I just got back from an amazing girls vacay with my bestie since kindergarten. Igor and her fiancé D have been living in Petaluma, CA for the past year, and they’re about to get married (!) and leave California, so we thought, let’s do something fun before her big day! Hence, I went on my first trip (in 2.5 years!) sans Pookie, which was difficult but much needed.
Before getting to the trip though, can we just give RR some serious recognition for not only allowing me, but encouraging me to go on this trip.?!A lot of hubbies might not think that a stay-at-home mama deserves a break because they don’t see her full-time parenting job as a real job. Well, it is, and it’s not just full-time. It’s 24 hours. So this trip was so very appreciated and won’t be the last! It certainly wasn’t easy for RR, but he did an amazing job taking care of Pookie full time while working full time. Now let’s talk about this girls vacay!
So, I flew out to San Francisco, where Igor awesomely greeted me at the airport with a delicious Havana Cappuccino from Peet’s, and then, before we knew it, we were surreally having breakfast at Mel’s Kitchen. We split the ratatouille omelette with hash browns and an order of pancakes and were on our way out of the city.
We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and stopped to take in the scenery of the city + Alcatraz + the bay and just wow. After a mini and muddy hike among the redwoods, we checked out Stinson Beach and then stopped for our first glass of wine at the adorable Due West in Olema, and then we literally did not stop consuming wine for the next 3 days. Oops!
Then we stopped in adorable Point Reyes Station (home of Cowgirl Creamery which was unfortunately closed) and then headed to, wait for it, an organic olive ranch (are we in Tuscany?!) called McEvoy Ranch. Igor wanted to get a bottle of Olio Nuovo, which is this mind-blowing organic unfiltered extra virgin olive oil. She and her fiancé D had brought us a bottle of it last year, and now they wanted one for themselves. But sadly they were sold out. Apparently, they make it right after they harvest the olives in the fall, and then once they sell out, that’s it until the next fall. Bummer! When they come visit us next month, I’ve promised a bad ass olio nuovo/ bread/ cheese/ meats etc platter to try to make up for that.
We headed to Petaluma, where Igor showed me around and we had a delicious shrimp scampi meal cooked by her man, and then we hit the hay.
We headed straight for the Calistoga Motor Lodge, where we had reserved a room and happy hour spa treatments! When we arrived, we were instantly blown away by the cute perfection of this place. But we couldn’t obsess over the details for too long because we had to go to our complimentary wine tasting (included with our hotel reservation) at Von Strasser Winery and get back in time for our spa treatments! The ladies at Von Strasser were super sweet and generous with their pours, and before we knew it, we had a pretty nice buzz on! Time for our spa treatments!
On Wednesdays from 3-6, our hotel’s spa, Moonacre Spa and Baths, has a spa happy hour that gets you 2 spa treatments for $85. So, we each had a super relaxing 25-minute massage followed by mud baths. Unlike at certain places such as Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort, where you lie in a bathtub full of mud that tons of other people have been in (eeeew!), at Moonacre Spa, we got to paint “fresh” mud onto each other and then bake in the sun, while sipping a complimentary glass of bubbly. Yes thank you! After our treatments, we relaxed in the steam room and the pool and explored the rest of the spa, which is all super lovely.
That night we had a delicious Italian meal at Bosko’s Trattoria and then called it a night!
In the morning, we hopped on the hotel’s complimentary bikes and grabbed a perfect breakfast at Café Sarafornia and then quickly got back to some wine tasting. We rode over to the funky Tank Garage Winery and tasted some of their wines in their really cool tasting room housed in a former gas station. They did not pour quite as liberally as Von Strasser did, but that was fine since it wasn’t even noon yet! Then we checked out of our hotel and headed towards Sonoma.
On the way, we stopped at the insanely gorgeous Trinchero Napa Valley Winery. Instead of doing a tasting, we each got a glass of wine and a hand-crafted chocolate and enjoyed them outside among the vines. So, um, that was paradise. But there was more paradise waiting for us, so we then made our way to beautiful biodynamic Benziger Family Winery, where we tasted some lovely wines, did a little shopping in their cute little gift section and chatted with an acquaintance of Igor’s.
Then we stopped in the adorable town of St. Helena, where we tasted some wines (go figure) at Orin Swift Cellars. We also checked out the insanely cool showroom of Erin Martin Design and then just wandered around a bit. We ate a little too much lunch and shopped around at Oakville Grocery (so lovely) and then headed to Glen Ellen. There we checked into the gorgeous Olea Hotel, where we had a fireplace in our room!
That night we walked to Glen Ellen Star, where we were told we would have one of the best meals of our life. Stupidly we weren’t that hungry. Igor ordered the beets and the green salad, which was really just a plate of greens, and I had the asparagus soup and probably one of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever had – rigatoni, black trumpets, green garlic butter, artichokes, peas, hen egg & gremolata. Woah.
Then we did sheet masks (no pictures because we looked effing scary) at the hotel and called it a day.
Olea Hotel is known for their amazing 2-course breakfasts, and they did not disappoint! We started with a house-made yogurt parfait and then an omelette with polenta, brussels sprouts and lardons AND the most amazing french toast. We hung out at the beautiful hotel for a bit afterwards and enjoyed their house-made chai, and then we checked out and went for a nice walk/ hike at Jack London State Historic Park. This gorgeous property is where author Jack London (in case you forgot since the 4th grade, that’s the guy who wrote Call of the Wild (1903) and White Fang (1906)) and his wife had lived and built a ranch and mansion that sadly burned down before they got the chance to live in it. It was nice to explore ruins of the ranch and mansion and enjoy the incredible scenery.
Back to wine! We picked up some lunch from Glen Ellen Village Market and then stopped at Imagery Estate and Winery and tasted some wine (duh) and then enjoyed a glass of wine while playing bocce ball.
Before returning to Petaluma, we stopped in the town of Sonoma and explored the super cute and Old West-y Sonoma Plaza. We had some rosé at Rancho Maria Wines‘ Tasting Lounge and then were on our way.
That night we had some yummy dinner at Igor and D’s apartment and then spent the evening playing Cards Against Humanity and drinking excellent IPA at HenHouse Brewing Company’s Petaluma Palace of Barrels.
We parted ways at the airport the next day (boo!!), and I was on my way home to see RR and Pookie (yay!), and Igor and D headed to San Diego (yay!). It’s still hard to believe all of that happened. It was really incredible to have 4 days off to relax and just do whatever the eff I wanted. It had been a while… However, I missed Pookie immensely. The second I walked in the door though I was greeted with Pookie’s biggest poopsplosion to date. RR said that he must’ve pooped a gallon of liquid poop. ALL. OVER. OUR. BED. Poor baby had the flu we found out the next day at the doctor. 🙁