Impromptu Visit Includes Shoe Shopping

Years ago, I dated a man who believed you could judge character based on someone shoes and belt. I liked his logic! So even though shoe shopping was fun before knowing him, it has evolved into the best form of retail therapy.

And this “best” title was confirmed when a life-long friend came into town for her daughter’s basketball tourney. Luckily, we got to spend almost the whole weekend together catching up. We even had a grown-up sleepover. The only thing that changed from 1984 was the addition of wine! We even stayed up as late as we did back then – two night in a row.

So on this rainy Saturday, we indulged in shoes! The mission was dancing shoes for an upcoming trip to Las Vegas, so we started at the Goodwill. (Who doesn’t need already broken in shoes to toss instead of bring home?) And the shoes started at $3 a pair! Then we headed to Nordstrom Rack. Jackpot! Many of last summer’s sandals were very, very affordable.

A combined effort between two great friends yields days of beautiful feet.

All in all, 14 pairs of shoes later, it was an Freakin’ FABULOUS shoe shopping adventure. Photos prove it!

Frog’s Leap Cabernet Savignon

My new favorite…I may need a half of case. Enjoyed both at Christmas dinner and again yesterday with a life-long friend (and dark chocolate sea salt caramels from Boehm). Excellent both times.

And what the experts say…

The classic Rutherford characters of earth and dust are present in this 2008 Frogs’ Leap Cabernet Sauvignon. Aromas of cassis and currant combine with a mineral tone and a touch of warm spices. Across the palate rich black cherry flavors are enhanced with notes of pomegranate, spice, cedar and green olive. Elegant and soft, this wine’s plush texture is balanced by firm yet yielding tannins and a bright acidity.


Maybe one of the most fabulous days I will have in this 365 day adventure happened already. It is pretty early into this to make such a bold statement. However, I have confidence that I am right.

A little background: Within 15 days of my birthday, a life-long friend celebrates her birthday. For 30 years she has teased me about being older. (Oh, wait, she claims she is 27 so she will remain nameless.) I expect that to go on for at least another 30.

So the SURPRISE was FABULOUS! The only downside was being at SeaTac Airport at 5:30 a.m.

What was F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S?

  • Around 8 a.m. – Enjoyed the warm sun on our backs at Oakland Airport as we waited for our chauffeur to pick us up.
  • The 9 a.m. hour – As we waited for a corner booth to be cleaned the guest of honor arrived and did the classic double-take to see three girlfriends waiting for her to arrive. To bad we did have a video camera or there would be a You Tube link right here.
  • The next few hours were followed by a whirlwind of manicures and pedicures complete with sparkles. Side note: The double digits member in my house believes that sparkle is the new black. Does black polish with sparkles top that?
  • A little before noon – Quick break for some eats…or should we say drinks? Still full from breakfast but a visit to Buffalo Bills for a round of brews and another soak in the sun. We could have stayed there all day if there was not another surprise in store for the birthday girl.
  • 1 p.m. – Another spa service and this one began with champagne laced with cranberry juice. YUM! An hour long massage was enjoyed by all.
  • After a few peaceful hours just hanging out and catching up, it’s time to think about dinner (and the final surprise).
  • About 6:45, our little party of four walked into Neumanali where half of the house was filled with friends to honor the birthday girl. And, yes, the classic double-take occurred once more.
  • A divine meal with several glasses of wine was followed by a trip to the local night club. Oh, to be 25 again – NOT!

Clos Du Val Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Characteristic of Clos Du Val’s world-class Cabernet Sauvignon since 1972, this latest vintage continues the winery’s tradition of balanced, complex and elegant wines. Deep garnet-black in color, the 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has aromas of black fruit, complex spices, and hints of toast. Rich and intense flavors of black fruit, and wood spices fill the mouth. The wine has a powerful, solid middle palate and lingering finish. Expect this Cabernet Sauvignon to age gracefully for an additional 5-10 years.

Why wait 5-10 years?  I enjoyed it now!

ZD Wines Cabernet Sauvignon

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

Wonderful aromas of blackberry and cassis with hints of clove and sweet vanilla are inviting. The palate is full and rich; packed with ripe dark berry and plum flavors rounded out by a nice long finish. It is drinking beautifully now, and will continue to develop complexity with time.

My favorite part of the wineries note...Celebrate ZD Wines’ 40th Anniversary Cabernet Sauvignon and enjoy! Yes, they have been making it for 40 years. Did they know about my theme here or what?

Ferrari-Carano Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon – Alexander Valley

((Since I am not yet brave enough to write my own thoughts about a glass of wine, I will plagiarize shamelessly))

With aromas of blackberry jam, baking spices, pure maple syrup (thankfully, I didn’t catch that) and black tea, this wine delights with rich delicious flavors of caramel, espresso and dark chocolate (a common theme in my favorite wines). A juicy and full mid-palate, rich mouth-coating tannins and excellent depth characterize this lovely Cabernet Sauvignon.


Blackberry Pie
Piece #2 - Breakfast

The year of 40 FABULOUS things began yesterday…and it F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S! So much so, that at the end of the day, I wanted to curl up in bed and smile as I drifted off to sleep instead of sharing it here. So tonight I relive yesterday…

Today was filled with wonderful weather (a sunny and warm 48 balmy degrees in Seattle), an enjoyable adventure to Pike Place Market for some delicious Beecher’s “World’s Best” Mac and Cheese and lots of hugs and snuggles from my daughter. However, none of those make my “40 fabulous things” lists.

What makes the list is my mother’s homemade wild mountain blackberry pie. Flaky crust, tart blackberries, topped with whip cream. Every single bite was perfect.

And, it was perfect again for breakfast this morning!

It all begins tomorrow…

Today is my last day in the 30s decade. A new decade starts tomorrow. I have achieved a lot in the last decade. Who knows what the next decade has to offer. What I do know is the next year is dedicated to being F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S. That is how I choose to celebrate that milestone birthday – 40.

What does being FABULOUS mean? I am sure that varies by who you ask. I know what I mean by FABULOUS. I am taking care of me by enjoying 40 fabulous things over the next 365 days. In addition, I want to drink 40 fabulous glasses of wine. I want to eat 40 fabulous meals. So I should be busy at least 120 of the next 365 days (unless I double up some days).

I plan to share each FABULOUS adventure right here. A sort of public journal.  Please feel free to follow my adventure to celebrating 40 years as often as you wish.