Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Another Day in Wine Country

Man, my life is pretty charmed. I mean, I may only have a handful of friends here in San Francisco, but I make the best of it!

Since I became a Wine Club Member at Domaine Carneros, it was time for me to go and pick up my wine shipment! You just can't beat 'having to go' to here to pick up my wine...darn!  #firstworldproblems!  What I didn't know was that you pretty much get hooked up by being in the club!

You get to sit on the special patio!

And turns out you get a free tasting! I went for the red wine taster (well...the real tasting has 4 tastes but you only get 3 tastings in the free one...darn).

And Brad went for the champagne taster!


After spending about 2 hours there soaking up the sun, drinking our bubbly, and eating the charcuterie plate, we decided to pick up my bubble and head to the next place!  

Our next stop was at Kunde Winery.  Man, this place was BEAUTIFUL!!!  There's so many different outside areas where you can grab a bottle and sit outside or bring your own picnic and sit on the ground.

Unfortunately we got there and then found out they were closing in 5 minutes for a private event...darn!!!!  So they gave us a free tasting as a condolence prize.  I had the white and Brad had the red.  It was definitely yummy!

I was sad we only spent 5 minutes there, I definitely want to go back sometime!  They had the whole place decorated for Fall and Pumpkins...too bad its like almost 90 degrees in Napa! Definitely not Fall-like!

ALL the pumpkins!!

And our 3rd and final stop was to Imagery Winery. They were also closing soon...(next time we aren't  going to make a reservation at Domaine so late!) but not for 45 minutes. We sweet talked the winery guy into letting us purchase a bottle so we could sit outside and eat our sandwiches from this AMAZING yummy random sandwich shop along the side of the road called Carneros Deli.  If you are in the area, you MUST stop here!

We had a really quick tasting of 4 red wines and decided to go with an AMAZING Barbera wine....let me tell you, this was fantastic!!!  A bit pricey for $40, but it was so good! It was a very light and crisp red wine that just went down so smoothly!

We sat outside on their large patio and drank our bottle and ate our sandwiches before heading home. This place is so cute and has a boccee court (you did't know you were reading a 2013 Arlington Bocce Ball champion's blog, did you?!?!) I love that this place was so laid back and I could see having a great big group out back, just drinking bottles on bottles on bottles :)

Ahhh....its just another beautiful day in California!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bluxome Street Winery

I've been wanting to try this place out for quite some time!  I knew this winery was somewhere down the street, really close to my friend Brad's place and only like 20 minutes from me. So obvi we had to make pans to visit!  Bluxome Street Winery is located at 53 Bluxome St. and its open from noon-7pm Tuesday - Sunday, so you have no excuse but to go!  Its set back, off the beaten path, but that's what makes it amazing!

I wasn't blown away by their wines, but I agree with most of the Yelp reviews, saying to bypass the tasting and just get a glass, its a MUCH better value!!! One of the tastings is $15 and the cheapest bottle is $22...you do the math!

We had the Bluxome tasting, which you got 5 different tastings. They admittedly told us up front that they were very busy when we sat down. They were slow between topping up our glasses, but since we weren't in a rush, we didn't care.

The inside area was so cute! There were probably 4 or 5 high tops up front, a picnic table in the back and a separate tasting room. There was a party in the room that walked in shortly before we did. This place is dog friendly even though sadly we didn't see any there at the time!

We ordered the charcuterie plate that had crackers, salami, cheese, olives, almonds and dried cranberries...it was so good!

Before I came I didn't realize they ACTUALLY produced the wine there!  I heard this little machine start and had to go and check it out.


All in all, I'd totally go back! This would be a great place to start the day out at. Its quiet and has a great, friendly staff. They wines were good, definitely not the best, but hey, I don't claim to be a wine connoisseur, I just like to drink it...A LOT.

Friday, October 24, 2014

London Reunites Once Again

 Maura, Chris, Me and Haileigh was back in 2008 in Croatia

As I was saying last week, its CRAZY how many of my friends find themselves stopping over in San Francisco....I just wish they actually LIVED HERE.  In case you can't keep up, the list includes:
  • Amanda, a sorority sister who was at AU when I advised there
  • Hannah (and Megan) visited in July
  • Molly came too 
  • And you can't forget my (real) sister Brandy
And now you can add Haileigh to the list!  I met Haileigh back in 2007 when we were studying together with the Mountbatten program in London.  She was from Iowa but now lives in Austin, Texas and we've been casually keeping up in the past 7 years since then.  

She travels frequently for work visiting clients in different cities and she came to D.C. a few times while I was there. 
This was back in 2010 when she stopped by. We met up with 2 other Mountbattens in the area, Josh and Jaime.

Its pretty awesome how some friends you have you can meet up with years later and its as if no time had passed!  Thanks for visiting Haileigh and I'm sure I want to go to Austin now!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hills Bros Coffee

There's a pretty cool building right by my house. Hills Bros Coffee is a local coffee of the Bay Area.  You may not know a lot about the company, but it was the first company to create 'vacuum sealed coffee" ...THANK YOU!  Built in 1926, this location was built and became the official office location of the coffee company. Its a beautiful site along the Embaracdero.

It's also an official San Francisco Landmark, #157 in the city. Its now a Mozilla office location and the side building is home to a satellite location of Wharton School of business!

And they have a pretty sweet quatrafoil door too....

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mission Rock Resort Brunch

Coincidentally the next day after I took my tour of Mission Bay, Brad suggested we hit up Mission Rock Resort for brunch. Well....okay then!

Boy this place is such a hidden little gem!  We had brunch on the back patio at it was so peaceful! It was dog and kid friendly, there were lots of families with their dogs....I just wanted to steal them all!

Right beyond the deck is the largest dry dock on the West Coast so we could see some ships out of the water.

Their brunch selection was pretty good! I had the classic eggs benedict. However, the menu is HEAVY seafood and because I don't like seafood, there were probably only about 2 options for me. While it was good, it still doesn't top my all.time.favorite.brunch at the Butler and the Chef.

Um and of course we had bottomless mimosas...what's brunch without them?!?! You can't beat bottomless for $16...especially not in this city!

Yum yum yum, bet in my belly!

If you are a fan of oysters, this place has been ranked one of the 6 best oyster bars in SF by Zagat:

After a splashy two-million dollar renovation, this old-time waterfront bar and grill near Mission Bay (just south of AT&T Park) lures the crowds with an ambitious midpriced seafood-centric menu and bar program; the sprawling two-floor wooden building features an upstairs dining room and an oyster bar and a downstairs quick-service cafe for breakfast and lunch, but the most coveted seats are on the decks where you can knock back a Sailor’s Shipwrecked Punch or frozen daiquiri.

The details: $0.99 oysters, Monday-Friday, 3-7 PM, $7wine during HH

Friday, October 17, 2014

Day Around the Bay #4: Mission Bay

On my next adventure, I decided to check out Mission Bay.  To be honest, there wasn't much to it. Its definitely an area that is up and coming but there's not a lot of businesses around but there's plenty of places to live. I can see this place in about 5 years becoming a booming mecca, its just going to take a bit to get there. But I thought I'd give it a shot and take a run on another gorgeous day in California.

According to Wikipedia, Mission Bay includes the following areas:

So the main attraction is essentially the ball park. 

But they have a lot of cool bridges. This one is right outside of the stadium.

But if you know where to look, its beautiful. Behind some of the apartment complexes there's this beautiful stretch along the waterfront. There's even boat houses to look at!

This is the small park across the water. There was a kids private event going on to the right....and there was cotton candy! I really wanted some cotton candy, it smelled D-E-V-I-N-E!

The backside of the ball park.

I found a really cool warehouse along the way. I just love the brick buildings around here and I was glad to see this was renovated! This is SF landmark #193. Here's so cool background on the building:
The Baker & Hamilton Building is a heavy timber industrial building typical of the South of Market warehouse district in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is one of few remaining pre-earthquake buildings of its type.

The building narrowly missed destruction in 1906 Earthquake and Fire when the fire traveled down Townsend Street, turned north and burned only the east side of Seventh Street. The fire destroyed many warehouses, leaving the Baker & Hamilton Building a rare survivor.
By surviving the fire, the Baker & Hamilton Building served as anchor to the warehouse district that developed during the post earthquake building boom in San Francisco.
The building was designed to house the Pacific Hardware and Steel Company, a company founded in Sacramento, California by Mark Hopkins and Collis P. Huntington in the 1850s.

The need for materials and hardware following the 1906 Earthquake and Fire helped make Pacific Hardware and Steel Company one of the largest wholesale steel and hardware business in the west. The Pacific Hardware and Steel Company merged with the Baker & Hamilton Company in 1918 and continued operating in the building until 1981.


I did run past a GORGEOUS little restaurant right along the water, Mission Rock Resort

The restuarant and bar is made from recycled wood from the old Cal Berkley Stadium.

I can imagine this place gets packed before Giants games!

The outside seating patio area.

And right outside of the restaurant, it overlooks SF's oldest dry dock.

Just another beautiful day in California!

One of the Ports of San Francisco

The seal (?) behind the ball park

Beautiful boats in the marina!

Boats/kayaks usually sit right outside of the stadium in case of the rare balls that fly out of the ball park!

See! I REALLY DO actually run around the neighborhoods!

Want to see my other adventures?! Here are other Days Around the Bays:
Day Around the Bay #1: North Beach and Coit Tower
Day Around the Bay #2: Fisherman's Wharf
Day Around the Bay #3: Russian Hill