Well hello there!
I’ve been playing catch-up all week, but I’m finally back to bring you guys a re-cap of my awesome weekend up in Northern California with my parents. I met them up in San Francisco last Thursday, where we squeezed in a bit of sight-seeing!
The next day we took a drive to Sonoma, where we went to two different wine-tastings and enjoyed lunch. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to.
We also got to take a pretty detailed tour of the first winery, Ramsgate, with its owner where we learned about how they make their wine of the highest quality. Almost everything there is done completely by hand and tested frequently so that the final product is wine that is out of this world. We tasted their brut, chardonnay (my personal favorite, I think!), pinot noir, and malbec. They also offered a tasting menu with dishes that are specially paired to match the wines and bring out the best flavors in both.
It was such an incredible experience, I seriously felt like a princess. I definitely want to experiment more with wine pairings in my cooking now!
The next day we made our way over to Half Moon Bay on the Northern California coast. I’ve never been up there before, but had always wanted to, and it was so unbelievably beautiful.
There was an immediate feeling of tranquility driving along the coast and though Southern California is also gorgeous, the views are just…different. I fell in love with it right away. When we got to our hotel, the Ritz Carlton (I know, spoiled, right?), we had a light lunch before exploring the private beach.
I don’t know why, but I think there’s something so beautiful about rocks and cliffs by the ocean. Maybe it’s because we didn’t have any on the east coast? I think it just makes it look even more secluded and organic. It’s not overrun or dirty, like some other beaches I’ve been to. It’s just peaceful and perfect! Can you tell I didn’t want to leave?!
Dinner was at Sam’s Chowder House, a locals’ favorite. We decided to eat outside at the bar with a glass of prosecco and a view. We even caught a beach wedding!
That ridiculously beautiful dish up there is the paella for two that I shared with my mom. It was full of fresh seafood, some of the best I’ve tasted in ages, including scallops, clams, mussels, shrimp and calamari. The peas were delicious too, which is something I never really thought I’d say. I need to re-create this dish at home!
Dinner was followed by s’mores out by the fire pits at the hotel! Can’t beat that view. And we had so much fun making them, everyone else outside was definitely jealous!
Nothing screams summer like s’mores on the beach at sunset 🙂
The next day we slept in and enjoyed a healthy brunch before our workout. And when I say healthy, I’m entirely omitting the part where I grabbed a chocolate croissant, proceeded to cover it in peanut butter, and then shoveled in that + half of my mom’s sticky bun. WHAT?! Shh…
After a few hours laying on the beach and soaking up the sun (we definitely lucked out with the weather), we packed up our things. Since we had to drive a ways back to the airport, we decided to have an early dinner. Guess where…
Yep, that would be the famous Lobster Roll from Sam’s. We had such amazing food there the night before that we had to try more! This roll did not disappoint – it was just a ton of fresh lobster, sautéed in butter and lemon, inside a buttered sourdough roll. Those fries were a total splurge, but when I saw that they were topped with Old Bay, I couldn’t resist. Even the coleslaw was good and I don’t like coleslaw!
It was such a perfect weekend, just thinking about it makes me happy! After treating myself one too many times though, I definitely feel like I need to get back on track this week. I have some healthy recipes on deck for you guys. Be back soon!