New Years in Nor Cal

This year for New Years, we decided to do something a little different. Usually, we’ll go to New York City over New Years to watch the ball drop and see a Broadway play or two (it really is amazing), or go skiing. But this year, we decided to take a family trip up to San Francisco and Napa Valley! I know most people go to Napa in the summer, but my dad absolutely HATES hot weather… so winter it was!

We decided to stay at the Fairmont in Nob Hill for our few days in San Francisco. It is a historic hotel and is known for its extensive holiday decorations. I’m known to have a serious case of the Christmas Blues every year… so the 2 story gingerbread house, 50 foot tree, ornaments, and elves all over the lobby helped to ease my pain : ) We spent all of our time in San Francisco walking…seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever walked more in my life. This usually would warrant unlimited complaints from me, but the city was just too darn interesting! We walked from Nob Hill to Polk St to Union Square and more. I truly love this city! So many different restaurants, shops, and unique things to do. I left this city with one true obsession…Philz Coffee. Oh. My. Goodness. I can’t even put into words how obsessed I became. One of my best friends is from the Bay Area and she always talked about it and I would always think to myself that she was hyping it up way too much until I tried it… now I think she didn’t do it justice! If you’re ever in the Bay Area you MUST try Philz.

Being tourists… come on, how cute is that face!?


Our dinner view from the Waterfront Restaurant & Bar…soo pretty!

We went to an amazing five course dinner on New Years Eve, and watched the fireworks from our hotel rooftop. After an awesome couple of days in San Francisco, we were definitely ready to unwind in Napa Valley.

New Years Eve!

We got to Napa on New Years Day and had plans to hit a couple of wineries. Of course, us being clueless, didn’t realize that almost every winery was closed on New Years Day. Well, after hitting the Oxbow Public Market for some quick snacks, we checked into our little bed and breakfast (the coziest, most amazing, cutest place ever) Miliken Creek Inn and Spa, and planned out our day for the next day. We also raided the front desk’s collection of movies, and I taught Tom how to play chess (my dad and I have always had a slight obsession with the game). The next day, we got an early start (after our made-to-order breakfast that the hotel brought to our room), and set off to hit some wineries.

Now, I’ve been to some wineries over the last few years… and they’re pretty cool but all kind of blend in with each other if I’m honest. That is, until I visited Castello di Amarosa. This place is AMAZING! It’s an actual castle, with a dungeon, great hall, stone tunnels, and everything! We’re talking like straight out of Game of Thrones. Obviously, we had to do a full tour of the grounds. After the amazing tour, my parents bought a full case of wine and Tom and I bought one bottle (planning on opening it on our 5th anniversary). If I can recommend one winery to visit in Napa it is this one! A must-see!

Outside of the Castello di Amarosa


Sitting in the Great Hall of the Castle… Google had just thrown a company party in there… how cool is that?

We were all so tired after the 4 hour tour that we went back to the hotel and just hung out for the rest of the afternoon. We’ve discovered that we’re not hard core enough of wine tasters, ha. But the one winery that we did go to definitely was amazing. We hung out by the river for the rest of the day, went to a nice dinner, and the next day it was time to head home! It was such a fun trip, and I am so glad that I got to spend the quality time with my family. Each time I go up to Northern California, I like it more and more. I will definitely be back : )

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