Wineries, San Francisco, and Redwoods With My Best Friend

What’s even better than exploring your new state before you start working? Exploring your new state with your best friend before you start working! Monica and I go way, way back. We met in 2nd grade (shoutout to Miss Lundgren!), bonded over a stuffed monkey and the rest is history. Despite going to different high schools and colleges, we’ve remained close friends and I am so thankful to have her in my life!

Somewhat spontaneously, Monica booked her flight to San Francisco for just two weeks after Mo and I arrived at our new home. The planner in me wanted to have every day and detail figured out… but that’s hard to do when you just moved! Luckily, Monica was more than happy to play each day by ear and explore new places together.

Brunch and Big Dog Winery

Monica arrived on a late Saturday night, and we woke up the next morning to try a new church, followed by brunch in downtown Sunnyvale. Metro City is (so far) our favorite brunch place. You can’t go wrong with their mimosas, Oreo pancakes, eggs Benedict, and coffee. You actually can’t go wrong with anything on their menu. Feast your eyes.

With full stomachs, we made the short drive to Big Dog Vineyards in Milpitas. This small winery is a house up in the mountains. Beautiful scenery surrounds you as you enjoy a wine tasting in a relaxed, casual setting. It is dog-friendly and you are encouraged to bring your own snacks to enjoy, while drinking a glass of wine on their patio.

(yes, that is the owner’s very big dog)

The following day, we drove to San Fransisco to see the iconic Golden Gate bridge. Crossing the bridge, you almost feel as if you’re entering a different world as you leave the urban city behind and enter a beautiful national park. We hiked through the Redwoods in Muir Woods for about 3 hours. All the hiking made us hungry! We drove back down across the bridge, picked up delicious grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, and ate a picnic. This picnic spot wasn’t just any picnic spot… we ate in front of The Painted Ladies, where Full House was filmed!

Full House

We spent our last day together relaxing in Sunnyvale, laying by the pool, eating at “In-N-Out Burger for the first time, and drinking wine in the hot tub. Not a bad way to spend the day!

In-N-Out lingo:

  • “double double” – double patty
  • “animal style” – mustard-grilled, pickles, and topped with grilled onions and their special sauce
  • “protein style” – sub lettuce for the buns
  • “root beer float” – half root beer, half vanilla shake

I felt like quite the local ordering “animal style protein style” and a root beer float. More secret menu items at this link. What’s your go-to order at In-N-Out??

So many good memories were made and I’m so happy we were able to share our new home with Monica! She was our first official visitor and I’m hoping this makes YOU want to come too. We love visitors! Who’s next??

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