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Cuz whats a birthday without a natural disaster?!

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Two weeks ago I surprised my husband with a birthday trip to Napa. Like surprised him all the way up until he got to the airport (and he was still confused on the four hour flight). It was great (except I didn’t pack the man’s computer and he had some work to finish….oops).

Why do people’s voices always sound so weird recorded? Just me..? Okay…

Our first stop was the Oxbow Market in downtown Napa (very similar to Chicago’s French Market but a bit smaller). We had lunch at Hog Island Oyster Co. and I had the best grilled cheese I’ve ever had in my life (I don’t do oysters- but Adam does). Seriously though, the grilled cheese- unreal, and so good I forgot to take a photo.

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We took it easy that night, enjoyed the sights of downtown Napa, had a nice dinner and turned in early! Had to get our beauty rest for the wineries!

We only visited a few- Castello di Amorasa – which took 14 years to build and is absolutely unreal. If you plan on visiting go early because the place is like the Six Flags of Napa.

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Just down the road from there we stopped at Twomey a boutique winery and tasting room that started with a focus on Merlot, but actually has a kick ass selection of Pinot Noir and an awesome Sauvignon Blanc. This was my favorite stop. We then headed up to a few more tasting rooms in Calistoga,  W. H. Smith was the first, and sadly I cannot recall the name of the second one. At W.H. the tasting room manager was from Chicago and shared my love for Portillo’s and hate for Jay Cutler- so we got along real well! 

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We went to dinner at Morimoto- which I did not enjoy, but Adam did. Then this is where the adventure of the trip really begins because another thing happened two weeks ago in Napa besides our arrival…

The Napa area had one of the worst earthquakes it’s had in 25 years. Yes, the one weekend of the year I decide to surprise my husband with a trip to Napa there’s the worst earthquake they’ve had in my entire lifetime. It. was.an.experience.

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I’m fairly sure that “earth quake” is the most literal and logical of names for this sort of natural disaster. I mean, ‘Tsunami’ what is that? It sounds like some sort of Asian deli meat. Hurricane? A brightly colored adult beverage that will likely make you puke in about 20 minutes just from the sheer amount of sugar in it. Tornado? Um…Wizard of Oz?

But earth quake? 100% on point in the naming category. When it’s 3:20 in the morning and the world starts shaking- you wake up thinking the worlds ending. Shit.is.cray.

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Luckily, no one in the place we were staying was harmed. Although the poor little B&B took some serious injury. As seasoned earth quake survivors we decided to continue our trip in San Francisco because downtown Napa was torn up from the floor up- and I’m not just using that as a cliche….

The faces of earth quake survivors on 3 hours of sleep and a few cocktails...
The faces of earth quake survivors on 3 hours of sleep and a few cocktails…

We spent a good chunk of our afternoon at Jack’s Cannery  drinking beers and reliving our earth quake experience. I think that’s what you’re supposed to do after an earth quake…
The next morning was our flight out and after all the excitement of the night before we were ready for bed pretty early.

However, next time you’re in San Fran have breakfast at Sears -the best Denver Omelet I’ve ever had.

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Photo Cred: Adam Flikkema/Flik Productions

The last surprise of the birthday weekend was a card I customized our dog Griffin customized (Yes, we’re those people who give each other cards from their pet…) on Treat’s website.  Treat is a division of Shutterfly specializing in custom cards, which you can send via email or snail mail. Griffin opted for the snail mail route- so there was a lovely card waiting for his master when he came home from his birthday trip. Griffin loved the customization process as it was easy, user friendly, and gave you lots of options.  I mean if a dog could do it, you’re good to go! This is what he chose:

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Griffin has a great sense of humor.

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It also seems as if Griffin has some blackmail material on his master….

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Yup. That’s a picture of Adam in a party hat with his tongue out. If you’d like to see it enlarged you can find it on my instagram account.

And just to finish this photo journalistic entry off right- these are the faces of two very tired travelers at 1:30 AM on public transit home;  after a weekend of little sleep, lots of wine, and even more adventure.

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Cheers.