Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Help Wanted - Vacation Planning

This October, my husband and I will be celebrating 11 years as husband and wife.

As a way to mark this event, we decided to take our first "Just Us" vacation in almost 7 years. Originally, we had talked about going to some tropical place in the Caribbean...and then remembered that hurricanes really like to visit that area in October. Our wedding was almost postponed because of a hurricane and our first and second anniversaries had "run ins" with the mighty wind & rain machines as well.

So, now we are planning on our first visit to California Wine Country.

The first place that comes to mind is Napa, but I'm worried that it has become "too commercialized" with one tourist trap after another. Then we talked about Sonoma Valley. Our brief online research leads us to believe that Sonoma is quaint and not going to be "wall-to-wall" with buses full of tourists.

With that being said, could I get some ideas from any of you who have been to either place? Which location has a better "non-touristy' feel? What is a "must do"? What should we not even waste our time and money on? Any and all advice is going to be greatly appreciated.


Cool Gal said...

I have been to Sonoma. Loved it. It's so beautiful and the wine is delicious.

Wine country is a great choice. Perhaps you could take a drive into SF. There is the best restaurant called "Scomas." right on the water. Best seafood in the world.

Oh, makes me want to take a trip to California for some good wine and seafood.

Hey, my business partner, Mary Corbett, is going on Fox & Friends tomorrow at 8:45 ET to promote gipperslist.com. We're thrilled about the national media attention. Tune in if you have time. :)

Tara R. said...

Congrats on the anniversary! Your trip sounds great. I'm in NW Florida so I can completely understand your aversion to hurricanes. Enjoy Cali!

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

We had our 11th in May. Can't help with the trip, we went to Biloxi for our 10th.

Lipstick said...

Happy (early) anniversary!! I've never been to Sonoma but always wanted to go...it sounds fabulous!

Midnight Madras said...

Sonoma sounds divine! We are celebrating our 15th this fall and we are planning on an adults-only trip as well. Still haven't decided. I am not interested in going abroad with the state of the world right now, which leaves the USA and the Caribbean. And we have done the Caribbean to death. Hrm.

The Mrs. said...

Happy Anniversary! Sounds wonderful! Have never been!

Haute Mama said...

Joe and I stayed at the Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa and LOVED it. Take a hot air balloon ride one morning. Our favorite wineries were V. Sattui Winery (best Riesling ever) and Francis Ford Coppola's winery (he has a house and studio [w/George Lucas] on site and memoribilia from the Godfather and other movies on display). You have to eat at Mustards Grill in Napa (you will need a reservation). Fly into Oakland or San Fran and stay a night or two in San Fran (we loved the Sir Francis Drake hotel) before driving up to wine country.

We were there pre-kids so I am sure today there are more restaurant options I'm unaware of but I think the wineries haven't changed much.

Cool Gal said...


You should head over to Tickled Pink and Green's blog and enter in our "All-American" Apple Pie giveaway.

You already registered, and posted something, so you will be entered twice.

The pie that being given away is unbelievable.

You never know!

Any anniversary plans??

Cool Gal said...

I can give you two entries. One for registering and one for posting.

If you give us a "shout out" or post a link, I can give you another one. :)

Jaina said...

I've never done the norcal wine country, so I can't weigh in on that. Temecula, however, is quite lovely. Some of the wineries have a commercial feel, but generally aren't too bad. I've never been up north to the wineries so I can't compare. I can also recommend a privately owned winery in Ramona which isn't too far from Temecula, if you decide to do the SoCal wine country. (and a couple cute ones in Julien as well) I can also give you a lot great details about the wineries and types of wine up in Temecula. I know you're going to have a beautiful trip! Oh, also, the Julien apple festival is in October and lots of fun to go to. They have THE best apple pie and apple cider...their boysenberry apple cider is amazing too!