soaking it up.

At long last, here is the final round of photos from our week-long adventure in the Golden State!
This could be my favorite set of photos too--so you're in for a treat. Our last full day in Napa
started early. We boarded vans to head to the hot air balloon launch pad at 5:30am. It had been
quite some time since I'd seen that hour...but let me tell you: it was totally worth it! Enjoy :)

After our magical ride in the Valley, we headed over to another valley, this time in Sonoma County. 
We met my very knowledgeable uncle at the Jimtown Store on the outskirts of Healdsburg, where
 we found the food perfectly yummy and the atmosphere delightful. From there, my uncle showed
us two more wonderful vineyards {Geyser Peak Winery + Francis Ford Coppola Winery}.  The 
final stop we made in Healdsburg was the tasting room for Williamson Wines. It took the wine 
tasting experience to a whole other level, with the pairing of exquisite bites and tasty sips.
If you're in Sonoma County and don't go to Williamson, you're missing out!

Once we said goodbye to my uncle, we headed back for the Napa Valley and changed in a 
parking lot {classy!} before another phenomenal dinner at The Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant
Found at the Culinary Institute of America, the Greystone set the stage for a phenomenal 
last night with the {d}s. We even had an olive oil flight! 

The final hours of that day consisted of Trivial Pursuit back in our suite, which was a perfect way 
to top off our time with {jd} and {rd}. We woke up the next morning and gathered all our wine 
{28 bottles between us--eeps!}, before checking out and heading into Napa for one last lunch.
We chose Gott's Roadside for our final bite, which is another place I'm glad we didn't miss.
I had a killer burger, full of flavor and topped with a slice of bleu cheese. {cv} made a healthier 
choice and had tuna tacos ;) I'm salivating just thinking about that lunch...sigh.

Though traffic from Napa into San Francisco almost allowed us a few more hours with the {d}s, we
said our "see you laters" to {jd} and {rd} after what can only be classified as a perfect visit. Once we
left them, we managed to catch a few final glimpses of SF with one of my oldest friends in the world, {hs}. {Oldest in longevity--not age, of course!} She moved to the city after college for a teaching job and made our last hours in the Golden State that much more wonderful. It was great to catch up with {hs} after a few years apart and see her in her element!

After a stellar week in California and more than a thousand miles on the road, we boarded our
red-eye back to New England and tried to catch a few winks. I'm already ready to go back...
though my pants may never fit again if I was to eat that much food ;)

What is one of your favorite memories from your last vacation?
{I'd have a hard time picking just one from this trip!}

Thanks again for indulging me in one last California post! I hope you'll come back by tomorrow
for another round of Friday's Fancies :) This week, I'm pulling together a lazy and hazy summer
outfit. I hope you'll join in the fun and dream up your own Fancies! Until tomorrow, xoxo {av}
if you need a break from your Thursday, rewind our roadtrip!


  1. Oh my gosh! The Hubs and I did this same thing last year..A wine country visit then off to San Fran, but you guys really took it to another level! I am so jealous of that hot air balloon ride and I am afraid of heights!! lol. But it just looked spectacular!
    Glad you had a great vacation!

    xx-keri bohemian backbone

  2. i have always wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride. i have yet to go to california but this will definitely be at the top of my list when i go.

    great pics!

  3. Gorgeous photos! The hot air balloon ride looked like a dream! xo

  4. Hot air balloon ride is on my bucket list!! So fun!

    Your pictures look gorgeous too!

  5. was the hot air balloon scary? it looks so breathtaking!
    what a great trip you had my dear! and i can't wait to see your fancies tomorrow! (i totally look forward to your pump-up email each week btw!)

  6. I'd be slightly terrified on a hot air balloon but it looks so magical- glad you had such a great trip...I'm dying to go to San Fran.

  7. Hot air balloons sound so exciting! My last vacation was going to DC with my boyfriends, and it was so much fun!

  8. A hot air balloon ride sounds soo fun!

    Glad to see you went to Gladstone while you were there--that was our biggest splurge when we visited SF/Napa on our honeymoon. I still have dreams about the food there, it was that good :)

  9. SO glad you loved the Golden State. This makes me miss home a lot! I love the hot air balloon rides over Napa, they are amazing, no?

  10. I have always, always wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride. Some floated by the other day & I could not take my eyes off of them. Absolutely dreamy!
    Love, Leigh

  11. How fun! I would love to do that someday!

  12. oh my gosh! these pictures are awesome!! I've always wanted to go on a hot air balloon!! Looks like y'all had so much fun on your trip :)

  13. AV I have loved following all your pictures from your trip! I am glad you did the hot air balloon ride, my family & I wanted to do it but ran out of time! Next time I go there, it's a must :)

    xoxo lamb loves

  14. That looks AMAZING; especially the balloon ride!

  15. It looks like hot air balloon rides are the best way to see Napa!

  16. I'm really glad you're enjoying your trip! Love the awesome pics to go with your post!

  17. Looks like sooo much fun and the best road trip ever! Love all your photos. California is the best :)

  18. Your trip was so perfect-I couldn't be happier! You're giving me a hankering for a little California road trip of my own, or at least a few days of living like a tourist in SF!

  19. The Greystone is fantastic! I took the bf there for his birthday last year and he didn't want to leave!

    Looks like you guys had a fabulous trip :)

  20. Looks like a fabulous road trip! I haven't been to northern California...and I'm looking forward to it. Thanks so much for sharing.

  21. How magical to get to go up in a hot air balloon!! I've been dreaming of doing this one day with my future prince charming!! You just got me even more excited!! ;)

  22. how fun! i've always wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride!! so jealous right now! ;) and that burger has me drooling right now too!!

    your photos are ALWAYS amazing... have a great weekend! :)

  23. that trip looks like so much fun... Cali is perfect for road trips!

  24. jealous!! looks like yall had the best time ever!! i have loved all your cali pics and posts -- literally planning a trip in my head right now. xoxo happy weekend!!

  25. p.s. i'm doing a giveaway over at my blog! be sure to check it out!

  26. Wow! That picture you took of the balloon in the air with the fields below is amazing!