Therapist…Yes, please!! 

So I have mentioned my “dark age” in my 30 1/2 blog and I’m still not going to get too deep into that, but this blog is about how I found the most amazing lady who helped me throw out the bulls#*t people in my life and uncover what my personal insecurities were.

I was referred to Judy by a good friend who’s life was changing in front of my eyes. She had such a postive outlook, had growing self esteem and was comfortable in the life she was living. At this time in my life, I wanted to leave my job, move far away from the a$$holes, I was grasping for any way to drop some lbs and my marriage was on the rocks because I was so unhappy. If I could have, I would have quit my job, move to San Diego and drain my savings for full body lipo. Then I would be happy?! Ha! 

But a therapist, aren’t those for the extremely crazy?! Yeah, no! We all need a therapist in our lives. We all need someone to listen to us and even better, we need someone to be the voice of reason.

The first few months of meeting with Judy were rough. I didn’t want to admit my faults, I wanted her to tell me to run and I thought she had a magic wand to make things perfect. I just wanted her to wave that wand and POOF, everything would be better. Sadly, she fell short of my fairy godmother expectation, and DUH thats not how it works. I didn’t want to put in the time. It was work. It was my responsibility to change how reacted to what was happening around me. If I couldn’t change my environment, I had to change how I saw that environment.  We met every 2 weeks and I had lots of homework to do.

We had 2 major things we were focusing on; the break-up/bully friend/coworker and finding balance in loving my body and having self esteem. She went about things in a compassionate way, she was very black and white but still was gentle. I know for a fact, I can’t have a sugar coated therapist. I was raised with life being sugar coated and it will get you nowhere. She allowed me to cry, word vomit, question and throw a few F bombs. She even knew when I was holding back. I would say something with confidence, hoping to disguise the truth, and she just gave me a look…BUSTED!

After about 6 months of ah-ha moments and tough love, I started to realize how I wanted my life to be. Its not perfect and I struggle with the balance of IF, AND, OR. It’s much more difficult to control these things around certain people. But Judy has taught me how to re-think situations and not get sucked into the drama and negative, dishonest people around me. I learned to feel sorry and show compassion for the manipulative b’s that I thought were my friends.

Life is a roller coaster and so I’m at a time in my life again when I need her. She is the un judgemental hand to help you out of the dark. I’m not ashamed to admit I get depressed, eat my emotions and cry. I’m human. My life is no where near glitter and rainbows, but I have an amazing family, loving partner, super fun career and I have my health. I am grateful for what I have but sometimes you need someone to remind you and talk through the chaos.

Boston

Day 1:

Ryan left the house at 7 am to get all of his work clothes from the dry cleaners. Well somebody there couldn’t get out of bed and open the store, so he waited almost 40 mins for the girl who said she was coming to show up and decided to come home. He was pissed. Our plane left at 9:55 am and he needed his suits.

We left for the airport deciding to stop at the cleaners to see if we were lucky and hooray she was there and “kindly” gave us 20% off for the inconvenience. Now off to the airport(8:15am).

Traffic wasn’t too bad, thank god and we entered Terminal 1, extended stay parking FULL. FML. We haul ass to terminal 2, park, wait for the damn light rail and finally get to terminal 1 security(9:12 am). Luckily we made it!!!


We checked into the hotel and started off to explore the North End! We first went to the Old Church and read the history of Paul Revere. We were able to see his house and tour through it.

Next up; dinner at Giacomo’s Ristorante, recommended by both of my sisters. This little Italian place already had a line 20 people deep before they opened. We were sat at the bar, which was a great view of the kitchen and the restaurant. There were lulls in the hustle of this place and I loved watching it. The culture was very friendly.

We enjoyed buratta, lobster ravioli and linguini. Oh and a delicious bottle of red wine!


Dessert!!! Mike’s Pastry was another place that came recommended. I was overwhelmed with the selection of cannolis. We picked strawberry and Oreo and walked to enjoy our treat on the bench by the water. Discovery: I dislike cannolis.

On the way back to the hotel, we found a supermarket. We stocked up on red wine and snacks and watched Pitch Perfect 2.

Day 2:

It was a pretty crap-tastic day. The hotel staff at the Boston Marriott Copley place is incredibly rude, their fitness center is sub par and the Starbucks doesn’t take my drink rewards. The weather is like a monsoon today. We stopped for lunch at Luke’s Lobster and had their Noah’s Ark which had tasting of lobster, crab and shrimp rolls. It was delicious. They use traceable, sustainable resources.


We couldn’t do any sightseeing, so I went with Ryan to help him set up his booth. As we were on our way, we decided to run so we didn’t get totally soaked.  My flip flops were too slippery, so I ran barefooted. FAIL! The side walk was polished and I slipped, feet flying over my head and landed hard on my nicely cushioned left cheek. It hurt like hell and was just as scary. We were drenched and my pants were soaked.


That night while Ryan was at work, I decided to venture out and take the “CHARLIE” to Core Power Yoga. Let me just say, their subway made me miss NYC’s. It was packed like sardines. I literally had 7 people touching me at once. It goes street level so it’s really slow. I almost missed my hot power fusion. But I made it to my mat! Thank God,this no good, kinda bad day was over.

DAY 3: 

Please refer to COASTAL MINI-VENTURE blog! And a bruise is starting to form on my left cheek!

DAY 4:

I hate hurricane Joaquin. It’s raining and freezing, which means no sight seeing for us today, hence this blog being written at this very moment. I’m listening to the Presidential News Conference and I’m not going to lie, this world scares me. Earlier I watched the news about the Oregon shooting. This country is messed up. Our political system is run by $$ and I’m over it. Rant done.

We had dinner reservations at Island Oyster Creek Bar. I have learned that oysters taste like ocean unless covered in sauce!!! The restaurant was close to Fenway so we walked down an ally, saw the sign and called it good. Too windy and rainy and dark. Oh and my bruise on my butt is a great shade of deep purple.

DAY 5: 

Last day here; still freezing cold but no rain. I got my body kicked in yoga sculpt, at least it was better than sitting in my room. Ryan got back from his conference and we debated on walking around…yeah nope. I think we were both over being cold and bored. It was a nice balance to just lay in bed together. If anyone knows me, that’s like pulling teeth. I could tell Rysn needed to decompress, so I compromised.

We ended our last night in Boston with our anniversary dinner at Deaxave, an amazing French restaurant. Go figure next to our romantic table for 2 was a group of IT college guys; loud, cocky and clueless. They were cute little dorks, I mean you could tell how they were raised. It’s a Saturday’s night, you’re in college and you go to a fancy French restaurant? Oh well. The food was rich and amazing and we had great conversation!  Cheers to 4 yrs!

Dear Boston,

You didn’t quite meet my expectations, but that’s OK. I still like you and would consider returning, if you have better behaved weather.

Sincerely,

Angela

Coastal Mini-Venture 

This little day trip was almost a full adventure but we had time constraints on the rental car and Ryan needed to get to his conference. Scary part is I was the driver…in a Fiat 500…that was lime green…driving in downtown Boston. Dang I should’ve gotten a picture.

We started in Boston and took the Tobin Bridge to Revere Beach Blvd. The Revere Park right at the roundabout. It was such a windy day so hardly anyone was out. We continued to drive on Revere a Beach Blvd through the cute little town until we jumped onto 1A to Salem.

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Once we arrived in Salem, we went to the Salem Witch Trials Memorial and walked through the cemetery. Most of the names were very familiar; Bishop, Nurse and Good. The witch trials were so sad, yet walking through that cemetery was creepy. If I were any of those men or women who were executed, I would for sure come back and haunt those people, witch or not! There were some interesting buildings around town. Due to time, we only explored for about 30 mins. Next stop; Gloucester. IMG_4422

We took hwy 128 into Gloucester, the city were the Perfect Storm took place. The Fisherman’s Memorial was beautiful. It sat right on the water with gorgeous views. It was such an interesting town with winding roads. Next we drove to the Eastern Point Lighthouse. The road to get there states PRIVATE PROPERTY, but we drove through. I am so glad we did. Holy crap, were these homes beautiful. It was like driving through Pebble Beach 17 mile drive. Gorgeous coastal homes with magnificent views. The lighthouse was really pretty, but it once again was so windy, we didn’t stay long.

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I really wanted to go up to Rockport to Halibut State Park but it was another 20 min drive up hwy 127 and at least a 20 min hike to the coast. It would’ve been beautiful, but I picked going to the apple orchard instead. If you have more time, I’m sure its worth it. So you either continue on 127 after Rockport to meet 128 or stay on 128 from Gloucester, once on 128 take 133 though Essex and Northgate Rd to Argilla Rd.

Once again due to timing we skipped taking Argilla Rd to Crane Beach, boo. But we stopped at Russell Orchards. I finally, in the 10 years that I have been with Ryan, got him to an apple orchard.  We didn’t walk the orchards, but we had some delicious apple cider and walked through the farm. The kids there were so rude to the animals, just screaming and yelling at them. Both Ryan and I were crossing our fingers that the animals would bite them, yeah, yeah, yeah we are so horrible. But I’m sorry, stupid kids don’t need to be all up in the animals face.

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The shop had a lot to offer. Fruit wines, various apples, cider donuts and fudge. I refilled my cider and we hit the road. Enjoying our donuts and caramel apple fudge, Naughty! It was a fun little coastal trip. We were a bit too early for the leaves to change, so looks like we are going to need to repeat!

Friday Favorites: Palettes!

Ok, so I will be the first to admit I hate doing my makeup. I honestly can’t stand girls that take more than 3 minutes to do their “everyday” look. Its simple, one color shadow, liner, mascara and tinted moisturizer. Who has time everyday to prime, contour, coverup and blend? If you do, I can suggest some other activities for you. I believe a woman’s daily look should be natural and fresh. It’s so funny to me how some people I know are almost unrecognizable without makeup. Why wear so much?

Now when you have a fun night out, that is a different story. I like to do special event makeup INSERT my Urban Decay NAKED palettes!

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These palettes make creating a pretty eye really easy. I own NAKED, NAKED 2 and NAKED smoky! Only missing NAKED 3. I love that I can try out multiple shades and they come with great application brushes, Another reason these little ladies are fabulous, is with all of my traveling, I can easily pack them up. I order them off Sephora.com. This way I can get my 3 samples! WIN!

Friday Favorites!!!

Every Friday I am going to post and talk about some of my favorite things, places, food and subjects! These are all things I’m obsessed with! I guess just like Oprah and Ellen, I want to let all of you know about the things I love!

My first Favorite Friday is…

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I know its so cliche, but there is something about holding that cup and sipping on its goodness that pure bliss. I do admit I need to be better about not going almost everyday…put that CA$H in my 401k, but at the same time life is short, I work hard, so gimme that $3 cup of joy!

My favorites there are a grande americano with 2 pumps white mocha and now they offer coconut milk so add a grande coconut milk latte with 1 pump caramel to the roster! Yup, Im that picky B**ch with the crazy selective order.

I know Starbucks is a giant corporation and we should support the small coffee business and sometimes i do, but being as picky as I am, I like consistency and Starbucks offers it.

FUN FACTS:

  • 22,551 stores in 65 countries
  • First Starbucks opened in Seattle, Washington, on March 30, 1971
  • Starbucks has agreed to a partnership with Apple to collaborate on selling music as part of the “coffeehouse experience”.
  • In 1999, Starbucks started “Grounds for your Garden” to make their business environmentally friendlier.
  • In 2008, Starbucks was ranked No.15 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s list of Top 25 Green Power Partners for purchases of renewable energy.
  • Offer a college achievement plan with ASU

*source: WIKIEPEDIA

“Starbucks Company Profile” (PDF) (PDF). Starbucks Coffee Company. July 2014.

Time Out (2011). Time Out Guide San Francisco. Time Out Guides. ISBN 978-1-84670-220-4. Retrieved 9 April 2013.

BIG SIS

Recently both of my younger sisters have had major events happen in their life and its just fun to reflect on your relationship with them. My sister Monica, just had her first baby 3 weeks ago and Vanessa just married the love of her life. I couldn’t be happier and more excited for them.

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As the oldest of 3 girls, you tend to take on a lot of responsibilities. You are in charge of being the leader, role model, rule breaker, protector, trend setter, ring leader and voice of reason. Your sisters are your best friends by choice and like most friendships you have your ups and downs, but you will always love and support each other.

Growing up with my sisters was a blast. I was 2 when Monica came into my life and the thumb-sucking chubby cheeked monkey wanted nothing to do with me. She was content by herself, so naturally I would pick on her just to get attention. She was so laid back and I needed to be in the spotlight, so it was the perfect balance. Then came along Vanessa. She was my human doll and did everything I told her to. Monica and I would pick of her but to Vanessa, that meant acceptance, so she just put up with it. She was a mini me! We have so many great memories and whenever we talk about it, we laugh so hard we cry. We weren’t always nice to each other. Between the 3 of us it was always 2 against 1 and just rotated. Now as adults, we always get along.

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I was and still am very protective of both of them. If anyone every tried to mess with them or talk about them, the claws came out. As a sister, you are allowed to make fun and tease your sisters but for anyone else, its off limits. Monica was always the shy, quiet sister, so it was harder to tell if something was bothering her. Yet, she is so strong and resilient that if something was on her mind, you never knew. Vanessa was a pocket size little sister and had her drama with boys, so insert crazy big sister. Vanessa had struggled with Chrones when she was younger and that was a hard on Monica and I. My parents had to focus on her health, which as kids, you feel left out. Now I see how crazy it was to think Vanessa was faking it. As a child your parents shield you from the seriousness of most things. Im glad they did and I am so happy she is in remission.

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The last few years have been crazy for all of us. We all got married with in 5 years, our parents got divorced, Monica had a miscarriage and then a new baby joined our lives! Through all of it, I felt that it was my responsibility to make sure they were ok through it all.

Monica and Vanessa’s wedding were both so fun. Watching your little sisters exchange vows with a guy you totally trust, takes a little weight off you. They were both so happy and the day was filled with smiles. These guys were in a way, taking them away from me but it was ok! My sisters have never looked more beautiful or happy. The annoying little girls that followed you around, stole your clothes and tattled on your for years are now a Mrs.294405_10150363160159839_657346955_n

Our parents divorce was hard, even though we were adults. Each of us went about the healing and dealing process in completely different ways. We each decided that no matter what our stance was, if we picked a side, or needed time to figure it out, we wouldn’t judge each other and be openminded. That day we found out was gut-wrenching and being the person that I am, I set aside my feelings to make sure my sisters didn’t feel lost, sad or alone. Since they were told separately I was able to squeeze them tight and try to take away the pain. I was a care-taker through it all. I didn’t want anyone to feel pain, so I spent all my time making sure both my parents and my sisters were ok. 4 yrs later, I am happy how I handled everything and focus on the relationships I have had with my parents. My mom is a caring, kind, fun, loving mother and my dad is a goofy, supportive, hardworking father and that is how my relationship will still be with them. Their marriage was not mine, therefore I found a way to keep the drama separate. I think this event in our lives, have shown us how to focus on ourselves and each other and that marriage is hard work for both parties. This could turn into a whole separate blog, so on to the exciting story.

3 weeks ago JELLO (nickname) entered our lives. This was such a blessing because Monica has always wanted to be a mom. when we ere little, we watched my mom breast feed Vanessa, so naturally Monica and I copied. I fed my doll and Monica breast fed her panda bear. Watching her with her baby is heart warming. I am so proud of her and excited to watch him grow. Jello has brought Monica and I closer. We never really had much in common, but now the love for this little pooping, drooling, sleeping human is what we have in common.

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Sisters. See-stars! I hope they both know that I am so proud of them, so happy for them, and cant wait to see what else awaits our futures! Love you both!

Self Sabotage

Sabotage: the act of deliberately damaging, destroying or obstructing something.
This is a hard one to write, because I’m openly admitting a fault, and it’s harder to post because now you all know my secret.

It’s funny, I don’t sabatoge myself on everything, it’s just a few things. When I was younger, I was a competitive swimmer and always did stupid things so that if I didn’t place well, I had excuses. I acted like I didn’t care or said I didn’t care. The more I said it, the more I convinced myself. This was all to protect myself from disappointment. I had excuses to suck, so then I didn’t have to feel so bad. I look back on this and want to kick my 15 yr old self, I could have had more accomplishments and had more confidence in my swimming abilities. But there is nothing I can do about it now, but learn for my future and pass this advice to others.

I also sabotaged my health/goals for my fitness. Its almost a sickness. When I did my bikini competition in 2013, I followed my lifting and cardio plan, followed my macros to perfection EXCEPT I would sneak chocolate covered acai berries. I stashed those things like a squirrel and would straight binge. Now I had an excuse if I didn’t place well. I was still very proud of how I placed (5th out of 7 ), because honestly I just wanted the experience, but reflecting back I want to smack myself for not giving it my all.

Unfortunately I still sabotage my “body” goals and its purely emotionally based. I think eating naughty food will make me happy, but it only makes me happy for a moment. When I stick to my plan, stay driven and don’t fall to my old habits, my happiness lasts so much longer and there isn’t any regret! I highly recommend ready the book Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth. I keep re-reading this book because she also struggled with self-sabotage and emotional eating. I need to re-set my thinking and re-train my mind into knowing whats good for me and what gives me balance.

What’s so funny is that in other parts of my life I totally kick butt and accomplish and crush goals. Why is it that I can be a rockstar in my business, but not in certain personal goals? In my yoga practice last week, my teacher spoke of one’s own possibilities and not getting in your own way. I know that I set goals or there is something I want so badly, but I can’t picture it so I paralyze myself. Self doubt can be one of the scariest things. We all have enough haters, obstacles and negativity surrounding us, the last thing we need is to get into our own heads and find excuses. I think sometimes we set goals with low expectations to escape failure and defeat. But what if we knew for certain that we would get there? Would we set the bar higher?

What is in your way of reaching your goals, finding your full potential and creating your amazing life? I find that it’s easier to reach my goals by taking baby steps. Its crazy how much we can celebrate the little accomplishments. Who said everything needs to be big, great and huge? My take away is to think small and have faith. Know that I can accomplish ANYTHING!!!!

Odd Girl Out

I’m at my sister’s baby shower watching her open gifts, but being ambushed by little kids opening them for her. I texted my husband “I’m broken. I don’t find any of this baby stuff cute and the kids are opening her gifts for her. I’m so annoyed” He was kind enough to respond saying “you’re not broken, you just don’t like that stuff”

I’m writing this not to offend anyone or be insensitive but to just share my feelings on this very touchy subject…babies.

As a young girl, I loved playing house and being a mommy or playing teacher. Up until I was 21, my goal was to have 4 kids and stay at home with them. I wanted 2 boys, Joshua and Lucas and 2 girls Madison and Kayla. As I grew older, built my career and found my passions, wanting to have a family went away.
Before Ryan and I got engaged I told him I was 85% sure I didn’t want kids. And we were both open to adopting as well. This was a conversation that needed to be had. I felt horrible because Ryan was open to the idea and he loved me so much that he was willing to sacrifice being a father to be with me. How horrible was I not to return that selflessness?  I couldn’t put making him a father in front of my own choice not to be a mother, but that didn’t mean I loved him less. He is my world. I once sat next to a woman tell another woman, who was single and unsure about having kids,(they both knew I was married) say “you will want kids when you meet the right man” OH SNAP!!! I wanted to punch that judgmental b$*ch in the face. How dare you say that? But then I calmed myself down realizing that her statement was her own insecurity.

In my mid 20’s everyone was always telling me;

“you’re young, you’ll change your mind”

“It will change your life, you have to”

“Don’t you want to leave a piece of you when you leave this world”

Then as I got closer to 30;

“You would be such a great mom”

“You have no idea what you will be missing”

“Who will take care of you when you are older”

“Who will you celebrate the holidays with”

“It’s different when they are your own children”

Gah! Leave me alone. Now to address some of these statements, just because I was young doesn’t mean I’m going to change my mind. It’s actually the opposite, I’m more sure of my decision that ever.

I know a child would change my life and I would be a great mom, but I’m already a great cat mom and LOVE  my life the way it is, I don’t want to change it. It’s also true that I don’t know what I am missing, but you have children and have no idea what experiences you are missing that I have the opportunity to enjoy. You can’t compare the two. They are so different and are customized to our own lifestyles. Everyone has their own ideal life and I am living mine.

I’m not going to lie, I have questioned my decision only because I want certain experiences you can have with kids, like the first time you take them to Disney, all of the funny things they say and matching mommy daughter bikinis but you can’t chose what parts you want. When it comes to a baby, it’s all or nothing.

I am leaving a lot behind when I leave this life and honestly the world can be such a cruel and ugly place that sometimes I’m glad I’m not introducing something so innocent. As far as holidays and getting older, well family isn’t defined biologically, so I could be with family friends or just Ryan and I somewhere tropical. As of now I have 3 nieces and nephews who can suck up to me until the day I die to get Auntie Angie’s $$$$, your kids just think they are entitled to it.

I know I have my reasons for not wanting them and I respect your reasons to have them. I have many friends that are struggling to have a family and it hurts my heart. I feel like a b*$ch saying I don’t want them but if I could I would give them all my fertile energy. Life isn’t fair when the couple that would be amazing parents aren’t given the chance to shine!

I’m now in a not so fun position in my life. My friends that already have children, don’t think to include me in their activities. Do I want to be invited all the time, no, but it’s nice to be invited. My friends that are starting their families don’t realize that our friendships are going to change. I am so happy for all of my friends and family that are stepping into the next phase. I know they will and respect that but honestly it sucks being the odd girl out. I’m not trying to be selfish, but when you are the girl that isn’t following social norms, you feel rejected.

I’m not saying that I don’t like kids, I can tolerate the well parented offspring, but there are quite a few little a$$holes being raised and those children will get the death stare from me all day.

I think as women we need to support each other’s decisions about children. Some chose to work, some chose to have 3-4 kids and some of chose not to have them at all. We are all making the RIGHT choice for our own lives.

Protein Pancake PaRtY!

I have a crazy September ahead and sometimes I need a quick on the go breakfast or snack. INSERT: Protein Pancakes! I host a huge pancake making party, by myself, and just flipped away! These are also a great option for if you are traveling. I keep them frozen and heat them up in my hotel in my travel size crock pot. I also eat them when I am craving a donut or a pastry or when I need nutrition but am on the run!

Here’s what you will need for equipment:

  • Nutri-bullet or Magic-bullet
  • Mixer
  • Griddle (goes much faster)

Ingredients:

  • Eggs
  • Gluten free oats
  • Vanilla
  • Low fat cottage cheese
  • Quest Multi Purpose Protein Powder
  • Flavors: Dark Banana, White chocolate Raspberry or Blueberry White

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Remember this is a BULK recipe but you can take the base and separate it into different flavors. I also use the Nutri-Bullet to make my oats into flour!

16 egg whites, 2 cups oats (blended), 2 scoops protein powder, 2/3 cup cottage cheese and 1 TBSP vanilla. 

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For the different flavors:

White Chocolate Raspberry: fold in 2 cups of raspberries. Once you pour your pancake on the griddle, add 3-5 white chocolate chips on top. (my batch size made 20 pancakes. Calorie: 101 Fat: 2 Carb: 11 Protein:13)

Dark Banana: use blender to mix in 3 bananas. This will make the batter a little runny. Again, add 3-5 dark chocolate chips per pancake once poured. (my batch made 23 pancakes. Calorie: 86  Fat: 1 Carb: 10 Protein: 9)

Blueberry White: fold in 2 cups of blueberries and again add 3-5 white chocolate chips per pancake. (my batch made 16 pancakes. Calorie: 101 Fat:1.5 Carb: 12 Protein:10)

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Once you have them all cooked, I put 3-4 in plastic baggies and store them in the freezer. I usually keep a bag in the fridge so they are defrosted. When you are ready to enjoy these AMAZING P-cakes, just pop them in the toaster! If you are watching your sugar, feel free to skip the chips, but they are my favorite part. That melty goodness in a random bite!!

PaRtY oN!!!

Temecula

April 2015:

I stumbled upon this gem while trolling Groupon for things to do near San Diego. A wine tasting in Temecula popped up, so I jumped on TripAdvisor and started to research. I was able to book us a wine tasting tour on the Grapeline Wine Tours, (www.gogrape.com) and found a really nice hotel at the Hampton Inn and Suites.

I had Ryan take the “scenic” route from San Diego to Temecula. As we came into wine country, the views were fabulous. We checked into our hotel around 2:30 pm and decided,  with 41 wineries in Temecula and the fact that we were only going to 4 on our tour tomorrow, we probably should go try one! We freshened up and started our on adventure to Europa.

Europa

IMG_1956This winery was AMAZING! They have three wineries featuring wines made in the styles of French wine, C’est la Vie Wine Chateau, their Spanish wine, Bolero and Vienza, which has a Tuscany southern French influence. Our sommeliers’ name was Dr. Doug. He was so interesting. He is a retired professor, who was working on his third level Sommelier certification. This guy knew his wine and I looked like a fool.

IMG_1968He taught us to look for the “legs” after you swirl your wine, how to check out the color and I added my own “trill” that my sister taught me. We had such a great time and since they had such an extensive selection we joined the club, 3 bottles every 2 months! Now we were part of Société Europa and Dr. Doug gifted me a coveted autographed cork! We selected a glass of wine and went out to the vineyard!

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Grapeline Wine Tour

Quick little review on them! They pick you up and drop you off at your hotel. They had an amazing day planned for us, warned us of how much we would be consuming and Melissa was our tour guide. Please request her, or come with me the next time I go! We booked the Picnic Tour for only $109 a person, yes please!

Leoness Cellars

Leoness means “village of dreams” and WOW this place was like a dream. We started down by the process plant and received our first taste. Our tour was perfect because as you are touring the grounds, you were given tastes along the way. The barrel room was beautiful, the vineyards lovely and the views were breathe taking. My favorite part of the tasting was the dessert wine at the end, 2007 Cinsaut Dessert Wine paired with a dark chocolate truffle. We really enjoyed their wine and loved that they had different tiers. We joined the club! 3 bottles every 3 months. I am most excited about this winery due to their Signature Collection Club. These wines must mature for 7-10yrs, which means we could enjoy them in our 40’s! FUN!IMG_1986

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Danza Del Sol

Now that we have a nice buzz going, lets cover stop #2. Danza Del Sol was the first winery to grow the Gewürztraminer grape, which is the wine they are known for. One of their most popular wines is the Orange Muscat with of flavors of vanilla and apricot and smelled like oranges. The reason I love to taste, is sometimes you find a gem and tis worth it. Luckily we didn’t join the club, but did grab a few bottles to take back to MN.

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Cougar Winery

Can we talk about the views at this place? They are located on top of a hill and have 360 views of the vineyards. Thank God this was our lunch stop, my buzz needed some carbs. The winery had lunch set up for up in their barrel room. The food was great and we were served a half glass of wine. Their wines here weren’t my favorite. They have a lot of sweet wines and table wines, so I brought a few of those. 3 down, 1 to go…and I’m just a little wine wasted!IMG_1997

South Coast Winery

This winery is huge and we are wine wasted for sure. Honestly I don’t remember much from this winery, except that it was beautiful and has an amazing spa and hotel. They also had 80+ different wines. Due to the fact that they have so many, we joined the club. Yeah, no that was a lie, were were just drunk and made a bad decision. IMG_2006Our tour dropped us of at our hotel and since were couldn’t drive anywhere, we ordered pizza and passed out. I am so happy I stumbled upon this gem. I am obsessed and can’t wait to go back.