. It was morning, so it was pretty gray, very windy, and where we stopped was NOT the best view. (Luckily, we stopped on the other side on the way back home, so I have better pictures later)
Our first stop was V. Sattui Winery, the ONLY winery in Napa that has its own marketplace. This was my favorite stop of the day. We tried 14 different wines here between the two of us and we were certainly feeling happy by the end of tasting.
Coincidentally, the person standing next to us at our tasting, and a part of our tour for the day, was also from New York and lived about 20 minutes away from us! We had a great time getting to know our new friend, Jan, and ended up ordering some wine with him to split the cost of shipping! After our tasting we needed fooood and luckily, this place had a ton of options. Look at all that cheese!
 This was one of the best sandwiches I had of the trip: Chicken Pesto panini
 Tomato, Mozzarella panini

 Desssertttsss...we didn't try any of these though
Next stop was Franciscan Esate winery.
Our third stop was Whitehall Lane Winery and Vineyards. This was my least favorite, mostly because the woman who led the tour was really snotty, and kept putting down the other wineries we went to. She thought she was funny...but she wasn't. They had a cool barrel room though!

Our last stop was Andretti Winery, owned by Mario Andretti himself. This was my second favorite vineyard of the day. It had such a beautiful, calm, European feel to it.
Our new friend, Jan!
I passed OUT on our drive back to San Francisco, so when I woke up, I was surprised to see we were approaching the Golden Gate Bridge. We were supposed to catch a ferry back to the city, which would take us under the Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately, we got stuck in some major Mother's Day traffic and missed the last ferry boat! So, we had to drive back into town. The only good thing about this was we were able to stop on the other side of the bridge for some MUCH better views.
We arrived back tired, a little hungover, hungry, had 3 bottles of wine in the mail for us, and a new friend!

For dinner, we stopped at Jack in the Box (because we had already reached our "classy" quota of the day) There, I had a "chicken fajita in a pita" teehee...I giggle every time I say that, and it was actually really good!

And that was our successful day 2 in San Fran!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

California Vacation Part 2: San Francisco

After breakfast at Il Cane Rosso, we left the marketplace to find this child performer with quite a crowd going out on the sidewalk. He was amazing playing the trumpet and dancing, and such a cute kid!
We walked along the water and stopped at many places along the way.

Finally, we made it to pier 39, and saw the Sea Lions!
In a spontaneous decision, we bought tickets for a Duck Boat tour of San Francisco (Everyone should ride on a duck boat at least once in their lives, right?!) Before that, we had passes to the Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39. I got to go inside an aquarium tank (sort of).
 And I got to pet a starfish!

After the aquarium, it was time to go on our duck boat tour!

We got some great views of major sites in San Fran including the Oakland Bay Bridge
AT&T Park where the Giants play baseball, and lots of various artists sculptures:

After the duck boat, we were hungry, so we went on the hunt for an empanada truck, Tanguito, our tour guide recommended as having the best empanadas! These indeed were AMAZING
Corn and Cheese empanada....amazingness
Also down at Fisherman's Wharf is the famous Boudin Bakery, known for their sourdough bread! We had lunch there the Monday after we arrived, and it was very good:
That about covers Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf. Next up: We spend the day in Napa Valley!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

California Vacation: Part 1

I was finally able to sit down and begin recapping our California vacation.

We arrived in San Francisco late Friday night, May 11. It was only 11:00pm in California, but to us it felt like 2am...waaay past my bedtime! But I was too excited to feel it. We got our rental car and drove 20 minutes to our hotel. We stayed at the Westin St. Francis in Union Square
The next morning our first order of business was to go to the San Francisco Marketplace.

We had breakfast at Il Cane Rosso:
We ordered Strawberry Lemonade, Cinnamon toast, Fried Egg Sandwich and homemade yogurt with granola and honey...can you say "YUM?"

All was good, but I have to say...this wasn't life-changing. I'm saddened that I didn't just go get the homemade English muffin from Boulettes Larder, which they are very well known for. However, the real showstopper of the morning was the donut muffin from Downtownn Bakery and Creamery.
After breakfast we walked around back to the actual Saturday morning farmer's market and I couldn't believe all the amazing other food options out there! I wanted to try everything!! After that, we walked over to Pier 39 and Fisherman's wharf...more to come!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Find: Whoops...Freudian Slip?!

Happy Friday! I'm back with another Friday wedding find for you all! I'm heading off to Pennsylvania tomorrow for my friend, Molly's, Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party and I couldn't be more excited! Less than two months till her big day, and I gotta get my bridesmaid dress!!

Today I bring to you this amazing video thankfully captured by this bride and groom's wedding guest. Thank GOODNESS this bridal party and their guests have a great sense of humor!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

1 Year Anniversary Celebration

While I work out  few more kinks at, I am going to be blogging here from now on. This especially makes sense now because I have so many wedding events coming up in the next few months: showers, bachelorette parties, weddings...I will have lots to share! So be sure to keep checking here regularly for updates.

As you know, we celebrated one year of marriage on Monday! It was a major bummer to get up Monday morning and have to go to work...but since our wedding date isn't recognized as a federal to work we went. When we came home, we exchanged cards (and Chris got me dark chocolate, yay!)
Then got to work on making our fresh ravioli from Eataly tossed in our favorite pasta topping ever. I bought a bag of dry pasta seasoning at the marketplace in Florence last year and it is absolutely the best thing ever. You just heat it up with some oil and then mix with any pasta. It's definitely one of our favorite dinners. Unfortunately, I cannot find anything else like it here, so I'll have to wait until I can go back to Florence to get more.
We also popped open a bottle of Chianti from the wine and cooking class we took in Tuscany! I have been steadily enjoying a glass with dinner each night this week. After dinner it was cake time. Awhile back, I had thought that the cake in our freezer wasn't actually our cake. Turns out what I was seeing was just the black band across the bottom and it was in fact our cake! Wahoo! We cut the cake together for old times sake:
And then we shared a piece.
I have to say...this cake held up so well! It was still really good, and didn't have freezer burn at all.
Just in case our cake was bad, and we didn't like it...I ordered a small cake from the same bakery. They make miniature wedding cakes for $8.50 for anniversaries and the cake was even cuter than I could have imagined!
Not surprisingly....we liked this fresh cake a whole lot better and pretty much demolished it after dinner with a glass of milk

I can't believe it's been a year already. I've enjoyed every minute of being married and look forward to many more anniversaries with my husband. Also in case you're wondering: so far, our second year feels a lot like the first. :)

How did/will you spend your one year anniversary?

Monday, May 21, 2012

1 Year Anniversary!

I can't even believe it's been a year already: HAPPY 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY to my amazing, wonderful husband! We had a great past week celebrating in California, where we rode a Cable Car, visited Alcatraz Island, toured some wineries in Napa, and acted like giddy children at Universal Studios!
Tonight, we plan on exchanging cards over our spinach ravioli dinner from New York's EATALY, a bottle of wine from our honeymoon, and of course, have some 1 year old wedding cake!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012