Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Love Wine (country)!

Coming back from vacation is always a mixed bag usually involving some degree of sadness, relief at being able to sleep in your own bed, and good memories. That has definitely what I’ve felt all week after our trip to Sonoma/Napa and San Fran. If you haven’t been to that part of the country, I STRONGLY recommend it. The weather is amazing (especially Sonoma/Napa which is more inland than San Fran,) and the scenery is beautiful.

I think many people are concerned about how expensive a trip like that is, so here are some tips to save money:

  1. Rent a car outside the airport – most of the time when you rent a car, the most convenient place to do it is at the airport. Lee explained this is rip off and rented a bad@ss jeep at a city location. This involved about a 1.5 mile hike with my luggage (aka “Big Green”) through some shady parts of San Fran, but the savings were worth it.
  2. Stay in Sonoma – it’s less expensive than Napa, but has all the wine country charm. In fact, many people (ok – travel guides) prefer it over Napa because of it’s “quaintness”.
  3. Look for deals on Jetsetter or Travelzoo. We have used both in the past and have been extremely happy with the results!
  4. Share wine tastings – trust me, you will be drinking plenty of wine while you’re there. Cut your expenses in half by sharing tastings.
  5. Eat like a local – there are amazing, high-profile restaurants throughout San Fran and the wine country, but you can also get delicious food at a hole in the wall. One of the best meals we ate was at a cheap, tiny Thai place just outside of Union Square.

Another great wine country resource is Jenna at Eat, Live, Run. Wow – what a life she lives! I had just started reading her before we left, but she’s great, and her daily posts could serve as an amazing travel guide.

Here are some pics from the trip:

At Plumpjack winery

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Discovering the macro feature on our camera

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Muir Woods



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Auberge du Soleil – a “must see” for the view itself

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