May 2021 Wine Tasting – Day 1

A third trip to Napa Valley this year was planned for the weekend before Memorial Day. This time the group consisted of one of my best friends, aka my Pandemic Partner (PP), and our friend, Walter, who works in the restaurant industry. Girls’ trips are common for me and it was a welcomed change to show my fellow wine lover friends how I do wine country. It was their first time going with me and definitely not the last.

My PP had this idea about wine tasting – that you’ll never get to try the good stuff. Well, we definitely did and our group can tell what will just get better with time. He also likes Old World wine and merlots. He has been wine tasting in California before and he was expecting big cabs all day long. I am happy to say he was pleasantly surprised. Walter was just happy to come along and is a little less fussy.

I booked an affordable hotel room for us to share. We stayed at the Springhill Suites in Napa. This Marriott Certified Travel Agent had to keep racking up my points! Given my long, 6-week stay in Louisville at the same hotel, I knew it was going to be spacious. With the hotel booked, I planned our wine tasting itinerary.

I always recommend having a good breakfast and book wine tasting appointments at 1 and 3 pm. Always save a favorite winery til the end of day so you can relax and enjoy the grounds until they ask you to leave or have to make your dinner reservation. No one likes to rush from place to place.

Before our first stop, we had to get some food. I decided we go to the Oxbow and see what we can find. Options are good and they offered plenty. We definitely needed coffee though. While Walter got coffee, I ordered us two pizzas and a salad. We love Delfina Pizzeria in Palo Alto so I’m sorry pizza joints, you have competition. The food was great and the boys were pleased. Walter said he never thought of having pizza before wine tasting and decided it was a good idea. Your stomach has a nice, carb filled lining to receive the alcohol.

When you go to the Oxbow on a weekend, prepare yourself for a busy parking lot and allow yourself enough time to use the restroom and leave in time to make your wine tasting appointment. As an Event Planner, tardiness is a pet peeve of mine and as your Travel Agent, I will always pad your itinerary.

Our first winery was Tres Sabores. I have known Julie Johnson, the owner, winemaker and Co-Founder of Frog’s Leap for a few years. It was nice to return to the winery after so many years. I believe the first time I went was in maybe 2013. The boys really enjoyed the grounds and of course, the wine. If you’re a dog lover like PP and I, be sure to say hello to the three pups on site. The lovely welcome note and private table close to the vines made it really special.

Walter is from Ecuador and when Julie mentioned Quito and the logo being from a bowl of Ecuadorian artwork, it was an instant connection. It sounds like we need to go to Ecuador, Walter! Bottles were purchased and hugs were given upon our departure. I am glad the boys enjoyed themselves.

Next was Venge. I met Kenny at Ghost Block Winery the previous trip to Napa. He told the girls and I about Venge. I haven’t heard of it so I had to go! The ride along the Silverado Trail is also preferred over the main highway.

Venge was closed off behind a gate. With a click of the button on the intercom, Kenny buzzed us in. The tasting room felt more like a welcoming and comfortable home with a wraparound balcony overlooking the vines in Calistoga. It was very modern. Our hightop table was perfect. I let my guy pals face the vineyards so they can enjoy the view. I come up to wine country often so it’s likely I’ll be back before they would be.

The wines were a mix but all delicious. Kenny took very good care of us and it was nice to have him relax after we invited him to join us at our table. The service didn’t need to be so formal. More bottles were purchased.

We were ready to eat. A favorite spot of mine that has outdoor seating is Goose & Gander. I have been here a few times and it has always been good. We were sat outside on a gorgeous day and ordered what seemed like everything on the menu plus a bottle of wine not from California. We had the octopus, chicken and the pig ears to name a few. If you continue to read my blog, know I have developed a pig ears obsession. And these were tasty. We also had dessert. It was a good day.

My friend from another winery was hanging out with coworkers around the corner and invited us to stop by after dinner. It was a dive bar with plenty of room to dance and dollar bills covering the high ceiling. We had a couple of shots, danced, met new winery folks and experienced Napa Valley nightlife. But we were ready to head out. The car singing boy band tunes will be a memory I will never forget.

We continued heading south to our hotel and called it a night. We still had Day 2 of wine tasting to go at Heitz Cellars and Caymus. Stay tuned for more!

Happy #BeingYouDay!

Happy #BeingYouDay! Today is the day to do something for you, to showcase who you are unapologetically. I think this should be done everyday but if you need someone to do it with you, let’s do it!

This One Busy Bee works out, works non-stop, wines and dines herself and travels every chance she can get. Join me, support me or watch me but stay out of my way of me doing me. 😘

I am currently at the gym on a stationary bike writing this as I am on Week 3 of this season’s 1Up Nutrition Transformation Challenge. I worked until 10 pm last night and have more to do today. And yes, it is the eve before another trip to Napa with some of my favorite guys this time.

Now that the world is opening up a bit, it’s time to get back to me at my full potential! You should too! Book that trip (with me!), eat that dessert, sign up for your first half marathon and live life! Do it for you, your own mental health and happiness.

Good luck! Comment below as to what you have decided to do for yourself today. You deserve to smile.

#WomenWednesday – 5/19 in Livermore, California

A great #WomenWednesday at Aviation Rooftop Bar & Kitchen with these ladies! There wasn’t a dull moment over 2.5 hours discussing careers, the importance of our health, family and fur-babies, travel, plus dating and lots of laughs. And yes, I had to share the Latinas in Aviation book while at Aviation! It was just fitting. Thanks for being our beautiful model, Karla!

I was happy to meet Amanda and glad each one of the ladies met two new other awesome gals. At the end of night, hugs were given all around (take that, Covid!) and it seems like we’ll do it all again on June 30th for the Beer for Boobs event at Shadow Puppet Brewing in Livermore. Event is open to all!

Karla and Amanda might also join Kim and Becci on their Susan G Koman walk in San Diego this November. I absolutely love seeing the transfer of information and the inspiration and motivation that begins at these events. I hope they do participate!

Cocktails were unique and food was great. The Aviation cocktail (the lavender one) was gin based and had to take a pic with the book. My cocktail was the New York Sour that was vodka based and red wine float. Pretty interesting.

We had the coconut shrimp, goat cheese with apples and crostini, and the totnachos! You can’t go wrong with tator tots! It takes me back to grade school.

I had the Fried Chicken Sandwich with a side salad instead of fries. It’s all about balance, right? My friend, Karla, also shared my love for fried chicken. She had the Fried Chicken Salad and it looked good! My salad was delicious and I finished that before the sandwich. Not trying to over eat, I just had half of a filet and the tomato. My Pandemic Partner enjoyed the other half when I got back to the house in Menlo Park. “Ooooh, spicy.” It had some spice, yes. Search for ‘fried chicken’ on my blog using the search feature to the right and check out my other fried chicken posts. So crunchy. So good.

It was a bit too windy to enjoy the rooftop bar and view, but maybe next time! Thanks to Kari for taking good care of us! Too bad Theresa, the owner, wasn’t around but she liked the idea of the event via Instagram. It would have been great to have met another female business owner. We are happy to support!

Next event is at China Live in San Francisco on 5/26 at 6 pm. All seats are taken but connect with me to get on the waitlist if you’d like to come in case we have a cancellation like last night. It happens but please do try to commit to making the event to ensure a full table.

Related posts:
Women Wednesday – Revived!
Women Wednesday – Female Foodies
Women Wednesday with Karl Strauss

#WereHungryToo – Peninsula Bites – May 2021

With spending more time on the peninsula of the San Francisco Bay Area and my love for trying new spots is alive and well, here’s some yummy, local businesses to support! The restaurant industry could still use your help so please share this post, follow them on social media and continue to order out or dine inside now. Apparently it’s Peninsula Restaurant Week (May 14th – May 22nd). See the site to learn how to win a $50 dining certificate.

Be sure to also follow me on social media:


Instagram – @werehungrytwo
Twitter – @werehungry2

ASIAN BOX
Mountain View, California

With so many options on this strip, I settled on something simple – noodles and protein. I opted for the Chef Salad with steak and a bottled water. All came out to $16.67. They will charge you $.10 for a bag to take your item with you. Save the dime and the planet by bringing a tote.

I ate most of the flavorful meat at one of their tables outdoors. The noodles were good and the dressing was tasty but sticky. I asked for another dressing container before I took the rest to go. My friend who ate the leftovers also thought it was good. Even non-super fresh meals to go are decent.

Super friendly service and parking is located on either side of the strip.

BAY WATCH RESTAURANT
Burlingame, California

No, not a single red one-piece bathing is in sight. What is in sight is outdoor dining, spaced out chairs and a view into the kitchen. Order at the counter, take your number, have a seat and they will bring out your order.

I ordered the tuna melt with a side salad instead of fries and an Arnold Palmer. Good sized portions and delicious. I was even offered a to go refill of my Arnold Palmer.

Super friendly customer service and plenty of parking.

SAN AGUS COCINA URBANA & COCKTAILS
Palo Alto, California

When you dine somewhere twice in one week, you know it’s good and has become a favorite spot quickly. This restaurant opened during the pandemic, has outdoor seating, accepts reservations, makes awesome cocktails and unique dishes.

We have had almost everything on the menu so far. Get the gorditas, the shrimp cocktail, shrimp tacos and the churros. You can’t go wrong. This was also the first spot I had crickets! Crunchy and tasty!

Incredibly friendly service. They are attentive and welcoming. Find parking on the street or come via CalTrain.

SWEET ORCHID
Menlo Park, California

Their sign always caught my eye when I drove down El Camino. While picking up UPS packages next door, I decided to pop in and see what they had. Gelato, cakes to order and small items as well. Oh, the options.

As much as I love tiramisu, I opted in for the guava trifle. The purple color was appealing and I could use some fruit in my life. There was a chocolate version but perhaps I’ll get that one next time. For under $6, this trifle was totally delicious. I almost didn’t want to split it. In all honesty, I did scrape the container with my spoon.

The gal behind the counter was very friendly and there’s parking on the street and in a private parking lot.

ZOLA
Palo Alto, California

This is a spot we are regulars at. It’s just that good. We have dined here for the pre-fixe dinners, the pop ups and I even ordered their Thanksgiving dinner take out dinner. Needless to say, we have to try everything. The recent menus have been changing often but rest assured, the steak frites are here to stay and the frites are delicious.

Please be kind to our friends, Walter and Duncan. And don’t forget to tip!

Here is the scallop from one of their pre-fixe dinners. Soooo good. That sauce!

RELATED POSTS:
#WereHungryToo – This Weekend – 12/11/20
An Evening in Palo Alto, California
Cafe Wisteria – Menlo Park, California

Women Wednesdays – Revived!

It was a small event but we’re just getting started! Thanks, San Mateo, for the experience!

Sadly, the Cinco de Mayo celebration at Dahlia Mexican Grill was a bit lacking with errors in food ordering and inconsistencies with dishes. They did make up in the potentcy of their margaritas though!

My roommate, Kim, came by after work and Ana was about to go to work. We talked about Ana being a female pilot and the book she’s mentioned in, Latinas in Aviation. She’s also involved in helping other Latinas get into the field. They also have an e-magazine.

Kim informed us of her line of work, how the company has expanded to new products with liquid and tissue biopsies (LMK if I got that wrong, Kim) and a bit on Human Resources. Oh, coworkers.

I was not able to share any of the new Stella & Dot pieces I had on me or hand out a Look Book. I was definitely wearing my Stella & Dot jewels. There were tables nearby of solely women and I spotted ladies accessorizing. Please shop Kim’s link for a good cause. I am donating a percentage of sales through this link go help her fundraise for another Susan G. Koman walk. Purchases made in May will be entered to win a gift certificate for a pedicure at Mimi’s Nails in Castro Valley. Shop now at http://www.tinyurl.com/KimsJewels4Boobs2021

On a search for dessert, we scoped out menus posted outside restaurants and decided to go into Vespucci Ristorante and inquire after their dessert options. We were sold on a Grandma Cake. We both haven’t had one before. The artwork on the tables was made by Manuela, Co-Owner, of the restaurant. They were made during the pandemic. Follow her on Instagram!

On our way back to the parking garage to call it an evening, Kim checked out the flavors offered at the Beard Papa spot. They had her at S’mores.

So next time you’re considering coming to a Women Wednesday event, prepare to learn about the ladies attending, possibly have strong margaritas and two different kinds of dessert.

Hope to see you at Oak & Violet next week, May 12th, in Menlo Park at 5:30 pm. There will be live music! Have a great week!

Let’s Try This Again – 1Up Nutrition Fitness Challenge

1Up Nutrition runs challenges throughout the year and I am signed up to do the next one which officially starts on Monday, May 3rd. Care to join me?

My previous posts had me committed, til I injured myself in week 7. I stretched my back during a FitOn video and I strained a muscle in my back. Having been in car accidents, being without the full use of your back sucks! Take care of yours and don’t overdo it like I did. Ease into it. Even athletes get injured so it can happen to the newbies and the experienced.

I was also sick for most of April with a bad cough. I even lost my voice. I definitely lost some strength and time. I was in for doing the 150 squats challenge with jashbaby_fit on Instagram until April 12th. Now it’s the last day of the month and I have have only two days worth of squats this week. Back at the gym and going three days straight, I am sore! My body needs to remember what we usually do. I can’t wait to get back into the rhythm.

Squats by the pool at the Napa Marriott – April 2021

Not only am I looking forward to this challenge, I now have six weeks to make some progress. I have a bikini waiting to be worn on the beaches of Waikiki. I had assisted in planning a trip for my niece but her traveling partner fell through. Sad that she won’t get to experience Oahu, I offered to go with her so she didn’t have to cancel. It will be two ladies hittin’ up Hawai’i! It’ll be a good time!

If all goes well, I might just buy a new bikini! I have a drawer full of sets from Victoria’s Secret, Bebe, Hot Miami Styles and Seafolly. Anyone have any recommendations? I’d be happy to share via social media, and of course this blog!

Stella & Dot jewelry and Seafolly bikini in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – June 2019
Hot Miami Styles bikini in New Zealand – March 2019
July 4th Weekend bikini at Tao Beach, Las Vegas – July 2019

So, here I go again! Let’s hope some positive changes will be made.

CA Winery Log

Thanks to Twitter, I saw a post by Visit California that there are more than 4,000 wineries in California. I thoroughly enjoy wine tasting. It is always a great time with wonderful people. I thought I would start a log of wineries I have had the pleasure of visiting and link posts I have created based on those visits. Visiting where the wine is made takes tasting their wine to a whole other level. Please visit the other posts for more information! The list is in alphabetical order. Enjoy!

Viansa in Sonoma, California – November 2016

CURRENT TALLY: 95 California Wineries

Anaba Winery – Sonoma International Film Festival 2017
Andretti Winery
Artesa Winery
Big Basin Vineyard
Black Stallion Winery – Napa 5-29-11
BoaVentura – Wine Log 2014
Brian Arden Wines
Calmere Winery (Formerly Liana Estates)
Caymus Vineyards
Cerruti Cellars
Charles Krug
Chateau Boswell
Chateau Montelena
Chateau Ste. Michelle
Christopher Creek
Cinnabar Vineyard
Clif Family Winery

Cline Cellars
Clos Pegase
Darioush Winery – Napa 5-29-11
David Bruce
Delectus Winery
Domaine Carneros
Domaine Chandon
Duckhorn Vineyards
Dutton-Goldfield
Ektimo Vineyards – Wine Tasting July 2017 – Sebastopol, CA
El Sol Vineyard – Wine Log 2014
Enkidu
Envy
Etude
Field Recordings
Fog Crest Vineyard – Wine Tasting July 2017 – Sebastopol, CA
Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Freemark Abbey
Garre Winery
Ghost Block Winery
Giornata
Gloria Ferrar
Grgich Hills

July 2018 via the Wine Train
Book with me!

Hagafen Cellars – Napa 5-29-11
Heitz Cellar
Husch
Inglenook
Iron Horse
Ironbrook
IronstoneJacuzzi
John Evans
Ledson
Luna Vineyards
MacPhail – Wine Log 2015 Q1, Wine Tasting July 2017 – Sebastopol, CA
Madrigal Family Winery
Marimar Estate – Wine Log 2015 Q1
Mario Andretti Winery – Napa 5-29-11
McGrail’s
Monticello
Mountain Winery
Murrieta’s Well
Navarro
Nicholson Ranch
Opus One
Pacific Star Winery
Pangloss Cellars
Paradise Ridge Winery
Peju
Preston
Raymond Vineyards – Wine Log 2015 Q3 & Q4
Robert Mondavi
Rodrigue Molyneaux – East Bay Bites – November 2020
Rock Wall Winery – Wine Log 2015 Q1
Roche
Ruby Hill Winery – Wine Log 2014
Savannah Chanelle Vineyard
Saintsbury
Schug Winery – Sonoma International Film Festival 2017
Sebastiani
Sequoia Grove Winery
Simi
Solitary Cellars
Stags Leap
Sterling Vineyards
Steven Kent
Storybook Mountain Vineyards
Sunce Wineary & Vineyard – Wine Log 2014Wine Log 2015 Q2
Tedeschi Family Winery
Three Sticks
Trentadue Winery
Tres Sabores
Trefethen Family Vineyards
Venge Vineyards
Viansa – Sonoma International Film Festival 2017
V. Sattui
Wente
Whitehall Lane

Which ones have you been to?
What are your top 3?

If you’re a winery, please let me know if you’d like to be on my list of places to visit next and add to my blog. Contact me HERE.

Tedeschi Family Winery – Calistoga, CA

Wine tasting is best when you can relax, take your time with your tasting and enjoy the scenery. Tedeschi Family Winery provided that for my girlfriends and I this past weekend.

Tedeschi was our last winery appointment of the weekend and I just wanted to relax. The last winery had us stand and the wedges I was wearing after the morning’s workout was not a good idea.

It’s a smaller area with an almost hidden entrance. There’s a private parking lot and a lot of plants waiting to placed into the ground. We were the only guests there. We called the number on the sign and our hostess, Ashley, came out to meet us.

We were able to pick to sit wherever we wanted. The wooden lawn chairs closest to the vines but still catching some shade from the naked tree branches was perfect. It was starting to get a little warmer mid-afternoon.

We opted in to do the flight which started out with the red wines versus the white as most wineries do. Ashley said that that is how they test wines weekly in their meetings, so why not on their tasting menu?

Out of the wines we tasted, I was shocked to enjoy the Merlot the best. It was mellow and probably just perfect to end the weekend.

If you’re looking to switch up your itinerary with a winery that you don’t typically find on big chain restaurants’ wine list, try Tedeschi.

Let me help you plan your wine country itinerary!

April Challenges

Happy April!!! We have survived the first quarter of 2021.

So this is happening.

My 8-week 1Up Nutrition fitness challenge was a bust but I’m signing up for the next one. It starts on May 5th. I think I’ll do much better now that I am vaccinated and back to the gym. Oh, how I have missed it!

Just in April, I am committing to do the below:

1) 150 squats per day
I haven’t met Miss @Jashaby_fit. We connected via the fitness challenge group and on Instagram. She’s made some awesome progress. She tagged me in the below graphic to do 150 squats per day. No real rules, just to keep moving. If I do mine throughout the day, it’s not so bad. I have a couple of friends joining me too, then there’s others that think I’m crazy.

2) Walk 40 miles. This is put on by the American Cancer Society but I am asking people to support my efforts in a few ways. They can definitely donate to the ACS, orrrrr, to my roommate’s fundraising link. She has to walk 120 miles for Susan G Koman in November over six days. One event in San Diego, the other in Dallas. Let’s beat breast cancer! I will share my log of miles covered below.

ORRRR you can shop her Stella & Dot referral link til the 21st at http://www.tinyurl.com/KimsJeweles4Boobs421 I am donating a % of sales to her $4600 fundraising goal. Some items are supporting Autism Awareness month where 20% goes to the Hollyrod Foundation. Plus, Stella & Dot is rounding up your purchase total and donating it to their non-profit partners. It’s win-win-win!

Please join me in this if you can! My friend, Christy, is aiming to do 200 squats per day. Lana will most likely do hip thrusts instead. “A better booty builder,” she says! Just get out and there, move and do something good for yourself!

How are you challenging yourself this month?


WALKING LOG

TOTAL MILES – 0

4/1 – Going to the gym. I’m counting elliptical miles.

Little Loves Time in Mill Valley, CA

After an early morning in-person meeting and an off-site quick meeting with the county, I am glad I invited out my dear friend and my Little Loves to come meet me in the North Bay. We took a walk around Bayfront Park and we enjoyed being outdoors. It has definitely changed a bit since I was there last.

We had a delicious lunch from Sol Food. Sitting at the picnic table, we discovered that the kids love the chuletas fritas and pique! I love sharing the good things in life with the people I care about. They really enjoyed it. Pick up some delicious food from the Mill Valley or San Rafael location.

The walk and playing in the playground in the amazing weather worked up an appetite for some dessert. If there was a mini golf spot nearby, we would have gone there to keep their activity level high but unfortunately the area was lacking. We went to Swirl.

We ordered two cookies n cream ice cream cups with crushed cookie toppings, a Hawaiian sorbet with fruit and cake batter froyo with strawberries and crushed cookies.

The kids’ ice cream had the perfect amount of sweetness. The sorbet tasted like Air Heads candy and the cake batter was crazy sweet. Not our favorite dessert experience but it put smiles on our faces. It was nice to try something new.

After a long week with more work to do this weekend, it was a nice for this One Busy Bee to be a little social.