After all my trips to San Francisco, I always mention Miette - home of my favorite cupcake (the "Old Fashioned"). I was able to visit their Hayes Valley location and it was as cute as a button. I heart the giant peace sign in the park right across the way.

My sweet-toothed bro and I also splurged on a $20 Baked Alaska "Bombe" from the delicious Berkeley ice-cream shop, Ici.

In sampling some of their flavors - I was truly impressed with Rose-Vanilla.

On the same street is the beautifully appointed boutique, Lola. There are so many delicate trinkets in this store - it's a lovely browsing experience.

After leaving the city and before being swept away in Big Sur, we spent some time in wine country where we had the privilege of spending an afternoon with the co-owner of Deerfield Ranch Winery, PJ Rex. Her husband, Robert, is the winemaker for their certified organic boutique winery.

PJ explained that they hand-pick through the grapes thoroughly in order to make the wine as "clean" as it can be. As a result, the wine is lower in histamines and sulfites (beneficial for those who generally experience headaches with their red wine). Among my favorites are the Shiraz Cuvee, Old Vine Zinfandel and Late Harvest Botrytis.

Deerfield also produces grapeseed oil in eight different varieties - the Black Truffle is divine!

While in Sonoma Valley, we dined at The Fig Cafe. Simple and delicious food in a cafe-setting where you are allowed to bring your own wine with complimentary wine corkage! I'd like to purchase the book of recipes by Chef-Owner Sondra Bernstein.

Needless to say, I was very sad to be on the plane traveling away from such an enchanted land.