Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Wine Weekends in Lodi, CA

One of our very first trips from California was to an area that we've never been before - Lodi! Lodi is known for great zinfandel and also being incredibly dog-friendly. Clearly, it wasn't a hard sell for us. We've since made a couple of more trips out there and wanted to write down some of our favorites.

It's an easy day trip - we wake up early, grab some coffee on the way out of town, and drive for a quick hour and a half. On our first trip, our first stop was Oak Farm Vineyards. Number one reason why Lodi is amazing? Dogs are allowed in almost all the wineries! Number 2? Tastings are only $5-10 and refunded with the purchase of a bottle.

Next up, we made the quick drive over to M2. This winery was great - we ended up chatting with the owner who invited us and the rest of the people in the tasting room for an impromptu barrel tasting. Oh! And it was dog-friendly - even in the barrel room! 

The tasting was even free because we ended up joining the wine club. We are looking forward to making many trips back to M2!

On our next trip, we went to Bokisch Cellars for a tasting and a picnic lunch in the vineyards. The views were incredible, but the wine was just ok. We liked walking around the vines with Indy though!

Next up, we stopped by M2 to grab our wine club selections and have a lovely little tasting as well. This place is so over-the-top friendly, it's absolutely our first recommendation and will always be on our itinerary whenever we go to Lodi.

Our last stop of the day was a quick trip to Harney Lane where we split a tasting. I wish we could have stayed longer as they had a nice area outside with fire pits. It would have been great to have a glass there! 

The Zinfandel and (shockingly) the desert wine were my favorites and they waived the tasting fee with the purchase of a bottle - even better!

This is a great wine region near the Bay Area that doesn't get enough attention. Especially considering the affordability and the dog-friendly nature of so many of the wineries!

Next Up: We'll be making a trip up to Sonoma for the weekend to celebrate my birthday!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Looking Forward: 2019

First, a little life update:

So if you had told me a year ago all of the crazy changes we would have gone through in 2018, I wouldn't have believed you.

Moving to the Bay Area has been great for us. We have incredible weather and are able to be outside as much as possible. Jason was working a lot there for a while, but his busy season is over now.  

Between the nightly walks, eating our meals outdoors, and being able to go hiking and exploring on the weekends, all of us are thriving here. 

We also have family and friends here that we were able to reconnect with. I was lucky enough to move my jobs with me and Jason is jumping right in at Facebook. And no, we don't plan on slowing down our travel plans any time soon!


This year, we really want to explore San Francisco and the Peninsula area more, but we also have plans to go to Sonoma, Tomales Bay, Muir Woods, Big Sur, Yosemite, Russian River, Mendocino, and Tahoe...all with Indy of course! 

One of the best parts of moving here has been including him in all of our travel adventures. I almost considered changing the name of the blog to "Must Allow Dogs" because it's one of the main criteria we look for when choosing places to visit.

Beyond our local travels, we'll also be visiting Portugal and Southeast Asia this year. Anyone want a free place to stay in the Bay Area in exchange for watching our pup?! But no, really, we'd love visitors any time!

Wishing everyone a safe and happy 2019!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Sayulita, Mexico

 I don't know if you remember, but back in January of this year, we had a bit of a mishap with a cancelled flight out of Cancun. Well, we got some Southwest vouchers out of it that were about to expire, so we ended up booking a return flight to Mexico - to Puerto Vallarta this time! 

The nonstops options are different here in California, so we figured we should take the opportunity to visit somewhere new. We had heard great things about Sayulita, Mexico, so we took a quick nonstop aand a quick $20 Uber and we arrived at our home for the next 4 days!

Sayulita is such a magical little town. It's basically one main loop, a town square, and a beach. We explored all over, but both agree that we'll be back to check out more restaurants next time around! Our first afternoon, we stopped in a Mary's for guacamole and fajitas before walking to the beach. 

Everything was SO cheap here - a perfect example is the gigantic slices of tres leches and banana cakes we got from the cake lady in the square for 20 pesos each (less than $1). Two beers were 25 pesos. Our favorite tacos were 35 pesos each.

The next day we went on our tour with AllyCat Adventures to the Marietas Islands. It was such a fun and relaxing day out on the water - we got to snorkel, paddleboard (we're pros now!), see blue-footed boobies, and maybe renew our vows? I'm not exactly sure! I don't remember telling them we recently had an anniversary, but they definitely made sure we were celebrated. Tons of fun and couldn't recommend this tour/company more!

That evening, we followed the sound of fireworks into the square. There were fiestas celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe, so this meant fireworks every morning at 5am as a call to mass and again around 7:30pm as a call to MORE mass. We were told to make sure we saw the "toritos" - which we came to find out is essentially grown men wearing a bull frame wired with fireworks and chasing little kids. HA!

We had the BEST meal of our trip at Burrito Revolution. The shrimp tacos were honestly the best I've had in my entire life. The staff was tons of fun and the signs were super amusing (see below).

The next morning, we went to the beach. I took it easy and read a book a day and Jason learned to surf! We spent the rest of the day at a beach club drinking $1 beers and eating ceviche and guacamole. Total bill for 8 hours? Less than $30. 


This evening, we did a tour of the street cart tacos! We went to a total of 3 and really enjoyed them all! My favorite was an al pastor taco and Jason's was a fried shrimp one. Add in some beers from the corner store and we feasted like kings for about $10!

Our last morning, we went to the beach again. We made some dog friends and just soaked in the sun for a bit longer. The water here literally was flecked with gold dust, I swear! I had to grab a chocobanana (perfect cold treat for a hot day), before we left as well.

We couldn't leave without having our favorite taco again, so we went back to Burrito Revolution. This time, we got to meet the owner, who sat down and chatted with us for an hour. All the while, giving us free tequila. He was sure a character and it was a perfect end to our time in Mexico!

Sayulita was a PERFECT quick getaway! 

Up Next: Not much for a while beyond some quick day trips, but we're loving exploring Northern California so much.