The Adventures of Planning a Wine Tasting Trip!

 The Adventures of Planning a Wine Tasting Trip!

By Erin

Wine anyone? ūüėČ

How about a quick get away to wine country with about 25 of your closest girlfriends?

Then join me on the adventures of planning a wine tasting trip!

1. If an offer looks *TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE* It probably is.

I found an offer on one of those discount type sites (think Groupon/LivingSocial). Once it was purchased I quickly called up the company to make our reservation, done and done! Then it was off to decide which wineries we wanted to go to, so I could call this company back and give them our desired itinerary for the day we had chosen to go on.

THAT’S when I started to see all these red flags go off in my head about this limo company…

2. DO YOUR RESEARCH

I found this wonderful and informative website called the Temecula Valley Wine Country¬† (Temecula is in Southern California, google for the website, I had to remove the link for the time being here as they were having issues with their website), which has a list of all the fabulous wineries in the area, their websites, and all the information you could ever need about them when planning a trip! On that site there is also a tab titled “Plan Your Trip” and has a listing of Transportation Partners in their Responsible Partnership Program. Registration is recommended for ALL transportation companies.¬†Reservations are highly recommended¬†for all transportation companies prior to bringing any guests to any of the wineries in the Temecula Valley. Needless to say, I did NOT see this company listed as an approved company on their very LONG list of transportation companies that had been approved. They did have a registration form that could be filled out and the company in question could easily register…. that is if they were a legit company running business legally…

Upon further investigation I found ANOTHER important website that you will want to BOOKMARK and save for future reference in case you ever want to rent a limo, party bus, or any other form of transportation (or for a Moving Company as well!) I found the California Public Utilities Commission page. You can look up a company in California and find out what their TCP# (Carrier ID) is, and what their status is! Turns out the company in question had their Carrier Permit REVOKED back in April of 2010…. which would explain WHY it wasn’t listed on any of their other websites. Not only that, but when I asked the company what their TCP# was, they had given me a DIFFERENT companies TCP# which was valid, but was a totally different company.

Needles to say, I canceled our reservation ASAP and quickly got a FULL REFUND from this discount website.

3. Ask around for references from people you know and trust.

Back to the drawing board for a company to work with that was legit. It didn’t take long for me to figure something out. Earlier that year my mother had gone on a limo trip with some friends up to Hollywood as someone’s son had a limo company in Long Beach so they had gotten a SUPER deal on a limo. I found out the needed contact info for this wonderful company, which you can find here at Limo 4 Me. If you click on that link and scroll to the bottom of that page, you can check out the party bus we traveled on, which is called Pirates of the Carribean! All of their info checked out and were a complete joy to work with! I hope to be able to plan another fun trip with them soon!

4. Make RESERVATIONS at the wineries! If you come in a limo or Party Bus, you WILL need one!

Okay, so now we are really ready to ROCK N’ ROLL! I found a couple of wineries we could make reservations for our group that did not require a deposit on the wine tasting (since I could not afford to put a deposit down or pay in full for 25 GIRLS up front for wine tasting), I was already taking a risk by putting a down payment on our party bus, not knowing if I’d be able to have 25 girls willing to pay for the Party Bus. Which, without a doubt this will be the MOST stressful part of planning your Wine Tasting Trip by far. Collecting the funds from your friends that are going on this trip with you as some will¬† be more timely than others. Or you just might not end up having enough people wanting to go, then you’ll end up having to pay more than your fair share for the limo. Luckily the later part did not happen to us. We had enough girls going, it was just a matter of rounding up the funds from everyone. Which isn’t something I exactly enjoy doing.

This was in September and our Wine Tasting Adventure was set for Saturday, November 5th, 2011. I had plenty of time to gather up all my wine loving friends and some of their friends.

Being the extremely detail oriented person I am, went so far as to plan a nice breakfast for our group so that everyone could mingle and enjoy some food and drinks before while we waited for everyone to arrive and for our party bus to get here. Our bus was leaving at 9:30am sharp, so I also wanted to make sure everyone had something in their stomachs before we started drinking any wine around 11am! ūüėČ

 ITS WINE TIME!

Limo Party Bus

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A California Fall

A California Fall–Guest Post!!

You MAY have noticed (Or NOT) that I have been a bit MIA as of late. Well that is in large part due to trying to find work again now that school is back in session, but it is mostly due to my grandpa landing in the hospital suddenly (he is 92) with a brain bleed and¬†needing an emergency surgery¬†to get¬†all the blood drained out. Pics to follow in another post of the end result¬†of that (nothing¬†gross I promise!!) ¬†I am happy to say he is out now, but things won’t be the same as he shouldn’t be driving anymore, so there are still many details to figure out regarding his and my grandmas care from here on out as they are used to doing E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G¬†for themselves. When I had asked the lovely¬†ladies from the¬†¬†SoCal Lady Bloggers¬†group if anyone would be interested in guest posting for me in my absence, Maribel was the first one to jump at the chance to help me out. ūüôā So a heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to her!! I truly hope I will be able to start catching up on everything I would like to post about sooner rather than later. ūüôā For now though, enjoy this great post by Maribel, from Stroller Adventures, about a season that those in other states most likely would say doesn’t exist in California; BUT if you look carefully, there are many subtle hints that Fall has indeed arrived to sunny California (just don’t try looking in my backyard for clues of it being fall… all of my roses and the jasmine seem to think it must be in the middle of spring as they are blooming like crazy right now! Must post pictures of that! ūüėČ

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I love reading all about Erin and what she does in Los Angeles, so when she mentioned she was looking for guest bloggers I jumped at the opportunity. My name is Maribel and I blog at Stroller Adventures about my adventures in parenting two very inquisitive kids, I also love cooking and experimenting with food and different flavors. Fall is my favorite season of the year.

The calendar says it is Fall…

 

Yet here in California we all know Fall is not officially here, we know we still have a couple of weeks of heat and we can still wear flip-flops along with some shorts.

Fall is different though in many, many ways.

Have you noticed how the sun’s light has changed in the last couple of days?

Have you noticed there is a bit of a temperature change to a cooler, breezier night?

Leaves on trees are turning into different hues of orange, red and brown. Some of them are already falling onto the ground.

We are seeing more and more pumpkin patches pop up and get ready for a new season, a new year of activities where families will visit and search for that perfectly plump pumpkin that will be turned into a ghoulish jack-o lantern come Halloween.

A new season brings new options of foods and comfort meals. Our family has a favorite fall fruit: Pomegranate.

Fall festivals are also fun, all throughout California you can find them. Our favorite one in San Diego is the Julian Apple Days Festival this festival is all things apple! it is the perfect setting for it too. In the mountains of San Diego County you will find Julian a little countryside town that is popular for its apple pies. This celebration takes place on October 6th and 7th at Menghini Winery it features apple displays, music and dancing. There are children’s activities too and apple pies!

 

You can enjoy this wonderful festival from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Admission is $5.00 per adult and children 12 and under are FREE.

There are many more festivals all throughout California, which one is your favorite?

Horsing Around with Horse Fashions

Living in Southern California and riding at a lot of show barns, horse fashion is a huge thing. Even if you just ride for fun, making your horse (as well as yourself)¬†look fashionable to reflect your personality is an enjoyable experience. From blinging¬†up belts, saddle pads and stirrups;¬†to vibrant, colorful polo wraps, halters, fly masks, and blankets,¬†there is always some new fashionable item¬†out there¬†to entice riders and horse owners with. Here’s a¬† blinged up saddle pad I’d love to have as it kind of goes with my color scheme for Horsing Around In LA.¬†Diamond Saddle Pad¬†If anyone wants to get that for me for Christmas, I wouldn’t complain. ūüėČ

Image source:  Equestrian Clearance

As long as I can remember, all I’ve wanted was a horse of my own. Ever since I was a young child in elementary school¬†I remember saving up every penny I earned so I could afford to buy all the supplies to¬†take care of¬†my imaginary¬†horse with. I would spend HOURS upon HOURS looking through the catalogs that the online tack stores would mail out figuring out which items I would like to purchase. I cut out¬†all of the items in the catalog that were on my wish list. Then I dug out of the garage an old Vans shoe box and glued on all my horsey¬†dreams onto the outside of said box. Any extra money I earned from chores, good grades from my report card, birthdays, Christmas, went into this box to go towards my purchase of the items now plastered all over this box.

Fast forward¬†about 21 years and here we are. I’ve always thought to myself, WOW! I could start my own pony camp with all the stuff I’ve managed to accumulate over the years. AND¬†It’s all SUPER NICE stuff, so I’d have¬†the most fashionable pony camp out there by far for sure. Only problem is… I don’t have the horses or ponies to do that with! OOPS… only one¬†small minor detail right? ūüėȬ†Since I cannot afford to collect horses, it appears that I’ve been collecting everything but the horse instead. At least the horses I am lucky enough to take care of and ride will look super cute???

 Pictured above is Dakota. He is modeling one of the newest additions to my growing collection of halters. Although I have to say this was the first one I have bought in YEARS, and that was ONLY because I had a gift card to use  and I had already gotten everything else that I actually needed with it, so why not use the extra amount on another halter and lead rope?

Speaking of halters, take a look at this lovely find! I think this one would look great on Allie (he’s the tall black horse I am riding below). It is very unique. Check it out.¬† Union Jack Halter So what do you think of it?¬†¬†Above are some more fun horse fashions. Festive in holiday greens and reds, even a super cute Santa Hat! How adorable is that? Shadow, the jumping black and white horse is¬†looking elegant in our show gear.

Allie, above is looking just as handsome as ever in his matching¬†baby blue¬†and black saddle pads and boots! I also found a matching Union Jack Saddle Pad to go with the above halter. That would look striking against Allie’s¬†shiny black coat, don’t you think?

Whether you have your own horse, just take lessons, ride for fun on friends or family horses every¬†once and awhile, or even just on guided rides once in a blue moon; it’s fun to show some horsey fashion love to stand out from the crowd. When both you and your horse are turned out well, it just some how makes your ride that more enjoyable.

Happy Trails!!! ūüôā

*Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post. However all thoughts, ideas, and opinions are my own.*