San Francisco

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While we were in the Bay Area, there were tons of spots we wanted to check out.  We went to Napa Valley, Muir Woods, Sausalito, San Jose to visit B’s family, and even took a drive down to Monterey and Big Sur.  This didn’t leave too much time to explore San Francisco, but we saw as much as we could in the three days we did have!

I was expecting to be cold all the time and shrouded by fog at least for the greater part of each day.  These things everyone always said about San Francisco, but were not true at all the three days we were there.  We walked out onto sunny streets each morning, and I was a little overdressed in sweaters two out of three days.  This unbelievable stretch of weather we had was perfect for all of the outdoor ventures I had planned.

Where To Stay.

Hotel Zoe.  This was the hotel I had originally planned on booking.  If you want to spend most of your time near the Marina District or Fisherman’s Wharf, it’s probably a great bet!

We opted for an Airbnb since they are so much more reasonably priced then most hotels, and generally with much better locations throughout the city.  Feel free to email me ( if you want to know the place we stayed – our host was great and the location worked out perfectly for us!

Where To Eat.  

Maven.  The first day we were in San Francisco, we went to Alamo Square to see the Painted Ladies and were walking around the Lower Haight area, with some time to kill before our dinner reservation.  We stopped in Maven and grabbed some seats at the bar, almost instantly ordering the rhubarb crumble (topped with pistachio bourbon ice cream!)  It was so amazing, I would recommend checking this place out just based on that one dish.  They also have a sizable selection of wine, beer, and cocktails.  Every detail of the interior design was better than the next- from the live edge bar, to the open floor plan, and the greenery filled wall!

Hong Kong Lounge II.  There was no question we would be having dim sum at least once while we were out west.  Even though there were plenty of recommendations, we decided on this one.  Everything we had was amazing, but I particularly loved the dumplings!

Akiko’s.  Another non-negotiable SF food I knew we had to have was sushi.  Akiko’s is a small and very cool place so, as with everywhere in San Francisco, I would highly recommend making a reservation beforehand!  The quality of the fish here is outstanding, though I wasn’t super impressed with the assembly of their maki rolls, so I would definitely recommend going with a nigiri or sashimi tasting!


Coqueta.  B and I absolutely adore tapas, so we made a reservation at the waterfront Coqueta as our last dinner of vacation and it absolutely did not disappoint!  They started off strong: with a location on the water, huge windows with views of the bay, and a huge ceiling with exposed beams and pipes.  Our reservation was for the chef’s counter, a bar perfect for couples who want to sit close or for foodies who want to look into the kitchen and watch the artful preparation of their meal!  We started off with a pitcher of sangria (11/10 would recommend) and the Iberian cheese plate, which you can really never go wrong with.  All the tapas we ordered and the churros we got for dessert were amazing, but I would love to go back again to try their paella and manchego cheesecake!

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse.  The Insta Famous bakery has a different flavor of Cruffin (croissant muffin hybrid) each day of the week, which changes quarterly.  We went on a Monday morning, so the line to pick up one of the famed pastries wasn’t too bad.  You definitely have to check it out (and snap a pic of their neon sign!)


Boudin’s Bakery.  Home of the original San Francisco Sourdough, you definitely have to get clam chowder in one of their legendary bread bowls while you’re in town.  I didn’t particular want to go to Fisherman’s Wharf, having a personal track record for impatience in that type of tourist trap, but we went after our Alcatraz cruise solely thanks to B’s recommendation of Boudin’s and it was 100% worth it.  If the clam chowder can impress two native New Englanders, it can impress anyone.

Ferry Building.  One of my very favorite activities in a new city is to snack my way around some local treats (shout out to my Dad who taught me the joy in eating one’s way around cities).  Places like New York’s Chelsea Market and San Francisco’s Ferry Building make this super easy to do!  The Ferry Building is absolutely gorgeous both inside and outside, plus I love that you can pop outside the back to enjoy your treats by the bay!  (Check out all the merchants, food and otherwise, here).

What To Do.

Alcatraz.  The only thing B said he absolutely wanted to do on vacation was the Alcatraz tour, and it certainly did not disappoint.  Make sure to buy your tickets it in advance, since some of the times will sell out.  We chose to take the earliest tour possible, since the island would be slightly less crowded than it would by the time more visitors arrived.  The ferry ride over to the island was very enjoyable, and the audio tour of the penitentiary is absolutely incredible.

Golden Gate Park.  Let me just start this off by saying Golden Gate Park is huge.  It’s beautiful, but it’s also huge.  I think you could spend a full day here and still not see everything that’s housed inside.  The Japanese Tea Garden is absolutely stunning in its serenity, and the Conservatory of Flowers should not be missed either!  There is even an aquarium and a fine arts museum on the grounds, so even if a stroll amongst nature wasn’t on your itinerary, there’s probably something here for you.

Presidio.  This former military post was one of the coolest places we saw.  In modern day, it’s basically a huge outdoor playground and a hub of SF history.  Once you’re here, there are two free shuttles that will take you around the park, plus a free shuttle that will take you back across SF to the downtown area!  I mean, how great is that?!  Their website has a comprehensive guide to planning your perfect trip to the Presidio, but definitely make sure you get in some history at the Officer’s Club and some stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge down at Chrissy Fields!

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Alamo Square.  We weren’t planning on going to see the famous Full House street, but we found ourselves with some extra time so we went anyway.  The park is quite nice, the houses are stunning, but there’s a gorgeous tile mural on the Hayes Street entrance to Alamo Square that you really shouldn’t miss.  I was so impressed!

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Lands End.  The only place on our list that we didn’t have time to get to was Lands End.  I’ve heard that the sunsets here are absolutely stunning, and who doesn’t want a short hike followed by some beach time in California?!

Where are your favorite places in San Francisco??  Let me know in the comments!


After our morning in Muir Woods and the Marin Headlands, we headed over to Sausalito just in time for the fog to burn off and give way to a beautiful, sunshine-filled afternoon.  The quaint seaside town offers a perfect escape from the bustling city.  We parked on Bridgeway, the main street by the water.  It served as the perfect central location to explore the waterfront, where we would have happily spent the entire day watching boats sail by.  (If you can’t find street parking, check out the lot on Ensign Street!)  The Sausalito Boardwalk or Bridgeway Promenade are two perfect spots for a relaxing stroll!

There are tons of cute spots to pop in and out of along Bridgeway, but the ones you shouldn’t miss are Bubble Street Gallery, Soxalito, and Hubba Hubba!

Since we didn’t act quickly enough to find a houseboat to stay in like Bryan had wanted, we made sure we at least had time to go see them.  People do live here, so remember to be as courteous as possible.  We had no problems walking around the docks and checking them all – making sure we took our pictures from afar!

I had a pretty hefty list of potential restaurants to try, which was frustrating considering we only had time for two meals!  There are lots of big name places with big menu prices, but I tend to pass those over more often than not.  My honorable mentions are Copita, Sushi Ran, and Le Garage!

Sausalito Taco Shop is a cool local joint to check out for California style mexican food, but Bar Bocce was the real winner in my book.  With a super cool idea (an outdoor bocce court) and a beautiful location right on the water, it was a great spot to enjoy the sunny afternoon.  To boot, their pizzas were really delicious as well!

Napa Valley

When B and I decided to spend some time up in Napa Valley, I was overwhelmed to say the least.  With 400 wineries, how were we ever going to find the *Perfect Ones* to go to?


I did an embarrassing amount of research to pick which two wineries we were going to visit.  We didn’t particularly want to visit any of the more popular ones, though we did consider Domaine Carneros and V. Sattui.

We decided on Stewart Cellars and Ashes & Diamonds.

I was pretty much sold on Stewart Cellars the moment I saw a picture of their dreamy courtyard.  I don’t even remember where I found it, but the more I saw the further I was convinced.  They have a gorgeous tasting hall, in addition to the courtyard, but I think we got the best seats in the house at a window side bar, since James kindly opened up the windows for us, allowing the perfect breeze to come in without being blinded by the California sun.  They also have a location of Southside Cafe on property, which helped our decision to go, knowing we would be able to grab a salad or torta after our wine tasting!

I found our second winery, Ashes & Diamonds, through one of my favorite Instagram accounts and bloggers, Will Taylor of Bright Bazaar!  The newest winery in Napa just opened in November of 2017, and offers a love letter to wine country that is so refreshing, especially after seeing some of the more ostentatious chateaus in the area.  The bright white and yellow midcentury modern buildings serve as an ode to Napa’s entree to the global wine business in the 1960s.   The inside space is striking yet welcoming- with comfortable seating and wine cork side tables, no detail has been spared.  The eye for minutia is even seen down to the bottle labels, designed by Brian Roettinger, aka the art director behind Magna Carta Holy Grail.  There are two distinct label designs, signaling whether the bottle is from a single vineyard or a blend!  Light and happiness pours throughout the property, creating the absolute perfect atmosphere.

Both of our sommeliers were amazing.  They did a really great job of gauging our wine knowledge and teaching us about the wines we were drinking and the process behind them in laymen’s terms, recognizing that we could still have a fun and informative experience without being wine connoisseurs.  Make sure you bring cash with you, since some wineries don’t accept electronic tips, even when though they are well deserved by the staff.

We spent the morning before our first wine tasting strolling the charming streets of Yountville, including a stop at Bouchon Bakery, one of my favorite stops in NYC as well.  They have a beautiful courtyard outside to eat at, if you manage to snag one of the coveted tables.  No where else in Napa that we went to was as busy as this bakery was!  In addition to Bouchon, the legendary Thomas Keller also has ad hoc and French Laundry right in town.  If I succeed in coming back to Napa soon for a more relaxed type of vacation (instead of the one day excursion from SF), I would probably stay at Hotel Yountville or Napa Valley Lodge.

The town of Napa itself has a great downtown area that we were able to spend a perfect evening walking around exploring.  There are plenty of restaurants we wanted to try, including Alba, Zuzu, Tarla, and Eiko’s, but we decided to snack our way through Oxbow Public Market instead.

We could have easily spent a full week in Napa Valley, and we hope to get the chance to soon!  It strikes the perfect balance of being relaxed and laid back, with no shortage of activities to do.  We would have loved the chance to go hiking or biking around the beautiful area, taken a hot air balloon ride, or taken a bit extra time to unwind at one of the world class spas.  Until next time, Napa!

January 2018 Recap

Hi everyone, happy Friday!  One of my goals for 2018 is to make more videos for myself and the blog, and another is to reflect on each month more instead of waiting until the end of the year to do a potentially overwhelming reflection.  Today, we’re going to tackle both by recapping January!

January is a really tough month for me every year (as I think it is for everyone).  One of the reasons I like New Year’s Resolutions so much is because it gives me a goal and a purpose during this otherwise bleak 31 day stretch.  B and I got back into a gym groove again (let’s just say the last half of the year was not our most healthy), and I was pretty surprised at how easily I fell back into the habit of going.  I really, really love the gym that we go to (I’ve been going there for almost four years now), and think it plays a huge factor into going.  It’s possibly the least judgy gym either of us have ever set foot in, and the people there are so incredibly nice.  I hadn’t realized how much I missed the act of just being there.

We also celebrated my Gramma’s 80th birthday this month!  She’s somehow both the strongest and sweetest person I know, and if I turn out to be half the woman she is by 80 I will be pretty damn proud of myself.  (She also looks amazing and when we got the invitation B said “there is no way your grandmother is 80!” so we should all take some pointers from her).

I go to more than my fair share of concerts, so over the years it’s become pretty hard to really impress me with one.  While I firmly believe that live music can heal in a way that most things can’t, few artists can really blow me away with a live performance.  The last concert that wowed me was New Politics and Andrew McMahon (who I’ve seen many times) at the House of Blues back in November of 2015.  I’ve wanted to see The Killers live since I was 13 years old.  That’s half of my life I spent idolizing Brandon Flowers and turning him into this untouchable musical God in my head.  I constantly kept postponing it, thinking that he could never live up to the pedestal I had placed him on.  After his solo album, The Desired Effect, crept it’s way into my Top Five Albums of All Time list, I knew I had to make it happen.  B and I bought tickets even before ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ was released.  The concert blew my damn mind, you guys.  Everything from the visuals to Brandon himself was everything I could have imagined and more.  So, yes, he did go back to back with Springsteen in my book.  15/10 would recommend.

One of my favorite parts of January is our schedule finally dies down. From September straight through the holidays, B and I had a packed social calendar, so winter is the time we have to relax and catch up with each other on some date nights that we had gotten put on the back burner.

B and I also went to Dave and Buster’s with my siblings one night, and had so much fun embracing our playful inner children.  It was a day that the high was a whopping 1 degree, so it was nice to get out of the house, but stay inside!

I was lucky enough to escape the cold for nine days with a work trip to sunny Orange County.  I did sneak in a little Vitamin D (and a few bare leg days), which I shared on my Instagram.  My best friend and I visited LA and San Diego back in 2014, and it was really nice to be back.  It’s one of the few places I’ve visited and felt like I could live there.

When I got back from SoCal, I was so ready to stop eating out for every meal! B and I spent the whole Sunday I got back researching meal prep options to find what might work best for us. If you’re interested in a full post on it, or have any good meal prep tips, let me know!  While there’s been a little trial and error, we still have plenty of room for growth.

Check out my January video here.  Due to the weird nature of January, it only has footage from California.  I’m hoping the next months will be a little bit more inclusive of my every day life.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

xo, C