Previous month:
January 2013
Next month:
March 2013

Friday Five: The "OMG I'm Going on Vacation in a Week and I Haven't Even STARTED Packing Yet!" Edition

  1. So, this time next week I'll be in beautiful Green Bay, Wisconsin, enjoying an awesome Bloody Mary at St. Brendan's Inn that includes a meat AND cheese stick, and hanging out with a bunch of the coolest kids I've ever known. To say I'm excited is an understatement. A GREAT BIG FREAKIN' UNDERSTATMENT!!
  2. So, if you haven't already guessed, I am FREAKING OUT because I'm totally NOT packed for this trip. You'd think I'd be an old pro at this considering I've been to Wisconsin in the winter several times now, but no.  No, I'm not. I hate my snow boots (faux UGGs that are old and quite hideous) but it's too late in the season to get new ones and I really don't think waterproofing my Doc Martins in going to cut it, I have no idea what shirts/sweaters to pack (well, I DO have several ideas what to pack, but then I keep wearing all my super cute outfits to WORK for pete's sake!), and even though I'm using a larger suitcase this year I really don't think everything is going to fit. Gah!
  3. I'm trying to figure out what to do about a carry-on. I have the totally awesome camera bag I won at last year's raffle (oohh, and I see there's a teal version available this year!) that I might use, but I'm not sure if my laptop will fit in it (or if I'll even take my laptop at all). OR I could just take the cross-body laptop holder that also has a mesh bottle holder on the side for easy, hands-free water bottle carrying, which is always helpful in airports.
  4. Also, this weekend is shot because tomorrow I have to do taxes and Sunday I have to have a facial. I say "I have to have a facial" because I actually won (!!) a free one at a giveaway that was happening at Old Navy a few weeks ago. While, it's really cool to have won, facials are not really my thing, as the few times I have done them, I've ended up with crazy acne breakouts. But, I won the darn thing, so I might as well do it, but, I'm gonna look like a hormonal teenager for Weetacon and I'm kinda bummed about that.
  5. And, finally,  for your Friday photo viewing pleasure, a bit of a mystery: I went to toss a sticky note in the trash by the bus stop, and discovered two vinyl albums in the bin. Naturally I had to pull them out and take a couple quick shots before other people showed up and looked at me funny.  Enjoy!

2013 Sweetheart Stroll

The 2013 Sweetheart Stroll was this past Saturday in downtown Atascadero. Thankfully the sun burned through the early morning fog, melted the frost, and it turned out to be a beautiful, spring-like day! It seemed to be a slightly smaller event than years past, as there were only 14 wineries represented. Still, that gave us a chance to actually try most the wineries without getting TOO tipsy!

First we tried Flirtations Muscato by Opolo. I don't usually like the sweet dessert wines, but this was quite good and I could see myself enjoying a glass on a hot summer day.


We drive by August Ridge every time we go to visit Grandpa, but we've never tried their wine until now. It was quite good, and someday we'll have to stop in for some wine tasting (and purchasing!).


Castoro Cellars is one of my go-to faves. Their Viognier is delish! I've always liked their Savingon Blanc and Chardonnay, too! I felt really bad for this poor guy, though. While the sunshine was warm, there was a bit of a breeze, and it was cold in the shade.


IMG_3365 (400x288)

St. Hilaireis a new one for me. I tried the Zinfandel and really liked it. I would've tried a couple more, but there was one guy totally bogarting the table and the winemaker's time, and there was a line out the door, so I gave up.

IMG_3372 (400x287)

Next we stopped into Time Since Remembered, a cute little antique/crafty shop, to try some Blenna Blanca from Whalebone Vinyard. It was very good, and I loved looking around the shop as well. They have so many cute, unique things!  The only problem is that all the shops here in Atascadero are really small and cramped, and while I understand the Sweetheart Stroll and Art and Wine Stroll organizers want people to go INto the shops and look around (and possibly, hopefully shop), rahter than just going from wine tasting table to wine tasting table along the sidewalk, it's a bit annoying to always be in such cramped quarters, shuffling along in a twisty queue to get a shot of wine, then try to make your way back out, all the while trying to avoid people who are browsing in the store, or trying to browse yourself.

IMG_3384 (300x400)

Edward Jones didn't have wine, but they did have some delicious homemade chocolate mini cupcakes with a white chocolate dollar sign and some sparkling cider. Yummy!

IMG_3388 (400x300)

Larrenita is another new winery - or at elast one I don't recall tasting before. I couldn't find a website for them, but their wine was good, too!

IMG_3389 (292x400)

Tarrica Cellarswas being poured at The Barrel Room, and I think if we'd'vesat down he would've poured for us all day! I didn't know they started serving beer here, too! And, they have Fat Tire, which has been my go-do beer for the past couple of football seasons.

IMG_3394 (400x270)

Bella Luna winery at Ranch Dog Knitting. 

IMG_3398 (400x289)

Here are the Treble Makers, a local barbershop quartet. We stopped them on the street and made them sing us a song. They're really good! It's too bad I was iPhone incompetant on this day, because I tried to take a video of them, but it it didn't work.

IMG_3400 (400x293)

Hearst Ranch Wineryat Calicopia, a artist co-op that has TONS of awesome, artsy things. 

IMG_3402 (400x284)

The Red Tree Art Gallery didn't have a winery this time, but we stopped in anyway to pick up a bottle of Kitehawk Farm olive oil. We'd tried it during one of the Art and Wine Strolls and really liked the flavour of it. I've been thinking about that olive oil ever since, and finally got some! 

IMG_3420 (300x400)

Indigene Cellars I've tried before and really liked their Cabernet.


IMG_3406 (400x292)

Hidden Oaks is pretty much a regular at these events, so I'm pretty familiar with their wine, too. I didn't get a picture of it this time, but they also have a nice compact box of wine (which I always SWORE I would never get because, gah! wine in a BOX!) that contains 4 full bottles of wine, and lasts a long time. I haven't bought it yet, but I'm actually very tempted!

IMG_3408 (400x287)

More entertainment and yet another iPhone fail. These guys were really good - the little girl on the banjo was awesome, and they were both great singers as well! I don't know who they are so I can't look them up, which is pity, because I really enjoyed them.

IMG_3409 (400x300)

Next up was Rotta winery and another delicious Cabernet.
IMG_3411 (400x300)
IMG_3416 (400x300)

Frolicking Frog was set up at Bru Coffeeshop where we finished our tour with a delicious Viognier then had a yummy cup of coffee before heading home. I very nearly talked myself out of going to the Sweetheart Stroll this year because it was SO cold and foggy and nasty first thing in teh morning. But as the sun came out, and it looked like it would be a good day, I decided, what the hell, let's give it a shot! Both mom and I are glad we did because it was a beautiful day and we enhjoyed some great wine and snacks and treats, and generally had a wonderful time!

Friday Five '13F

  1. I honestly don't know what's happened to time lately. I used to have so much of it, and now I seem to have so very little. At least not enough to get done all I want and need to.  I used to hand stamp cards for just about every holiday or special event throughout the year, and now I'm lucky if I get five done for Christmas! I used to write extremely long (and probably boring) journal entries and fan fiction stories ALL THE TIME, and now if I get one brief blog entry posted a week, I'm doing good. It's kinda sad, really.
  2. That said, this week has gone by SO SLOWLY! God, I thought we'd never get to Friday! The hours just dragged on and on, and I swear we either had an extra day this week, or a few extra hours attached to every day. It was painful. Truly.
  3. I haven't started packing for Weetacon yet, and that's terrifying. I do have a new winter coat to take, but couldn't find any boots, so I might have to make due with what I have (which will likely be my floral Doc Martin's). I also need to buy my costume, get my charity items completed, and I think I'm going to need a new suitcase. My little red one just isn't going to cut it this year, mostly because I'm extending my vacation beyond Weetacon this year to a week with my BFF Jewel in Ohio, and will need to take extra stuff. My mom has a big, hard-sided suitcase I might use, but we've had it since the mid-80s (it's the one she used on our totally amazing England trip), so I'm not sure what kind of shape it's in. If I need to, I'm sure I can run down to Target quick like a bunny and buy a new one, but, dang! I'm cutting it close!
  4. After a couple of months of using my TARDIS hard case for my iPhone and the Michael Kors wallet that it fit into, I've gone back to my all-in-one bookbook wallet/iPhone case. As much as I loved the TARDIS case, digging out my wallet, unzipping it, and pulling out my iPhone without dropping it just to check Facebook or take a picture was becoming annoying. And, I'll be travelling soon, so the bookbook is just going to be way more convenient.
  5. And, here is your photo of the week: the sun through a tree jazzed up on snapseed:


Teaser Tuesday: What Came from the Stars by Gary D. Schmidt

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week I've started another MG book, this one called What Came from the Stars by Gary D. Schmidt. I'm certain I'm going to like this book, but I'm having a hard time getting into it so soon after finishing Summer and Bird. You know how you sometimes get really sucked into a book and care so deeply for its characters, and when it's over you can't quite let it or them go? Yeah. That's where I am right now.

Anyway, here are my teasers from page 78 on my nook:

But the other two set upon Young Waeglim with mightly blows, and Young Waeglim was sorely weakened. The trunco flashed down upon him with cold clanging, and his arms and shoulders were bloodied, and he was drvien back upon the shattered glite, and fell.

Friday Five '13E

  1. Last Saturday was spent at the Honda dealership in SLO getting Lexi (my mom's Civic) checked out. Apparently there was a recall notice about the air bag or something. We ignored the first two notices because they both had the wrong model year of our car, so we figured they were sent by mistake. This time they sent the notice with our VIN number, so we thought we'd better have it looked at. In the end, Lexi passed her test, and once again all is well.
  2. Afterwards, we shopped for winter coats and boots for my upcoming trip to The Frozen Tundra, otherwise known as Green Bay, Wisconsin. I couldn't find any boots and all the winter coats that were in my size made me look 10 times bigger, so that was no fun. We'll probably try a couple other places again this Saturday, but I'm afraid it might be too late to find winter coats and I might just take my mom's big purple coat. It's only for the sleigh ride, really, as the rest of the time we'll be inside, or riding in a car or bus, or just taking a quick walk over the bridge.
  3. Hey! Mom and I actually made it through the first hour of American Idol this past Wednesday! The two obnoxious women were behaving themselves and they allowed talented folks through to Hollywood. I didn't bother with the second hour because they were going to have more stupid "heart warming stories" that just make me gag, and I'd already seen enough of those, but maybe there's hope for this show yet.
  4. Everyone keeps asking me if I'm going to watch the Superbowl. I guess becausee my team's not in it, people think I won't bother, but that's not true. I'm totally watching it and hope the Ravens kick the 49ers collective asses. So there.
  5. And, finally, I got my toes done last night. I used O.P.I.'s Japanese Rose Garden which is my favourite go-to pretty pink. (And, for those of you who follow my friend Mary's blog, this photo could also count as an entry for "Tights are not pants!" because this chick just had a short tunic shirt over a pair of tights. The shirt rode up embarrassingly as she was working on my nails! I would've felt bad for her, but I think she thought she looked hot.) Cheers!