Black Friday 2019 in Napa – Stop 2

Full on delicious bites from SolBar at Solage next door, a quick drive to Brian Arden Winery was next. We pulled into the gravel lot after we passed early vine plantings, dogs playing in a grassy area and a modern building with large windows. A gnome is sitting in the gravel at the start of the pathway from the parking lot to the building. “This way” he says to me.

Upon entering, a private tasting room with a small bar is to your immediate right with floor to ceiling windows and glass door dividers. Further down the hallway, more tables and chairs are set up, with a few in front of a gas fireplaces. To the right is the main tasting bar. There, we meet Angel, a lovely brunette in a light colored padded vest. We are offered tasting menus – the Thanksgiving edition.

We both have our own tastings which consists of five wines per the menu.

The 2017 Riesling was bright on the tongue. The 2012 B.A. Red was tannic, earthy and made with sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon and syrah. Angel invited to show us another private tasting area with a kitchen. The room had a table for six, a love seat, a table made out of a barrel and another fireplace. We were introduced to Chef Ben, a NorCal local. The winery is offering a 5-course meal with wine pairing for under $100 per person. What a steal! I would love to be able to enjoy that experience.

Continuing onto the wine, the 2013 Zinfandel seemed more drinkable than the 21012 red we just had. The grapes came from Kelseyville, about 50 miles north. Along with this, the Chef sent out two Kewpie Deviled Eggs (valued at $2 each) with a bacon jam on top. The eggs were raised on the property. The chickens occupied the same space at the garden just beyond the parking lot. It was delicious.

The 2014 B.A. Red was had a deep, garnet color and a bit softer. Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 and 2014s were poured side-by-side. The 2014 was not on the tasting menu but Angel allowed us to try it to compare. There was sediment along the base of the neck of the bottle caught my eye. Angel said they never fine filter the wine. It’s part of the wine. Sediment or not, it was tart. The 2014 was drier.

Cali, the golden retriever, was let into the tasting room and she got lots of love from the guests. Kim came back from the restroom and of course took a selfie with her. Also lightly colored was the dessert brought out by Chef Ben. It was like a lemon ‘muffie,’ the top of a muffin, topped with whipped cream and a few nut shavings. Thank you, Chef! We were getting stuffed. Happily stuffed.

“Do you like rose?” Oh yes, yes, we do. Angel was very generous with the extra tastings. What was poured for us was the Kay. Brian’s mother, Kay, passed away due to a rare form of ovarian cancer. Kim tried not to cry. Her mother passed away due to ovarian cancer as well. A percentage of proceeds goes to cancer research. Kim bought a bottle.

Thank you to Angel, Chef Ben and Cali for the hospitality. The winery is owned by Brian, Arden the father and Brian’s wife. They purchased the land in 2010 so it’s a rather young winery. Check them out!

Related posts:
Black Friday 2019 in Napa – Stop 1
Wine Country on Netflix
Wine Log 2014

Thanksgiving Brie Bites

This One Busy Bee is usually asked to bring a dessert to Thanksgiving at my Lola’s house in Martinez, California. In the past, I have made an Oreo Pie, Banana Split Pie and even a failed churro cheesecake. This year, with very little time to rest due to the recent travels, I went with an easy recipe I found on Pinterest. Brandie of The Country Cook posted her Cranberry Brie Bites recipe. Thankfully my family enjoyed it. I used the walnuts I received when I was a wine club member with Clif Family Winery. They came in handy.

Clif, Ocean Spray, Pillsbury & Joan of Arc
Sur La Table apron, Tiffany‘s jewelry

Comment below if you have tried the recipe yourself or how you may have modified it.

Self-Inflicted Tiresome

Before I left for this three-week long trip to help launch my day job’s product in the Mid-West, I already knew I over extended myself. With trying to be a good friend and employee, and knowing no one else will be able to do what is required, I volunteered. I like traveling. I don’t have a boyfriend or dog that needs my attention and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to travel. Besides the main tasks I needed to assist in, I added more to it.

Eight days in and five more until a day off, I am feeling it. Before I left, I was home for one week from two weeks straight of traveling. Yes, that two weeks included time on Maui, but it was still work. I had my laptop and I was paying bills and responding to emails and reporting on the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. I flew home via Hawaiian Airlines on a Tuesday and was on a United plane out to Cincinnati the following day. Last night, I started to feel drained. Why am I working so hard? Was this giving me joy?

Am I doing it for the praise? The love? The appreciation? The money? The experience? All are accurate results to achieve with hard work. Then I get a notice on Zillow for a property I have not yet seen in my Maui real estate search. If I had the money right now, I would have inquired about this property. I have worked remotely from Maui and it is not work. I would be so happy to have this view as I worked from my balcony. Praise are words. Love fades. Real estate can last forever.

Remembering my why re-energized me. A surprise funny print-out in a FedEx package sent from a coworker made me laugh. And a 7-hour nap always helps.

Venting to my roommate always helps. We have plans to go wine tasting on Black Friday like we did the previous year. I am looking forward to that. And I am also looking forward to sleeping majority of Thanksgiving weekend. I may be gone for another three weeks in December. This time, I am going to try to not overbook myself. Let’s see if I actually learn this time.

Black Friday 2018 – Trinchero Family Estates

Related posts:
Beach Day in Ka’anapali, Maui
Traveling Buddies
HFWF18 – Spiked!

OBB Weekly – 7-30-19

Budget. Not my favorite word, especially when I am headed to London tomorrow. Life can definitely throw you curve balls and achieving goals can be delayed. Regardless, I am booked for this trip and will get the most out of it. Thanks to fellow bloggers, Two Scots Abroad, their article HERE has some great tips. This weekly post will be some tips on how to save you money when you travel.

TRAVEL

Well, the obvious tip to save money is to use a Travel Agent like me. All agents work differently but our goal is to book you with our preferred vendors. This is because we have already established a relationship with them and they pay agents a commission. As clients, you do not. We can save you time, money and the headache of dealing with vendors. When things go awry, we often have Travel Agent designated phone numbers that can hopefully address and correct any issues that may occur.

EVENT PLANNING

Whether a Bride and Groom are staying local or doing a destination wedding, there will always be guests from out of town. Creating a room block at two different hotels can give your guests options and an opportunity to save with locked in room rates. They will be given a deadline to book by to take advantage of these rates under your group. Be sure to provide options in terms of kind of hotel. Some may be on a budget and need a cheap room, some guests may want a bit more comfort and convenience and may extend their stay to see the tourist sights. A hotel with a Concierge desk can offer discounts as well. I, as an Event Planner and Travel Agent, can help with all that. Please do not hesitate to contact me.

Seattle, Washington

FOOD

Choosing a hotel with complimentary breakfasts is always an added bonus. It will decrease your dining costs to cover one less meal for the day. I was quite impressed with Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott while I was in Noblesville, Indiana. I had an early start to the day and rushed through breakfast. I was shocked to find that they had paper bag breakfasts to go waiting at the front desk. It contained a bottle of water, an apple and a breakfast bar. I made myself a coffee to go. They offered flavored creamers I liked. They had juices, bagels and the best was real eggs, biscuits and gravy. The gravy was quite impressive. You can’t go wrong with free food.

Other way to dine cheaply is to redeem coupons found in tourist magazines, at Concierge desks and look for signage for Happy Hour specials and deals. Stay tuned for next week’s OBB Weekly to see what offerings London has!

MOTIVATION

Whether you travel on a budget or luxuriously, I would recommend just getting out there. There are an incredible number of benefits from travel. See “This is Your Brain on Travel” by Forbes Magazine. I personally like the finer things in life such as $180 bottles of wine from Caymus Vineyarads and spa days at The Crown Towers in Melbourne, Australia. This will be my first attempt at a budgeted travel experience. I have my Kelty backpack packed to avoid luggage fees, will be taking the train to my hotel, walking and may pick up a bike as my main way of transportation. My client is spending ten days in Europe with a backpack. I can do it too! And guess what, so can you!

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East Bay Bites

Bites, as in a good way, as in bites of food. As I scroll through my cell phone of 10,000+ photos on my phone, I am seeing majority of the photos are of food. I have enough to share some bites in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. I hope this post helps put the East Bay on the map, entices San Francisco residents to make the trip across the Bay Bridge worthwhile and maybe to California in general. Enjoy!

THE CUPCAKE SHOPPE
Located in Downtown Hayward, my first experience with this shop located next to The Turf Club and Domino’s Pizza, was for mini cupcakes to be brought to a party. I was in awe by what they had and sadly I didn’t get to enjoy any of the mini cupcakes. Recently, my roommate has brought me cupcakes from there on two occasions. I tagged her in an Instagram post and she surprised me with limited edition Chicken and Waffles cupcakes. I have been craving fried chicken since my trip to the South in August 2018.

Another time, my roommate bought two cupcakes in addition to a set she was going to bring to her staff. One was made with champagne and the other one was a margarita cupcake. I preferred the pink champagne. What girl wouldn’t?

HAWAIIAN POKE
This is the spot for my roommate and I when we want poke. I have also signed up for their rewards program so I get free drinks and discounts when I come in. Today, I got a lilikoi drink for free. I don’t mind the text message offerings as they’re not sent very often. Located in San Leandro next to a 24 Hour Fitness, you order at the counter, customize your bowl and be on your way. I have had their bowls several times but recently ordered their sushiritto and it was something you can customize in terms of their sauces, not its contents. It was also strange that they added avocado to the sushiritto but told Kim and other guests that they had no avocado for their bowls. That’s a strange. But, the bowl is still very good and is quite filling.

SONS OF LIBERTY ALEHOUSE
SOLA has made an appearance on my blog quite a few times. It is one of my favorite places to go for a beer and to sit outside. My roommate and I have been several times, have brought Bevo, met other locals and enjoyed their beer. On our most recent trip, I enjoyed a flight of beer, we shared the pretzel balls, Kim had the fish tacos and I had the chicken fried sandwich. Keyword: fried chicken. Sadly, I didn’t keep the photo of the sandwich but the beer options are great and the pretzel balls and sauce were hard, but good. They are only available on the weekends so we were finally able to try them. Come to watch the Warriors game or visit for fundraising event, such as one they had for Nobody’s Perfekt Dogs.

TELEFERIC BARCELONA
In Walnut Creek, this is a great spot to go on a nice day. Sit inside or on the deck and see all that happens downtown. Order delicious cocktails, Spanish wine or tapas. On our way back from Napa, we avoided the rush hour traffic and stopped here to take a break. Brussel sprouts, a kale salad and cocktails were a must. If you’re like my buddy, Stan, you can request your cocktail without all the fluff. Be sure to check out their happy hour menu as well.

SLOW HAND BBQ
In Martinez and after a 10K run on Mare Island, beer and BBQ is needed. With my running buddy and BBQ caterer, Nelly, we were ready to eat. I had a platter of ribs and the many sides including pimento cheese and crostinis, cole slaw and mac n cheese of course! If you ran before lunch, you will definitely be replenishing all the calories you’ve burned and more. Sit inside, watch TV or dine out to their patio. Apparently there is another location you can get your hands sticky at in Pleasant Hill, the next city over.

Related posts:
Puesto! Cousin Time.
Pizza, Beer & More in the East Bay

OBB Weekly – 7-9-19

Another epic week, another epic trip to Las Vegas. I always tell myself that I have been to Vegas several times, I don’t really need to go back. I want to see the rest of the world. However, every time I go, it is always a great time. July 4th weekend was no different. With so many options of places to stay, eat and play, some things are consistently good. Let me show you some of Sin City and let me help you book your next trip.

TRAVEL

I enjoy Southwest Airlines. They are consistently good and it is a very easy flight from the San Francisco Bay Area to McCarren International Airport. LAS is located so close to the strip that a quick shuttle or Uber (Get $2 off your first 3 rides with my link) from the terminal to your desired hotel is cheap and easy.

The girls and I stayed at the Treasure Island Hotel. When I was last in Vegas in 2017, we stayed here as well. The rooms are consistent and the location is convenient. As an Expedia VIP, I was granted late check out. However, as I didn’t need it, I was able to exchange it for a complimentary bottle of champagne. Let me book you on the same deals you see on Expedia and I can possibly get you extra perks. Do keep in mind that you have options of a non-refundable price or with cancellation deadlines to take advantage of these rates. Plans change so do keep that in mind.

The Venetian and Tao Beach is literally right across the street. If you are interested in a pool party, this is the best place to go for its convenience and one of the lowest minimums for a day bed that comes with an umbrella. The new KAOS at the Palms had a minimum of $1,000. Regardless, trust me, the money adds and up but it’s a good time. Let me connect you with my contact there for a day bed and he hooked me up with complimentary drinks for one hour for my party of three.

One thing all girls must do on a Girls’ Trip to Vegas is see Magic Mike Live. I tell ya, it’ll change your life! I have seen Thunder From Down Under twice and it’s also fun but I enjoy the dancing much better at Magic Mike. And who doesn’t love all these men channeling the newly single Mr. Channing Tatum? I was lucky to have been pulled on on stage and received maybe three lap dances from some well-built men. My hands were full during this show. The host, Jordan, said she picked me as a thank you for chatting with her when we sat down and I noticed she was alone. How very cool. We ladies shouldn’t be in competition with each other for men’s attention. They might be willing to share the love.

EVENT PLANNING

Speaking of love, I loved all of the events we attended. The two pool parties were great even though we missed seeing Sisqo at the Flamingo Go Pool before we had to leave and catch a flight. The shows and even the performance and new friends we made at the Caberet Bar at the Paris Hotel on our first night was great. Every hotel will have a chapel. The Flamingo has a gazebo outside. The chapel at the Mandalay Bay is a bit more modern. Do contact me should you need assistance with a destination wedding. A party is never hard to find in Vegas.

#WEREHUNGRYTOO

For this foodie and #OneBusyBee, I had to revisit Sushi Samba at The Palazzo Hotel. My friend, Courtney, and I went there by ourselves one day in 2016 as the other girls slept. We had a blast eating all the delicious Japanese, Puruvian and Brazilian food and enjoying Japanese whisky, my favorite. With so much change in the restaurant world, I am pleased to know they were still around. Kim and Nikki enjoyed our meal.

One thing I definitely wanted to do was have a nice meal by a Celebrity Chef. Gordon Ramsey had Hell’s Kitchen at Caesar’s and we walked by Carlo’s Bake Shop in The Palazzo. I opted in for Giada’s at The Cromwell Hotel. The restaurant was very nice and with views of a main intersection with the Bellagio Hotel kitty corner and Caesar’s across the street. We were sat at a large booth and were served by the very friendly and professional, Billy. The girls and I didn’t have too big of an appetite so we skipped on the multi-course brunch option but we all go the the salmon cake benedict. I added an arugula salad for $6 on the side and it was delicious. The salmon cake was thick and flavorful and the poached egg was cooked perfectly. The sauce looked like melted cheese with a dark orange color but oh, man, was it good. The coffee was strong and gave us the caffeine we needed. With a check in on Yelp, I was given a splash of prosecco. Billy said I couldn’t drink alone and brought out two more glasses. What a very nice gesture. If I could have taken a full-size of that salad home with me, I would have. Well done, Giada. Highly recommended! I can’t wait to go back and try more items on the menu, including the dim sum-like dessert trays they have available at dinner.

MOTIVATION

As I sat in the single sofa chair near the window on the 15th floor of our hotel room at the Treasure Island Hotel, I looked out onto the strip wondering if I could make the move and if it would make sense financially. I have played around with the idea of moving somewhere for a year while fulfilling my need to travel and really immerse myself in the area. I was at first thinking that it would be San Diego as I would need to be near the water. I looked at Austin, Texas, Charleston, South Carolina and even Seattle, Washington. However, Las Vegas has it all for me – event planning, hospitality, the warm but sometimes cold weather and an endless amount to blog about. It is truly a destination for so many different kind travelers – party-goers, bachelorette/bachelor parties, golfing, relaxation, foodies and even plenty to do for children. My goal is currently to do as much as I can to reach that Goal by 40 of owning property in Maui. I did want to have that property come September 2020, but technically I can still achieve that goal by September 21, 2021. For the past month, I have added on a second job as a Bartender to my world as #OneBusyBee. Unless I get a raise at my day job, I will probably stick with it until I make some headway. In the mean time, I very much appreciate your visits here to my blog and other social media, referrals of your travel clients and your Stella & Dot sales. Yes, I’m still a Stylist. 🙂

OBB Weekly – 6/4/19

Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

Hello, June! May just flew by, didn’t it? It was an eventful month, hopefully for you too. Change is inevitable. Seasons change, people change, menus change and aspirations change. How do you deal with change? Do you welcome it? Struggle with it? I imagine it’s a process. Everyone has their own way and go about dealing with change at their own pace. Regardless, we survived whatever it was to be at this very moment. I thank you for choosing to spend it on my blog.

TRAVEL

Comment below if you agree, but there’s nothing like the sound of the ocean on the beach to help me escape and deal with my problems. I have escaped to Santa Cruz to sit on the sand of Seabright Beach after a fight with my then boyfriend. While in Maui, I make sure I touch the water one more time before returning home to remind me that I will be back someday and all that I’m working for is to do this as often as possible. I also have video of me sitting on a dock in Venice, Italy hearing the water beat against the wood below me. It was going to be a honeymoon destination but after two visits, it still has yet to be, but that’s OK. Not everyone can say they’ve been to the City of Bridges. A change of scenery, can help you escape the situation temporarily, give you a moment to think and hopefully realize that there is beauty and good in this world. This Travel Agent would be happy to help you with your escape.

Katie & Jeremy – Kauai, Hawai’i
Maui, Hawai’i

EVENT PLANNING

One significant change in a person’s life is getting married. I love working with couples wanting to get married near the water like at Pacific Star Winery in Fort Bragg, California or The Beach House in Koloa, Hawaii. Honeymoons to Venice, Italy would be incredible romantic. My recent honeymoon clients will be heading off to Phuket, Thailand and the Maldives. Feel free to ask me to plan your trip.

Happy Travel Agent client!

Or, I would be happy to set you up with a fantastic photographer in Kauai and do a Trash The Dress photo shoot when you finalize your divorce like I did.

Kauai, Hawai’i

FOOD

Unfortunately, my favorite pizza and salad from Buffalo Bill’s Brewery in Hayward, California is now off the menu. Bijou, also located in Hayward, is now called Playt. The menu is different and now has a seafood ravioli made with large won ton wrappers. In Menlo Park, the Menlo Grill & Bar is now called the Menlo Tavern. The menu has changed and it’s not bad! Get cocktails from my Cugino, Ron, and get salads, sliders on Hawaiian rolls and dessert. Tell Ron Bernadette sent you and comment below on what you think of the new menu.

New appetizer
Crisp a la mode
My Cugino, Ron, the Bartender

MOTIVATION

It has been a couple of months since I switched this blog from Blogger to WordPress. I have been averaging 16 posts per month and my hits have increased by 40%. My goal is to continue this growth, this positive change. The point of blogging often was to get my photos on my phone down from 11,000. As I continue to travel and eat out, my phone says very little progress has been made. Videos have been uploaded to my YouTube channel, photos have been uploaded on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and I have randomly deleted photos that are not needed. Make the best of your June, set some goals and let me know how I can help. I’m a great ReTweeter for supporters. You never know who is going to share what I post! Do you know Danny Wood of New Kids on the Block? Have you been to the Silverado Resort and Spa? Or Penny Ice Creamery in Santa Cruz?

Danny has 191,000 followers
@napavalleyluxury has 8,745 followers
@thepennyicecreamery has 3,817 followers

Wine Country on Netflix

On an outing with my roommate and my Boston Terrier, Bevo, on Cinco de Mayo, we stumbled upon the movie set of Wine Country in Calistoga, California. We also met up with new friends from out of town that we met up at Pegasus Winery. They were a good time.

We ate at the now named Bosko’s restaurant and saw Amy Poehler on a bicycle and took photos with her set chair. That scene was a whole two seconds in the film. My roommate and I ended up watching the movie on Friday night thanks to her Netflix subscription. We just had to crack open a bottle of wine. We went with a Simi 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon.

The movie had some pretty funny parts. I especially laughed at the fact that Amy had a full itinerary booked and distributed to the group of ladies. This Travel Agent and Event Planner totally does that! Am I alone? I also related to the character that was constantly on the phone and checking email and looking for signal. Yes, I’m One Busy Bee.

Another movie night will be planned at the house, I’m sure. It’s a lot cheaper than going out and the town. It leaves more money for traveling!

See the California Winery Log here!

‘Favorites’ Photo Dump

This One Busy Bee is still working on cleaning up her phone of over 11,000 photos. That many photos have been collected in a year and a half. To do a photo dump on the blog real quick, I am taking photos I have saved as ‘Favorites’ on my phone for some particular reason and placing them here so I can delete them. Oh, it will be so freeing! Thanks for enduring this unstructured post but full of travel.

Fiji – Troprica Island Resort and Travel Agent friends on a FAM trip. – Feb. 2019

In September 2017, three girlfriends and I had September birthdays. We went to Paris together. And we brought some friends. I invited my friend that I call Papichulo and Lisa brought her boyfriend, Branden. I believe it was the day before, Branden proposed to Lisa at the Temple of Love at Versailles. We were lucky enough to witness it. This photo was taken on our last night in Paris together but in the region of Champagne. See the wineries in the background. There are also photos of us doing yoga in dresses. Good times.

This is aboard the Oosterdam by Holland America Cruise Line. It is a bar with great view. I have worked on blog posts in this area with a glass of La Marca prosecco. I have many other posts during that cruise to the Mexican Riviera. Please check them out if you’re curios about real experiences on an HAL cruise ship.

Red Donkey is my favorite beer when I was in Santorini. Papichulo and I tried all the different beers they had to offer and this was my favorite. I liked it so much I bought a large t-shirt that I ended up turning into a muscle tan for my gym sessions. I never buy t-shirts. It must mean I realllly liked that beer.

I used to work at a law firm down the street from Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café in Emeryville, California. This is their breakfast special. I don’t believe I have been there since as they raised the price of this special and the dressing for their Asian salad changed as well. There is also a location in downtown Oakland. It’s pretty convenient when you’re partying or just finished a concert at the Paramount Theater.

Hello, Mighty Leaf tea.

At the Press Club, go downstairs from Market Street in San Francisco across from the Marriott that they call “the jukebox” and find a wine bar with a lounge-y feel. It is used as common workspace during the day and serves up great wine and bites.

During a trip to Southern California for my first Travel Agent seminar, my then soon-to-be roommate and I went to Universal Studios. I have never been and am a California native. We did the typical ride thru movie and television sets and experienced their ‘earthquake’ simulation at an underground BART platform. I was really excited to go thru The Desperate Housewives set.

On this trip, I realized that I cannot do the simulated rides. I even felt a little sick on the Despicable Me ride! It was absolutely confirmed while on the Harry Potter ride. It was a coaster and simulations. I read one book in the series and I almost didn’t make it off the ride without getting sick. I actually had to close my eyes and tell myself it was almost over multiple times. HAD I liked them, I know this would have been an awesome ride. I can see why people like it. Unfortunately, it’s just not for me.

I’ll end this post with a picture of my Papa Bear and I at the 2018 Hawai’i Food and Wine Festival. I do have the most amazing father, and not just because he lives on Maui! There are so many reasons but mainly he just accepts who I am and is actually happy that I am living life to the fullest. I love my Papa Bear.

I need to do more than just these photos but at least I can now take them off my phone and have them live on the world wide web forever!

OBB Weekly – 5-7-19


Summer is basically here. Kids will be out of school. They will be wanting to hang out at the pool all day long. That means bikini season. Who else doesn’t feel like their body is ready? How’s your fitness game? What are you doing about it? Before you know it, you will do some sort of traveling to a warm destination, attending an event outdoors and eating the likes of funnel cakes at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk or enjoying a glass of champagne in hand watching the sunset. What is your motivation?

TRAVEL

I have just returned from the warmest days I have ever spent in Seattle, Washington. The sun was shining and tank tops bared brown shoulders. Up ahead will be Memorial Day weekend in Santa Cruz cat and house sitting, ‘research’ in Truckee and Lake Tahoe and again in Cabo San Lucas. Then Las Vegas. Short sleeves, short shorts and bikinis are required.

Photo by ACT Language Schools

Where are you headed this summer?
And what are you packing?

EVENT PLANNING

Summer weddings are very popular. Last year, Susie and Frankie, tied the knot at the Stable Cafe with an outdoor ceremony and reception in San Francisco. It turned out to be a gorgeous day. Should you wish to have your destination wedding in the city by the bay, consider September or even October when we have our Indian summer. It’s wonderful. That way, if you’re a bit behind in getting fit for the big day, you can add some time to go hard and diet. Napa is always a good idea. Or, consider Lodi for warmer temps.

Whitehall Lane Winery – St. Helena, CA

Michael David Winery – Lodi, CA

Stable Café, San Francisco, CA

What are your thoughts on a destination wedding?
Are they an inconvenience or an adventure?

FOOD

Summer brings so many food festivals and fairs. The San Francisco Bay Area county fairs will provide full turkey leg and deep fried just about everything. Breweries and wineries will be incredibly inviting to sit outside on their patio or beer garden in the warm, long offering of daylight. Clif Family Winery‘s Bruschetteria food truck offers amazing brussels sprouts if you can get them. Get their roasted chicken if you need your protein. Cleophus Quealy will have tator tots and participate in supporting a local nonprofit every Saturday. Drink for a good cause.

Snacks from the food truck at Cleophus Quealy in San Leandro, CA.
A blind pup available for adoption from Nobody’s Perfekt Dogs.
With Robert Irvine at the 2018 Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival on Maui
The apple, pesto and sausage pizza from Buffalo Bill’s Brewery – Hayward, CA

Which foodie events are you most looking forward to?
Is there a summer salad that’s your favorite?

MOTIVATION

Do you have a pair of jeans deep in your closet for when you do get back down to that size? I do. My motivation to keep at trying to be fit is that jiggle I feel when I run. That was never there before and now it won’t go away! Frustrating, isn’t it? Well, as I said, summer is here and I better face the music: I can’t eat like I used to and not gain a pound. Some people are blessed with that metabolism forever. So here I am, writing this weekly post while on the stationary bike. I have managed to not gain any weight on my last two cruises but I am still at a body fat percentage not to my liking. Thank goodness for great friends. My dear friend and I are back to exchanging post work out photos no matter how ugly. And it’s nice to have someone to work out with in our travels. Get yourself a Nikki B.! Motivation won’t be lacking.

Working out at the Hotel Max in Seattle, Washington – Cinco De Mayo Weekend 2019

Stretching during April’s trail walk (not really a hike) in Santa Cruz, CA with my roommate

With Nelly before my first half marathon ever at Walt Disney World in Florida – January 2019

What are your summer body goals?
What friends help you out on this endeavor? How?