Napa Valley

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During our time in the Bay Area, Jason and I were able to spend a day exploring Napa Valley. Prior to our trip, we booked a couple of places to taste area wines. You know what they say about the best laid plans…our first tasting appointment of the day did not work out. Since our second tasting was later in the day, we had a lot of spare time on our hands that we had not planned for. We took advantage of the extra time by spending it in Calistoga, the cutest little town.

We started our day with some coffee and pastries at Bella Bakery on the town’s main street. After breakfast, we took time to explore all the cute, unique shops before stopping at Checker’s for lunch. I have discovered Chinese chicken salads since moving to California and this one did not disappoint. This one was packed full of mixed greens, cucumber, carrots, pickled ginger and roasted chicken. The salad was topped with green onions, almonds, won tons, rice noodles and finished off with a Chinese dressing. Jason opted for the roasted leg of lamb with sautéed mushrooms, roasted garlic, caramelized onions, that was sandwiched between two pieces of focaccia bread.

On our way back to San Francisco, we stopped off at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone for a late afternoon pick-me-up. I wish I had taken the time to snap a picture of the outside of the building, it was so gorgeous! The treat (pun absolutely intended) during our visit was getting to taste a pastry prepared by the students from the baking and pastry degree program.

The happy accident at the end of the day? Arriving back to San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge! Our GPS took us out of the city in a different route, so it was so fun getting to drive across the bridge while coming back in. We made it back just in time to catch the sun setting over the gorgeous bridge. I don’t think I could ever tire of that view.

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I really love this funky coffee shop’s hanging signage!

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The best type of train!!

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Chinese chicken salad

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Roasted leg of lamb sandwich on focaccia

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iPhone snap inside the barrel room during our tasting

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iPhone snap inside the barrel room during our tasting

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Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

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Cappuccino + chocolate caramel pastry at The Culinary Institute

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Crossing the Golden Gate!

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That bridge + that sunset. One of my favorite moments!

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