california, part two: around town and a bit of san francisco

{some tea towels; a bit of rustic vintage; shwarma spice; spices; a little olive oil tasting}

Monday morning, the Hubs got up bright and early for his day-long meeting. I met my MIL and her friend for breakfast and then I decided to trek to downtown Napa by myself to visit Oxbow Public Market. There were a variety of vendors there; some were selling food, wine, gifts, and some were restaurants. I bought myself and a few family members a few things from the spice market, Whole Spice, and, after tasting a few different ones, picked up a few olive oils and balsamic from The Olive Press. Seriously, this place was like heaven to me. I am lucky that we were flying home otherwise I would have bought all the cheese, chocolate, wine, and cute kitchen accessories in the entire market.

{outside of bouchon bakery}

The market wasn't as big as I expected it to be so I went back to Yountville for lunch. After walking around for awhile, I decided to stop at Bouchon Bakery for a late lunch. I had mushroom French dip. Instead of having beef on it, it had mushrooms, cheese, and this delicious aioli (which made the sandwich.) It was served with a mushroom au jus. It may have been one of the best sandwiches I have ever had.

{my espresso}

After lunch, I hung out in my room for a bit and then got ready for dinner. While I waited for the Hubs to come home, I enjoyed an espresso out on our balcony. I loved having that Nespresso machine in our room.

{inside the kitchen and, from my instagram, dinner}

Dinner was in conjunction with the meeting. We all went to Bottega, Chef Michael Chiarello's restaurant, where we had our own private dining room and bar. This may have been one of my favorite parts of the trip - I have been watching the Food Network since I was a freshman in high school and Chiarello was one of the big chefs on there at the time. I remember watching Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello and dreaming about having a beautiful kitchen like that in the hills of Napa. After having some wine from his small winery, we went into the dining room and had passed appetizers. You could see the chefs preparing the rest of our meal and I just sat by the windows and stared. (I am pretty sure they thought I was super creepy.) Dinner was to die for with four courses (not including the appetizers.) And everything was pretty much served family style. The Hubs and I agree that the best thing was definitely the Trenne Bolognese. I wish I could recreate those flavors over and over again. After dinner, I convinced the Hubs to finally build a fire in our room since it was our last night there. I actually fell asleep watching the fire. I was one happy girl.

{from my instagram: breakfast and a mimosa on our balcony}

Tuesday morning, the Hubs went to his half day meeting and I met his mom and her friend for breakfast. After breakfast, I grabbed a mimosa to go and went to the room to pack up all of our things.

{outside of Gott's; a bacon cheeseburger}

Once the Hubs got out of his meeting, we all jumped in the car and went downtown to eat at Gott's for lunch. I had a delicious burger and crazy good garlic-parsley fries. After that, we drove to our hotel in San Francisco. We stayed at the Hilton at Fisherman's Wharf (holla for hotel points.)

{driving into san francisco; waiting in line; a cable car}

Once we unpacked and got settled in, we decided to go ride the cable cars. We waited in a hideously long line and then went through the city. I am not quite sure if this was worth the money or the wait but everyone else wanted to do it so it was fine.

{lombard street; at the top of the steep hill; trying to demonstrate how steep the hill is; fisherman's wharf at night}

The Hubs and I decided to walk back to the hotel while his parents and their friends went to find a taxi. On our way back, we stumbled upon Lombard street which was on our list of things to see. We walked up a ridiculously steep hill and then took pictures. When we got back to the hotel, the Hubs' parents called us to tell us to meet them at Scoma's for dinner, which some friends had recommended. It was a cute Italian seafood restaurant right on the water. My food was pretty good and I am sure it would be a great place to go when it is still light out and you can sit by the windows.

I will have one more California post to share with you soon!

What is your favorite thing to do while traveling - trying new foods, relaxing, or seeing the sites?


  1. i definitely like a mix of all three.... i want to feel like i am exploring and having a sensory adventure, but do not want to adhere to stringently to an itinerary, get too stressed out about sight seeing... it's vacation!

    i so want to go back to napa!

    now that you have been there, you should set your eyes on stellenbosch.... it is my new favorite place in the world. promise to start posting a million africa pictures soon.


  2. Looks like you guys had a great time!!!


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