The Great West Series: Roaming through Vineyards and a Windy City

The Great West Series: Roaming through Vineyards and a Windy City

After a straight 6 days of camping, arriving to Napa felt like a luxury; San Francisco, glamorous. I still can’t get the image of washing my hair under an outdoor beach shower in sixty degree weather right before heading into Napa, or the pleasure of the warm running water in a Starbucks bathroom I used to wash my face a few hours later. If anything, I learned, showering is a luxury you must give up to experience real nature, only to better appreciate it on any given Tuesday.

While our stay in both Napa and San Francisco was short, we tried to fully immerse ourselves in the culture both cities had to offer. We roamed through the Napa vineyards, making sure to stop at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery (their wine lives close to our hearts as we drank it throughout our honeymoon in Blancaneaux), the Beringer winery for a quick tour of one of the area’s oldest vineyards, Stag’s Leap, and Robert Mondavi. While Napa felt inauthentic and commercialized we enjoyed a once in a lifetime dinner at The French Laundry. I can still taste the spring risotto they made just for me using fava beans, sweet peas, and ramps, all grown in their own garden. I could keep going on and on about this amazing culinary experience (order the vegetable tasting menu!), but I want to keep this post pictorial.

The Golden Gate Bridge awaited us the next morning, embracing and releasing us within minutes. Through thick fog, and light traffic the bridge lead the way into a two-day adventure in a very windy city full of tech guys and pastries. While we stayed most of the time within The Mission visiting quaint, well curated stores along Valencia Street and eating everything Bar Tartine and Tartine Bakery has to offer (dinner at Heirloom Cafe was way better) we managed to explore just enough of San Francisco (Ferry Terminal Building, delicious; the DeYoung Museum, beautiful; Lombardi Street, touristy; and even the Tenderloin, naughty) to get a good sense of the place.

No, I did not cook any of the days, but I hope all the  images satisfy your deepest wanderlust cravings.