A few weeks ago, my girlfriends Breana (@breanajtaylor), Shannon (@bikinibodsquad) and I went on a mini road trip up north to Occidental, California. To be honest, I’ve never heard of Occidental before and had no idea what to expect. Plus, Breana kept saying we were going to “Napa”, which there isn’t much of a difference except for a lot more cows and coastal weather. Truly the drive up was stunning; there is nothing like northern California. I’ve been on some pretty unique road trips, and the best part in my opinion is the scenic view. To date, my favorite road trip I’ve ever been on was Northern Italy and Switzerland with my grandparents, nothing can beat those views. I will say though, I did enjoy the company on this trip a lot more!
The purpose behind this trip was to help promote our friends new company, Frankie Cameron Collection. She's a mommy with chic taste and a fantastic idea. Ladies, what does the inside of your purse look like right now? If you’re like me, and a large majority of woman all over the world, its filled with your daily essentials from chapstick and lipstick (obviously both are crucial), keys, iPhone cord, sun glasses, maybe a snack (lets be real, I’m always hungry), hand sanitizer, and so many other things. But when you take out all of those items, what does the inside really look like? Dirty, with lipstick stains, pen stairs, or just bacteria. Frankie Cameron Collective has the perfect bag designed for the everyday mommy on the go and your everyday fashionista on the go too! The magical part about these beautiful crafter leather purses is that the inner lining comes out and is WASHABLE! Seriously, its washable and life changing. Bye bye bacteria and lipstick stains, hello Frankie Cameron Collective. Frankie came up with her purse design after having her first child and was looking for the perfect baby bag. She didn't like any of the designs, sizes, or quality for the prices she was finding online. So, she came up with the brilliant idea of being able to turn a baby back into an everyday tote, plus with the washable lining. It's a no brainer, everyone needs a Frankie Cameron tote in their possession, ASAP!
Frankie treated us girls to a day of wine tasting at some of her personal favorite local wineries throughout Occidental. My two favorite were Dutton Estate Winery and Furthermore Winery. Dutton Estate Winery stole my heart because of the food paring with each glass of wine, yes, food is the way to my heart. Cynthia, Dutton Estates personal chef, gave us a unique tasting that day and created a few special recipes just for us girls. It was brilliant, but I think I was more interested in the food than the wine. Shockingly, I’m not much of a wine drinker, considering my family makes wine. I prefer craft beer and tequila, lots and lots of tequila. Truly, this tasting was so unique to me I had to take home a bottle of wine and pair it with something delicious. Considering I never go wine tasting, I’m not sure if other winers do a pairing like this. I’m sure plenty do, but this was a fantastic idea! The wines are parings are listed bellow:
1. 2016 Blushing Sister's Rose paired with melon wrapped in prosciutto
2. 2016 Kylie's Cuvee Sauvignon Blanc paired with Tyrosalata on a pita chip
3. 2015 Dutton Palms Chardonnay (winery exclusive) paired with chilled summer corn shooter with a drizzle of basil olive oil
4. Manzana Vineyard Pinot Noir (winery exclusive) pareil with local artisan cheese on a tomato crisp
5. 2014 My Father's Syrah (winery exclusive) paired with puttanesca sauce over fresh polenta
The second winery was an adorable location with a bocci ball court, picnic tables and a little bbq set up. The perfect family or group hangout location. In my opinion, the coolest part about this winery was the fact that they understand how expensive it is to make wine. What I mean, is that the owners rent out their space and equipment to small businesses and wine makers who make less than 500 cases a year. My family makes about 800 cases a year, and I understand how expensive all the equipment can add up too. So, just to rent out the space is brilliant! The girls and I had to honor of meeting one of the renters, Taylor owner and winemaker of T. Berkley Wines, he showed us around talking about the property owners, why they decided to rent the space, where everyone buys their grapes from and his process of making wine. I’m not the biggest fan of Rose, (shocking I know, but I’m not a basic bitch after all), but his was by far the best rose I think I’ve ever had - sorry dad! This guy knew his wine and I was impressed. So ladies who love rose and find themselves doing a wine tasting tour in Occidental, California, ask for Taylor and his rose! You won’t be disappointed.
As the trip came to an end and we were overloaded with good food, wine and memory cards filled with photos, it was time to head back to reality. When leaving Occidental, you literally have to cross through a little town called Bodega Bay. A charming town that looked really familiar to me, and as we kept driving I screamed, “OH MY GOD!!! STOP THE CAR!!!”. I literally scared the girls when I realized this was the town from Alfred Hitchcock, The Birds, once I recognized the eerie church. I thought paring food with wine was the best part of my day, until we came across this church. For those of you who really do not know me, I love horror movies. One of my favorite movie is The Birds, because it was Hitchcocks first horror film that opened the doors to scary movies today. The majority of horror films these days really suck aside from the graphics and sound effects, but there is something about old Hitchcock films that no one else could ever master. It was his vision behind each film. This was the perfect way to end my first Occidental expedition!