Quick Weekend in San Francisco and Napa
The first weekend in March I could be found flying to San Francisco along with some amazing other bloggers and 5 winners (and their guests) from Bertolli’s #MangiaMoment sweepstakes. We spent one night in San Francisco and one night in Napa. I’ve never been to either place so for me, knowing how super limited my time was going to be, I was thinking, just how much can I cram into about 4 hours of time to sightsee, and what do I do first? To be really candid, the first thing I did was silently swear that I would never attempt to park a car in the city. Because sideways parking on hills. If I lived or visited again- UBER. The end. But also, check out the super cool buildings EVERYWHERE!!! Thanks to Bertolli and FYI for bringing me on this trip!
Flying from Hartford to San Francisco meant leaving in the wee hours of the morning and landing early afternoon on Friday. By the time I got to the hotel (Intercontinental Mark Hopkins- lots of cool things have happened in and near that hotel in the past century, including the actual folks who were working on forming the United Nations), I was beat.
Ready for a shower, fresh clothes and really, a nap. BUT my friends Tammilee and an online friend Michele from Just2Sisters were just a few flights of stairs below me and one doesn’t nap when blog pals are around and you both have free time… so we decided to explore some of the city. Then it was raining, so we turned around and went to the hotel restaurant for a snack and a beverage.
As if I hadn’t learned from the first dummy moment… Michele and I parted ways after our snack to go get some blog work done and about 20 minutes later I had a message on my Facebook to the effect of “WHY are we sitting working on computers when neither of us has been to this city before? Let’s go walk around and explore!”
So, off we went. Although to be candid, we didn’t go far We had a dinner engagement and just a short period of time so we decided to wander around the neighborhood the hotel was in, sticking to the “flat-ish” area we could find. We quickly happened upon Grace Cathedral and wandered inside…and I think we ended up in there for an hour or more. Grace Cathedral is an Episcopal cathedral on Nob Hill and there’s some pretty amazing things to see and experience in it.
Friday night we bloggers got to have dinner with some of our fave FindYourInfluence ladies and had lots and lots of laughs (and food…oh, so much food).
Saturday morning we were up and about early (some of us due to being on East Coast time) and headed straight for cable car riding time. Except not one of us had any kind of clue what to do or where to go. Thank goodness for patient hotel staff and thank goodness they didn’t follow us with a hidden camera. We found the stop and were absolutely clueless…and when a cable car did stop they had to ask us if we were coming on or just planning to look at it all day. Not awkward at all, you know?
We rode the cable car down to the waterfront headed to a Starbucks to have a quick bite out of the rain. (PS when people say pack an umbrella and raincoat when you go to SF, do it). Next, we explored the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park for a bit, found shops to purchase an umbrella, coat and poncho for the 3 of 5 bloggers who didn’t listen to the “bring an umbrella or raincoat” suggestion, and decided we should Uber up to see the “Full House” house.
The park was pretty neat- lots of huge ships that you can tour, and there’s also a swim club that’s right next to it so there were numerous folks swimming between the boats and all around. I’m not an ocean swimmer but it looked like it would be a pretty cool place to swim if you are braver than I am. Also, it was chilly and rainy when we were there and while I might have stuck a toe in, that would be my “swimming” in that weather. I really could have spent a day wandering around the ships. Old ships are fascinating.
Now, about the Full House house. We looked it up on Google . We picked up an Uber XL and the driver brought us to the address we’d found. You know…because if you read it on the internet it must be accurate. Right? Photo credit to TammileeTips– I was smooshed in the 3rd row of our Uber and not able to get photos at this point (still a super fun adventure).
BUT just in case it is the right house, we have a photo of it. If not? We need to go again. We also went by the Painted Ladies and the Uber driver took us to see the city hall and a few other landmarks, which was uber nice of him (get it?).
After our miniature whirl through San Fran, we boarded a bus for Napa with the sweeps winners, their guests and some fabulous PR folks. We even drove over the Golden Gate Bridge. It was like a speed dating way to see a city, you guys. But whatever, I will take it!
Once we arrived in Napa on Saturday afternoon, we had time to plop bags down, peek around our rooms and get ready for our winery visits. My jaw literally dropped when I opened the curtains for the sliding doors. This was my view. Literally, 10 feet away from the little brick porch that was attached to my room. It took my breath away.
The room was nice too, although the fireplace and sitting area just were so inviting…I’d love to come spend a long weekend with my husband in cool weather snuggled on the couch enjoying one another’s company!
Our first winery visit was Kenwood Vineyard. It was pouring buckets of rain and like a dummy, I still had no umbrella and that poncho I’d gotten earlier in the day for walking around San Francisco was left behind in my room . Regardless, the wine was amazing, and of course I wanted to buy all of the wines we tried, plus a super cool unicorn wine spout (I think Amy from MomSpark got it)…and guess where my wallet was? Yes. With the poncho. In my room.
This was my first time at a winery. So it was all new and I really wasn’t great about doing photos because I was enjoying the experience so much. Holly from SpendwithPennies actually already was familiar with Kenwood so she was extra excited to visit this winery!
Chateau St Jean was our second and final stop, where we enjoyed both a tasting and an amazing meal with even more wines to try.
Bertolli hosted an amazing wine tasting and dinner at Chateau St. Jean for the #MangiaMoment event. Bertolli Chicken Florentina and Bertolli Shrimp Scampi Linguine were our main dishes, and an Apple Crostada with Ginger Ice Cream to end the meal. Great company, great wine, great food= MangiaMoments. That’s what Bertolli is all about!
It was a pretty amazing weekend trip and a big thank you to Bertolli and Find Your Influence for inviting me to this event! Let’s ALL celebrate our #MangiaMoments!
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