Spring has Sprung in the Beautiful Wine Country!

I love the full-bloom explosion of wild mustard flowers in Napa & Sonoma! Just beautiful!!! This is a great photo opportunity in the wine country!!! 🙂


The Oscars at Francis Ford Coppola Winery!

Today was the academy awards and we saw the Oscars at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Literally! 🙂
Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Francis Ford Coppola is a friendly-winery for families and movie lovers!!! This is the winery that fits all ages!

Francis Ford Coppola Winery is located in Geyserville, in the heart of Alexander Valley. Surrounded by vineyards and rolling hills.

This winery features two swimming pools (connected), a movie gallery, a performing arts pavilion (inspired by the band shell in The Godfather, Part II), park area with game tables and four bocce courts, bars, tasting rooms, restaurants and beautiful views.

Our first stop was the “Movie Gallery”. The winery holds a collection of fabulous Coppola movies. It includes Academy Awards (Oscars), the desk from The Godfather, the original automobile from Tucker, and a model warship from Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette.” !!! It was fascinating! Even the kids with us enjoyed it.
Coppola is primarily known for directing the movies “Godfather Trilogy,” “Apocalypse Now,” “Dracula”, and “The Conversation”.
You can enjoy many details from Coppola’s films as you taste the wine!

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

The Godfather Desk and Chair: This desk and chair were the props used in all three of The Godfather films. Most notable for the opening scene of The Godfather, in which Don Corleone grants a favor to the undertaker Bonasera.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Friendly and talented employees! 🙂

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Swimming pools welcome children and adults during the warm days in Alexander Valley.
There are 28 European style cabines which are available to rent during the swimming season for the day while lounging by the pool. The cabines are equipped with private changing rooms which includes shower and towels. Pool Days sell out very fast!

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

The idea of Francis Coppola was to create a place for families to celebrate the love of life and enjoy all the best things in life together! “Wine Wonderland” !

We bought today a bottle of their 2010 black label Cab and enjoyed it while watching the Academy Awards 🙂

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Did you enjoy the Academy Awards?  What was your favorite movie of the year?

Winery Open Daily at 11am
300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville, CA 95441

See in Google Maps >

Visiting the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield!

We had a very sweet weekend! Not only because it was Valentine’s Day but because we visited the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, California! Named “Best Factory Tour in America” in 2005 by Reader’s Digest. Jelly Belly’s Factory is great for kids of all ages!

Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, California

The Jelly Belly Factory has FREE daily tours from 9 AM to 4 PM. (tours are every 10-15 minutes)  Tour takes about 40 minutes but you should really plan to be there for an hour or hour and half depending of the amount of people that are visiting the factory.

Try to go on a weekday when the factory is in production. If you go on a weekend, you won’t  be able to see the factory in production.

The first step into the factory and you can smell the aroma of the sweet jelly beans! Sugar Sweet Delight! You can see all the machinery and workers through large glass windows on the second floor. There are also short educational video clips in each stop section. Unfortunately, photography was not permitted during the tour.

You can check a short video of the factory on production here: http://jellybelly.cachefly.net/Video/2minvid/minitour.html (video credit: Jelly Belly Factory)

Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, CA

Belly Flops. These are the beans that didn’t make the cut. Maybe the beans stick together, are too large or too small, shaped or colored funny. You really don’t know what you are getting but I think that it is the fun part of it!

Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, CA

You can find any flavor here! From yummy flavors like strawberry, watermelon, and caramel to the famous Harry Potter’s flavors like sardine, booger, earwax, earthworm, spaghetti, spinach, soap, pickle, bacon, and rotten egg.  We tried the rotten egg one. It was Gross! ewwwwwwwwwwww!!!

Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, CA
We had lunch at the Jelly Belly Café. We ordered the vegetarian Jelly Belly-shaped pizza 🙂 You can also bring your own lunch. There is an outdoor patio and picnic area available.

Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, CA

Did you know that the most popular flavor of all time is “Very Cherry”?
Can you guess what the second most popular flavor is?

Jelly Belly Factory
Website: www.jellybelly.com
Tours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm daily. Tours are FREE!
Except New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Address: 1 Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield, CA 94533

See in Google Maps >

“The Spirit of the Man” at Paradise Ridge Winery

This past weekend, we went to see the outdoor sculpture exhibition “The Spirit of the Man” at Paradise Ridge Winery. Paradise Ridge Winery is a 156-acre wine estate located in a residential area in the northeastern hills of Santa Rosa, just minutes from downtown. This world class sculpture garden opened in May 2012 and it’s a two year long exhibition that features 36 artists and 38 works by sculptors based in Sonoma County, California and throughout the country.

Paradise Ridge Winery - Spirit of the man

“Love” by Laura Kimpton & Jeff Schomberg was one of my favorite sculptures. Paradise Ridge Winery is purchasing the sculpture for their collection since the winery hosts many weddings every year. The sculpture was strategically placed so you can see it at the top of the winery from the tasting room. I’m sure it is a great spot for engagement portraits too!!!

The Spirit of the Man honors artist Al Voigt  who passed away in 2011 and created a series of renowned outdoor installations across Sonoma County. Originally, Voigt had an engineering career in the aerospace industry. Voigt fine-tuned missile guidance systems before he turned sculptor.

Paradise Ridge Winery - Spirit of the man

The exhibition is free and open to the public. You can add some fun and do a “Sculpture Hunt”. Check out the printable PDF version at:  “PARENT GUIDE: Exploring Sculpture with your Family”. Some of the sculptures are designed to be hands on and you can touch and interface with them.

Paradise Ridge Winery - Spirit of the man

Paradise Ridge Winery offers romantic and spectacular panoramic views overlooking Sonoma County and the Russian River Valley. It was a great combination of wine, nature and art! 🙂

Paradise Ridge Winery - Spirit of the man

For More information:
Paradise Ridge winery
4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive, Santa Rosa
11am to 5pm Daily

The Spirit of the Man

See in Google Maps >

A Sonoma adventure is to be found around every corner!

Cornerstone Sonoma Cornerstone Sonoma

A Twisted White Flying Fence? A Giant Blue Chair? Yes! You can find it all and much more at Cornerstone Sonoma.  Cornerstone Sonoma is a destination for the whole family!
Food, wine, shops, art, architecture and nature all in one place.

The nine-acre walk-through gardens, were created to show innovative designs from the world’s finest landscape architects and designers. All of the gardens are very unique! Cornerstone is featured in “1001 Gardens to See Before you Die”

Cornerstone Sonoma is one of my favorite gardens to visit at any time of year. It is always something new to discover. Kids always have a wonderful time exploring all the original installations.

Picnic tables are available in the garden area. You can bring your own lunch/snacks or you can enjoy a seasonal menu made from “Park 121” café. We love the empanadas!

Cornerstone Sonoma

My favorite garden is the Changing Rooms (Wishing Garden). You are encouraged to write a wish and hang it to the structure. “Wishes inspire hope for what’s possible…collectively expressed, they can represent the dreams of an entire community…” 

Cornerstone Sonoma

I made a few wishes. What do you want to wish for? 😉

Admission to the Gardens is free.
website: http://www.cornerstonesonoma.com/
PDF Garden Map

23570 Arnold Dr. Sonoma, CA 95476
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gardens close at 4:00 pm
Note: On weekends the gardens may close as early as 3:00 pm for special events, it is recommended to call ahead for specific garden hours.

See in Google Maps >


About my Blog:

We are all so busy with our daily lives that it is easy to take for granted that we live in one of the premier travel destinations of the world. The wine country is visited by millions of people every year. We are extremely lucky to be able to live in such a beautiful place!

So, after my husband got laid off from work, we decided to slow down a little bit and take some time to enjoy the small things in life.
We thought it would be a good time to begin our first blog to discover life and essence in the wine country, document the things we love about it and share them with other people.

I am not a writer, but I love taking a lot of photos to tell the story. A picture is worth a 1,000 words, right?

We only want to be ourselves and share the fun with you

Join us for the journey!!!

Victoria 😉