SAN FRANCISCO, NAPA & YOSEMITE: DRUNK AT WINE TASTING
Hello! Welcome to a new travel post. Today I’m sharing all about my trip to SF, Napa Valley and Yosemite in December 2017. I went with my boyfriend Jake and we stayed for 11 days.
This was definitely one of my favorite trips, we had such a good time, cleared our heads, and started the year with a fresh perspective once we came back home! San Francisco is one of my favorite cities. Growing up, I visited several times during my school breaks because my uncle used to live there, so we would stay with him for the holidays and explore the city. I hadn’t been back since I was around 13 years old, so it was about time. I adore the vibe the city gives off, plus it reminds me of my childhood and some great memories.
We were so excited when we got to the city, we had been working non-stop for the past few months and really needed the break. As soon as we got to the hotel, though (The Herbert Hotel, btw), I realized I had left my phone in the Uber! I immediately panicked and so did Jake, we started trying to contact Uber right away but it wasn’t easy, the ladies at the front desk were super sweet and helpful, letting us use the phone and trying to help us out. In the end, after like 20 minutes of really freaking out and trying several options, I was able to reach out to the driver and he said he had the phone, and would bring it by the hotel in the next few hours. Seriously, I hope he finds money that he forgot about in his pocket everyday for the rest of his life. I was so grateful! After that big mess, we were finally able to relax and explore the city. Our hotel was super close to everything, right next to Union Square!
After a full day of exploring the city, visiting Pier 39, doing a bunch of shopping, and drinking hot chocolate atGhirardelli Square, we were ready for our next adventure the next day which was Wine Tasting at Napa Valley! We did a guided tour, which was so fun! We went to 3 different wineries, enjoyed incredible views of the vineyards, and had a delicious lunch in Yountville. I gotta say that 90% of the wines we tried were delicious! I love wine, so maybe I’m biased, but still, they were super good and it wasn’t long before I was feeling super tipsy (I really don’t drink a lot and I’m 5’3, so..). The funny thing was that everybody else on the tour was 100% sober, and I was feeling LIT. Once we ate lunch I felt back to normal, though, haha. We learned a lot about wines and how they’re made, plus how to properly drink it and really enjoy it! Jake still uses the term “Volatilizing the wine” every time we drink it now, lol.
The next guided tour we took was to Yosemite! We had to wake up super early, but it was so worth it! You can’t beat the views up there, it’s truly lovely. The bus driver was nice and funny, and we had a really good time.
It was super cold at first, but with all the hiking we warmed up pretty fast! It really is super beautiful in there, if you get the chance, don’t miss a visit!
I’m not going to write about every single day spent there in detail because I don’t want to bore you, so let me share my favorite parts of the trip, apart from Napa and Yosemite, which has already been covered.
BEST THINGS WE DID IN SF:
1. Obviously Union Square and the whole area around it, if you want to go shopping, don’t miss it! It has soo many stores!
2. Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf might be super touristy, but they’re lovely! Go check out the sea lions, they’re so cute, plus there’s a bunch of stores and restaurants, the vibe is just really nice in there.
3. Drinking the most delicious hot chocolate at Ghirardelli Square! It’s seriously amazing, plus the whole place smells like chocolate! You should also try the ice cream sundae, it’s huge though, so maybe share it
4. Of course, go see the Golden Gate bridge and take pictures there! The bridge really is impressive and super cool.
5. Visit the Painted Ladies at Alamo Square! If you were a Full House fan, you’ll really appreciate this. You can hang out in front of the houses, where the intro to Full House was filmed!
6. Go chill out at Dolores Park. Jake and I loved it! It has the best vibe, I swear. If you go on the weekend you’ll find lots of people there, mostly in their 20’s, and everybody is just really happy and chill, there’s music playing, and tons of dogs running around! We brought wine and popcorn the second time we went and had a great time.
7. Go see a play/musical or the ballet/opera! Seriously! Since we went during the holidays, we went to see A Christmas Carol, and we also saw The Nutcracker at the Palace of Fine Arts, performed by the Russian Ballet, it was incredible.
8. Walk around the city as much as you can! It’s beautiful, people are nice, and you get in some exercise to compensate for all the food haha, as usual, I recommend purchasing an unlimited Clipper card, and that way you can get around in the buses/trains, you get to see so much more of the city this way and also you don’t have to worry about parking!
9. Lombard Street! You can’t not see it. The trolley stops right in front of it, so you can hop off, take a few pictures, and get back on
10. Muir Woods! This one is a bit farther away, we actually took a little tour to go there, but it’s gorgeous, it’s like an enchanted forest, and the sequoias are beautiful.
11. Sausalito. Again, you might have to either take a bus tour if you didn’t bring a car, or take an Uber. But it’s really worth it, it’s the cutest little town you will ever see. All the stores and restaurants are adorable and it looks like a village out of a fairy tale.
12. Baker Beach! You can get here using public transportation, and it’s amazing! You get to see the Golden Gate from the beach. We went during a particularly, windy, chilly morning, so we didn’t stay long, but I’m still really glad we got to see it.
13. SF Museum of Modern Art. Go check it out! It has the craziest stuff, but it’s really interesting and the place is very relaxing. Going to museums always seems to relax me a lot, especially if they’re not very crowded.
Okay, now, onto a really important part, food! I want to share with you all the delicious food we ate during our trip (in no particular order):
- Le Marais Bakery: do yourself a favor and come here for brunch! It’s beautiful, feels super french, and the food is delicious! I had the composée board which included a sesame bagel, scrambled eggs, avocado, mozzarella cheese, tomato and apple slices. Jake had the same but with a croissant instead of a bagel. Oh and of course a latte for each of us!
- Bubba Gump: chain restaurant, I know, but I thought I’d still include it because I love it! And the one in Pier 39 is super nice. We had popcorn shrimp and shrimp scampi. Bubba would’ve been proud.
- Bottega Napa Valley: this was during our wine tasting tour, when we stopped at Yountville for lunch. This restaurant took care of my tipsiness, lol. And it was super classy and delicious. I had the Spaghetti Gragnano alla Sophia Loren. It’s a bit pricey but worth it.
- Mr. Holmes Bakehouse: omg, please go and try their cruffins, they’re out of this world, and all of their pastries are amazing! And they have this cool neon sign that says “I got baked in San Francisco” lol
- Boudin Bakery: if you’re in SF and you don’t visit Boudin, you might as well not go, jk, lol, but still, it’s a classic and their bread bowls are delicious and comforting, especially on a cold day.
- Tartine: so, this place is very popular, we had to stand in line for about 30 minutes to be able to get in and order. But it’s veryyy good, so if you have the spare time, I do recommend you try it! We had the croissant, the lemon cream tart and the chocolate hazelnut tart! Delicious.
I hope you enjoyed this post! If you want any advice or if you have any questions about visiting SF, let me know, I’ll be happy to help!