Home Sweet California
Home sweet home!! After over a year we were finally on our way back to my family and home town in the east bay of northern California. I could not have been more excited. Lately I have been extremely homesick so this trip came at an important time.
Flying into SFO and seeing the Golden Gate Bridge I was ready to jump out of my seat. We landed and my parents picked us up at the airport and our week long adventure begin.
First up on the trip, we headed to our first ever MLS game for the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium. My boyfriend, Lambert, is a huge soccer (or should I say football) fan so my sister and her boyfriend, Amanda and Jeff, thought it would be fun to see a game in the states. We were excited when we walked in because the grass area around the stadium is right at field level and offers a great view of the players warming up. Plus there is a massive bar, food trucks and a DJ so the atmosphere was quite fun. I ordered Indian curry, forgetting that food in France is NEVER spiced thus my ability to handle the heat has only gotten worse, and I was only able to suffer through a few bites of my food hahaha. As the game went on, the players levels weren't what we are used to seeing, watching European soccer, but we did have a great time!
The next day we were celebrating Mother's Day, so the entire family headed out to Napa for some wine tasting. We visited Beaulieu Vineyard (BV Winery) first for a tasting, where we were not very thrilled to see that they didn’t let us clean out our glasses between wines (not even between the whites and reds), but anywayssssss then we were off to lunch and we headed to Dean and Deluca's, grabbed some sandwiches, and then enjoyed Vi Sattui and their gorgeous rose gardens and Inglenook's gorgeous fields.
Napa Valley is stunning and we were so lucky that it wasn't very crowded at all (the fact that we were celebrating Mother's Day a week early helped with that).
Another day we headed to the city, mostly because my favorite Thai food is there (shout out to Marnee Thai!). Amanda suggested we check out Land's End, which was a beautiful trail around the coast with views of the Golden Gate. There are so many gorgeous parks in San Francisco, so I am happy to have enjoyed a new one for me.
One of the most beautiful parts of California is Big Sur. We headed off on an adventure to see Big Sur. Of course our first stop had to be the famous Bixby Bridge. The entire drive on Highway 1 is truly spectacular.
Next up we drove all the way to McWay Falls. This is a spot I have never seen in person but have dreamed of seeing forever. Its so idyllic. Luckily the beach is protected so you will always get this stunning view...
After McWay Falls we had lunch at the famous Nepenthe Restaurant, which is a bit overpriced but the view makes it worth it!
After lunch we headed to Point Lobos State Reserve which I have also never been to and explore the trails. The harbor seals and their pups were everywhere, it was really fun to watch them and soak in the incredible coastal views while we wandered the trails.
From there we headed into central Carmel, enjoyed the stunning Carmel Ocean Beach and stayed the night at the cozy Fireplace Inn, which really did have a fireplace in the room (so cozy!), so yes I would definitely recommend, and then the next morning my parents joined us in Carmel.
After walking around Carmel that morning, we headed off to Monterey has always been one of my favorite places. One of my favorite things in the world is seeing the sea otters splash around in the water. You can't beat these soft sandy beaches!
We had such a fantastic trip and it was so hard to leave my family again. I didn't take my camera everywhere with us so there were lots of great moments not captured. We also visited my grandma, did some shopping, enjoyed a couple hikes with my parents around my home town, and snuggled my pets. All the little things I miss now living in Paris. I also got to eat all the delicious foods I had been missing (shout out to tacos, Trader Jos, Whole Foods, American Chinese food, and more hahah) --would you believe we packed 5lbs of crunchy peanut butter in our suitcase to bring back LOL. And of course a big thanks to my family for making our week at home so wonderful.