San Francisco, California

On the way into San Francisco, we stopped at Muir Woods.  Muir Woods National Monument is part of California’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area, north of San Francisco. It’s known for its towering old-growth redwood trees. Trails wind among the trees to Cathedral Grove and Bohemian Grove, and along Redwood Creek.  You can get an idea from my pictures below just how tall the Redwoods are.

We stayed at another bed and breakfast in San Francisco.  It was previously owned by the Four Sisters Inn and my sister had stayed there and loved it.  It was called the Petite Auberge and right next door to it was another B&B called the White Swan.  The Petite Auberge is between Nob Hill and Union Square so it is a great location.

The Petite Auberge had a really nice sitting area downstairs that we went to each night for wine and snacks.  I do remember one night we stayed there and maybe drank a bit too much wine:)

San Francisco is in northern California and is a hilly city on the tip of a peninsula surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. It’s known for its year-round fog, iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and colorful Victorian houses. The Financial District’s Transamerica Pyramid is its most distinctive skyscraper. In the bay sits Alcatraz Island, site of the notorious former prison.

A trip to San Francisco wouldn’t be complete without riding the cable cars.  It is a fun and exciting way to get around the city and see the sights.  Here are just a few of the places that we saw when we visited.

We took a ferry ride over to Sausalito.  Sausalito has some enchanting boutique shops, art studios and galleries and a wide selection of restaurants, outdoor cafes and bistros, many with stunning views back across the bay to the city.   The picture below was one I took from the ferry ride over.  As you can see, it was a foggy morning.  Sausalito is a pretty place to visit if you have time.  We went over for lunch but spent time looking through all the shops so we were probably there half the day.

San Francisco offers something for everyone so I would highly recommend visiting the area and seeing what they all have to offer.

 

Pacific Grove/Monterey, California

 

I wanted to show this picture because when we left Napa for Pacific Grove we hit a huge storm.  This storm dumped a record single day dose of rain in this area.  In 24 hours it dumped 3.31 inches in Pacific Grove.  We drove through this for a few hours before we arrived in Pacific Grove and found out that there were extensive power outages in the area.  Again, we stayed in a Four Sisters Inn.  This time it was called the Gosby House.  My pictures below do not do justice to how nice this place was.

As it was pouring when we arrived, we decided to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium which is located at the ocean’s edge on historic Cannery Row.  We really enjoyed our visit there!

The next day was a bit cloudy, but it was a fairly nice day to do the 17 mile drive.  The 17-Mile Drive is a scenic road through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula in California, much of which hugs the Pacific coastline and passes famous golf courses, mansions and scenic areas.  See below some of the sights we saw along the drive.

We had a wonderful time exploring this area.  Please join me next week as we finish off our trip to California in San Francisco.

 

California Wine Country

We’ve been to Napa Valley in the California wine country a couple of times now and have seen so many nice wineries.  We stayed at one of the Four Sisters Inns; The Maison Fleurie.  We’ve stayed at a couple of the Four Sisters Inns before so when we decided to head to Napa; we chose to stay at one of their Inns as they are usually very nice and accommodating and this one did not disappoint us.  Here are a couple of pictures I took of the inside of the Inn.  This place us very nice and I would highly recommend staying there if you have a chance.  The Four Sisters also have a couple of other Inns in the area.

We decided to see some of the Stags Leap District winegrowers.  A friend had recommend some of these wineries to see and we really enjoyed them.   The three pictured below were a few of our favorites from this district.  One of the best tips we received was from the man pouring the wine at the first location.  He told us to just get one tasting and share it between the two of us.  Their tastings are very generous and usually cost around $10-20 per tasting so it was a good saving tip for us.

We then headed to Sterling Vineyards near Calistoga.  They offer a wide range of quality Napa wine and an amazing aerial tram winery experience.  The tram ride is something you need to take as you can see the view of surrounding wineries as you climb to the top. 

You should probably not do too many wineries in one day unless you are not doing the tastings or unless you have arranged to have a driver to navigate the roads.  We went to these wineries over a period of several days.  One of the last ones we visited was probably our favorite.  It was called V Sattui.  You can buy their wines and some cheese and have a picnic out in their picnic grove which is what we did.

After we had taken in as many of the wineries as we wanted, we traveled to the Pacific Grove area.  Join me next week as we travel to that area which includes the famous 17 mile drive along the coast.

Las Vegas

Welcome to Las Vegas!

Las Vegas is a resort city famed for its vibrant nightlife, centered around 24-hour casinos and other entertainment options. Its main street and focal point is the Strip, just over 4 miles long. This boulevard is home to themed hotels with elaborate displays such as fountains synchronized to music as well as replicas of an Egyptian pyramid, the Venetian Grand Canal, and the Eiffel Tower.  Below are a few pictures of the various hotels that we saw.  Just taking a walk through all the different hotels provided a ton of entertainment for all of us.

We had all decided to splurge and stay at the Bellagio.  The Bellagio is a sprawling high-end Strip casino resort and is housed in an Italian-inspired, 36-story tower fronted by a man-made 8-acre lake featuring dancing fountains.

The dancing fountains were awesome to watch!  We spent some time listening to the music that they pipe through the tv in conjunction with the fountains dancing.

The ladies in our group decided to see the Donny and Marie  Forever Fabulous show that was at the Flamingo and we all loved it.  It was a high energy show where they showcased all the songs that made them popular.

In addition to the strip; you must visit the downtown area.  Downtown Las Vegas is the central business district and historic center of Las Vegas, Nevada. It is the original town site and was the gambling district of Las Vegas prior to the Strip, and the area still incorporates downtown gaming.

Thanks for stopping by and reading about our trip adventures.  Please join me next week as we travel through the California Wine Country!