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?

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Perfection in La Jolla

Abby Tegnelia George's

Having brunch at George’s in La Jolla.

After a really fun evening in downtown San Diego, where I stayed in the artsy, historic US Grant, I headed to La Jolla for a fabulous day at the beach. I met up with my friends Christy and Scott, of Ordinary Traveler and headed to brunch at the famous George’s Ocean Terrace. As you can see, it was a gorgeous afternoon. The food was delicious, and it was quite a scene. I loved it! After we ate, we wandered through town for a bit. We didn’t have to walk far before bumping into We Olive, which provided fun for the rest of the afternoon.

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Champagne Campaign

So it wasn’t all bad… I recently mentioned all of the work commitments that led me to major burnout, and now I feel obligated to tell you that some of the events are very, very fun. (The burnout comes from weeks of not being able to get a good night’s sleep, do laundry, or spend time with my dogs, rescues from Costa Rica.) The Las Vegas Strip recently hosted a huge food and wine festival called Vegas UnCork’d, and my foodie friend Cat De Orio came in from Chicago for it. We kicked off the four-day extravaganza with (what else?) some Veuve Clicquot — delivered to our fabulous suite at the Cosmopolitan.

Don’t you think the Rubik’s Cube is a nice touch?

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Ojai, California Grand Finale: wine, shopping, cocktails

The final day of my girls getaway to Ojai, California just might have saved the best for last: shopping, a vineyard tour and cocktails. I really did not want to come home! Being so used to all of the name brands that dominate the Strip in Vegas, I found Ojai’s boutiques especially  adorable, and I loaded up on unique knickknacks to take home. Catherine and I also talked up the owners, who knew everything about Ojai and the surrounding areas. It had been a long time since I’d spent 20 minutes in a store just chatting! But we had nothing but time, strolling the main drag in the California sun. This was my kind of day.

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Napa: You Can Travel “Just Because”

Napa, travel, photographySadly, I rarely take a vacation with my “IRL” (that’s “in real life” for you non-social media junkies) friends, aside from a steady stream of weddings. Thankfully, I have an enormous web of online travel pals to hit the road with “just because.” In the case of a recent girls weekend in Napa, I had met both girls off-line first before re-connecting with them on the web. Kristin (LEFT) and I worked together more than five years ago but barely knew each other. Then she found me on Twitter, and we met briefly during my first trip to Napa last year. Diana (MIDDLE) and I knew each other the first time I lived in Vegas, when I was a magazine editor and she a publicist. I was living as an expat in Costa Rica when I got a surprise email from her asking advice about taking time off to travel. Neither of us ever thought we’d move back to Vegas (what a transition!) — but here both of us are! Don’t let the champagne fool you — this was one of the most budget-friendly trips I’ve ever taken. Head to Virgin America for cheap flights, and all tastings are easy on the wallet. Girls trips for everyone!

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