A Month of Travel


Oh boy, what a terrible blogger I am announcing in June that I have returned to blogging, write one post then disappear for over a month.

My husband and I traveled so much in July – some planned, some unexpected – I think we only slept in our bed 6 or 7 nights all month.

In early July we went away with a group of friends to a ranch in Cloverdale for a couple nights for the July 4th holiday. It’s a gorgeous property, owned by the family of one of our friends. The six of us – three couples – had such a fun time and made some wonderful memories.

Two days after coming home from Cloverdale, we were off again. This time we traveled to North Carolina for 10 days to see my mother and her husband. They live on a big lake so we went out on their patio boat almost every day, played with their adorable dogs and just relaxed! I ate all my southern food favorites including grits, country ham and turnip greens.

It had been such a long time since I had seen my mother. It makes me sad we live so far apart but I have a full heart now that we had a long and wonderful visit. I plan to visit at least once a year from now on. In fact, we’re considering another visit this fall.

One day after returning from North Carolina, we were invited to spend the weekend with Bill’s best friend (who introduced Bill and me back in 1998) and his wife and another couple at a vineyard cottage on a winery’s property in Napa Valley. Although I planned to do household things, run errands and pack for our next trip that weekend, we could not pass up the offer to spend time with them. We haven’t seen these friends in such a long time and we always enjoy their company.

We came home at the end of the weekend away in Napa Valley, packed our bags and got back on the road early the next morning to drive to Oregon. My stepdaughter Tori moved to the Oregon Coast at the end of 2017 to start her new life with her boyfriend, Joe. With her two siblings each getting married and her grandfather passing away this year, we have seen quite a bit of Tori here in California but we had yet to see where she lives.

Tori is currently earning her master’s degree in special education and had a light schedule in late July so we thought it would be the best time to visit. We spent a week in Oregon and had a lovely time with Tori, Joe and his family. Along with visiting some spots along the Oregon Coast, Bill and I also took a couple of days to see Ashland and Eugene.

After all that traveling we missed being home and plan to stay put for the next month or two – maybe longer. Since we returned home a week ago, Bill has resumed painting the interior of our home while I am working on the never-ending project of decluttering and organizing the house.

While we were traveling, our friend and artist Nora Russo worked on our fireplace wall by re-plastering and painting it. Nora plastered and painted it, then added some fruit and vines, about 14 years ago. We loved it for many years but recently we decided we wanted something simpler and lighter to brighten up the den. Here is how the wall was for 14 years:

And here is how it is now. I love it!

At some point we will add a painting or something above the mantle. But for now, I am enjoying the simplicity of this look.

When I do get on my laptop it hasn’t been to blog, as you can tell. I mostly look at Pinterest for ideas for our backyard redo and color palates for when it comes time to paint the exterior of our house. I also search online for a new bedroom set for one of our guest rooms.

So while July was all about travel, this month will be about home improvement projects, checking a few to-dos off the list like getting a Real ID and having my first colonoscopy (eek!). We just got a top notch Pilates reformer so I spend at least an hour in our home gym everyday. I am in love with it! I am hoping I can get Bill to use it too.

Thanks for letting me share my travel stories with you.

Hope you all had a great July!

What plans do you have for August?



  1. August 6, 2018 / 7:16 pm

    Hi A!!

    LOVE to see all of your photos and hear about your many vacations in July! Joe and I are so happy you two came to visit, it was too much fun showing you around Oregon 🙂 We look forward to many more visits in the future, I love you A!


    P.S. the new paint in the house looks great!!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      August 7, 2018 / 8:04 am

      Hi sweetie! Your dad and I loved our visit with you, Joe and his family and of course, Moose!
      Thank you for showing us around the gorgeous area where you live. I loved our walks in the forests and seeing those lovely lakes.
      See you in a few weeks! Love you lots….and yes, the new paint does look great. Your dad is very busy painting this week – and last. Maybe he will be all done by the time you guys get here.
      Love you! xoxoxo

  2. August 6, 2018 / 8:39 pm

    Well that was a whirlwind month to say the least. But isn’t it wonderful to be able to just spontaneously go!!! And I absolutely loved that you did just that. A house and all the organizing and redecorating will still be there waiting for you but the memories you made wouldn’t have happened.
    Thanks for sharing all your fun travels with us. Gotta love the Oregon coast, our son has lived there for the last 7 years. I miss him terribly but it’s sure a great place to visit.
    I hope to see Utah soon on you travel schedule.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      August 7, 2018 / 8:10 am

      Hi Trina,
      So wonderful to hear from you! I do love to spontaneously travel – with 4 dogs and a chicken, it’s not always easy to find a house sitter on the fly but we lucked out last month and had great people staying here and taking care of things. If we get an RV, we can take the dogs with us – and will only need a chicken sitter 😉
      The Oregon Coast is just stunning. I made Bill pull over at loads of roadside viewing points and we were never disappointed that we did.
      I would LOVE to come see you in Utah. When we had my dad’s RV for many years, we did a 30 day trip around the west including Utah, but we only spent time in Moab. I’d love to see SLC and visit Zion and Bryce. Haven’t been to the two latter since I was a kid growing up in Las Vegas.
      I will keep you posted on our RV purchase plans. I am in favor of getting one this year but Bill thinks it’s better to wait until 2019. No matter what, I am so excited at the prospect of having one again!
      I hope you and your family are doing well and enjoying the summer. Hugs to you! Adrienne

  3. August 6, 2018 / 11:25 pm

    That has been a pretty good July month! Isn t it great to spend so much time together!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      August 7, 2018 / 7:46 am

      Hi Nancy, How are you? It is great to spend so much time together. Thank goodness we get along so well! Hope you’ve been well and happy August!

  4. Rosemary
    August 7, 2018 / 1:13 am

    Perfect start to my day … an early walk in the sunshine, a great coffee and a new blog post from you! 🙂 So good to hear from you Adrienne.
    As always, great to see your photos and enjoy travelling along with you. Oregon has been added to my wish list .. ha ha … the coastline looks beautiful. What a gorgeous area for Tori and Joe to move to.
    Where your mum lives looks so lovely too … ( I loved North Carolina) and how great that you got to spend so much time together … it’s tough living so far away from each other.
    Good Luck with your colonoscopy… I feel it’s definitely worth having these investigations, to keep a check on what’s happening in our bodies that we may not be aware of … hopefully everything will be fine.
    Decorating and de cluttering … I’m feeling so guilty, that’s exactly what we need to be doing! 🙂 but we’ve still a bit more travelling to do this month … yep! I realise just how very lucky I am 🙂
    Have a great week Adrienne
    Love and hugs Rosemary xxxx

    • Adrienne Shubin
      August 7, 2018 / 8:20 am

      I felt like such a jerk for announcing my return to blogging regularly, then dropping the ball. Since Bill retired, I find I don’t have as much alone time to blog. And when we travel, I am living in the moment more than every before, which I love!
      I think you would love Oregon. Portland is a fun city and the coast is just gorgeous. I also adore Oregon wines. They make fantastic Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris wine. I wish I would have bought more of it to bring home with us.
      It is so hard living far away from one’s mother. Many people I know don’t have their mother anymore so I hate to complain about distance. I am glad we had such a great visit with her and her husband, who we adore.
      I am not looking forward to this week’s colonoscopy at all but I need to do it now that I am 50. If my results come back great, I won’t have to get another until I am 60 so that’s good!
      We will be traveling again this fall and the decluttering and organizing will have to be put on hold!
      Hope you are having a great week. Hugs to you too! xoxox, A

  5. Rosemary
    August 7, 2018 / 1:18 am

    Hi Adrienne
    Just left a long comment but it seems to have just disappeared. 🙁 I’ll wait a while before re writing though … with fingers crossed that it re appears! 🙂
    Meant to add how much I love the new paint effect on your fireplace wall
    Rosemary xx

    • Adrienne Shubin
      August 7, 2018 / 7:45 am

      Hi Rosemary,

      Because of spammers I have comment approval on so it sometimes takes a bit before I approve it. It’s a pain for me and the commenters but those spammers are ruthless! The good news is I got your long comment 🙂
      I love the new fireplace wall. I think it looks so fresh and bright without overpowering the room. xo

  6. August 7, 2018 / 5:44 am

    Wow – what a whirlwind! So glad you had such a wonderful visit with your mom, and also with Tori.
    Love the change to the family room wall – looks so clean and fresh.
    And how fantastic to have your own reformer – congratulations.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      August 7, 2018 / 7:40 am

      I love the reformer so much! I have a longtime friend who is a Pilates and yoga instructor. She came over yesterday and gave me a great workout. I know a lot already having taken lessons for about 7 months this year but sometimes I just can’t remember beyond the same old exercises. She is going to come once a week for awhile and hopefully I can get Bill in on it too. His back would really benefit from the reformer.
      We are really happy with the new wall. I love the color and it has lightened up a darkish room.

  7. holly
    August 7, 2018 / 9:10 pm

    Oh Em Geee – those dogs of your Moms are adorable – i immediately broke out in baby-talk when i saw them. Looks like you had a great vacation!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      August 8, 2018 / 8:47 am

      Hi Holly,
      Aren’t they the cutest? I love them in their little life jackets.
      We did have a great vacation – very relaxing and fun!

  8. August 10, 2018 / 8:53 am

    Wonderful GET -A-WAYS!!!
    That is what summer is for relaxing and enjoying!
    YOU look GREAT in the photos……….
    I didnot realize you were from back East!A SOUTHERN GAL!!!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      August 20, 2018 / 9:59 am

      Hello Elizabeth!
      So lovely to hear from you. I was born in North Carolina but only lived there as a baby/toddler. However, I was raised by a 100% southern mother and have visit NC many, many times.
      July was full of travel for us and August has been the opposite. We work on a house project every day but tomorrow we will be giving that a rest and are heading to Carmel for a couple of days to visit Bill’s youngest kid who is there visiting her mother’s side of the family. She lives in Oregon and we don’t know when we will get up there again so we decided to take advantage of her being closer to pop down for a visit.
      I hope you’re having a wonderful summer – I believe you have been entertaining a lot lately, yes? I will have to stop by your blog and see what you’re up to!
      Thank you for the comment!

  9. Melanie Kutzke
    August 11, 2018 / 1:46 am

    Hi Adrienne,
    Thank you for putting such an extensive post together. I really enjoyed reading it. July was a wonderful month for you and Bill I can tell. I always particularly love your updates on your outdoors adventures because of your beautiful nature and scenery photos. This post had a lot of those.
    I also like your new fireplace wall. It looks very fresh, litterally like a new canvas. I’m curious about the rest of your home restyling. Hope you will share some of that too in a future post.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      August 20, 2018 / 9:56 am

      Hi Melanie – thank you for stopping by and saying hello. Bill and I have been so busy this month – we have almost all of the house painted inside except for the kitchen and bathrooms (saving the worst for last, I guess!). I have decluttered a ton but still have lots to do. Photos and keepsakes are the hardest so I keep putting that off. What do you do with thousands of old photos? I don’t want to digitize them but organizing them in a way that makes sense sounds like a very long and tedious project. Maybe a good one for wintertime.
      Once the house is painted and all the furniture is back where it belongs, I will take some photos. The next projects are exterior paint (hiring someone for that), some sort of sliding doors on the gym which is right next to the living room, and doing something with our backyard. I am not sure we will get to that last one anytime soon with fall and winter coming. That may have to wait until next spring.
      Thank you again for stopping by, Melanie!

    August 11, 2018 / 6:43 am

    My dearest daughter,
    I am coming out of the shadows to join your friends and fans. Afraid of gushing too much about you, it will be hard to find words to add to others’. Our week at the lake was absolutely the BEST! Every moment was filled with laughter and talk…. so much fun!
    You are truly unique……. witty, clever, generous, gracious, etc. See? I could go on and on. Most of all, above your beauty and intelligence, you are so very kind and so very sweet. I love that about you. I aspire to be like you; passionate about life and it’s joys. Adrienne, my darling girl, you genuinely ARE the musings, writings and photographs you present online. You find wonder in all that you see. You look for the positive in all that you do.
    Life is sweet when we are together. Our mutual love of books, shopping, cooking, decorating and fashion keeps us connected, and makes our conversations lively! You have the gift of strength and tenacity to always be looking forward.
    I am so happy you are thinking about grandchildren! You will be awesome!
    And thank you, too, for being such a devoted and loving daughter. You are a blessing to me.
    I love you, honey.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      August 20, 2018 / 9:52 am

      Hi Mom! What a special surprise to get a comment from you and such a kind and sweet one at that!
      We had such a wonderful time with you and D this summer. I wish we could have stayed much longer. I hope to get the chance to see you again before the year is out.
      Love you tons! Adri

  11. Violet
    August 19, 2018 / 6:45 am

    So nice to have you back, Adrienne! Glad to hear you have been enjoying the summer.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      August 20, 2018 / 9:51 am

      Thank you! Hope you’re having a great summer too. It’s been a fun and productive season and now I am ready for some fall weather! Thank you for stopping by! Adrienne

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