once upon a time in my life, i used to escape by reading every novel on the special bestseller shelf at the bookstore.
at another time in my life, i escaped by sweating it out at clubs and parties.
i also used to escape by going online and doing absolutely nothing for hours on end…. ok fine, i still do this.
but now, as a completely grown and responsible adult human, i have, for the most part, developed healthier, better ways of dealing with stress.
like drinking 3 cups of coffee a day
and taking a lot of short getaways.
in fact, last month was basically a month of condensed encore vacations including great wolf lodge, assateague camping and sonoma/napa valleys. i’ve previously blogged about all three but i thought it might be worth mentioning some new things i’ve learned… so here are my tips and lessons in no particular order.
- don’t go camping in assateague immediately after a bad storm. our assigned site was completely underwater. as in 4″ of water that wasn’t trying to dry up. the storms also swept sand in piles and stuff that hid the road, partially hid electric fences and made some sites uneven. on the upside, the bathroom renovations look really nice at the state park!
- staying in sonoma is cheaper than staying in napa, and possibly even nicer. turns out sonoma valley has more of a farmy, less-commercialized feel. we stayed in a cool historic farmhouse b&b originally owned by a woman who was a freed slave turned millionaire. the garden, vineyards, horsies, olive groves and breakfast were all amazing. driving through the mountains from sonoma to napa is also fun in a dont-swerve-or-you’ll-die kind of way.
- if you are a beer fan in sonoma valley and decide to visit russian river brewing company, prepare to wait. even at 11am on sunday, which is when they open, the line was down the sidewalk. thankfully, if you only want to pick up some cases of pliny the elder beer, you can stand in a shorter separate line.
- beer and wine both hold up exceptionally well in styrofoam or cardboard-padded wine boxes when flown as checked luggage.
- there’s a charles schultz museum in santa rosa, ca. all the shnoopies!!
- at lava vine winery, you not only get to taste their wines, you get treated to the guys pouring your wines busting out a guitar and banjo to sing a soulful ballad!
- great wolf lodge is pretty fun at halloweentime. the kids get to trick or treat at a handful of spots around the place and collect a bagful of candy. and we all got orange wolf ear headbands!
and here are some pictures.