The beautiful Round Pond winery in Napa

Round Pond Winery leaves

Round Pond offered a gorgeous, relaxed setting.

One of my very favorite wineries on my recent wine-tasting trip to Sonoma and Napa was Round Pond Estate, because it offered such a relaxing, homey atmosphere. To be fair, the weather also warmed up for us that day, and we got to sit around on the estate’s gorgeous patio, soaking up the sun and trying delicious wine. It was meant to be! The owners were friendly and hospitable, bringing out trays of delicious eats to compliment our wines. Every detail was perfect, as if we had wandered into a well-curated dinner party. We were all so happy there that I must declare this one of my favorite wineries in Napa Valley.

Continue Reading »»

Ravenswood: a lesson for winos in Sonoma wine-tasting!

Ravenswood Winery Sonoma

Me? Math? ©Andi Perullo

Domestic, I am not. Maybe that’s why I’ve never married? I travel, am up for anything, drink fine wine, and am adventurous when it comes to food. But a natural in the kitchen? Come ON. Leave it to Trafalgar Tours to show me the ways. On our recent journey through Napa, I was expecting a delicious adventure through some of my favorite wineries, after, of course, visiting San Francisco’s Chinatown, Farmers’ Market, and Napa’s Oxbow food market. Instead? Our first stop required me to MAKE some wine. When it comes to the vino, I know a lot about what I like. But I never really put much thought into just how the powers at be decide on how much of each varietal to put into a blend. Visiting wine country wineries such as Ravenswood in Sonoma makes wine tasting packages special — and that’s before you’ve even begun to roll up your sleeves and take a class. Math first-thing in the morning? Sure! Bring it on. No buzz can be ruined by a few percentage equations… right?

Continue Reading »»

Traditional Napa Kick-off: Oxbow food yum

Oxbow food

Meeting friends at Napa’s Oxbow with Andi of Misadventures with Andi. ©Andi Perullo

On my most recent trip to Napa, I knew I was with kindred spirits when Andi of My Beautiful Adventures, Andi of Misadventures with Andi, and I decided to run over to Oxbow Market to take down some oysters and champagne to kick off our stay. So far, every trip of mine in this particular slice wine country has started this way. I’m not sure why… Is it the magical saltiness of Hog Island‘s famous oysters, or the heavy pours of the local champagnes? I’m not sure. All I know is that on this Napa trip, I have never laughed harder. Within a minute of being there, we met two very outgoing men who were as enamored with the two Andis as I was…. Who can blame them?

Continue Reading »»

So colorful: our San Francisco Chinatown tour

Andi Perullo Abby Tegnelia SF

Andi Perullo, of My Beautiful Adventures, and I loved San Francisco’s Chinatown.

I’ve had a lot of China in my life lately. First, my youngest brother lives in Xiamen, where he’s studying Mandarin. My mom, who last year traveled for a month with him, has reported back that he spoke the difficult language incredibly well already. I am so proud that someone in my family will be bilingual! But I never would have guessed Mandarin… Anyway, he’s actually been living in China for years, first as an English teacher before switching to poker. Meanwhile, I’ve been scouring Chinese New Year invites, which is an easy task here in Las Vegas, where this particular holiday is enthusiastically celebrated. Why am I so involved? It is my year!! The year of the snake. Watch out, world! Oh, and I fell in love with a San Francisco Chinatown tour during a recent trip. Enjoy!

Continue Reading »»

The Farmers Market “Trumpet Kid”

San Francisco Farmers Market Don’t tell anyone: I tap-danced for years as a child. The sad part? I wasn’t nearly as good as this dapper little kid! I could have watched him all afternoon, as he taps his heart out while blasting his sassy brass instrument. Known around San Francisco as the “Trumpet Kid,” 13-year-old Gabriel Angelo performs around town, including outside the Ferry Plaza farmers market where I recently went before crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and driving on to Napa Valley. This pint-sized talent powerhouse is no joke: he’s been on Ellen, met Justin Bieber, performed with Questlove, and tweets tirelessly as MasterBlasterG. I took a video (BELOW) so you could see him for yourself!

Continue Reading »»

Daydream of the Week: Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate BridgeNothing makes me happier than a gorgeous water scene, whether it’s the jungle beaches or water of Santa Teresa, or the pool views of Panama City’s Trump Ocean Club. During a recent trip to San Francisco, we stopped by the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge on our way to Napa and Sonoma. It was a gorgeous fall morning, sunny and clear. I absolutely LOVED this one great shot I got, but for real photography talent, please check out my friend Andi’s post at My Beautiful Adventures. Now those are some shots! Hard to believe we were on the same trip, right? The bridge is an easy stop on the way out of town — just pull over after crossing the bridge, where the tourist stop indicates. I love how the weather can so easily change the mood and photos. But do not worry: Even a famously gray northern California day can make this view cozy and right. I love it!

I toured San Francisco, Napa and Sonoma as a guest of Trafalgar Tours, but all opinions are my own.

css.php