Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day Four of Trip to San Fran

Day four of our San Fran trip started with some relaxation and then a trip to the Oxbow Public Market to get some tacos at CASA. They use fresh produce and I believe they do use free range meat as well. Between the hubby and I, we ate three tacos. He got the lamb taco, I got the steak taco, and we split the Mahi Mahi taco. The hubby loved his taco, I loved my taco, and we somewhat enjoyed the Mahi Mahi taco. For me the problem with the Mahi Mahi was that it was too fishy, but the vegetables on the taco were outrageously good. So I skipped the fish and ate the vegetables. But I would get the steak taco all over again.

 After that we wandered around a bit and picked up some ice cream at Three Twins Ice Cream. I am usually not that much of an ice cream critique. I like my specific flavors that only certain places carry but cookies and cream is pretty much the same anywhere you go. Or so I thought. After we had both taken bites, we looked at each other and exclaim, "Oh my goodness this is so good. How? How can it be this good." The flavor was amazing. The texture was amazing. It was just amazing. In fact, I want some right now. Ice cream will never be the same again. By the way, look at these ice cream specials you can purchase the next time you are at Three Twins Ice Cream:

After that we met up with the hubby's sister and her kids and headed out to do a bit of touring of the Napa area. We saw many famous stores and restaurants including The French Laundry, Bottega, Napa Style, and Bouchon. Later, the hubby and I also made a stop at The Culinary Institute Of America. It was fun to learn about this area. I had no idea about all these famous foodie meccas. I felt so uneducated. I just wish I had more time to eat at the places and to explore the stores.

Random, but one of the stores, Dean & Deluca, had a counter of truffles and chocolates. I'm usually not much of a fan of these but some of them looked outrageously amazing, almost like gems.  Too much for my wallet though. 

After the school we stopped at the famous winery, Castello di Amorosa, that is designed to be like an authentic castle. The hubby loved it! I have to say they did a great job building it. Wish we could have gone inside but we didn't want to pay the money as it mostly consisted of a wine tasting fee and we don't drink. 

Dinner that night was uneventful. Just some lame Italian restaurant. But after our evening activity we got an oreo dessert at Rutherford Grill that was pretty good. The picture below didn't turn out well. The whip cream stole the show. But it gives you a hint as to what it was like. 

Our evening event had to be one of the highlights of our trip. Calistoga, near Napa, is famous for their mud baths so we decided to try it out. Paying $80 (half price), we thought it would at least be at a nice spa. But nope! The spa looked like an motel. Inside it looked like a spa (a cheap one) but the actual room where we took the mud baths looked like a utilities room. This is probably for easy cleanup but it makes it so unromantic for a couples spa. The mud was a bit claustrophobic as I suspected it would be, but I got used to it and it was actually kind of fun. Supposedly the mud is healthy for you and good for your skin and muscles. It's just awkward because you don't really sink in the mud so you have to kind of wiggle your way in and push the mud up around your body, all while not touching the heated bottom of the tub. The only question I can't get out of my mind is how that mud could be sanitary in the slightest. Ugh!

Afterward, and after a shower, we got in a hot tub that was actually too hot to be fun after a few minutes. Next, we relaxed while wrapped in a blanket to slowly cool our body temperature down. Finally it was the hot tub outside in supposed mineral spring water. That was nice because by then we had cooled down and weren't so overheated and could take as long as we wanted.

It was a strange experience but it was fun. If you are in the area and want to do something different, do the mud baths. But don't think it will be the slightest bit romantic.

Sorry no pictures of it. Mud baths aren't necessarily pretty.


Most interesting thing learned: Have you heard of The French Laundry. If not, click here.

Most random experience: The mud baths of course. So strange!

Wish we had done: Taken a class at The Culinary Institute of America. Eaten at one of Napa's famous restaurants (This trip was last minute so there was no planning involved. Before your trip to Napa take a moment to make some reservations). Bought food at one of the stores in Napa and had a picnic.

What I miss: Their grapes. So good. But lets not forget the ice cream and steak tacos. Yummm!!!

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