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. 

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. 

Exploring the Grand Canyon.

I had been to the Grand Canyon once before. Which is not to say that when Kyle and I discussed visiting the Grand Canyon on our trip to Vegas last year, I was like - "yawn, snore - seen it, no thanks" --- but I figured you should know this for two reasons: 

1) Because I - for some completely stupid reason - believed this made me an expert on all things 'Grand Canyon'. At least once I said, "No, we need to go this way. I remember from when I was here before." (Keep in mind that I can barely remember where I parked my car in the Target parking lot after thirty minutes - but, sure, I remember this dirt path from my two hours spent at The Grand Canyon four years ago.) And also -

2) I was the WORST  tour guide. For someone who has actually BEEN to the Grand Canyon before - I know shockingly little about it. We pulled up to the entrance where they were doing helicopter tours, and I actually said "Oh wow, they do helicopter tours?! That's so cool!" So. There's that. *Also - in case you didn't know, they do helicopter tours. 

I won't bore you with details about my trip there from 2014. Mostly because it was two hours spent walking around with my friend saying, "Oh, will you take a picture of me by this rock?" and then taking pictures of my friend when she asked, "Hey! Will you take a picture of me on this ledge?" And then we left. Because once the profile-picture-taking-game was over, we ran out of ways to entertain ourselves. "The Grand Canyon seems like more a 'family' vacation spot," we said - whatever that means. Like it's the equivalent to Sea World.  

Getting out of your comfort zone.

We went hiking on one of our first dates. I say "one of" because neither of us can remember which "one" it was. I think it was the sixth or seventh, and Kyle thinks it was, "Maybe the fourth? Fifth? I don't know."

Here's what I can tell you - it was late enough in the game that we were comfortable spending an hour and twenty minutes in the car together, yet it must have been in the EARLY stages, because I remember waking up at 6 AM to shower and "get ready".

Get ready. For hiking.

A day in the woods. Weaving through trees. Climbing over rocks. Walking through spiderwebs.  Doing that thing people do where they take really big, wide steps over puddles and act all, "What? Like it's hard?"

Travel Diary: Las Vegas, NV.

I would love to be the kind of blogger who can start off a travel diary by saying, “Earlier this year, I booked a spontaneous trip to Las Vegas!” and make it sound totally normal. Like I’m the whimsical kind of girl who does this sort of thing all the time. “It was completely spur of the moment, tickets were cheap, and I thought – hey, why not! Let’s go to Vegas!”

 “Hey, why not! Let’s go to Vegas!” is not something I’ve ever said in my entire life. I was whimsical for about twenty minutes. The twenty minutes that it took for some woman on the phone to convince me that Vegas was all the rage. “Oh, you haven’t been to Vegas?!” She asked in a tone that suggested ‘but eeeeeveryone’s been to Vegas!!!’. (But, like, in a nice way? I don’t know. It was weird.)

The woman calling me worked for the hotel chain that I frequently use when traveling for business trips (therefore they assumed that I would have the money to, you know, travel). “Now is a GREAT time to come out to Las Vegas.” She said – (as if she would have called me to say, ‘You know, maybe now is not such a great time’) – “We just opened up a BRAND NEW hotel on the strip...