This past June, my husband David and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. That feels like a big deal to me in a lot of ways but the first year really did fly by quickly since we had so much going on and adjustment like crazy.
We got married at a golf club in La Mirada, California and honeymooned up the coast of California which means we had lots of good food and fun and I took hardly any pictures of it because our focus was on having fun. Stories to tell but few pictures to tell it with and I’m very okay with that…except maybe for the purpose of blogging. You’ll find a few throughout this post that mostly tell our story.
The wedding day was beautiful and the setting was about as wonderful as I could have hoped for on the budget we had. We ate good food and danced the night away with friends and family. I can remember all the details of the day from getting up and ready in the morning to getting my hair and make up done in the mirrored bar area in the club house, walking down the aisle to my hubby, our vows, our kiss, our photos, our first dance and so many other special moments that day held. So many people say it goes so fast and they don’t remember it and I don’t know how that can be! I couldn’t help but slow myself down and just savor each moment. I guess it helped having a wedding coordinator to just download all our details into so we could just be guests at our wedding instead of the ones running it. Highly recommend doing that!
Our Honeymoon had 3 different stops. We started in Riverside at the historic Mission Inn which was a gorgeous place to stay and wonderful place to eat! They have a few restaurants on site that we enjoyed, but the highlight of our dining experience was hands down, their Sunday Brunch at one of their restaurants.
It was so delicious! Their website has quite a few pictures and videos to tantalize your tastebuds. It’s pricy at $44 a person but worth it if you’re in an indulging mood, like we were! It’s bottomless mimosas if that helps with the price! Sadly we were leaving that day and I was on driving duty which means I only indulged in 2. *sigh*…one of these days I’ll go back and take them up on that bottomless offer!
Our next stop was Cambria where we stayed at the Little Sur Inn near Moonstone Beach boardwalk. It was so fun to be that close to the boardwalk that stretched out across the top of the cliffs along the beach.
We got up early a couple mornings to walk it and enjoy the morning air and quiet beach and then there were benches posted along the walk that were perfect for sunset views in the evening or intimate conversations in the morning. The whole of Cambria is very lazy and not very busy which lends for a relaxing visit if you’re looking for a quiet weekend or Honeymoon getaway. Great food is to be found at just about every place you go and wine or beer tasting in Paso Robles is not very far if you want to venture out of the city.
We pretty much ventured out for some wine, beer and honey tasting and stayed in the city, walking around and enjoying some of the artsy shops and restaurants along with a massage we booked at Sojourn Spa on the property of the Cambria Pine Lodge. A funny little place but it ended up being a sweet and relaxing part of our time in Cambria. If you’re staying in town or passing through, I highly recommend stopping at Linn’s Restaurant. This local restaurant is known for their Olallieberry jam and pies. Super good food and pies and pretty much anything you order you’ll enjoy. Even their bread basket is delicious!
We traveled next to the San Francisco Bay area and stayed north of the city in Petaluma to save some money. One of my college roommates was from Petaluma which is the first time I’ve ever heard of the city. When I was roadtripping up the coast with my friend Abby a few years ago I remember driving through Petaluma and seeing the downtown area which made me want to stop for more than just gas because it looked like it had good shopping and restaurants the way all downtown areas do!
So, when David and I were planning our Honeymoon and saw how expensive it was to stay in San Francisco I remembered Petaluma and we found a cute little place to stay. Suiteoak Estates has a bed and breakfast feel, but you can find the place on most travel sites if you’re looking for a hotel to stay at in the area. They don’t offer breakfast but you have a kitchenette and lots of goodies in the fridge and outside that just come with your stay. The decor is adorable and it felt very homy and cozy. If you’re looking for a good place to stay outside of San Francisco or Sonoma/Napa Valley this is a great place to make your home while you’re away. The owners were great for recommendations for restaurants, wineries, and shopping if and when you needed suggestions. I wasn’t sure if would feel like we were staying with a stranger or more of a hotel, but they really leave you to yourselves and say Hi and Bye when you’re coming and going if you happen to cross paths. Neighborly, not nosy and that’s good for the trip we were on :)
While up in the area we went to San Francisco and Sonoma and had a lot of fun being tourists and winos and food snobs each day :)
The day we went to Sonoma Valley we ended up stopping at a winery my best friend and I visited once in college.
Gloria Ferrer winery is beautiful and the tasting room sits above the vineyard. I remember the first time we went it was pretty and in the quite morning we saw the hot air balloons in the distance. The whole scene kind of burned itself into my memory and told David I really wanted to go back since we were in the area. That memory was over 10 years ago and they’ve done a lot since then to improve the tasting experince. Their tasting room and patio are beautifully updated places to enjoy tasting their champagnes or snacks. We ended up getting a bottle we enjoyed from our flight and vowed to save it for our first anniversary. We did indeed save it in the refrigerator until then…however, with me being pregnant I couldn’t really enjoy it with David until after we brought Ellie home. I wasn’t breastfeeding so I was in the clear! And it was as yummy as we remembered :)
Our favorite day up in the bay area was in downtown Sonoma. We wanted to be responsible drinking and driving up there and it’s really tough to do that when there’s just 2 of you and you both want to enjoy yourselves.
Downtown Sonoma was the answer because there were a ton of tasting rooms right there in the square that we could walk to. We even took a break halfway through the day and to see a movie in their old theater before continuing our walking wine tasting tour.
By the time we made it back to our car, we had let enough time pass that we felt ready to drive to dinner and our hotel.
I would love to do that again because it was such an easy way to enjoy a number of wineries in a short amount of time. I know nothing really beats going to the actual wineries because they are so pretty, but if you’re stuck like us with not enough funds to hire a driver, this is the way to go!
Well…that’s sort of it for our wedding and honeymoon adventures in a nutshell with plenty left out to keep this post from being a novel. Wish we could do that trip again, but I think of how much fun it will be to do with kids one day too…maybe minus the wine tasting :)