Cabernet Sauvignon...


jacket: current elliot | cardigan: madewell | turtleneck: madewell (similar) | jeans: c/o hudson | shoes: madewell | backpack: everlane


Travel Guide: Wine Country, Day 2


DO & DRINK / One of our top priorities was hitting up a winery, duh! Our lovely airbnb host Pamela had the a few listed in her handy welcome packet that she left for us and Benziger Winery was at the top of the list, so naturally we chose that one! Specifically known for its wine grown in a number of eco friendly ways, ranging from certified sustainable, organic, and biodynamic vineyards, this was a wine experience I could definitely get on board with. Everything we came across in the beautiful fields had been set up for a carefully structured eco system to ensure the best tasting wines. We saw sheep that grazed the grassy lots, keeping it all nice and trim. There were olive and lemon trees to help stop the soil from eroding. We even spotted owl boxes nestled up high to help keep the pests at bay. The sun shined down on us as we rode around the grounds in one of those cute little cars and made pit stops every so often to savor delicious wine.

 ^^^wooden barrels for wine safe keeping^^^
 ^^^the best smell ever in these wine caves- damp, oak & wine!^^^
The vineyard offers plenty of tours and tastings to choose from and we opted for the Partners Vineyard Tour & Exclusive Wine Tasting and couldn't have been happier with it. We got to learn (and taste!) a lot plus get an exclusive behind the scenes look at the biodynamic vineyards to fully understand all the care that goes into crafting those fine wines. The tour was small and intimate with only 8 guests total plus the quirkiest tour guide ever. When I had called earlier to book ahead (suggested since they book up fast!) I was warned that a couple would be getting engaged on ours and if we would mind... Mind?!? I was beyond excited and even decided I would take pictures to send my new friends via email, would I mind. I guess some people had in the past and so the winery had to just put it out there... you know, just in case. So of course the whole time I was whispering to hubs about who it might be and informing him that my detective skills concluded that neither of the two other girls had engagement rings so really it was anyone's game. Hubs kept telling me to shush, less I be overheard (his words, not mine). We ended in the coolest of wine caves, literally... they were super cool! The smell that smacked me in the face was one of damp musk with deep warm oak and hints of wine, all lingering together, leaving me breathless. I really couldn't get enough and have decided that someone needs to make the scented candle version of this asap!

 ^^^and the winner is: 2012 de coelo, terra neuma pinot noir^^^
 ^^^also known as a dangerous room where all your dreams can come true!^^^
Well the tour came to an end and you can imagine my disappointment when no one had proposed... Case of the cold feet perhaps? I did a little further investigating with a now tipsy tour guide lady and turns out she had suggested taking them to another wine cave after for a more intimate moment. I mean, it does sound perfect except my new friends had no one to capture the moment but oh well, I'm sure they weren't too bothered. Also can we talk about perks of the job?! Where do I sign up to tour guide? Drive a cute little cart around luscious grounds AND drink on the job... I'm in! After the tour guide was over, we each parted ways and hubs and I bee-lined to the tasting room to try more wines, duh! We got served by a quirky old lady that spent most of our time together sized us up before deciding at the end that she liked us. She also may have given us a few extra try and she also may have been kind of tipsy but who's paying attention at this point anymore, really? Hubs and I enjoyed her great banter and then headed back outdoors to sip our wine of choice looking onto the lake.

 ^^^drunken purchases with guaranteed no buyers remorse^^^

And of course no trip to the winery would be complete without some drunken shopping for more wine. Hubs and I pleasantly agreed on the same wines which I was surprised about since normally he opts for sweeter and I like the drier ones. After much trying and deliberating, we settled on these as our top four, listed in ranking order and also no judging please! 

EAT / A day of wine tasting and sun soaking surely does build up quite an appetite so hubs and I decided to check this little gem out. Glen Ellen Inn was the perfect spot to indulge in some martinis (they have a huge selection and it was time to switch up) while we talked about the highlights of our day. The atmosphere was cozy and inviting in this not quite indoor, not quite outdoor section they had since it was still much too cold to sit in their garden area. I settled for the mussels and garlic fries and hubs chose the halibut in parchment, both equally tasty. Fun fact: hubs and I usually agree on ordering our mutual top two and then go halfsies... except this one time when I thought we weren't I ate almost all my food before realizing hubs was ready to switch and I nothing left to offer, but that's another story.

*On him---> coat: banana republic / blazer: banana republic / button down: j. crew / trousers: j. crew / shoes: tba / backpack: everlane (similar)

*On her---> jacket: current elliot / cardigan: madewell / turtleneck: madewell / jeans: hudson / shoes: madewell / backpack: everlane

Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Day 4 

***Today I am thankful for the chance to explore a lovely new town and loyal sidekick/drinking buddy to do it all with!***


Merge Left...


sweater: madewell |  jeans: c/o hudson | sneakers: vans via madewell | purse: madewell | watch: michael kors (similar) | bracelet: mint julep | ring: camden market


Travel Guide: Wine Country, Day 1


Last week hubs celebrated a birthday... but not just any old birthday, the big 30... T . H . I . R . T . Y ! It's kind of nuts to me because firstly, I met him when he was about 19 or 20 and just a boy and secondly, because, well because it also means that 30's knocking on my door shortly after... eeek! I wanted to do something extra special and memorable, after all 30 is some kind of milestone in adulthood right?!  I'd heard about wine country being a must see and that scenic drive along the coast on route 1 fit in nicely so that was that. Also wine tasting just seemed fancy and sophisticated and so much better than drinking your face off like you did in your twenties right?! Only we may have done that too the night before and so that explains the In and Out you see pictured up there. But in all seriousness, I just wanted to do something for hubs that I knew he would love and remember for a life time which is hard to come up with when you've been together as long as we have. So just in case the trip wan't enough, there may have also been a donkey piƱata involved. Do I know my hubs or what?!

EAT / Driving the more direct route up I-5, we decided to try and make our first stop somewhere note worthy, about halfway, and that served food/coffee of some sort. After doing some research, hubs luckily found Harris Ranch which ended up ticking all three of the boxes so we were sold. The restaurant turned out to be the cutest of ranches, all decked out with pretty much wood everything, roaring fireplaces, and mesmerizing chandeliers. It felt so warm and inviting, the perfect cozy spot to take the edge off from the drive and unwind. Since they happened to be known for their reserve beef, hubs and I decided that steak was just a must. I ordered the New York Striploin (pictured above) with possibly the best garlic mash not made by my mom that I ever did try! Hubs settled on the T-bone and was equally satisfied. If you're a meat l over, this spot is definitely worth checking out. We picked up a bottle of their house cabernet sauvignon to enjoy later and hubs got some "real" sweets from the gift shop. That's british speak for actually nice, hard candy (like they do back home) and not the overly processed junk he normally finds over here. Basically it's what I would call fancy or specialty candy! Oh and I also got my coffee fix which was honestly, the smoothest blend served over ice (yes ice!) coffee cubes... it was all I could ask for and then some.

STAY / Did I mention this trip was poorly planned on my part and while I like to call it spur of the moment because that makes it sound more romantic and me more carefree, it was stressful and I'm not. But that's just because I'm the type that needs everything mapped out, planned out, and outlined before I do, well pretty much anything and everything. Unfortunately, work got in the way of any of that being accomplished and so, yea. That's where airbnb intervenes and more specifically, Pamela's cozy garden studio comes in to save the day (trip). Hubs and I are huge fans of airbnb, H . U . G.  E ! We're really big on having unique  and local experiences when exploring new cities that includes accommodation. So far we haven't had a stay we didn't love (or hosts we didn't love for that matter) and so it's safe to say we're hooked. This place was no exception and I was literally booking the trip the morning of (I know!), coordinating with Pamela while hubs slept off some of his hangover. We arrived kind of late and didn't get to do much exploring that night but were happy to have a comfy bed to fall into and welcomed the 2 cans of craft beer that were left in the refrigerator for us, so thoughtful!

In the morning we woke up to soft sunlight coming in through the double french doors and a beautiful garden view filled with the loveliest of flowers. Oh and that pup up there is Puna, she also welcomed us warmly. Coffees were drank routinely right out there on the front porch, wrapped up in blankets and accompanied by some pretty awesome ukulele jam sessions. Nights we enjoyed under a sea of stars in the steamy hot tub, sipping on delicious reds and bubbly champaign. Not a bad way to start and end a few days hu? Also Pamela left us an amazing list of all the best local places to eat, drink, shop, explore, etc. so our  days were filled to the brim thanks to her (and no thanks to me and my lack of planning). So in the end, it all worked out perfectly and that goes to say something about last minute planning then I suppose. Still stressful as hell (for me) but nice to know that things will fall into place even when you don't where those "places" should be. As for Mr. Brooklyn, we had to leave our little fur ball behind but he was in good hands over at Animal Kingdom... seriously he loves it there more than he does at home I think! Highly recommended if you're a local to Santa Monica and ever need to board your pet... because we've become one of those LA couples that does things like boarding their pets... and he also eats organic!

Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Day 4

***Today I am thankful for Beyonce (my nissan) that so lovingly got us to and from on this trip... she actually quite rocked it!***

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