I was really hoping to make some headway in my writing, but alas, I got sick with the cold post travel. So no WWPR this week, but here's a quick slideshow of my Thanksgiving trip where I was healthy, happy, and eating delicious food all week long! It's the one time out of the year that my family and I get together, so it's always a blast and goes by much too quickly.
This past week I've been literally throwing myself a pity party. I've had my 5th oral surgery in the past two years. I won't get into the nitty gritty details, but you'd think after the 5th one I'd be a pro at dealing with it, but alas, I'm not. In addition to mouth pain, a soft-foods diet, and no exercise regime, I've found myself really fatigued, unmotivated, breaking out in rashes, dealing with back pain, and in general dealing with suckish-vibes.
My poor husband has had to deal with all my whining and complaining (I'm the hugest baby when it comes to ailments or being sick), but keeps reminding me that this is temporary. It'll pass, I'll be back to normal, and I'll be able to put this whole ordeal behind me.
So, today, I've decided to blog about Santa Barbara to give me a boost of positivity and to remind myself what life was like prior to surgery. And plus, it was long overdue post. Am I right?
Santa Barbara was perhaps one of the last major wine areas on the west coast we had yet to explore. It's up and coming, but still fairly new. We were able to find some gems though and had a blast.
If you ever find yourself exploring the area, here are my top recommendations:
Place to stay: Fess Parker in Los Olivos
Best Winery: Dragonette Cellars
Best dinner/meal: First & Oak in Solvang
Best tour: Sustainable wine tours
Best Wine Bar: Les Marchands in Santa Barbara
Last month, Michael hit a milestone. The big three-oh! And over the past couple of months leading up to it, I was hard at work planning a surprise party for him! But man, oh man, was it difficult keeping it all a secret when I usually tell him everything. Thankfully, I was able to keep my big mouth shut and pull it off.
To start off the special day, I had 30 little blue envelopes for him to open throughout the day filled with surprises, destinations, and presents, ultimately leading to the surprise party.
So in case you're wondering why I've been so MIA in July, now you know why! I've been too busy celebrating old hubby ;)
A huge thanks to Michael's sister and mom for helping me pull it off, Bottlehouse for the awesome food, wine, and event space, and also our family and friends who came from near and far to celebrate!
Day 3. We left Sonoma and crossed over to Napa. Michael and I had a wedding to attend in Santa Rosa where we would finally get to meet up with my family. We still had time to kill though, so we headed over to Napa to do more tasting!
Our first stop was Caymus. It was always on Michael's list to try, and we missed it the last time we were in Napa, so it was nice to finally go. The outdoor seating was lovely in the nice weather. Next, we went to the futuristic Palmaz, where they showed us their new tech and how they used gravity instead of pumping to give their wine some smoothness. It felt like a James Bond movie, and the wine was amazing. I totally recommend. To end, we did a tasting at Wine Country Connection where we got to chat with a Master Somm which was a neat first for us!
Afterwards, we met up with my family in Santa Rosa for a wedding! It was the first time I met my niece, who is absolutely adorable. No wonder my mom says I've been replaced!
Of course, my family proceeded to take a zillion selfies since it's a rarity for all of us to be together (unless it's Thanksgiving). Who do you think I look the most alike?
I also just realized that I wear the same dress to almost every wedding. I need a wardrobe update asap!
When the wedding was over, Michael and I hitched a ride back to Sacramento to spend our remaining days of vacation with my family. There, I got to hang out with my cousins, eat amazing home-cooked meals of all my favorites, spent time with friends, and I even fit in some reading time (I'll save my thoughts of BLOOD FOR BLOOD for a 'Bookish Feels' post).
Getting back from vacation is always rough for me. Heck, it took me almost two weeks to even blog about it and for Blaire to warm back up to us. For me, I took a few days to adjust, and then even a couple of more days to get the motivation to work off my vacation weight (the food and wine, was all worth it though ;)).
Currently, I've been obsessed with 'Poldark' (thanks to Michella), which has helped with my book hangover and vacation withdrawals. I loved it so much, I spent the last week reading the first two books of the series it's based off of. But with June almost over, and my next vacation around the corner, I know I need to get back to my WIP and revise, research, and read!
Day two exploring the Sonoma wine country was amazing. Even better because Michael and I had a tour guide. In total, we tasted at 6 different wineries! I couldn't tell you all the names because I don't remember half of them, but it was really neat to compare the pinots and chardonnay from this valley. I found that the chardonnays I preferred came from the Sonoma Coast (so I think a trip to the coast is in order--sometime in the future at least).
After our full day of tasting, we went out for ice cream at the Noble Fir before heading to dinner at Bravas (dessert before dinner ;) yum).
All in all, the trip exceeded my expectations. The wine region here is huge though, so I have a feeling Michael and I will be back since there's so much more to explore.
Before I get into my trip, I just want to say, LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE<3. Let us not forget that.
As for my trip, it's been almost a week since I landed in Oakland, California, and drove up to the Sonoma/Carneros area with Michael. Our yearly summer wine trips are my favorite, and I was especially excited to do the Sonoma area! Deep down I have this dream of Michael and I with our little own vineyard and a small home on a hill with a wraparound porch. I'd pen my latest novel and he'd cycle the rolling hills. We'd make delicious local food and great wine. I can dream,right? Not to mention the location would be perfect; about an hour and a half from my family, the coast, and the bay area.
But alas, I should snap out of my day dream and get on with my post! We started at Gloria Ferrer to taste some sparkling wines. I loved it so much, I became a member of their wine club.
For lunch, we went to OSO Sonoma to fuel up before heading for our wine taste/tour at Domaine Carneros.
After, we went to Arrowood for our last taste, but when we got there I was like, whoa! Dream home right here ;)
For dinner, we went to Valette and did the chef's tasting menu. It was AMAZING. A must-go if you're in the area and want a fancy/romantic/date night, or if you just want some delicious food.
By the end of the day, I was totally wiped. We got up at 4 a.m. that day to head out to the airport and did a full day of tasting. You bet I crashed by the time 9 p.m. rolled around.
It's a little over a week since the Agent Round for Pitch Wars began. Eeeep! So what is life after Pitch Wars like? Exactly the same, except I check my inbox more frequently, made a bunch of new friends that I can't wait to meet up with IRL, and am anxious all the time. Ha, I guess it isn't exactly the same then.
In any case, I wanted to let you know what I've been up to, what I'm currently reading, and what my next writing project is!
This past weekend I flew to Cali for my best friend's (from high school) wedding. It was great seeing everyone and reconnecting with my friends now that we all live in separate states now.
Since the wedding wasn't until the evening, Michael and I took advantage of the glorious weather and drove to Napa to do some wine tasting. When we flew back to Seattle the next day, and it was grey and raining still, I was crushed. I need the sun, so I take solace in knowing I'll be back in California for the holidays.
Michael contemplating the wine, while I am ecstatic to taste!
On the plus side, I went to the WINTER book launch with my writer friend Lisa where we got our hardcover copies signed by Marissa Meyer yesterday (who btw is so bubbly, I'd like to put her in my pocket and bring her everywhere I go when I need a dose of positivity--kidding! But really, she is just the sweetest darling in her ball gown).