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Showing posts from 2016

Cruising South

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It was a cruise meant to check items off the bucket list and it was amazing. Before the trip I had dinner with my brother and sister-in-law in Napa at the new CIA Copia Restaurant. It's a fun "tapas style" concept, they bring every menu item to your table and you decide what you want to try and what you want to pass on for each course. The next morning I woke up early and headed to SFO for a my flight east. Although it wasn't the original flights scheduled (mechanical issues) and my bag didn't quite make it with me, I did make it and my bag followed me a little while later.

We got onto the cruise ship, the Celebrity Infinity, and our journey south began. We took a really fun galley tour ... saw them making all the fresh breads, pastas, salads, pastries and much more, spent lots of time relaxing and there is nothing better than watching the sun rise and set from a cruise ship. There was also a little bit of learning, I really enjoyed the guest speakers including &q…

Thanksgiving and Snow

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It was a fun Thanksgiving at the Bradley Lodge. I took a few very long runs through Big Trees State Park (had to run off all the great food), we had fun at the Dorrington Christmas Tree Lighting, and we played in the snow. It was the perfect way to spend time with family before heading back to Napa for more runs and to decorate Fort Bradley II for Christmas.
Link to photos.

Dinners Out, Running, Balboa and Wine

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Dinner with reporters in Siena. Wine Tasting at B Cellars, Chimney Rock, Artesa (led by the winemaker), and Domaine Carneros? Meals in the Estate Cave with reporters, wedding planners, and a wine dinner with Silver Oak? A trip to Newport Beach filled with tours of an industrial oven/kitchen manufacturer, butcher (well they cut and age meats), and more wine tasting? Wine Blending at Paraduxx? Wine tasting at a Robert Parker event (some of the top wines in the world)? Yep, all those questions pretty much sum up my life over the last few weeks. Thankfully the last few weeks have also included a minimum of a five mile daily run (in some cases eight or nine) and were balanced by a couple of meals at both my house and much better cooking at my parents' house.  Plus the fence wrap is up for my "little" construction project, learn more here.
Link to photos.

Sunrises, Wine, and a Little Fun

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I've been running a lot lately. 167 miles in September and 133.5 so far in October, it gives me a chance to get outside and away from a computer screen for an hour ... and most importantly it allows me to see sunrises and the beauty that is the Napa Valley (it may also allow me to eat some really good food and have a few glasses of wine every so often). Beyond the running over the last month or so I got a new TV (it's huge), went to Bouchon Bakery for the first time, headed back to Roseville for the first time since I moved (tacos at Chandos were a must), went to CANVAS events at Ehlers Estate and the Napa Valley Museum, headed to check out the Napa Wine Yacht and saw the sunset at Kieu Hoang in Carneros. My parents came to Napa for a winemaker dinner with Robert Mondavi Winery, then we headed to Healdsburg for a tasting at VML (great Pinot Noirs) where one of our family friends works. As we headed back to Napa we did a quick drive by Trefethen Vineyards (we'll have to tas…

Food and Wine

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My life does involve some excellent food and wine thanks to an amazing job that has put me in one of the most beautiful areas of the world. There are nods to the past with a classic car show in downtown Napa or visiting some of most historic wineries in Napa ... Inglenook and Schramsberg  (some of their caves were hand dug by Chinese workers after they finished the transcontinental railroad in 1870) and the new, but still filled with history, like Darioush. There was eating out at restaurants like Bounty Hunter and Farmstead. There was a stop at Dean & DeLuca for some sweets, beer at Hop Creek, and BBQ from The Shed. There was also lots of work ... it took two full days of shooting for a one minute video, but "We've Been Expecting You" turned out amazing thanks to a talented team of "actors" and a production team that is among the best I've worked with. I even left Napa once to go to a concert in Concord with Hillsong, Kari Jobe and so many others who w…

Running and Silver Oak

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This month I've made it a goal to start running more (my goal for the year was to run an average of two miles a day ... with the move I kind of took 3 months off). I found a running group so I have been running with them a few days a week and also have been running in the mornings before work on my own. It's been great to get outside and get moving, plus running while seeing vineyards and the Napa River doesn't hurt either.

I also had the opportunity to visit Silver Oak for the first time. I've had their wine many times, but this was the first time I had been able to visit the tasting room and walk around their grounds. I was fortunate enough to be shown around by the winemakers wife and a friend who I had met a few weeks ago, it was spectacular. The views (as with almost everywhere in the Napa Valley) are breathtaking, the Cabernet's from the early 2000's to current release were all spectacular, and what always impresses me ... the friendliness of everyone on …

I forgot ...

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I've been living the Napa life, which also means I've been in Orange County a few times (including once with family ... we even took a Duffy Boat ride in Balboa Bay), and, of course, have had some fabulous food and wine. I've been fortunate enough to enjoy winemaker dinners with Opus One and Pride Mountain Vineyards, I've been to the mountains at the Bradley Lodge and Big Trees State Park with family from Georgia who had never seen trees quite that large, seen two SF Giants games (second row first base side and a suite ... so not bad seats), headed to Point Reyes, and worked on a few video shoots and TV segments.
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Homeless No More

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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 …

Homeless, Yet Fun

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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.

Mother's Day Weekend and Saying Goodbye to Roseville

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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 liv…

Traveling Before The Move

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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 Da…

Happy Hours, Vineyard Runs, Art, and Wine

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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 bet…

Playing Tourist in Napa

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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 …

From Napa to Roseville to SLO and Santa Barbara

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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 resta…

Lobster, Bacon, and Opus

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It's odd to say it was a typical week when you work 16-18 hours a day, but still get to do some amazing things. It started off with lobster and brownies at home, then progressed to brunch at Sacramento's Bacon & Butter, followed by wine tasting at Bogle Vineyards. There was church at Bayside with a guest speaker from Duck Dynasty, Korie Robertson, a few long runs, and even a spur of the moment dinner with friends at the new Old Town Pizza in Roseville.

Napa also had its share of fun ... a trip to the magnificent Opus One Winery for a tasting and tour with the winemaker. Dinner at Siena to try a few of the new menu items, our new culinary team continues to amaze me. Lunch at Crush to try out the new wings (tasty), and even a little cocktail testing.
Pictures for those with iPads.

Wine, Wine Country, Mexican Food, and Snow!

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I've been doing what I do best, enjoying life, while also working a ton (about 10+ hours on my day off the other day). Driving up to Calistoga for a meeting was so beautiful that I had to pull over to the side of the road and take a picture of the mustard growing up between the vines, plus on the way back to Napa I decided to enjoy a quick meal at Buster's Southern BBQ. I also checked out our new laundry facility, it's amazing, even folds and irons everything.

Back in Sacramento ... I took a photo of a few wine bottles for National Drink Wine Day (I may have also opened one) and it was the start of the Sacramento Republic FC pre-season as they played the San Jose Earthquakes at Bonney Field. I don't think I'll ever get bored watching the games or the sunsets. There was also many bottles of wine to be purchased (almost like shopping at Kohl's while at Grocery Outlet ... spent $200, saved $482) on a few cases of wine.

Then there was exercise ... a few long runs, …