Tag: Wine


June 28: Choose Your Own Adventure

I would venture to guess that one of the main forms of marketing that everybody from small restaurants to national tourism boards love to leverage are appearances on cable television shows.  Speaking from personal experience, seeing shows such as Diner’s, Drive-in’s & Dives, House Hunters International, Drinking Made Easy, No Reservations and Mancations make me add new places to my list of places to visit every single time I see one of the shows.

For many people, this is their primary source of research for their upcoming vacations.  Shows that focus on certain states or counties, or even dedicate entire shows to eating or drinking in specific locales are what drive vacationers to plan their trips around and to these destinations.

However, for so many of the people who will read this, including myself, one of two things happens whenever we go on vacation:

  1. We will take a vacation to a certain destination, fit everything we can into the trip and consider that location as DONE.
  2. We will visit the destination and spend the time we have dedicated to one attraction or activity, and proclaim as we leave that “I must go back” in order to experience everything else.

I cannot even begin to count the amount of places that I have visited, some as many as 5 or 6 times, and still want to revisit them, if not for the sheer purpose of experiencing even more than I already had.

What this has resulted in for me is scattered experiences for my vacations.  To propose a solution for this, I believe it is time to introduce another travel game:

Choose Your Own Adventure


Pick your travel buddies. Watch some TV or do some online research.  All depends on the House Rules.

House Rules

You can set a pre-determined theme or pre-determined destination, complete with research, or you can decide to choose the destination and the theme when you arrive at the airport.  Any mixture of this game along with First Flight or Spin The Globe is acceptable.

The Game

Once the destination has been determined, pick your theme.  Some suggestions are:

  • Microbreweries (or just Beer)
  • Diners, Drive-ins & Dives
  • National Parks
  • Monuments
  • Casinos
  • Pubs
  • Seafood

Then your trip has an underlying theme, such as hunting down every microbrewery within a 50 mile radius, or hitting every single restaurant from a No Reservations episode or Diners Drive-Ins & Dives season.

The joy in the simplicity is that instead of doing 15 different things around a city or destination, you are completely and wholly tackling an entire category.  By the time you head for home, you can call yourself the not-so-resident experts on that category.


Beer Trip Boston 2011 Anyone? Who is in?

Day 28. Way 28. Stop running around. Choose your own adventure.

Has anyone ever done a themed trip?

Our last was a “Wine Weekend” in El Dorado County, CA.

Share your stories, photos and recommendations in the comments below!


Foto Friday – June 10, 2011

Today’s photo comes from a nearby New York Vineyard, Clinton Cellars.  This old barn is actually the tasting room for the winery and no longer functions as a barn, but proved to be very picturesque with the right photo touches.  Unfortunately, the wine was nowhere near as good as the scenery was, and the customer service was even worse than that.

The memories of this shot, besides the abhorrent wine was that this was Sean‘s first visit to upstate New York to visit us.  The winery is set off in the countryside, with nature surrounding it.

Sean had a great time during his short visit here in New York, but as our first visitor that stayed longer than 1 night (sorry Mike), it was a great feeling to have a little piece of home out in NY with us in the form of our friend.

Camera – Canon EOS Rebel XT | Lens – Tamron 11-18mm | Exposure –  F6.3 – 1/60

Do you have any photos that remind you of certain friends?

If so, share them in the comments below!


Foto Friday

Foto Friday is a new feature on Get Busy Livin’ and will run regularly, you guessed it,  every Friday.  This will be my opportunity to display some of my photography, as well as a short story to go with the photograph.

After my last update squeaking in sometime well after midnight a few weeks ago, I completely missed my entry last week.  Things have been crazy busy lately and we had friends in to visit last weekend, so I was nowhere near a computer on Friday.

Today’s entry into Foto Friday is a photo that I can gladly say required no post-edit.  What you see is how the camera took it.  The photo comes from a trip to Northern California wine country where my aunt and uncle live.  The trip was in August, 2008, about 2 months before harvest, so all of the vines were full and healthy with beautiful leaf colors and plenty of different varietals of grapes.  A small group of us were enjoying a picnic out at a table that was set up just a few yards away from the vines.  Amazing setting and a great trip.

The vineyard is that of Lava Cap Winery in Placerville, CA whose wines are as amazing as their vineyard is photogenic.  As you can tell by my 2nd Foto Friday update with a wine theme, Juliet, myself and all of our friends are definite wine lovers and have had the luxury of visiting every wine region in California and are now expanding our tastes to the New York wineries.

Camera – Canon Powershot SD750 | Exposure –  1/100 – F/8


Foto Friday

Foto Friday is a new feature on Get Busy Livin and will run regularly, you guessed it,  every Friday.  This will be my opportunity to display some of my photography, as well as a short story to go with the photograph.

Andretti Winery

Anyone that knows Juliet and I, knows that we are big drunks wine connoisseurs, and well, how can you not when you live 5 miles from a winery, 60 miles from one of the smaller-but-still-well-renowned wine valleys in California, about 450 miles from Napa/Sonoma Valley and have close relatives that live a few minutes drive from 3 different wine valleys?  Needless to say, we have tasted wine from all over the world and had the fun travels of visiting many of these esteemed regions.

Today’s photo comes from Napa, CA and the Andretti Winery.  Juliet and I were in the area on vacation, just skipping around town in our rental car, trying random wineries and eateries, killing time before a scheduled barrel tasting tour at another vintner’s tasting room.  We stumbled across Andretti Winery on a small cross road between the 2 main roads in Napa Valley.  Nestled in between these very busy wine trails were a few wineries that we took note of as we drove by.  As we checked the time, we realized we had about 45 minutes to kill, and Andretti Winery caught my eye.

We had a small discussion, as we drove up, surrounding the name “Andretti” and its origins.  First thing in my mind was Mario Andretti, the famed race car driver.  I assumed this was a mere coincidence, as we pulled up to the winery and tasting room.  A very quaint tasting room entrance, complete with a fountain and old Tuscan feel (as you can see on the bottle label above), we were none the wiser.  Upon entering, you are greeted with faux painted checkered pattern on the walls.  Miscellaneous books and other Andretti Winery swag gave it away, and we had winery employees validate that this was in fact the winery of Mario Andretti.  Being of Italian heritage, wine was always a hobby and interest of Mario during and after his career as a driver.

We enjoyed a wonderful experience and amazing wines at the tasting room and even left with a wine club membership.  All in all, not a bad place to stumble upon.

Now, I could go on and on about the winery, the wine, the employees, everything, but I think you get the point.  We have been back many times, making the trek from Southern California to Napa on any occasion we got.  If you are at all interested in wine, I urge you to check out the winery if you are in Napa, or if you are not, follow along with the Andretti Winery Twitter feed, as they are constantly running specials for their Twitter followers.


Camera – Canon EOS Rebel XT | Lens – Canon IS USM 28-135mm | Exposure –  F/4 – ISO 800 – 1/40th