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Travel: Emily's West Coast Adventure

I recently took a trip to the West Coast. If it weren’t for this whole V.O.C endeavour (and yes mom, my family) I quite possibly would have stayed forever. Jeff and I started in San Francisco and made our way up to Seattle with stops in Napa and Portland along the way. Trains, planes, automobiles and ferries – we literally did it all and took in every last second of it.

Ahhhh the sunsets, the ocean, the wine, the food… we could not have had more fun or indulged so much. Take a look at some of our highlights and recommendations.

San Francisco:

Bar Bocce in Sausalito:
Beer, wine, bocce and a beach – what else do you need? Take the ferry over to Sausalito (or bike across the Golden Gate!) and enjoy a glass of vino and maybe some pizza. Get your bocce game on or enjoy the peaceful beach.


The Castro:
This infamous Frisco neighbourhood is a must-see. Check out the Castro theatre and hit up some coffee shops and restaurants. This gay village is as vibrant as they get – even their dog boutiques are catered to the neighbourhood.


Fisherman’s Wharf:
A trip to San Fran isn’t complete without a stop at Fisherman’s Warf. This bustling marina is full of great restaurants, buskers, markets and out of this world takeaway fish joints. Grab some crab and take in the sights!

Napa/Sonoma:

Hog Island Oyster Farm:
If you follow HWY 1 up the coast you find yourself at Hog Island Oyster farm and you MUST stop. It’s worth the scenic drive to wine country just to check this place out. Fresh oysters shucked in front of you right out of the ocean. Picture picnic tables, local cheese, California wines and fresh oysters. I could die happy!


Beringer Winery:
Confession: I’m obsessed with buttery California chardonnays. The Beringer Private Reserve is one of my favourites, so of course we had to stop and tour the estate. The grounds were stunning and of course the wine was delicious. Other wineries we enjoyed and highly recommend visiting: Frog’s Leap, La Crema, Merryvale and Cakebread Cellars.


Hotel Yountville:
Outside of Napa there is a delightfully sweet town called Yountville where we were lucky enough to stay (think Bottega, French Laundry and Redd). After days of drinking and eating we decided to enjoy the spa and pool at our lovely hotel. Relaxing and recharging isn’t usually in our program, but a day of pampering is always a treat!


Portland:

The Ace Hotel:
What better way to experience the hipster capital of America than a stay at the Ace Hotel? The lobby was full of bearded men with guitars and tattooed babes on iMacs. Nestled in the heart of Pearl District, shopping, drinking and delicious food were literally at our fingertips.


Salt and Straw:
Anyone who knows me knows I am fully and completely addicted to ice cream. The Bang Bang of Portland, Salt and Straw did not disappoint. Apple pie ice cream? Why not!


Le Pigeon
Quite possibly the beast meal I’ve ever eaten – ok at least top 5. I took Jeff to Le Pigeon for his birthday. Baked rabbit pie with mustard ice cream (yes, mustard ICE CREAM), foie gras on toast and peeking duck breast. Literally my three favourite foods in one meal. It’s worth the trip to Portland JUST to visit this resto. Oh, and say hi to the Jake Gyllenhaal look-alike sous chef.   SCORE!

Seattle:

Bainbridge Island:
We finished the trip in Seattle for our friends’ wedding that was held on Bainbridge Island.   A 30-minute ferry ride off the coast of Seattle, this island is a pretty magical place. Think beachy Muskoka with a view of Seattle on one side and mountains on the other. Heaven!


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