Friday, April 6, 2012

California Dreamin' Part One

As you may have guessed from the previous post, I was recently on vacation.   In California!  A new destination for both Michael and I.   I believe this was our first 'new place' together since our honeymoon in Arizona in 2009.    It's pretty fun to discover new spots in new places together.   Especially when you are armed with an iPad with GPS and many maps.  (Getting lost = not fun)

Strangely enough, the vacation started out as a way to use up free flights.  You see, we used to use our Southwest VISA card for everything.   This resulted in many free flights, and many free drink coupons.   When we lived in the DC area, and were not too far from BWI (a Southwest mecca, if you will) we were able to dart off to Las Vegas, Orlando, San Antonio, even home to Cleveland, for free.  It was lovely.  Flash forward to now, where Southwest has less flights leaving Orlando going to destinations we'd like to visit.  Thing is.... we still had 2 free flights that were unused and were about to expire.

If there's one thing I hate (well, ok, a few things I hate....) it is letting something free go to waste.  Especially when that free item is useful.   Free broccoli?  No thanks, I'll pass.   Free flight?  Yes please.

Since Michael knows every city Southwest flies to, he got to researching possible destinations.   Las Vegas again made the list.   But you guys, we've been there twice, and while each time we have flown for free and stayed at the MGM grand for literally $40 a night, I sort of wanted to try something else.  So I said so.  Michael then informed me that Southwest flew into Oakland, which was close enough to both Napa/Wine country and San Francisco that we could visit more than one place while were in the Golden State.   I was intrigued.

Michael is also obsessed with travel and all things hotel.   He watches Living Social and JetSetter and all those other fun sites when were are not planning a trip.   You can only imagine what happens when we are, in fact, planning a getaway.  Due to his expertise- and a little luck- we scored an AMAZING deal on a lovely suite in Napa.   For the first four days of our trip, our schedule included:

morning workout at the gym
winery stops and tastes
delicious lunch (including a DDD stop!)
more wine drinking
relaxing in the suite

I am not typically one to sit still all day, so this combination worked well...  Activity in the morning (gym), excursions during the day (including wine drinking!), and relaxing in the evening.  I even read an entire book in less than a week!   A very big deal for me.

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