Sunday, June 26, 2016

Homeless No More

One month ago I moved out of a storage unit and into Fort Bradley II. My new house in Napa. It's been a crazy ride to get here and I've still be traveling lots, but it's good to be home most nights and I'm loving the 7 minute drive to work (with traffic on the way home it's about 10 minutes). First the travel ... there was a trip to help with the Grand Opening of Paséa in Huntington Beach, which included working with a film crew ... from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. The good part about working all night ... plenty of time for a walk along Huntington Beach. There were also many trips back to Sacramento for soccer (including seeing Brandi Chastain), seeing family, and even a culinary demonstration on KCRA (no, I didn't cook). There was also a little bit of travel in Napa ... a team building outing to Jamieson Canyon Vineyards for food, wine, and painting.

Back in Napa I went from having all of my stuff in a storage unit to transforming my house into a home with the help of friends and family. In less than three weeks everything got moved, unpacked and decorated. My dad also installed new cabinets in the kitchen and linen closet. Now it's time to explore my new surroundings and enjoy all that living in Napa has to offer.
Moving Food, Soccer, and Wine Pictures.
Paséa Opening Weekend.
Fort Bradley II Pictures.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Homeless, Yet Fun

I may be without a home currently, but it hasn't stopped me from enjoying life. I was back in Roseville for a family gathering ... we know how to do potlucks, then have been to two soccer games (go Republic FC), went wine tasting at Bogle, walked around the Old Sugar Mill, and enjoyed a fun lunch at Freeport Grill. I even got to hang out with horses and get them on TV.

In Napa there was an awards dinner with NorthBay Biz, drinks at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, meetings with reporters, including a sunset walk through our vineyards, an amazing tour, tasting, and lunch at Robert Mondavi (we have a winemaker dinner coming up in October to celebrate their 50th Anniversary), plus a tasting and garden tour at Cakebread.

So not a bad way to be homeless, but hoping I have a home for Memorial Day Weekend.
See all the photos.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mother's Day Weekend and Saying Goodbye to Roseville

It was a fabulous last weekend of home ownership in Roseville and really a shows a good reason why I needed to move ... I wasn't home, I was in Napa. In Napa we celebrated with a spectacular wine and food extravaganza featuring wines from the Wagner Family of Wine including Caymus Vineyards and Conundrum. My parents and grandma came to join me on Saturday, we had a quick lunch at Crush then dinner at Siena, always a favorite to prepare for Mother's Day Brunch the following day. Our culinary team does some of the best brunches and the nearly 400 people that enjoyed Mother's Day at the resort did not leave disappointed ... or with an empty stomach. I only wish I could have gotten to the Brioche French Toast station.

Once I did get back to Roseville it was time to finish packing and start moving. I didn't get much sleep on Sunday night or Monday night, but everything got packed, the house got cleaned, and I was off to Napa first thing Tuesday morning. Now all my stuff lives in a storage unit, hopefully it will move to its new home sometime next week.
See all the photos.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Traveling Before The Move

With just a few days before I move, I haven't been home packing. I've been traveling and it's been fantastic. While at home I've also been trying to enjoy my last few days in Roseville and Sacramento. It began with a trip to Leatherby's, beer and pizza at Old Town Pizza, and church at Bayside with special guest, David Garibaldi.

I've also been in Napa with some large events including a groundbreaking for our newest expansion coming in 2018, a new event, Grapes & Hops that was setup like a Farmers Market and featured some amazing food paired with beer from Napa Smith and wine from Trinitas. There were also a few minutes to take friends from our corporate office wine tasting. We enjoyed an amazing tasting at HALL Wines/St Helena, followed by a lovely outdoor tasting at Foley Johnson, lunch in Yountville at R+D Kitchen, and we finished the afternoon at Chandon. This weekend there will be a dinner with Caymus Vineyards, then my mom is coming for Mother's Day Brunch.

There were also plane rides. One to Newport Beach, where the yachts blocked my view of Balboa Bay, but I was okay with that. The second set was both North and East, two directions I don't go very often. I was representing Meritage Collection on a media trip with Visit California. The trips are a great way to meet top reporters and bloggers from each market, while also having a few minutes to walk around the city to better connect with the reporters that live there. In Vancouver I enjoyed a dinner at the oyster bar of Joe Fortes that ended with the largest piece of chocolate cake I've ever eaten. The media reception was a five course lunch at the Vancouver Art Gallery ... the food was tasty, the wines were from Napa, and the connections made were priceless.

I then took a quick flight east to Calgary. In the morning I took a quick walk around town and decided to see Canada's sunniest city from the sky as I headed up to the top of Calgary Tower. The views were spectacular and I learned a lot about the city, its history, and its neighborhoods through the audio tour provided. The Craft Beer Market offered a huge selection of beers on tap (think Yard House), along with the largest cake in a jar I've ever seen ... I was expecting something small and light to end my lunch, oops. The media reception at Model Milk was really cool with craft cocktails, wine, a Popsicle cart, and, of course, some friendly media from Calgary.
See all the photos.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Happy Hours, Vineyard Runs, Art, and Wine

The last few weeks have been filled with friends, family, food, fun, and work. It started with the announcement that I would be moving from Roseville to Napa over appetizers at Lucille's. From there I was back in Napa for work (and found time to run in the mornings), then back to Roseville and Lincoln for dinner at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants after one last bike ride through my neighborhood.

After selling my house in a day, my parents and I headed to Napa to look at my options. After a morning of looking at houses, and some liquid courage at Applebee's, I purchased a brand new townhouse about 10 minutes from work, shortening my commute by over an hour in each direction.

Since then I have been in Napa consistently ... filmed a video with DoNapa in our vineyards, enjoyed some great cuisine at Siena with media, helped with an amazing art class on the Vineyard Deck, and had dinner with Joseph Phelps Vineyards in the Estate Cave.

I officially move in a few weeks, but between now and then will be in Napa, Newport Beach, and even a quick trip to Canada.
See all the photos.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Playing Tourist in Napa

Although the title is a bit misleading since there were very long days of work involved and very little sleep, the last two weeks have been a whirlwind of new experiences as I've been trying to see more, walking (and running) in areas near The Meritage and filming with a video crew from Black Tomato all around the stunning Napa Valley. The fun a conference at Napa Valley College's St. Helena Campus, where I was able to hear from some great speakers from the hospitality industry and enjoy a fabulous Asian inspired meal prepared by their culinary students.

After a quick trip back to Roseville for Easter celebrations and dinner at Cibo 7 (luckily I go to a church that has Easter services on Friday and Saturday), I was back in Napa for Easter Sunday as we transformed our outdoor spaces into a great spot for an Easter Egg hunt, then welcomed 400 for a spectacular brunch (Mother's Day is coming up soon).

Then the fun began ... there was a Visit Napa Valley meeting that included an invite to Yao Family Winery (yep the Houston Rockets player has diversified after his retirement). Although we didn't see the basketball star for industry night, we did love the wine and the tasting room (granted the white couch might not last). For the next three days I played tour guide and chauffeur as a team film crew from England and Black Tomato came to Napa to film a video for us. We filmed all over The Meritage, plus got to see (and do) some fun things in Napa Valley. We drove around to get scenic shots as the fog that makes Napa so special was hovering over the vineyards and as it cleared, drove by Joseph Phelps, tasted sparkling wines at Mumm Napa, had a quick lunch at Oakville Grocery, interviewed Cindy Pawlcyn at Mustards Grill (and then went back and ate there the next day), and, although I didn't get to go up this time, went up in the air with Balloons Above the Valley for some breathtaking views of the vines below (it's also fascinating to watch them as they prepare for launch with giant fans and some very large flames). We finished up with a tasting at Etude.

Once back in Roseville I rested for a bit, before heading to the Sac Republic home opener ... our cheering helped them win and start the season 2-0, followed by lunch at GB Alehouse and a long run near my house. I'm looking forward to a great season and many more adventures to come.
See all the photos.

Friday, March 18, 2016

From Napa to Roseville to SLO and Santa Barbara

Sometimes life is a drive. First there was a run though, my longest one ever, 13.1 miles with a brand new pair of shoes ... I quickly got those calories back with dinner at Monk's Cellar and dessert at Rita's. Then I was off to Napa where I gave a property tour to some guests. I always love a good reason to walk around the property and in our vineyards, it's pretty no matter the time of year. The next day I was off to Arkenstone Vineyards, it was beautiful and their wines were really good too. Back in Roseville there were dessert waffles and my first meal at Moo Moo's Burger Barn after a run, visit to the gym, and church at Hillside.

Then my official road trip began ... my parents and I began in Lodi before heading to Paso Robles for a little wine tasting and a tour (and beer tasting) at Firestone Brewery. I think we should be the new quality control team. We then spent a couple of days in my college town, San Luis Obispo. It was fun to be back, eat at a few great restaurants, including Giuseppe's, get a run in, and head down to Pismo Beach and Avila Beach for a little relaxation.

We kept driving south to Bacara, where the work began. There were lots of meetings and lots of emails, but I found some time (and some good meeting locations) to enjoy some food, meet new people, see the entire property, and enjoy the beauty that is the Pacific Ocean ... and maybe a little wine tasting in the Foley tasting room.
Check out all the pictures here.

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