remember the mr yuck sticker of our younger years......we were little and we knew this meant - STOP NO- my mom had these stuck all over the house. 
I wish these stickers were used for certain things as adults- NO stop dont drive - you had one too many.  No dont call - bad!.   N0 - that 5th brownie is not smart.  NO that shot is not needed.  NO you dont need to buy that pair of shoes.  NO you dont need that new phone.  NO you dont need to have that cigarette.  NO you dont need a friend whos not a friend

a friend of mine told me today that Being a kid was so much easier. There was always the start over button to push because you had nothing to care for.  Thats why I think life is so much easier as an adult.  You DONT have the start over button so you have to constantly keep that in mind.   Besides the multiple day hangovers now being an adult is pretty amazing.  work doesnt feel like work most days.  My grandparents (whom i am spending the day with tomorrow so stories to come) are kind of healthy.  I dont have catty fights with my friends (well not important ones anyway)  I dont drunk dial or booty call.  All in all my mr yuck stickers are put away.  But for the important occasion when a mr yuck sticker is needed, i hope i have them available. 
  Life is full of important choices and Mr Yuck is my new friend helping me through them. 


I dont love you, I always will

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Door county - what a magical haven we have such a short drive away.

Within 2 hours you can be transported to a vacation summer dream.  - water, sunsets, parks, great food, cutesy shops, sailboats, and many smiley happy people.  Everytime I go up there I think, why dont i come here more often?

I ate at coopers corner in Fish creek - new restaurant - full of vacationers - tons of patio seating and so busy you want to eat there.  My food was good - plain basic grilled chix sany with avacado and cheese.....balsalmic pasta salad and apple slaw.  And a melony st supery sauvignon blanc.
Off to golf at The Orchards.  Ive golfed here before and enjoyed it. Actually one of my favorite golfing moments was there many years ago :)
perfect day to golf, hot, breezy....my golf game may not have been as amazing.
I stay at The lodgings at pioneer lane in Ephraim - yes Ephraim is a dry town and I dont care.  They have the best view of the sunset and a great beach area.  You can go sailing, kayaking, hang on the beach and get a memorable milkshake at wilsons all in 20 steps or less.  Lodgings at pioneer lane is a great place.  They are 'Green'.  Use high quality linens and all have fireplaces and whirlpools.  I love taking baths and took 2 in less then 20hrs. 
Had dinner at another Favorite - Inn At Kristofers.  drank Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc and sang happy birthday to my 36yr old brother.  we ate fruit and brie, escargot (gotta love those old memories of hobnobbin and snails) - chilled avacado with coconut curry soup, mango soup, steaks and halibut!
 Something about my brother turning 36 and his girlfriend sitting there with a pink sunset that seemed to last for hours - good night.  then why not make a quick turn into 'The Red Putter' for some buzzed up mini golf!  Holes in one galore!
Breakfast at the TOp hat - BOCCE ball on the beach! fun - stopped to pick some cherries for the road and before you could say 'are we there yet" BAM your home!  

I love door county and all it has to offer and will go back yet again this year.  A trip to Washing ton Island is on the horizon - maybe a sail or kayaking trip again - or maybe a romp with a horse at Kurts Corral - FUn

You must go if you havent been -


ive been waiting so long -


best moment of my day - My tanker Brock, falling asleep in my arms after he talked to me about life for 20 minutes -

 
 
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Confusion

what is it - knowing the difference between right and wrong?
or trying to figure out your next step?

Im confused why people care about certain things?
 why people like yellow mustard?
Why nfl players get paid so much?
Why I didnt go to college?
Why people start drama?
why people stay in unhappy relationships?
why I never knew how to work my overdrive?
Why sailing makes me sick
How to make the first step - or is it the final step?

Why is it so hard to know what to do? Confusion - oh the sweet sound of confusion
  oNE minute changes from the last......

my gram told me being confused is for people who dont know -
 thanks gram

I guess I dont know


lie in the dark with the sweet sounds of night  - looking at me looking at you

 
 
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I am back to reality and have decided  to get back on track

Dreams - what are yours?

I have all these things I want to do - for me and for others too - but personal growth is  on the front burner right now.

Some things I conquer somewhat quickly - like buying plane tickets to somewhere new on a drop of a dime (or one too many glasses of wine), or getting in the car and leaving for a day or 2 to someplace I heard of from friend of a friend
 
Some things take longer - like this website took to get going, studying for my CWE, and my ass to be smaller

Some things have been sitting there for a long time and arent ready to happen or some can happen and I dont know why I dont follow through on them - like moving to California, getting married in a garden of flowers on a sunny day, and drinking Champagne in Champagne.

Ive decided there is so many reason why we dont live our dreams out,  - we are scared, nervous, lazy, busy......I am going to continue the journey through and that last list will be c hecked off soon enough


living is not as hard as it seems

best part of my day - Olivia (4yr old) telling me she loved my blue toenail polish and she loves it when I come over - Then as I was leaving she ran outside to give me another hug and kiss - you can t pay for that feeling.  Its innocent and amazing


 
 
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Everything youve heard about Italy is true
The food - ahhh - the food.  The best eating I have done in my life.  FRESH, Local, delicious, simple food.  every city is different even if only 5 miles apart.  local cuisine is real here and traditional

The scenery - Vineyards, olive trees, rolling hills in Tuscany, the alps, the sea, the 14th century castles I walked through, ate in and listened to jazz by moonlight - where else can you do that?

The People - Men are secure with themselves and wear clothing that is stylish and sometimes taken as feminine.  Older handsome men - a - plenty (yes I was in salt and peppa heaven) Men are also very protective of their family and were very affectionate.  Families were always together - even at 11pm people were out with their children.

the wine - also very local, each area makes their own kind of wine and thats what they drink.  It is also not expensive.  And they drink wine at all meals (I have almost convinced  myself that I am part Italian - not just a norwegian) Most Italian wine is meant to drank with food.  It is not to get drunk with.  I like that and I agree.

Espresso - never order a double, or an americana, or a cappacino - just an espresso - slam and then done

Ahh the food - did I say that best I have ever eaten in my life - Seriously - just go there for the flippn food please!

I will go back to Italy - this time I will not have an itinerary.  I will float around Italy and eat and drink and be merry - I love the lunches that lasted so long they lead to dinner.....life is good


 
 
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So Italy in a nutshell- I went from Milan, to piedmonte, to laguria, to emilia romagna, to Tuscany to Umbria to Rome......in 10 days

It was beautiful, delicious and amazing.  I met 8 men whom with which we not only shared the love of wine and knowledge, but the passion for this business.  We also shared part of ourselves.  when you have a small bus full of  people that have brains packed full of vino knowledge and we look at the soil, the families, the details, the love that goes into every single bottle on some wines and the $ clinking in on others, that appreicate food, that want to try a new way, a new type, that ask questions and questions that would blow your mind kind of questions.  And drinking - we were good at it.  Eating - bring it on. SOmetimes 10+ courses at our 3 hour lunches, sometimes 20 bottles of wine....  And boy did we eat.....and drink.  A LOT.  what an experience.  I was given a chance, and I am truly honored, to run loose with 5 other working sommeliers to talk about life, love, wine, food.  And we ran loose in small towns, wineries, vineyards, cheese factories, cooperages, busses, pools, cafes, restaurants, patios, and cities.  our host coined the term "hostess with the mostess"  Our camera guys were the cooles 2 cats (no pun intended with the joke Jason) ever.  (of course havent seen the footage yet)
 I made memories that I will remember when I look back at my life and think of my favorite moments.  And those 8 boys I will remember too.  As not only soms, but these 8 crazy guys who were super aweome and I went to Italy for my first time with.  Thanks guys - Cheers to us
 
 
Im home and looking back at how badly I did on my blog while I was gone.  It was next to impossible to keep up.  Wifi was almost never available until the end of the day (maybe) and then I had been eating and drinking and running around for 16 hours and was so exhausted (and buzzed maybe) that it was time to be horizontal for some shut eye.

I will tell you - day 4 we went to emilia romagno and visited albinea canali.  tried many lambruscos (and yes even riunite!) food was amazing.  Then off to Parmesano Reggiano.  Learned how to make the cheese and got to sit back and eat it with a fresh lively off dry lambrusco.  Next day to Banfi where we drank, and drank, and ate.  Did a sangivoses clonal seminar which was intensely interesting.  we drank all of Banfi's super tuscans, went through a bunch of different vineyards, tasted their brunello in multiple years- THEN went to lunch. all of that before noon can hurt!.  Rudy Baratti took us through the facility that day.  Hes the head winemaker and very passionate.  Then off to Montalico to tour a 14th century castle and do a 14 brunello blind tasting.  Ouch.... Then dinner - wild boar with polenta was a star....and the beef cheeks....then off to the castle to watch Jazz in the middle of the castle by moonlight - FULL moonlight.  The longest day of the trip and bed was a must that night for all of us!  A day of Brunello is never a bad day - Ciao
 
 
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So today was long and short all at once. We went to 1 of only 2 cooperages in italy today - gamba. They specialize in very big barrels and also small barriques. The smell was amazing. Mostly french oak. If youve never thought about how a wine barrel is made, only how it may look as a planter, please think about it. It is "seasoned" outside for about 3 yrs and then the oricess stars if cutting and hand doin these barrels, hand hammering the staves, toasting the insides over the open fires. Boiling the long and big slats for holding tanks. Transporting around the winery.  Really its such a labor intensive job and that is why a french oak barrel can cost over 1000 a piece. Most only use it 2 times. Wow
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Then off to a truck plaza (auto grill) for lunch. Lars said big difference in how our american truck stops are compared to italys and he was right. Food was awesome. Had pasta with homemade red sauce and a fresh salad and huge piece of watermelon. Then a 2 hr drive to reggiano emilia to see where lambrusco is made and different grapes  Yes riuite lambrusco. But they make menu dry lambruscos which are tasty. Then a italian winemaker and guide conducted a formal tasting of 12 then dinner time.
Dinner was 2 diff kind of pasta. One was homemade ravioli with spinach ricotta and swiss chard.
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Woke up early and walked thru the streets. What a nice little city. Tiny cobble streets. And espresso everywhere. Had a great continental breakfast of croissant and nutella and ham and cheese sandy. Coffee so strong it hurt which I Like.

We were off to vigne regale winery. Started right off at 10 am tasting 20 plus wines. Sparkling wines with cuvee aurea rose being my favorite. Then many vintages of dolcetto and then a new grape project which only 4 producers are doing-albarossa ( hybrid of nebbiolo and barbera). Many more. Then we went through the winery and barrel sampled, then through the winery and bottling line where sparkling was being bottled (charmat process) which means they dont do it in the bottle itself but in tanks. Then we had a 3 plus hour multicourse lunch with bottle after bottle of wine. Some of my favorites with lunch were fresh greens beans, fresh cantolope so sweet that it was like candy, grilled tenderloin, grilled zucchini, tomato mozz, pickled chicken, raw beef tartare. Then my fv part. Cheese and meat. So many cheeses I couldn't choose. And stinky. Holy shit stinky. And my new love-pork filet wrapped in salami. All cured and sliced and so delicious.  Enrico said this was only made here in acqui. I think it was called filet brosilio. So delicious. Then espresso after espresso and dessert wine after dessert wine- moscato, braquetto, grappa, acquavit, and then dessert. Chocolate custard, white pistachi cake, nut cake..wow. Full. Then off to sweat. We went out to vineyards and it was 95 plus out and boy were we ALL sweating to death. We first went and saw albarossa and dolcetto vines. Whiter schist soil with less clay then gavi the day before. Just a couple miles up we saw pinot nero that goes into sparkling production and it was very red soil ( from all the clay). We tried taping today a lot but after that long lunch we had trouble keeping it clean and we were all sweaty pigs so we easily didn't tape well today.

Back to hotel and on the hunt for some amazing italian shoes. Only I found was tons of cankles. Yes cankels why doesnt anyone have ankles in this city? 

Then it was time for dinner. Yes more food and wine. Went to curina. Had foccacia and rose and dolcetto with a chill. Had an indigenous grape called rouschette? And it was stinky and flavorful. Had goat cheese, anchovies and red peppers. Then fresh porcinis with homeade pasta and olive oil.  Calf liver with onions that melted in the mouth. Fresh goat shoulder so tender and flavorful. Didn't want to stop. Cod with pickled tomatoes. Vegetable hash. Then dessert and chinotto. Fernet popped its head up again too. What a perfect night to eat outside. Bed for me. And my stomach is so full!  I feel and extra 3 lbs today for sure. Wow. Tomorrow is another big day.

Everyone is very educated but wild and amazing and everyone has their opiion and is not afraid to voice it which I like. Enrico and lars are amazing hosts and francisco a great driver. What a lucky girl I am. 

As a nightcap we all went for a beer (which I didn't have) but they give u a plate of watermelon and apricots to feast on with ur nightcap. I love this tradition. 

Nighty night

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So....I write this from Aqui Italy in piedmonte. There is music blasting and kids and people everywhere. And its monday night and late,  its 1123pm and I'm in the hotel lobby.  Internet isnt avilable everyhere like it is in us so this is the first time I've had any service at all. My phone doesnt work at all. Sprint will be getting words with me as they said it was completely set up and good to go.

Anyway to the good stuff

I left and went to airport. No joke. They said I didnt have a ticket. I had to buy a $9800.00 ticket and l was on my way. Deal with that later!!! Detroit to NY. NY met the boys I was traveling with. Aaron from san fran. Harmen from naples. Mike from ny. Jason from chicago. Daniel from palm beach. Lars is our "translater", tour guide etc from ny. Then Jackson and Jason from beverly hills show up with bags of cameras and equipment. We are being taped for a documentary. Oh oh. I better be good!

I will tell u first class is the only way to fly internationally. I was blown away. Had mechanical chairs and ur own little cubby that goes into a laydown bed. Massager. I watched 3 movies with my free bose earphones. They had pillows, blankets, champagne, water and a 4 crse dinner paired with wine. They give u a little carryon with socks mints toothpaste etc. U can charge all ur phones, comp, etc. U have ur own tvs and anything u want is at ur fingertips by a push of a button. Im telling u for a 8 hr flight, I felt like I was at my own home and didnt even know I was flying.  So impressive.

Got to italy had an espresso and a shot of fernat. At 8am we headed to gavi piedmonte right away. Vineyard tour and wnery wour. So interesting how cortese ( the grape)is trellised and the soil is 30 clay. 30 sand. 30 limestone.   Vigne regali. Headed to lunch. Im not kidding when I say it took 4 hrs. We had 10 courses of food- marlin carpaccio, stuffed squash blossoms with cream and truffles, homeade mushroom ravioli with black truffles and parmesan, lightly smoked raw beef with olive oil and celery, hazelnut cake, grilled peaches, chocolate gelato, basil and roasted red pepper risotto, foccocia with red pepper ricotta  are just some of the courses  and bottle after bottle of wine. Then espresso fernat and grappa. The winemaker and vineyard manager were with us and educational and fun.

Then realizing we had been drinking for 2 solid days with no sleep- checked in our hotel and I took an hour nap and then preceded to dinner.  Had the most delicious swordfish with roasted potatoes and zucchini. Then " the butterflies" bowtie pasta with basil, prosciutto and olive oil.  Then a huge slice of watermelon for dessert.  Yes watermelon. The best I've had in yrs. I am completely exhausted and feel I've already gained 5 lbs! 

Wines today
Principessa gavi
Principessa perlante gavi
Lardi dolcetto di acqui 08 and 10
Banfi rosa regale
Banfi brut
Fernat ( not wine but liquid bitterness) 

Best part of my day-the food!

   

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