Tag Archives: wine country

2012…the highlights reel.

I almost didn’t write this post, because it is SO hard for me to wrap up a year that was truly one of the best years of my life, but I thought a fun post in ‘highlight reel’ fashion would be a fun way to recap some fun moments.

2012 in highlights:

 I unseated comfort zones, from work, to running, to becoming certified in barre n9ne

I traveled, traveled, traveled (to wine country, Mexico, and the Bahamas)

I experienced an unforgettable wedding

I lived the shit out of Maine, lakation-style

Met blog friends in Atlanta, Chicago Austin, AND Maine ‘bloggy meet-up’ style

I spent more time with my family and sisters, and the most beautiful niece in the world

And the biggest highlight of 2012 most certainly has to be when M asked me to marry him ❤

2012 is a year that I lived, loved, and played hard…a year I truly lived the shit out of. And 2013? I’m coming for you, like whoa. Happy New Year, friends, and thank you all for sharing this year with me, it’s truly been a blessed, gratitude-filled year. ❤


An ode to summer (it’s not over!)

Though summer is not officially over, Labor Day ALWAYS signals how close it is to being over and I try my hardest not to let that sadness creep into my mood over the long weekend, and instead, enjoy the shit out of it instead. I have a few other posts in mind this week, but after reading one of my bestie’s post on summer, I just had to throw down some of my favorite moments of this summer, ode-to-summer style.

It ain’t over till it’s over people, enjoy the shit out of every last warm, summery day. I sure as hell plan to 😉

An epic bloggy meet-up in June to kick the summer into high gear!
Assuming the position…dockside (with bloggy friends!)
Twister. Genius game for pure laughter and fun (played many times this summer!)
Summery snacks, garden-fresh, perfection.
Sweaty sister runs (and many many with M!), how I love thee.
Summer bucket list item – CHECK!
Funny boys…lots of photo bombs and picture taking ‘fake-outs’
Wine, wine and uh, more wine? 😉
Lots of niece time, niece pics and soon enough, her SECOND birthday!
*more* dockside fun. ❤
b9 love…picture taking fun at the beach this weekend (for a contest at the studio!). so so fun!
A trip to wine country that will never be forgotten…perhaps another in our (near?) future? Must.
Wine tasting fun, and a photo bomb from my brother in law 😉
Group picture at one of our favorite wineries, Field Stone. <3!
The most breathtaking sunset on the lake that I’ve ever seen.
Capturing some moments from summer this weekend, complete with laying in the grass, watching the stars (summer bucket list item, check!) and gorgeous blue moon with besties!

Summer. Is. Bliss. And it’s not over yet. *holding on for dear life*

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.

Taking a deep breathe…to unWINEd.

Yesterday, it hit me. Like a ton of bricks, followed by the feeling that I had been run over by a Mac truck, then backed over again with said Mac truck about 14 times.

I was just SPENT. Absolutely burnt. Could barely keep my eyes open. Tired to my core.

I think the last 6 months have done me in. In mostly good ways, but it’s just been an incredibly busy time, with a lot of ‘new’ thrown in, a lot of challenges, both physically and mentally, a shitton of travel and just gogogo.

I clearly need a break. My sister clearly does too.

We ALL need a break sometimes. And sometimes we don’t realize it until that ‘hit-by-a-ton-of-bricks’ moment. I realize how incredibly blessed I am to have an opportunity to truly unWINEd in my self-professed ‘mecca’ for the fourth year in a row. To be able to travel at all. To finally be on my feet financially, after several years of barely making ends meet. This feels like the culmination of this life that I have built from scratch, almost four years ago (FOUR! Incredible.).

In a way, I plan to pay it forward, to honor the mindfulness I pledged this week, to honor the blessing of this opportunity, to embrace un-routine, moments, and wine. Lots and lots of wine. 

Sometimes those hit-by-a-ton-of-bricks moments hit you upside the head with yet another reminder…never take for granted, never take lightly what is completely unfeasible for so many people, and to embrace all the good in life, big, small, and everything in between. Because it’s those in-between moments that are almost always the most incredible.

And I urge you…find a way this week to UnWINEd, just a little. Let the mind go, release the pressure you put on yourself and just be

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 ❤