Girls’ Weekend in Napa

by Darcie

A couple months ago, my friend Megan told me that she was going to visit our friend Cheryl who lives in Vallejo, CA (northeast of San Francisco). Cheryl used to live in San Diego but moved to Long Beach for work a couple years ago, and then to Vallejo last year to be close to her husband Joey’s family after she had their first child, a girl named Juniper.

When Cheryl lived in Long Beach, we still saw her every few months, but now that she’s moved more than a couple hours drive away, it’s been some time since we’ve seen her.

I’ve been friends with Cheryl for somewhere around 5 years, having met her through Megan. In the past couple of years, we’ve become much closer, and now I would consider her a very good friend, not just one of Megan’s friends. We’ve gotten so close that she and her husband are going to be coming to Logan’s and my wedding in Bali! It means SO much that I have friends who are excited to go on this adventure with us.

Anyway, slight tangent aside, when Megan told me she was going to visit Cheryl, I asked if I could tag along. I didn’t want to intrude if they wanted one-on-one time, but they were both happy that I wanted to come, so Megan and I booked our flights!

Day One

We flew up to Oakland on Friday morning, and Cheryl picked us up at the airport. When we first saw her, she was so excited, and I instantly knew how much it meant to her that we were there.

We headed straight for the Marin Headlands to go on a hike. We took the Alta trail which took us through these gorgeous green hills and then to sweeping views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.

marin headlands

alta trailviews from alta trailview of bridgegirls and viewThe hike was around 5 miles total. The first 10-15 minutes was straight up stairs and pretty strenuous. But after that, the rest of the hike was mostly flat with some small hills. Definitely a doable hike even for those who don’t hike regularly.

Afterwards, we drove to Chery’s house in Vallejo and hang out with Joey and Juniper. Juniper is about to turn one and is so sweet.

We went to HopMonk Tavern in Sonoma for dinner. The food was SO delicious!! We got three apps – calamari, the sausage skillet, and grilled artichoke. We all got salads for our mains, and everyone raved about theirs. Highly recommend this place.

Afterwards, Joey and baby Juniper went home, and the ladies stayed out.

We first went for drinks at Sigh which is a champagne bar. I’m not a big champagne drinker, so I opted for wine. The place was pretty noisy, so it wasn’t my fave.

But the girls enjoyed the champagne, and it was still wonderful because we were chatting about a mile a minute, and it was just so fun catching up and talking about random things.

sigh champagne barThen we went to Starling. It wasn’t packed but still busy, and the craft cocktails were delish. We were quite a few drinks in at this point, and somehow the girls thought it was be fun to tell some guys that it was my bachelorette party. I’m easily embarrassed because I don’t like a lot of attention on me, and Cheryl got a great video of one of the guys getting me a glass of champagne to toast. It was super thoughtful, and it made me feel special that they wanted to celebrate my upcoming marriage.

Girls’ weekend day 1 ended at about 2 AM. Mission Accomplished.

Day Two

Saturday was all about wine tasting. On the way to the first winery, the girls decided that I should have a full-on impromptu bachelorette party. I was a little reluctant (the attention thing and I’m having a planned bachelorette party in Mexico in August), but I decided just to go with it.

So I ended up in a tiara with a veil and a sash that said bride. It turned out to be a really fun day with lots of congratulatory wishes and a to-do list for me to accomplish.

From what I remember off the top of my head, my to-do list consisted of:

-take a photo with a dog and sent it to Logan (because he loves dogs)

-kiss a bald man’s head

-get a foreigner to buy me a drink

-get someone to sing to me

-take a photo with another bachelorette

-pretend that all of the wines tasted the same (during a tasting)

I think this was all of them…it wasn’t a super long list, but I managed, with the girls’ help, to do them all! We had a blast asking people to help us. Some were more willing than others, but overall it was super fun.

Now onto the wine tasting…

We started out at Domaine Caneros which was my favorite of the day. Save the best for…THE BEGINNING. Haha. I had the red wine sampler, which was 4 pinot noirs and I really liked all of them. Also, the view was insane. So gorgeous, best all day.

domaine canerosWe had perfect weather all weekend – low 70s and sunny. I don’t know how we got so lucky because from what I’ve heard SF weather can be fickle. I was so happy, and it was very relaxing being outside with my friends with that view. Heaven.

girls at domaine canerosThen we went to Ashes and Diamonds. This place had super cute retro decor. We felt it had a Palm Springs vibe which we loved. While we thought the wines were good, they weren’t our favorites. But I did get a picture with an adorable dog which checked off the first task on my to-do list. WORTH IT.

doggie at ashes and diamondsThen we went to Peju which we really liked. The ambiance is beautiful.

girls at pejuWe finished our tasting marathon at Mum which is mostly champagne so not my fave, and we didn’t have great service. But the view was gorgeous so that kind of made up for it.

cheryl at mummegan at mumWe headed to R + D Kitchen for dinner. We had some yummy cocktails and sushi, and I finished off my bachelorette to-do list!

I think we all passed out around 11 haha. I guess we can only party one night these days.

Day Three

Sunday involved lots of water and hugs..and maybe a few tears. Time with my friends means so much to me, and this weekend was no exception.

Growing up, I didn’t have really any close girlfriends, but that changed for the better when I moved to California (with my parents) after high school. It took some time (and joining a sorority), but I made good friends that I’m still close with today.

Good friends can be hard to come by, and I’m realizing as I get older that less is more when it comes to friends. Life seems to get busier, and it can be harder to invest fully in a bunch of friends. I’m finding that it’s important to periodically evaluate my friendships and see where I can invest more and where it might not be worth it to invest so much.

This weekend affirmed that these are two friends I definitely want to continue to invest in. I’m so grateful that I had this time with them, and I can’t wait for us all to be together again in August for my official bachelorette, and then in Bali in October!


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