I thought I would write a lighter blog today. Having a French background, I love food. I also love traveling so I thought I would share my latest trip in San Francisco and the Napa Valley.
I recently attended the annual meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Surgery Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that was in San Francisco. I had never been to San Francisco before.
The meeting was outstanding! For me, the highlights were without a doubt, my many courses with Drs. Hunstad, Rubin, Codner and Marten where I learned several new plastic surgery techniques which I am very eager to introduce in my Toronto Plastic Surgery practice!
The plastic surgery doctor review website Realself.com was at the meeting and I had the opportunity to be interviewed by their staff. A video was made of the interview and will be posted fairly soon!
I took my office manager Willians and my patient coordinator Joyce to the ASAPS (American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) meeting as well. ASAPS offers a great variety of courses for staff from marketing, to customer service, to social media, etc. Customer service is extremely important to us, and Dr Marc DuPere and Visage Clinic were voted as the TOP CHOICE Top plastic surgery clinic for 2013 and 2014 and the TOP cosmetic clinic in Toronto for 2014! So we have full intentions to continue and enhance our patient’s experience when visiting Visage MD Clinics in both Toronto and Richmond Hill!
San Francisco is a wonderful city – a ‘Montréal’ in USA; the architecture is extremely rich in history from old Victorian to Art Deco to Modern and the food is simply spectacular. We tried a new restaurant every night but COI was our absolute favorite. A must try!
San Fran is full of parks, hills and bridges. Our first attempt to see the famous Golden Bridge was marred with heavy fogs so not the greatest pictures…so we had to plan to go back for the ‘picture-perfect’ opportunities. Even then it was a bit windy!
I was somewhat disappointed by the Fisherman’s Wharf… a bit of a Yonge street and ultra-touristic… yet, for those who know me, I usually try to find something interesting every where I go and I did get to taste the famous Sourdough bread San Fran is known for!
A very pleasant discovery I made about San Fran was the Ferry Terminal Building and its Market Place. What a place! A restored old naval building now offering ultra-sophisticated local art and all kinds of food from California; famous chocolates, bakeries, wines, organic and heirloom ‘any-kind-of-beans’, etc! You should see the heirloom Chestnut Lima bean I bought! The bean is an art in itself! And I even managed to bring back to Toronto a full carrot cake from Miette! For those who follow us on facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus and/or LinkedIn, you know I am a very serious foodie AND cook!
But my ultimate non-meeting highlight was the day after the meeting ended. I rented a ‘boy’s car’. A sporty yellow convertible with the big engine and a standard transmission! Fast and Furious! And drove to the Napa and Sonoma Valleys on a beautiful sunny 22-degree day!
I left San Francisco at 8 AM and 45 minutes later I arrived in the Valley. I wanted to visit the small towns and 3 vineyards: the Napa Cellar, the Opus One and the Sterling Winery. Each is extremely well known and as a foodie and a chef, Dr Marc DuPere enjoys a good wine with weekend dinners.
Our first visit was to the Napa Cellars which was a smaller and intimate ‘degustation’ whereas the Opus One was out of a Fairytale: elegant and majestic building that is extremely sophisticated and quite over-the-top… I was slightly underdressed in jeans and a polo shirt! Thank Goodness I had the right car to enter the Rothchild-Mondavi domaine! We did get to try a few of their Réserve wines which are quite the wines I must say!
Our final stop was our favourite, the Sterling Winery. I am a big fan of their Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon which I first tasted in New York. Our tour of the Sterling Winery was about 3 hours starting with a mandatory gondola ride from the magnificent gardens to the top of the hills to avoid the rattlesnakes. Yes, I said rattlesnakes! I had read that the hill was known for snakes, and as a non-snake fan, I decided to believe what was written and to take the gondola.
The view from the top of the hill was breath taking. You are able to see all the Sterling Winery’s white stucco Greek inspired buildings with its historic bells surrounded by the lush gardens and the Valley all around. It is extremely beautiful!
What I enjoyed at Sterling Winery was the fact that you were left alone to tour the winery – at your own pace. The winery has many stations with written explanations. We did get to taste a few of their wonderful wines along with local cheeses and charcuterie. We met six extremely well dressed ladies, all in Prada, Hermès and Louis Vuitton (which will be our neighbours soon in Toronto’s Yorkville!), from Mexico and spent some fun time talking on the Winery’s stunning terrace while taking in its breath-taking view of the Napa valley and the hills bordering it. A moment of splendor and a moment of true peace.
On our drive back, we could not resist buying super-sweet fresh super-red strawberries at a kiosk bordering the Silverado less-busy road. Yes, fresh strawberries in late April. Wow.
This was a lovely afternoon I must say and an amazing way to end my wonderful six days in California. It was just too bad I did not get a chance to drive on the Pacific One, to see the giant red cedars and tour Lake Tahoe!
That’s okay, it gives me a reason to return!
Dr. Marc DuPéré, Toronto plastic surgeon
Top plastic surgery clinic in Toronto 2013 and 2014
Top cosmetic clinic in Toronto for 2014