A quick Carmel getaway

^a tiny little 14 week bump

^ Dinner at Casanova – one of our favorites

Back in October we took a day trip to Carmel by the Sea. We go each year for Chris’ birthday. (see the past two years here & here). This year it was feeling a little too hectic to try to stay for the whole weekend. So we ended up leaving early Saturday morning & spending all day there. We visited some of our favorite spots. It was a chilly day so we decided to bypass the beach and stick just to downtown. There’s an awesome ornament store called Kris Kringle of Carmel where they’ll personalize the ornaments for you. It’s certainly worth checking out if you love Christmas decor or collect ornaments like we do. In years past our trips include plenty of wine tasting but this year my little baby bump kept me from any tasting rooms. Not to worry I did manage to find some excellent mocktails.  It’s so fun to think about next year’s trip & how we’ll have a little one in tow with us! Even though this trip was quick, I’m so glad we decided to go. Heading down the coast to Carmel is by far one of my favorite fall traditions.



Hog Island Oysters


^^ 8 miles & 100 Flights of stairs with my adventure girl.

^^ Gorgeous hiking through the redwoods.

Yesterday a group of us ventured to Marin & hiked Bass Lake & then stopped for lunch at  Hog Island Oyster co.  For years I’ve heard all about this iconic stop along highway 1. We purposefully went on a Monday to avoid the weekend crowds. We chose to shuck our own oysters, which is no easy feat! Hog Island provides the tools, & different garnishes for the oysters & you’re free to bring bbq gear, and outside food and drink. I hands down must recommend the BBQ oysters that they cook up and serve, SO delicious. Also, Hog Island is dog friendly, so that is just an added bonus. Reservations must be made ahead of time but it definitely lived up to all the hype.

Batteries to Bluffs


The face of a tired but very happy puppy!


Batteries to Bluffs is by far one of my favorite “urban hikes” in San Francisco. I love this hike for so many reasons. The views are incredible,  even on a cloudy or slightly foggy day you get beautiful scenes of the Golden Gate Bridge. On a clear day you can easily see the Marin Headlands & the Point Bonita Lighthouse. In the springtime the trail is lined with countless wildflowers that you can see in my photos. Another reason why I love this hike? STAIRS! With more than 500 stairs along this trail you’re guaranteed a good workout & pretty spectacular view for “leg day”. It’s also a sure fire way to tire any puppy out. Not only will you experience phenomenal coastal panoramas but there’s also plenty of history along the hike. These batteries were built in 1900 & designed to protect underwater minefields outside the Golden Gate. By 1943 it was closed & all the guns were scrapped. It’s pretty cool getting to walk literally on top of history where men before our time fought to protect our lives & now I’m hiking with my puppy across the same batteries they stood guard at, crazy! So if you find yourself in San Francisco wanting to try something new & off the beaten path (no pun intended) definitely check out Batteries to Bluffs trail. On the weekends the hike can get a little crowded but most weekdays you may only see a handful a people, another reason why I can’t get enough. Do you have a favorite urban hike? If so I’d love to hear about in the comments below!

Baker Beach Day

img_0084img_0080img_0081img_0078img_0092^^^ Happiness is a sandy snout – Juno spent a good portion of her time yesterday trying to dig gigantic holes in the sand! img_0086img_0088It feels like a lifetime but we’ve only had Juno, our black lab, for 2 months. It’s been so fun getting to explore San Francisco with our newest fur-baby.  Yesterday we ventured out to Baker Beach. The weather was so strange but when we got to the beach the sun was actually out. The cloudcover made for some pretty amazing photos, especially with that little bridge in the back drop. Baker Beach is an awesome mile long beach tucked beneath the Presidio Cliffs with phenomenal views of the Golden Gate Bridge & Marin Headlands. It’s hard to believe that a beach this beautiful can be empty enough to let my puppy run around! Yesterdays beach trip was the perfect start to the weekend! We’re off to the foot hills this weekend to let Juno explore the 4 acres my parents live on. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

Tuesdays with Ocean Beach


My favorite time to visit Ocean Beach is mid week when you share the 3 miles of beach with just a handful of people. I swear there were more people in the water than on the actual beach itself on Tuesday. After living here for 7 years Ocean Beach just never loses it’s appeal, even when it’s foggy and cold I still think it’s one of the best / most beautiful places in the city. Tuesday was a perfect day to head to the beach in sweatshirt with a good book in tow. Above are some of the photos that were captured on this spur of moment beach trip. Hope you enjoy.

Calistoga Escape

IMG_2387Calistoga you are a dream come true, located 75 miles north-east of San Francisco, experience the same warm weather, fantastic wines but a fraction of the Napa crowds.


Lincoln avenue is lined with tasting rooms, restaurants & boutiques.


Most tasting rooms we found had excellent prices & generous pours of delicious local wines.


^^These pours were found at Huge Bear Tasting Room, which was once the location of the Calistoga Bank.


At Romeo Winery tasting room you can be surrounded by tall redwoods in their outdoor tasting garden.



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A can’t miss Calistoga experience is the gondola at Sterling Winery.


A 4 minute gondola ride leads to outrageous views of the valley. 


Off in the distance you’re able to see a castle…


Three miles away Castello di Amorosa winery awaits you. $25 buys you general admission & the basic wine tasting which includes 5 wines.

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Visitors are able to wander the castle grounds or enjoy the sunshine in the courtyard.


My pretty friends 🙂

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After a day of gondolas & castles & many wine pours later we enjoyed a delicious dinner at Sam’s Social Club, located in downtown Calistoga.

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^^ Those deviled eggs were no joke; a must if you’re there.


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We stayed at The Roman Spa, not only is this resort just one block from Lincoln Avenue, but the resort has 3 mineral pools that stay open until 10:30. The pools range in temperature from 90 degrees to 104.


Aside from the pools, Roman Spa has luscious gardens that I could spend all day capturing.




Hope you can see why & how we fell in love with Calistoga.

Napa Valley Bliss

There’s nothing quite like escaping San Francisco’s foggy summers, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, & enjoying wine country for the day. We did exactly this last weekend & stopped by one of our favorite vineyards. Keep scrolling to find out why we love Frog’s Leap so much.


One of my favorite Napa spots is Frog’s Leap Winery, situated on gorgeous farmland, this laid back venue makes for an excellent, relaxing experience. My first trip to Frog’s Leap was nearly 5 years ago, & we’ve been going back ever since. This vineyard always earns a spot on our Napa agenda for the day, hopefully you’ll see why.

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One of my favorite parts about Frog’s Leap is the ability to explore the grounds. You can walk through the vineyard itself or explore their garden. They’re dedicated to organic farming, sustainable living & quality wines, what’s not to like!?!



If you aren’t into exploring the grounds, you can hang out on their awesome porch & enjoy the shade. I love that this Winery has so much outdoor space, there’s Adirondack chairs around every corner & they even have an outdoor tasting area. I love how low key & low pressure the atmosphere here is, there’s no pressure into buying a wine membership at the end of your tasting. Beside being low pressure, Frog’s Leap is very easy on the wallet. Their tastings run about $25 / person, with generous wine pours & delicious full bodied wines, even the newest wine fans are sure to find something they’ll enjoy here.


These are just some of the reasons Frog’s Leap makes my list, do you have a go to winery? If so I’d love to hear about it!

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 Some Sappy Napa Newlywed Love…


Garden finds…

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