Sonoma – Part One

When we originally planned this vacation, our goal was to head directly up to Sonoma after the wedding, we LOVE Sonoma. Then the fires began and our plans changed.  The couple we were traveling with were very nervous about the fires and the residual side effects of  whatever toxic stuff had burned but my hubby and I would have stuck to our original plan if we were solo.   So on Tuesday when our friends were flying out to head home, we booked a car, an Airbnb and were off to Sonoma!  Our first stop was one of our favorites, Ravenswood Winery.  Last time I was in Sonoma I was pregnant with our first son, so while I was the ultimate Designated Driver, it was torture smelling all the wines but not having any! It was payback time.  I distinctly remember how delicious the IMG_3570Ravenswood wines smelled from my previous trip so I was really excited to head back.  Since all of the vineyards were just getting back on their feet after a two week hiatus we were the only customers so our amazing wine connoisseur, Nancy, gave us the best tasting we’ve ever had there.  It was a beautiful day and sitting on their terrace was pure bliss. Although we could clearly see the fire line in the hills. It was a distinct line in the hills and not very far away from where we were sitting.  We leisurely drank our wine as Nancy came back and forth with our tastings.  She sat and chatted with us.  She told us how everyone in the area with a tractor had gone out and dug up earth in helping with the fire.  It created a barrier for the fire to cross and helped stop it from spreading.  Nancy told us how the community truly came together to help each other it was inspiring.  After a couple of hours with Nancy she gave us a list of recommendations of other vineyards to visit and we were off on our way.

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On Nancy’s recommendation we headed into Sonoma Plaza to another tasting room at Corner 103.  It was our first time there and the location is prime on the corner in Sonoma’s “downtown” area with great views of Sonoma Plaza.  Brent was our host there and from speaking to him I thought he was the owner but not in an arrogant way.  He just cared about the venue and the wine as if it were his own and how the fires had affected the area.  The interior is sleek and new but had a faint smoke smell despite of the fact that it had been professionally cleaned.  I told Brent the story of when my house burned down when I was 16 and how the smell was reminding me of that and how certain items that made it through still carry that same smell.  We chatted with another patron in the tasting room who happened to be an employee at Buena Vista winery which was next on our list but first I needed to sober up a bit.  So we did a little shopping.

We went a couple of doors down and I tried on a dress but it wasn’t really my style and the sales woman recommended we try a boutique a couple of doors down named Bella Vita.  So as we headed that way everywhere we looked there were signs made for the emergency personnel who had helped saved Sonoma.  There wasn’t a store without a IMG_3871sign.  It was inspiring.  I could see what Nancy was talking about.  We made it to Bella Vita and within a  couple of minutes in the store my husband had picked out the perfect dress.  It even had pockets!  We moseyed over to Sonoma Cheese Factory for some charcuterie and then stopped in Global Heart Fair trade for a Christmas ornament.  I like to collect Christmas Ornaments on vacation. It makes decorating the tree more fun and personal!  We got back to the car and headed to Buena Vista winery.

I had been following Buena Vista on Facebook and knew it was their first day reopening.  The fires had made it to the back of their buildings and being the oldest winery in Sonoma the fire department did everything they could to save it and they did.

Although the buildings were saved, they were still working on getting the smell and smoke out of the buildings.  So all tastings were happening on the patio which was fine with us because it was a beautiful day! We sat outside making small talk with other patrons but since it was already past their closing time we didn’t spend much time there.  We figured it was time to see where we were spending the night and find some dinner.

We found our AirbnIMG_3860b and quickly made ourselves at home. The apartment also reeked of smoke so we opened all the windows and turned on the fans and made ourselves a charcuterie plate to enjoy outside as the sun set.  For dinner, we opted for a local Mexican place called El Molino Central it was delicious and super affordable – too of my favorite things.   We called it a night early excited for the following full day of tastings and exploring.  One more fully packed day to come!

California Knows How to Party…

For my husband and I, an invitation to a wedding is a great excuse to travel and when we received one for a wedding in California there was no saying no! Especially in San Francisco and if you’re going to go to California ya might as well make it a vacation.

When I booked the flight I did something I normally would never do, I booked a flight that arrived 3 hours and 15 minutes before the wedding. So any significant flying delays and we would probably miss the wedding. It created a bit of anxiety but since it saved us one hotel room night in San Francisco it made sense. Luckily our flight left on time and we were flying along as a scheduled until we were disrupted from watching a movie by a woman screaming “Is there a doctor on board!!!!”   There was some commotion and luckily there was a doctor on the plane. Up to this point on the flight, I had gathered that the woman next to me was a HOT mess. She was friendly and talkative but she had already gotten in trouble with the flight attendant for bringing her own spiced rum bottles on the plane. PSA: it’s a violation of FAA rules to drink your own alcohol on the plane. So when the commotion began, this woman was very interested in seeing what was going on. She was leaning so far into the aisle that when the flight attendant was going back and forth with a medical kit and oxygen tanks, she was completely blocking the flight attendant. I literally grabbed her and pulled her back into our aisle I said “you gotta get out of the way!” At this point we had no idea what was going on with the passenger who needed medical attention. And this hot mess of a woman had no self awareness to make sure she didn’t add to the problem. It was baffling. Luckily the man was fine and by the end of flight he walked himself off the plane and was being checked out by paramedics.  He had apparently fainted and was much better by the time we landed and we made it to the wedding on time! The wedding was absolutely gorgeous! We had about an hour and a half to get ready and head down to the wedding.

The wedding was for one of my husbands college roommates who had moved to San Francisco after college. So we only knew one other couple at the wedding so we quickly made friends with everyone at our table. Table nineteen represent!!! It was a great night and everyone was super friendly and somehow we partied like rockstars till 2am PST!!! We paid for it dearly the next day.

The following day we had planned to meet up with friends from San Diego and hike Muir Woods. Which happens to be on my 40 before 40 list – woot woot! I woke up feeling okay but was definitely hungover from the festivities. So we went to the morning after breakfast- which was delicious!! Our friends from San Diego we’re going to be a bit so we walked around fisherman wharf and met them at a restaurant to eat lunch before our hike. I still wasn’t feeling great but knew I could pull it together. We finished up lunch and headed out. So the thing about me is that I get horribly car sick. Being hungover and sitting in the back of car on the very winding roads. I almost lost my lunch. It was awful. IMG_3522It took about ten minutes into the hike for me to finally feel like I wasn’t going to lose it. But there is nothing like a good nature walk to cure your motion sickness and hangover. It was a gorgeous day and the woods were exquisite:

 

After we headed back to San Francisco cleaned up and then headed to one of the best Thai places I have ever been to. (Excluding when I travels to Thailand but it was close!) We took a walk and headed back to the hotel for some much needed zzzzz’s.

We spent the next day in San Francisco. I dragged my hubby out for a run to the Golden Gate Bridge it was glorious! The skies were clear and the temperature was perfect. We ubered back to the hotel to get ready and meet our friends for an awesome breakfast.

We then did something I thought I would never do and we tried out Escape the Room.  It was a lot more fun than I expected and of course the women were better than the men. We walked all around San Francisco, watched the Eagles win and had  a low key night of dinner and drinks and then made plans to head to Sonoma the following day… to be continued..

October Roundup

This month was amazing. My hubby and I were able to travel to California sans kids and it was everything we wanted and more. I will write a separate blog post about our trip but here is my monthly roundup:

  1. Run the Naked Bavarian 40 mile race on March 4, 2017  –  Done.  Read race recap here if you missed it.
  2. Raise $5,000 for Covenant House Pennsylvania – Done March 3, 2017
  3. Run the Dirty German 50 mile race on May 13, 2017 – finished the 25K, it was during a Nor’easter and simply miserable.  It just wasn’t mean’t to be.
  4. Lose the baby weight (starting weight 140) – So the good news is I didn’t gain weight in October but the bad new is I didn’t lose any either.  Considering we were on vacation, I am going to call this a win!
  5. Rock Climb More – Boom we went to Birdsboro and made it happen – outside too!!Climbing
  6. Travel More – Like I said, we were just in California and it was amazing and a blog post is coming  – I even already started it!
  7. Blog More – I have learned that I need more specific goals for this and have already started planning my 2018 goals – coming soon!
  8. One small house project a month – Nothing.  Again.  I don’t even know what to say here.  I am working on the house but not really keeping track of it like I thought I could.
  9. Declutter –  I was able to sell a bunch of baby and maternity gear on Facebook marketplace and make some extra cash at the same time.  I also donated most of the items from my MIL and they were happy to have it and I was happy to get rid of it. My goal is to get rid of 1,000 items in the month of November – say what?!?  Here goes nothing.
  10. Spend less – We went to California which was not cheap but we had saved for it and since we spend the majority of our lives saving, its nice to spend some coin once in a while.

Overall I am learning that while some of my goals for the year were very specific, many were not which definitely affected my ability to complete them or care to even complete them.  So for 2018 I am going to be much more focused with my goals but I still have 2 months left for 2017 so wish me luck on getting shit done!

-G