Philadelphia/San Francisco Day 7

Day 7 T-Shirt of Choice: No T-Shirt today, just a sweater :(

The 7th day of our 2010 spring break vacation got off to a very early start. We woke up at around 7:00 am to catch Baylink Ferry at the San Francisco Ferry Building out to Vallejo. From there, we caught a shuttle to the Napa Valley Wine Train Station for what was to be an awesome wine tasting tour onboard vintage rail cars. We purchased the Gourmet Lunch package which put us in refurbished 1915-1917 Pullman Cars.

Napa Wine Train

Napa Valley Wine Train

Before we boarded the wine train, we waited inside of the station for a pre-boarding wine tasting. While waiting, I, as I have been doing throughout the trip, “checked-in” to the wine train station via Gowalla and Foursquare, both of which are location-based social networking services. Shortly after checking in at the wine station, I was greeted by Andrea Guzman aka @dreawinetrain, the “mayor” of the Wine Train on Foursquare. To my surprise, she introduced herself and then awarded me with a voucher for free wine tasting for two, which included 8 full glasses of wine on board the wine train! The President and CEO of the Napa Valley Wine Train, Gregory McManus, also introduced himself to us after he found out that we had received the complimentary wine tasting from checking in via Foursquare and that we were visiting from Hawaii! When he is not in Napa Valley, Greg resides on the Big Island of Hawaii. How cool is that!

I’ve been a regular user of Gowalla for about 3 months now and have only started using Foursquare since this trip started a week ago. After this wonderful experience using Foursquare, I think that I might make Foursquare my default location service of choice.

Napa Valley Wine Train

The ambience inside the rail cars was classy, the staff was friendly, and the food was surprisingly good! I had the salmon topped with caviar and Michelle chose the fresh sea bass with a shrimp sauce and risotto. I also experienced some great wines, including a riesling that I very much enjoyed, as well as a dessert Port that was the perfect complement to my chocolate encrusted tiramisu.

Napa Valley Wine Train

Napa Valley Wine Train

Napa Valley Wine Train

For us, the Wine Train was the perfect way to experience Napa Valley with the least amount of effort on our part. We were able to sit back, enjoy the scenery while dining on a great meal and all the while experienceing some unique vino. If driving from vineyard to vineyard isn’t your thing, but you still want to experience Napa Valley, then I highly recommend that you check out the Napa Valley Wine Train.

After the Baylink Ferry dropped us off at Fisherman’s Wharf, we made sure to stop by Ghiradelli Square to pick up some chocolate squares. We had visited Fisherman’s Wharf the last time we visited San Francisco in 2008, so we didn’t spend too much time snapping photos or sightseeing. We knew what we wanted to do there and we did it! After Ghiradelli, we stopped by Trader Joe’s to pick up some snacks to take back home. Interestingly enough, our cashier briefly lived in Hawaii. What’s with all of the Hawaii connections today? He also informed us that a Trader Joe’s will be opening in Hawaii soon. That excited Michelle very much.

For dinner, we headed back toward the Wharf and ate at Boudin at the Wharf. No clam chowder for us. Instead, we had the steamed mussels with garlic frites to start and for entrees, I had the dungenuss crab mac and cheese, and Michelle had the margharita pizza. After a long day of wining and dining, we proceeded to head back to Union Square satisfied and excited for the following day.

And here’s the day in photos:

The Social Media Sommelier

Here’s a great interview that Chris Morrow from iReport did with the popular wine guru and social media expert, Gary Vaynerchuk. In the short video Gary talks a little about Twitter and more importantly, Search.Twitter, and how we can use this tool to optimize our personal brands. 

I have to admit that I am a huge fan of Gary and he was a big inspiration for me starting this blog. Anyone else out there reading this dig what @garyvee is doing? 

And of course, I must include a T-Shirt in the post, so here we go, some Gary Vaynerchuk inspired tees:

All three of these tee can be picked up from Wine Library. The first one is called lurker and it’s the perfect tee for those of us who, well, love to lurk. It’s normally priced at $15.99 but is on sale for just $9.99. 

Lurker by Gary Vaynerchuk

OAK MONSTER! Gary loves to talk about that Oak Monster and if you’re a fan of the Oak Monster this is the tee that you should rock. Unfortunately, it’s sold out – Booo!

Oak Monster by Gary Vaynerchuk

And finally, it’s the Fruit Bomb! And who doesn’t like a good fruit bomb once in a while, I know I don’t mind it at all. If you’re into over the top fruit bomb wines then pick up this Wine Library tee for $14.99. 

Fruit Bomb