Monday, June 7, 2010

I Wanna Be Back On Vacation

It's never an easy thing to come back from vacation, even if you aren't away long. I had a sensational trip to San Francisco and it was too tough to sort through all the photos and choose which ones to post! Instead, I'll just say that spending time with Kyra in such an amazing city was absolutely terrific. It was also awesome being there with Allison as she saw the city for the first time, especially the steep hills. ;) We got quite a workout over the weekend walking up and down, that's for sure!

Another big highlight for me was getting to see my great friend, Patrick. He lives in San Diego but was taking his two year old daughter, Bella, up the coast to go camping with his brothers. Luckily, they were going just a couple of hours outside San Francisco so he planned it to drive through and meet us. We spent the day together and I was thrilled to finally meet Bella!

The whole weekend was spent trying amazing new retaurants, like Flour + Water and Tipsy Pig, where I had some of the best food I've tried in so long. Flour + Water had this homemade pasta filled with the most divine lemon-ricotta mixture and I have no idea how they made it. I can usually pinpoint an idea of what's in a dish but this had me floored. At Tipsy Pig, they did a drink with cucumber vodka, basil, and club soda that was so good I wanted to bathe in it. Of course we finally got Allison some clam chowder in a bread bowl, too. A San Francisco must! I was psyched to go to a show at The Independent too which is so up my alley in terms of music venues; super small and intimate. We saw Band of Horses whom I've heard of but never actually checked out before. They were really great so that was pretty cool to be able to see them there!

The absolute highlights of the trip for me though were the market down at the ferry building and our day in Napa. The ferry building always has their merchants selling stuff inside but, on the weekends, they do the outside market where local farmers and people sell their food and crafts. I went nuts. I bought coffee, flavored salts, olive oil...I mean, I could have bought out the whole place. My favorite was the "jam" or conserve as it's called. Jam is made with 50% sugar and these gals only use 20% sugar so they can't actually call it jam; thus, it is conserve. When I tell you that this stuff was like heaven, I'm dead serious. I tried just about everything they make, bought some, then went back later and bought more! I got meyer lemon marmalade, plum-blueberry conserve, nectarine-cherry conserve, asian pear chutney...I seriously could have gone to work for the farmer if I didn't have to come back to New York. I can't wait to be like a little Parisienne girl and take my conserve, brie, and fresh bread to the park for a picnic soon. :)

Napa was simply stunning. We could only afford a day trip but it was still perfect. We went to four wineries: Artesa, Domaine-Carneros, Mumm and Rutherford. Domaine-Carneros blew my mind and I actually felt almost guilty for being able to sip champagne at such a gorgeous place. I will say no more and simply just show you:
The beautiful rolling hills and gorgeous weather honestly exceeded my idea of what I thought Napa would be like. Let me just say that I'm so blessed to have the means to be able to go somewhere like that. I cannot wait to save up for a true full Napa/Sonoma vacation one day.

Needless to say, it was a near perfect trip away from the city and one that will be special to me for a long time. I miss my dear friend, Kyra, so much and it was a real joy to spend such quality time with her. I'm ready to move out west now...

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