Napa birthday to me!

Trying to play catch-up here after a tumultuous March...and realizing that the kind of week where I'm working 12-hour days all said and done isn't really the week to try to do this, but oh well! 

I've had an utterly delightful first winter in California. And yes, I'm aware that telling all of you that, especially as Minnesota braces for like six more inches of snow this weekend or whatever, is probably really mean of me. But...SORRY! Come visit me sometime for a hit of sunshine and warmth, why don't'cha? 

Anyway, one of the highlights of the winter was for sure my parents' trip out here for my 29th birthday! (Yes, I am that cool girl who voluntarily spends birthdays with her family. My parents are awesome. Be jealous.) They arrived to weather in the mid-seventies, and we spent their first day here dining al fresco, drinking wine on our deck, and watching the Olympics opening ceremony. But on Saturday morning bright and early...

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...we headed up to wine country! Sonoma, specifically, because we prefer it to Napa. Not that I don't love Napa, but Sonoma has such a more laid-back, charming, rustic thing going on that I can't help but give it a special place in my heart.  

We started the day at a family fave, La Crema's Estate at Saralee's Vineyard. (Ready for a blast from the past? Take a peek at my family's first trip there, before I even decided to move to California!)

I'm a member at La Crema, so we got to do a private tasting upstairs in the members' lounge (which I would like to move into at their earliest convenience, please). 

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Of course, we left with a little bubbly in tow...

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...plus a case of wine for good measure. Schwegmans don't screw around! 

Our second stop was new to all of us, but came highly recommended by Ashley at La Crema. DeLoach Vineyards specializes in pinots and is part of the highly-regarded Jean-Charles Boisset wine family. 

We fell in love with their fantastic "open-air photo booth" at first sight...

...and proceeded to fall in love with their fantastic wines, so much so that Mom and Dad joined the club in my name! They get all the wine sent to them, but every time I go to Sonoma, my friends and I can visit and taste for free at any JCB winery. I've already made a second stop there and can't wait to visit their other properties! 

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...and ending on a lighter note...Dad learned to take selfies, and the world will never be the same. 

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More birthday fun to come soon!