AWOL in Wine Country

napa 6

If you follow any of my personal social media channels,  you are well aware of where I’ve been.  Not blogging.  Right?  Sorry ’bout that.  Yep, I’ve been hitting up wine country – not Yadkin Valley this time, though.  This time it was the real deal.  Napa and Sonoma Valley for the crush.  It’s harvest time for grapes and it is the best time of year to visit Northern California.  But, before I get into that, allow me to lecture you for a moment.

Chances are you’re probably thinking, “Good for you.  Way to get away.  I can’t do that.”  OK, admittedly, getting away without the kids is T-O-U-G-H.  But, it is do-able if you prepare.  It all comes down to: Clearing vacation time from work schedules.  Budgeting and saving money.  Planning for childcare.  Making time for your marriage.

See?  Not so bad!  I implore each of you to chat with your spouse tonight and nail down some time to vacation a trip away without the children.  This is something that I’ve made a priority in my marriage, and I gotta say – each time my husband and I get away, we come back with a fresh attitude and a renewed excitement towards the daily routines of our family.  I also gotta give a huge shout out to my in-laws.  They are troopers when it comes to managing the kids.  They traveled down from Pennsylvania to spend time before we left to get to know the routines of the week before we left them to it.

If you don’t have in-laws to help you out for a couples get-away, you can try services like or  If you are planning a long weekend trip, get together with a friend and swap childcare so each of you can get some vacation time on the cheap.  There’s always a way to make it happen.

We set for our wine trip with my sister, brother-in-law, and my dad.  (Hint: Another great way to save a few bucks sans-kids is to take a few other couples to split costs or bring your dad along.  Um, thanks dad!  Love you!)  After a few nights in San Francisco, we traveled to Napa where we rented a house and visited wineries by day and local dining hot spots by night.  We had a blast.  A little too much fun, likely, as I was rewarded at the end of my trip by getting a very nasty cold.  And, while I expected to come back slightly hungover, I didn’t expect to be taken out for a week!  Oh well….  It was WELL worth it.

So, let me leave you with a few photos for inspiration.  I made some great memories on this trip, with my husband and with my fam that we traveled with.  If you are planning a trip to the area any time soon, let me know and I’d be glad to share with you a few of our favorite places that we visited!  My main recommendation however would be: Do your research ahead of time…. when it comes to discovering great wines, research is a blast!

Here are a few pictures from our trip.  I hope they’ll serve as a little motivation to plan a trip of your own!

napa 5Biking over the Golden Gate Bridge.  My first time on a bike since I broke my wrist.  I survived.  And, had a great time! (With my sister.)

napa 3Harvesting grapes at Fantesca.  So. Much. Fun!  (With my dad.)

napa 4Talk about farm to fork eating.   Literally?

napa 1Picnicking at Goat Rock Park.  (With the hubs.)

napa 2Group photo.  Post-grape harvest at Fantesca.  (With Bo, the brother-in-law, me, Jon, the hubs, Angie, the sister, and Dad)

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