Napa Valley red blend - delicious.  Full bodied with blackberry, plum, tinge of smoke and lingers forever!

Hard to find but well worth it - and a great gift for the car lovers in your life or maybe for fathers day!

So Today is my websites 1 year anniversary - 
Lately I have been slacking - Life seems to have gotten busy but also I have gotten a tad lazy as well.  
In the last year I have traveled a ton, made amazing memories with friends (old and new), Lost contact with people that I thought I couldnt live without, had a million laughs with my grandparents, found out I am becoming an auntie, trudged through heartache and drank more wine then I should of.

A great year indeed....
As I read back on some of these posts- some of them made me really wonder if that was really me that wrote them.  Its crazy to look back and realize that I was living in a dark cloud for a little bit, that sometimes I was so thankful in life and in others I was happier then I had been in what seemed like forever.  Its pretty heartfelt and awesome to look back at your year and see how you have grown.  Its great to re-live some of those moments that I have had with my grandparents.  I found myself laughing out loud reading some of them and others I had to quickly push the arrow forward as I was embarrassed to read it- then realizing it was about myself and the world could read it made it even more uncomfortable.  

I also realized how many hidden meanings and things I would hide in my words.

My first 7 months of blogs had crazy titles and always a phrase to end the blog with - that was always lyrics to a song ....i am going to start that again - it was a neat idea.

I am going to make it more travel, wine and food focused starting today (as IPAD FINally has an app for my website carrier) and i promise to be more witty and educational.

Its time people - quit waiting - there is never going to be a "right" time

I have been really down the last 2 days. 
They kind of down that you have no control over.  
They kind of down that sneaks up on you and just seems to make a home in you, like a wood tick burrowing in your skin, thinking hes found a nice place to stay when really he is so unwanted.

My grandparents make me smile.  All the time.  
They always have.

Lately when I have been with them I find myself not smiling.  

I find myself worrying and trying to solve problems they have been encountering as they age.  For those of you that have gone through this, or are going through this.....Im sorry for you and please feel sorry for me back.  Its awful.  Pills, diapers, infections, the right food, cleanliness and the list could go on for pages more.  Its more than hard to watch.....Its stressful, draining and just plain awful.  And for them it must be so much worse.  My grandma has cried the last 3 times I've been there.  Shes sad and ashamed and embarrassed of things happening.  Things she doesnt have much control over....It has to be so hard to watch your husband, your life partner and love, start to fall away from reality.  To start forgetting who his grand kids are, to start forgetting if he ate lunch and to not remember the 3 words she has asked him to recite for the last 2 months about 10 times a day.....
She asks him over and over all day long and he was remembering at least apple for the first month or so.  Now he cant remember any, even if she just told him 2 minutes before.  I watch her face silently fall and her folded hands just twist her ring back and forth when he cant remember, likes shes trying to pray through her wedding ring... And he tries so hard and gets so frustrated.  And then Sometimes he doesn't even remember what shes talking about with reciting words....."Gram what are you talking about - words?" 
   But - If you want to know where he went while in the Navy on the boat in the war- He can tell you in detail.  He can tell you the names of most of his dogs for the last 40 years.  He can remember addresses and friends and how to run machines at Banta where he worked for many years.  He told my brother and I how to run a printing press yesterday, he talked about good management skills with bosses and how many loaves of bread he had to make on the boat for his men...
This coming from the man who didn't remember who my sister was, the man who constantly scans the room for grandma or me in a room full of family because he feels like they are strangers, the man who cant always make it to the bathroom and thought he was married to my gram for "about 30 years he guesses' - even though they just celebrated 62 years.  And when I told him 62 years he about had a heart attack that he lived with her for that long without kicking her out.  :)

They are amazing - but they are getting old and its overwhelming and so sad that my favorite, consistent loving part is coming to an end.  Its overwhelming that yesterday it all hit me and tears haven't seem to have stopped leaking through the cracks since. 
Its so sad thinking he may not remember me soon. 

Apple guitar and table ring through my head constantly.......

Dry creek - Its where the best Zinfandel in California is grown.....
Alexander Valley- Its were Cabernet Sauvignon loves to grow and takes on a tiny eucalyptus taste (i think anyway)

WHat happens when you blend these 2 wines together?  Besides delicious, best of both grapes, juicy, jammy yet structured and chewy tannins = you get Directors Cut Cinema

One of Francis Ford Coppolas' Delicious creations.....And I love it.  I loved it at a wine tasting where it was featured a couple months ago- I loved it at the winery a couple weeks ago and I loved it last night with a arugula, goat cheese salad.  I loved it today at lunch and I also loved the last glass of it tonight while working on the computer.  

Blends are not a new thing in the wine world.  But they are definitely in the spot light right now - You see them everywhere and I feel like I get about 3 new ones a week to sell.  But this one is different and not a "jammy explosion with no tannins" like most of those $10 ones that are coming into the market and leaving just as fast.
Some great quality ones besides Cinema are - Paraduxx by Duckhorn and the ever popular Prisoner which is owned by my favorite Chilean guy - Augustus Huneeus.  www

Directors Cut Cinema is about $25 a bottle
Paraduxx is about 40 

They are not every night wines but they are definitely Saturday night wines....So this Saturday go out and buy one - and let me know what you think.....

Waterfalls and many were on the way to Asheville from Charleston - by recommendation I decided to stop and find this certain falls - the directions written on a napkin from the server from the night before who grew up in that area..
Abut 30 miles from Asheville I turned off the highway and went 5 miles east, then after 3.2 miles, the old blue barn, 2 stop signs and over a tiny bridge, I pull off to the side of the road. I think its here.  I start my hike in with a beautiful blue sky above me and a little mud below me.  I can usually hike a mile in about 15ish minutes so thats how I calculate how far in Ive gone.  This guy the night before had told me it was about a mile in - but 45 minutes later I was still going BUT I could here water coming ahead.  So about 3 miles at least in... .
The farther I hiked the muddier it got and a little slippery...doesn't stop me. I didn't even think twice.
So I finally found the 3rd turn by the red barked tree and headed down.  It was really wet.  And muddy.  He had told me to rope down once you get about 1/3 down otherwise you wont be able to get down to the bottom.  NO problem I thought.   I was grabbing branching and tree trunks and slowly making my way down.  I tied the rope and slowly made my way down the rest of the 100 or so feet.  I slipped more then once but it wasnt bad.  And there it was.....beauty.  A grand waterfall with the clearest pool of water underneath.  I started jumping from rock to rock to try and get underneath the falls...and then I slipped and fell on my bum....and hard.  WOA!  just a reminder to be a bit more careful.  

I sat down and just watched from where I was for about 15minutes.  I figured since I was already down there I had to keep going right? so I did - and then I slipped on some mud - hard and knocked myself out....probably only for a second or two.  Scary.  I laid there and thought - woa- did I break something?  I felt something trickling down my leg- i was hoping for mud.  I slowly sat up and instantly felt dizzy and my body started to complain - (my bum and arms and knee)  
The ass of my pants was ripped out and there was blood running down....mud everywhere...both of my elbows and knees were bleeding and the back of my head too.  And what did I do.  Laugh.  I laughed knowing that I had just hiked 3 miles into the middle of nowhere, by myself, in the muddy spring, cascaded down a rope with no other way to get down OR up, where no one could possibly see me from the top, no one knew I was there but some server in Charleston south Carolina that probably didn't even think I would really go anyway.  I laughed that I didn't REALLY hurt myself, that my right ass cheek was showing to the world(or at least the squirrels that were laughing at me) and then I suddenly stopped laughing.  I had to somehow climb back up that rope, with a throbbing, bleeding right arm and a ripped, bleeding right ass cheek.  Awesome.  And I did it - and then started hiking out the 3 miles realizing that the beautiful blue sky had suddenly turned black and I could see lightning and hear thunder - and yes- it started getting breezy and blowy and started to downpour.  And I was hiking down the mountain in the mud. 
 I made it to my car-3 and a half hours after I had first left it.   I was soaked, had mud and blood stained clothes and my body was tired and throbbing.  It was awesome and stupid.  i got in the car and headed back to the highway to try and find a room for the night in Asheville and as I was driving I promised myself that was my last long hike without another person...
   I did find a great B&B to stay at - at Cumberland Falls on a last minute deal.  When I walked in I'm sure he looked at me and wondered what kind of gang fight I had been in...I looked awful.  I went up to my top floor room and took a bath with a glass of wine.  That night I went to dinner at Curate- a delicious Spanish tapas restaurant that reminded me of Jaleo- Jose Andres restaurant.  I had Gambas al Ajillo (shrimp and garlic), peppers and goat cheese, beet salad with marcona almonds, pork sausage with white beans, Manchego and prosciutto, and a couple glasses of tempranillo...THat shrimp dish, piquillo peppers and sausage were so flavorful and delicious. Some of the best food I had in the south east.....Awesome, rainy night dinner.  I also met a great older couple from Chicago that was getting married soon and so in love.  They added a great element to my night and I helped them pick out their dinner as they were "newbie foodies".  www.curatetapasbar.com 
The next day I drove down the Blue ridge parkway and hiked about 10 miles and saw 7 waterfalls.  I ended up in Atlanta for a very late dinner at Mortons ( a 22 oz porterhouse and a bottle of Paraduxx later).  A great adventure through Georgia, SOuth Carolina and North Carolina.  I will be back - Loved it

My best friend got married last weekend.  Honestly, I have never seen her look as beautiful as she did that day.  And not just by what she wore, but the way she looked at him and how every picture of them she had on a smile that she has "reserved" for him.  Its HIS smile....  

The best wedding ever. 
I was so stuck

what ifs, why nots, what nows, and whys

I felt awful.  I was sad, mad at myself, forgetting to be thankful, and not knowing how to turn it around.  I felt like I forgot how to smile and I couldn't remember the last time I laughed.  We have all been here...I couldn't get out of the mess I had created in my mind.

And then there was her

From the second I got there she made me laugh.  She made me smile.  She made me not forget, but look at it differently.  She made me feel pretty, she made me not feel guilty, ashamed or embarrassed.  And when I said she made me laugh, I mean laugh....belly laugh from deep inside...and over and over.  

Then I came back a month later - and we spent 6 days together laughing, and laughing and living life.  She is the most amazing, positive, addictively beautiful and make me laugh person I have ever had in my life.  

She has been my close friend for such a short time and has changed my life as I know it, forever. How had we not found each other until now?  How were all our friends the same and our paths never crossed until now?  I feel like this happened because it was finally the time when we were supposed to.  I only hope I can somehow return the favor someday.   I hope she is always there and here.  I hope she can even try to understand how she changed my life for the better.  How she cast a line out to reach me and reeled me back into a place I havent been in for a very long time.  A great place where life is so much better.  A place where smiles and happiness overrule everything else.  This person who is so like the person I used to be, this person who just came into my life....this person who I will try to be more like..This person who touched everyone elses life and I can only hope to make her smile and try to give her even a half of what she gives my life.  Shes amazing- shes happy - her smile is infectious.  He laugh and positive attitude and her love for food, wine, love and happiness makes me smile as I write this.  I could go on and on about her but the thing I want to say her to the most is Thank you- Thank you for being you Kila.  Thank you for being my friend.  And thank you for single handedly changing my life around.  Thank you for making me see me.  Thank you for making me laugh, smile and cry.  Thank you for understanding me.  Thank you for this smile that I smile as we speak.  

Thank you 

Maybe its the smell of lilacs following me in the spring night
Maybe its a new feeling from deep inside
Maybe its finally over
Maybe my heart finally caught up to my head

Whatever it is - I like it.
I waited for it.
Its here

Thank you