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The Perfect Ending to a Perfect Vacation

by Meghann on May 3, 2010

‘Twas another beautiful day in the land of wine. 🙂

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I took advantage of the GORGEOUS weather this morning and went for a peaceful 4 mile run. I really lucked out; as soon as I stepped out of my hotel I stumbled upon a great running/walking/cycling path that intersected with my hotel’s parking lot. The path took me on a very scenic run around the Petaluma marsh.

The trail seemed to gone forever, but I had places to go and people to see so I just did a 2 mile out and back on the trail. 🙂

I have Yelp to thank for mine and Derek’s amazing breakfast this morning.

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Neither of my food resources for the are (ahem Beth and Jenna) were able to think of a great breakfast suggestion near mine and Derek’s hotel, so we took advantage of Yelp’s app for the iphone and conducted a breakfast search near our current location. After reading a few reviews we decided The Tea Room was right up our ally.

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The Tea Room Cafe is the cutest little cafe with a menu full of omelets, granola, fruit, pancakes, and about any other breakfast item you could think of. I love breakfast places that have long, fresh menus that are full of lots of choices. I am not a fan of brunch places that have very limited menus. I prefer variety. 😉

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The restaurant itself is clean and crisp looking. The light wood table tops contrast nicely with the white walls and black accents.

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I ordered the Tea Room Blended Black Tea with Lavender to sip on with my meal.

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There was really no question what I was going to order.

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Sans the bananas of course.

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With an artfully prepared fruit cup.

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I also stole a couple of bites of Derek’s avocado and goat cheese omelet.

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Everything was amazing. Too bad The Tea Room is 3000 miles away instead of across the street from my apartment back home. Le sigh.

While we were eating breakfast this morning I overheard a couple of gentlemen discussing the 100 mile Race de Cure that was happening throughout Sonoma County today.

It just so happened that our way to our first winery this morning we ran into the race and were driving alongside some of the competitors.

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I missed the photos of the larger packs, but it was kind of cool to see a pack of 15 or 20 cyclist come one right after another. It really inspired me to one day come out and compete in one of the race through beautiful wine country. Maybe one day….

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Last night I very briefly met up with Jenna and her boyfriend, whom gave Derek and I some great suggestions on which wineries to visit today. Derek and I are both Cab fans and he informed us that Alexander Valley is known for having great cabs.

Our first stop of the day – Robert Young Estate Winery

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We both LOVED the cabs, but the prices were sadly a little high for us. Great wine though. 🙂

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Our second stop of the day was Hawkes Winery

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I’m a sucker for branding and loved how everything was simply branded with their red hawk. I loved it so much I even bought a shirt!

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We were invited on our first barrel tasting at Hawkes where we tried three different Cabs in the barrel and then compared our tastes to the finished product in the bottle.

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We both loved Hawkes and are really considering joining their wine club. They are a very small operation and I really love how it’s all family run. I’m a big fan of family run companies having grown up with a family business as part of my last name. 🙂

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Per Jenna’s suggestion we headed to Healdsberg for lunch.

She told me Charcuterie had a fantastic steak tip sandwich that Derek would go nuts over.

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I started with a slice of the crusty french bread.

 

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For lunch I ordered the special of the day – a lamb burger that had been prepared with feta and olives and a mixed green salad with a gorgonzola dressing on the side.

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The burger was perfectly cooked, but I was hoping for the olive and feta flavors to come through a little bit more.

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Derek’s steak sandwich was excellent. The meat was juicy, well seasoned, and very tender.

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Derek and I had both been eyeing our neighbor’s Strawberry Shortcakes and knew we had to order one to split between the two of us.

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It was perfect. I think the secret ingredient was the sprinkle of sugar added right before the shortcakes went in the oven. The sugar gave the shortcakes an extra crispy sweet crust. 🙂

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After lunch we took advantage of some of the tasting rooms located in downtown Healdsberg. It was nice just walking from each tasting instead of having to drive. 🙂

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I spy with my little eyes a food blogger who scored big out here. 😉

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Our wine tasting adventures came to an end at La Crema – our final tasting room of the trip. 🙁

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They even had a special tasting for furry friends.

 

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Baxter preferred the green milkbone to the red. 😉

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Sonoma and San Francisco are VERY dog friendly. It almost makes me sad that I didn’t bring Maddie out here with me. Maybe next time?

We took our time getting back to San Francisco and had one last adventure of going ‘weee’ down the hills before meeting a few local blog readers at Herbivore.

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I <3 Herbivore!

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Herbivore is a local chain with 3 or 4 locations in the Bay area. They have a very extensive menu full of plenty of yummy sounding vegan eats. I was in heaven read
ing all they had to offer. 🙂

I ordered the indonesian noodle salad – rice noodle, greens, tofu, cucumbers, pineapple, orange, sprouts, mint, cilantro, red cabbage, onions, sautéed oyster mushrooms and ginger with tamarind dressing.

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This was a very light salad which was nice and refreshing after all the heavy eats I’ve been enjoying the last couple of days.

Everyone’s dish came out full of color and beautifully plated – I may have had a little plate envy going on.

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It’s always nice getting together with a group of girls who all share common interests and have common goals. We all had lots to chat about and I now have a few blogs to add to my ever growing google reader. 😉

Derek and I had a little time to kill before our flight, so we walked a few blocks to Bi-Rite where I had been told to order the Salted Carmel Ice Cream and forever live in Ice Cream bliss.

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Derek and I split a small scoop of salted caramel and the coffee almond toffee.

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There are no words. The salted caramel was melt in your mouth delicious. Nom Nom Nom

We finally made it to the airport a few moments ago and sadly our vacation is about to come to an end as we hop on the last red eye out of here tonight.

Until we meet again san Francisco! You will be dearly missed!

1 Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete May 3, 2010 at 2:16 am

Great recap! I LOVE your outfit! That white sweater/shirt thing is gorgeous! You carry if off very well. I’m so jealous of the vegan restaurant! I’m sure Germany has some, but I haven’t seen any in the past 2 1/2 years that I’ve been here. Now, it is time for you to go back to reality! Be safe on the way back!

2 Andrea of Care to Eat May 3, 2010 at 2:19 am

It’s been fun to see your SF adventure! Just a couple of days ago, the huz suggested heading down there for our anniversary in June – I’ve still never been and I’ve been a West Coaster for over eight years!

3 Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce May 3, 2010 at 2:26 am

so good to meet you today meghann!! dang that meal was tasty :). i am so entertained by the doggie tasting at the winery, next time bring maddie for sure! i hope it’s cool if i snag the group photo for my post? can’t wait till foodbuzz in the fall, let’s grab a bite (or 2, or 12) together then too!

4 Lea May 3, 2010 at 2:26 am

So glad you enjoyed it out here! I go into the city like a few times a week for the past 6 weeks and have still not seen all I want to see!! Suprised you didn’t snap over to Napa? Never been to Sonoma but seems as beautiful as Napa 😉 let me know if you need a place to stay in the future!

5 Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) May 3, 2010 at 2:49 am

Amazing trip! It´s so funny to read these entries and feel so jealous of all of this delicious food and fun restaurants and stuff and then remember that my home is technically right across the bay from all this. I am saving some of these names so that when I get back to the states I can check all these places out. Salted caramel!! Awesome. Glad you had a good time… I guess I will see you at a blogger meet up next time you´re in SF 🙂 And doggie tasting?!?! my golden retriever will die happy.

6 britchickruns May 3, 2010 at 3:00 am

SO much WINE!!! I hate wine – I think for once, I’d rather have had all my own eats rather than yours :p bar that ice cream at the end – amaze.
I’m glad you had a great trip!!

7 Gabriela May 3, 2010 at 4:51 am

Wow, Meghann. That was quite a trip!
Such lovely pics!
You and Derek looked pretty happy 🙂
Have a wonderful week, girl!
Brazilian XOXO’s,
Gabriela

8 Lauren May 3, 2010 at 6:52 am

Are you allergic to bananas? I don’t think I knew that but now that you mention it, I don’t think I have ever seen a banana on your blog! 🙂

So glad you had a wonderful trip. Seeing this makes me want to drink wine, and eat good food! Okay, I think I just need to book a trip to Ca!

Safe travels home hun.

9 Matt May 3, 2010 at 7:04 am

Sounds like a great trip!

10 Becky May 3, 2010 at 7:14 am

What a fun trip! Looks like you had an amazing weekend.

11 NYCRunnerGirl May 3, 2010 at 7:20 am

What a great vacation! You guys fit so much into just a few days. I loved San Francisco, and we visited Napa while we were out there. Sonoma is next on my list!

12 Jenna May 3, 2010 at 7:21 am

wow! what a fun last day 🙂

13 Erin May 3, 2010 at 7:46 am

Such an amazing trip, from beginning to end. Thanks for bringing all of us along with you. :mrgreen:

14 Lauren @ Eater not a runner May 3, 2010 at 8:14 am

Looks like such a great trip! This is making me so excited to go to San Fran this summer 🙂

15 Julie @ Wearing Mascara May 3, 2010 at 8:29 am

What an awesome day! Question: Why no banana’s? Just curious 🙂 Have a safe flight back home!

16 Kelly May 3, 2010 at 8:31 am

Sounds like it was an awesome vacation. Glad you had a great time!

17 Jen Trinque May 3, 2010 at 8:31 am

Vacations just go by too fast! Looks like you guys had perfect weather and an absolutely fabulous time, though.

18 runningwithsass May 3, 2010 at 8:44 am

it looks so beautiful there! glad you had a great time!

19 Deva (Voracious Vorilee) May 3, 2010 at 8:59 am

I love San Francisco, it’s such a gorgeous city. It looks like you had a wonderful vacation – so much fun 🙂

20 soundztastee May 3, 2010 at 9:00 am

From the tea house to the carmel ice cream, everything looks amazing!

21 Christina May 3, 2010 at 9:27 am

San Francisco sounds great! I really want to visit there now after seeing your trip. It looks like the perfect vacation!

22 Danielle May 3, 2010 at 9:34 am

You had such an incredible trip! WOW 🙂 I am so jealous. I hope to return to San Fran soon and initiate myself amongst the California wine tour crew. Glad you enjoyed yourself!

23 gavrielski May 3, 2010 at 9:49 am

it was so nice to meet you! I’m so glad you and Derek enjoyed your amazing west coast adventure. Best of luck to you! 🙂

24 Running on Faith May 3, 2010 at 9:51 am

Really great to meet you! Hope your travels bring you back to SF in the future. I can show you some of my running routes 🙂

25 theprocessofhealing May 3, 2010 at 9:58 am

Wow. What an amazing trip!!! All that wine and good food.. I think I would be in absolute heaven!!

26 jw May 3, 2010 at 10:21 am

hey! It looks like you have had a great time. I do not mean to be mean in any way, but you might want to check your grammar before some of your posts! I have been following your blog and really love it-I am from fl as well so I especially love the blog. You are a great role model, but your grammar/subject verb agreements are often horriffic. Your blog infers that you are a college graduate which makes the whole situation all the worse!! Todays post for instance, “whom” is not the correct choice! I don’t mean to go off on you since a lot of the blogs iIread make the same mistakes, but just wanted to shout out a friendly notice 🙂

27 Rachel May 7, 2010 at 12:17 am

Haha… you used “infer” wrong and there should be an apostrophe in the possessive “Today’s” – is it really all THAT big of a deal? 😛

28 Anne P May 3, 2010 at 10:31 am

Yay 🙂 You guys got the best weather! So jealous. I heart wineries and Healdsburg!!

29 Michelle May 3, 2010 at 10:34 am

Those eateries look absolutely to DIE for! Looks like a fantastic trip 🙂

30 DiningAndDishing May 3, 2010 at 10:36 am

your vacation looks amazing!! california is absolutely the next place i want to vist…all the delicious wine and food paired with beautiful scenery….what could be more perfect!? glad you and derek had a good time 🙂

– Beth @ http://www.DiningAndDishing.com

31 Kellie May 3, 2010 at 11:02 am

What a fun vacation. I love visiting different places.

32 sustenancespace May 3, 2010 at 11:06 am

the salted caramel is sooo tasty. i live 2 blocks way from bi rite so it is very dangerous indeed. it was so great to meet you last night and i am glad you and derek had a great vacation.

33 Lauren @ Eat, Drink, and Be Hopeful May 3, 2010 at 11:31 am

WOW! It looks like you had such a great little vacations. such great wineries…I love them all. Not to mention it looks like the weather was awesome as well for you!

34 Tracy May 3, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Where, oh, where did you get your white vest/brown tank? It looks awesome on you!!

35 hundredtenpounds May 3, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Great pictures! Those bikers look like they are having fun too. I have 55 mile bike competition soon. I’m a bit nervous about riding on the road the whole way…but those bikers look pretty safe….

36 dianacheung May 3, 2010 at 12:46 pm

your recap of you trip is amazing. I went last year but I want to go again! Great meet up and I’m so happy that you and Derek had a fabo foodie time! next time take a pic of jenna’s bf for us. 🙂

37 Hillary May 3, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Wow, that was a lot of pics. The waffles and ice cream look holy delish!

38 runrettarun May 3, 2010 at 3:20 pm

How cute do you look in that first pic! LOVES. I am having major vacation envy!! 🙂

39 Emilyeatsclean May 3, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Ohhh what a fun looking trip!! That tea room is adorable and that waffle looks DELICIOUS!!!!!!!

-emily

40 zoe May 4, 2010 at 12:44 am

ah! you were right by me 🙂 my college is about fifteen minutes from petaluma. isn’t healdsburg awesome?! the food places are great and the little downtown strip itself is super cute. glad you enjoyed the fantastic weather! such a beautiful weekend up here!

41 Kara May 4, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Thanks- I’m going in a year (for a conference), and this will be saved in my reader until then!

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