Wine Country Trip – I

September 3, 2014

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You may have gotten wine wind that we were in Sonoma last week! We spent our honeymoon in Sonoma in 2007 and came back for an anniversary trip in 2010. Matt and I have been planning a return trip for 2 years and 9 months. We always hoped that when Mazen was old enough to stay with his grandparents (and when they were willing to care for him for a solid 5 days!) we would plan a trip back. This long weekend in wine country may have been our best yet!

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This visit was sweetened by the company of Larbs and Matt, who had never spent more than a day in Sonoma before. We rented this house in the town of Sonoma that was cute as can be and was a great home base for our trip. The house had 2 masters, a great kitchen, bikes, a hot tub and was walking distance from the Sonoma Plaza. We would definitely rent it again! It was recently renovated and the décor was gorgeous.

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We said goodbye to Mazen on Wednesday night and flew out at the crack of dawn on Thursday. We arrived in California at 10:30am, and after getting our rental car, headed up the coast.

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Our first stop was lunch at Scoma’s in Sausalito.

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We jumped right into vacation mode and ordered a bottle of Matanzas Creek Chard – a winery I visited on a previous trip!

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We enjoyed these coconut Thai mussels – broth and all!

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And I had a blackened fish sandwich and some fries on the side.

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Our first stop was halfway to Sonoma – Lagunitas Brewery! Matt’s idea of heaven!

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Matt brought a bottle of his home-brewed Brown Shugga to share with the staff.

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They may have just been being nice, but in my opinion they were really impressed! Most said it was a near-perfect clone.

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Matt and other Matt did a tasting flight. Larbs was the DD, and I just had a few sips.

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We checked into our house and ended up taking the bikes just a few blocks away to Sebastaini before the wineries closed for the day.

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Let the swirling begin!

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Here’s a tip if you’re planning a trip: Matt and I had plans to join 1 or 2 wine clubs while we were here. Sebastiani is part of Foley Family wines, and by joining their club we got free tastings at Sebastiani, Chalk Hill, and Roth (you’ll see those tomorrow) plus 10-20% off of any wine we bought and 10% off dinner at Chalkboard. We calculated joining saved us more than $200 – and we loved the wines we tasted at all 3 places! (Plus there were more if you had more time.)

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We paid Whole Foods a visit and stocked up on breakfast supplies and hydration necessities.

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And after unpacking, we dressed up and headed to dinner!

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Our dinner spot? The Girl and the Fig of course! Sadly they have changed the sign so my traditional headshot wasn’t be the same : (

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I ordered a wine flight – juicy!

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Others got cocktails

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To start we shared a cheese platter and a fig plate – both were packed with fresh California local goodness.

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My entrée was incredible – a flounder with a caper butter sauce with spinach and whipped potatoes.

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And finally, we shared two desserts – a strawberry short cake and a chocolate toffee goblet

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Needless to say we were full and happy when we left!!

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We headed home to hit the hot tub and get ourselves on West Coast time before our first full day. See you tomorrow!

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shel@PeachyPalate September 3, 2014 at 6:32 am

What a trip!!! As always the food looks incredible! Just tried mussels for the first time in about 15 years yesterday and love them! Must make a Thai coconut version!

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2 Leah (goodnight, cheese) September 3, 2014 at 6:42 am

Looks like a nice vacation spot. Was it hard to leave Mazen behind for so long?

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3 KathEats September 3, 2014 at 6:45 am

Yes very

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4 Kaila @healthyhelperblog! September 3, 2014 at 7:12 am

WOW Sonoma is GORGEOUS!! And so is that house you rented! I am not a wine drinker, but I would love to visit there just for the gorgeous views, scenery, and good eats!!

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5 Jemma September 3, 2014 at 7:28 am

Great pics kath! Looks like a fun time! Was this a sponsored trip or did you just go on your own free will?

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6 KathEats September 3, 2014 at 7:35 am

Nothing was sponsored

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7 Sam September 8, 2014 at 7:36 pm

Does it matter if it was a sponsored trip? What is your point in asking that?

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8 Caroline September 3, 2014 at 8:21 am

Woo, you take more trips than any person I’ve ever heard of. It must be nice. :)

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9 Julia September 3, 2014 at 8:28 am

Those mussels look good!

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10 Kate September 3, 2014 at 9:02 am

I am an east coaster who traveled to California in January to visit family. We went to Scoma’s in San Francisco and it was an incredible meal! We’re heading back next June and will have to check out some of these places. Looks like an incredible trip! Didn’t you just love Sausalito?

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11 Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) September 3, 2014 at 9:04 am

I’m so excited to read more! I’ve loved your past posts from when you visited. That’s so funny Matt brought his brown shugga clone to Lagunitas! The house you guys rented looks amazing! I just had my first bottle of Sebastiani Cab recently and I liked it. You guys definitely do it all when you’re out here!

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12 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh September 3, 2014 at 9:07 am

We were in Carmel and San Francisco for 2 weeks back in May and I just said this morning how much I miss it. We drove to Napa for a day instead of staying there but I got some cool French tins from an antique store as a momento. That whole area is so beautiful. I hope your meal at Scoma’s was better than ours. Can’t wait to see more of your trip!

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13 Erin September 3, 2014 at 9:19 am

Can’t wait for more details. My husband and I are headed to Sonoma in 3 weeks for our 10th wedding anniversary!

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14 Maureen September 3, 2014 at 9:27 am

How fun! I had a blast following you IG feed….I live in California & am a huge CA wine lover!

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15 Jeri September 3, 2014 at 9:34 am

So many things to say!

1) I love the dress you wore to dinner. Who is it by? So timeless and classy

2) Sad face, the birds ate ALL the figs off my fig tree before I had a chance to pick even one.

3)Have you guys ever gone to Parkway Brewery in the Salem/Roanoke area? I went last Friday (after I picked up my bread) and had an awesome time. Had two different brews including my new favorite Get Bent.

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16 KathEats September 3, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Thanks Stitch Fix!

Bummer.

And nope!

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17 Kelly Haag September 3, 2014 at 9:41 am

Aahhh! This post could not be more perfectly time! I’m headed to Sonoma next week with my best friends and am sending this their way for some inspiration! Looks like you had a great time.

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18 Hannah @ eat, drink, and save money September 3, 2014 at 10:04 am

Looks like tons of fun! Sonoma is on my must travel list. I’m taking notes of all the places we need to visit.

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19 beth September 3, 2014 at 10:18 am

Those are great wineries for the wine club, I love Chalk Hill! And that house is gorgeous! I love having a kitchen and all that space when vacationing.

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20 Laura @SheEatsWell September 3, 2014 at 10:48 am

You were in my backyard this past weekend! I drank some Sebastiani wine too. I still haven’t been to The Girl and the Fig, but have wanted to go. Looks like it is worth all the hype!

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21 Mom September 3, 2014 at 10:57 am

So fun to see what you were doing while we were playing school bus, jump, train, poof, bus (again), run, run, run, whee!, bus (again) , Big Frank and the race car, police car, fire truck, bus (again) and of course, reading lots of books (but Maze picks the books, that I know for sure now).

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22 KathEats September 3, 2014 at 11:27 am

Haha!

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23 jill September 3, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Love that Mazen is so happy with his grandparents! We took our 6 year old on a road trip this summer, leaving his 18 month old brother with my in-laws for six days. I don’t think he missed us at all – he was having such a good time! We did Facetime with them, and he was delighted to see us, but then rushed off to play with Grampy. We definitely found it hard to be away from him from so long, but there were several times on the trip when we thought “little dude would NOT enjoy this, good thing he’s partying it up at home with Gram and Gramps.”

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24 Amanda September 3, 2014 at 11:12 am

I’m having so much fun reading your recap, as my husband and I went to Sonoma for 2 nights last September following a wedding in San Francisco. We rented a convertible and stayed at the Best Western right across from the Whole Foods. Spent one day with me as the DD doing mostly beers (Lagunitas and Russian River) and one doing wines in Healdsburg (La Crema was the highlight!) and enjoyed such wonderful food, including The Girl and the Fig! Love the idea of renting a house and we so hope to return someday in the near future!! Funny – I recognize the man with the beard from the Lagunitas tour – he was entertaining!

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25 JenP September 3, 2014 at 11:18 am

Funny. I was in Sonoma Wed-Sun! And ate at Girl and the Fig Saturday night (that toffee dessert was SO GOOD!). We stayed at the Inn at Sonoma, which was lovely.

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26 KathEats September 3, 2014 at 12:49 pm

No way! We were just a few blocks away. We stayed there on our honeymoon and loved it.

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27 Emily @ Life on Food September 3, 2014 at 11:31 am

Last time I was there I couldn’t get into the Girl and the Fig. So sad!

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28 Theresa September 3, 2014 at 12:09 pm

You just missed the earthquake :) I live in San Francisco, and love going up to wine country for the day! There are so many gems! That’s awesome the staff was so excited about Matt’s brew at Lagunitas, that is one of my favorite breweries! I love the Little Sumpin’ Wild is so good, have you tried it? What a great vacation, can’t wait for the next post!

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29 Theresa September 3, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Also, I forgot to mention I grew up going to Scoma’s (mostly the one in SF) but I love that place. Great seafood and mostly, just a really nostalgic place for me. <3 The views at the Sausalito location are amazing, and it looks like you had perfect weather, too!

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30 CL September 3, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Where did you find the house rental?

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31 KathEats September 3, 2014 at 1:57 pm

VBRO

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32 Elizabeth September 3, 2014 at 2:31 pm

I think she means VRBO, or Vacation Rentals by Owner. :)

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33 KathEats September 3, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Sorry sorry yes! Thanks!

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34 Kathleen September 3, 2014 at 1:34 pm

This whole trip seems amazing, can’t wait to read more!

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35 Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health September 3, 2014 at 1:51 pm

I’ve been dying to check out The Girl and the Fig so I’m drooling over your dinner! The trip looks like it was perfect so far. I can’t wait to see what else was on the agenda!

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36 Tammy September 3, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Looks like such an amazing vacation! I would love to try those coconut mussels, they look amazing! Thank you for sharing you piece of paradise :-)

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37 Dana P. September 3, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Visiting wine country is a dream trip for me! Everything looks so delicious. We just joined a new (to us) local wine club and I’m really excited about it. Doesn’t wine just make everything better. :)

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38 Jeanie September 3, 2014 at 5:08 pm

So you were in my neck of the woods. Kinda. I live in Sacramento, and my daughter lives in San Francisco. Love Scoma’s, but I think it’s a little overpriced.

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39 Rosie September 4, 2014 at 6:46 am

I’m in Sacramento too! :)

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40 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs September 3, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Sounds like a great start to your trip! I would LOVE to visit Sonoma — some day! :)

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41 The Many Thoughts of a Reader September 3, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Jealous!

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42 Laura P September 3, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Love Scomas! We live about 2 1/2 hours from Sonoma but haven’t been there in ages. Your pictures make me want to go visit soon!

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43 robin September 4, 2014 at 5:04 am

Glad to see all the fun you are having, I am surprised you need all those drinks for hydration though. I would’ve thought youre more of a water person.

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44 KathEats September 4, 2014 at 6:56 am

I just had the coconut water. The other family members got the rest.

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45 Lindsey @ SimplyLindsey September 4, 2014 at 6:17 am

Wow- the food and wine look incredible!! My husband and I are visiting his family in San Francisco over Christmas, and are planning a short trip to “wine country” while we are there. Can’t wait! :)

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46 Rosie September 4, 2014 at 6:46 am

We are members of Foley as well! Great wines and if you ever make it down to Santa Barbara, the other family wines in their portfolio Lincourt and Foley are located in the area and are also excellent.

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47 Alex @ True Femme September 4, 2014 at 10:02 am

How fun! That house you rented looks gorgeous and I love that black dress!

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48 Lindsay September 7, 2014 at 11:13 pm

I am hungry hungry HUNGRY from reading this! And off to get myself some grape…juice, being prego. BUT I love California and glad you had a return trip there, how romantic and fun!

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49 Marcia September 12, 2014 at 8:51 pm

That’s a great tip on the Foley family wine. We haven’t been to Sonoma in ages. We are members of a winery here in Santa Barbara that is a Foley family winery. If we make it back we will keep that in mind!

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