Tag Archives: gardens


2 Dec

One day we decided to head over to Waimea to see the falls.  You have to hike back through the gardens to get to the waterfall though where there were so many different species that scientist can’t even estimate how many are in the garden-forest area.

Huge lily pads!

These were not all true, at least on the day we went.

These leaves were HUGE!

Walls of ivy.

Looking up.


The falls.

The classic Hawaiian Hibiscus!

At the end there were peacocks!  There were a few of these large, beautiful birds just walking around.  I wanted to just reach out and pet one but the entire area is somewhat of a reserve so I figured I probably shouldn’t.  They are incredible though.  I loved them 🙂

Waimea is right by Haliewa where we stopped to see the surf comp.  The gardens were beautiful and all but I wouldn’t say it’s a must see of Hawaii.  It’s $15 to get in and just do the walk to the falls that you can’t even jump off of which was the whole point of going in the first place.  It’s extremely beautiful and if you are just looking to go shoot photos or walk around, this would be the place to do it.  In Waimea they also have a famous beach across the road known for it’s extreme shore break and is worth seeing.  Hawaii is truly magical and this might wrap up my Hawaii posts but I might sneak one in next week with all my extra photos just to reminisce again about my wonderful time last week 🙂

A day in Napa, CA

6 Sep

This past weekend my mom and step-dad took my brother and I to Napa, CA for a day of wine-tasting on Saturday.  I’ve been before with friends one time but we went to two completely different wineries then I’ve been to before.  The last winery I’d been to before but only the inside portion.  Needless to say, it was nice to have some down time away from my hectic schedule lately.  Words cannot do enough justice, it was simply beautiful.  It’s just about to be harvest time so the vines were full.  I learned quite a bit about wine that I’d never known before on this trip.

  First stop on our adventure was Rombauer.  My mom, step dad and brother LOVE this wine so it was a perfect place to start.  I went with the Classic taste assortment because I don’t know much about wine in the first place so I thought I’d start with the basics.  There are three different tasting menus and once you pick one, you get to taste 4 different Rombauer wines.  It was delicious!  They have somewhat of a small set up in the tasting area but the winery is tucked away on a hill in a completely private secret garden if you will.

You could sit out on this beautiful deck enjoying your wine, stroll the garden and/or buy wine to give a gifts or bring home with you!  I do have to say the Rombauer gardens were one of my favorite parts of the day.

The eloquent gate to my favorite gardens…

Some of the extraordinary findings in the gardens.

There were rustic creatures throughout the garden.

UN-REAL colors!

After the gardens we went back to the main area where the ever so friendly staff wraps a brand new wine glass up for you to take as a souvenir.

You can also buy t-shirts and chocolates and many other things.  It’s a great winery to see when making a trip to Napa.

As we were leaving our first winery I noticed the sides of the winery were covered in this gorgeous greenery.  It was something I noticed at almost all of the wineries in Napa.  They are extremely keen on ivy growing on their buildings.

We were on to the next winery after a lovely time at Rombauer.

Next stop…

…the Frank Family Winery!

This winery had a much bigger lot partly because it was on flat property.  The tastings were held in a really neat old yellow farm house.  The wood floors would creak with every step and for some reason made me feel like I was suddenly on a southern farm.  This wine was good but had a stronger taste to it.  It’s really hard to actually taste each wine after you take a sip of a few.  I heard from one of our taste pourers that to clean your palette you put the new wine in your mouth and let it marinate for a few seconds.  Then you gently swish it around before swallowing it to clear your mouth.  The next sip you take then will be the actual taste of the new wine!

After we were done tasting, I really wanted to go see the grapevines and Frank Family is a great place to get close to the vines.

There’s a lot of hard work that goes into harvesting these grapes.  There are all different types of grapes, soil, harvesting techniques that contribute to making each wine different.

My mom picked some grapes for a snack in the car.  I’m not sure this is allowed but they were delicous!

I loved getting to see all the grapes and workings of the wineries!  After scoping out the vines we headed off to our last winery…

…the Duckhorn Winery!

There vines and grapes were completely different looking!  It really is amazing how from afar wineries can all look the same but once you get up close they really are unique.

Duckhorn had this really neat outdoor setting with a HUGE open tent with lounging areas.  It was amazing to be outside but covered with a breeze flowing through.

Here’s my mom and my brother under the tent.  This is the only photo I have of the cool outdoor area but it was a really great way to stay cool but still enjoy being outside.

After we finished at Duckhorn, it was time to head home.  The drive in and out of Napa is incredibly enrapturing.  Seeing these massive, architecturally interesting buildings is a site to see.

Napa is an amazing place to make a trip to and learn about the wines that are available all over the country and in some cases more.  If you ever have the chance to visit Northern California, Napa is a picture perfect vacation.  There are many activities available for all!