Good Morning Everyone!
For those of you who know me well, you may know that I am a bit of a wine snob enthusiast. I’m often known for finding good deals on some of my favorite wines or being a go to guy when planning trips to Napa, Sonoma or Paso Robles.
Last year I went to my first “Passport to Dry Creek” event. While many vineyard-plentiful regions hold this type of event I’m going to tell you why this is my favorite one. Dry Creek Valley is located primarily in Healdsburg, CA — Sonoma County. This is an area known primarily for its amazing Zinfandels. However, many wineries in the Dry Creek Valley also produce award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir.
I vowed I would never publicize this event because of how hard it normally is to obtain a ticket. Normally you have to know someone, be a highly active wine club member of a participating winery (all participating wineries are members of Winegrowers of the Dry Creek Valley) or be one of the limited few who acquires tickets through a raffle system. However, tickets don’t be seem as hard to come by this year, maybe because of the economy, or maybe because of the awesome new first come, first sever system that the winegrowers office set-up this year? Tickets run $120 for the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) or $70 for Sunday-only. Saturday is considered the best day to attend (and most crowded) but they do not offer a Saturday only ticket.
Want tickets for the event? (being held April 24th & 25th) Visit www.wdcv.com.
My name is Brendan Aiello and I will be your tour guide. This post will serve as the first of many posts about Lake Tahoe; arguably the #1 weekend vacation getaway to most Bay Area residents.
Why have I been chosen by the team to serve as a “tour guide” to the Lake Tahoe area? Simply because I was born and raised in the Bay Area and have been visiting the Lake Tahoe area since I was a baby.
My mom spent a lot of time here when she was youngster too. In the late 1950’s my grandfather decided that he wanted to spend more time in the place where he and my grandmother spent their honeymoon. So in 1962, he completed construction of the “Shamrock Inn” in South Lake Tahoe, CA. This was prior to the casino “strips” construction. The hotel/apartment complex was eventually purchased by Harrah’s to house the many construction workers that would be building the high-rises that are seen on the strip today. Although no longer in the hotel industry our family still rents out some luxury single family properties in South Lake Tahoe as Vacation Rentals (Link to SLTVR.com).
In 1987, My grandfather completed construction of a single family house in South Lake Tahoe, CA designed to house the family whenever they decided to come up to Tahoe and I have been taking advantage of it ever since.
Whether it is skiing, snowboarding, biking, hiking, lounging on the beach, jet skiing, boating, golfing, gambling, dining or another Lake Tahoe attraction I have become very accustomed to the Lake Tahoe Vacation lifestyle.
Now that you know my Lake Tahoe history, stay tuned for reviews on many aspects of the Lake Tahoe. As I have a lot of information on this area, if you are curious on solely Lake Tahoe information. Click the drop-down “Lake Tahoe Tab” under the “Weekend Getaway” tab in header navigation.
If you are looking to purchase or sell a vacation home in the Lake Tahoe area or are interested in owning vacation rental income property always feel free to contact me.
My favorite weekend getaway is the Cypress Inn at Miramar Beach. My husband and I like to go their to get away but still be close to home. We book an ocean view room and like to sit on the balcony and enjoy the sound of the ocean. We walk along the ocean to the miramar restaurant for dinner. The Cypress Inn has unique rooms and a wonderful staff. They have a lovely gourmet breakfast and an evening wine and cheese. Here is a little description from their web site below: Check out their very cool rooms at www.cypressinn.com
The feeling of the interior design in the main building is to bring the outside in with a palette of nature’s colors from the Sea, Sky, and Earth. Mexican folk art and hand carved wooden animals add to the colorful celebration of nature. Rooms are privately tucked away from the lobby area and breakfast room. The Main Building is where you first enter the Cypress Inn, as tradition with B&B’s you ring the bell and the Innkeeper comes to warmly great you!
On Valentine’s Day my husband and I drove to Sonoma to stay at one of our favorite places, MacAurthur Place in Sonoma.
Naturally, it’s very hard to get a reservation on Valentine’s Day. We felt very lucky to have gotten in because they have a large waiting list.
So we got to town and had dinner next door at Saddles. They have very good Prime Rib that is priced well. After enjoying an excellent meal, we checked into our Hotel, went up to our room and lit a fire. Within five minutes, we received a phone call from my mother that we needed to come home; my daughter had an extreme fever. I ran down to check back out and was very apologetic knowing that a lot of people would have loved our room on this special day. The Hotel said since it was an obvious medical emergency they weren’t going to charge us for the room. I was shocked, and very grateful.
A few weeks after getting home I checked our bill and to my delight there was a credit on our charge card. The MacAurthur Place didn’t have to credit us for the room. We had already checked in and enjoyed the complimentary wine and cheese.
I usually go to this resort with my friends at least once a year to enjoy the fabulous spa. If you are considering going to Sonoma to enjoy the wine country, I highly recommend MacAurthur Place. They are a class act!
In the winter season, my family and I love to go to Dodge Ridge. It’s a great place to ski and also make snow men.
In the summer, the recreation department has a class on basket weaving taught by a really nice gal named Arvada, who is a native Indian form Mi-Wuk. Arvada’s classes are fun and informative and I highly recommend taking her class.
I was fortunate to have an Aunt and Uncle who lived in Mi Wuk since childhood and have been going there ever since.
Dodge Ridge is closer than Lake Tahoe and is very family friendly. We like to stay at the Pinecrest Inn or at the Mi-Wuk Village Inn.
If you should decide to visit, they have a great pizza place called “A pie in the sky”. My kids love it.
For both summer and winter vacations, I highly recommend giving the Dodge Ridge area a try! For more information visit their web site at www.Dodgeridge.com.
Burlingame & San Mateo