Our San Francisco/Sonoma Trip!

So - if you've ever been in my car you know that I love me the TV on the Radio. When they announced their spring tour I was bummed to see that their only LA date was Coachella, so that meant no other play-y in LA-y (and Pomona is just too far.) So when I saw that they were playing in Oakland over Memorial Day weekend I had one of those lightbulb moments and decided we needed a good road trip!

We arrived in San Francisco around lunchtime and took the bus up to Amoeba - I LOVE taking public transportation. I'm not sure if I would love it so much if I had to do it everyday, I'm sure the novelty of it would wear off, but when we are traveling I really enjoy it. We have sort of made a tradition out of buying CDs at local indie record stores while on vacation and I was happy we fit it into this trip. (purchases included Jason Lytle, Au Revoir Simone, Reatards, and two Nick Cave Re-issues)

I found a good deal at the Hotel Palomar, it is a Kimpton hotel, and they are quickly becoming my hotel chain of choice. Comfy beds, and really loud flushing toilet and a shower that didn't drain very well, BUT I would totally stay there again, centrally located and did I mention the comfy bed?

We had some TASTY crab-deviled eggs and a couple of beers before dinner by the water at MarketBar in the Ferry Building, (side note: I don't think I have ever, in my almost 15 years knowing my husband seen him SO excited over a group of shops). Beers and deviled eggs. yum.


Guy booked us a really yummy dinner at Ozumo Sushi. The Hanabi and Futago were amazing. Everything was great. Including the Sapporos.

After dinner we headed on the BART to Oakland to the recently renovated Fox Theater - it's one of those historic, crazy buildings with really amazing architecture. We had 5 or 10 more beers and were treated to an amazing show by one of my favorite bands.

Saturday morning was a little rough (see mention of beers above) so we got a slow start out of town and eventually made it to Santa Rosa where we checked into our hotel and had a really great lunch at Omelette Express-- soo yummy

Our home base for the wine tasting trip was Hotel La Rose - small, quaint, in the heart of their little historical area and the bed was really comfy... (comfy beds are crucial to my traveling happiness in case you couldn't tell - it has to be firm, not too firm and big enough so that 6'4" husband does not cut into my side of the bed by sleeping diagonally on small beds)

After fueling up on sandwiches and iced tea and when I finally began to feel human again it was time for some wine tasting! We hit a good amount of wineries in the Forestville, Sebastopol and Windsor areas (favorites are marked with a handy asterisk - man I love those things)

Hartford Family Winery
*Harvest Moon
Hook & Ladder
Dutton-Goldfield/Balletto Vineyards

Harvest Moon was probably my favorite of the day, and not just because they had a really awesome chocolate lab named Charlotte. Woodenhead had an amazing deck with views of the valley and a woman who worked there was from LA and her parents lived in the same house in the heart of Hollywood for the last FIFTY YEARS. I loved that.

That night we had dinner at El Dorado Kitchen in the Sonoma Square. Note: when traveling check to see if the town where you booked dinner is having any events, like a jazz fest, that could make finding parking near-impossible

ANYWAY - it was really good - I had the truffle risotto, Guy had short ribs. And for desert we had a S'Mores tart. mmmm...

Sunday morning we woke bright and early and without a hangover (yay) and went to breakfast at Parkside Cafe - oh. shit. yum. Chicken Fried Steak and the Country Benedict were both great and not too heavy. Really tiny place with really amazing food.

We walked around the Windsor Farmer's Market and some antique fair thing in Healdsburg before starting day two wine tasting at:

*Dutcher Crossing

Stryker had a remarkable tasting room, beautiful grounds, some horny snakes, and two guys working - one was lively, engaging and outgoing and the other was his total opposite. Guess which one we got?

Preston is an organic winery, with pigs and chickens and cats and bread and olives and really yummy wines. It was totally my favorite of the trip.

OK. Dinner. I booked us a nice dinner based on online reviews and a Michelin rating. So we walk into this old Victorian House/Restaurant and there is classical music playing, unchipped China on all of the tables, salmon colored walls, DRAPES, and a snooty hostess and I have a mini-panic attack. Where did I book us?? Guy calms me and the Goose and tonic calms me and we sit to eat. OH.MY.GOD. It was BY FAR one of the most amazing meals of my life. Go there. As soon as possible. Life is short people.
Madrona Manor
We had five courses of amazing food paired with fantastic Sonoma wines and Champagne, along with things like parm-reggiano churros, pea Vichyssoise amuse-bouche (actually I don't really know if vichyssoise is usually a SPECIFIC kind of soup - this is how much I didn't deserve to be eating there, anyway - it was cold and I only know what amuse-bouche is because I watch Top Chef - see you CAN learn things from Reality TV). We also were given raspberry/hibiscus crushed ice to cleanse the palettes (the texture of the ICE was amazing) - a mini creme brulee AFTER we finished the desert that we ordered, and a handful of chocolates and carmels AND 2 bags of caramel corn to take on the road. soooooo yum.

The whole weekend was awesome. Yay for vacations. I am working on the next weekend getaway now: Ojai. Have never been there and have always wanted to go. I plan on lots of relaxing.

1 comment:

awildermode said...

i like that you provide links. i wish you could plan my vacation. how did you do all that stuff in so little time?