Posted in Drinks Galore, Requires Travel

Winery: Berghold Vineyards

See the full list of wineries here

Region (AVA): Lodi, California

Visited on: August 18, 2018

Tasting room hours: Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m

Cost to taste: $10

Berghold Vineyards & Winery webpage

Winery highlights (in my opinion):

  • beautiful building, very nice & elegant antique bars (and other antique items)
  • In their private room, there is a cabinet of musical instruments that play music by themselves
  • pretty little patio area with a fountain

Wines tasted:

  • Viognier
  • “Foot Stomp” Zinfandel
  • Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Syrah
  • “Crankcase” red blend
Posted in Generic Ones, Reading Materials, Requires Travel

#1244 Get Donald Trump to Autograph This Book

This book “2001 Things to Do Before you Die” was printed back in 1997. It was still funny to see this item to get check marked from the list. I really didn’t (& still don’t) think I’ll get this accomplished. Mainly because I live on the West Coast.

Last year, I had the bright idea to try sending it to the White House. I knew they would be getting TONS of mail and most likely I wouldn’t get anything back. But I also thought it might be quirky enough to make it through. I enclosed a letter and the book. I even added a return envelope. Then I sent it off. Now, you can go to the White House’s webpage to get where to send mail, and they say it will take a couple of weeks to get any response.  It took about two months and by that time, I went ahead and purchased the book again because I didn’t really know if I would get the other one back.

IMG_4333Imagine my surprise when there was an envelope with the White House address at the front door one day. I opened it up and was happy to see the book returned and a letter with a response that I wasn’t surprised about. The president was thankful for my letter, but unfortunately too busy at this time. Here’s a photo and a copy of his signature for you.

Well, I guess I could go ahead and count that as a half check for this item. I did get his autograph, just not in the book. I really don’t know if I will ever have the opportunity to ask for him to sign it. Politics and likes or dislikes aside, it would be fun to get this done. (and while at it, get the “shake hands with someone famous” checked off too)

If you have any ideas to help with this, I would appreciate the assist.

Would you like the extra copy of this book?


Posted in Generic Ones, Super Duper Easy

#54 Start a Barbie Collection

My sister and I had quite the Barbie collection as kids. I can’t recall how many Barbies, Kens, and a few of their friends we had. We also had a large house and the corvette car. We also used to make some clothes for our dolls. Over the years, the collection has dwindled, but I knew we still had a box in the closet.

I pulled it out today and it brought back so many memories. Especially the doll without the head. I have no idea why the heads would come off. Perhaps it was brushing the hair to hard, pulling to get the dolls you wanted away from your sister, or just because you could and then pop it back on. There were a few other random finds, like a little cat that I am pretty sure went with a strawberry shortcake collection and a cabbage patch doll necklace.

It would kind of be fun to get some of the new barbies, the ones modeled after real life people. But for now, this is a check mark for this list item.

Did / Do you have a Barbie collection? 

Posted in Home Town, It's Artistic/Creative, Learning Lessons/Research Discoveries

#283 Memorize the name of the play “the Persecution and Assassination of

Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum at Charenton under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade”

photo credit: Harris Center/Three Stages at Folsom Lake College

When I saw this item, I wondered if this was truly a real play. It made sense that just memorizing the title would be quite the accomplishment and a great conversation starter. I happened to catch a post about a production of this play being performed last year (2017).

I knew I had to go see it. I didn’t really think anything about what it exactly was about until after I saw it live. The cast did a great job adding in modern elements (not sure if that is part of what the play is supposed to do). I really thought it funny they gave out “Make France Great Again” buttons.

photo credit: Harris Center/Three Stages at Folsom Lake College

It is not your typical play, you walk in and become a part of the cast yourself. Here, I was handed a clipboard and guided by a “hospital attendant” to a chair. We became observers in a mental hospital where the warden was allowing the inmates to perform a play. It was also a kind of musical.

I’m grabbing the plot from Wikipedia:

Set in the historical Charenton Asylum, Marat/Sade is almost entirely a “play within a play”. The main story takes place on 13 July 1808, after the French Revolution; the play directed by the Marquis de Sade within the story takes place during the Revolution, in the middle of 1793, culminating in the assassination of Jean-Paul Marat (which took place on 13 July 1793), then quickly brings the audience up to date (1808). The actors are the inmates of the asylum; the nurses and supervisors occasionally step in to restore order. The bourgeois director of the hospital, Coulmier, supervises the performance, accompanied by his wife and daughter. He is a supporter of the post-revolutionary government led by Napoleon, in place at the time of the production, and believes the play he has organised to be an endorsement of his patriotic views. His patients, however, have other ideas, and they make a habit of speaking lines he had attempted to suppress, or deviating entirely into personal opinion. They, as people who came out of the revolution no better than they went in, are not entirely pleased with the course of events as they occurred.

photo credit: Harris Center/Three Stages at Folsom Lake College

In the end, we, the audience, become the inmates and the inmates the audience. It reminded me a lot of philosophical debates and talking about socialism. I used to enjoy those ponderings and had not realized that I had forgotten about it for so long. It was a little hard to follow the dialogue at times, but the gist of it was an argument between Sade and Marat on the factors of revolution, is really good to have for changing the class system and helping human suffering or does it just change who’s at top and who is at bottom. They also discuss if it’s good to have the revolution as a movement by everyone or just work one changing yourself.

I read more about the author being a German and he wrote this during the 1960’s which authors were delving into kind of abstract, bizarre, ways to talk about class struggles and socialism. And his picking the true life people of Jean-Paul Marat and the Marquis de Sade were a good choice. They were very interesting characters.

I wouldn’t mind going to see this play again, maybe catch some things that I didn’t this first time. I might even try to get friends to come with me. They might enjoy or end up asking what the heck?

have you seen this play? Or even heard about it?

Posted in Drinks Galore, Requires Travel

Winery: Acquiesce

See the full list of wineries here


Region (AVA): Lodi, California

Visited on: May 27, 2018

Tasting room hours: Friday – Sunday from 11-5

Cost to taste: $10

Acquiesce Winery webpage

AcquiesceWinery highlights (in my opinion):

  • They only make white wines (Rhône varietals)
  • they pair the wines with small bites they make
  • there is a “Before I die ____” chalkboard to write on

Wines tasted:

  • Picpoul Blanc
  • Grenache Blanc
  • Clairette Blanche
  • Viognier
  • Grenache Rose
Posted in Drinks Galore, Requires Travel

Winery: Klinker Brick

See the full list of wineries here

IMG_0569Region (AVA): Lodi, California

Visited on: May 27, 2018

Tasting room hours: Open Daily 11AM – 5PM

Cost to taste: $5 for wines they mass produce & $10 for the wines found only at the winery

Klinker Brick Winery webpage

Winery highlights (in my opinion):

  • lots of outside seating, under patio cover or lawn
  • pretzel sticks
  • pretty landscape

IMG_0570Wines tasted: (from the mass produced flight)

  • Albarino (white wine)
  • Bricks & Roses (rose wine)
  • Old Vine Zinfandel (enjoyed)
  • Old Ghost Old Vine Zinfandel (enjoyed)
  • Cabernet Sauvigon
Posted in Bon Appetite, Drinks Galore, Requires Travel

#63 Eat Alligator

In 2015 I decided I wanted to celebrate my October birthday in New Orleans. The other reason I chose to travel to that city was because I had been wanting to experience Halloween and visit a friend that had moved there. We made plans and set the dates at the beginning of the year. Another friend that lives in Dallas said she would come visit at the same time and we could hang out. This would be both of our first time in New Orleans and I was very excited.

We had so much fun exploring the area seeing all the landmark sites, as well as ate and drank throughout the town. One of the first places our friend took us to was a place called Oceana Restaurant in the Famous French Quarter district. Walking into the restaurant, looked like some fun décor. That is also when I realized the places there had courtyards. I had thought it was just patios on the side of places like they mostly have where I live. It was really pleasant to sit in the courtyard and relax. We order several sampler dishes and drinks. One of which was some alligator. Couldn’t come all that way and not try alligator.

I didn’t think to get a close up photo of the alligator. It’s the breaded dish that looks a little like nuggets. And it did taste like chicken nuggets, definitely not chicken, but similar. I’d eat them again.

We also enjoyed oysters, gumbo, crab cakes, and pasta. Very yummy and filling lunch.

Have you tried alligator?

Posted in Requires Travel, Sporty Chance/Heart Stopping Adventures

#108 Ride in a Dune Buggy

Every year I head out to a convention for my Active 20-30 International organization (philanthropy & service club). July 2017, I went a few days early and there were some pre-convention options. One was a chance to ride dune buggies. I was so excited to do that for the first time. We got on a bus and headed out to Florence, Oregon and ended up at Sandland Adventures. There we learned that we would be riding in giant dune buggies and get a tour of the sand dunes.

It was fun to be in a group and go along for a ride and look around. The driver would point out interesting spots and talk about the sand dunes and the water table.

It was also interesting to see a bunch of people sliding down a hill. Later learned that they were skiing on the sand. I’m used to skiing on snow but hadn’t thought it for a sand hill.

It would be fun to drive a dune buggy but for now I can say I’ve ridden in one and got to experience going over the sand.



Have you ridden in a dune buggy or driven one? California, Oregon, or another state/country?

Posted in Reading Materials

On the Bookshelf: 1984

1001 Books to Read Before You Die

read about this challenge and see the full list here

Title: 1984
Author: George Orwell
Publication Date: 1949
Country: USA
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 328

Synopsis: Winston Smith toes the Party line, rewriting history to satisfy the demands of the Ministry of Truth. With each lie he writes, Winston grows to hate the Party that seeks power for its own sake and persecutes those who dare to commit thought crimes. But as he starts to think for himself, Winston can’t escape the fact that Big Brother is always watching…

A startling and haunting vision of the world, 1984 is so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the influence of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

My Book Report: I am not sure if I want to do a book report/review for each one. I will definitely let you know on ones I absolutely hated.

Posted in Drinks Galore, Requires Travel

Winery: Oak Ridge Winery

See the full list of wineries here

IMG_0239Region (AVA): Lodi, California

Visited on: May 27, 2018

Tasting room hours: Tue-Sun 10am – 5pm

Cost to taste: $5 for 5 tastes

Oak Ridge Winery webpage

Winery highlights (in my opinion):

  • tasting room building is shaped like a wine barrel
  • picnic tables
  • they sell some varietals as boxed wine

IMG_0567Wines tasted:

  • Blazon Chardonney
  • Lodi Estates Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Old Soul Zinfandel
  • OZV Zinfandel
  • 3 Girls Red Blend
  • Blazon Pinot Noir
Posted in Drinks Galore, Requires Travel

Lodi Wine Region Checklist

I am pretty sure it was for my 30th birthday, when my dad treated me to a Napa winery experience. This was the first time I visited a winery. We went to the Robert Mondavi Winery, and it was amazing. And began my love of experiencing all the different venues and grounds, not to mention trying all kinds of grapes and blends. I learned how the soil, weather, the way it’s stored and processed, changes the way it can taste each year. Which means, return trips to taste the different vintages. 

I’m lucky to live in a city surrounded by several AVA = American Viticultural Area, which is also known as a designated wine grape-growing region. (I noticed some blog posts and articles including AVA when talking about an area, so I figure I should look it up). Heck with just the city, let’s include the whole state with lots of winery visit opportunities. 

I might as well make a checklist for the wineries and separate them out by regions. Of course some wineries I love to go visit whenever I’m in the area, but I am going to mainly post once to check it off. I will work to have page tabs up top to reference to lists.

For now let’s start with LODI, CALIFORNIA. Here is a list based off the wine map.

  1. Lodi Wine & Visitor Center
  2. Abundance Vineyards
  3. Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards
  4. Barsetti Vineyards
  5. Benson Ferry
  6. Berghold Vineyards
  7. Bokisch Vineyards
  8. Borra Vineyards
  9. Clements Ridge
  10. Consumnes River Farm
  11. Dancing Coyote Wines
  12. Dancing Fox Winery, Brewery & Restaurant
  13. d’Art Wines
  14. Delicato Family Vineyards
  15. Drava Wines
  16. Durst Winery & Estate
  17. E2 Family Winery
  18. Estate Crush
  19. Fields Family Wines
  20. GoodMills Family Winery
  21. Grace Vineyards
  22. Grady Family Vineyards
  23. Handford Ranch Winery
  24. Harmony Wynelands
  25. Harney Lane Winery
  26. Heritage Oak Winery
  27. Housley’s Century Oak Winery
  28. Jeremy Wine Co.
  29. Jessie’s Grove Winery Estate Winery
  30. Klinker Brick Winery
  31. Lange Twins Winery & Vineyards
  32. Lodi Vintners
  33. Lodi Wine Cellars
  34. Lone Grape Winery
  35. Lucas Winery
  36. LVVR Sparkling Cellars
  37. M2 Wines
  38. Macchia
  39. Maley Brothers
  40. McCay Cellars
  41. McConnell Estates
  42. Mettler Family Vineyards
  43. Michael David Winery
  44. Oak Farm Vineyards
  45. Oak Ridge Winery
  46. Omega Cellars
  47. One Way Winery
  48. Paskett Winery
  49. Peirano Estate Vineyards
  50. Peltier Winery
  51. Pondl Winery
  52. Prie Winery
  53. Riaza Wines
  54. Ripken Vineyards & Winery
  55. Scotto Cellars
  56. Solitary Cellars
  57. Sorelle Winery
  58. Spenker Winery
  59. St Amant Winery
  60. St. Jorge Winery
  61. Stama Winery
  62. Stonum Vineyards & Winery
  63. Toasted Toad Cellars
  64. Twisted Barrel Winery
  65. Upstream Wines by Watts Winery
  66. Van Ruiten Family Winery
  67. Viaggio Estate & Winery
  68. Weibel Family Vineyards & Winery
  69. Wine Social
  70. Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi
  71. Woodbridge Uncorked
Posted in Drinks Galore

Cocktails: Paloma

Read about this challenge and see the list here 

Ingredients: tequila, grapefruit mix, squirt

Drank on: July 10, 2016

Location: Cantaritos el guero, Guadalajara, Mexico

Notes: located on their “Tequila Trail”. really cool stands to just hang out, enjoy a “pitcher” of this drink with friends, get some food, and often they have bands playing music. It was a fun afternoon. I don’t care much for grapefruit, but I LOVE this drink


Posted in Drinks Galore

Cocktails: Harvey Wallbanger

Read about this challenge and see the list here 

Ingredients: vodka, orange juice, galliano

Drank on: November 8, 2017, in observance of National Harvey Wallbanger

Location: The Grand Wine Bar, Sacramento, California

Notes: As I was looking up what to drink at this bar, I saw that it was National Harvey Wallbanger day. Well then, that’s the drink for me tonight. The bartender didn’t have orange juice, but went to the back and found some oranges and squeezed them out. That was really nice. The galliano basically makes this a sweet tasting screwdriver.


Posted in Sporty Chance/Heart Stopping Adventures

Wiped Out at Aqua Park

Wake Island Water Park, located nearby Sacramento, California,

is home to the largest floating AQUA PARK you have ever seen. The equipment is state-of-the-art and it is easy and fun for kids and adults. There is a great variety of different shapes, sizes and functions making the water park exciting and entertaining for everyone. Bring the whole family and wipe out on our enormous floating obstacle course.

I looked at photos and read reports but still didn’t really know what to expect going. We got there pretty early on a Saturday morning but the first group was already booked up. Headed over to the little beach area to watch as we waited for the next session.

When it was our turn, they give a little safety lesson, that basically went over the rules posted on the signs. Grabbed a life jacket and swam out to the floating obstacle course. With kids bouncing, diving, and crashing around added to the challenge of getting around. Decided it is like being on a crazy bouncing bounce house. Gave up walking as I couldn’t really keep my balance and tried sliding over some of the obstacles that are made just to cause you to fall into the water. The fun part was trying to get back up. I found a couple of spots where the corner helped. Other times, friends were nearby to help pull you up. You definitely couldn’t be self conscious of flopping onto the float.

There was one “hill” where you could pull yourself up by rope or use handholds to be able to jump or slide once you get to the top. I really wanted to do the slide part. I started up fine on the handholds, grabbing tight and placing my feet well. At the same time my friend cautioned me about slipping, I was near the top so made a grab. It was still a little to far up for me and so I missed and slid down. Crashed into her a little, She jumped out of the way. luckily i didn’t crash into anyone else, especially a kid. and fell into the water. I had hit my elbow and got my knee really good on one of the plastic holders. I wasn’t inclined to try again.

Got back on the float and realized it hurt to crawl, so I tried walking a little but found a place to sit for a bit. Bouncing takes a lot out of you! I did get around to a smaller slide. One our our friends started to swing his legs around, but slipped sideways off the side of the slide. it was pretty funny. Another started going down face first but we yelled at her that the rules were feet first. So she tried to sit up but started sliding instead and ended up going in a circle down the slide.

45 minutes seemed like it would be pretty short, but when the time came, it was perfect as I was done and ready to get out.

I would recommend doing a floating obstacle course for a bucket list item. It might be nice to just use a float and float on the water, but bouncing and trying to run and not fall in the water is nice too.