Tag Archives: vacation

Napa…or bust.

(and no we aren’t going to get married there…cuz I knew SOMEONE would ask!)

😉

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Cheers friends! See ya in a week!

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Lake-a-shun. Lake-ation. Lakation….Part Deux!

Whichever way it’s spelled, it’s time to do it again.

Lakation.

Or for those of you that think I am writing ‘lactation’ – let’s go with phonetic spelling: lake-a-shun. Or hyphenated. Lake-ation.

Whichever way you prefer (I still prefer lakation – witty IMHO! But I am clearly confusing many of you!), I am downright giddy to get up to the lake tonight, returning Sunday night.

Isn’t it funny how right before a vacation, even ‘just’ a few days, you always come into it crawling? So READY to unwind (un-WINE-D!) and let go of it all for a few days?

Well, that’s where I am at. Again. “Just” a little more than a month after the last epic lakation.

It’s been a crazy busy summer, but in so many GOOD ways. I am again, however, realizing that I am doing it again. Piling plans on top of plans, classes on top of teaching (lots and lots of teaching of late, love, love love! EVEN the opportunity to teach a class in which Tanya herself attended. No pressure, owner/creator of barre n9ne and all…but wow, the adrenaline? Unreal. The feeling? An honor. Truly.), and it all adds up to…a much needed screeching halt. 

I am going into this weekend with a back to basics mentality. I vow, promise, MUST come out of this weekend with a better approach to plan-making. Back to basics. Learning to sit down.  Hold me to it, mmk?

On that note, it’s time to plow through the rest of this workday and get myself up to the lake. Where bliss awaits and it all melts away. ❤

Wine Country…in fours.

I wanted to capture this trip simply in a post, because it’s far too difficult to capture how absolutely perfect it was, just as it is hard to capture the beauty of our surroundings out there, pictures do not do it justice, nor do words.

So, on my fourth trip to wine country in four years, I give you…wine country…in fours.

Four of my favorite pictures:

The quintessential wine snobs picture – I think I win this round, don’t you think?
On our last day at Hop Kiln, where they serve warm crusty rolls along with a variety of delicious cheeses, spreads (the sundried tomato pesto is sinful!) and meats.
Because my expression cracks me up, caught in a half laugh at Williamson, one of our hands-down favorites, during the most delicious wine and food pairing (duck, lasagna, and meatball bites were utter perfection). We ended up buying oh, 8 bottles here! Oops! 😉
Such a cute group shot, at Field Stone, my very first wine club and still my favorite. All of their reds are deep, inky, and bold and their whites are fresh, light and crisp. (and we kind of look like we belong in the opening credits of Full House, don’t we?!)

Four of my favorite moments:

  1. Skinny-dipping in the pool. A lot. Woops 😉
  2. When our zip lining guide had to basically ‘save’ me from whamming into the tree after I didn’t brake careening in from a long and fast zip (see #1 below…) – let’s just say it was a favorite moment because I will never forget it, and I kinda think I blacked out for a second, out of fear!
  3. Balancing wine tastings with pool and hot tub relaxation. In years past, we have typically been tasting all afternoon, but this time, we would just pick 2-3 at MOST and then head back to the house and enjoy the heat, sun and our kick ass house.
  4. Walking around the grounds at our house and M and I embracing as we gazed over the lawn and pointing out the most perfect place to get married…right there. 2013, perhaps? 😉
Four learnings:
  1. I’m apparently deathly afraid of heights. We went zip lining on our second day of the trip and while M was pretty apprehensive about it, I ended up being the most scared. With each zip (total of 6), I got more and more freaked out and was literally on the verge of tears each time. I didn’t admit that until the end though, as we repelled down 60 feet to the ground, because I didn’t want anyone to feel like I wasn’t having fun. I mean, it was an experience I will never forget, but it is also one that I was utterly thankful for when it was over. I almost kissed the ground, no joke.
  2. While I struggled a bit with mindfulness, by the end of the trip, I am so glad I let go as much as I did. As much as I am really glad to be back into my routine (eating, workouts etc), I think my body and my mind needed it.
  3. Going with the flow can be a very good thing. We had planned several wineries per day and in different areas but after finding a few gems just by doing things like ‘okay, second winery on the right’ we realized that throwing the rulebook out the window (in this case, our plans!) is so much better than planning. (gasp – this from a type A’er?!)
  4. Disconnecting isn’t just liberating, it’s something I need to do. Often. Not checking Facebook or Twitter much, and really just posting some pics to Instagram gave me a sense of being far away from it all, but in a freeing, liberating way. I didn’t miss anything. Shocker, right? More on this in a later post.

Four of my favorite (new!) wines:

  1. Portalupi: The perfect balance of Italian infusion into California wines. We are now wine club members 😉
  2. Amista: We stopped here because they had balloons out front (doesn’t take much hehe!) advertising a vertical cab tasting. (that is a wine flight where you taste four wines, starting from oldest vintage to newest) and we had so much fun, we picnic’d here, and came back a second time (for a Zin flight for Zin Day!). Epic.
  3. Cartograph: Where I tasted the very first Chardonnay that I actually liked.
  4. Hop Kiln: This isn’t a new winery for us, HOWEVER, I have to mention it because it is the first pinot noir that I LOVED. Score.

After the longest trek home ever (a FIVE hour flight delay on a red eye…I am not sure what could be possibly worse than a red eye, than one with a FIVE hour flight delay. We crawled onto that flight at 2 am PT and landed in Boston at 10:30 am ET. Yikes.), with 33 bottles of wine in tow (plus 6 more en route!), I emerged happy, relaxed, and enjoying my most favorite trip to wine country yet. And already cannot wait to go back next year.

Cheers friends.

It’s Friday…let the countdown begin! (12 days!)

It’s Friday, and I’m tired, yo.

I felt like I came crawling into Friday today. And have felt that way for several weeks now. Busy weeks, busy weekends, lots of teaching, lots of running, lots of LOTS going on.

And then it dawned on me. I’m tired because I haven’t really had a break from work and traveling, plus barre n9ne training and right into teaching, and dude, I am TIRED.

I realize that I need a break. I look at my weekends and they are jammed with so much. So much fun. So much Maine. So much barre n9ne. So much, so much! <–I love being busy, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes my overplanning self gets the best of me, thus why I am trying to simplify!

And then I realized something else.

In 12 days, I will step onto a plane and go to wine country for my FOURTH trip in as many years to my ‘mecca’ – Healdsburg! Five days of nothing but 6 people, renting a house, hitting up our favorite (and some new!) wineries, and just enjoying. Soaking it in. (oh and don’t forget all the wine…but isn’t that a given?). Perhaps a run or two. Maybe a little barre n9ne session out by the salt water pool (can’t wait for that!). But nothing over extravagant.  No work. No email. Nothing but bliss.

It is a much-needed time away. It is do-over time with my sister Jess and brother in law Scott that we missed last fall when M and I went because they couldn’t come at the last minute. And it is a second trip with another fabulous couple that I adore (that came with us two years ago), celebrating birthdays bucket-list style with ziplining over some vineyards (Wheeeee!!! How exciting is that?! When I excitedly shared this plan with M – booking it before telling him, because I know he is a bit afraid of heights – and told him ‘but it’s a bucket list item!’ and he said ‘yeah, YOUR bucket list, not mine!’ teehee).

And it is an experience with M that I cannot wait to have again. We had such an amazing time last year, as I introduced him to my mecca, and he too, loved every minute. It was a trip where I think we fell in love that much more. The gazes. The smiles. The time together with each other and with friends.

So today, on this Friday that I’m crawling into, I am counting down the days…12 days and counting, and I will cheers to that (over and over!) this weekend to that. 

Happy weekend friends!

Bliss ❤

Wine country three-peat…a recap in pictures (and a few words)

At long last, here is a recap of my wine country three-peat vacation in pictures (and a few words). These are pictures mostly taken by M…what can I say, his camera on his phone takes unreal pictures! (we look like rockstars in some of these. Or something.)

(and I also plan to post my recap of my favorite wineries, probably next week, when I write a guest blog for RedWhiteBoston!)

Enjoy…cheers!!

The girls and me at Truett-Hurst, behind us is a stream where salmon jump out of it in October as they swim downstream. Cool, huh?
M and his brood of chicks (lol), also at Truett-Hurst (mind you, we picked this place because it opened at 10 and when we walked in, the wine pourer (sommellier?!) said 'ah, you must be from the East Coast!" (sure, but we still would have started at 10, for the record...). Big pours, lots of awesome red blends makes for a powerful first tasting o the day!
Dutcher Crossing...check out the freakin view behind us! It was unreal! Good wine, I believe we got a cab, if I am not mistaken (the pourer was all of 22 years old. Becky. She was pretty funny though).
Ahh....grapes, grapes, and more grapes. I never got sick of gazing at vineyards.
LOVE this picture...feigning our snotty sniffer face at Hopper Creed in Napa (we took a day trip, which we usually do, with a driver and hit some private vineyards. This was an AWESOME find! The winemaker looked like Jerry Garcia, was smoking a cigarette and drinking Bud Light!)
M likes to take 'artistic' pictures of me...I actually really like this one for some reason 😉
Another hidden gem...Cinard in Napa, which JUST opened their tasting room...in their private home. This place was un-freaking-real. Awesome merlot (surprising since I usually don't want to drink the 'fucking merlot!' but loved it!)
One of our faves from last year...Hop Kiln. We had a bad experience with our wine pourer (it was her first day though) and found out our favorite blend - Big Red - was discontinued, but had a delish picnic on their grounds with fresh baked bread, sundried tomato pesto, manchego cheese and goat cheese. Oh and some wine. Duh.

I do believe I was feeling a little uh, happy at this point, but we were at Zichichi, which was down the street from our house and a great find! We pre-ordered a zin that we tasted from the barrel. It was delish, a bit dry, not too sweet. My favorite!

The fog would lift every morning from the vineyards and running in the mornings and seeing it lift, from right to left was SO incredible. The right side of the road would be sunny and blue, and the left would be foggy, but just above the grapes. Honestly surreal.
This was our backyard. No, I'm not kidding. We were literally ON a vineyard. Stillerus. And we had a jacuzzi, a garden and this lovely little bridge to the vineyard itself.

 

LOVE the shadowy effects of the trees in this one! Also at Truett-Hurst 🙂
This was an accidental picture, but seriously, cracks me up. We were at V-M-L which my friend Meg kept saying reminded her of 'vpl' aka 'visible panty lines' and I just crack up every time. Just me? Okay. Moving on.
The fact that our tongues are bright red speaks volumes. Just sayin.
Another 'fun' (aka perhaps a wee bit tipsy) pic at Zichichi

 

And in closing, here is a picture at Hanna Vineyard - gorgeous grounds - and the wine was pretty good, but the funniest part was the couple next to us name-dropping about how much land they owned and that that her sister was Heidi Newfield (sp?)'s sister (country singer?).

There you have it…a snapshot of one of the best trips e-v-e-r. I will probably honestly go every single year because every single year we have gone, we have had a wonderful time, brought home lots of delicious wine and countless memories. If you ever have the chance to go, GO! And go to Healdsburg. And rent a house. That is all.

CHEERS!