California Dreaming Recap

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Is there seriously any worse feeling than the sound of your alarm going off the day after you get back from a vacation?  Especially the way that I do vacations which are maxed to capacity with fun in a short amount of time.  It is always such a surreal feeling for me waking up on one side of the country and going to sleep on the entirely opposite side.  It has been a long time since I have been to California and it did not disappoint.  Don’t you worry I will have full travel guides for you, especially Napa. I have been getting texts/emails/smoke signals/snapchat messages of people asking me where to stay and what to do in Wine Country.  You know I will take care of everyone and save you the hassle of researching.  Stay tuned for that.  In the meantime, kick up your feet for the recap of our anniversary trip.

Golden Gate BridgeSan Fran bridge

It all started at 3:30 Thursday morning.  It was not my idea to book a 5:20 am flight but I was happy to have the entire day to spend out in Cali.  We arrived on time and refreshed from our Delta Economy plus seats.  Seriously, the upgrade is worth it.  Extra legroom, board early, unlimited drinks and premium inflight entertainment.  I caught up on all my HBO episodes.  We landed in San Fran and once again had an amazing experience with Sixt rental.  Have you guys checked them out yet?  It seriously feels like such a boutique car rental experience.  We had to narrow it down to a big body Mercedes or a convertible.  Guess what my vote was for?  Guess who won?

Sixt Car Rental

I will tell you, it was quite the experience seeing California by convertible but the truck space was interesting as y’all who follow me on snapchat clearly saw.  When you buy a case of wine from Opus One and Cakebread……your bag now gets to ride with you on the way home.  In your lap.

We drove right out to Napa.  Which according to the waiter the first night “oh it never rains in Napa“. Well clearly Napa was not happy to see Mark and myself.  Oh well, it did keep the crowds down.  I will have full wineries recap but insiders note for anyone who is going to Napa, don’t pay to ship especially if you get a free bag on your flight.  We have status with Delta and the credit card, so we both get a free bag.  At the wineries they sell insulated wine boxes that you can fill up at the wineries and then take on the plane with you.  I’m not going to lie we were both a little nervous with the value inside that box but it made it to Tampa with no problem.  The box was $8 at the Cakebread winery vs over a hundred to ship the wine back.  No brainer.

If you go to Napa and Yountville, you have to stop by the Bouchon bakery.  Totally worth the calories.  We went there twice the first day, raining….no line either time.  The next day I went back because I was eyeing that baguette and wouldn’t you know.

Bouchon Bakery


If you have the funds and 3 months to wait then you can go to French Laundry.  I choose to take a picture out front instead.  I wore these boots btw just about every day we were there, put some miles on them and they are insanely comfy.  Worth the investment for sure.

French Laundry

Grey Murphy Jacket BB Dakota here || Jeans DL1961 here || Boots Stuart Weitzman 5050 here

I will have full recaps of which wineries were top of my list, make sure to check back for that!

Frogs leap grounds Napa countryside Frogs Leap Chairs frogs leapOpus One Grounds Opus One Opus One wine Opus One barrels rows of grapesVines at Cakebread Mark and I in front of Cakebread Cakebread Winery back

Then back to San Francisco for the Chinese New Year festival.

Chinese New Year San Fran Chinese New YearChinese Dragons New Year

We stayed at the Westin St. Francis in Union Square.  Totally affordable rates and right by all the action, we seriously walked everywhere from the hotel and if you need to, Uber it everywhere else.  Majority of our Uber rides were under 8 bucks.  It was founded there, so they totally get it.

Westin San Franciscolobby st. francis WestinThe Westin St. FrancisThe Westin St. Francis

Make sure you scale the mountain for the best views of the bridge.

San Fran Bridge Cliff viewThe Golden Gate BridgeGolden Gate Bridge San FranCliffs San FranView of the bridgeMark and I Golden Gate Bridge


If you have an hour or two, Sausalito is a pretty scenic stop.  Philz coffee was a great local brew.

Sausalito boatsausalito water viewswater in SausalitoPhils coffee

Then back to San Francisco for more shopping, sight seeing and catching up with some friends.  It was a whirlwind of a trip, 900 pictures later.  It was definitely hard to narrow it down but I hope you got a great feel of the time spent there.  I would love to go back for a little longer and head south of the coast.  I highly recommend this trip if you want a nice relaxing long weekend away to wine and dine.

View from the Bridge

Any questions on where to stay/eat/shop feel free to email me or leave a comment question, I’ll email you back a response!  xoxoxo

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50 responses to “California Dreaming Recap”

  1. What a perfect first anniversary vacation! All your snaps looked like so much fun!! This makes me want to take a trip back out to San Fran – we went for a few days on the tail end of our honeymoon and it was the best!! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  2. Napa is so pretty!! Too funny about what the waiter said! You should have gone and found him and told him how wrong he was LOL! Glad besides that one day the weather was pretty for you! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  3. Christina says:

    I love Southern California but have yet to make my way up north. My best friend bought her boyfriend a gift certificate to the French Laundry and they recently broke up which is so sad but we have plans to go out there and use it together. We’re both insane foodies so it’s pretty much a dream come true.

    Christina :: Simple and Delish

  4. Pinky says:

    Looks like you had the most amazing trip, love all your beautiful pictures. Can’t wait for the winery recap, Napa is on my hopefully soon list!

  5. That looks like such a fun and perfect trip! I used to live in California, San Diego, and we never got a chance to go up North. I hope to soon though!!

  6. Andi says:

    Fab pics! I was there right before I got pregnant. Dying to take my hubby and son there.

  7. Ashley says:

    Cakebread is one of our favorites too! Such good wine! Your pictures are beautiful- love the first one!

  8. Owen Davis says:

    SWOONING over all of your pictures! You guys are the best looking couple seriously! Can’t wait for your Napa recap, that is on my bucket list for sure! Xo

  9. I love that you guys stayed in San Fran and spent some time there as well. And yes to Cakebread! So good!

  10. Nichole says:

    Napa is definitely on my list of places to visit. I love that this was your anniversary trip! Looks like a fab time!

  11. Just love that area!!!! Looks like a fantastic trip!

  12. Jenn says:

    I loved following along with you on snapchat while you were there–it looked like an amazing anniversary trip! So fun that you did it all while cruising around in the convertible…minus the trunk space issue haha

  13. Beautiful pictures!! Looks like an awesome trip – I’d love to visit there someday! xx

  14. Your trip looked so amazing! I just love Napa!

  15. Ah so gorgeous!! I’m heading to San Fran and Napa next week and this just got me so excited!!

  16. Jaelan says:

    Napa is on my travel bucket list. John and I are big wine drinkers so it’s right up our alley. Texas is actually pretty big in wine these days. There are dozens of wineries in the hill country and they are just darling (and tasty).

  17. Emily says:

    There’s coming back from regular vacation which is hard, then there’s coming back form a California vacation which, in my opinion, is ten times harder! California is such a cool place. Looks like you two crammed in ALL the fun while you were there!

  18. Carly says:

    I loved following along on with your Snaps – it looked like a wonderful time!

  19. Ashley Moody says:

    I LOVE this post!! What a gorgeous trip!!

  20. Marie says:

    What a wonderful way to celebrate your one year anniversary! Looks like it was a fab time! Beautiful pictures!

  21. Beautiful pics! Looks like y’all had a blast. I have never been to the wine country or San Fran and I have been dying to go! I can;t wait for your winery recaps. I will be remembering all of this when I finally go.

  22. What an amazing and perfect first anniversary trip! Your photos are amazing! That photo of you on the bridge–unreal! Pinning this for a some day travel! And good for you renting the convertible! We rented a Corvette on our last trip before kids when we drove through Acadia National Park and it was so worth it! I wondered how you got the case of wine back–good to know! Can’t wait for all the deets!


  23. Kelsey says:

    Wow! What a beautiful and romantic location for an anniversary trip! Glad you all had such a good time!

  24. Y’all did it right!! I loved following along on snap, it looked like you guys had a phenomenal time!

  25. How sick was your ride! I did a little gasp when I saw it on Snapchat. Looks like you guys had the most wonderful Anniversary getaway! (:

  26. Kate says:

    I love the San Fran area so much! I used to have family out there and was so much fun to visit! Sausalito is definitely one of my favorite places to stop too!

  27. I loved our trip to California a couple of years ago, and you’re making me want to go back! That sucks that it was raining during your first day, but it looks like y’all made the best of it! You’re 100% right about Bouchon Bakery! It’s phenomenal and totally worth all of the calories!

  28. Wow! Looks like an amazing trip! I’m dying to go a girls trip to Napa or Sonoma so when I do, I’ll be curious about where to stay in Napa and which vineyards are worth it. Love the rental! :)

  29. Nikki says:

    I loved following along on Instagram and snapchat! I’ve never been to California, but know that San Fran & Napa are on the top of the list of places to visit while there along with San Diego! Loving that convertible too, so perfect for California sight seeing!! Can’t wait to read more in depth about your trip!

  30. San Francisco has to be one of my favorite cities. I got those same views when I visited. I’d say you and Mark celebrated your 1st birthday in style! Your photos are breathtaking!

  31. Nadine says:

    Ugh love all of these pictures!!! I would love to hit up the west coast one day. There are so many different areas to see. San Fran and wine country look just beautiful!!! I cant see that bridge without thinking of Full House! Cant wait to hear all the places to go!

  32. The perfect way to celebrate your first year of marriage, such a beautiful and fun trip! And the convertible was definitely the way to go in Cali <3
    Green Fashionista

  33. Gina Gales says:

    Amanda! Hi!! So, I ended up taking a big blogging break and it is taking me a little while to get back in full swing. I see you are still killin it over here. These photos are all gorgeous. I’m dying to take a trip to Napa…sort of like the US version of Tuscany, I think. Love the shots of you in the driver’s seat of the Corvette. Did you like driving it? I feel like it is very hard to see out of those teeny windows…LOL.
    XO, Gina

  34. Wonderful photos, and you guys are a beautiful couple. :-) Let me know when you open that bottle of Opus one too, I’ll be right over for a glass!! I’ll bring you some good Central Coast wines in return! :-) Oh and nice work on that convertible too, that car rental company is the best.

  35. Lindsay says:

    San Fran is one of my favorite cities! I love Napa and you have to go to Sonoma next time!!

  36. Shannon says:

    What an amazing trip! Napa looks gorgeous! Cali is one of the states I have never been to but high on my list!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

  37. What an excellent place to spend your anniversary! Napa is so beautiful! Do you have a snap chat? Would love to follow your adventures!

    xo, N

  38. The Westin is def my pic for fav hotel and how much fun to be in San Fran for the Chinese New Year! Loved watching all your snaps for the trip too! We also got a fancy convertible when we did our CA trip, and it was SO worth it.

  39. Haley says:

    I love California. We did the PCH road trip with the convertible on our honeymoon and I can’t wait to do it again one day. There’s so many beautiful places to see. I can’t say that I prefer one town over the other, but I can say I like Northern California more than the LA/San Diego scene. I’d love to stay a couple more times in Napa/Sonoma- maybe at a winery. We have been twice before, but it never seems to be for long enough to soak it all in. Your pictures makes me miss it so much.

  40. kristen says:

    what an amazing trip. i hope we get to go one day, can’t wait for the rest of the details to help me plan ;) gorgeous photos! good to know about not shipping the wine back.

  41. Emelia says:

    Your pics and snaps looked amazing. We have never been to California and are really considering going there for our first anniversary this fall. I would love to go–again, saving this post! You rockgirl!

  42. Amanda says:

    Glad you guys had such a great anniversary trip! Gorgeous pictures! I love the one of the two of you by the Cakebread sign!

  43. Sara says:

    Your trip looks amazing!! My mom and aunt are going to do Napa next month, so I’ll be looking for all your picks to send with them!! Love that you got to take advantage of the convertible!! We got one in San Francisco too, but my husband HATED it. I definitely will lose that battle going forward forever. Lame!

  44. Rachel says:

    Happy anniversary! San Fran and Napa are AMAZING, what a wonderful trip to take to celebrate! Can’t wait to read all about your time out there!

  45. you are making me want to go back–it’s been like 15 years or something. way too long. and this time i’d be legal to enjoy all the wine. you had to get the convertible. great choice!!

  46. Julie Joy says:

    What a beautiful trip! Seriously swooning over these pictures! Glad you had a great time on your anniversary trip!

  47. Ah amazing! Totally missed you were going to Cali– Amazing pics, as usual! I decided I want to go to Napa for my bday this summer, so definitely pinning your travel recs!

  48. We’ve been trying to figure out where to go for our anniversary trip this year, and San Fran is definitely on our list! xo, Champagne&Suburbs

  49. Glad you had so much fun!! Bay Area is ridiculously pretty (I just moved to SF last August and have been soaking it up). And no, there’s no worse sound than your alarm going off the day after vacay.

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