Welcome!Hey there! I'm Holly. A 40+ year old insurance-nerd wife, mom, beauty lover, and about a million other things in between. This is the place where I share about our lives, what I'm currently loving, books I'm reading, plus-size style, beauty recommendations, health + fitness endeavors and anything else I'm finding interesting at the moment. Thanks for stopping by!
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Tag Archives: Wine Tasting
Thanks for all of your sweet comments on our engagement story yesterday. As I mentioned, our wine-country weekend hanging out with my cousins had just been a ruse to get me packed and ready so Garrett could treat me to what was probably one of our most memorable vacations yet. We were sad to say goodbye to Domaine Carneros, but so happy to have made a memory to celebrate there time and time again. Our next stop was getting into town to settle down into our weekend digs.
Unbeknownst to me, Garrett had rented us a little cottage near downtown Sonoma where we’d be staying all weekend. It was at the end of a private road and we had our own little vineyard decorating the driveway. Isn’t that just the cutest? I was ready to pack my bags and move in for good!
We had about an hour to relax, unpack, freshen up, have a glass of wine and then it was off to our dinner reservations at The Rutherford Grill in Napa. When Garrett initially mentioned that we had dinner reservations I was a little bit nervous. While we are both food enthusiasts, we aren’t big fancy-fine diners, you know what I mean? And the whole food and wine scene in Napa can be a little snooty in certain places, so I was a tiny bit apprehensive. But honestly, The Rutherford Grill was the perfect spot for us.
It wasn’t AT ALL snooty, the food was on point and as you can imagine the wine list has some really great selections. Our waitress was so cute, and totally tolerated the two of us who were still in giggly OMG WE’RE ENGAGED mode. Garrett got prime rib, I ended up ordering the Hawaiian Ribeye and we both opted for Colcannon Potatoes. Have you ever had that kind of mashed potato? HOLY MOSES, they are the best potatoes I’ve ever eaten in my life. I think we may have to eat them every year on the anniversary of our engagement! (You think I’m kidding, but man they were THAT GOOD!)
After dinner we headed back into Sonoma and went for a walk downtown in the historic town plaza. I’ve written about Sonoma pretty extensively on this blog — it’s a place I hold close to my heart. I have so many memories here with both of my parents after my grandma moved to wine country, so it felt really special that Garrett and I were enjoying such an exciting time in our relationship in that city. In some ways it felt like my grandma and my dad got to be privy to the whole thing. As we walked around the square I just couldn’t get over how perfect everything was. Of course right as I was looking off into the sunset thinking about what a romantic evening we were having a bunch of kids drove by in a Hyundai blasting the explicit version of “Rack City” so, you know — back to reality. 🙂
Right off the square there is a painting called the Valley of the Moon mural. My grandma would always take me over to it when I’d visit her growing up. Full disclosure: it’s right by an ice cream parlor, so you know — of course she loved art, but it was also her way of always saying “Yay, culture — now let’s go eat some ice cream!” 🙂 Summers with grandma were the best, you know?
Anyway, one of the fun memories I have as a kid was that hidden inside this mural of people, places and things related to the “Valley of the Moon” (as Sonoma is known), was a “Where’s Waldo” style couple — a bride and groom, listed under their wedding date — somewhere in the mural. As a kid it was always fun to race to see how quickly you could find it, and even though we’ve done it many times, of course that night Garrett and I had to take a minute and scope out the happy couple. (It’s in the bottom right hand region if you are ever in the area and want to find it.)
Then, of course we had to head over and have some ice cream, duh. 🙂
If you’ve been around this blog for any length of time, you already know that Garrett took great pleasure in ordering two scoops of bubble gum ice cream. (Gross!)
Afterward we grabbed a glarifee as a nightcap over at Swisshotel and then headed back to our cottage. I mean let’s be real — we literally couldn’t eat another bite! haha
Garrett had a full day planned on Saturday and so we wanted to make sure we geared up for it.
1. First Stop: Lava Cap, 2. Let’s have lunch!, 3. The Boys., 4. Cheers!, 5. Second Stop: Boeger, 6. Third Stop: Chateau Davell, 7. Picnic!, 8. Untitled, 9. Jeremy + Katie, 10. Last Stop: Grace Patriot, 11. Grace Patriot’s Patio, 12. Let’s Do That., 13. Us., 14. Word., 15. Oysters to be BBQ’d, 16. Just a sip
So when I posted the other day about how we try our best not to overburden ourselves these days, I may have painted a very calm home-body like picture. And this is true to a degree. But since we haven’t totally retired our social life I thought I’d tell you a few of the fun things we’ve done lately. Fall has been good to us here in California and we’ve been doing our best to take advantage.
Obviously I’ve already mentioned my super fun Girls Weekend the first weekend of October. We don’t have to rehash that, but I will tell you I miss those ladies already and am determined to do it again soon. Weekends with your ladies are the best!
The following weekend I turned 33 and you know, I feel about 33. I don’t know if that is a good or a bad thing but at this point, it is what it is. We celebrated, however, by acting about 13. We spent the day by going out to lunch, to a movie and then out mini-golfing! (FINALLY!)
Ok there may have also been some old school video game reminiscing as well.
I would tell you about our lunch, except we went to the same Mexican restaurant we always go to because — OMG, it is so bomb! And if I’m going to deviate from my regular diet, it’s going to be for fantastic brunch or for Mexican food. Ok, or apple cider donuts. We’ll get to those in a minute. Instead I will tell you about the movie we saw because it was AWESOME:
Worth it, you guys. So worth seeing in the theater. Also: Ryan Gosling. I mean, how much convincing does one really need to do?
The following weekend was mellow. It’s a must, I can’t have three extremely social weekends in a row or I start looking like the Bride of Frankenstein. Which of course leads me right into Halloween weekend, which was the opposite of mellow.
For starters, Friday night I did the hardest workout I think I’ve ever done at American River Crossfit. It’s called Murph, and it’s a bitch. You run a mile (WHICH IS ENOUGH! OMG THE RUNNING! LOL) and then proceed to do 100 pullups, 200 pushups, and 300 squats. And if that isn’t enough, you finish it off by running another mile. It took me 63 minutes you guys. YOWZA!
Despite the repeated torture, I continue to love Crossfit. I haven’t lost a lot of weight these past few months, but my body is changing like crazy which feels…well, crazy. It’s amazing how so much can happen even when the scale isn’t going nuts. The other day I looked at myself and thought “Holy Shit I have a waist!” I’m not sure I’ve…EVER had a waist. So it was a nice discovery, you know?
You would think the morning after that crazy workout we would take it easy but we decided to head up to Apple Hill with our Couple Besties (yes, you can totally have couple besties — and if we could give them those cheezy heart Best Friend necklaces, we would) for a day of wine tasting, food pairings, apple cider donut eating and BBQ grubbing! And it was a blast!
The weather was PERFECT.
And the company was top notch.
We would look cute in those necklaces, right?
We set out to act like adults, not drink too much, buy a reasonable amount of wine and have an enjoyable day. We definitely enjoyed ourselves, but we came home with two enormous full cases of wine, a new wine club joined, and after eating a dozen apple cider donuts, we looked like this:
You WISH we were riding in your backseat, don’t you?
This is enough, right? A full fun weekend! Except that was only Saturday afternoon and on Saturday night we had to motor to a Halloween party, where we dressed up as…well, it’s a long story.
Sarah gave me the idea to dress up as Mia Wallace and Vincent Vega. Great idea! We had most of the items needed. Easy Peasy! Until Garrett found a relic from my past that inspired him even more. My white denim LA Gear bedazzled jean jacket. So he decided to deviate from the plan and be a lady from the 80s. Oh wait, I’m sorry, that would be Lady — with a capital L.
(And a lady wearing a skirt/legging combo from the girls department at Target. MY GOD.)
I stuck with Mia Wallace because I’m lazy and all I needed to buy was a syringe. $2.99 costume from Pet Smart. WOOT!
Garrett spent the evening acting like he felt pretty. It was…um, a real sight. Yes, he did grind on Justin Bieber by the beer pong table. That really sort of sums up the entire evening, I think.
This is what happens when you wine taste BEFORE a party.
So YES. Balance! We try and have it whenever possible. But we’re not sitting on the couch and drinking prune milkshakes every night while watch Matlock just yet. And with November and December weekends filling up like crazy I have a feeling the pace won’t quit anytime soon. I’m just hoping there will be a less pink wigs and men in skirts. But I make no promises.