Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy 4th of July from San Fran!



 For the long holiday weekend, Travis and I packed up the car and drove up to San Fransisco for a little two day getaway. We stayed at the Marine Memorial Hotel downtown in the heart of the city. If you are active duty, a reservist or a veteran of any branch of service, you have to check this place out! You can't beat the rates and membership fees, free happy hour from 5-7, the incredible "continental" breakfast, and the breathtaking views of the city from the top of the hotel.  Not to mention that the hotel is also a museum containing pictures, uniforms and information regarding the Marine Corps history and traditions. Semper Fi!

  So our first night we hit the Leatherneck Steakhouse on the top floor of the hotel. We may have been the youngest couple of the night, but we still had a great time. Dinner was amazing, especially the gourmet truffled tater tots (YUM!) and the live piano music that played. I felt as if we were in a different time period. The next day we made our way downtown for our double decker bus tour of San Fran. We made several stops including china town for lunch, and Pier 39 to check out the seals. We  found a little hole in the wall burger shop which supposedly has the best burgers in town and then made our way to a local Italian restaurant for desert.

  The next day we made a reservation with a tour group to head up to the Sonoma and Napa wine regions. I highly recommend this! Not only do you have a driver while you are wine tasting but they know so much! First they took us around the city giving us tons of info and little known facts about the different parts of San Fran, buildings, and famous houses. Then we hit a secret spot for a great photo opportunity of the golden gate bridge, then we headed off to wine country for our wine tastings. Our first winery was Cline Cellars, known for their zinfandels, and where we received our instructions on how to wine taste properly. (Not that I needed any!) Our next stop was Vianasa were we tasted and explored the beautiful grounds. Then it was off to the little quaint and beautiful town of Sonoma for a lunch. After we got some food in our stomachs, Travis and I walked around and explored some of the town's wine bars. Then it was off to our very last stop, which was my favorite, Domaine and Chandon. Not only did we get a private tour of the facility and how they make the sparkling wine, but we also had lessons in how to properly open a bottle and an amazing tasting.  Of course we bought and saved bottles from each of the wineries we went to for our own wine cellar (someday).  Once we got back to the city it was unfortunately time to leave and head back home but before we left Travis had to drive down Lombard Street, the most crooked street in the world.

  It was a fun weekend trip and I can tell you we didn't want to leave. We will be going back again in the future to visit and taste even more.

  Here are some of my favorite pictures!


 Transamerica Pyramid


 Hobart Street


 Ferry building


 Streets of SF


 Lunch in Chinatown


 Pier


 Alcatraz Island


 Pier 39


 Walking up the infamous hills


 Best burger?


 Oh hello


 History lesson


 "A tribute to those who have gone before, and a service to those who carry on."


 Waiting for the wine tour


 Travis and the Golden Gate bridge


Oh hi


 Cline Cellars Vineyards


 The first stop


 Vianasa Vineyards


 "Tasting Room'


 Travis and I 


 Tour of Domaine and Chandon


Sparkling wine!


Waiting in line to drive down Lombard Street!


The view from below

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