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Napa

I’ll be returning to Orange County tomorrow.

I’m still in wine country.

How much wine can I drink before I start fermenting?

Also?

I apologize to all my friends I *might* have drunk-texted while I’ve been here.

Also, again …..

One of my friends lined me up with absolutely amazing top-tier restaurant spots for every night I’m in Napa.

(La Toque, Morimoto, and Bouchon … so far!)

(Thank you Thomas Hawk!)

I’ve done nothing but drink fabulous wines and eat one delicious gourmet meal after another since I’ve been here.

I’ll need to go on a water-only diet when I leave.

I’ve been to Napa several times before, but it has been way too long since my last trip.

For years, my favorite wine has been the Cabernet from Regusci Winery.

Inside Regusci’s historic wine cellar.

Regusci is a small winery.

They rarely sell their wine to restaurants or even at the retail level.

I “discovered” Regusci when I was given a few bottles as a gift several years ago.

Since then, I’ve gotten a lot of my friends hooked on it.

I purchase it online since it isn’t available in retail stores.

I was delighted to finally have a chance to tour the beautiful (so photographic!) Regusci winery.

It was great to meet some of the people I’ve conversed with via phone for many years.

My time at Regusci was definetly a highlight of my trip.

I can’t wait to go through my photos and share with you how beautiful it is at Regusci Winery.

Another highlight was visiting Jarvis Winery yesterday.

(Thank you, Paul Newman, for the excellent recommendation.)

Jarvis Winery is so utterly amazing – it definitely needs a post of its own.

Again, I haven’t had time to even look at most of my photos.

I do have one I can share with you now though …

An underground waterfall in the Jarvis Winery cave.

The entire winery is built within a gigantic, 45,000 sq. foot, cave.

As you can see in the above photo, there’s even an underground waterfall in the cave.

It’s visually stunning -

And the Jarvis wines are absolutely superb.

I feel so fortunate to have had such fantastic experiences here.

To top it off, Napa weather has been perfect for my entire trip.

It’s been in the mid-70′s.

Wild California poppies are blooming everywhere.

It’s gorgeous.

Today …?

Well, today, I’m going to enjoy every single moment of my last day in Napa.

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Cheers!

I’ve had the most wonderful time these last few days ….

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

Today is Day #4 of this trip and I can’t wait to see what adventures it will hold.

San Francisco was exciting and busy and a whirlwind.

Napa has been a series of delicious wines, extraordinary gourmet meals, and the most beautiful warm sunshine.

I’ll have lots to get you caught up on when I return.

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Friday – Travel Day

Hello, hello.

This will be brief because I don’t really have time to write.

I had a great afternoon and evening with my friend, Thomas, yesterday.

I got some amazing photos of the city.

I always seem to have adventures when I’m with Thomas …

We might (ahem) end up in places where we aren’t supposed to be.

I’m taking a short drive to Napa this morning.

I’ll try to get a photo or two posted over the weekend.

In the meantime, if you’re interested, I’ve been trying to post a few quick snapshots of my adventures on Facebook and Instagram.

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Up, Up, And Away …

I’m in San Francisco today and part of tomorrow.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

I love my adventures up north.

It’s been about four months since my last visit, but it seems like much longer.

I, intentionally, didn’t overbook my brief stay in the city.

I’ll be bopping around to different locations over the next several days so blog posts might be sporadic.

I’ll update when I have time to do so.

(Paul Newman said he wants to see photos of grapes once I get to Napa.)

In other weird, annoying, news …

I’ve had an irritating, itchy, hot (!??!), rash on my bum arm and shoulder for over a week.

It’s driving me crazy and I have no idea what caused it or why it won’t go away.

I’ve tried cortisone cream and benadryl cream.

Did I mention it’s very uncomfortable?

If any of you have any ideas, suggestions, rash home remedies – please let me know.

Traveling, and shooting, with it isn’t ideal.

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Spring Shopping

I hate shopping, so it’s always noteworthy when I make even minimal effort.

(And, trust me, I never make more than minimal effort.)

I usually only go shopping if there’s an event I need clothes for.

Yesterday was no different.

I have places to go, and events I need to be at, over the next three weeks.

So, what did I do in preparation?

I bought a new pair of yoga pants.

Yep, I really did.

(And, I might even wear them while flying to and from various locations?)

I also bought a (cheap) small, travel, cosmetic bag to replace my grubby, old, one.

And now I’m ready for fine dining in Napa?

No?

Oh wait, I also got some mascara and a new pair of earrings.

I’m all set!

(Who wants to clean and pack my camera gear for me?)

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Missing Airplanes And Travel

I’m totally freaked out, and possibly obsessed, by the missing Malaysian airplane.

How can a gigantic plane, with hundreds of people on it, veer so far off course without anyone noticing?

And, how can it then just disappear without a trace?

I’m not a lover of air travel.

I endure air travel.

Given a choice, I avoid window seats on planes and always choose an aisle seat.

I have a fear of heights and of falling …

Dropping out of the sky on a plane would be my worst-possible-most-terrifying nightmare.

If there was a spider on the plane it would *really* add to my horror.

I spent an hour working out at the gym yesterday.

The entire time, I quizzed Baby Face about possible scenarios to explain the missing Malaysian plane.

I think he took great joy in coming up with new scary explanations just so he could see the terror on my face.

At the same time, I’m in the process of packing for a flight to Northern California.

That’s okay, I guess, because I feel pretty confident my upcoming flight will make it to the Bay Area.

Flights go back and forth between Southern and Northern California forty bazillion times a day.

What are the statistical odds of my plane flying from Southern California to the Indian Ocean and then disappearing?

Probably not great ….

Of course, I’ve also been thinking recently about some pretty major photography travel destinations.

I haven’t made any definite plans, but I’ve been thinking about Morocco, Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and many other vaguely-possible future trips.

Being obsessed with faraway photo adventures, and being simultaneously obsessed with a disappearing plane, is causing all sorts of chaos inside my brain.

Is it just me?

Or has the story of the missing plane captivated your attention also?

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Stone Brewery, Etc.

On Saturday, I visited Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido.

We had a hot, hot, weekend so it was a nice place to hang out for awhile.

The brewery has sliding glass walls that lift for an outdoor environment even when you’re indoors.

Stone 6 © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

Or, you can just sit outside as I did.

There’s an outdoor bar area, and gardens with tables, chairs and benches.

Stone 4 © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

The brewery serves good food, and a seemingly endless choice of beers.

A “home brewing” association was having an event at Stone while I was there.

I snuck into the event to see what exciting types of beer people are brewing at home these days.

Stone 2 © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

Do you make your own beer?

Personally, I’m not quite trendy enough.

Home brewing is so “in” right now.

It was amazing seeing how many people are making their own beer.

Stone 3 © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

Stone Brewery is HUGE -

It can comfortably hold thousands of people at a time.

It makes for great people watching.

I even made a few friends while I was there.

Stone 1 © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

Just be careful when it’s time to leave.

They warn you the ground is uneven on some of the garden paths …..

Stone 5 © SHaggerty 2014 W-1It’s far more likely you’ll be walking a little uneven from some of the beers you tried.

I doubt anyone would believe you if you told them you fell at the brewery due to “uneven ground.”

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A Little Of This, A Little Of That …

I have a few trips for various events coming up.

As always, I’ll try to bring you along if I can.

Here’s a list of several unrelated thoughts and/or news items:

•  If I’m only in San Francisco for one night, how many friends can I possibly see?

•  If I shoot Napa for four days … will I ever come home?

•  Why is everyone I know moving/relocating all at the same time?

•  I’m going to sell some gently used Canon equipment, mainly lenses.  Let me know if you’re interested.

•  Thank goodness for insurance on cell phones.  (Ahem, son.)

•  I’d rather have experiences than things.  (Except for my camera.  I have to have a camera to photograph the experiences.)

•  I’m contemplating going on a twelve day photography workshop in New Zealand for 2015.

•  The hardest thing about traveling is always leaving my dog.  Seriously.  It breaks my heart.

•  I’m so behind on so many important things right now – I feel overwhelmed.   (Big breath!)

•  I would take up yoga, so I could become all mellow and zen-ish,  but I would need arms.

•  My arm hurts.  (Whine!)  I need Paul Newman.  (Double whine!)  Luckily, I’m spending a portion of today with him.  (Now he’s whining?!)

•  The new extra-strong pain meds sit in the cabinet unused.  I stare at them.  They stare back at me accusingly.  I (stubbornly) refuse to try them.

•  I just ordered a new bathroom scale via Amazon.  It will arrive next week.  I’m afraid to step on it.

•  Amazon Prime is SO worth the money, even though the annual rate is going up.  I buy everything I possibly can online.

•  I wish I lived in a house with a library and a wooden ladder to access the books on high shelves.

•  On Sunday I’m getting together with a group of girlfriends for champagne brunch.  It will be a great break from the many projects I’m buried in.

•  Whee!  I have a new lens arriving this morning.  (I’ll have to carve out at least a couple hours to test it out this weekend.)