Wine Tasting in Napa! |Napa Valley, CA.

No, we didn't get "drunk" in Napa. Because I assume that's what everyone is thinking when I tell them we went to "Wine Country" - that we spent the day guzzling vino and stumbling from one vineyard to the next. (It's unlikely anyone is probably thinking that - I'm just paranoid because no one in my family drinks wine, and when I show up to family get-togethers they usually make some sort of comment like, "There's the wine drinker!" <--- So, that's how they know me back home. "The wine drinker." Of all my accomplishments, there's one to be proud of.) 

We drove up to Napa for the day on our trip to San Francisco last month. We had planned to go last year but skipped out when the concierge at our hotel told us to "stay away" after all of the wild fires broke out in 2017. (I had sorta-kinda wanted to go anyway, but Kyle was like "LOL we're not going to Napa when everything is on fire."

So we compromised and went this year. Upon entering the town of Napa (the first stop on our "Napa Valley" itinerary), I texted my best friend back in Chicago and said "I want to have my Bachelorette party here", and she was like "Is this your way of telling me he proposed???" And I was like, "No. I'm just saying - when or if we ever get engaged, this is where I want my Bachelorette party. It's cute and classy." <--- Napa in a nutshell: Cute and classy. Also, there's wine. 

An Afternoon in Santa Barbara, CA.

I found a trendy, new thing that I wanted to try while we were in Santa Barbara. It was kind of like yoga... except it was goat yoga. Like, yoga - with goats.

"Doesn't that sound like fun?" I asked.

"You're not serious." Kyle said. And fine - maybe I wasn't being TOTALLY serious, but only because the class was being offered on Saturday and we had only planned to be in Santa Barbara through Thursday afternoon. 

Closet Tips | Transitioning to Fall.

Kyle and I just got back from Los Angeles last week, where we played one of our new favorite games called "complaining about the weather". Being from Chicago, we are used to things like - rain and snow and stay-inside-because-its-too-cold-to-go-outside temperatures. When Chicagoans complain about the weather, we are complaining because the air hurts our faces and our cars are stuck in a pile of snow somewhere.

When people in LA complain about the weather, they are complaining because it's, like, kind of cold. And is it... raining? Is that rain? Oh, no. "Geez! What is with this weather?"

That's what the bartender at our hotel asked us while we sat downstairs one night for a drink. "What is with this weather?" He asked, referencing the light drizzle outside.

Okay, so it was a little more than a light drizzle. It was raining. Maybe not "build an ark" rain - but full-on "it's gross outside", "get your umbrella" rain. There was also some lightening.

"But at least it isn't snow!" <--- That's what people in the midwest say. Because people in the midwest are familiar with snow and all of the delightful, messy problems it can bring to the party. But you can't say that when you're in LA, because it literally never snows in LA. So if Los Angeles-ians want to talk about the weather, a rare rainy day is their golden opportunity. Unless they want to say, "Can you believe how sunny it is today?", "I know. It is SO sunny." 

How to Reduce the Stress of Traveling.

Overheard at the terminal bar last week in the Kansas City airport-- guy asks the bartender if he can have a "mock tail" (similar to a cocktail, but with less alcohol - and by "less", I mean zero). The bartender says, "Sure. What would you like?" 

The guy doesn't know. He just stands there for a minute, like he's never been asked that question before. Finally he says, "Like, a wine?" 

First of all - the fact that he just called it "a wine" made my entire day. 

Now the bartender looks confused. I don't blame him. "Wine?" He asks. "So... juice." 

The guy shrugs. "Well, I don't know how you do it." 

I should also point out that this guy is well into his twenties - more likely early thirties. He is old enough to know what "a wine" is.  

My flight was boarding shortly after, so I don't know what happened next. I'm assuming he got his juice, asked the bartender to pour it into a wine glass, and then sent a Snapchat to all of his friends with the caption "Thirsty Thursday". 

24 Hours in Phoenix, AZ.

We made a pit-stop in Phoenix last year on our way from The Grand Canyon to San Francisco (which is not at all between "The Grand Canyon and San Francisco", for those of you familiar with geography, but it was one of the places that had an airport relatively nearby - and also because, during the planning process, I said, "Ooh! We should go to Phoenix! It's so cool! I was there a few years ago with some friends, we loved it.")

We LOVED IT. In hindsight, I'm trying to remember why we loved it - maybe it had something to do with the fact that it was -2 degrees back home and in Phoenix we got to wear bikinis and drink margaritas all day. That might have had something to do with it.  

But I managed to forget about all of that when I said "We should to go to Phoenix!", "It's going to be so fun!", "They have cactuses there!".... so we went to Phoenix. They have cactuses there. 

Focus on the good.

My flight home from Minneapolis was delayed on Thursday. Actually, my flight home from Minneapolis was delayed three times on Thursday. 7 o'clock, 8 o'clock, "hopefully we'll be out of here by 9," they said, "as long as the weather clears up".

It's always promising when the flight crew uses words like "hopefully" and "as long as".

I texted Kyle. "Looks like we're delayed again." Since he was supposed to be picking me up from the airport that night. "At this rate I won't get home until after midnight." And we both still had to get up and go to work the next morning.

Apparently there were storms in Chicago. At least that's that they kept telling us. I didn't see any of the little-rain-cloud-icons on my Apple Weather App (because as soon as they made this announcement - I whipped out my phone to double-check, like an asshole) - but otherwise, I had no reason not to believe them.

Why would they make that up? It's "raining" in Chicago - aka, the pilot is missing, or the engine fell out, or one of the wings snapped off on our last flight and we've got to duct tape it back together.... but... those things sound scary and hard to explain, so... "There are 'storms' in Chicago." (I don't really know how it all works, but I'm 99.9% certain this is not how it works.)

I tried to imagine a scenario where I walked up to the counter, pulled out my iPhone and said: "Um... excuse me? Hi. Yes." *shoves iPhone in their face* "According to my weather app here, it looks like there aren't actually any storms in Chicago. See? If there were, you would see little-rain-cloud-icons, but there aren't any. So..." *Points to phone, as if talking to my grandma* "Look - you can even scroll out to see the future forecast - this one can predict until 5AM tomorrow. And look! No rain! See?" 

I'm sure that would go over well. They would probably say, "You're right! Thanks for bringing that totally-accurate-weather-app to our attention! Our high-tech-weather-checker-thing must be broken. Alright, ya'll - hop on board!"

And then we would all die because the plane tried to land during a storm in Chicago. And the CEO of the airline would go on the news and say, "Yea, look, some girl told us it would be okay? She said this app on her phone was TOTALLY trustworthy. She looks at it every day to decide what she's going to wear! You know, like jeans, or a sweater- And it's only been wrong, like, ten percent of the time. We thought those were good odds!"

What to Pack: Beauty Essentials For Your Carry-on.

You know how grocery shopping has that cardinal rule about "never go shopping when you're hungry"? God forbid you end up with an extra bag of potato chips.

Sephora should have the same rule. Never go shopping when you're... feeling... shall we say, less than confident. Like, super-model-hot confident, particularly about your face. Because once you get in there.... well, that's it. Suddenly everything you see becomes THAT THING YOU NEED to be mistaken for a dewy-glowy Victoria's Secret model.

This concealer is $80, and claims to have "pore vanishing" powers? It also has the word "clinical" on it, so it must be legit. Everyone knows 'clinical' means 'doctor' - so buying this is kind of like having plastic surgery - for ONLY $80! That's a bargain!

This stuff is called "Poreless Finish Airbrush Powder"... Airbrush powder! Like how they airbrush supermodels on magazines? So if I wear this, people will believe that I look like a supermodel in real life? Well, YEA, duh.

I'm not making fun of people who shop in Sephora like this. Because I genuinely shop in Sephora like this. 

This foundation is called "Your skin, but better". So, people will think it's MY skin - just, better. Natural. Naturally flawless skin. This foundation is going to CHANGE MY LIFE... Face. It's going to change my face. Yay!

I'm not saying I'm PROUD of it, I'm just saying... I am easily swayed by marketing.