Welcome to this week’s Seven for Saturday!
I missed last week’s Seven for Saturday due to lack of time. As you will read below, Bill and I went out of town for a few days midweek, then spent most of Friday and all of Saturday away from the house. I make this weekly post a priority as it’s often my favorite one to write, but sometimes it’s just not possible to put it together on time.
This weekend we are staying close to home. I have lots of little things to catch up on and am way past due for a trip to the grocery store. For many, like my husband, it’s a 3-day holiday weekend in honor of Presidents’ Day and we do have some fun travel plans but not until Monday.
Here are a handful of things on my radar lately:
1 ~ St. Helena Getaway
Last week, Bill and I spent three days and two nights in St. Helena, a charming town in the heart of Napa Valley, checking out The Little Book of Big Experiences. I will be giving you the full lowdown about this fabulous book of offers and the town of St. Helena in a couple blog posts soon but if you’d like to find out more about now, visit their website.
This was our first getaway of the year and the first time I got to use my Christmas gift from Bill. He surprised me with a Louis Vuitton Keepall Bandouliere 55. I can’t believe he splurged on such a luxury item! I love it and I love how roomy it is. I can really fit a lot of things inside. This is a piece of luggage I will keep and use the rest of my life!
2 ~ Hummingbird Central
We have more hummingbirds this year than we ever have. I think it might be because some neighbors, who used to keep lots of feeders in their backyard, moved last fall and their house is currently vacant. Their yard used to be hummingbird central but now I think our yard is and I love it! Yesterday at dusk, I counted 8 hummingbirds battling over our feeders.
We filled our large feeder up last Sunday and it’s already drained. They are a hungry bunch!
I ordered another smaller feeder to hang just outside my kitchen window. It’s got some pretty copper hardware and I like the delicate shape. I hope the hummingbirds will start feeding on it so I can really stalk them. Do you have hummingbirds in your yard right now?
3 ~ Valentine’s Day
Did you celebrate Valentine’s Day? This year Bill and I went out to dinner at our town’s newest restaurants, Salt & Stone. We enjoyed a dozen oysters on the half shell then I had lobster tail and filet mignon for my entrée. The lobster tail was melt-in-my-mouth perfection!
Bill gave me three dozen roses in beautiful colors and some sugar-free chocolate candy. I always love getting flowers, on any day and I am pretty sure the candy will be gone by March.
I treated Bill to a big stack of homemade chocolate chip cookies which he loved. How can I tell? Because they are all gone! 🍪
4 ~ A Saturday Drive
Last Saturday we made plans to be at the finish line of a half marathon our friend was running. The race took place in Marin County’s Headlands area, across the bay from San Francisco. It was a perfectly gorgeous day with sunshine, blue skies and calm waters.
After we visited with our friend at the finish line for a bit, we headed back home. But instead of taking the freeway home, we decided to take our time and drive up the coast on Highway 1. What a relaxing and scenic drive. I wish I would have taken more photos but it was nice to just enjoy the scenery and live in the moment for a change.
I can’t remember the last time we went for a drive just for the sake of exploring. I miss doing that. Do you enjoy taking leisurely drives?
5 ~ Visit to Hamel Family Wines
Last week, we visited nearby Hamel Family Wines in Glen Ellen for the first time. We were invited to attend a tasting put together by a longtime friend of ours who is also a firefighter like my husband.
What a stunning property Hamel Family Wines is! I have passed by the entrance hundreds of times and have always been curious about this Sonoma Valley winery.
It’s a family-owned and operated winery with several vineyards in the area. We tasted in the Estate House which has an expansive patio overlooking vineyards and hills. We were hosted in a gorgeous room called The Library which had huge sliding doors that opened up to the patio. We experienced our tasting indoors while taking in the views outside.
Our tasting consisted of several estate wines along with a delectable charcuterie plate that included freshly made ricotta cheese. It was truly the best ricotta I’ve ever tasted. It was seasoned with salt their in-house chef harvested from Bodega Bay and dried himself. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I was so impressed!
I love the modern architecture and elegance at Hamel and their wines are stellar. I fell in love with one of their Zinfandels and the rosé, which was sadly sold out, was phenomenal. If you’re looking for an elegant and memorable wine tasting in a gorgeous setting, I would recommend visiting Hamel Family Wines during your next visit to Sonoma Valley.
6 ~ Currently Reading
I mentioned in a previous Seven for Saturday that I was reading The Woman in the Window. I love that book and sailed through it pretty quickly. Once I was finished, I packed it up to send to my mother, a voracious reader.
Soon after, I was looking for my next read. I bought this novel back in early November after seeing it in mentioned in someone’s Instagram post. At that time, I was still reeling from the fires and had the concentration of a gnat so I put it aside. Now I feel more focused and enjoy reading regularly again.
I am only about 6 chapters into Manhattan Beach. I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that it’s an historical novel set in World War II era New York. It’s about a young woman who becomes the first female diver to repair ships for the U.S. Navy. So far, I am intrigued and find it readable and the main character likable.
Have you read this novel?
What, if anything, are you currently reading?
7 ~ Email Subscription Fixed!
Ugh, I feel like such a dolt! For many, many months – okay, years – I thought my blog posts were going out via MailChimp, the subscription service I use that’s supposed to send an email of my latest post to your inbox if you subscribe.
I was receiving emails of my posts in my own mailbox so there was no reason for me to think it wasn’t connected. Except that every now and then, a friend or reader would tell me they weren’t getting my posts via email. I would make sure their addresses were in my database, then figured my email must be in their spam folder.
This week, after receiving yet another inquiry about the lack of emails, I focused on my MailChimp account to see if everything was working okay. I discovered my blog feed was not connected to my email service. But what was I getting if not an email from MailChimp?
Suddenly I realized what I thought was my MailChimp automated send out was really my RSS Google feed, a totally separate thing. That was a real DUH moment for me. I am both relieved to have found out what was going on – or not going on – and embarrassed that it took me so long to sort things out. The problem is now fixed and emails are being sent out to those of you who signed up. Thank you for your patience!
Technical problems like this make me feel so inept yet when I am able to figure things out on my own, I feel like a tech genius. It’s so weird! Do you experience the same?
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