So, after a fabulous 3 and a bit weeks in New Zealand we arrived feeling somewhat travel weary in San Francisco. I always think of California as a relaxed, sunny state but I have to admit that I wasn't really prepared either for the weather (cold, breezy and wet) or for the amount of people and the 24/7 noise that met us on our arrival!. A complete contrast to the tranquility we had left behind in New Zealand ...
The good news is that California, like NZ, also happens to be the home of some amazing emerging winemakers in the infamous Napa Valley ... so a quick shift of my palate was needed away from the NZ Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noirs we had been enjoying and towards the Californian Zinfandels. Surprising just how quickly I can adapt!
Despite staying in the heart of Union Square - aka shopping heaven - I have been an incredibly good girl and haven't bought a single item of clothing. I do have to admit that I did venture into Macy's and was amazed to find a whole floor dedicated to 'petites' and packed full of clothes for those not blessed with beautiful long limbs ... but my heart just wasn't in the mood for shopping. I suspect I may regret this decision when I get back to the petite-unfriendly UK especially when I go in search of new pair of trousers!
Instead, Stu and I have made the most of exploring the city. Yesterday's highlight was probably our trip to the Golden Gate Park and Bridge whilst today's was definitely the trip across the water to Alcatraz. Definitely well worth a visit, even on what was an incredibly cold and wet day. I can completely understand why those prisoners who came to stay here worked so very hard to escape - but with little success.
Feeling somewhat chilled to the bone we decided that a late lingering lunch in Fisherman's Wharf was in order and chose no.9 Fisherman's Grotto, one of the oldest restaurant's in the Wharf as our base. What a treat that was! For Stu, the local Seafood Chowder and Dunganess Crab and Sole, while for me an extravagent - and enormous - Lobster Thermador. A glass of champage followed by a local Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc proved to be the ideal match. A perfect way to end our short stay in San Francisco.
Tomorrow, we embark on the final stage of our trip - a two night stay and golf at the fabulous Pebble Beach. Very exciting! This was on Stuart's 'bucket list' and, when he suggested finishing our holiday there, I have to admit it was a very simple to say 'yes' - i decided it was best not to spend any time thinking about the cost! I have a feeling that I am going struggle my way around the incredibly challenging golf courses but I have absolutely no doubt that the views and the whole experience of playing the course and staying in this fabulous resort will make it all worth while! We shall see ...