Sunday, December 19, 2010

San Francisco / Sonoma Trip - November 2010

I feel like I am so behind on blog posts - I hope to catch up during my holiday vacation, in between holiday shopping and wrapping gifts. I'll be sure to continue posting on launches, openings and new products.

I took a hiatus from posts (except for sample sale alerts) during the Thanksgiving holiday, as I was spending my Thanksgiving in San Francisco. I just wanted to share some of my favorite activities, in case you find yourself in the area.

One of my favorite events is the Holiday Open House in Sonoma Valley, held the two days after Thanksgiving. The weekend in wine country includes free tastings and food pairings to 20+ Heart of Sonoma Valley wineries for $40 per ticket. Two of my favorite wineries is Ledson Winery & Vineyards and Chateau St. Jean. This year I made it through 8 wineries in 2 hours!

If you make your way to wine country, save some time to shop at Napa Premium Outlets. Some of my favorite outlet stores are there, including Barney's New York, J. Crew and BCBG MaxAzria.

Make sure you make your way to the Ferry Building Marketplace, located along the Embarcadero at the foot of Market Street. I love stopping over at Ferry Plaza Seafood for some oysters. The clam chowder is great too! My favorite chocolate in San Francisco is Recchiuti Confections - I always make sure I make it over there! I also love shopping at Sur La Table. You'll also find other shops that specialize in cheese, teas, olive oil, seafood and more!

My ultimate favorite Sushi restaurant is Sushi Ran in Sausolito. The rolls taste so fresh! I always make sure I order the salmon citrus roll, which is topped off with lime. The short ribs just melt in your mouth, but unfortunately it wasn't on the menu when we went, although they said it would eventually be rotated back into the menu. They discontinued my favorite dessert, the custard trio, but be sure to order the dessert sampler. There were 5 dessert samples, including chocolate bombe, almond-brown butter cake, bread pudding, sorbet and a butter milk panna cotta. I devoured it so quickly I didn't even get to take a picture of it!

The Japanese Tea Garden is another favorite place of mine to stroll through, relax, and have some tea.

Lands End Trail has some amazing views, from easy to moderate hiking trails. First off was lunch at Louis' diner (now closed for renovations over the next four months) overlooking the Sutro Baths. The Cliff House also has other dining options, including Zinc Bar, Bistro and Sutros. Next was a walk through the Sutro Baths and upwards onto the other trails.

You'll get quite the workout if you go to Point Reyes and take the stairs all the way down to the lighthouse. 300+ stairs down and then back up 300+ stairs! There was actually a sign that said climbing these stairs is equivalent to a 30-story building. There are great views, with possible whale sightings.

Have any places to share? Let me know! I'm always looking for new places to check out!

- Kim Weling

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