Wednesday, June 29, 2016

To Canada We Go!

In Honor of my lovely friend Marisa and fellow bride to be Krista, we ventured up to Canada to have an epic double bachelorette weekend!    
Whistler, B.C.

Howe Sound on the drive up

The Drive up to Whistler was beautiful.  From Bellingham we made the quick cross over the boarder to Canada.  The drive to Whistler is simply majestic.  We had the sunroof down and were enjoying the PNW and all it had to offer.  The drive in the spring is so much different than the drive in the winter.  Waterfalls galore and the flora and fauna are out for all to see.  

Whistler still has a sparkle from the 2010 Olympics, the ski village has great restaurants and shops.  We enjoyed dancing the night away at Moe Joes the first night.  Day two rolled around and we had one thing on our minds: ADVENTURE!

So we signed up for Zip lining!
We had a blast!  We learned that when in Canada, you drink Ceasers not Bloody Mary's.
That chatting all afternoon at the Longhorn Saloon Patio near the fire can bring some of the best memories of the trip. 
And we are ready to send these lovely ladies off into married life.

PS- not to each other... as we had to explain a few too many times while in whistler...

Monday, June 6, 2016

Celebrating Mr. & Mrs. Bell

The highlight of our weekend was celebrating Mr. & Mrs. Bell here in the Tri Cities!

Zane and Janae got married in Huntington Beach, California!  It was a whirlwind of a weekend and no matter how hard Chad and I tried we were not able to get to San Fransisco.., Let alone Huntington Beach. Long story short we had our flight cancelled Thursday night out of Pasco. Let's just say that the ordeal that happened next is why I will never fly United again. Let's just say 2 canceled flights, showing up to check in before being cancelled on.  With no flights left before the wedding, let alone the rehearsal dinner. It was so hard to call the bride and groom and tell them we couldn't make it.

But back to the lighter side of life, the reception here in Washington was adorable.
We can't wait to meet Baby Noah!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Celebrating 27

Cheers to 27 and another trip around the sun!

Making a wish over the Baked Alaska

My husband treated me to a night out at Budd's Broiler in Richland.  We wined and Dined all while watching the boats and wildlife on the Columbia River.  I had the Halibut, which was delicious and severed with a lovely lemon sauce.  Chad had the ribeye with a side of mac and cheese.  We love the Northwest flare to this steak house.  All that goodness paired with Woodward Canyon 2011 Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon.  Read about this Washington Classic here.  This wine is about half from Champoux Vineyard up in the Horse Heaven Hills and half from a vineyard I am lucky enough to manage, Bacchus vineyard.  Both sides were planted in the early '70s and the wine was just beautiful.  Just beautiful. 

To Health, Wealth and Happiness

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Vacation Memories in Kauai

Kauai. The Garden Island.
Tunnels Beach and a view of the Na Pali Coast
Hiking up Sleeping Giant
My husband and I had the best vacation this past winter on the island of Kauai and I wanted to share it with you. My husband and I have done what I will call the "resort experience" of Hawaii, spending time on Maui for our honeymoon. Let's be real, a week at the Grand Wailea was fabulous but we couldn't really afford to do that again.

Cue AirBnB and a late night surfing dream vacation spots on Kauai. Chad and I had banked quite a few Alaska Airlines miles when paying for our wedding and going about daily life. We don't use credit as a loan but instead pay it off monthly to get some rewards. I was day dreaming about 7 days away while our budget was telling us we could afford 3 nights at the Marriott. Then I found the Epic Dome. And the dome lived up to its name!

View from the top!
The Epic Dome was easy to find after our plane ride from Seattle. There was some traffic leaving the airport but with one road around the island that is to be expected. The dome had a lovely outdoor kitchen and very private outdoor bathroom. I loved feeling like I was taking a shower in the jungle.

Poke Filled massive avocado 

The dome allowed us to unplug a bit while still having all amenities. It was such a great launching point for adventures. Being up on the hill we would look around the skyline, find some sunshine and go that way for our daily adventure. We explored Limahuli Garden, Hanalei Bay, and had delicious sashimi at the Dolphin. Tip for the Dolphin- skip the restaurant and go around back to the little store, buy some poke and head to the beach. I have never had better Ahi!

We spent a day doing some fun tourist trap type adventures, boating out to the fern wedding grotto and hiking up sleeping giant. We had fun walking down into Kapaa from the Epic Dome enjoying an espresso at Small Town Coffee in Kapaa (Thanks Sunset Magazine for the tip!) , and drinks at The Olympic Cafe to enjoy looking down over the town.  Skip the food though, there are much better (and more cost effective) places to dine.  
The hosts were great and I would recommend enjoying Kauai with the Epic Dome as a base point for anyone looking for an adventure!

We are headed to Portland later this summer, anyone have any killer AirBnB places we need to stay at??? Full us in!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Rich Reds with Januik Winery

OK OK I am going to start this off by admitting I am partial to Januik wines.

Januik Winery Weinbau Vineyard Cabernet Franc
 Not only because I work with the vines that become his wines.  Not just because I know Mike Januik ran Chateau Ste Michelle Wine Estates before embarking on his own project. not because I know Miguel Rodriguez, whom I work with at Weinbau, gives all he has got to these grapes.  All of these are great reasons but let me tell you the truth.  These wines speak for themselves.

Visit the Novelty Hill / Januik tasting room in Woodinville

I love the concrete urban feel to the winery. There are not too many other wineries in Woodinville where you get to peak into the production area and barrel room from the tasting bar.  There is even spaces for large group tastings (hello, Bachelorette Party anyone?!) and event space!  I have yet to go to a wedding here but they were setting up for one on my last visit and it looked so cute.
Miguel Rodriguez Cooking Carne Asada atop grapevines for the crew at Weinbau

There is room for large groups perched above the fermentation room where you can sip and see the tanks the grapes were fermented in.  Or if the sun is calling your name, you can enjoy an afternoon on their patio.  BTW YES, Seattle does get sunny days.

You have to try any of the wines from Weinbau when you Visit.  If you can't make it to Woodinville, do yourself a favor and buy the Weinbau Vineyard Syrah online.  You will be so happy you did.  Plus with a $30 price tag this juice is a great value!  Seriously go get it.  The Weinbau Cabernet Franc pictured above is already sold out!  The Bacchus White Riesling is fabulous as well.  Riesling is such a light, lively and bright wine and it is perfect for summer and that PNW seafood!

Have you tasted around Woodinville?  What are your favorite wineries to visit?  

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sunday Harvest •Peonies•

Having a little shade in the desert gives the perfect environment for the most lovely peonies.

White, baby pink, fusha
Peonies make anyone look like a florist. I placed my peonies in a vase I received for our wedding and placed them in a sunny corner of our family room.

Peonies beg to be brought into the home. Those beautiful blooms get heavy and eventually fall toward the ground as they open. I choose to bring them into my home. Brightening our home and lives for the upcoming week ❤️

Sping in Napa Valley

Working in the wine industry has perks.  Great wine.  Delectable food pairings.  Did I mention the great wine?  Well, as I planned and packed for a business trip this past winter, we decided two weeks before the trip to do a spontaneous long weekend in Napa.  We dont have kids.  Our car is paid off.  Why not.  Wine-Not.

Classical Music and stately architecture at Opus One.

We logged onto Airbnb, found what looked to be a cute little room for rent in a house.  That is a story I will have to share at another time...

We were walking distance from downtown Napa, hired a driver and made our tasting reservations.  Napa Valley Tours is the best and ask for Tony- his tips for places to stop for lunch or wineries that were on our way that we had time to stop for that he suggested.  Plus Tony let us rock out to T Swift so what is not to love?  Stay posted for spotlights of wineries we visited and our recommendations!