I recently embarked on my first ever wine-tasting outing in Northern California’s “Wine Country,” and it was so much more than I could’ve ever imagined. I went with a group of ladies, as we were all celebrating my sister Adrienne’s upcoming wedding, so it was a girls getaway bachelorette weekend of sorts. Like I said, I had never been wine tasting, so I asked around for recommendations before finally settling on A VIP Tour Raymond Vineyards in St. Helena. The contact who booked gave me a heads’s up that it was a non-conservative and atypical of a traditional winery..whatever that is. Honestly I was just expecting a plain room in the middle of a huge field of grapes on a vine and wine barrels. I couldn’t have been more wrong in “stereotyping” a vineyard/winery. This was anything but boring, typical AND oh so perfect for our occasion!
I instantly fell in love with our VIP host Gina, she was a complete doll! As soon as she saw our group, we got our glasses and popped the bubbly. Then she proceeded to take us for a short tour of their grounds, with beautiful gardens, farm animals and even a “Doggie Winery” if you will. She explained to us that they create their own energy and do their best to be “green.”
From there, the party started! We went into an indoor facility where they make the wine and this place is almost indescribable, you kind of have to experience it for yourself. It has sexy mood lighting with several Vegas showgirl-like outfitted mannequins…it had a Moulin Rouge feel…lots of “French” influence! There were elaborate chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and lounge music pumping through the room..and of course we were surrounded by wine!
From there we went to another outdoor area where we had an impromptu photo shoot on picturesque white lounge furniture before being ushered in to the “JCB Lounge.” JCB standing from wine maker and owner Jean Charles Boissant. The JCB Lounge is all-gold EVERYTHING! There’s also a huge projection screen and just a very rich, very high end vibe. My first thought was this is the perfect backdrop for a hip hop video! LOL!
Our last stop on the VIP tour was the private Red Room. Think velvet and leopard fabrics…it was out of this world, the room just sucked you in and invited you to relax. Gina was even kind enough to let my sister pic the Beyonce Pandora station to provvde our soundtrack for the room. All in all, I was blown away by this place..and I’m sure when I return there’ll be so much more to take in that I missed this time around. We may not have went to Vegas for this bachelorette, but Raymond Vineyards made us feel like that’s where we were..and the wines were amazing too! It couldn’t have been a more perfect VIP Tour of the Winery or for my sister’s special outing. We are so thankful we had the opportunity to visit it.
I would highly recommend this as a stop for anyone’s next jaunt into wine country. It’s nothing short of amazing and didn’t disappoint..both of which I never expected to be saying about a winery.
One of the things that people always like to “remember” about me is that I am a former Oakland Raiderette…and I am. However, before I ever stepped foot on an NFL sideline, I had the honor of dancing among some of the most beautiful dancers I have ever shared the stage with…as a member of the Sacramento Kings FastBreak Dance Team. It was the first professional (sports) dance team I had ever been part of, and it was a very memorable experience, from the great friends I made, to the the excitement of dancing on an NBA court and being part of the Sacramento Kings community.
Well, this past weekend we had a “reunion,” where the Kings invited back FastBreak Alumni to once again hit the hardwood and dance for the crowd during its game versus the Washington Wizards. Not all the ladies made it back, but there was about 30 alumni who were able to make it for the performance. It was such good times…a real sisterhood and pleasure for me to stand among the same beautiful dancers.
We did a minute and a half dance routine to “Uptown Funk,” during a second quarter timeout and overall, we all still “got it!” And — one of the things that made this extra special for me was to have my family by my side, because for me, there’s no point in doing what you love if you can’t share it with the ones you love! <3
Watch a video of our performance, and see some pictures from the event below…
In late January I participated in the Coastal Virginia Wine Fest “Grape Stomp”…and my competition was a Nathan James of iHeart Media. At the time I didn’t really consider that the weight and (foot) size difference might give him the advantage..but in hindsight…grrr!! All in all it was lots of fun, and I finally just found some photos and a video of it to share! For the record, it was my first time EVER doing something like this and I stomped out about 16 ounces…which I thought was pretty good! Nathan on the other hand had done this once before and he trumped my with something like 22 ounces?? Sheesh!! Enjoy the pictures and video below…
And — YES, I did take a taste of my stomped grapes…since I was on the losing end!! :/
Check out this video below for a quick glimpse of the competition… stomping is from about 1:20- 1:50
This year I had the honor of reading to 2 classes in celebration of “National Read Across America Day.” And in my case, it was days, as I read to a 2nd grade class at one school on March 2 – Dr. Seuss’ actual birthday, which spawned the reading event, and on March 4 with a pre-K class. Read across America Day is an annual event to promote reading and literacy for everyone. Thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, adults and books for the occasion.
I read a Dr. Seuss book to 2nd graders at Poplar Halls Elementary called, “If I Ran The Rainforest.” That was fun, I had never heard of that ‘Cat in the Hat’ book before, but they enjoyed it and were a very captive audience!
The Pre-K class I read to was at James Monroe elementary. This class was very festive – I mean they are 4-year olds! Their teacher was even dressed like a fantasy storybook character… I didn’t read a Dr. Seuss classic to them, but instead one of my all-time favorites, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”
And — in honor of my reading efforts, I received a nice certificate along with popcorn in the school’s colors!
On my show, we have thing game called, “The Stack”…it’s basically like a big Jenga Tower with wood block and you want to pull one out, place it on top and NOT be the one to knock it down! So for the past 3 weeks, we’ve been asking our guests to pull from it and take turns…and every day for the past week,we though tit was gonna go! I often go in on my co-host cuz he is kind obsessive with this thing! haha! Anyway, today was a snow day and we didn’t have many guests and I got called out to pull one…. I wasn’t sure it was gonna happen, BUT… I DID IT!!! Whew!! Watch an encore of my performance below!!!
I had never even heard of “Trivia Crack” before the other day. It’s an online game, app, etc… Google Play lists it as:
Trivia Crack is the international smash hit game that pits friend against friend in different categories to determine who has the most trivia knowledge.
Okay, so the reason I am even mentioning this is because one of my friends apparently plays this and the other day a question about yours truly came up in the “entertainment” category! Imagine that…me a trivia question! haha
Anyway, she was amused by it and sent me a screen shot (BELOW). And — I’m happy to report she did answer that correctly. So, I guess this makes it official..I’m famous, right!?!?
I was lucky enough to be asked by the great folks at ACHI Magazine to be their “cover girl” for the Jan- Mar issue (they are a quarterly). We did a day long photo shoot and I was styled in many gorgeous outfits, with great jewelry and we can’t forget I got pampered by with beautiful makeup and hair! The digital edition of the fashion magazine will be online if you want to see more pictures from the photo shoot. I’ll leave you with a couple other snaps below!
A good friend of mine is launching a new radio station “LIVE from the MIA!” It’s being billed as “Your Station for Every Generation!” It’ll offer a great mix of news, pop culture, movie reviews, celebrity interview and of course MUSIC!