Saturday, like the day before, was go, Go, GO! I started my day at 7 am doing pilates in my hotel room. I downloaded an application on my phone and just did it. You gotta stay fit, even when you're away from home!
I actually brought workout clothes for the treadmill since our hotel has a small gym. It was pouring rain, however, and I had to walk outside to get there. Pilates in my own room seemed like a much better way to spend my time.
Soon after that, I had my hair and makeup trial at It's a Date at The Powder Room.
I was very happy with the way that everything turned out, and I'll get the same (or very similar) thing on my wedding day. We had to do a whole bunch of other things after the trial and I left my hair the way that it was, so I can't show you any pictures of me!The Venue
Our next task was driving in the persistent rain to Chateau St Jean.
My dad wanted to taste a few wines so that he'd have a better idea of what to serve for appetizers, dinner, etc. Since the wedding is at their winery, we have to use all of their wines with the exception of sparkling wines (since they don't make them).
Even with the rain pounding against the windshield and limiting our usually unobstructed views, the drive up the driveway was absolutely stunning.
I am so excited to get married here!
This will all look very different in a few months.
The wine tasting was a success. We still had about two hours before our TWO cake tastings, so we got lunch at a local cafe/grocery store called Fresh by Lisa Hemingway.
We just stumbled upon it on our way back from the winery, and we absolutely loved it. I got a breakfast burrito, but I made sure not to eat too much of it since we had a lot more eating ahead of us. It was like a marathon!
Our first tasting was at Fleur de Lisa
in Santa Rosa. Lisa was on Fabulous Cakes
on TLC, so we were sure that her cakes would be great (they were)! My favorites were lemon (it tasted like a lemon square!), apple caramel (very unique flavor), and chocolate espresso.
Our second tasting was at Michelle Marie's Patisserie
, which was also in Santa Rosa. We requested the flavors ahead of time, so they made us little cakes for all of us to split. It was adorable. We tried hazelnut praline (the flavor of champions), carrot cake, and chocolate raspberry. We liked them all, and we were all very impressed with the buttercream frosting.
We were thinking that we should get fondant on the cake from either bakery that we choose since it puts a nice coating on it and also stops the frosting from melting (we're having an outdoor wedding in August!), but I think we might go without it. It adds a lot of moola onto the total price of the cake, and we can coordinate the delivery time of the cake so that it won't be sitting out in the worst heat of the day.
Tuxes, Jean Rip, Dinner
After two cake tastings in a row, I thought there was a possibility that I might die from superfluous sugar intake. Luckily, that wretched feeling didn't last very long. We said goodbye to our outstanding wedding planner Amy, and then we went to our last planning stop of the day: tuxes. We stopped by a great shop in town that we will probably end up using. The issue is that the boys live in Chicago and in various parts of Australia, so we can't just ask them to go to Santa Rosa to get fitted. It seems that this shop will work through these issues with us and get the boys great tuxes regardless. I'm sure that they're used to it since people do destination weddings in Sonoma all the time.
We went back to our hotel to rest for about an hour before dinner. I was so tired from travel, wine, cake, and appointments that I just slumped into bed with all of my clothes on. I must have done something to stretch my jeans while doing this, because the only pair of jeans (and pants!) that I brought with me on the vacation ripped fully up the crotch! Luckily, I had my parents with me. My dad got a sewing kit while my mom pulled out all of her pants that she brought with her for the weekend and had me try them on. My mom's clothes didn't work, but all of my dad's years of being a doctor and stitching up patients really paid off for fixing my jeans. I'm going to throw them out since I wore them to death and they need to be replaced, but my dad's stellar sewing job (they didn't even rip along the seam!) allowed me to wear my jeans for all of the next day. I was very impressed.
I managed to fit in a 20-minute nap. I didn't need much time to get ready for dinner, because my hair and makeup still looked pretty decent from that morning. We met my cousin Timon and his girlfriend Yana for a five-star dinner at John Ash
at Vintner's Inn.
We had a lot to chat about, so it took us a while to get to the menu. While they were waiting for us to order, the staff brought us bread and corn muffins for munching. We were also given an amuse bouche to cleanse our palate that had foamed goat cheese and balsamic vinegar.
We all ordered starters. Since we were in wine country and I hadn't gotten my fair share of cheese yet, I ordered a cheese plate with three cheeses. I got a goat cheese, a blue cheese, and another one. The server said that he would pick the three best cheeses for me, but I can't remember what they all were! The plate included fresh jam, quince paste, dried figs, flat bread, and fancy crackers. I was very, very happy with this.
I could have been satisfied with my cheese plate, but we also ordered main courses. Three out of five of us ordered the seabass special. I can't remember everything that was in it (that's what happens when you wait over a week for recapping), but I know it had risotto cakes, asparagus, and a very fun rice cake thing on top. It was served on top of a lobster broth.
I took a picture of my mom's salmon, because it was so pretty. It included potato roulades and golden turnips. We all cleared our plates! We all had a wonderful time together.
Sunday was a little sad, because I was not looking forward to leaving Wine Country. Regardless, we had to go. We met with our rabbi (who is marrying us) at her synagogue early in the morning with Amy, and then we drove south. We were leaving from Oakland Airport, so we stopped by Jack London Square in Oakland for lunch. We found a restaurant called Kincaid's
along the bay. We were blown away by how nice everybody working there was, and the food was fantastic! Plus, look at those views!
I ordered the crispy fish tacos (my dad got the same thing), and I did not leave hungry or disappointed. I usually don't go for the fried food, but these tacos were worth it!
We had a nice flight back to Chicago, minus a toddler that was screaming from the time that we were waiting at our gate until the time that we landed. It was the baby from hell. I was fortunate enough to pass out for an hour and then I put on my headphones while watching my lectures for my online biochem class, so that tuned her out. It was still baffling to me that the parents did absolutely nothing to make their child be quiet. The father was actually walking around with her with a look on his face that said something like, "Isn't my daughter the cutest?". People like that really upset me. They should not be allowed on planes EVER.
Fortunately, our airport driver Pavel (he always brings us to the airport when we don't drive) picked us up and brought us a whole pizza from Giordano's (= AMAZING Chicago pizza). Man, we were happy to see the box when we got into his cab!
If you want the BEST taxi service in Chicago, you need to call Ride in Bliss
! We discovered Pavel a few years ago, and his cabs are always clean, the drivers are on time, and they will always do whatever you need to make your ride more comfortable. There is also always bottled water for you in the cab (and sometimes chocolate!). Really, call them the next time that you need a ride to either of Chicago's airports! Pavel didn't ask me to write this; I'm writing this because I truly believe it's an outstanding taxi company.
That wraps up my Sonoma recaps! Luckily, I'll have a lot more in August.