Monday, September 20, 2010

A Getaway Trip to Murphys

This past weekend, Jason and I were able to take a quick overnight trip to Murphys. A lot of people have never heard of this gem in Calaveras County- some nearby towns are Jamestown, Sonora, Angels Camp, etc. We love this town and the area- we've made several trips in the past and were really looking forward to this recent trip. On our way to Tahoe this past June for Jason's family reunion, we noticed a billboard on the side of the freeway advertising that Sheryl Crow was going to play at Ironstone Vineyards (located in Murphys). We shared this with some of Jason's cousins at the reunion and it was decided that we would try to get together for that. On Friday, we drove with Jennifer (Jason's sister) to meet Cheryl and Terri (who live in the Santa Cruz area) at Ironstone Vineyard. Stand-still traffic on Highway 99 threw us for a loop and we ended up getting to the vineyard after the opening act began. Have you heard of G-Love and Special Sauce? I hadn't, but Jason had! Sheryl Crow started her set at about 9:30pm. It was chilly outside, but with our general admission, we were allowed to bring in blankets and lawn chairs, so we were pretty cozy. The concert was fantastic! Sheryl Crow was a wonderful entertainer, and we loved the easygoing atmosphere in the vineyard's amphitheatre- we weren't confined to our seats. People danced, drank wine, etc. We had so much fun! She played for almost 2 hours and her encore included a beautiful acoustic rendition of "I Shall Believe." It gave me goosebumps!

That night, we stayed at Jason's uncle & aunt's home. It was great to visit with them. After a wonderful breakfast on Saturday, we said goodbye to our cousins, and then headed into Murphys for some shopping. There are a few cute little shops on the main street. We enjoyed lunch at Firewood before heading to some places to wine taste (Calaveras County is full of vineyards and wineries). First up was Black Sheep Winery, where Jason and Jennifer got a case of their award-winning 2008 California Chardonnay. Next was Milliaire Winery. The host was so informative and easy to talk to. I am not a drinker- I told her that I wouldn't be able to appreciate anything that I tried. She convinced me to try a Gerwurztraminer- which to my surprise, I really liked! She continued to give me suggestions as to which she thought I would enjoy and steered me clear from ones she thought I wouldn't enjoy. I learned that I like syrahs! I left this tasting room with my very first wine purchase- a bottle of 2009 Gerwurtraminer. Our last stop was at Chatom Vineyard. Here, I enjoyed sips of Semillion and of two kinds of syrahs. It's not like I'm all of a sudden going to become a wine drinker, but hey, I might actually be able to enjoy a few sips here and there... Ahhh, it was such a nice getaway... When's our next one?! (actually, it's Veteran's Day weekend, when Jason and I go to see Matisyahu in concert in L.A.). Soooo looking forward to that concert!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Dad/Grandpa's Birthday

With me back to working full-time, it feels like we are always going at full speed! However, there hasn't really been a whole lot to share. One particular event that was significant for our family was last weekend. We celebrated Jason's dad's birthday by going to teppanyaki on Labor Day. It has been almost 4 years since his passing, and to honor his memory, we have done this each year on his birthday. While in the hospital during his final days, he had told Jason that he wished he could've gone to "the place where they cook in front of you" for dinner. He never got to go again... Before heading to dinner, we met at a local playground to release balloons (sending balloons to Grandpa for his party in heaven). Each grandchild wrote a letter or drew a picture to attach to the ballooon. We truly value this special time with family. We continue to feel the void that his absence has brought- we love him and miss him so much.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

First Tooth on the First Day of First Grade

I don't know how I totally neglected to blog about such an important milestone... Grace lost her first tooth on her first day of first grade! It had actually been loose for quite some time- in fact, Jeremy was the one that "started" it. He was going crazy with his toy drum, and Grace approached him, wanting to have a turn. He didn't realize she was there and ended up hitting her in the mouth with a drumstick. It loosened immediately. We really thought the tooth would fall out soon afterwards, but it actually stayed loose in her mouth for almost a month! We were starting to get concerned because in that time, her grown up tooth poked through. Jason asked to see the tooth on that first day of school, and he said it was just dangling. He gave it a little tug and it came out easily! Unfortunately, with the excitement of the day, the tooth ended up getting misplaced (I know, that's pretty gross to think that her tooth could be somewhere in our house still). We had her write a letter to the tooth fairy explaining what happened. The tooth fairy was so nice to still visit and leave her a treat! Grace is now working on a second loose tooth! Hopefully, it won't take as long as it did her first one.