Our California Wine Tasting Adventure

We LOVE California! I mean what is there not to love about it?!  So when some friends of ours invited us to join them in Sonoma and Napa for the weekend, we said “Hell, yea!” and immediately booked our flights. Since we only had the weekend to get away, we decided to leave on the first flight out on Friday morning and spend the day with our friends, in San Francisco before we left for wine country.

DISCLAIMER: We are not wines connoisseurs, we just really like wine. 

San Francisco

Mrs. Traveling Honeymooner had never been to San Francisco and Mr. Traveling Honeymooner had not been there in over ten years so of course, our first stop was to visit the famous Golden Gate Bridge! It had been raining heavily for days in Houston and San Francisco so we kept our fingers crossed that the weather would clear up when we arrived. It didn’t clear up right away, but, the sun did come out just in time for us to take a picture in front of the bridge. From our lookout point, we could also see Alcatraz.

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After visiting the Golden Gate Bridge, our friends took us to visit Chrissy Field and the Palace of Fine Arts. Both places were absolutely beautiful. See Mr. Traveling Honeymooner trying to make friends with the birds at the Palace of Fine Arts below.

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For lunch, our original plan was to eat at Plow, which is supposedly one of the best lunch places in San Francisco, but our plans shifted to due some delays and we ended up eating at Blackwood. Blackwood is an American Thai Fusion restaurant located on 2150 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123. We love Thai food so we were more than happy to try Blackwood out! Our lunch was delicious and gluten free! They had so many gluten free options, it was difficult to choose just one so we shared two different dishes.

A trip to San Francisco would not be complete without visiting the Sea Lions! The sea lions have made Fisherman’s Wharf their home since 1990. We had fun watching them play and soak up some sun. To learn more about the Pier 39 Sea Lions and Fisherman’s Wharf area, click here.

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Sonoma

Since we were traveling with two other couples, we decided to rent an Air B & B so we could maximize our time together. We love to rent Air B & B’s when we travel because they are usually cheaper than hotels, have kitchens and give us more space than a hotel would. The Air B & B we rented had three bedrooms, a nice size kitchen and living room and had a big Jacuzzi in the back yard.  It was perfect!

Once we settled in, we decided that we wanted to check out downtown Sonoma and start wine tasting. Downtown Sonoma is quaint and has lots of wine tasting rooms and restaurants. Our first stop was Kamen Wines Tasting Room. The wine connoisseur who served us was probably our favorite server from the entire trip. He was funny, engaging and extremely knowledgeable about Kamen Wines, the winery and the history of Sonoma.  I think the entire group agreed that Kamen Wines was one of our favorite tasting rooms that we visited in Sonoma. The tasting was $25 per person and each tasting included a personal wine connoisseur, three different wines and bottled water. The owner of Kamen Wines is a famous Screen Writer who has written many of our favorite movies, including the Karate Kid.

Address: 111B East Napa Street, Sonoma, California 95476

Website: Kamen Wines

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Our next stop was going to be Walt Wine Tasting Room but they ended up closing right as we arrived. Bummer! I guess we will just have to go back to Sonoma another time!

It was getting late so we decided to eat at a place called The Girl and the Fig. We had several people recommend The Girl and the Fig to us before our trip so we knew we had to try it out! We were seated outside on the back patio which was covered due to the excessive amounts of rainfall. The setting was fun but romantic and we all enjoyed our meals.

Napa

Since we were staying in Sonoma we decided to rent a Limo to drive us to Napa and to each winery that we wanted to visit. The ride from our Air B & B to our first winery was about a 40 minute ride.

Our first stop was Trefethen Wines. We were seated in the back room that overlooked the beautiful hills and vineyards which made the experience even better. Since the weather was gloomy and rainy, we were not able to take a tour of the vineyard, but we still had a great time. We chose to share the classic wine tasting menu which consisted of five wines of our choice.

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To learn more about Trefethen Wines or to book a reservation with them, visit www.trefethen.com. We recommend making a reservation at least a day in advance, especially during busy season.

Our next stop was Chandon! Chandon is known for their sparkling wines so we were excited to switch it up a bit and have some bubbly! The tasting room at Chandon was set up a little bit differently than the other places we visited. Chandon has a tasting room upstairs that overlooks the vineyards and has a nice patio so you can sit outside on nice days. There is not much seating at Chandon and they do not offer private tastings. Instead, they have stations set up where you can walk up to and ask for your next tasting.  Chandon was by far the busiest winery we visited. There is no need to make a reservation at Chandon, just show up and start tasting!

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To learn more about Chandon Wines, visit www.chandon.com.

Our last stop of the day was Hall Winery. Since we were not able to do a tasting at Walt Tasting Room in Sonoma, we were especially excited to go to Hall. Hall and Walt are sister wineries. Hall was by far the most modern tasting room that had 180 degree views of beautiful vineyards. We choose to do the classic tasting here which mainly consisted of red wines. If you are in Napa, Hall would be a great place to go on a sunny day because they have plenty of outdoor seating that overlooks the vineyards.

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To learn more about Hall wines, visit www.hallwines.com

We had so much fun on our short trip to wine country, we were sad to leave. We could have spent at least one more day wine tasting but unfortunately we had to get back to work! Until next time…

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

The Traveling Honeymooners

Santa Monica, California

Some friends of ours were getting married in Ojai, California this past July so we thought “Why not make a weekend out of it?!” Mrs. Traveling Honeymooner had never been to Los Angeles before and she had been itching to go. So we did our research and chose to stay in Santa Monica. We both love the beach and love to walk everywhere when we travel so we figured staying in Santa Monica was a good choice.

Accommodations

A few of our friends who live in California, recommended The Huntley Hotel at Santa Monica Beach. The hotel was beautiful and had recently been refinished. The lobby of the hotel was beautiful and the hotel staff were great. We stayed in a regular room which was nice. It was not too big or too small and the bed was comfortable. The major draw to stay at The Huntley is The Penthouse, which is the restaurant located on the top floor of the hotel. While you eat, you can enjoy a gorgeous view of Santa Monica.

The Huntley was walking distance from the Third Street Promenade, where we did a bit of shopping. The hotel was also walking distance to the beach and the Santa Monica Pier which we walked multiple times during our stay.

The hotel was great! The only downside to our stay was that The Penthouse Restaurant did not offer many gluten free items on their menu and their staff was not well informed on Celiac Disease. This was a major shock to us because everywhere else we ate during our stay in California was very well informed.

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Our Eats

During our stay we had some delicious meals! On Friday night we decided to meet up with some of our California native friends of ours for dinner and they recommended a restaurant called The Misfit. Apparently The Misfit was the place to be because there was a long wait and at the time, they did not take reservations. So we decided to put our name down and walk the pier until our name got closer to the top of the waiting list.

Dinner was delicious and they accommodated Mrs. Traveling Honeymooners gluten free needs with no problem at all. Even their menu states that they can easily accommodate any gluten free, vegan or vegetarian needs. They even have gluten free bread and macaroni and cheese! When we go back to Santa Monica, we would love to eat here again.

For lunch the next day we ventured out and went to Kreation Organic Kafe. This is a cute little place that serves a variety of fresh squeezed juices, coffee and teas as well as raw vegan and gluten free foods. apparently they have a few locations around Los Angeles but we visited the one in Venice. Mrs. Traveling Honeymooner got a juice called Clarity and Mr. Traveling Honeymooner got one called Serenity. Both juices were refreshing, especially since it was a hot day. Kreation Organic Kafe is located of a great shopping street so after lunch, we walked and shopped a bit before we headed to the beach!

Before we left for Ojai, we stopped at Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe. Mrs. Traveling Honeymooner got a slice of gluten free lemon poppy seed bread and a coffee and Mr. Traveling Honeymooner got an egg sandwich. Our breakfast of quick, convenient and tasty.

Overall, even though our trip was short, we had a great time!

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

The Traveling Honeymooners