Currently :: The Getting Underway Edition

We've been sitting idle for a week while we waited out some nasty weather in the Gulf of Alaska.

Hoonah, Alaska

Hoonah, Alaska

 

It's hard to describe how sitting and taking it easy on a boat is much harder than being underway.  

Here's what I've been up to currently... 

 I've been coloring. I'm so glad I brought my 'adult coloring book' with me. I know it's a fad. I know it screams look at me I'm a yuppy hipster but, I've been grateful for it. I even walked to the hardware store and bought a 64 pack crayola crayon box (because how can you turn down the built in sharpener?!). Apparently, the hardware store is where you go for everything in remote Alaskan villages. 

I've been binge watching Game of Thrones. I was on season 1.5 and now I'm on season 4. Need I say more?  Maybe I need to say that the Red Wedding did shock me, I was sad, I now understand why my FB feed was flooded with Red Wedding gasps about two years ago... 

I've been Instagramming.  I find it perks me up a bit. Makes me look for the good and beautiful in my day. It allows me to share that with friends. Sure, sure we all pretty up our lives for the insta-love but, I know for myself it's not always a bad thing. 

I've been sitting here thinking about what else I'm up to currently and am having a hard time. How's that for mopey boat syndrome?

The bottom line is I'll be headed into the Gulf of Alaska on the final leg of this '8 day trip' *ahem* 'one month trip' and I'll be without Internet. I figured I'd stop by and let you know I'd be away! 

Here's to Fair Winds and Following Seas! 

Thoughts on being home.

The thing about spending half your year at sea - or just away from home - is that nothing stops while you're away.  

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In my mad dash to head out the door I left a little sweet potato stuck in a glass on my windowsill. It had two tiny sprouts coming out the top. This is what I came home to. How it survived let alone thrived is beyond me.  

It's the perfect analogy for just about everything else in my life. 

My family. My friendships. My home.  

I often times leave and return to find things have changed.  

After ten years what I know is this - the things that are meant to be will be here when I return. You know that friend you can see after five years and it's like nothing has changed?  Some things are just meant to be.  

It always takes a few days after coming home to assess the lay of the land.  

What's new. What's the same. What's something I need to let go of. What's broken. What doesn't matter if it never gets fixed.   

People keep asking 'what are your plans this time home?' and what I really wanna say is, 'leave me alone.  I don't need a plan.' but, I don't. I pretend I'm socially adept and tell them what they want to hear.  

Then I hang out in my house. I water my new little sweet potato plant. I rummage through my shelves to see all the things I've forgotten I like. I stream music (because hello cell phone reception is glorious). I wear my pajamas until the afternoon. I shoo the neighborhood cats off my porch.  

My plan is to do that on repeat. The people who don't care I've been gone will stop by and join me.  

#puppylove

It's my last day of being in charge of these little bunnies.  I think I need to admit that I'm gonna miss them scratching at the backs of my legs while I mix up their din-din.

The RIDE!

Rhiannon the Conquerer!  

Nautie Friends,

Do you know that my cousin Rhiannon has participated (as in rode a bike) in The Ride To Conquer Cancer three times and is gearing up for her fourth ride?!  Two years ago I wrote about my cousin Rhiannon riding.  The fact that she's gearing up for her fourth ride leaves me awe struck.

Cancer means something in almost everyone's lives.  We all know someone who has been affected by cancer.  In my family it means the loss of a Grandmother, Aunt, and Uncle.  It means that my Dad is a survivor of Bad Ass proportions.  For me, it means that sunscreen is no joke.

This year is extra special because I'm flying to Seattle and will be watching her cross the finish line this weekend!  Yippee!  It's not lost on me that this year she'll be crossing the finish line for her Dad on Fathers Day.  (oh golly, I just teared up...)  I'm just feel so honored to be there cheering her on!

I'm proud to announce that Rhiannon has reached 100% of her fundraising goal!  That being said, I'm here to ask you to consider donating to such a noble cause.  The cliche is true:  Every Dollar Does Count.

By visiting her personal page you'll be able to donate online.

Thank you in advance!

Best,

Megan the Nautie Mermate

 

Nautie Adventures :: Napa Day Two

Yes, I'm still talking about Napa! After waking up on day two slightly "under the weather" (day one was a doozy ya'll) we were moving rather slowly.

Seeing as we were in wine country we figured we'd continue visiting wineries...good plan, right?  We didn't have a tour scheduled which meant we were able to move at our own pace and pick out some wineries that particularly interested us.

First stop of the day:  Gloria Ferrer

The View at Gloria Ferrer

This was a great spot.  The views were stunning.  They have caves which is cool (no pun intended) but, we didn't stick around for a cave tour.  Since this was our first tasting on our own it was a bit of a reality check.  This place was high traffic.  You basically sit down and select a flight and then a waiter brings it over.  You're not really learning about what you're drinking other than the literature provided.  It was borderline anti-climatic.  I guess I left feeling like if I went back I'd want to go on a tour where we had a private tasting and a cave tour otherwise I wouldn't really care to go back.

Second Stop:  Mumm Napa

Mumm Bubbly

This was my favorite stop of they day.  I loved it.  It was similar to Gloria Ferrer in that you're seated and then order a flight.  The difference?  Our waiter was engaged and interested in our tastes.  He asked us questions and then brought us tastes that may or may not have been on our original order.  The bubbly I ended up purchasing wasn't on my ordered flight.  Mumm Napa produces a Sparkling Pinot Noir and yes, it's as fabulous as it sounds.  I now know that if I want to look hoity-toity and show up at a gathering with some bubbly, I can't go wrong with Mumm Napa.  It's delish.

Third Stop of the day:  St. Supery

Boules at St. Supery

After our stop at Mumm Napa I didn't know where to go next so I made an emergency call to Ariel she said:  You'll Love St. Supery.  She wasn't wrong.  When you walk up to this winery all you can think is, 'wow.  this is amazing.'.  The gardens, and outdoor seating really set St. Supery apart.  Its warm and inviting, quaint yet chic, stunning while casual.  As I walked up the first thing I noticed was that a boules game was readily available.  I can't explain why but, it instantly warmed my heart.   Once inside it was like being in an art gallery.  There were so many visual appealing accents.  Simply said:  St. Supery is Gorgeous inside and out.  Plus, they make a pretty tasty Moscato!

Last Stop of the day:  Napa Cellars

Napa Cellars Picnic Area

My Dear Friend Jenny said, 'I'm going to be so mad at you if you don't stop at Napa Cellars!'...so we did.  Napa Cellars holds a few added bonuses:  varietals from Folie a Deux and Menage a Trois.  What I loved?  I knew their name and had maybe had some before!  Tip from Megan:  If you're going to a friends a bottle of Napa Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon will be a hit.  The winery itself was cute and they had a beautiful picnic area behind the tasting room.

White Flowers and Vines

Here's what I learned about tooling about on our own:

  • If you are the driver:  Be careful!  Bubbly will sneak up on you!  Be responsible!
  • Your car should have copious amounts of water available.  Between stops you will need refreshing.
  • Pack snacks.  You will be able to purchase snacks at some wineries.  Crackers, spreads, nuts, dried fruit.  Your car or purse could easily have some heartier snacks to keep you going.
  • Many wineries had amazing picnic spots.  Dining al fresco in Napa?  Ooh la la.  Pack a gourmet picnic!
  • Take your time.  Feel like hanging out under a shady tree between stops?  Do it!
  • Share tastings!  If you're traveling with a friend buy one tasting.  It's more than enough and will help you save a substantial amount of change.  (It will also help 'keep you in check' i.e. no one likes a sloppy wine taster!)
  • This is a no brainer:  Have a budget.  How much wine do you want to take home?  Since coming home I'm sometimes hesitant to drink the wine I bought....because I don't want to 'waste' my expensive bottle.  That's not good.  How much money are you comfortable sipping away?  Stay true to your tastes and style!  (Also, use caution when you're in your cups.  Affordable becomes 'relative' as the day progresses!)

Clearly there are more photos!

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Nautie Adventures :: Napa Day One

Nautie Friends, Napa was beautiful.  It was also travel / tourist friendly.  The food choices were ah-may-zing.  There was wine.  Good wine.  Lots of good wine. Day One in Napa was my Girl Cousin's Birthday.  I know right, the day after mine!  (It's almost like we planned it...)

We had a big day planned....one that was to include a hot air balloon ride....and then it got windy.  Like, as the balloons were filling up with hot air it got windy...and the balloons started behaving a little erratically.  Wop wop.  (There will be an entire post dedicated to balloon shenanigans, fear not.)

We skipped the ride and ate a hearty breakfast before meeting up with our wine tasting tour guide.

We signed up with Platypus Tours and it wasn't a mistake.  I mean, not only was it not a mistake it was a good idea.  I know.  Gotta love good ideas when you have no idea what the eff you're doing!

By being with Platypus we were able to:

  • Not drink and drive.  Win!
  • Have private tastings.
  • Not worry about hydrating between tastings....lots of water in the van.
  • Eat a yummy lunch.  With a desert.  In a pretty location.
  • Meet friends on the bus to go out to drunk dinner with!

I think I'm just going to inundate you with photos.  Why tell you alllll about it?  Check it out!

1st stop

First stop of the day:  Laird Family Estate.  Their wine was some of my favorite from the trip.  Plus, their lanai was seriously where it was at!

2nd stop

Second stop of the day:  Luna Vineyards.  I enjoy their wines.  Period.  We also had lunch here so I was able to bond with their patio furniture.

third stop

Third stop:  Hopper Creek.  I realize that this photo doesn't showcase the place itself.  That being said, tasting is by appointment only here.  The introvert in me loved this.  Also, we spent a fair amount of time chatting on the lanai behind the tasting room.  There were lovely views and it was so wonderfully casual.  I'm sure you can appreciate that wine country can feel a bit uppity at times.  You won't feel that way here.  It was hands down my favorite stop of the day.  (Lastly, for some reason I love this photo.  This check had on such a great wine tasting outfit!  Ha!)

4th stop

Fourth and Last stop:  Hagafen Cellars.  The ambiance and charm at this place was unbeatable.  I am also not the biggest Chardonnay fan however; I bought the best Chardonnay I've ever had in my whole life here.

My only word of caution when going wine tasting:  HAVE A PLAN.

Are you interested in purchasing wine?  yes?  How much do you want to spend?!  By the end of they day the likely hood of you being slightly willy nilly with your purse will undoubtably be an issue.  HAVE A PLAN!

Get in my bell-yy!

Say you're feeling slightly willy nilly after wine tasting - if you're staying in Napa - Go to Norman Rose.

(Also, I've been linking to these businesses because I enjoyed them....in the off chance that some of you go to Napa and want to check them out I want to make sure you have all the tools necessary!)

I'm going to leave you with the tiniest photo gallery.  There were hundreds (and I do mean hundreds) of photos from Napa Day One.

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