Earlier this month I traveled to Northern California for the first time. Why did it take me so long to visit this region?? Oh right… My anxiety of earthquakes! The strange part is I’ve been to Southern California dozens and dozens of times. The truth is, I’ve never really had the opportunity but when my sister said she was going for my niece’s first birthday and asked if I wanted to come, what was a good auntie to say?!
So… travel to San Fran and get over my earthquake anxiety, check! Fly home alone for the first time ever and get over my fear of flying alone anxiety, check! I hope this little girl realizes how much I love her! Haha.But in all seriousness, I did cross some major checks off my list, of course including a San Francisco food adventure. I spent three nights in the city, two in Calistoga just north of Napa, and two near Berkley. And I can’t wait to go back! I saw most of the major sites and had tons of delicious food and drinks. Here are some shots of my NorCal food adventure – all taken with my iPhone so excuse the quality!
I’ll tell you one thing, those hills in San Fran are killer! But walking was a great way to take in the culture and see the sites. Including the all famous Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39, trolley cars, Chinatown and the Pacific Ocean to name a few…
Bi-Rite ice cream. The line was forever long, and I was told I needed to try the sundae with the blood orange oil and sea salt. Definitely worth the wait! (Upset I didn’t taste the It’s It ice cream bar but hey, next time right?)
Don’t forget a trip to the Ghirardelli chocolate factory. The smell alone is heaven!
Local coffee and doughnuts. Come on, you know I needed to find doughnuts! I had looked up Bob’s Donuts and Blue Bottle Coffee for while in the city. But then I was told from the locals about Philz Coffee and Doughtnut Dolly in Berkley! Amazing!! You choose your filling and they fill the doughnut right there in front of you. Highly recommend both if you’re in the Berkley area. And they are right next door!
And last but certainly not least… Wine and wine and wine… I stayed in Calistoga at a beautiful spot that has been a yearly tradition in my brother-in-law’s family since his grandfather was a kid. It’s a small, quaint town in the middle of wine country. We spent my niece’s first birthday here, celebrating with a huge BBQ of paella (yes, paella on the grill!) cooked by my brother-in-laws uncle, followed by singing Happy Birthday to the little munchkin with a cake baked by my brother-in-laws aunt and decorated by me! It was great time eating, swimming, getting a massage at the spa, and of course visiting wineries!