Sunday, July 27, 2014

My San Francisco Adventure! Part 2

Day 2 07/23/14 

The wedding day! My boyfriend's close friend is getting married today. This was mainly the reason why we went to San Francisco in the first place. The bride (soon to be) today will be getting married in Napa Valley which is around an hour and 30 minutes away from where we are staying. So the first thing we did was got ready, dressed up, and went to get some "brunch" We decided to go to a sushi place near our hotel. The sushi place was called Nama Sushi.

It was small and quaint. We went during lunch rush hour so  it was a little busy. We ordered a combo box which had beef, tuna, rice, salad, edamame and a California roll and an order of the Mango Lobster Roll. The box and rolls were yummy and filling.

HOWEVER, it was quite expensive ... the tax itself was expensive and what we found out was that when you pay with credit card, and they give you the merchant copy to sign, the gratuity is greater than the original gratuity on the original receipt. They try to chip people off! Overall, it was good but not the greatest sushi place to eat at lol. After we ate, we decided to head towards Napa early just in case of traffic or if we get lost. Heading up there would probably be the best drive out of the whole trip personally.

Napa Valley is GORGEOUS! Super green with all the vineyards and farms. So many different small, old, beautiful designed boutiques, houses and buildings.

The only bad thing about Napa were the narrow roads. Anyways, good thing we went early! because it took use some time to actually find out where the place was. we got lost a couple of times and then our GPS/Phones stopped working because there was no signal up the hill. We decided to ask for help at the museum of Petrified Trees. The cashier lady kindly directed us in the right direction which was really nice. When she told us which way to go it seemed like she had given the same directions before so we felt relieve kinda knowing that maybe others were getting lost too. While we were there, it was really cool to see the oldest billion year old petrified trees. Its amazing to know they go through a process that seems man made but isn't. I was learning so much that my boyfriend decided to buy me a little piece of petrified wood as a souvenir of our "getting lost" and short visit to the museum. It was really sweet . The venue was beautiful.

It was such a perfect choice for the bride and groom to be because they are really big nature people. Anyways, so the bride did not tell us very much on what was going on at this ceremony. So we came with no idea other than that they were getting married. It was a little confusing because technically they are getting married in Washington I believe on the last weekend of July. My boyfriend and I were invited to the Washington one, it said on the invitation however, we weren't able to go because of money issues that we told her we couldn't make it. She kindly wanted us to be there for their intimate wedding ceremony in Napa Valley with her family and his family. The ceremony in Napa only included around 16 guest.

We were 2 of 4 friends that she personally invited to this wedding. I felt really lucky to be able to share this intimate moment with her, her husband (now) and family. It was a beautiful wedding, the ceremony was consist of each of them reading their personal vows and promises to one another ... I cried so much lol. It was followed by cocktail hour with horderves, cucumber water, raspberry lemonade, and white or red wine made from their vineyard. 

After we were invited into a cave for dinner. Yes you heard me right ... a CAVE. It was so cool! Its a cave with twinkly light and a long table for everyone to sit together at. It felt so warm, I felt like I was part of the family because we all sat together. 

For our entrees they had bread with olive oil/butter. A light salad with balsamic dressing, strawberries and pistachios. Next we got a surf and turf dish with baked salmon and steak on top of garlic mash potatos and a side of grilled veggies.

For dessert it was the delicious wedding cake, fluffly vanilla cake with vanilla cream in the inside and a chocolate ganache outside. Their topper for their wedding cake screamed the bride and groom lol. it was unique and represented them so well. She's jumping on his back and he's holding a football. (He's a HUGE Dallas Cowboys fan) . The dessert ends the wedding night and it was a great note to end on. 

The now married couples family were so very sweet, they really treat as if we were part of their family. We felt very welcomed and important. I'm am very happy to the new bride and groom. Congratulations! And may they live happily ever after❤

We left a little early because it will take us an hour and a half to drive back to where we were staying as we left Napa... we got hungry again so we dropped by a nearby crepe place like 5 minutes away from our hotel.

This place was good and inexpensive . However it was not light as crepes are suppose to be. These were as thick as tortillas so they became very hardy that we had one crepe to take home. My boyfriend got a savory smoked salmon, cheddar and spinach crepe. And then we got two dessert crepes one had strawberries, kiwis and honey. The other one was their special which had nutella, bananas, strawberries, coconut, almond powder and flakes with whipped cream on the side. YUM! After our late night snack we went home to the hotel ... watched bizarre foods on the travel channel and went to bed. Yet another great adventure ❤

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My San Francisco Adventure! Part 1


Hello! So I'm back from my great adventure up north. I did plan to post each day that I'm there but after each day of fun I was extremely exhausted and went to bed. So that failed... lol.  Now that I'm back home in my comfy seat and on the computer, I am ready to post my experiences and adventure in San Francisco. **BE PREPARED FOR A LOT OF PHOTOS!!  Let us start!

Day 1 07/22/14

My boyfriend and I drove to San Francisco from the OC. We rented a economy car at Avis, (they gave us a Chevrolet Cruze in a dark blue color which I thought looked dark purple with glitter ... named it for our trip the "Eggplant" ) Grabbed a quick fruit&vegetable drink at Jamba Juice, and headed out towards the freeway. It took us around ... 7ish hours to get there including traffic. Luckily  we switched off a couple of times when the one that was driving was tired to get a break (though I only drove like an hour and half ... and my boyfriend drove the rest lol) The drive there was fine,  the driver's seat was not cushioned at all ... as if someone took out all of the cushion on the driver side so it was very uncomfortable to sit and concentrate on the drive when your butt hurt or became numb lol.  As we headed closer towards our destination ... it became super green! There were trees/plants/flowers everywhere which was such a pretty sight to see. We finally got to our hotel destination at around 4:30ish and checked in. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Pleasant Hill (very quiet neighborhood). Our room was included one king bed, a desk, a sofa chair, television, and bathtub/shower, just perfect for the both of us.  It had no view (the view of a rarely used parking lot/backyard) which wasn't bad. After unpacking and putting all of our stuff in the right places we decided to head out and explore/have dinner. So we thought hey lets go to Union Square

To get there we took the BART station from Pleasant Hill to Powell station which is right next to the Westfield Mall. The BART station is just like the subway/metro stations. It was my first time so I was super excited! It is super fast and gets you to your destination in no time . I t was nice to relax and not worry about driving and finding parking and paying parking fees so it was quick and easy (AFTER we figured out how the system worked) transportation.

When we finally got to our destination, we went towards the mall entrance to see whats inside. The mall there was HUGE ... I was just like in an "awe" moment lol. They also had really pretty escalators that went in a semi-spiral up and down. We went all the way up to the top (curiosity got the better of us ) and shopped around. We actually was trying to find a place to eat but because it was almost 9:00 at the time ... we the food court was beginning to close.

That was when Yelp became our go to assistant to search for open restaurants for dinner. When we found a place we liked, we walked there with the GPS. I was really happy that we walked to our destination because we were about to see the different and unique buildings/shops and have a feel for the nighttime environment. It was great and it wasn't cold out so it was really nice strolling. We came across a sushi bar that we liked with good ratings on yelp but there was a line ... 5 other parties in front of us on the wait list. So we walked around to pass the time and two doors away there was this Mexican restaurant that had so many high ratings and compliments that we decided to go in and ask them how the the wait was. There was no WAIT! So we ate there instead of the sushi place. The place was called Calibri. It WAS a little crowded though...  we sat right next two other tables. We were probably  at least a foot away from both tables ... I felt that was just too close because I was able to hear on both conversions ... not that I was trying to be nosy ... lol But anyways to my favorite part ... the FOOD! We got the the fish ceviche, and the lamb shank to share. As an appetizer instead of bread and butter like other restaurants they gave us corn tortillas with  three different kinds of sauces. Our waiter describe each sauce and ... mild, hot, and spicy. When we tasted the sauces they were not at all spicy. They were just 3 different flavored sauces.

The "mild" one was so GOOD. I mean it was DELICIOUS! My boyfriend and I added that sauce with our our entrees too when they came out. That's how GOOD IT WAS! In the picture it goes from top to bottom the "mild" sauce is the top and the "spicier" sauce on the bottom one. We asked our waiter what the sauce was and he was it was a mixture of pineapple and mangoes.... no wonder it was so GOOD! *Drools! lol the middle sauce taste like a mole (chocolate spice) sauce and the "spicy" sauce was a green chilli sauce ... kinda like the one from Chipotle. It wasn't too spicy, it just had that heat that warms your tummy ... just like black pepper.

The Ceviche was good with halibut I believe and avocado... was even better with that awesome mild pineapple mango sauce though ... that's my opinion lol and the Lamb shank was delicious, fall off thebone tender and juicy. It was ALSO if I may add SO AMAZINGLY GOOD WITH  THE MILD SAUCE TOO. If I could I would totally ask them for a great big mason jar of this sauce!!
After, we walked back to the BART to head back to our hotel. The buildings and night scene of Union Square was such a beautiful sight.

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