hello, dear readers!! i hope you are all as excited as i am to usher in the autumn and fast-approaching winter. 🙂 this time of year is my absolute favorite, as i get to plan and anticipate family gatherings for the holidays, wrap up another incredible season of weddings and of course…wear my favorite knee-high boots and vintage coats! although i am a summertime girl at heart, there is something about the cooler weather that appeals to the romantic in me.
i just returned this weekend from a completely fabulous week in northern California. the main purpose of the trip was the wedding of Jessica & Jeff in the stunning Napa Valley. months and months of dreaming, planning, preparing and styling came together perfectly and i cannot express how thrilled i was with the final result. everything was BEYOND stunning and i got the chills multiple times that day!! i knew it was going to be amazing but honestly, the culmination on the day-of took even *my* breath away!! LOL cannot wait to share photos with you from the one and only jose villa. 🙂
after tuesday’s wedding, i dropped anna off at the airport and picked up my sweetie! we spent wednesday through saturday on a much-needed mini vacation in napa, berkeley and san francisco. it was something of a nostalgia-palooza as we visited many of our favorite haunts from the college days at cal. the weather was perfection and i came home refreshed and full of promise for the final months of 2009! here is a little glimpse at our getaway…
in napa we stayed at the avia hotel — a boutique hotel downtown. we loved the décor, the stylish and spacious rooms, and the excellent service.
adoooored these funky canopy chairs in the lobby, as well as the oval mirrors on the walls.
i would highly recommend the avia and definitely would stay there again on another visit to the napa valley!
the hotel was very close to the new oxbow public market in napa. imagine a scaled down version of boston’s faneuil hall (aka quincy market). i loved walking around and exploring the unique shops and restaurants at oxbow. the creative merchandising was really impressive; proof you can be inspired anywhere! take a look for yourself. 🙂
how anthropologie-meets-grandpa’s-garage is this??? LOVE IT.
of course we spent some time in napa touring a handful of wineries. we weren’t able to swing by far niente or nickel & nickel (mom & raj’s favorites), but we did drop in at mumm, frog’s leap and castello di amoroso.
frog’s leap is a quaint & quirky winery that stands out for their use of organic grapes & wholly sustainable farming practices. i love the sweet vegetable garden they have, just steps away from the wraparound porch. i got positively giddy eyeing the perfect, tiny little peppers and strawberries. there’s a part of me that loves all things rural… sometimes i think i could definitely move out and live on a farm.
the castello di amoroso is relatively new to napa (having opened in 2007), but the materials that make up the castle are hundreds and hundreds of years old. owner dario sattui (who also owns v.sattui) spent 14 years building this stunning castle, importing the materials from old castles in europe. the materials came from various properties, and not just one old, demolished castle. 🙂 the result is truly a sight to behold… we thoroughly enjoyed the educational tour and agreed our visit to the castello was a highlight of the week. it’s a must-see when you’re in napa!!
the remainder of our trip was spent in berkeley, sausalito and san francisco. since we’ve been so many times, we kept the photography to a minimum and instead focused on eating & enjoying! 🙂 although there have been some changes to the campus and surrounding neighborhood, everything in berkeley is very much the same. i love that campus (and city) soooo much. 10 minutes there and i’m 17 again, filled with excitement and anticipation and brimming with dreams. it’s a wonderful place and any chance to visit berkeley is a welcome one for me!
i’ll end with this requisite pic of us at the marin headlands overlooking the golden gate bridge. i’m wearing my absolute favorite “new” dress… a vintage oscar de la renta shirtdress & belt. it is too too much fun (and covered with peacocks, no less)!!! i wish i could wear it everyday.
being up in northern california (for this brief visit!) reminded me how much i love it there. if you are planning a napa valley (or bay area!) wedding, i’d love to hear from you! i look forward to extending my reach into the napa valley on a more frequent basis in 2010 and beyond. 🙂
hope you all have kicked off a wonderful week! i’m looking forward to a delightful wedding this weekend at one of my favorite venues in pasadena. there are still a handful of amazing weddings left on my 2009 calendar and i can’t wait to share them with you. 🙂