#Stepho60 in Northern California

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I'm writing this Monday evening, post red-eye back from California, post full day at work, post fabulous fabulous fabulous weekend celebrating my mother Stephanie.

I'm super tired, but in the way that it was so worth it.

My Mommy, or Stepho according to many, turned 60 this past weekend and to celebrate sissy and I whisked her away to Northern California for a long weekend trip.

We hit up Sonoma, Napa Valley, Yountville, Sausalito and San Francisco. We hit up quite a few wineries, restaurants and shops too. It was your stereotypical girls trip filled with driving up the coast, fun, sun, a little bit of arguing (because that's what we do best), laughs and about ten pounds gained.

I probably took about 273 photos and videos but the following accurately take you through the journey that was #Stepho60.

Happy birthday, Mom. I hope your 60th year is your best yet! xoxo

First stop, Sonoma. Home to a picturesque and quaint downtown and the girl & the fig - a DELICIOUS (zomg the chicken liver) start to our trip. I mean, they had Barbie and Ken(?) guiding the way to the restroom.

Next stop, Yountville. A beautiful, swanky and place I want to move to town where we kicked off our start at the North Block Hotel with a massage for us all. The hotel grounds were amazing as was the service. A short walk to Bottega, Chef Michael Chiarello Napa Valley mainstay got us buzzed on cocktails and filled with unique and fulfilling food. This trip was off to a great start - jet lag be damned!

We spent our morning in Yountville at the famous Bouchon Bakery where we ordered pretty much one of everything and the quiche ruined all other quiches moving forward for me.

By now you guys know my love of bubbles, so naturally our first winery was Domaine Chandon.

Next stop, Darioush Winery - FANCY pants here, delicious wine and $550 candles ;). We got back to normal for a second with PlumpJack Winery before we went right back to the ritzy vineyards.

Opus One Winery needs no introduction in wine circles - it's world renowned and such a treat. We took a grand tour at this stop and learned all about the history and the process of making Opus One - it's a big deal! Also, please note the sky in the top left photo, it looks fake, right? So beautiful in Napa Valley.

With the wine tasting time winding down we headed to Rutherford Grill where I had the best french dip sandwich in the universe before getting on the road to San Francisco. After a bit of unexpected traffic we finally got to the W San Francisco  and passed the eff out. We had grand plans of dinner reservations but after a day of vineyards and driving the jet lag did catch up with us.

Not to fear though, we had a fun day planned for the morning.

On Saturday we played locals with our friends Gil and Kyle who moved from CLE to SFO about six years ago and I still miss them in Cleveland! We got to cocktail at Balboa Cafe and party at the Union Street Festival and various other local haunts (including their awesome apartment rooftop) before having a wonderful dinner at A16.

Sunday we played tourist in Washington Park and the Ferry Building and had a defining brunch (in my opinion the best meal of the whole trip) at Park Tavern  with my dear friend Tigger who was kind enough to join us even at 8 months pregnant. So good seeing her - love, love, love!

Our final meal was that the Greek (how fitting) hot spot Kokkari where the above image only covers about half of what we ordered. I could eat lamb off a spit for days.

After too many glasses of wine and the meat sweats the Marinos girls boarded the red-eye home back to Cleveland, Canton and NYC respectively. Such a great trip celebrating such a great Mom, let's do it again at 65, okay?

Happy Tuesday, kids!


  1. Totally jealz. What an awesome trip! Happy birthday, Stepho!

  2. Fabulous trip from my wonderful daughters! I am so blessed, love them!

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  3. love the girl & the fig!

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  4. What an amazing trip! I love SF and wine country...your pics are making me want to plan a trip back ASAP!

  5. What an awesome girls trip! Weather looked fab. I'm sure your mom loved you and your sis just a little bit more after this trip!

  6. seriously looks like such a fabulous and delicious trip! love it!

  7. WOW!! I want to do this!! How fun!!!

  8. Great pictures!! That's one lucky Mom-- Glad you had fun!

  9. your mom must have been so happy with this trip. what an awesome way to celebrate 60 - you totally win daughters of the year.

    p.s.s $550 candles?

  10. Crazy, I am off to Northern California on Sat! Your recap is making me extra excited - looks like you guys had an amazing time!!

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