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The Friend Getaway

May 28, 2016
friend getaway

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but alas I’m back! Blogging while running on life’s full cylinders is not an easy task; however, for the love of travel, I’m determined to hang in there. I may not get to blog as frequently as I’d like, but alas I will continue to move forward.

The travel budget is tight this year so currently there are no amazing International trips planned, but I will be taking weekend trips here and there. Furthermore, I will be relying on friends to share their fabulous travel stories so be sure to check back often for features.

Last weekend, I took a short flight to Sacramento (actually Folsom to be exact), to visit my dear friend Wendy Sipple for the ultimate friend getaway. I love her to pieces and there is never a dull moment with this vibrant woman. She always makes me laugh and is a master in lifting my spirits. Her hubby Terry is a great guy too and we both get a kick out of teasing Wendy… all in good fun of course!

Hard to believe it’s been approximately 8 years since my last visit (despite our fun-filled trip to Napa), so this little weekend getaway was well overdue. I discovered in a study that it’s best for my well-being to be close to nature; therefore, it’s vital for me to get out of Los Angeles every so often and decompress. Folsom is a wonderful little suburbia town that has a lot of great people and plenty of space for me to unwind.

As I mentioned, there is never a dull moment with Ms. Sipple. From the moment she picked me up at the airport, we were off running errands and prepping for her magazine, Real Weddings, release party that Monday. I got the grand tour that day with a stop in Old Town Sacramento. If you’ve never visited this area it’s a pretty cool place. I’m a lover of old bridges, cemeteries, and churches, and the Yellow Bridge in Old Town is an eye-catcher as shown in the photo below.

Downtown is in the process of being revitalized with the construction of it’s new stadium, Golden 1 Center, along with plenty of trendy places to eat and shop. While perusing throughout Sacramento, be sure to also check out the State Capital Building, Capital Park, Governor’s mansion, and the historical and art museums.

Yellow Bridge

Yellow Bridge

Old Town Sacramento

Old Town Sacramento

I have to say my favorite errand of the weekend was the scenic drive in the countryside to drop off magazines at Avio Winery. If you don’t know this about me, which you probably should because I’m not shy about it at all, I love wine! Wendy of all people knows this so imagine the look I gave her when she asked if I minded tagging along. Seriously?! Where there is wine, I will go!

Avio Winery is a quaint little winery located in Sutter Creek. As we pulled into the driveway, we drove through the vineyards and parked in a spot for Wine Lovers – they must have known we were coming. The charming house gives the feeling of being welcomed into someone’s home.

Avio Winery vineyardsAvis Wine LoversAvio WineryShelly was our host, and what a delightful person she was, providing top notch service and teaching us a few new things that we never knew about wine tasting. For instance, the next time you sniff your wine, try doing it with your mouth open. You get a whole new sensation that’s different from sniffing with your mouth closed. Who knew? And here’s another fun-filled tip as shown in the video below called Painting the Glass.

Of course there was no escaping without purchasing any wines so I’m looking forward to when my bottles are shipped to me. It will feel like an early Christmas. I especially can’t wait to try the wine mixed with champagne – a combo Shelly poured for me that tasted unfreakingbly delicious!

After visiting Avio, we ventured down the highway a little further to visit Helwig Winery. This industrial masterpiece has award winning views and a fantastic location to host a wedding. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to do wine tasting here as it’s a very popular spot and was also wine club member pick up day, so it was pretty crowded. Not to fret as I got to indulge the next day since it was the featured wine for the magazine party.  I absolutely love Napa, but you don’t have to limit yourself to one particular area to get great tasting Californian wines. There are plenty of amazing wineries throughout the state.

Helwig WineryHelwig Winery Helwig Winery viewThe payoff of running errands was getting to participate in the fun-tastic magazine release party on Monday – Wendy’s way of thanking all of the wonderful advertisers in the magazine. I can see why she loves what she does as I had the chance to network and meet some pretty delightful people. The shingding took place at the Falls Event Center in Elk Grove which is a great venue to host a wedding or any other type of event. After having plenty of tasty treats and glassfuls of wine, it was time for a fun evening to come to an end. As seen from these pics, we had one helluva time!Real Weddings Magazine Party

Real Weddings Magazine Sacramento Team

Real Weddings Magazine Team

Real Weddings Magazine Sacramento

Sonja Chevere and Wendy Sipple Real Weddings Magazine

The best wines are the ones we drink with friends.

We often think we need to involve a hotel with weekend getaways, but sometimes all that’s needed is just a friend getaway. If you’re lucky enough, you may even get to score your own room and hang out with lively furry creatures: two vivacious bull dogs and three mischievous cats.

Good times, good times!


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