If you follow me on Instagram (where I update much more regularly btw…), you know that we were in California a few days ago. For some reason, this is our third year in a row to travel in California in summer. I guess it just happens when more and more of our friends/family are moving into the area, making it too easy to have an excuse to return.
We have been traveling on and off for the past few months, mostly for work or blogging. This one however, is the first one this year that I would call it a real vacation trip.
One thing about being a blogger/content creator is, it becomes harder to truly enjoy the moment, as you always feel obligated to *create your content* (meaning taking photos for everything, staying on social media all the time, etc), and it can be overwhelming and even annoying to the people around you and yourself. Speaking of “ppl around you”, I feel very lucky to have my husband as my partner in crime ever since I started blogging. A great companion for any journey is never the easiest to find, and it is the feeling of “we are in this together” that I truly appreciate all along.
Back to the topic. This trip in California was something we desperately needed. We were going with the flow most of the time. First spent two nights in Napa (which is my all time happy place), then a few days in San Francisco and the bay area, hanging out with friends while stuffing our faces with great food all day.
Our journey started with a lunch at the Fremont Diner in Sonoma. When we stepped in, I swear for a second I thought I was back in Tennessee (funny thing is, they even have Nashville chicken on their menu!).
With a rusted pick-up truck outside and its funky old school décor inside, this off the beaten path diner is just like a time capsule. It’s the perfect stop for a summer road trip.
There was a bit of wait, so be prepared. But the food is absolutely worth it. Do yourself a favor and order the caramel cake at the end of your meal. Super moist and just the right amount of sweetness, I would go back just for the cake.
We stayed at the Meritage resort for two nights while we were in the Wine Country. The resort itself is gorgeous, with a convenient location and all the amenities you may or may not think of. The best part to me though, was our room. Besides the luxe decor, It had a cozy patio with such a spectacular view: we were facing the colorful pool area, behind which is a beautiful vineyard on a hill and a lovely cave which is the home of a spa and a tasting room – how cool is that!
The details of the Meritage were really pleasant too (Hint: I’m talking about a nice complimentary bottle of wine in the room). We had an early flight in that morning, so by the time of dinner it was nothing more tempting than ordering room service and enjoying the view on our patio.
One of the highlights during this trip, was that we had the opportunity to experience the Mercedes Benz S550 thanks to Sixt Rent a Car. Speaking as someone riding a shotgun all along, rest assured this car is bliss. It has one of the most comfortable passenger seats I’ve ever tried.
This is our first time renting with this European based company and I have to say I’m impressed. They provided a super smooth and fuss-free service during our entire rental.
I’ve suggested this to every friend of mine that is planning a visit to Napa: Stop by Yountville. This adorable bloom filled little town is a perfect photo spot, and most importantly filled with so many cute shops and great places to eat (French Laundry, Ad Hoc, Bouchon…).
Would highly recommend their macarons and croissants if you decide to check out Bouchon Bakery as we did.
Wineries. While I haven’t quite figured out all the reasons that I find it very soothing every time I step foot into the Wine Country, wine tasting is definitely one of them. It is said that there are over 600 wineries with tasting rooms in Napa and Sonoma, meaning there’s always a way to avoid the crowd and find a more secluded spot.
If you do have some of the best-known wineries on your list, I would say check their websites to see if you need an appointment beforehand and try to be there when they open. That’s your best bet to beat the crowd.
We started our morning with some bubbles at Domaine Carneros – honestly, isn’t it always the right way to kick off the day?
Had a quick lunch at the girl and the fig, we barely made our reservation at Scribe – so glad we did. It is hands down among the coolest, most laid-back wineries / hanging out spots I’ve been to. If you’re looking for a tour though, this is probably not the best fit. It is more of a place to just chill and enjoy some wine and light bites. Pet friendly, nice hipster spot to have some quality time with your other half and/or friends.
Our last stop of the first half of the California trip was Napa downtown. One more dinner to mention before I wrap up this post, Morimoto Napa. Must-haves: toro tartare and ishi yaki buri bop.
I hope I didn’t bore you too much with too many photos and thank you so much for making it all the way through! Curious to know where you traveled or plan to travel this summer. Comment down below and let me know!
This post was in partnership with Sixt Rent a Car and The Meritage Resort and Spa, but as always opinions are my own.