Browsing Category

Travel

Life in General, Travel

That Time I Was Sent to Tulsa

 

Yep, you read that right. I was sent to Tulsa for an undetermined amount of time and told to work 12 hour days, 6 days a week. The only way I could say no was to quit my job. I couldn’t quit. IT WAS ROUGH to say the least.

I work for a large Fortune 15 company. Thousands of workers at this company are union workers. The union went on strike last summer and because of that, those non-union employees (ME!) had to up and leave their lives as they knew it and do the union workers jobs. There were a lot of bad things about this (good things too- I’ll get to that), but I think the worst part was not knowing how long we would be gone.

We knew there was a possibility of a strike the previous August 2015. The union and the company did not agree on a new contract, but at the time, the union decided to continue to work without one. That lasted many months and most of us forgot about the possibility of a strike. Then, April 2016 rolled around and they went on strike. Seemingly out of nowhere. When I think back to that time, it brings back so many emotions. I was anxious, scared, and unsure of what to expect.

Two days after the strike announcement a lot of my co-workers were on planes to their “EWA job” (Emergency Work Assignment). I knew that my EWA job was my actual job I did daily. That meant I would not be shipped off (at least I thought so) and I would be responsible for my job and the jobs of some of my co-workers who were gone for the foreseeable future. I could handle that. It meant long days and working 6 days a week, but I was lucky that I could go home each night to my family and my bed.

And then.. about a week later, I got the call. I had to go to Tulsa. They needed more bodies in that office. I WAS IN SHOCK to say the least. I remember vividly my boss telling me I had to be on a plane that Thursday, but I was freaking out because my husband was traveling and wouldn’t be home until Friday. Oh and not to mention we have a 9 year old and no family nearby to watch him. I could not stop crying. I remember being so afraid. I had never been gone for more than 4 nights from my son and they were telling me that I had to go to Tulsa for an undetermined amount of time. Basically ALONE.

 

After many tears and phone calls, I was able to get a one way flight out Friday, after Jason got home. I packed a few bags, booked a hotel for 30 days (because that was what the company wanted us to do). I kept telling myself “Overtime, Overtime, Overtime”. I knew I would get paid really well if I was sent to Tulsa to work 72 hours a week. But I still did NOT want to go.

When I arrived, I was thankful to have a co-worker also in the same department. She had been there from the start, so she was able to help me a lot. She introduced me to some people she met, showed me the office, and helped me get settled in to my new (possibly everlasting) job. I did realize I was lucky to have a desk job, because there were plenty of other people in the company who were assigned to climbing poles and installing fiber. NO THANKS. Sitting for 72 hours a week was SUPER PAINFUL, but it was a heck of a lot better than that. Fortunately there were no picket lines in Tulsa either (compared to the East Coast).

We were treated very well in Tulsa. The building had a cafeteria, a workout room, and it was LARGE so we could go for walks to stretch out each day. I stayed in a nice hotel, had my own rental car, and charged all of my meals outside the office on the company credit card. The people were all very friendly and though we were all just meeting, we all had this in common. I remember feeling very alone at times, but I recognized that we all felt that way.

During this time, I missed my family immensely. I missed my son’s first play performance, swim team, end of the school year events. It just about killed me (That’s dramatic- but it did break my heart). I was SOOO thankful for Facetime because I was actually able to help my son do homework some evenings. He read to me at night on his Ipad and we were still able to “see” each other most days.

I ended up being in Tulsa for 5 weeks. Thankfully, I was able to go home for a few days after the first 3 weeks because it was my 40th birthday. I returned for 2 weeks and the strike ended Memorial Weekend.

I learned so many things from the strike. I learned that I am so much stronger than I thought I was. I survived it and because of all the overtime, I took our family on a Disney Cruise when I got back!

After the strike, I wrote a list of things that I learned and some thoughts I had while in Tulsa:

1. A few years ago, I wasn’t sure I could be away from AJ for more than 2 nights. Then 5 nights. Then a week. Now we can, while neither or us like it, survive 3 weeks.

2. I realize how hard it is to be a parent/ partner who can’t help out. It sucks and I feel helpless, but I am so thankful Jason can and does handle things.

3. I miss my friends and knowing what they are up too- getting a text is a highlight of my day.

4. It is embarrassing to admit, but this place humbles me- I guess I thought I was too good for Oklahoma. I realize that is not the case.

5. I have no idea where to go during a tornado. I assume the nice gals at the front desk will tell me when I need to know?

 

6. 72 hour work weeks are looooooooong. I’m not the only one doing them, but they still suck.

7. It’s really great being with other people who are not used to doing this, and feeding off their positive energy; the morale is still great in my office – though I am not sure how much longer that will last.

8. Networking… It’s a good thing. I have been able to meet a lot of people who I have spoken to on the phone but never met in person.

9. It costs me $3.50 to do one load of laundry a week. The rest I dry clean (and I put that on the company credit card).

10. It’s both a blessing and a curse to be walking distance from chain restaurants like Red Robin and Lone Star Steakhouse.

11. Tulsa really is a beautiful place! I expected just a lot of dirt. But it’s full of greenery and it is FLAT!

12. It sounds so stupid, but I am connecting with the hotel staff and will miss seeing them daily.

13. As hard as it is to be here, I have NO RESPONSIBILITY other than showing up for work. I never cook, I never clean, I only do my laundry, and I don’t spend much money (because I don’t have time!)

14. Now that I got through EWA, there are times I wish we could do it again (I CANNOT BELIEVE I AM SAYING THAT!) The money was THAT good!

In the end, I am thankful I went to Tulsa for many reasons. I realized how much strong I am mentally. I met some wonderful people and have some awesome memories. There is no way I would have ever considered going to Oklahoma, but now I can say I’ve been there. And because of all this, our family went on an amazing vacation. I am glad it only lasted 5 weeks! And even happier that it can’t happen again for the next 4 years!

Subscribe and don't miss a thing!
832
Life in General, Travel

Do You Have a Fear of Flying?

 

Do you have a fear of flying? Do you know in your mind that you have a much larger chance of dying walking across the street than in a plane crash, yet still get anxious when you fly? Do you reason with yourself, tell yourself that people fly ALL THE TIME and survive but still sweat and get an upset stomach when you fly? Do you know your fear is totally irrational? My answer to all of those questions is a resounding YES.

Growing up, my family flew a lot! We went to Hawaii many times- that’s a 5 hour flight from California. We flew to Washington State, to Boston, to San Francisco and many other places. I never had a fear of flying back then. Turbulence would make me laugh. I loved getting my Ginger Ale on the flight and would chill and watch movies.

Then I became a mom and things changed entirely. I had a baby to care for and somehow I became anxious when I flew. When our son was very young, I did not really have time to think about being scared on a flight. He kept me busy and entertained. I remember on one turbulent flight he was giggling and made others around us laugh. I think the movement of the airplane made his stomach feel funny. I appreciated the distraction from my fear.

Later, as my son got older, my anxiety grew. I absolutely HATE flying now- luckily not enough to stop. I do not do well flying alone- thankfully I do not do that often. I do best when AJ, Jason and I fly together. I once had someone tell me that it was strange that if the plane went down, I would want my family together. I guess that is true, but having them with me just makes me more comfortable. Even AJ knows my fears and does his best to comfort me. I am so thankful he doesn’t have my same fear.

 

 

A lot of people fear take off and landing. Not me. I actually start to feel much calmer when I know we’re descending. I have this fear when we’re in the middle of the sky that all of the sudden we will take a huge drop. I have these crazy thoughts. What if someone didn’t tighten the screws in the plane? What if the door just flies open? What if this plane is too old and it falls apart? Then I think to myself about my friends who fly weekly, and how Jason flies all the time and how they have not had any problems. I realize this is a total control issue and when I am not in control, I get anxious. I look around on the plane and see how calm people are. I am always watching the flight attendants to see if they look worried or not. It always makes me uneasy when the flight attendants do not serve drinks and have to sit down because of a bumpy flight.

I know I am not alone in my fear of flying. I spoke to my doctor about it a year or so ago and she told me she feels similar (she has 3 kids). She even gave me a prescription for Xanax to take before my flights. I haven’t tried it yet though because I don’t know how it will affect me. I tell myself I not THAT bad.. Rather than Xanax, I will drink a few glasses of wine and of course, that helps!

So, I will continue to fly, and I’m sure I will continue to be anxious- but I know I cannot let it take over my life. I firmly believe that whatever happens is meant to be. I just hope and pray smooth flights are meant to be in my future!

Subscribe and don't miss a thing!
832
Life in General, Travel

Our Trip to Telluride!

I know I’ve been talking a lot about going to Telluride and now I want to share with you all the fun things we did and saw and JUST HOW AMAZING it is there. It truly is DREAMLAND.

 

 

We went to Telluride with 3 other families- a total of 16 people. (8 kids, 8 adults). This is the same group that went to Napa last year- SUCH a fun group! (You can read more about that amazing trip here). The beautiful thing about our friendship is that we all have kids ranging from 7-17 and yet ALL THE KIDS GET ALONG! The “olders” take care of the “youngers” and they all play together nicely and are just all around good people.

The house we rented was INCREDIBLE! 5 bedrooms and 4 ½ bathrooms and it even had a “look out” on the 4th floor where the kids could hang out and play. We spent a lot of the time in the back yard because… look how gorgeous it is! We would spend the afternoons having appetizers and drinks and just enjoy the amazing scenery.

We were very surprised to find out that the town offers a free shuttle to the gondola. With 16 people that would mean 4 trucks driving into town. It was nice that we never had to do that. But imagine 16 people shoved into a van that seats 12- thankfully it was a 10 minute drive (and they picked and dropped off at our HOUSE!)

 

The way the town is laid out, we would shuttle to what is called “Town Hall” where we would get onto the first gondola. That would take us to Mountain Village which is adorable! It’s like a shopping square. Coffee shops, clothing stores, a few bars and restaurants and a great place for the kids to run around. They even had this huge area of turf where people could throw the ball around, play corn hole and bocce ball. SUPER cute area!

From there, we took 2 more gondolas into downtown Telluride. One up and over the mountain and then back down into town. It was SO beautiful, but also a little freaky when you’re going down! Everywhere we looked, there was another beautiful mountain. And the TREES! Just amazing.

 

One day we took the gondola to Telluride and then hiked the Bear Creek Falls. It was about a 2 mile hike in and certainly kid friendly. Here are some pictures from the hike.

At the end of the trip, we all agreed we were not ready to leave. I would go back in a heartbeat! Telluride is so relaxing and beautiful. I hope to go back again next year- until then, we have wonderful memories!

Subscribe and don't miss a thing!
832
Helping Others, Life in General, Travel, Working Out

Some Ways to Find Happiness in Your Life!

A Few Ways to Find Happiness!

Sometimes life can get tough and it can be hard to see the forest through the trees. It’s easy to get wrapped up in work and parenting, kid’s activities and chores and all the other things that we have to get done every day. I know I certainly get caught up in all this stuff, but I have come up with a good list of things that I do that help make me happy and less stressed.

 

Family Time

Our Little Family

Our family likes to do a lot of fun things together. We don’t spend a lot of time staying home or lounging (which is not always a good thing!) Jason, AJ and I love to camp in the summer in our trailer in different parts of Colorado. We enjoy going to Mueller State Park and Golden Gate and other places too. A few weeks ago we went to Chatfield State Park which was a blast! It is only 30 minutes away and we had not been before. We hung out with our friends, watched the kids play in the lake and played games.

In the winter time, we love to watch football (GO BRONCOS!) and ski. We’re about two hours away from Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and other places. Yes, we’re VERY lucky!

Family time always makes me happy and helps me calm my mind. I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have a healthy husband and son and the fact that we are so blessed to do all of these things.

 

A great workout

Ok friends… let me tell you something. It is HARD to get to the gym sometimes! I’m sure you feel the same way. But, when you are done, don’t you just feel SO GOOD! I talked about this in a previous post, but I have become addicted to Orange Theory Fitness! I have been doing it consistently for 6 months and my gosh I sweat my A$$ off every single time! It consists of rowing, running (HILLS), and weight training and it is a killer workout. I have noticed that my arm muscles are more toned and I can run much longer and faster than I could when I first started. Now, if I could just stop eating so much CRAP, I’d probably lose weight. That’s another blog post down the road.

Alone Time

What can I say… I LOVE alone time. That may sound bad, but I need it. I always have. I remember as a kid, I spent a lot of time in my room alone.  Sometimes I just need peace and quiet so I can recharge. Maybe I’ll watch a show or listen to music. I can get overwhelmed when I don’t have “me time”. Thankfully, my hubby is very good at letting me have it.

 

Helping Others

Doesn’t it feel good to help others? I sure think so. Maybe at times, we can think it is hard, or too much work to help others, but the feeling I get when I do help someone is incredible. Whether it is helping someone at work, doing a little extra for someone who needs it, but doesn’t ask or even something as easy as grabbing a person’s shopping cart and returning it for them. If I can make someone else smile, I will surely smile too.

 

Subscribe and don't miss a thing!
832
Life in General, Travel

Some of the Places I Want to Travel

Where are you traveling to this summer? I’d love to hear some new places to go! Here are some places on my bucket list. They won’t all happen this summer, but THEY WILL HAPPEN!

1. Telluride– (7 hour drive) Now, THIS is happening in just a few weeks! I’ve never been, but every person I talk to says that it’s the most beautiful place in Colorado. I’m so excited!

2. Crested Butte (5 hour drive) – I’ve been wanting to go to Crested Butte for a long time. From what I’ve heard, it’s wonderful both in the summer and winter seasons. I’ve heard the skiing is awesome, but that it’s also very windy. I think the problem is I just don’t know which season to go!

Crested Butte

3. Durango (6 hour drive) – I honestly don’t really know what there is to do in Durango, but people always ask me if I’ve been. So, there must be something neat and fun about it!


4. South Carolina (4 hour flight) – This is super random to me, but I think about the idea of renting an amazing house overlooking the ocean. Walking down the little path to the beach and watching AJ play while I flip through a magazine. That’s the Hollywood version anyway.

South Carolina

5. Austin (3 hour flight) – I’ve heard that Austin is a fun, hip place to go and I’d love to take a long weekend and check it out.

6. Portland (2 hour flight) – I know it’s a raining and sometimes dreary place to go, but it’s also super hip and has great food! I want to ride a bike around town, stop and grab a drink and some oysters, keep riding and just enjoy the city. I’ve been told there are some good wineries too!

Portland

7. San Francisco (2 hour flight) – Ok, so I’ve been to San Fran a number of times- but never as an adult! My mom and I made a number of girl’s trips when I was a teenager. We shopped till we dropped! It was fun! But now, I’d like to go as an adult, see the city, take the trolley and have some really nice meals.

San Francisco

Subscribe and don't miss a thing!
832
Travel

We Went on a Disney Cruise!

Disney Cruise The Fantasy

Have you ever been on a Disney Cruise? Or have you considered it? Let me tell you- even if you’re not the biggest Disney fan, you MUST do it. It’s truly the best! Our family likes Disney, we grew up going to Disneyland (have yet to hit Disney World yet!) but we’re not HUGE Disney people. Our son is almost 9, so while he enjoys Mickey and Minnie and all the other characters, he’s more of a Star Wars/Avengers kid. That being said tho, we ALL had the best time on the cruise. You can see all the characters if you want to, but you can also do SO MANY OTHER THINGS!

 

 

We decided to go on our cruise this past spring break. Jason and I had both been on a (booze) cruise years ago, but this was our son’s first time. We knew it was going to be great, but we didn’t know it would be SOOOO great! We decided to do a 7 night Western Caribbean cruise. We had day stops in Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Disney’s own PRIVATE ISLAND, Castaway Cay. While we loved getting off and seeing the different ports, we also loved the enormous amount of things to do on the ship.

Castaway Key

We were on the Fantasy ship. This is the Disney’s largest ship. It has 14 decks, multiple pools (and an adults only pool), a fantastic water slide that goes above the ship called the AquaDuck, a full spa and gym, live shows, SO MANY PLACES to eat and a ton of other things. All those things were a blast, but let me tell you the BEST part of the Disney Cruise. THE SERVICE! You guys- it’s incredible. We were on that ship for 7 days and 7 nights and they made our dreams come true!! The people are just so friendly and helpful and always going out of their way to make sure everyone is happy. The dinner servers get to know you and your family quickly so they make a point to bring out your child’s favorite meal each night- even when it’s not on the menu (noodles, corn dogs, lobster?). Speaking of food- at dinner, you can eat as MANY entree’s as you want!

 


The waiters are amazing and getting to know them is really fun- as they are typically from all over the world- but the other staff is fantastic too. Our room attendant, Vivec, was always smiling, happy, and intent on making sure we had everything we needed.

Another great thing about the Disney Cruise is the KIDS CLUB! Our son was 8 when we went so he went to the Oceaneer Club (ages 3-12), but there is also Edge for tweens and Vibe for teens. Oh and did I mention that these clubs are SUPER fun for the kids, open until the wee hours of the morning, and included in the price of your cruise! At the Oceaneer Club, our son was doing all kinds of fun things- in fact, he begged to go there most days. They made cupcakes, played games, did art projects, played computers and so much more. It’s not just sitting around wasting time- it’s FUN!

Kids Club

I could go on and on about how wonderful the Disney Cruise is, but you really should just try it yourself!

Subscribe and don't miss a thing!
832
Life in General, Travel

2017 Summer/Fall Vacations Planned!

It is the middle of May as I type this, and it has been dumping snow since late last night. I’m not really sure when it’s going to end. But thank goodness I planted some flowers and mowed the lawn yesterday! This ALWAYS happens in Colorado. And every year, we all say, “This is so strange!”  It’s not that strange. I think we all just can’t believe that it’s possible to have many inches of snow in our yards and realize that the community pool is going to be open in 2 weeks.

Once the snow melts- which won’t be long- it’s time to start our summer vacations! We have been very fortunate to do a lot of traveling in the past few years. Last year we went to Napa, and this spring we did our Disney Cruise (blog post coming soon!). We also went to Washington D.C. last fall and as I’ve mentioned before, we camp a lot in the summer. This year is no different. Well, it’s probably more traveling this year. (Wouldn’t it be nice if someone paid me to travel? A girl can dream.)

This summer, we’re going to Telluride! It has been on my bucket list for years. I’ve heard it is a tiny town that is absolutely gorgeous! We are going with our Napa crew, but this time we are taking the kiddos. So, that is a total of 15 people. In one house. For 4 nights. And it’s going to be A BLAST! If you want to see the house- it is more like a mountain chalet- check it out here. I cannot wait to spend the 4th of July weekend with my best friends in a beautiful Colorado Mountain Town. I could do without the 7 hour drive, but I will deal with it.

Once again, we have a lot of camping trips planned. We are going to Terry Bison Ranch at the beginning of June. We love it there- it is not really camping as much as it is driving 2 hours away to sleep in our camper and feed bison, check out the farm animals (including camels!), go horseback riding and just hang out. We have been a number of times and it is such a fun place for the kids. They get to see an actual working bison ranch! We are also going to our favorite place, Mueller State Park, a few times this summer. It is so pretty, and quiet, and relaxing. There is a park for the kids and we play games, and just chill out.

THEN- we are off to HAWAII in October! Yep, Hawaii! It has been a few years since we have been there and we are ready! This will be the first time AJ and Jason have been together (I took AJ twice when he was younger), but now AJ is older and a great swimmer, he will have a blast. We’re going with my mom, brother and sister-in-law as well. It is a great group and we can’t wait to go to a luau, snorkel and play at the beach.

In November, we’re making our way to Central California to spend time with my Dad and Step-mom. We just love going there because it is SO RELAXING! They live in Arroyo Grande (near San Louis Obispo) and we go to the beach, wine tasting, watch football and have great family time.

And finally… we are going on another Disney Cruise in late December/ early January… don’t tell AJ. More on that another time.

I feel so grateful that we are able to do all these fun things; that we get to travel all over and have these great experiences. It’s so much fun doing these things as a family and making all these wonderful memories!

It’s really going to be a great year! I feel like I should get packing now!

Subscribe and don't miss a thing!
832
Life in General, Shopping, Travel

Spoiled Girl..

It’s been a crazy fun weekend of being spoiled! Sunday was Mothers Day and Monday was my 41st birthday. To start, Jason planned a weekend away to Breckenridge, CO about 2 hours away. He planned it with some of our best friends, Joy and Kris. We’ve traveled with them a ton of times and it’s always a fantastic time. It’s so fun to travel with people who are just easy going!

We arrived on Friday early evening and checked into our Airbnb. It was the perfect house for all of us! 3 great size bedroom, 3 bathrooms and plenty of living space. The best part is that it was walking distance from downtown so we never had to drive anywhere! After we unloaded our things, we went to our favorite place, Downstairs At Erics. We have to go there every time we’re in Breck because it’s so fun! The kids can play in the arcade and we can hang out and have pizza and fantastic nachos (and maybe wine) YUM!

The next day we took our time getting ready and headed to the crepe stand on Main Street. The line is ALWAYS LONG- like at least an hour- but it’s TOTALLY WORTH IT! I got the eggs Benedict with brie crepe. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Then we made our way down the street for some shopping. Breck is SO beautiful and while there is a lot to do, it also is such a calm town. You can plan a busy schedule, or you can totally relax. Somehow we were able to do a lot of fun things, but it also felt like Saturday was a long day! (A good thing!) After shopping we went to CB Potts (it sounds like all we did was eat, huh?) for a few drinks and more nachos (???). Then, back to the house to play some games and relax and then back out for dinner. I can’t even believe I’m telling that we ATE.MORE.FOOD. But, yep, that’s what we did.

My Best Bud!

AJ playing at the park in Breckenridge- such a beautiful background!

The background tho… GORGEOUS

I thought this was a good idea.. WRONG

On Sunday, Jason and Kris got up early and made us a wonderful breakfast- eggs, sausage, hash browns and mimosa’s of course! Then we loaded up and had to get home. It was SUCH a fun little trip, but too short for sure. One more day would have been great.

One of my besties- Joy. We had the best time together!

When we got home, all I wanted to do was to plant flowers in my yard. Living in Colorado, it’s inevitable that we all plant flowers too early in the season- before the last snow- but no one can help it! (It will likely snow this weekend) But it is so brown in the early Spring and we need COLOR! So, Jason bought me a bunch of flowers and I took some time to get a sunburn and plant them. Pure Happiness! I got in a great workout at Orange Theory and by the end of that, I was done! Just exhausted but because we did so much and had such a fun time.

I’m so thankful to Jason for planning all of this; for getting me a wine cooler for our house, and all the other fun things. Whoever thought turning 41 would be so fun!

Now, I’m going to go on a diet for the rest of my life.

Subscribe and don't miss a thing!
832
Travel

Camping Season 2017 Has Begun!

 

Camping season has begun in Colorado! Some might call it “glamping”. 😜 Our family loves to camp- some like to rough it in a tent (Jason and AJ) and I’m really happy camping in our new trailer. We sold our old trailer and got a new one this year and it ROCKS! It’s much bigger and a better layout than our previous one. It’s got 2 full size bunk beds, queen size bed, 2 leather recliners (with HEATED SEATS!?) and a good size bathroom too! See pictures below!

There are so many beautiful places to camp in Colorado. Some of our favorites are Mueller State Park, Golden Gate State Park, Terry Bison Ranch and this weekend we went to Cheyenne Mountain State Park. All of these camp grounds are less than 3 hours away, which make for a nice weekend trips.

When we go camping, we typically go with multiple families and that makes it so much fun. During the day, the kids all play together at one of the parks or ride bikes, and we play ladder golf or corn hole and just chill out. We really don’t do all that much! Sometimes we go on hikes- but only if we want to. The beauty of camping is it’s totally relaxing so it’s the perfect time for people to do whatever they want. Hike, read or nap! Possibly all 3! In the evening, we typically all go to one camp site and cook dinner, have some drinks and sit by the fire together. It truly is such a slow pace, which is wonderful.

Do you like to camp? Where do you go? I’d love to hear from you!

Here are some pictures from this past weekend:

Our trailer! Grand Design- Imagine

The heated recliners! Awesomeness!

More of the inside of the trailer

Cheyenne Mountain State Park

Relaxation!

PetSmart

Subscribe and don't miss a thing!
832
Travel

Wine Tasting in Napa Vally

Do you like wine? Do you like beautiful, lush, green grass and wineries? Then you should absolutely visit Napa Valley, California. It’s warm, gorgeous, and they have awesome wine!

Jason and I went to Napa in the summer of 2016 with 3 other couples. WE HAD THE BEST TIME! We rented a house (Thank you VRBO) and all flew out there from Colorado for a 4 night trip. Thankfully all the couples have been friends for years and most of us have traveled together, so it was low on the drama scale and high on the FUN!

If you’re going to Napa, I HIGHLY recommend hiring a tour company to drive you around for a day. These tour companies know the places to go- not only the big wineries, but the small mom and pop wineries that are incredible. We heard great things about Platypus Tours so we decided to go with them. Sure, an all day Tour (4 wineries plus lunch) cost about $500 total, but split between 4 couples it wasn’t so bad. Plus, our guide was TRULY AMAZING. She was young and energetic, knew a TON about the area, and made the tour a lot of fun. Before we went, she was in touch with us asking what types of wine we liked, and what we really wanted from the tour. She far exceeded our expectations. And when we needed food and/or water (because let’s face it, we drank A LOT), she was right there with it.

She brought us to 4 wineries (I didn’t think it would be enough, but it was PLENTY!) We stayed at each winery for over an hour and met with some wonderful people. At Miner Wines we met with a guy who looked just like the actor Jack Black- he was fantastic. We sat outside on their patio and tried different wines. He gave us a lot of history of the vineyard- I wish I remember, but again, we drank a lot! When we were leaving Miner, I was sure nothing could top it. The experience was so great.

 

But then we went to Tudal Winery it was totally different than Miner and again, fantastic! There after we did some wine tasting, we had lunch on the ENORMOUS wooden table outside under a beautiful chandelier. Out of the blue, the OWNER OF THE WINERY came out (in his shorts and t-shirt) and decided to have lunch with us and gave us a bottle of wine to share. He told us stories of the winery and amazing to get to know. He even gave us another bottle of wine when we got back in the van! What a great experience.

Needless to say, we joined both the Miner and Tudal wine clubs. We’ve received many shipments from both and have been so happy to enjoy the delicious varietals.

As I said, we did go to 4 wineries, but these 2 were our favorites. After ALL THAT WINE, we decided it would be a good idea to go get oysters, more wine and do some WHISKEY TASTING. (Because… well, we were drunk). Our Platypus driver took us to the Oxbow Public Market. YOU MUST, MUST, MUST GO THERE! Imagine an indoor, open marketplace with many different little shops/businesses. They had a bar, then next to it, an oyster bar (we polished off 2 dozen NO PROBLEM!), whiskey tasting, and other little shops where you could buy candles or little knick knacks. These 2 wineries and this market were the highlight of the 4 days trip FOR SURE. I hope to get back there someday!

Subscribe and don't miss a thing!
832