Wine Tasting In El Dorado

One of my favorite parts about living in Sacramento is when I want to get out for a weekend adventure I don’t have to travel very far. Within in an hour driving distance of my house there are all kinds of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. Recently I was introduced to El Dorado wine country for their 2016 Passport Weekend. I know when most people think of Northern California wine it conjures up images of Napa or Sonoma, but I was excited to find what other amazing wines existed outside of these regions. My official photographer, I mean husband, and I braved grey skies and rain sprinkles to taste new wines and take in beautiful views, we were not disappointed.

 

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2016 Passport Weekend

We spent the most amount of our time at C.G. di Arie Vineyard and Winery where we tasted our way through the property. First stop was the patio where we met Elisheva, co-owner of C.G di Arie, and she gave us a brief explanation of the history and types of wines they produce. We were excited to learn they regularly host open house events for wine releases and vineyard tours. I mean, with this view how could we not plan on coming back?

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View From the Patio

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Why is my glass empty?

After taking in the views we headed inside to meet the winemaker Chaim, who also happens to be the husband of Elisheva. We were challenged to put our palates to the test and identify which eight wines made up their soon-to-be released Onstage Act II blend. Always up for a good challenge my husband and I tasted, chatted with the winemaker (we couldn’t pry any hints about the blend makeup out of him), and submitted our best guesses. People who correctly identify the makeup of the blend win a case, so keep your fingers crossed and if you’re lucky we might share.

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Decoding the OnStage Act II Blend
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Meeting the maker.
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Casting the ballot, may I have one more taste just to be sure?
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Barrels of fun at G.G. di Arie

We really enjoyed out experience at Passport Weekend and can’t wait to come back, on our visit we will definitely plan on staying overnight so we can experience more. Haven’t been yet? Plan your getaway here. Have a favorite winery, restaurant, or hotel we should try next time? Let me know in the comments!

Why I (Sometimes) Enjoy When My Husband Travels For Work

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My husband travels a fair amount for work and, when I’m able, I usually tag along on trips with him, one of the perks of self-employment. While I love seeing new cities,  food,  and cultures I have a confession – I also sometimes love when I get the house to myself for a few days. As a freelancer I spend most of my working hours at home or in a coffice (cafe + office) so  I am used to being solo. While “me” time is great, what I really love are these perks:

Optional showering
My husband is currently gone for three days and two nights, if it wasn’t for professional meetings I have scheduled I likely wouldn’t shower until before I left to pick him up from the airport. You know who would care, or remind me to care? Nobody. Also we are still in a drought so I would justify my actions by convincing myself and others that I’m saving the entire state of California by abstaining from showering.

All of the terrible television
I won’t out myself with all of the incredibly terrible shows I watch when I am left to my own devices, but you should know I enjoy every second of it. Sometimes I don’t even realize I have been watching Hoarders for three hours, you know why? Because no one is around to tell me to change the channel. Now excuse me while I purge every item in all of our closets.

Sweatpant couture
So we have established that showering is optional, well so is putting on any article of clothing that does not have an elastic waistband. If I am really honest this isn’t much different than what I wear when I work from home, but when my husband is around I usually try to put in a little effort…like something with a button and zipper.

Eating whatever I want, whenever I want
Ice cream for breakfast? Yes. Pretzel sticks dipped in peanut butter for lunch? Yes. Cheese quesadilla and Lucky Charms for dinner? Yes. Every meal is like a mini-episode of Chopped where I pull random ingredients out of the refrigerator and try to create some sort of culinary masterpiece but then settle for something that is simply edible.

Taking up the entire bed and all the blankets
I have heard some people say that when their significant other is not at home they still sleep on  their designated side of the bed. I say, screw that. When my husband is out of town I sleep in the starfish position, yes it is exactly what it sounds like. I take up as much of the bed as possible, and if I get cold I cocoon myself in blankets, because no one is going to fight me for them (my husband might argue that my sleeping habits are not much different when he is home).

Missing Him
Time apart gives me a chance to reflect on how lucky I am to be married to a pretty spectacular man. I have all those silly romantic things happen, like butterflies in my stomach when I know he is on his flight home and feeling my heart beat a little faster when I receive the “ I miss you/I love you” texts. I am a big believer that the healthiest relationships consist of two people who support and love each other, but also have their own lives and interests. Part of my husband’s life is he travels for work, and those days I Spend alone give me the opportunity to remember why I love waking up next to him every day.

What do you appreciate about time away from your significant other ?

Hey Girl Guide to Hilo and Kona

Hawaii

The past few weeks have been insanely busy. I picked up a few new business clients, founded a blogger network with my lovely friend Kelly from Politely Wild, partnered up with Pigment & Parchment to take her hand lettering workshops on the road throughout California, and was asked to speak at the Northern Ambition conference happening this Sunday in Sacramento (let’s not talk about how terrified I am about deciding what to say). On top of work responsibilities my husband and I have been in full DIY mode on our kitchen. We have tile, and cabinets, and back splash is next on the list. With so many projects swirling around I tend to work too much and not get enough sleep because I can’t shut my brain off.  I have adopted a new routine where I force myself to go outside, be in the fresh air for at least 30 minutes a day, and not think about anything work related. It is not easy, but when I do take this mental break to refresh I always find my mind drifting back to the Hawaiian vacation my husband and took last month. You could call it my happy place.

Beach

This was the second year that my husband and I went to the Kona for his work event (yes, best work perks ever). This year we decided to arrive a couple days early and check out the town of Hilo. We had heard from other people that Hilo offered more of an authentic Hawaiian experience. We booked the cutest Airbnb near downtown Hilo, it was always easy to spot thanks to the amazing color scheme.

Air BnB

Where to Eat/Drink: Let’s Be Honest Vacation is About the Food

Kens Pancake House : featuring macadamia nut pancakes, healthy portions, and house made syrups //  Moon and Turtle Cafe: small bites, fresh seafood, owned by former NY chefs // Pesto: pizza, yes pizza and it is delicious.  // Pineapples Cafe: great open air patio for happy hour and amazing fish tacos // Mehana Brewing Company: free beer tastings and six packs available for purchase on site.

Ken's

Where to Play

Rainbow Falls: Show up early to avoid tourists and if you are feeling adventurous hike down to the river and climb the rocks for some great views and a dip in the cool water //  Farmers Market: locally made food and crafts right in the middle of town // Richardson State Beach: crystal blue water, beautiful for snorkeling or just hanging out on the lava rocks.

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After a couple days in Hilo it was time to head over to Kona and we decided to take the long way by car. We hugged the coast all the way around the North part of the island from Hilo to Kona, stopping for breathtaking views.

Hilo

Kona: Where to Eat/Drink

Daylight Mind: It is hard to decide what is the best part about this place, the food, the coffee or the view. We ate there almost every morning  // Da Poke Shack: if you love poke you can’t miss this place. The tuna is caught fresh every day, you can usually see a guy carving it up behind the counter while you are ordering, and they have a ton of delicious sides and sauces. Bonus, they also serve local beer // Fish Hopper: local fish delivered daily. I had the monchong with risotto and it was amazing // Paradise Brewery: carries a number of local craft beers and has the best island breeze and view.

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Kona: Where to Play

Farmers Market: Where I discovered rambutan and conveniently located across the street from Daylight Mind // Coffee Farm Tour: get up close and personal with your favorite beverage. There are a number of coffee farms close to Kona that do tours // Manta Ray Viewing Experience at the Sheraton: Snag a seat at Rays on the Bay and watch as the rays come in and float around the bay. If you are brave there are also packages where you can snorkel with them // Snorkeling: tons of great snorkeling spots in the crystal clear water that surrounds Kona.

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If I concentrate hard enough I can smell the salt air still, that is usually about the time my email alert goes off. Where is your happy place?