For my first Seven for Saturday post since the end of March, I thought I’d share 7 noteworthy things that happened during my blog break.
1 ~ Kayla and Forest Got Married!
Kayla, Bill’s oldest daughter, and her longtime boyfriend, Forest, tied the knot in early June in Cloverdale. What a wonderful, unique and fun-filled wedding! What was unique about it was its location on top of a mountain at a gorgeous, secluded and hard to reach 600+ acre ranch. The drive to get to the wedding was straight up on a one lane, very curvy road and it took 30 to 35 minutes to get to the site. Such a special place.
Bill and I arrived Wednesday to settle into our hotel room at Geyserville Inn and relax a little bit before we went up to the ranch to help set up the following day.
Kayla and Forest invited 180 people to the wedding so there was much to do in preparation. I won’t bore you with all of that stuff but I will say we all got quite the workout and the suntans in the days leading up to the main event. Who knew assembling chairs in rows could be so complicated and sweaty?
The ceremony itself was just so lovely and touching. They wrote their own vows and chose such a scenic setting to exchange them.
After they were declared husband and wife, the big party began. We had so much fun! It was a blast of a wedding – dancing, mingling, laughing and just having the time of our lives. I wish we could do the wedding day all over again.
I couldn’t help but tear up during the father-daughter dance. Kayla picked out the song she wanted played for this very moment many, many years ago when she was a teen of about 16. It’s called Cinderella. Whenever she heard it on the radio as a kid, she would always say, “This is the song I am going to dance with Dad to at my wedding.”
As mothers and stepmothers often do when their kids marry, I really fretted over what to wear to the wedding. I knew it would be hot but I wanted to wear a maxi dress even though a tea length would have been a cooler option. I must have ordered 25 dresses before I settled on this one.
Until Kayla and Forest get all their photos back from the photographer, I only have this one picture showing my dress. The photo is pretty blurry but I love seeing all these Shubin gals together.
As you can see, it’s sleeveless, and floral print. It was very light and not hot at all. I love the empire waist and little ruffles at the shoulder.
Hopefully we’ll get more photos from the wedding that I can share with you. It truly was such a wonderful wedding. Bill and I are so thrilled to have Forest as a son-in-law and couldn’t be happier for the newlyweds!
2 ~ Camping in Bodega Bay
Back in May we had the opportunity to borrow Bill’s younger brother’s fifth wheel trailer while he and his wife were out of town. As I mentioned in my last post, Bill and I are thinking about getting an RV and were curious about fifth wheels. Borrowing Rob and Debbie’s was a way to testdrive one, so to speak, and see if it’s something we want for ourselves.
It was a great to get away but ten days is a long time to be in one spot. I admit to being a bit restless on more than a few occasions. Foggy days that brought strong winds and chilly temps didn’t help much. But I will tell you, when the sun shines in Bodega Bay, it’s gorgeous! We hiked whenever the sun the came out and a couple times when it didn’t.
One day during our camping trip, Bill went ocean fishing with a friend who owns a couple charter fishing boats that are docked in Bodega Bay. They had a successful outing and Bill brought back a LOT of fish and crab. It was awesome! I still have some fish in our freezer.
We are still up in the air about getting a fifth wheel. Cramming us and four dogs into a pickup truck and driving for long periods does not sound appealing to me. But once you’re all set up in your spot, fifth wheels are fantastic and so roomy. So we’ll see!
3 ~ Pismo Beach Trip
Haley and Ryan, Bill’s son, were married in early April in Cambria on California’s Central Coast. We decided in early June to head down the coast to visit them and tour the area a bit.
We stayed at the most wonderful hotel in Shell Beach, right next to Pismo. Inn at the Cove is our new favorite place to stay when visiting the Central Coast. And it’s dog friendly so we were able to bring our two little dogs with us for small fee.
We took lots of walks, visited Pismo and nearby Oceano Dunes, looked at RVs, spent time with Haley’s family and ate lots of good food.
We also logged in quite a bit of time on our ocean view balcony, watching the pelicans – there are tens of thousands of them in that area – seagulls, seals, and even bunnies!
I always say that I could live on the Central Coast when I visit that area and I am not kidding! It’s just so laid back and beautiful. I doubt we will actually ever move there but taking an RV to the Central Coast for an extended period might be a possibility someday.
4 ~ New Fences
We are beyond grateful we didn’t lose our house in last fall’s wine country fires. The only things that were destroyed were our fences in the backyard. The fierce winds we had the night the fires began took them down. After seven months, we finally had new fences built and they look so great!
They are taller than the old ones by over a foot and they’re made of beautiful redwood. We love them! It’s motivated us to start thinking about other ways to improve the appearance of our backyard.
5 ~ TIPS Roadside in Kenwood is Open for Business
In my last Seven for Saturday, I shared some photos from our fun experience being menu taste testers for our friends Susie and Andrew who own Tri Tip Trolley and now their new restaurant, TIPS Roadside.
When we attended the test dinner, the dry wall wasn’t up yet. Fast forward three months and they are open for business and we are thrilled! It’s so close to our house, we could walk there in about 5 to 10 minutes.
They have been open for a few weeks – since the beginning of June – and we have already been for dinner 6 times!
We love the atmosphere, décor and the food! We are always welcomed by the staff with big smiles and fantastic service. My favorite dishes lately are the tater tots and tri tip cubes with 3 dipping sauces.
If you’re local or planning a visit to Sonoma County, be sure to follow TIPS Roadside on Instagram to stay up to date with their latest news.
6 ~ Medlock Ames Bell Mountain Ranch Tour
Bill and I were invited to Medlock Ames to take their Bell Mountain Ranch Tour. Located in Alexander Valley, near the charming town of Healdsburg, Medlock Ames has a tasting room on the outskirts of Healdsburg and a 338-acre ranch several miles from there.
We visited the former which is known as Bell Mountain Ranch. We took a group tour which was led by Chelsea, our friendly, knowledgeable, interesting and effervescent guide.
Chelsea first gave us a small glass of their 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, which is estate grown like all their wines. Then we were off to explore the ranch with her. We visited the olive grove, the huge one acre vegetable garden, and the original Merlot vineyard that was on the property when Chris James and Ames Morison purchased the ranch in 1998.
Chelsea told us the ranch is solar powered and that all wine grapes, fruits and vegetables – including olives – are certified organic. That’s my kind of winery!
Once our walking tour around the property concluded, we were taken to the fermentation room. I have been on many, many wine tours and I must say, Chelsea explained the grape fermentation process better than anyone!
Our tour concluded with a lovely seated tasting where we were treated to a wine tasting of four other wines that were each paired with local cheeses and wonderful jams made with fruit from the ranch.
Bill and I decided to buy a few bottles to take home, along with a bottle of their estate olive oil.
I highly recommend the Bell Mountain Ranch Tour at Medlock Ames. It was one of the most informative and interesting wine tours I have taken. The property is gorgeous and the wine is delicious and the tour is only $40 per person.
Visit the Medlock Ames website for more info and to schedule your tour.
7 ~ Bill’s Birthday
Bill celebrated a birthday last week and while he said he just wanted to go out to dinner, I had other ideas. I convinced him to take a birthday trip to Lake Tahoe and booked three nights at Hyatt Lake Tahoe at Incline Village.
It has a beach, a fabulous restaurant called Lone Eagle Grille that is has gorgeous views of the lake, and nice big rooms. We upgraded to a family suite and invited Bill’s brother, Rob and his wife, Debbie to join us. We had a total blast! I splurged and got us all a lakeside beach cabana for Bill’s actual birthday.
He and his brother also rented paddleboards for an hour while my sister-in-law and I floated in the water in pool floaties. It was one of the best trips and non-stop fun. Bill was sure happy we turned his birthday into a three day celebration!
Enjoy your weekend!
Disclosure: Our two tickets for the Bell Mountain Ranch Tour were complimentary. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always.