Monthly Archives: August 2016

Filling Up My Days with Joy

I watched Everything is Copy, the documentary about Nora Ephron’s life and I can spend days quoting her charm and wit, but a line in the movie has stuck with me: “Eat your last meal when you’re alive.” She means it’s rare to know you’re eating your last meal. In jail, being executed is one of the few ways you can know it’s your last meal. Otherwise, if you’re old or sick, at the end you’re not eating at all and you could have had your last meal months ago without knowing it was your last.

Do I eat my last meal every day just in case? How do you find a happy medium where you can feel like you’ve sucked the living quota out of life while not taking to the reckless extreme? If my last meal is a triple steak, butter, bacon, and cheese sandwich with eight scoops of ice cream; I couldn’t possibly eat that every night and maintain a healthy diet.

The quote resonated with me because I thought back to when I was younger, I always instructed my younger sister to eat her dessert first in case she choked in the middle of her meal and couldn’t get to the best part. [My morbid thoughts started firmly in fourth grade; is that normal?]

There is a fine line between being able to absorb as much joy out of every day and living each day as if it’s your last. It’s fun to imagine engaging in reckless behavior while balancing logic with hope that you’ll make it another day. For me living life without thinking about consequences is an impossibility. Mortality eliminates repercussion and leaves a blinking NOW in its place. Society’s rhetoric reminds us to “live in the now” and “be here now” and tattoo a “NOW” on our wrist because we have become too anxious focusing on the future.

I was raised to believe too much of anything is no good. Overdosing on pleasure never leads to a happy ending (think heroin, steak, booze, fucking without a condom), the “live-fast, die young biographies” warn. The trick is to fill the days with enough happiness, leaving no room for regret. Until they develop a magic formula that can create the perfect balance I will have to savor the minutes and spare the butter.

 

www.heartseverywhere.com

I’m writing every day for 365 days.

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The thing about Poly – my life with two women.

First of all, I guess I should explain ‘polyamory’ – a horrible mishmash of a word but the name for something quite glorious. Polyamory is the practice of being open to being involved in more than one romantic relationship at a time.  

Second, let me clear something up – this is not about sex ( it can be but not always).

Why am I writing? To explain things and extol the virtues of a lifestyle that has made me, and a lot of my friends, much happier. 

Love is not a finite quantity – as anyone with lots of children will know. So, loving my girlfriend doesn’t mean there is less love for my partner, or that my girl’s boyfriend gets any less love.  What we have learnt, as we have taken our journey through poly is that actually love only grows. ‘One true love’ is a fantasy that lots of people hold dear, but none of us in my linear poly string really know why.  Sure, being loved by one person is awesome – but believe me being loved by two is better. Both my lovely women love me in such different ways, and I love them very differently. 

My partner is the woman I will grow old with, we have a home together, a mortgage, cats, a joint bank account – security, stability, comfort and care. We are family. We go out for dinner, we leave each other little notes, we buy each other treats. There’s no pulse-racing, but there is complete and total love and trust. 

My girl is a ball of delight, she’s energetic, fun and has shown me over the last four years why I am worth loving.When I see myself through her eyes, I can smile about who I am. She lives a long way away, but we talk everyday. I couldn’t live with her, we’d drive each other barmy, apart from the fact that my life & hers wouldn’t fit comfortably together. My life with my partner was happiness enough, I wasn’t looking for ‘something else’ but my girl has taken it to a whole new level. 

That’s the wonderful thing about Poly – I don’t have to choose.  As they started telling us in nursery school – it’s nice to share, and before any of you start getting ‘ideas’ – no, my girl & my partner don’t have a relationship (apart from being friends). This is real life, not a bad late-night movie, okay? 

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When A Bad Date Is More Than A Bad Date

 
When I was seventeen-almost eighteen, I met a guy at church. You have to understand, I went to a very, very small Southern Baptist church in the middle of nowhere, and having a new young man show up at church service one day – particularly one that wasn’t an airman from the nearby Air Force base (and therefore actually had some hair) – was cause for extreme celebration among the handful of girls in our youth group.
 
This guy was an older guy, too. He was twenty-one, if I remember right. He was new to the area, and trying to find the right church home. He was the son of a preacher somewhere in Indiana, and he had aspirations to be a youth pastor in his own right, and start his own Christian rock band. To top it off, he was really, really good looking. I mean crazy gorgeous. And cool. So cool! I was starstruck.
 
We talked a little that Sunday morning and flirted a little that Sunday night, and he showed up at Wednesday prayer meeting and we flirted a little more. By the following Sunday, he had my phone number and we were talking almost every night. 
 
He finally asked me out on a bona fide date and I was over the moon! He showed up that next Saturday night, dutifully met my father (who sternly eyed the college-aged guy that was talking to his high-school aged daughter) and then he and I headed out to a local pizza place where he talked about himself and his life plans for the next ninety minutes as I listened with rapt attention.
 
What happened next I never told anyone.

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My Ex is Getting Remarried. Yippee.

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I would have celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary this week. Instead, my ex-husband is getting married to one of several women he had affairs with during the years we were together.

As much as I have been trying to grin and bear it in preparation of this moment, the truth is, it sucks. I guess you never really know how you’re going to weather the storm until you’re in the midst of it.

To be totally honest with you friends, I’m dealing with a little angst this week. Okay, so maybe it’s more of an Alanis-sized “you told me you’d hold me ‘til you died, ‘til you died, but you’re still alive!” kind of angst, but it suits the occasion. This wedding has been a jagged little pill to swallow.

It’s unfair that infidelity gets a big party. Putting a ring on it does not pardon unacceptable behavior (“See? It really was true love after all.”). Marriage is something that I honor and value as sacred, so yeah, it  aggravates me to see a serial cheater who blatantly disregards the meaning of commitment be celebrated for making more empty promises. Unless he has miraculously undergone a scruples transplant recently, he is the same phony I discovered when our marriage finally buckled under the weight of his deception.

That being said, when it comes to my ex, most days I am contentedly floating in a state of “meh.” It’s not quite forgiveness, but basically an acceptance of yes, this happened to me; yes, I now see him for who he really is; and now I’m going to put the focus back on me, my healing and my new life. It means I don’t think of him much.

Yet, when something this momentous happens, it’s hard not to feel like your emotional Band-Aids are being scraped off with a cheese grater, opening up old wounds and causing anger and resentment to ooze out. It’s hard not to hurt or to feel self-pity.

So I’m making a “vow” of another kind, right here and right now. Whatever comes at me this week, my job is to accept what I am feeling, then let it go. I know that when I am down, the best thing I can do is to refocus. Refocus. Refocus. Refocus. So this week, I am going to try to take a deep breath, surrender my angst and put energy into finding gratitude.

I am grateful for perspective. After all, their wedding has nothing to do with me. I must remember that these people are in my past and have zero impact on my future. I have my own hopes and dreams to look forward to. I am responsible for creating my own happiness and I am successful at doing that.

I am grateful for having moved on. I am completely in love with my partner and our life together. In fact, he and I are taking a well-deserved beach vacation this week in a place that makes us feel wonderfully relaxed. He knows just what I need.

I am grateful that my kids’ circle of love has expanded to include new people in their lives who adore and appreciate them the way their biological parents do. And yes, I am grateful that my kids are able to see their parents happy.

I am also grateful for having been able to connect with others who have experienced (and survived) hard things like this before me and have words of wisdom to pass along so that I, too, can find acceptance. One example is this blog excerpt from First Wives World titled“How Will You Feel When Your Ex-Husband Remarries”:

It has taken years to re-establish my life with confidence and courage, on a journey to find and accept and love myself, for all my strengths and weaknesses.

I can honestly now wish my ex-husband’s “new marriage” well. Good luck to both of them! I hope they find their way! But I can do that now because I became proactive and took the time to truly learn and understand why and how relationships happen at all. It’s because of that understanding that I started to see the BIGGER PICTURE. From there, I began a true spiritual journey for myself. I gained clarity and insight into human nature. It also became a task about learning to see others in a new light. I began respecting people in a whole new way.

I am not the same person I was while I was married to my ex-husband. I have personally grown and matured, and if the ex and I met today, I probably wouldn’t like nor be attracted to him. He’s no longer my “type.” My personal interests and goals have changed. I am different. I enjoy my freedom and love all the new challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for myself.

I can’t say I’d be happy for the newlyweds, as I don’t believe they are happy with themselves as individuals. They are starting off a partnership together that is built upon a desperate and weak foundation. I’ve gained wisdom here – that guy was stealing my light. I am equally grateful for the lessons I learned while being married, as I am for the lesson I learned through divorce. I’ve gained far more than I’ve lost.

Actually, upon hearing the news about “their” wedding day, I know I will feel peaceful and almost relieved as that will finally “close the door” on that chapter of my life. I expect a few tears, based upon sentimentality and the sadness for what “should have been” a good marriage for me. I was a willing and able wife. But the reality is, the man I chose CHOSE not to be a committed and faithful man. That said, maybe just maybe, there won’t be any tears. Maybe I will actually enjoy the moment when I remind myself of just how free I am and how strong I am!

This week marks a big milestone. It is a relief to know that it will come and go and then I will never have to pass this way again. I am already looking forward to the kids returning home next week so that life can get back to normal and I can resume my state of meh.

 

Barb is a professional writer, published author and business owner. Her divorce and gratitude blog, “This Too, Was a Gift” is at http://www.thistoowasagift.com.   

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How to Choose the Perfect Lubricant for Better Sex

Love making is pleasurable only if both the partners enjoy the act. However, sometimes women experience vaginal dryness which can be due to hormonal changes or due to some medications. Use of lubricants during sex or during masturbation helps in a number of ways such as:

  • Less friction in vagina or anus
  • More sexual pleasure by lubricating the clitoris
  • Oral sex more enjoyable by using different flavors of lube
  • Keeps the vaginal skin soft

The personal lubricants are widely available in shops and even in online stores. The various types of lubes available in the market is sure to make anyone confused. There are basically three types of lubes – Water based lubricants, Silicon based lubricant and oil based lubricant. Before using any of these products always remember to test it out on a small part of the body to check for any adverse reaction on the body.

The 3 widely used lubricants are as follows:

 Water based lubricants : These lubes are the most widely used. They go with every-type of toy and also compatible with latex condoms. They are easy to clean and less messy. Whenever the lube dries up, one can add water or saliva to make it slippery again.

Silicon based lubricant : One of the main advantages of silicon based lubes is that it lasts longer than water based lubes. However, they cannot be used with silicon sex toys as the toys can degenerate because of severe chemical reaction. The lubes can be used with toys not made of silicon and latex contraceptives. Silicon lubes are costlier than water based lubes as well as harder to wash of bedding and clothing.

Oil based lubricant : The widely used oil based lubricants are Vaseline and vitamin E oil.  These kind of lubes are perfect for masturbation but should not be used with latex contraceptives or toys. It is also very messy and difficult to clean up and also many people are allergic to vitamin E oil.

So get creative and spice up the bedroom activity with the most suitable lubricant for you. Make sex truly romantic.

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I'm on the Divorce Welcoming Committee

When I was getting divorced, no one told me, “Congratulations!” or “Good job!” Instead, they frowned, rubbed my shoulders and wanted to cry. Only, I was euphoric; I was liberated from my controlling husband and it wasn’t easy taking the final steps to leave. Getting divorced takes courage and strength and whether you’re the initiator or the receiver, you’re both victims who feel like the rug has been violently pulled out from underneath you, left free falling into a black hole. Pursuing happiness isn’t always easy and often involves jumping over some messy and complicated hurdles such as hurting someone I once loved and will forever be connected to through our child. Divorce shook my life up like a snow globe, obscuring the light at the end of the tunnel and as hard as I tried to see a bright future, my eyes were too filled with tears to see anything clearly.

Everything about divorce is difficult and if that’s not enough, society still puts a stigma on it. Even though it’s 2016 and 50% of marriages end in divorce, there still exists an unspoken tarnished image, an invisible “Scarlet D” branded across your Life file forever. Divorced is more forever than marriage; you can not get un-divorced.

Divorce is not the end of something that was right; it’s the end of something broken. Divorce can feel like a key to a jail cell, but just like getting out of jail takes adjustment to life outside the slammer, life after divorce takes support – and part of that is hearing that it’s not a bad thing. It’s OK! Often it’s a great thing. Welcome to the Divorce Club, where half the population supports you and knows what you’ve been through.

A happily divorced person is like a newly married person, wanting to recruit others into their club. After I was divorced, the euphoria of the freedom was overwhelming and I wanted others to feel it. I wanted my other friends, trapped in controlling marriages to understand what it’s like to hear their own thoughts, knowing their voice is the one which will rule their life rather than their partner’s. Post-divorce, you officially become the captain of your ship; your co-captain is overboard and there are no anchors, just plenty of metaphors.

Divorce takes a toll on the psyche. It’s hard to imagine, when you’re knee-deep in marriage disillusionment, that your heart will swell again and fill with love and you will trust this love and this instinct. It’s hard to believe you can make a good decision if you clearly got it wrong the first time. How will I know if the second time really is different? I thought my love radar was forever broken. How would I ever trust my instincts? Since I’ve learned human’s default settings are dialed to love; just as our hearts are programmed to keep beating and surviving.

After my divorce, with a three-year-old in tow, even with a co-parenting plan in place, I felt like damaged goods. I came with heavier baggage. I didn’t feel like I deserved the prime men. Maybe an older man who missed his shot at fatherhood wouldn’t mind, or someone else divorced with kids.

Instead, I found a top-tier caliber man. Never married, completely adores me and tells me daily for a decade, and he’s a children’s entertainer to boot. Other mothers watch him perform with a longing look in their eyes, wishing they can have him. I can tell they’re thinking, “I’d give my left leg to have this man be my kid’s step-dad.” When my mother and grandmother met my boyfriend, they practically kissed his hands for taking me on AND my kid – and “Oh how good he is to him, it’s like he’s his own!”

Ten years later, my modern family has granted me more of a happily ever after than a traditional family ever did. Divorce has already been rebranded by society, it’s time our reactions (and judgments) catch up.

www.heartseverywhere.com

I’m writing every day for 365 days.

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Why Ordering in a Man is as Easy as Ordering in Pizza

As a single woman in my 40’s, returning to the world of dating was more than a little daunting. I mean, the last time I was single match.com was only a few years old and I had my fair share of terrible experiences meeting men there. Like men totally misrepresenting themselves with pictures that were either 10 years old or 50 pounds ago. Then there were the painfully lengthy profiles to fill out and agonize whether I was saying the right mix of non-threatening language yet describing what I did want. The entire process was exhausting. With one disappointing coffee date after the next. And plenty of freaked-out, weird men. Remember that? Online dating was just not mainstream at that time.

Fast forward to 2016. The world has changed, including the way we meet people. “App dating” is now incredibly popular and people are meeting up within a matter of hours of connecting virtually. And the person you meet in real life generally looks like the person you connected with on the app. And because you haven’t set up a whole bunch of expectations with a lengthy profile, you can just meet up and see what’s what. It can literally be that easy and uncomplicated.

In order to meet a man on an app and have a good experience, it does take a little practice. And it all depends on your objective. If you indeed just want to get laid (and sometimes that’s all we need – right ladies?!), you will find that is super easy. But you still want to be with a quality man, even if it is just for sex. You need to trust your instincts while communicating with said man. Does he seem like a nice guy or do you get a sense that he might be a bit selfish? Does he have a fulfilling career and a full life? Will he be interesting to talk to? Is there something you can learn from this man? Yes, we all need sexual fulfillment, but that becomes much easier and more gratifying if you find this man interesting and kind as well as sexy. This is the type of relationship that you deserve.

My objective is usually to find a partner who I enjoy spending time with, who is generous in bed, who makes me feel beautiful and smart and is genuinely a nice person. At this point in my life, that is all I want out of a relationship. I am a busy lady and I love my active life and often hectic schedule, but sometimes I just need to feel a man’s arms around me. Luckily, technology makes meeting someone to fill this role in my life quite easy (nearly as easy as ordering in pizza!). And you will find there are a lot of really awesome men out there who are seeking exactly the same thing. Humans actually need other humans. Go forth and Tinder, Bumble or Hinge up a new man in your life!

 

Anne Grey

anne@annegrey.com
www.annegrey.com
Twitter: @annegreywrites
Instagram: @annegreywrites
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annegreywrites/

 

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Were Those Vaginal Babies?

 

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“Were those vaginal babies?”

 

No joke.  This was an actual question regarding my tiny newborn twins.

 

 

We were spending a warm summery day at the local zoo.  The twins could not have been more than two months old and my older girls were 4 and 6 at the time.  Four tiny ladies and their tiny mama just strolling around enjoying ourselves.  Needless to say at this point we were more than used to attention and questions from strangers.  In fact our Blonde-tourage remains a suburban Circus Freak Show to this day.  So this day at the zoo seemed no different than all of our daily outings.  People stopped us every twenty feet to inquire about the kids, especially the twinnies.

People.Love.Twins.

My little ladies are truly adorbs and yes I am biased.  Four tiny blondes with hazel eyes and personality for days.  The kids didn’t mind all of the extra attention from inquiring minds and really neither did I.  I was, and still am, pretty damn proud of my four little “princesses.”  Well meaning strangers would ask all sorts of “normal” run of the mill questions regarding the twins such as: are they identical, are all of these kids yours, do twins run in your family, how much did they weigh at birth, and what are their names?  I should have just hung information flyers off of the edge of the stroller, but it truly didn’t bother me to indulge inquiring minds…until this particular day.

 

“Are those babies vaginal babies?”

 

W.T.F.

You can read the rest of this totally inappropriate story at Suburban Misfit Mom. http://suburbanmisfitmom.com/were-those-vaginal-babies/

 

 

Kristin McCarthy

contributing writer at Suburban Misfit Mom

www.fourprincessesandthecheese.com

twitter @tinmccarthy

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Single and Want To Change That? Some Tactics You Might Not Have Thought Of

If you are single and want to change that there are ways you can increase the chances of meeting somebody special. These tactics might not be the most comfortable for everyone but your comfort level has left you single. Going outside of your comfort zone allows you to meet new people and even find out things about yourself.  Online dating is NOT for everyone even though there does seem to be a dating site for nearly every interest. There are plenty of organic ways and alternate tactics you can take before online dating is your only option. The following are some ways to find that special someone that you might not have done or thought of.

Utilize Science

There are different tactics that can be used like the use of pheromones by men to attract women or vice versa. There is an ethical debate over people who buy pheromones to attract a mate. Some say that this is inorganic and some sort of a trick on the other person. Other science that can be utilized like speaking in a high voice as this attracts men as it shows a high level of female hormones.

Say Yes To Your Friends More

Some people do not like going out for happy hour or going to do activities with groups of people. This can be a great opportunity to meet new people of both sexes. Next time your friend asks you if you want to play in a coed kickball league you should go for it! People find their significant other when they stop looking and just enjoy themselves. Going on social media to see which friends are attending what might seem a bit strange but a quick text can get you an invite! Birthday parties that your friends invite you to should be attended religiously as that is what good friends do. The other perk is that people from that friend’s work, family, old friends, and more will be there so you could meet somebody interesting.

Volunteer Somewhere

Volunteering somewhere to meet a significant other sounds like the advice of a mother on a 90’s sitcom. The truth is this can be a great place to meet someone with a high quality character that has some of the same interests as you. The worst thing that can happen is that you make friends at your volunteer project that you can add to your circle. Volunteer because it is the right thing to do and you might be rewarded by finding the person of your dreams!

Take a Class

Improving yourself while you are single is something that you should strive to do on a daily basis. Self-improvement can be anything from learning a new skill like how to cook or dance. Taking a class can be a great way to meet people and even if you don’t you will have learned something new. Do not go to a class just to meet someone but take a class in something that you are interested in.

Get a Dog

Dogs can be a great way to meet people in general as they are a great way to spark up conversations with strangers. People will ask you a variety of questions about the dog that can lead to questions about you. If you aren’t ready for the responsibility of a dog, don’t go out and get one in the hopes of meeting someone. On the other hand if you have wanted a dog, you shouldn’t hesitate as you could meet someone in an unorthodox way at the dog park.

As you can see there are plenty of ways you might not have be trying to find your future significant other. The truth is that when many people stop actively looking is when they meet someone. Just increase your odds of meeting that person by trying the above tactics.

 

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Sonoma Weekend Getaway: By Jen Oliak

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When you get away with your love, where do you go? I think Sonoma is the perfect weekend getaway sans kids. It’s also a great place to meet up with friends.

Beautiful vineyards and architecture, world renowned restaurants and of some of the best wine sets the stage to create unforgettable memories. Dave and I met our friends Jill and Greg (who flew in from Florida) here for 3 nights of eating, drinking and laughing.

Jill and I met on our first day of work in New York City when we were 22.  We’ve been close friends ever since.  I also worked at the same company as Jill’s husband Greg a few years later in Corporate Finance.  I was around during the beginning of their relationship. And I was a bridesmaid in their wedding. Our friendship is life-long and we meet up every few years to catch up and spend quality time.

We decided to stay in Healdsburg, California due to its small town nature and proximity to the Russian River, Dry Creek and Alexander Valley wine producing regions. The town is centered on a 19th century plaza which houses great restaurants, shops and hotels.

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Our Itinerary in Sonoma

Friday

  • Meet up with Jill and Greg in San Francisco and drive to Sonoma
  • Stop in at The Wurst for bratwurst sandwiches and ice cream
  • Lodging: Hotel Les Mars in Healdsburg, California
  • Dinner at Valette

Saturday:

  • Car service for wineries to
    1. Chalk Hill
    2. Roth with picnic lunch
    3. Lancaster
  • Dinner at Scopa

Sunday:

  • Wine Tasting at Jordan
  • More bratwurst sandwiches and ice cream at The Wurst
  • The French Laundry

Monday:

  • Breakfast at Downtown Bakery & Creamery
  • Depart to Airport

The Wurst

This place is the bomb. It’s a gourmet hot dog, sausage, brat & hamburger joint with ice cream and beer.

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We stopped in for a snack on Friday upon our arrival in Healdsburg and again on Sunday for an afternoon snack.

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The Green Bay Packer Brat
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Loved their sweet potato fries too.

Hotel Les Mars

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Front of Hotel Le Mars

Hotel Le Mars (16 room hotel originally constructed in 2005) is in the center of town in Healdsburg, California. It is a Relais & Chateaux member luxury hotel. The hotel was acquired by William P. Foley and David Fink in 2010 and management was taken over by Fink’s Mirabel Hotel & Restaurant Group.

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Lobby of Hotel Le Mars

The hotel is small and quaint. The lobby has a few seating areas and feels like a large living room. There is no gym or swimming pool.

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Lobby Seating Areas in Hotel Le Mars
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Chalkboard Restaurant Bar which opened to Hotel Le Mars Lobby

Adjacent to the hotel is a popular restaurant named Chalkboard, also owned by Foley.  This hotel replaced 2 Michelin starred restaurant Cyrus a few years back after multiple lawsuits between the restaurant and Foley/Fink led to Cyrus vacating the space. We tried their pork belly biscuits as a happy hour snack and they were delicious.

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Source: Yelp guest from 2013. What we got for breakfast was 1/2 of this… I wish I took a picture.

A word about their “in room breakfasts.” I have a feeling the hotel breakfasts have gone down in quality over the years.  We were given a choice of croissant, yogurt and apple crumble, juice and coffee per guest.

We made our choices on a breakfast card with time we wanted delivery for the next morning.  I chose one of each item for Dave and I. What arrived were the smallest portions of food you can imagine. There was no bacon, probably 3 spoonfuls for each item and barely enough coffee to fill 2 cups!

Hotel Le Mars

Our bathroom had these stains on the marble, only around the toilet.  Are they urine stains?  I think they are. A 5 star hotel which charges over $600/night should not have ANY stains on the marble, right? I was turned off by this.

My conclusion about the hotel:

  • They got us into The French Laundry for dinner, as open table had a cancellation when they went to check for us. We greatly appreciated this.
  • We were not charged for the wine tastings at the three Foley wineries (Chalk Hill, Roth and Lancaster) since we were guests of the hotel (each tasting otherwise would have cost about $25 per person).
  • We loved Tucker, one of the hotel staff who was very helpful in helping us with our reservations at the wineries and restaurants prior to our arrival.
  • In general, the service was very good.

However, I think we might have been happier at Hotel Healdsburg  due to the pool, gym, spa and larger breakfast options.

Restaurant: Valette

Dustin Valette and Aaron Garzini are two brothers who own this restaurant with Dustin as the chef and Aaron as the manager.  Their dad was at the restaurant with wine in hand, greeting the guests and making small talk.  You could see the pride on his face as he explained that he is the father of the owners.  It was very charming and sweet and made us enjoy the restaurant even more.

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On our way out to dinner at Valette
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Atmosphere was hip, fresh, lively and “Californian”
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Aged, smoked meat to serve guests
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Charcuterie & Cheese plate given to us as a courtesy at the bar due to our table not being ready on time. We thought this was very considerate of management.
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We asked the bartender to make a fruity vodka cocktail and a savory cocktail… these were just perfect.
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I didn’t mind waiting.
Sonoma Valette
Hawaiian Ahi “Poke”, Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Cheese
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Maine Lobster Stuffed Halibut
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Joe Valera’s Healdsburg Lamb Trio

Tour and Tasting Chalk Hill

Sonoma Chalk Hill Winery
Chalk Hill Winery
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Having Fun!
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We enjoyed Oscar, the lovely somalier at Chalk Hill. He told us the story of the generations of family who have lived in Sonoma working with wine. Oscar started at UC Davis in civil engineering until he realized his real passion was to pursue a degree and career in the wine industry.
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Oscar gave us a tour of the winery via this Hummer which was convenient and fun
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Beautiful
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How many glasses of wine by now? Feeling Happy!

Roth Winery – Lunch, Tour and Tasting

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Roth Winery had an energetic vibe.
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Cheers to good friends and happy marriages.
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This was us all weekend.
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Love my hubby.
Roth Winery picnic lunch.
Picnic Style lunch at winery. Even the bread was divine. Everything was fresh and delicious.

Lancaster Tour and Tasting

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This was a high-end winery among the 3 we visited on this day.

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Loved the ivy growing on the building at the Lancaster Winery.
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Tasting room at Lancaster

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Restaurant: Scopa

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Group pic before dinner at Scopa
Scopa
Scopa is a long and narrow restaurant with tight seating. But man, is it worth it!
Scopa
Homemade Ravioli
Scopa
Tomasso’s Sugo Calabrese
Scopa
Pizza Margherita
Scopa
Brownie a la mode
Scopa
Rasberry Panna Cotta

Jordan Winery

Jordan Winery
We went into a special conference room for our tasting.
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This was high-end.
Jordan Winery
Loved the cheese, bread and quince paste that accompanied our tasting.
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There is a big red door outside of Jordan winery we loved.
Jordan winery
Being goofy again.
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Love these two.
French Laundry
Click here to read about our finale dinner at The French Laundry.

So are you hungry now?  I got hungry while putting this post together.  We had a great time in Sonoma and can’t wait to return again for another indulgent weekend. What were your favorite parts of Sonoma?

 

 

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