Tag Archives: chocolate

50 Is the New 30 – A Napa Excursion

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Happy Birthday to us!

Happy Birthday to us!

50 is the new 30. I have decided this to be a fact – partly because this is the year I turn 50…actually that is the only reason. However, after a one night stay in Napa, California (yes even at 50 one can still do a “quickie”) with 5 truly inspiring lifelong friends (all of whom occupy my same 50-years-of-age rickety boat), I am more convinced than ever 50 is clearly the new 30.

These women, my fellow Napa excursionists, are accomplished Doctors, Educators, Designers, Writers, Managers,  Business Owners, Moms and Wives – perfect in their imperfections, beautiful both inside and out. And no matter how many years go by without seeing each other, we seem to pick up right where we left off – as if REO Speedwagon had just been blasting on the car radio.

So what do 6 such women ringing in their 50th year do? Meet up in Napa, CA, of course. There is no better place for such a milestone – except for possibly one of those spas where you magically emerge with a face as shiny and wrinkle free as a bowling ball, lips that look like something on a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float and perky boobs. But no, I think Napa is definitely the place.

It is beautiful,

Napa, CaliforniaThere is lots of wine.

Napa, California

Now, we just need to get stomping.

Seriously, barrels of the stuff.

Like that little chain is actually going to stop anyone!

Like that little chain is seriously going to stop anyone!

And chocolate is always welcome (hint: it is especially advantageous to have friends of supreme intelligence who know to pack chocolate and lots of it).

Grgich Hills Estate

Grgich Hills Estate

Speaking of packing, we didn’t get to be 50 without learning a thing or two about how to arrive prepared. Since I am the youngest of my group of 6 by at least a full 2 weeks (that’s right, I can retain my youthful status of 49 until almost the end of 2014), I decided to offer to carry everyone’s bags. That is until I saw how much was required for an overnight 6 girl stay in Napa – then I silently reneged (I might possibly have been thinking to myself something like let the old bats carry their own luggage, it’s good for the circulation).

And that is how you arrive prepared!

And that is how you arrive prepared!

And then it was off to the wine tasting, complete with a hired driver to keep us on schedule (and out of jail).

Caymus Vineyards

Caymus Vineyards

All in all, it was the perfect way to spit in the eye of welcome 50.

If I have learned anything in my 50 years it would be this – cherish the people who knew you when you had to wear a head gear to school, thought Leif Garret was cute and attended Jr. High instead of “Middle School”. When it is time to turn 50, they will have your back (and understand why you can’t stay awake past 11:00 pm).

Also (and clearly just as crucial a life lesson) always wear shades when being photographed in bright sunlight.

50 is the new 30 (only, with an earlier bedtime)

50 is the new 30 (only, with an earlier bedtime)

Next time, I follow the rabbit.

 

Big rabbit, hard to miss...

Big rabbit, hard to miss…

Shaun White Move Over

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Today, I feel giddy!  Winter snow sport time is almost here.  Since relocating from CA to MO winter is a time to dread, fear, eat my weight in chocolate.  However, since my discovery of snowboarding, winters now have a redeeming qualitywell, that and not having to shave my legs for weeks on end.  My fledgling adventure into snowboarding (or some might say, one way ride to Crazy Town) went something like this…

The day I turned 40 was a dark day.  4….0…forty? Turning 30 was no big deal.  I had just gotten together with my soon-to-be husband.  I was looking forward to leaving the smog and traffic in LA behind.  It was the beginning of a new chapter in my life.

But, turning 40 felt like an epilogue at the end of my book that read “She was in a big hair rock band, and then she turned 40…The End”.

So, I resolved to do something I had never done before – but what?  For days, I racked my brain.  My ultimate teenage goal of marrying Richard Gere seemed pretty much out of the question at this point (according to my husband, anyway).  And, becoming a professional ice skater looked like a dim prospect since, well, I couldn’t even really ice skate.

Then, it came to me.  Of course, why hadn’t I thought of it before?  Just because my one and only foray into this activity 20 years prior had ended in complete disaster was no reason to think I couldn’t succeed now!

I’ll ski!

So I dug out my frighteningly dated, thrift store snow clothes, shoved my feet into some very unattractive boots, strapped a plank to each boot, and headed for the nearest chair lift.  Kindly said, my first attempts were… ungraceful.  I was more down than up and I quickly learned the literal meaning of “eating powder”.  But,  I was determined and no amount of bruises, shouts of “wipe out” from smug little teens floating on the lifts overhead, or hikes around the mountain to locate runaway skis after executing something I liked to call “the flying stop”, was going to deter me.  Little by little I began to improve.

And even as my friends and family quietly looked on in disbelief, (yeah, like the time I wore tie-die leggings to my brother’s wedding wasn’t unbelievable enough!), I went from beginner, to intermediate to, on a really brave day,  an advanced run or two.

But, I wasn’t done yet. As if strapping two planks to my feet and heading down a steep incline wasn’t mind blowing enough, I decided it was time to strap both feet to one plank and attempt to snowboard.   Oh yes, I ate even more powder, acquired more bruises and was heckled by more of those smug little teens.  But, one time floating down a mountain of powder like a surfer in the pipe and I was hooked.

Now finally, after several seasons (although Shaun White need not stress too much), I can at last call myself a “snowboarder”; which, as I said, makes me giddy.

But, honestly, even better than giddy was the proof.  Proof to myself that turning 40 did not mean my only adventure left was getting out of bed in the morning to make coffee (although sometimes, that is pretty harrowing).

And with this evidence, I have proceeded to kick and scream through my 40’s –  looking for new beginnings,  facing challenges, smashing through self-imposed limits and remembering that nobody ever really looked good in spandex.

Not The End