San Fran, Napa, and Yosemite

Are you caught up on my wedding recaps?

Hotel Wedding Welcome Bags

Wedding Registry Must Haves

Wedding Recap: part 1

Wedding Recap: part 2


If so, then you are ready to follow our journey from San Francisco to Napa, and then to Yosemite!

Here’s how we did it: We flew into San Francisco, rented a car, and spent the night and the following day exploring the city. We woke up the following day and left to Napa (about an hour and a half drive), where we spent a few days relaxing, and then were off to Yosemite (about a 3 hour drive) for a few days! After Yosemite we drove back to San Francisco (about a 3 hour drive), got a bite to eat, then were off on a red eye home! We loved how our plan played out, and didn’t find it was too much driving or anything like that!

SAN FRANCISCO:

We opted for a boutique hotel right in the center of Union Square, the Serrano hotel. We had a beautiful room and it was a great location to explore the city!

Serrano Hotel, San Francisco

Our favorite lunch in San Fran had to be MKT in the Four Seasons Hotel. The service, the cocktails, and the food were outstanding!

MKT Four Seasons, San Francisco

Other eats & drinks in San Francisco:

We went to Red Room for a cocktail.

We grabbed a Sushirrito (or 3) for a snack – straight from the airport no less.

We dined at Kusakabe for an Omakase sushi meal.

San Francisco Eats & Drinks

On our way to Napa, we stopped at to see and explore the Muir Woods. It was quite touristy, but a great walk and amazing to see the scale of those trees! Plus, it was on the way!

Red Woods, San Francisco

NAPA:

We arrived in St. Helena and headed to our hotel, Wine Country Inn. We were brought to our private cottage with the most spectacular view. Everything about Wine Country Inn was so fabulous. It was quiet and quaint, with a happy hour wine tastings and homemade hors d’oeuvres each night. The staff was so friendly, helpful and accommodating. I highly recommend getting a private cottage there. The cottages are incredible! As a whole, WCI had this lovely luxury bed and breakfast feel and in a great location.

When we arrived, we were so thrilled to be out of the city. Not that we didn’t love our time in San Fran, but the wedding weekend was exhausting and relaxation was in order! Our cottage was so gorgeous that we cancelled our winery tour for that afternoon and just relaxed at WCI!

Wine Country Inn St. Helena

^Our balcony at Wine Country Inn. Stunning.

Our first dinner we had an incredible meal on the patio at Auberge du Soleil. Auberge isn’t cheap, so do keep that in mind, but it’s truly fabulous. They also have a brunch if you’re looking to go but to make it more reasonable.

The next day we ventured to Del Dotto Vineyard which was so much fun. The wine tasting is in their wine cave and it was a blast. We purchased and shipped some special bottles home and have been loving them!

Del Dotto Vinyard

I think our favorite dinner in Napa was at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch. Everything, from the vibes to the appetizers, mains, and desserts were incredible! Farmstead is at the top of my list for Napa restaurants for sure. Plus, the prices are super reasonable!

Long Meadow Ranch Napa

^Mike might kill me for adding that last shot in there 😉

Napa Eats

Other Napa Eats:

Gott’s Roadside for a delicious bite after the Vineyard

An awesome gluten-Free Sandwich with Special Sauce (a must) from Giugni’s Deli 

Animal-style In-n-Out Burger on lettuce buns (on the way to Yosemite) – we thought this was a California must-try.

YOSEMITE

We arrived at Yosemite and checked into Half Dome Village, which is camping-style, without having to bring your own tent/equipment. “Glamping” if you will. The tents are already there, with heat and beds. There are communal showers and it is definitely camping, but not as rustic. It reminded us a lot of sleep away camp.

Wasn’t expecting: to have put my things, even toothpaste in a BEAR BOX.

Pleasant surprise: The bar at the camp ground was so much fun and had great Margaritas!

Make sure you: bring shower shoes!

You can’t: make your own campfires or cook your own food.

 

No filter. Not kidding!

We made it in time to see the sunset at Glacier Point looking out onto Half Dome. I literally have never seen anything so stunning. It looked like a picture!

The next day we hiked all day and ended our long day with Margaritas at the camp ground bar which surprisingly had great drinks– and a great bartender! 

For the majority of our time at Yosemite, we ate on our camp ground, but we did one nice dinner at the Majestic Hotel that was unbelievable! Note: you need a reservation ahead of time!

That meal was SO GOOD.

Yosemite Glacier Point

We ventured back to San Francisco, spent some time there, then off we were to go home!

If you have any questions about our trip, feel free to leave them below and I’ll answer them!

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post. I did receive a few complimentary meals and hotel stays throughout the trip. All thoughts and opinions are 100% always my own.

Our Wedding Recap: Part 2

A WHILE BACK (and I mean a while back…), I shared a few posts about our wedding.

I shared:

Our Wedding Hotel Welcome Bags

Wedding Recap: Part 1

and my Wedding Registry Must-Haves (budget and higher end).

Then, time got the best of me, and I somehow never got around to posting part 2, and 3 (our mini-moon! So here it goes, my friends! Let’s start with the rest of the special night, first- Our Wedding Recap: Part 2.

The Ceremony:

Once we got ready, it was time to line up and GET MARRIED. Our ceremony was so special to us. From the chuppah and the flowers, to everyone we love being there, and the words spoken, it was a magical moment in time!

Our Wedding Recap: Part 2

But first, selfies, obviously!

Our Wedding Recap: Part 2

Ready to walk down the aisle with both my mom and dad!

Our Wedding Recap: Part 2

You can’t see it, but the sky was so gorgeous behind us during the wedding. The light shined through in the most beautiful way, it was truly perfect.

Our Wedding Recap: Part 2

Our Wedding Recap: Part 2

The most special moment.

Our Wedding Recap: Part 2

How cute are these two? Ready to party!

The Party:

The sun set, and it was time to get the party started!

Our Wedding Recap: Part 2

Our Wedding Recap: Part 2

Our Wedding Recap: Part 2

Our Wedding Recap: Part 2

Our Wedding Recap: Part 2

Details:

All of our signs, seating cards, and table signs were made by the fabulous Jen from Love Always, Me.

Our Wedding Recap: Part 2

Our late night food game was on point. Aside from our cake, which was 4 different flavors, plus a gluten-free & dairy-free cake, we also had passed desserts, like CHURROS. No, they were not healthy or gluten-free, but we did have that gluten-free and dairy-free cake! We also had a late night french fry bar with tator tots, waffle fries, shoestring fries, and sweet potato fries, and all the dipping sauces! This was a late-night highlight, for sure! Everyone loved it!

Our Wedding Recap: Part 2


Venue: Spring Valley Country Club (Sharon, MA)

Dress: Kenneth Pool from Vow’s in Watertown, MA

Shoes: Jimmy Choo

Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff in Pewter

Florist: O Luxe Designs

Make Up: Dress My Eyes by Steph Agha

Hair: La Boutique in Newton, MA

Signage: Love Always, Me from Easy

Photography: B-Freed Photography

Dance Lessons: Boston Ballroom, in Newton, MA (Marisa and Peter are amazing)

Veil: Custom from Bridal Alternations by Anaheit in Newton, MA


 

Up next: San Fran, Napa, and Yosemite!

Wedding Hotel Welcome Bags

Hi from our mini-honeymoon! Our wedding weekend is over and it truly was the absolute best weekend of our lives surrounded by and family and friends (who are like family). What a whirlwind! You all weren’t kidding when you said it FLIES by. I cannot wait to recap all of the details for you, but let’s start with the first recap, our welcome bags for our guests at the hotel! 

Our Wedding

Here’s a little glimpse of our day thanks to B-Freed Weddings!


 I am so excited to share with you details from our wedding weekend, and to start, I thought I’d show you what went into our hotel welcome bags! Often wedding bags are made up of some snacks and things, so rather than buying junky items, I wanted to compile some of my absolute favorite goodies for our friends and family who came into town.

Wedding Hotel Welcome Bags

Wedding Hotel Welcome Bags

What’s inside: 

  1. Wedding Map: My amazingly talented friend Jen, from Love Always Cards made our wedding map with highlights from where we met, to our year long distance, then our first apartment, and our home. She also added our welcome dinner, our wedding venue, and our farewell brunch! I am SO in love with this special touch. It makes such a cute framed item for the house, too!

  2. RXbars: I’ve talked about RXbars a TON on my social and blog, and knew they’d be a must in our welcome bags!

  3. Jackson’s Honest Chips: A salty snack needed to make it’s appearance in our welcome bags, and everyone loves a good chip! This is my absolute favorite brand. Ingredients? Potatoes, Coconut Oil, and Sea Salt! No junky oils here, and so beyond delicious. 

  4. Wine Wipes: I heard about these recently and just thought it was SUCH a cute and  fun idea. You know when your teeth get stained from red wine? No more with wine wipes! I know I’ll be keeping these in my purse from now on.

  5. VerMintsEver since I picked up a package of VerMints at my local Whole Foods Market, I’ve been hooked. I always have them with me. I used to avoid any types of mints because they’re so obviously filled with added junk. Not these! 

  6. Eating Evolved Chocolates: Coconut butter cups in flavors like mint and caramel. So. Good. I wanted some sort of chocolate-y goodness, and love my friends over at Eating Evolved and their chocolates (they’re from Long Island- where I grew up, too)!

  7. Simply GumGum has been another one on my ‘not worth it’ list. Added junk, sugars, and chemicals are not my thing! I love Simply Gum because it’s made with real, good ingredients, and lasts just like conventional gum!

  8. Drink Maple WaterWhen the hangover hits, electrolytes and hydrating are a necessity. Instead of traditional bottles of water, I opted for bottles of  Drink Maple. It’s a delicious alternative to traditional water that is naturally hydrating, with just a hint of maple, and is packed with nutrients. Plus, they’re local to me– in Massachusetts!

  9. Advil PacketsFor the hangover 😉

  10. The Bags // The Labels // Ribbon: Pure Color Expressions in Champagne from AC Moore.

Wedding Hotel Welcome Bags

P.S. I wasn’t paid to write this post, I was however provided some product, excluding the Advil packets. I simply wanted to share some of my favorite brands with our family, friends, and all of you!


GIVEAWAY

I’m giving away one of our bags of goodies to a reader! Simply comment below and I will pick a winner at random and mail you all the goodies!

US only. Winner will be picked 9/2/2016 at 12pm EST and shipped their package.

Our Backyard Engagement Party

I am so excited to start sharing some details of our wedding planning with all of you wonderful people! The first post of the wedding planning series has to be our recent backyard engagement party! We added tons of DIY fun details that I am just so in love with.

party

So, the day: We had 75 of our closest friends and family at our house! We totally lucked out with the weather. I think I checked the weather.com app every 20 minutes for two weeks, but PHEW it was perfect- and not too hot! The day/night was filled with food, cocktails, laughter, new & old friends meeting, and so much more. It was just the best. I’m now even more excited for our wedding next summer, since so many people met and got to know each other!

party1

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We went back and forth about what to do catering for a few months (I decided me cooking was out- since I wanted to enjoy the party and would have so much to do prior already), and then Mike and I stopped into this little Mediterranean cafe when visiting Nashua New Hampshire and and fell in love with the food. We asked them if they’d deliver to Boston and they happily agreed!

We thought it would be the perfect food for an outdoor backyard party, a little more than the traditional BBQ, but still perfect for the summer weather. We had chicken, beef, lamb, grilled veggies, rice, salads, stuffed grape leaves, fresh pita, hummus, spinach squares, falafel, sauces, veggies, and more!

And now we can’t forget to mention the bar! On the table was my homemade sangria (recipe coming soon), boozy lemonade, pineapple-infused vodka, beer, wine, and mixed drinks!

PARTY3

Mmmmm, the cake! Last year for Mike’s birthday Lynn made his cake and NOBODY knew it was gluten-free & dairy-free (unless we told them ;)). We asked her to make the cake again for the party and I couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out. It was EXACTLY what we wanted! I ordered this cake topper, accented myself with the flowers, and there you have it!  

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I knew I wanted some little fun element to the party so of course had to bring LCK into the mix! Our Instagram cut-out & props were an absolute hit. I loved watching everyone have fun and get silly with it!

party5

Now you’re likely thinking… what about THOSE SIGNS!!!!! The amazingly talented Jen, from Love Always Cards, made all the signs around the yard! From food & drink signs, to a large save the date sign hung in the tree; all of her signs added such an awesome touch to the yard. I highly recommend them and love how you can customize them however you want!

party4

The final touch to the backyard party- Honey Jar Gifts! I am so excited that my favorite olive oil company, Kasandrinos, will be bringing honey to their website this Fall! All of our family & friends went home with some amazing, fresh, local honey from this family run business and they were just the cutest ever! 

party2

We threw some labels on them, tied the honey sticks with a burlap string and wa-la! Honey sign from Jen, of course!

Abigail from Abigail Kuzia Photography spent a few hours with us and these are ALL of her amazing photographs. She captured so many awesome moments and all of the details! She was super sweet, fun, and a pleasure to work with!


Details:

The Food: Mediterranean, Cedar’s Cafe

The Cake: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Marble Cake, Creative Cakes by Lynn

The Cake Topper: All Things Angela, Etsy

Honey Jar Gifts: Kasandrinos International

Instagram Cut-Out: Social Cut-Outs, Etsy

Props: Oriental Trading Company (one, two, three)

Signs: Love Always Cards, Etsy

Custom Napkins: Gracious Bridal, Etsy

Photographer: Abigail Kuzia Photography

Romper: Nordstrom 

Beverage Dispensers: Amazon

Globe Lights: Amazon

Chalk Board Sign: Save On Crafts

Bar Caddy: Amazon


 

party6

A whole ‘lotta laughs!


 Photographs © Abigail Kuzia Photography.

 What is your best wedding planning advice?!