Lesson learned from this trip – don’t forget to check in when flying Southwest. Getting out of San Fran into Oakland this evening was a nightmare which resulted in being one of the last to board and sitting solo. Thank goodness the flight back home is less an hour and they serve alcohol on the plane. This was also the only hiccup of the entire trip so this was one of the best weekend trips we have had. Our trip started on an early (too early for this lover of sleep) flight to Oakland. With no checked bags and the early hours, within an hour we left our place, passed security and were up in the air.
We landed in Oakland before 8am, got our rental car and were on our way to Napa. The drive was just a bit over an hour and gorgeous when you start getting closer to the vineyards. We met up with our friends who got to Napa the day before for a brunch at Oxbow! The husband and I absolutely loved it because it reminded us of one of our favorites – The Gansevoort Market in New York. After a delicious mix of donuts and breakfast tacos, we made our first to our first winery stop – Stag’s Leap.
I will be doing a review of all the wineries we visited in a seperate post because some of them were worth going on a second trip to (and yes we have already decided Napa might be a regular trip for us). Our day started with a Fire and Water tour at Stag’s Leap (thanks to our friends John and Eryka who were members). We then stopped at the Mondavi, Grgich Estate and Consentino wineries. For dinner we headed back down to Downtown Napa for a highly recommend restaurant – Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & BBQ. The food was to die for and the atmosphere was even better! We checked into our hotel after dinner and were pleasantly surprised at the unique hotel / bed and breakfast. It was a large house with 2 connecting houses that offered common areas, homemade breakfasts, libraries and DVD rentals and bonfires out back. While it was different from the chain hotel, it was a welcome change.
Our second day started with champagne tasting at Domain Chandon then wine tasting at Castello di Amorosa, Hall and V Sattui wineries. For dinner the husband and I enjoyed italian food (and more wine for me) in Downtown Napa. Throughout the entire weekend the weather was perfection and most of the wineries were not crowded. The husband and I both left wanting to stay longer and with the plan to return again.
On Sunday morning, we checked out of Napa and drove down to San Francisco for the day since our flight was out of Oakland. We started by driving across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Golden Gate Park which reminded me of a smaller version of Prospect Park. We enjoyed the Dutch windmills and the beach before driving to the Coit Tower for views of the bridge and bay. There was a heavy fog over the bay but the views of the ocean and port were still spectacular. We could even see Lombard Street in the distance. Our next stop was to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf for seafood. We walked around the pier enjoying the street performers, the ocean views and people watching of course. My food highlight was the Baked Bear custom ice cream sandwich! We made sure to walk off the calories by walking to Lombard Street (hello uphill) before heading back to the airport. Traffic getting to the airport was rough but we eventually made it before walking fairly easily through security and onto the plane.