Several times per year, Julie and I enjoy taking California road trips. These trips never seem to disappoint. In fact, they do quite the opposite: they inspire. They elicit awe, amazement and feelings of exhilaration. The exquisite beauty of California cannot be understated. It is a GORGEOUS state. Its beauty soothes my soul.
It is incomparable in its diversity of not only its climate, but also its landscape, topography and scale. If you haven’t dedicated a trip to seeing what California has to offer, you are missing out on one of the most exciting journeys you will ever take.
Last week was no exception. We took a driving trip up to San Francisco, to stay at our favorite hotel Cavallo Point Lodge. Located across the Golden Gate Bridge, on the Marin County side of the City, the views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the City skyline from Cavallo Point are breathtaking. And the fact that the Lodge is situated on an historic military base (Ft. Baker) adds even greater dimension to the visit. Ft. Baker was a mildly active military outpost during the Spanish-American war in the late 1800’s. It became inactive by 1905. The former military officers’ residences have been re-designed into luxurious hotel rooms, with the addition of several new Eco-friendly buildings added to create a unique experience. The Lodge is pet-friendly and is our dog’s favorite place to run free. The former parade grounds (around which the entire Lodge is encircled) is the perfect place for children and pets to romp. It’s also the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic while overlooking the bay.
Of course, most of our days in San Francisco are spent eating and drinking in the City. We either Lyft or Uber into the City in the morning, returning late in the evening to enjoy a night-cap at the Farley Bar located off the dining room at the Lodge. The rooms, services and amenities at Cavallo Point just can’t be beat.
We were fortunate enough to cross paths with one of our favorite foodies, Rodelio Aglibot, the Food Buddha at the new cult oyster bar, Leo’s. As always, we enjoyed a cocktail and wonderful conversation.
And a trip wouldn’t be a trip, without a pizza from Tony’s in North Beach.
After a few days of enjoying the City, we always enjoy driving up to Point Reyes and the City of Marshall for a visit to Hog Island Oyster. There is no better place to eat or enjoy freshly shucked oysters, a glass of sparkling wine and a cheese tray. Sitting on Drake’s Bay, where the oyster beds lie, and being surrounded by wildlife (wild deer) dancing through the sun-dappled meadow is an experience we yearn to repeat year after year and season after season. With the changing weather, comes the changing light and environment. It’s just as beautiful in Marshall during the misty winter as it is in the floral spring.
No trip to Northern California is complete without a little Napa and Sonoma visit – even if it’s only for a day. A wine-tasting or two never hurt anyone, right??
We were fortunate enough to be able to drive from Point Reyes to Sonoma in just about an hour and thirty minutes, in time to meet our friends, Mary and Francesca for a few glasses of wine. We visited on the lawn of the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn (which I do NOT recommend) until the sun dipped slightly. We were invited to visit them at their Sonoma Farmhouse, where they have 10 acres of land where they practice organic farming.
We also got some face-time with CJ, the new Labrador puppy who is center-stage at the farm.
We continued our trip at the Carneros Inn, where the evening weather was perfect for sitting outdoors and enjoying a little more wine. Dinner was quite delicious, as well.
I have to say, there is nothing better than catching up with good friends and a bottle of wine.
The highlight of our trip was on Monday, when we drove down the coast through Big Sur. If you haven’t taken that drive, you must. You absolutely MUST. It is breathtakingly beautiful and it doesn’t seem real. The coastal highway down through Monterey and Carmel, followed by Big Sur is simply indescribably beautiful.
We always stop into Nepenthe for lunch overlooking the Pacific. If the weather is clear, which it was, you’re in for a real treat.
It’s hard to imagine a more perfect spot to enjoy a meal and the stunning scenery…until you arrive at The Post Ranch Inn, that is. Thanks to the coordinated efforts of a few wonderful business associates, we were able to make a bucket-list dream come true. We stayed a night at The Post Ranch Inn.
There are not enough descriptive terms available to describe this property. Surreal is the only one that comes to mind. Because the Inn surpassed even our wildest expectations. From the moment you arrive on the property, until the moment you depart, you feel as though you have entered into another world. The service, the staff, the welcome, the room, the amenities, the food, the restaurant and the seclusion are all perfect. Period. We could not have wanted for more. It was the perfect ending to another California road trip. A big shout out to JMAK Hospitality and Coastline Travel.
Until next time…