Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wine Country Minimoon

After a week, I am finally going to write my minimoon (mini honeymoon) with Vinh! I'd say this image below is a good starter for it all :)

I couldn't agree more!


Before jetting off to wine country, Vinh & I stopped by my house to pick up some mail/packages I had received (since I still use my old address). I'm so glad we did since not only did I receive my pretty earrings from HQCD & my Influenster beauty blogger voxbox, I also received my wedding photos from SimplyTwo! Lobsterfest, you have the greatest timing in the world my friend! I asked & borrowed my sister's laptop so we could view the photos during our minimoon *giggle* My mom wanted us to stay to have breakfast with her before we jetted off. Afterwards, we dropped by the post office so that I could mail off my name changes to NBCOT & CBOT, whew~

Wedding photos arrived, eek!

The drive up to Jenner took a little under 3 hours, but we enjoyed the drive for the most part...minus the sucky San Francisco traffic, lol. We got to cross the Golden Gate Bridge before seeing this rainbow tunnel below :)

Entering rainbow tunnel

We arrived at River's End a little after 2PM, just in time for check-in. We rented cabin #1 & it was right next to the restaurant, hehe. Basically, there is no cell phone or internet service at River's End since you are supposed to enjoy & relax during your stay there. I didn't believe it until we got there & my phone went into the dead zone! However, I liked how tranquil the place was & the great views. It was a cozy little cabin for our minimoon :)

Cabin #1

After getting settled in & turning on the furnace (via thermostat), I pulled out my sister's laptop so we could view our wedding photos together. It was great reminiscing about our big day during our minimoon *giggle*

Vinh wanted to take a nap from driving before heading out to Santa Rosa for dinner. We ended up choosing Ca'Bianca Ristorante Italiano for our dinner spot. It's a little hidden gem actually since it's located in a pretty Victorian house. We decided to sit outside for dinner since it was nice out, but that turned to a big mistake later when it started getting a little too cold, lol. I was definitely stuffed after this meal, that's for sure!

Shrimp & calamari appetizer & pasta entrees

Vinh forgot his floss so we went on a search to find some floss. Somehow we ended up in the Santa Rosa Plaza so we decided to walk around for a bit. I think I walked into one of the biggest Forever 21 stores ever...I got ADD in there, lol. We went into the Disney store & ended up buying 2 xmas ornaments for Vinh's mom as a present before leaving the mall floss-less, haha.

I found Charlie Brown :P

We ended up going to some semi ghetto liquor store to find Vinh's floss before returning to our little cabin. Our kiddos were patiently waiting for our return home :)

Our cozy bed


After a restful night's sleep, we awoken to a foggy morning. As Vinh was showering, I brewed us a post of coffee. I rarely need caffeine, but I needed it for some reason. Maybe because it was foggy & I wanted a warm drink *shrugs* It definitely hit the spot as I stood on our balcony with a warm cup of jo in hand, very relaxing :)

Coffee anyone?

Vinh & I out on the balcony

Vinh & I decided to leave Sonoma County & head for Napa County for some wine tasting as recommended by some of my coworkers. However, we were both craving some food so we stopped at Gott's Roadside in St. Helena for a bite to eat. I ordered a hamburger & sweet potato fries while Vinh ordered the tuna melt. They were all really yummy & we just missed the lunch rush, thankfully! There was like a corvette club or something because like 20 corvettes pulled in as we were finishing eating our food.

Gott's Roadside yummy food

Our first winery stop was V. Sattui that was recommended to me by Priscilla. It was definitely a very pretty winery that you can just walk around in. I checked into the winery on Yelp we got a 2-for-1 premium tasting for $10, which meant we got to taste 12 different wines! I think we only got to about 10 before buying 3 bottles: gamay rouge, muscat & madiera. Definitely had the priciest wine out of the wineries we went to.

V. Sattui Winery

Our next stop was Beringer Vineyards, which was recommended to us by Shrutee. We decided to do a tour here since we didn't have that luxury at V. Sattui. We just did the general one since we just missed the longer one by a few minutes. We loved walking around the vineyards while we were waiting for our tour to start, so pretty!

We look like friggin' kids here :P

Vinh, stop peeing in the fountain!

We got a 2-for-1 wine tasting here as well since we wore our tour badges around. We got to sample 6 different wines & ended up buying 2 bottles of moscato! The sparkling white zin was really good, too! Their store had chocolate wine sauce as well which we ended up getting one bottle of *drool*

Beringer Vineyards

Enjoying a chardonnay on our tour

This was our favorite winery out of the ones we went to since we loved their wines & we took a tour & learned quite a bit about wine. Did you know you can freeze grapes & use as ice to chill your wine & it won't melt so you won't have diluted wine? Genius! Also, for the aged wines, you should swirl it around in your glass & smell it before tasting it? Did not know any of that... See that huge bottle of wine in the photo above? It is the equivalent of 145ish regular wine bottles, omg!

Yummy Beringer grapes

Vinh snatching some for later

G'bye Beringer Vineyards

We were going to head home when I noticed that we were near a winery that looked like a castle. Vinh decided we should go see a castle so off we went to Castello di Amorosa. We had to park in the vineyard since the parking lot was full, lol.

Our car parked with the grapevines

We didn't do a tasting here unfortunately since we had to make it back to River's End for our dinner reservation. We did have the pleasure of walking around & enjoying the beautiful architecture & the bazillion people. Oh & let's not forget the furry-legged chickens & roaming turkeys now! :P

Enjoying our time together

We're just hangin' out ;)

We made it back to our cabin with an hour to relax before our 2-month AnnieVinhsary dinner. We decided to chill on our balcony again before getting dressed.

Looking into our cabin

River's End is one pricey place for dinner, but the food was phenomenal! The only thing I'd complain about is the atmosphere since it was mostly older folk & they got treated better than we did. Oh well. We had the roseland ceviche, bread & butter, technicolor beet salad, River's End clam chowder, pork & peaches, & salmon with corn & watermelon salad. I absolutely loved the ceviche as well as the pork & peaches *drool*

Ceviche, bread, beet salad & clam chowder

My pork & peaches & Vinh's salmon with corn & watermelon salad

We finished our dinner just in time to retreat back to our cabin to watch the gorgeous sunset. However, I still think Carmel has the prettiest sunset I've seen thus far. After sunset, we just enjoyed each other's company until we fell asleep in our warm cabin one last time...


Vinh & I said goodbye to our cabin as we headed north to go to one more winery: Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Yes, this winery of the director that did The Godfather! This winery was very different from the ones we went to the day before, a lot more touristy for sure. It contained memorabilia from his films, which was quite neat to look at.


Vinh & I did both wine tastings & the lady tweeked our tasting to include moscato & riesling since I liked sweeter wines. We ended up buying 1 bottle of moscato home with us.

Colorful wine bottles

After our wine tasting, lol

After our tasting, we just walked around the winery looking at all the movie memorabilia from movies like The Godfather, Dracula, Into The Heart of Darkness & Marie Antoinette. I will admit this was probably my least favorite winery since the wine wasn't to my liking & I didn't learn too much about anything (life-long learner?!).

Welcome sign, Godfather, Dracula & Marie Antoinette

The Godfather memorabilia

The Godfather desk ;)

Oscar statues up close

Vinh & I headed back to the Bay after visiting Francis Ford Coppola Winery. We ended up bringing home 6 bottles of wine & a container of chocolate wine sauce. Not a bad haul for our first time doing the winery/wine-tasting thing :)

Our wine haul ;)


  1. Looks like a lovely time!
    That cabin is so cozy looking.

    1. Very cozy & fun time :)

  2. Wow, you went to some awesome places. I'm drooling over your food. Look at that beet salad!! Nom~ I loved the Coppola winery.

    1. I did & enjoyed myself quite a bit! I had so many nommy food, I miss it :p