bodega bay

My twin sister Lucy and I chat all the time on the phone, but we realized the other day that since we’re always surrounded by friends and relatives, we hadn’t spent extended one-on-one time together in 12 years! (!!!) And sometimes you just want to twin it up. So, this weekend, we spent three days together in Northern California…

I arrived at SFO, along with trusty travel snacks and a great podcast episode. Every time I travel, I am reminded of the McSweeney’s piece about business men yelling in airports. You can’t unsee it!

nicks cove cottages California

First, I headed up to Nick’s Cove in Tomales Bay. The drive from the airport was stunning, winding past cows, rivers and eucalyptus groves. Since my sister had to work that night, I met my friends Kendra and Victoria, who live nearby.

nicks cove cottages California

Have you ever stayed at this hotel? They have 12 cottages, and five are actually on the water.

nicks cove cottages California

How amazing was our bedroom view?!

nicks cove cottages California

We chatted on the balcony…

nicks cove cottages California

…and breathed in fresh California air with scents of kelp and pine trees. I even love the smell of cow manure from the farms.

nicks cove cottages California

For dinner, we ordered cioppino fish stew and a big salad at the hotel’s restaurant and ate it out on the pier. Then we went back to our cottage and, feeling jet-lagged, I fell asleep while listening to my friends chatting. It reminded me of being a kid and nodding off in the car while my parents talked quietly in the front seat. Nothing cozier. :)

hog island oysters

The next day, my sister and I met up at Hog Island Oyster Co for lunch. I was so excited to see her, I sprinted to this table where she was waiting.

How cute is she???

A long-time California resident and enthusiast, Lucy took me on a tour of the Point Reyes lighthouse, a grocery store with buffalo milk soft serve, the local bookstore and a market called Toby’s. We also tried to go to an epic cheese shop but were too late! That night, we stayed at Osprey Peak, a B&B run by a sweet couple who whipped up an epic breakfast (think: eggs, sausage, kale, avocado, fresh fruit, local cheeses, homemade sourdough bread, homemade scones, homemade granola, orange juice, hot coffee and teas…)

scribe winery sonoma best

The next day, we headed to Sonoma and had lunch at Scribe Winery.

scribe winery sonoma best

Our amazing server, Justin, made the wine world feel fascinating and gossipy, versus stoic and condescending.

scribe winery sonoma best

You get snacks with your wine tasting, and the menu always changes. I especially liked the garlicy potato chips.

scribe winery sonoma best

We were also lucky enough to chat with Kelly Mariani, the chef, who is a GENIUS and trained at Chez Panisse. Everything bursts with flavor. (She’s also friends with our marketing director Maureen — and the person Prince Harry once hit on, if you must know!)

Lucy Kalanithi

After Scribe, we went back to our hotel to read books and nap and try to convince the other person to give shoulder rubs (“I’m the little sister by two minutes…” “But I came allllll this way to see you…”) Then, since we were already eating our way through the road trip, we went to dinner at Valley Bar and Bottle. (In for a penny, in for a pound, as our British relatives would say.)

valley bar and bottle sonoma

Living 3,000 miles apart isn’t easy, but it does make sister time like this feel extra special. Multiple times, we laughed so hard (always at something very random) that we had to bend over and cross our legs and try not to pee — omg it makes me laugh just to type this.

Finally, I gave Lucy a big hug and headed home. Thank you, Lucy, and thank you, California! You are both the best, with one of you being the absolute best, and I’ll leave that to you to duke out! (The answer is Lucy.) xoxoxo

Where do your loved ones live? Are they close or far away? How do you keep in touch? xo

P.S. My sister’s house makeover, and a trip with Kendra and our teeny tiny babies.

(Lighthouse photo by Raymond Forbes LLC/Stocksy. Golden Gate Bridge photo by Rachel Dwyer/Stocksy.)