To Be Where Little Cable Cars Climb Halfway to the Stars…

My maiden Wine Country/Bay Area sabbatical has concluded….much to my dismay. Whilst true I missed my munkees and was delighted to see their beaming faces, I could have easily stayed MUCH longer. In retrospect, this trip was a blur. I have been attempting to write this post for 3 days now…but been enveloped in a dense fog (an undisclosed piece of San Francisco that apparently came back with me.) I’ve barely left my home & been sleeping A LOT. Yikes.

Wine Country. Where do I even begin? It’s Disney World for adults. Acres and acres of vineyards, the smell of crushed grapes permeating the air (during Crush, that is), warm sun, cool breezes, and bottles upon bottles of bubbles and vino. Forget not it’s a mecca for people watching as well. Pure Vida!

Memorable & comical anecdote: checking into our fabulous hotel, the Westin Verasa Napa, we have less than 40 minutes to shower, dress & be up at the winery….we are trying to figure out how we squeeze in a proper makeout session as well. Our plan is to navigate to room as fast as humanly possible. Check-in was expeditious, (yay), however, [sweet, maybe 17 years of age] bellman bellboy wants to stop and point out ALL features of the hotel lobby & amenities (uhhh…). Romeo, being ever so cordial, obliges. Meanwhile, as bellboy goes over the pool, water fountain thing that shoots fire?, gym, blah, blah…I am wide~eyed, grinning and pointing toward hallway leading to the rooms. I finally grab the cart and courteously inform bellboy we are on a schedule. Finally the room! We tell bellboy “thanks, we’ll unload” and hand him a generous tip to scram. Thinking he’s left, we are on the bed, kissing & groping like teenagers. ::In a loud voice:: “Yes, and here in the closet, there’s a safe and an ironing board..” OMG! We burst out laughing…but carried on as if he had indeed left.

The Harvest Dinner at Cakebread Cellars was savory, as was my date. Ahhh…Romeo. We were thankfully sat at The Table of Youth and quickly befriended our tablemates. After dinner, we made our way to Bouchon for additional libations and dessert. Fantabulous!

The following two days were a feast of tastings and a divine dinner at The Martini House. (where I highly recommend the Bresaola Carpaccio & Kobe Beef Burger) In 3 days, we ventured: Cline, Gloria Ferrer, Cakebread, Elizabeth Spencer, Hall, Mumm, Domaine Carneros, Ravenswood, Chateau St. Jean, Kunde, & Gundlach Bundschu wineries. We tasted in both Napa & Sonoma, with Sonoma being my preference.

Leaving Wine Country, it was time to experience the City by the Bay. First stop was Ferry Building Marketplace where we proceeded straight to the Wine Merchant for vino, charcuterie and people watching, while waiting for another peep to join us for lunch. We dined at Boulettes Larder and then picked up a few Bombolonis for dessert. Feeling the happy buzz, we forego sightseeing and continue on our drinking/snacking tour, hitting Farmerbrown and Caruso’s (which was conveniently in our hotel). We bid farewell to our friend and get ready for the evening….of more libation indulgence. Now let me just tell you, Romeo knows where to go in this city! We walk up to this wooden door, no sign, no indication of what this place is. He knocks. The door opens and a girl appears requesting a password. {cool!} We enter and are escorted to a cozy table in the back. This place is the Shiz. We are at Bourbon & Branch. WOW. Lefty O’Doul’s and Grubstake (for pancakes, ha) round out the rest of the evening. At this point, we are unequivocally wrecked and sleep is our only option.

The next morning was a bit of a rough one, but I had to see the city before my 2:30 flight departure! Romeo had a business meeting which worked out perfectly. (no distractions…) I walked up Powell, over to Nob Hill, made my way to Lombard street, continued down to the Wharf (aka: Tourist Hell) where I took pictures at Pier 39 and got out of there! Strolled back to the Ferry Plaza where I picked up a panini and a lemon sorbet I’d been eying the day prior. I then meandered through the Financial District and finally returned to Union Square where I grabbed my bags and met Romeo at valet to be shuttled to the airport. The drive was quiet. I did NOT want to leave. I had just had an AMAZING four days….

Can I move to Northern California? Seriously? Please? I truly believe I belong out there. Dr. D can deal right? ::sigh:: Where there’s a will…there’s a way….and believe me, I have the will! I’m in love with this place!

As for Romeo and I, our IM’s are still steamy, but definitely much sweeter. Additional rendezvous are in the works, though we have mutually agreed to label ourselves as “great friends“.

Cheers to great friends and living life to its FULLEST!