#PetalumaMade – Day 1

Petaluma, Californa, July 2014

Day 1
Petaluma Gap - Petaluma California
This summer, two of my girlfriends (ironically both named Krista) and I decided to travel to California for a conference. We were going to arrive a couple of days early in order to tour Napa or Sonoma. We were still undecided just a week before our trip and then one of our friends, Kristi, whom I talked about just two posts ago. Contacted us to see if we would be interested in touring some wine country in Petaluma, California.  We were thrilled and honored to be asked.  Kristi got together a group of bloggers to tour the Petaluma Gap which is part of Sonoma Valley.

One of my (I love saying “my” when really I don’t own them at all) Krista’s had arrived earlier in the week to visit with a girlfriend in Cupertino. Krista was able to join in the tour from the beginning, however, my other Krista (ha, there I go again) and I didn’t arrive until lunchtime so we joined in the tour halfway through.  The group was already at the Sonoma Portworks, so we stopped in there straight from the airport. Although I have always enjoyed Port, I had not truly appreciated Port until I tasted some at Sonoma Portworks and my favorite was the Aris Petit Verdot. We were given a taste of several different ports paired with cheeses and chocolates and they were truly delicious. We were also offered a taste of some fine vinegars that are also offered from the Portworks and I believe I could have stayed all day if I didn’t know that we had another Vineyard to visit.

I have to also give a shout out to Terrific Tours organized by Sonoma Wine Guides, they took care of driving us around for the day and giving way more than the nickel tour, Jason’s knowledge of wine and Petaluma was amazing and even though I missed the first part of the day, I got to enjoy his good humour and infectious laughter for the second half. If I have the opportunity to return to Petaluma, Jason will be the one I call to get me around.
Sonoma Portworks - Petaluma, California
Onwards to my second stop (the fourth for some) Enriquz Estate Wines.  My first meeting with Cecilia Enriquez was as we were dropping off our car at the Hotel and Cecilia offered to drive us to the next Vineyard.  As we were chatting I found out that it was her family vineyard that we were driving towards. So of course felt badly that we were delaying her getting to her guests.  Cecila welcomed us into her home and to tour her lovely Vineyard. at 27 years old Cecilia amazed me at all that she has achieved and made me take a look back at what I was doing when I was 27 and well… yeah, it wasn’t making wine! Enriquz Pinot Noir was my favorite, being a red lover, but I truly enjoyed the white that she served us as well which is very rare for me, it was just dry enough that I could enjoy it.  Cecilia also had the Achadinha Cheese Company in her home to offer us some delightful cheeses (my mouth is watering just remembering how delicious they were).  The curds were by far our favorites (by our I mean us Canadians) we even discussed how to make a true French Canadian Poutine as it is becoming a new thing out their way to make poutine and it isn’t our true way to do it, but a different version.

We all gathered among the vines to pose for a group photo from the day, and prepared to head to our next stop, dinner.
Enriquez Estate Wines - Petaluma, California

Return to Paris


Paris, France

Thirty seven years ago this October, my eldest sister and I posed for this picture in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. We had matching pantsuits, coordinating scarves and new bracelets my parents had just bought us (I still have mine in my jewelry box).  We had a brand new baby sister and we lived in England at the time. My Mom was not thrilled about the idea of going up the tower, so my older sister and my Dad went up.  She was nine and much more worldly than I so I stayed on the ground with Mom.  Having lived in England for quite a few months and thinking that we would never be going back to Canada, I wrongly assumed that I would have the chance to visit Paris again and get my turn to go up the tower.

That time never came. We returned to Canada the following February and I have yet to return to Paris, that is until now. Yes! You read that right. At this time next week, I will be triple checking my passport and bags and getting ready to fly over the pond.  Only this time it will be with Hubby and not my parents and sisters.  I am shamelessly tagging along on a work trip with him, only made possible by the love and kindness of my parents and their unique ability to collect airmiles faster than anyone else I know.

How many times will I stand under the Eiffel Tower? How many museums will I see? I believe there is a Champagne Vineyard on the schedule and quite possibly more walking than these dogs have seen in a while.  I would start a countdown but truly it is already on in my mind.  Montmartre, Montparnasse, Tuilieries, Pont Neuf… all is just floating in my mind ready to experience.  Now to brush up on my french with my children this week so that I won’t be an embarrassment to all the teachers who tried to prepare me for this moment.

*This photo originally appeared in one of my Memory Lane posts in 2009.

a fresh new look

Those would be "No Swimming" flags flying today
It was time for an overhaul at the beach!

I hadn’t been blogging and one of the biggest reasons was that my blog was out of date and I was constantly getting spammed and all sorts of good stuff. So I reached out to the wonderful Kristi Trimmer, whom I met at BlogHer’12 in New York City.

Since meeting Kristi just over two years ago we have had a great long distance relationship. Kristi, originally from Phoenix, Arizona, set out on an adventurous trip over a year ago. She packed her bags and decided to travel the US and parts of Canada, camping and running marathons. You can read all about Kristi’s adventures on her blog.  Kristi even stayed in my home in Ottawa while we ourselves were out of town, that is how good of a friendship we had developed over the year and a half since we met.

We finally got a chance to catch up this summer in Petaluma, California (Kristi actually featured some of my images in her Petaluma post) for a fabulous wine tour and then on to San Jose for BlogHer’14. When I was just about at my whits end on what to do with this wonderful blogging space, there was Kristi ready to help out. Kristi is currently based in Alaska and showing us a side of Alaska that we wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to see.

So what am I doing now that I have this new space, looking so fine? Well, my kids are older and in school so less of their adventures and more of mine. In the last few years I have had some amazing opportunities to travel more of the US and I would like to share those with you as well as a trip that I will be taking over the pond in a little over a week. Not that this space is going to turn into a travel blog per se, but more of my adventures and less of the kids. I still have lots to say and am feeling the itch to blog again.

a gift that gives

Today through Monday I am hosting a holiday sale on photography, which is also supporting the Giving Tree.  If you are looking to update your headshot or capture your growing family, head over to my business site and help support two great charities.