Our Trip to Wine Country…

I can’t believe that yesterday was my boys first day back to school!  3rd and 5th grade?  WHAT?  Craaazzzeeee! How did summer fly by so damn fast?   I also can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since June 1st (which was my boys last day of school). Oops!   🙁

Things just get busy when they are around all day and we traveled quite a bit this summer, and we didn’t get much stuff done around the house!  So since I dont have any rooms or projects to write about I thought I’d tell you about the trip that we took at the beginning of June to wine country.

A good friend was turning 40 and she is a big wine drinker.  I mean, she loves the stuff (and so do I) as you can see from this wine cork project and this wine bottle one too. So what better place to celebrate a big birthday then California wine country?

I had been to Napa before, twice.  Once when I was 14 years old and couldn’t truly appreciate it.  And once when I was in my early 20’s (but it was only a quick day trip).  Needless to say I was very excited to go again.

4 couples went.  We rented a house in Glen Ellen which was fantastic. The property was amazing.  The house had a pool and hot tub, a beautiful piece of land, bocce ball, corn hole, other games, a well stocked kitchen, was adorably decorated, was in a great location and had a winery right next door. We spent a lot of time at the house when we weren’t out at the wineries.

Day one…

We had a limo pick us up and take us to Napa for a jam packed day of visiting wineries.  Smart move since we knew we’d be drinking wine all day.  We got picked up at 9am.  Our first stop was Domaine Carneros for a champagne tasting.  In Napa it’s okay to have champagne for breakfast. 😉 It was a perfect way to start our day. The property was gorgeous and the tour/tasting was really fun.

Next up was Honig, a smaller vineyard but equally pretty. We did a private tasting there as well.  (Side note, I was at the dentists office recently reading O magazine and saw this winery featured.) Anyway, it was amazing and the wine was great and we got to sit outside and enjoy the nice weather. Coming from Naples where it is 92 degrees everyday and 100% humidity and going to Napa where it was 50’s in the morning then warmed up to 70’s was a welcome change.

After our tasting, we ate a quick lunch, and then we headed to Peju Winery for another private tasting.  What a gorgeous property!  Our tour guide was a little over the top, but the wine was delicious and we did have a lot of laughs.

Then we headed to Rutherford. Again, wow, beautiful property. No private tasting there but we did grab a bottle of red and one white and just sat in the beautiful courtyard for a bit.  It was getting late though and we wanted to try to hit one more winery, Sterling, and I am so glad we did.  One of the couples we were with had been before and convinced us we needed to check it out.  So we grabbed our unfinished bottles from Rutherford for the limo ride and headed there. And guess what? Sterling was probably my favorite winery of the day!  You have to take a gondola to the top and once you get up there it’s like….WOW, holy crap this is amazing.  The views are unreal and the wine is tasty too. It is one of my favorites.  It was a great place to end a completely awesome and fun day!

We had the limo from 9-6pm and we used up every second.  I think we got back to the house at 5:58.  That night we cooked dinner at the house and hung out in the hot tub drinking more wine and having tons of laughs.  It was fabulous.

Day 2…

We had a private tasting scheduled at Kunde in Sonoma and it was AMAZING.  We started in a private room, then toured the inside of the mountain (where they store their barrels), then headed up the mountain on a tour bus.  We stopped a few times along the way as our guide explained about the grapes, the winery, the wine, etc. and made our way to the top where there was an outdoor bar area for us to try more wines.  It was chilly and windy up there so they gave us blankets, but oh my goodness the views were breathtaking and the wine was so damn good.

After this tour we found a local place for lunch, then headed back to our house.  Later, we walked next door to the small vineyard called Loxton Cellars.  This place was super small but really cool and it was awesome to be able to walk to it.  We had a quick tasting bought a few bottles and sat outside and drank them.  Then we headed back to the house again to just hang out.

Day 3…

Our last day.  🙁

We started out at Matanzas Creek Winery.  The property here is so gorgeous and is known for it’s fields of lavendar, which weren’t in full bloom but gorgeous nonetheless.  We did a quick tasting here then walked around the property for a while.

We then headed to lunch and walked around Sonoma for a little bit.  Then to another tasting scheduled at Chateau St Jean.  Another stunning place.  Wow.  We sat outside for our tasting and then the clouds rolled in and it started pouring and we even saw hail!

After this we went home packed up our stuff and headed to dinner in downtown Glen Ellen.  My husband and I were heading to the airport straight from dinner, taking the red eye out of San Fran while the others all had flights in the morning.  Coming back from California is always a drag. You either fly all day or all night.  Anyway after a delicious dinner at the Glen Ellen Starr we headed to the airport. We weren’t sure how much traffic we’d hit but it was fine and we got there with plenty of time to spare.

Overall, we had THE BEST time and I am so glad we were able to go.  My husband was apprehensive to leave the kids for 4 days, but they did just fine with my mother and we had such a great time!  I want to go back again soon since there is SO MUCH to see.  I would love to make this an annual event!

Have you ever been to this area?  What was your favorite winery?

A Guide to Surviving Summer…

June 1, 2017….I can’t believe today is the last day of school for my boys.  Onto 3rd and 5th grade!  WHAT?  How did that happen?  This year sure flew by.

Last day of school means a neighborhood party with bouncy water slides, pizza, swimming, and the kids running wild.  And later the annual last day of school beach party that we’ve been going to since my oldest was in kindergarten.  How lucky are we???

It seems like June 1st is awfully early to be getting out of school, but we start in mid-August.  When I was growing up in Massachusetts school didn’t start until the day after Labor Day, and then usually didn’t get out until mid to late June, depending on how many snow days we had.  Things are different here in Florida.

Summer, summer, summer time…

Anyway, now that they will be home everyday we have to find things to do.  We have several vacations planned for July, and the boys are signed up for a few different camps but, they will be home a lot too.  I thought I’d put together a list of items to help us all get through the summer.

Pool Time…

We are lucky enough to have a pool and since it is so hot here in Florida we use it a lot.

Check out these fun pool slides from Home Depot. These are only sold online.  Our pool does not have a slide so I plan to order one of these.

Aqua Launch Slide

Cosmic Pool Water Slide

And who wouldn’t want to float around on this fun Lobster?

Luxe Lie-On Lobster Float, Red

from: One Kings Lane

Outdoor Fun…

Get the kids outside away from their iPads or PlayStations!  These are some of our favorite outdoor games.

Wildon Home Select 6 Player Croquet Set

from: Wayfair

Corn Hole Bean Bag Toss Game Set

from: Wayfair

48 Piece Giant Block Tower Game Set Size: 24″ H x 7.5″ W x 7.5″ D

from: Wayfair

5 Piece Kan Jam Game Set

from: Wayfair

LED Light Up Flying Ultimate Disc

from: Wayfair

Outdoor Relaxing…

After all this swimming and playing, its time for some relaxing.

Ava Canvas Hammock with Stand Color: Green/Blue/Teal

from: Wayfair

Pumpkin Swing Chair with Stand Color: Bark Brown

from: Wayfair

Teacher Gifts…

If your kids are still in school and you are looking for a unique teacher gift.  Check out this site.  I wish I had found it earlier.

Refresh Glass - Wine Bottles into Glasses and More!

I hope these items help you get through these long summer days!  Enjoy!!