cali adventures {napa valley}

Carrie: If you're tired of New York you take a nap-a, you don't move to Napa.
This quote is all I kept thinking of while in Napa.  I did, surprisingly, refrain from sharing those thoughts because that wouldn't get old or anything.

Being as the only request made by KDKA, Thursday was spent in Napa Valley.  We started our morning around 7, showered and we were out the door by 815 to meet Debra, our DD for the day, outside our hotel we were staying that night not far from wine country.  None of us had done really any research as to where we wanted to go so we asked Debra for some suggestions.  Being that this is a job for her, she knew of some great places.

Her first recommendation and our first stop was Robery Sinesky Family Winery.  As we pulled into the parking lot, it was just like everything I'd imagined.  Just Beautiful.  Everyone was uber friendly and seemed extremely knowledgeable of each wine they poured.  Not hard to impress the girl who buys bottles of wine solely based on the label/bottle design (or whatever is on sale).  As nice as it was, it was a little pricier than any of us wanted.  I mean we got to taste 5 wines (already chosen) with a small side of crackers, cheese and olives for $25.  But since it was our first stop, and because we are all family, husband and I shared as did KDKA and M.  While I think we all enjoyed the wines we tasted no one bought any.  I think the cheapest was $40 which seemed like a lot since the most I pay for a bottle these days  is $15 (and that's the big bottle). 

Sorry for the grain in some of these photos.  Drinking and using the DSLR are not always a safe combination so I relied heavily on the iPhone. 


Look at the view!  Seriously, everything thing I imagined. 

Even though our DD had quite the route mapped out for us, our next scheduled winery stop wasn't going to be for a while, so since we had no clue we asked the employees at Sinesky for places to go.  They recommended Miner Family Winery, which happened to be just a quick 5 minutes down the road.  And we all agreed we could have stayed there the rest of the day and been completely satisfied.  The staff there were so fun.  And you could really tell they know there stuff.  Apparently they are the only winery in Napa that use the Reidel stemless wineglasses for wine tasting and use a different glass-type for each tasting.  You can even buy your own set of the glasses with the Miner logo at the bottom.  Now that I think about it, that would have been an excellent gift for Father's Day.  Oh well, Christmas?

I think what we all loved the most about Miner was that we were able to go outside and enjoy our wine on the deck while taking in the fresh Cali air and amazing view.  I mean, I could sit and drink wine and look out at that all day.  

One of the workers, I so wish I knew his name, took us on a surprise tour of the caves where they store all of their wine.  
Again, sorry for the noisy photo but doesn't this look like a scene from The Tudors or Game of Thrones? 

This guy pouring wine straight from the barrel into M's mouth was our awesome tour guide and I think had a crush on M and KDKA.  Not surprising.  

Next stop was V. Sattui.  Our DD really pushed for this place since it has a nice deli and it was quite clear that she was hungry because as soon as we arrived she rushed inside for lunch.  V. Sattui was much larger and a little more crowded but it was much more cheap with it only being $10-$15 for wine tasting depending on which package you chose as opposed to $25 at the first two places.  While it was much cheaper we were not overly impressed by the guy pouring our wine.  He didn't seem to have much of a personality and seemed a little annoyed by us.  Although he did compare the 4 of us to the cast of FRIENDS which we all thought was strange.  Of course we discussed who would be  who.  Everyone agreed I would be Monica.  I promptly said, "I am NOT Monica" which according to everyone, would be a very Monica thing to say.  
Sent this to husband's family.  MIL responded with "you both look like very refined winos."  I couldn't agree more:)

I finally busted out the DSLR for some photos of the grounds of V. Sattui.  And I am really happy I did.  Our DD's second job is a portrait photographer so she gave me a little tour and suggestions places to get some good photos. 

Chowing down. 

Our 4th and final stop was at Menage a Trois Winery.  I was pretty excited about this once since I have actually purchased a few bottles of their wine before.  It was really neat to see where it comes from.  Tasting here was also cheaper, $10-$15 depending on the tasting package you wanted, and was open until 6.  We were also able to enjoy our wine while sitting outside as well in between tastings among the vineyards.  

Silly pictures for Mom

This is another favorite of mine.  I hope to have this available in my Etsy shop soon. 

Like I said, we got a hotel room so no one had to worry about driving back after a day of drinking.  While I do think anyone of us could have driven home after our day, I am still glad we got the room.  For $90, it was not bad.  
View after leaving the awful pizza restaurant across the lot from our hotel. 

This day and the day before were my favorites from our trip.  If you ever head out to Cali and are in the Napa area, I highly recommend hiring a DD, I think we found her on craigslist, which was so much cheaper than renting a limo.  Also, do make a point to stop at Miner.  The staff were so friendly and accommodating.

linking up with Lisette and Amanda

Until next time 
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summertime and the livin's easy

Well, it's official.  Today is the first day of Summer.  While it may be the first official day, I feel as though Summer is almost over already.  And once you hit the July 4th, the time just flies by.  Before you know it, our Sundays will be spent on the couch watching grown burly men tackle each other while we have on Uggs.  

Anyway, I hope that wasn't too depressing for you.  In an attempt to lighten your mood a bit, how about some good ole fashion #backthatazzup tunes for your listening pleasure as I show you last weeks 365 photos.  
Sublime - "Summertime"

June 15, 2013.  Day 177 of 365.

June 16, 2013.  Day 178 of 365.

"Reddish Orange"

June 17, 2013.  Day 179 of 365.
"Itchy Eyes"

June 18, 2013.  Day 180 of 365.
"Balancing Act"

June 19, 2013.  Day 181 of 365.
"Sand dipped feet"

June 20, 2013.  Day 182 of 365.
"Be still my heart"

June 21, 2013.  Day 183 of 365.

linking up with Whitney and Kerry

Until next time.
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cali adventures {big basin}

As mentioned in my last cali adventure post, miraculously none of woke up with a hangover for our planned 10+ mile hike through Big Basin National Park.  And let me tell you, if I had been hungover, I cannot imagine how I would have survived the windy ass roads to get to Big Basin.  It would have been a lot like that time when we were driving to our resort in Colorado from the Denver airport when I was in the 6th grade and as we were twisting and turning up the mountains I said to my dad (who was driving at the time) "I think I am gonna be si..." I did not get the chance to finish saying the ck before I blew chunks all over a family friend's game boy and games.  I don't remember feeling embarrassed or even anyone in the car getting mad at me but I do remember feeling like a million bucks.  

So, I guess it could have been a lot worse.  For everyone.  Although, I did immediately regret eating my leftovers from the delicious diner breakfast I had before we left.  

Anywayyyyy, I made my sister pull over twice to walk it off it a little and get some fresh air (another thing they don't tell you about turning 30 is that motion sickness will get worse).  So as we pulled into the parking lot, M quickly stopped the car, I got out and laid down on the sidewalk (with the below photo as my view) while M and the husband went to the office/check-in area to register us.  
And if there was not a more worse time to be feeling sick.  M came back talking about how cute the ranger guy was who checked them in.  

Cute Ranger guy had M put a piece of paper on the dashboard of M's car so cute ranger guy and his friends knew where to look just in case we didn't return by night fall.  Comforting.  Luckily M remembered her first-aid kit she had in her trunk which clearly made us all feel a little bit better. 

Off we go! 

Have you ever visited a Redwood forest park before?  If not, add it to your bucket list because they are beyond amazing.  If you ever want to feel insignificant in the grand scheme of things this is the place to be.  But in a good way.  Extremely humbling. 

I have a thing for bridges in the middle of a forest. 

Me standing in a hollowed out vagina  vajayjay shaped hole in one of the trees.  And can I please take a minute to let you know I had to Google how to spell vajayjay and do you know what came up?  If you guessed vajazzle, you would be right.  W. T. F. 

Some fun info M thinks she remembers hearing about the Redwoods that are bunched together like the ones I above; apparently when the older, larger trees start to feel threatened in anyway they communicate to the younger,smaller ones to protect it by shielding it from whatever it feels threatened by.  So Avatar of them. 

He's so little and tiny. 

I loved how these ones twisted at the top. 

Stopping for mid hike snack.  

Stopping so M could pop some Advil for her knees.  T.G.F.F.A.K. (thank goodness for the first-aid kit). 

Hey M, whatcha lookin' at? 

Next to the building where we registered there is a cross section of a really old Redwood.  See all of those lines in the one below?  Count those and that is how old it is.  Apparently it goes way back the height of the Mayan Civilization and when Mohammed is born. 

We completed the 10+ mile loop way before the sun set.  M showed me cute ranger guy.  I thought she should give him her number.  She guessed she couldn't be the first to give him her number.  Probably true.  What did she have to lose?  The possibility of having adorably cute outdoorsy ranger kids.  Just my opinion. 

As goes with spending too much together, a long hike, and blood sugar dipping way low we started to get a little cranky so we stopped in Saratogga (the first town we hit after the long winding roads to the park and now I kinda wish we spent more time in) for Mexican.  As you can see we housed the chips, salsa and quac.    

After filling our bellies we headed to SFO to pick up our cousin, KDKA. 

We had some time to kill so we headed to the cell phone lot and obviously watched the Pens game on M's phone. 

linking up with Shanna, Sara, and Melissa

until next time
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