Back in town!

Whew! Hello peeps, it’s been a while. Work has been ridiculously busy and then Luffy and I went out of town. So yeah, life’s been a bit hectic.

But last week Luffy and I took off to visit friends in California. We flew to Los Angeles first and stayed with friends, spending a few days exploring the area. And eating. And drinking. Lots of sushi and even more mimosas. It was fabulous. We visited Malibu beach in the rain (we apparently brought it with us from Texas). We visited the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens and saw some beautiful flowers (click links for my pics!). We ate at Din Tai Fung – a restaurant famous for their Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings). A cool side story is that we actually ate at their Shanghai restaurant when we were in China last year.

Luffy and I then rented a car and drove up the Pacific Coast Highway for a few breathtaking views. We were a tad bit bummed because the morning was overcast, but we still ended up with some great shots. Plus, it was pretty neat to drive up the mountain, break through the clouds, and then look out to a sea of clouds.

Pacific Coast Highway

Our overnight stop was in Cambria. We visited the Hearst Castle and did a wine tasting at a local winery. Luffy spoiled me rotten by buying me a bottle of good champagne (which, coincidentally, we had just seen a 75 year old bottle of the same champagne stored in the wine cellar at the Hearst Castle!). Then he ensured I’d have puffy eyes and sore sinuses the next day by renting Marley & Me.

We then continued on to Napa for possibly my favorite part of the trip – champagne tasting at Domaine Carneros! I’m not afraid to say I had a lot of champagne that afternoon. I might not have been the funnest person to be around later that evening (I get sort of cranky when coming down off of a champagne high). But the champagne was so good, it was worth it.

Champagne Flight - Domaine Carneros

We then stayed with a different friend in San Francisco (technically, he lives in Oakland). We brushed up on our public transit skills (another side note, I always love taking public transit whenever we’re in a city that has a good system – it just always feels so efficient!) and explored Golden Gate Park and Pier 39. Plus more excellent sushi and Chinese food.

We had a fantastic time, but now it’s back to life as usual.