Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Top Ten

Home sweet home! We are officially back in Southern California; and I am still dreaming of all of the wonderful people and places we visited over the last 2 weeks . . . From the breath taking views of the Napa Valley to the salt filled air of Ocean City, New Jersey, we had a magical time together, as a family.

And while our bags are still not unpacked, I couldn't wait to share with you a few of my favorite pictures from our time away . . .

Napa Valley is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. When ever we 
visit, I find myself romanticizing life on a vineyard - growing grapes, 
making wine, living off of the fruit of the land. Maybe some day my dream 
will come true; but in the meantime, I will savior each and every sip!

This beautiful, architecturally, award winning home, is where we stayed. Actually, it is the guest 
home of the larger estate on the property. The property is also home to an amazing vineyard. During our stay, we would walk through the vineyard to have a glass of wine at the Auberge du Soleil
located just across the street. We found the property on a vacation rental by owner website. I highly recommend taking vacations this way. Not only do you end up saving money, you also get a true 
sense of the place. From visiting the local farmers' markets to cooking meals in the kitchen, a 
vacation rental by owner is a home away from home and such a special treat! 

I have known this lovely lady since the 1st grade. Her name is Alli and she is my best friend.
{her husband, Bill and their beautiful daughter, Charlotte, also joined us on the trip}

The moments were priceless. The memories will last forever.

The day we got home from the Napa Valley, we turned around the very next morning and headed to the east coast. We arrived in Philadelphia; and before we could hit the road to the shore of New Jersey, my husband insisted we stop for a Philadelphia cheese steak! We chose Pat's, which has been family owned
since 1930. They claim to be "The First and The Originator of the Philly Steak and Cheese Steak." My
Nana told me that when she was on the dating scene, "it was a big deal for a boy to take you there on a
date." They were delicious!

 The boardwalk amusements are the one thing I do remember from visiting Ocean City as a child. My Mom tells me that they are the exact same rides she rode when she was a little girl. Most of the rides are
for small children. James and Oliver rode {almost} all of them! They had an amazing time!

Can you tell?

During the days, we rode those embarassingly cute surreys, played on the beach, swam in the pool, ate
delicious hoagies, and spent precious time with my Nana, my Mom, my Uncle, family I had never met before, and friends I hadn't seen in forever.

It was very hard to say good bye . . . 



  1. This looks like the world's most wonderful summer vacation-thank you for sharing this gorgeous photos, and taking me back to the East Coast for just a spell!

  2. Oh wow - what gorgeous pics...thanks for sharing! I absolutely adore the pic of the kids with their philly steak sandwiches - so candid!
    Glad you had a great time...everything looks so magical!

  3. Wow,what a wonderful paradise..the view is awesome,and the kids are so adorable,I have collected several impressive images in my computer,so touching by the first sight,,,loved!!Bet you an unforgettable time...

  4. Sounds like an amazing trip/trips. Home is so good too...

  5. Welcome home! These are such incredible photos, Sam -- I really love the first. And I'm thrilled you had fun in NJ. Next time you're out this way, let me know.

  6. I loved this post! I loved this post. I grew up going to Ocean City and still go back every year! Just found your blog and I love it. So glad you had a great time with the fam!



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