It has been far too long since Stef, Katie, Liz and I got together and acted like our usual immature selves, and that's exactly what we did Friday through Sunday last week. And it was awesome.
Katie drove through a snowstorm to get to my place Friday around noon. She met the dogs, and Ayla surprised me by instantly liking her. I showed Katie around and we took Ayla out to play some fetch. Then we headed out to Stef's place to meet up with Stef and Liz. Then we all piled into Katie's car and drove up to San Francisco. We parked the car and checked in to our room at the Hyatt in Union Square. Then we hopped on a cable car, packed like sardines in with the other passengers, and headed to Fisherman's Wharf. He had dinner and drinks at Cioppino's On The Wharf. I had the three cheese tortellini that was nice, and a great peach bellini that was even better. Yum! After dinner we walked to Pier 39 and barked at the sea lions, checked out Alcatraz from a distance, and enjoyed the street performers. As evening fell we walked down to Houston's at the Embarcadero to have wine and beer on their gorgeous patio by the fire pit. Then he hopped on a Muni car (free ride night!) and headed back to Union Square. We went to the top of the Hyatt to the Grandviews Lounge for more drinks and listened to the piano player's last set. Finally we went back to our room to laugh ourselves to sleep.
Saturday morning we blearily and pre-coffee dragged ourselves to Max's for breakfast (yummy blueberry pancakes!). After the coffee perked us up a bit we walked around the city. We stopped to check out The Palace Hotel, with its stunning Garden Court. Then we walked through the financial district where we saw some really weird and cool horse statues made out of driftwood and cement. Once we got the the Embarcadero we walked around an arts and crafts fair, and then to the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market. We walked down a pier and watched people catching their dinners, and then headed up to Chinatown. Then we had to get back to Union Square to see Spamalot, which was fantastic! I think quite a few in the audience didn't know what they were in for, which confused me, but we were laughing until our faces and stomaches hurt. The Lady of the Lake was especially great, and she really stole the show.
After the show we headed back to the room to relax a bit and share a bottle of wine that Stef had brought. Then we had dinner at Scala's Bistro, where we had another bottle of wine along with our dinners (pesto ravioli with lemon cream sauce for me, yum!) and where Katie and I developed a crush on the sommelier. After dinner we took silly pictures in front of the store windows in Union Square, and then went to The Carnelian Room at the top of the Bank of America Building, the tallest building in the city. The view was amazing, and the apricot colada was good too. Stef, Liz, and Katie went downstairs to meet up with Stef's fiance and the kids (who brought us really cute plush flowers) while I held our table and just enjoyed watching the sun set over the city. Then we walked to North Beach, got chocolate at a candy store, and walked back to Union Square again. We stopped in at Lefty O'Doul's for a beer and then went back to the room. Liz was hungry again so we ordered a pizza from room-service. Then it was one or two in the morning, so we hit the hay. One more day to go!
Sunday morning we checked out of the hotel and went across the street to Starbuck's for coffee and food. Then we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge and stopped at Battery Spencer on the north side to take photos. Then it was onward to Napa and wine tasting! Our first stop was Viansa, a gorgeous winery and marketplace where the tasting was a mere $5. Our favorite was the Frescolina, a dessert wine. We drove a bit further down the road and stopped at Domaine Carneros, which was very impressive. We shared the sparkling wine flight (the rose was the best) and a cheese plate with the best goat cheese I've ever had. We headed up to Beringer, and though we missed the tour we had a nice lunch. Then we drove back down Highway 29 and stopped at Heitz Cellar where I made friends with the resident dog. She was so cute, as soon as she woke up she rolled over for belly rubs. The port here was very good too. Our final stop was V. Sattui, one of Stef's favorite places. They have a very nice lawn where I hung out while Liz and Katie tasted wines - I was a bit wined out by this point, but I hear the wines here are very good.
Finally we drove back home to my place so Liz could see the condo and meet the beasts. Then it was time for everyone to go home. We had such a fantastic time and laughed ourselves silly; our voices were hoarse toward the end because of all the talking and laughing. It was so great to be with the girls again. We're so lucky to be able to pick up right where we left off the last time we saw each other. And I'm very lucky to have such wonderful people for my friends. Love you guys!
The full set of pictures is here.