In May, we took an adventurous trip up the coast of California.
For Eric, this was the first time visiting California. For me, it was the first time travelling around California outside of LA. Nonetheless, our trip started in LA with my cousins!
Lucky for us, we have a few family members in California and got to stay in some pretty incredible spots. And try some incredible food and wine.
We began our trip in Santa Monica where my cousins live. And what’s better than arriving in Cali to a BBQ full of charcoal grilled mushroom burgers and hot dogs, and copious amounts of sangria? Nothing. This was everything we needed after a flight and a few years since seeing my cousins. I’m also eternally grateful to my cousins for cooking such delicious portobello burgers, because that moment was what made me finally fall in love with mushrooms!
After this, we had a great 4 days of touring around LA, visiting the sites, eating some tasty local dishes, and getting reacquainted with my love for Trader Joe’s.
After LA, we set out driving the PCH (pacific coast highway)
towards San Fran with a few stops along the way. Our first stop was Malibu. Here, we ate fish along the ocean and sipped on a refreshing glass of Pinot Grigio. Following Malibu, we went on towards a spot I was most looking forward to- Big Sur. I’d always heard about Big Sur and that we should check out Nepenthe‘s world class views and fresh food. So we did! The food was indeed fresh, and the views were definitely some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to truly describe the views, or show them in photos, but I made an attempt to capture its entirety.
We stopped in a small town called Morro Bay for beers and lunch alongside some seals on an ocean dock. It was pretty surreal. Cambria was our overnight stop on this stretch. What a gorgeous town! It has the feel of a ski resort town like Tremblant, but nestled on the ocean with seals rather than skiers. Here, we enjoyed more seafood (because why
wouldn’t your weight in seafood while on the coast) and light, crisp unoaked Chardonnay. Finally, we made it up the coast for a stop in San Jose to see Eric’s aunt, uncle and cousins. Here, we enjoyed classic Cali BBQ again (my fave) of roasted chicken, summer style salad and grilled corn on the cob. This was all paired with Kendall Jackson 2013 Chardonnay- YUM.
Our favourite and final spot- San Francisco.
Guys, it’s true what they warn you about in the song, because I left my heart there! We were lucky enough to stay in Eric’s aunt and uncle’s condo that overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz- what a view! We took advantage of the inexpensive wine at
Trader Joe’s and beer at the World Market, as well as the comfy chairs in front of the window to really take in the view. After eating at different restaurants every day and night, we decided it was time to cook for ourselves, especially with a beautiful kitchen like this.
We started out with a bottle of the Black Mountain Vineyard 2012 Merlot from California. It was important to me that we indulge in Cali’s great wines while we were there! We cooked up some easy cheese stuffed ravioli with balsamic sautéed portobello mushrooms (remember, I’m in love now!) and a mixed greens salad. We paired this dinner with Bogle 2013 Chardonnay from California which is one of my favourites that I’ve already tried but couldn’t believe it was only $6.00 a bottle here. We then sat with our remaining Bogle and enjoyed the change in light on the Golden Gate Bridge from early evening to late evening. We also treated ourselves to a little beer tasting of different Cali brews from the World Market. We had a hard time picking these out thanks to their millions of options, but we ended up choosing the ones most to our liking. Out of everywhere I’ve been, this city has to be the most desirable to live in, however we all know it comes with a hefty and unaffordable price tag. At least I’d be saving on the wine though, right?
As tourists, we hit up all the recommended spots. The pier for fish tacos. Fisherman’s Wharf for local street seafood. Ghiradelli square for chocolate ice cream sundaes, the most crooked street in the world, then back town to the Wharf for mussels, snow crab and crisp wine at the famous Crab House at Pier 39. We got our hands messy cracking the crab and our palates satisfied on this incredible trip.
Cali, we will be back! ♥