Less than two weeks into the summer season and it seems that there is no shortage of exciting things to do, taste and see around here. It’s summer fun in California’s Wine Country and I am grateful I get to take part in some of it!
Although technically Bill and I celebrated his birthday at the coast in the RV several days ago, he was under the weather the entire time so we didn’t enjoy it the way we would have liked.
Once he was back to 100%, Tori and I took him over to Napa Valley for a belated birthday dinner. First we stopped off at Brix to enjoy a cold drink during their fantastic Happy Hour.
They have a lovely lawn and garden behind the restaurant with several conversation areas. It’s surrounded by rose bushes, rows of vines and an expansive culinary garden. I love this time of year when the grapes start filling out.
Since it was weekday, the crowds were few. We were the only people in the garden and had a nice time enjoying the summer sunshine.
The birthday boy enjoyed himself and even posed for a photo.
Normally we would have eaten dinner at Brix as their food is wonderful. But Bill really loves the French Dip sandwiches at Rutherford Grill and had been talking about how he hadn’t had one in a long time. So we drove a few miles up the valley and had dinner there, finishing dinner up by sharing birthday ice cream cookie sandwiches among the three of us.
It was a terrific summer evening and I am so glad the three of us could finally go out and celebrate Bill’s birthday properly. On our drive home over the hill, we pulled over to take some photos of the gorgeous sunset overlooking Sonoma Valley. Breathtaking!
Also last week, on June 29th, The Rich Life turned 6 years old. It’s hard to believe I’ve stuck with the blog this long and I am so glad I have.
I mentioned that fact to Bill in passing when he got home from work. To my surprise and delight, he promptly told me to put down the pots and pans, hang up my apron and get dressed for dinner. We went out to celebrate the occasion with an al fresco dinner at one of our favorite Wine Country restaurants, Aventine in Glen Ellen. What a sweetheart he is!
Last Thursday I attended Sharon Santoni’s book signing at Chateau Sonoma. Susan of Une Femme told me a few weeks ago that Sharon would be signing her latest book, My Stylish French Girlfriends, in Sonoma. So I made a point of going. I went with my friend Michelle and we each bought Sharon’s book for her to sign.
I had the lovely surprise of seeing Elizabeth of The Vintage Contessa at the event and meeting her friend Shireen.
I also saw friend and professional photographer, Sarah Deragon, who took a couple of photos of me. Thank you, Sarah!
After the book signing, Michelle and I headed over to the newest and hottest restaurant in Sonoma, Tasca Tasca. We have been there a few times since it opened and always order the shishito peppers with sausage, fingerling potatoes and beet salad. This time we tried the escargot (in the small cast-iron skillet) and kale salad. They are both must-have-agains!
Sunday, July 3rd, Bill and I attended the Spirit of ’76 party, a special anniversary celebration at Iron Horse Vineyards, known around the world for their wonderful sparking wines.
Spirit of ’76 celebrated the 40th anniversary of when Audrey and Barry Sterling founded the winery. They were both present at the event, along with their gracious and welcoming daughter, Joy Sterling.
A special sparking wine, Spirit of ’76, was made just for the event and only in magnums. It was delicious!
It’s such a special treat to spend time at Iron Horse, especially at the home of Barry and Audrey. I love to walk around their colorful garden, which even has a bed!
Bill and I had the pleasure of attending another fantastic event there last year, celebrating Earth Day. You can read about that event here.
More photos from their gardens…
A reception at the Sterling’s home on the property, which was built in 1876, was followed by marching band, the Hubbub Club, leading us to the Corral for lobster rolls, bison sliders, corn on the cob, watermelon, cherry pie and, of course, bubbles!
The fried chicken and bison sliders were so delicious. And I loved the seersucker napkins!
What a fun and festive celebration! Bill and I saw some of our friends while we were there too, which made the event even more special.
On July 4th, we attended a pool party in Sonoma at the gorgeous home of some friends.
It was so relaxing and easy, just what we wanted after an active week. We were in our pajamas watching the news when most everyone else was out watching the fireworks. I hope, if you celebrated, you had a wonderful Independence Day too!
I am so excited about this month as it will continue to be full of fun events. This Friday I am heading to Healdsburg with three of my girlfriends to experience a special package offered by 235 Luxury Suites and several other Healdsburg businesses.
This fabulous Girlfriends’ Getaway Special includes two nights accommodations, a $300 dinner credit at at Café Lucia, tickets for 6 to the Savor Healdsburg Food Tours, wine tasting at Portalupi, and a tea tasting and green tea spa experience at The Taste of Tea. We are all so thrilled and can hardly wait to head to Healdsburg!
The Girlfriends’ Getaway Special is available September 23 – 25th. It’s an amazing deal and a great reason to plan that Wine Country weekend with your girlfriends you’ve been wanting to take! Get your friends together – up to 6 – and reserve your space now. Packages are going fast!
You can follow our adventure along on Instagram (@therichlifeinwinecountry).
One more thing!
July’s How I Wear My is next week and the theme is TUNIC.
Show us how you style a tunic top or tunic dress. Whether it’s long or short sleeved, with a collar or without, and includes lace, embroidery, embellishment or is a solid color, we can’t wait to see how you’ll style your tunic!
Send a photo of you wearing your tunic to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 11, 2016 and be sure to tell us a bit about your outfit.
Make it a rich day!