Cheers! My Birthday Celebration with the Napa Valley Wine Country Tours

After losing my grandmother a few weeks before my birthday, I really needed to celebrate life. I know she would want me to do that. This year, I decided to ring in a new year of life in wine country. My soror traveled up from So Cal to visit. This would be her first time in Napa. I didn’t want to drive so instead, we bought bus tickets for the Napa Valley Wine Country Tours.

Let me tell you something, going on this bus tour was one of the BEST decisions I made. The Napa Valley Wine Country Tours bus isn’t just any bus. It’s a limo bus that looks like a VIP club lounge on wheels. We paid $119 for an 8-hour trip, visit to 4 wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties, continental breakfast and lunch. It was worth every penny. The tastings aren't covered in the bus fare, but they ran about $10-$25. Wineries won't charge you for tastings if you buy a bottle. I recommend this for tourists and any Bay Area locals who have folks visiting from out of town and want a short excursion to Nap…

Sasha and Malia Dolls and other Cocoa Bits

UPDATE Chicago reports that the First Lady finds the dolls "inappropriate." The toy company better watch out. Aside from being the most powerful couple in the world Mr. and Mrs. Obama are both lawyers. I'm sure they know what's up when it comes to the rights of their daughters' privacy and image.

Sasha and Malia are hitting the toy shelves. Notice I didn't say Sasha and Malia Obama. The Associated Press reports that the makers of Beanie Babies are releasing dolls called "Sweet Sasha" and "Marvelous Malia. " They're from Ty Inc.'s line called TyGirlz Collection. The company says the dolls are not in the likeness of the fly First Daughters. I guess it's just a coincidence that the dolls have the same names as the First Kids and were released in limited supply during the month of the Inauguration. The dolls are cute but they don't look like Sasha and Malia. Check out the AP for a slideshow of the dolls.

Seeing Red
Much of the world still seems to be on an Inauguration high. Our First Lady was definitely the belle of the balls Tuesday night. But I also want to give props to our Vice President's lady in red, Dr. Jill Biden. It's a color we haven't seen in Washington much since Nancy Regan's days in the White House. Although Michelle Obama did wear a striking red dress when the Bush family gave the Obamas a White House tour. I thought Biden's short Fleurette coat and tall leather black boots she wore to the Inauguration ceremony were hip and classy. And she looked lovely in her flowing red strappless gown by Reem Acra. Sadly, the media is trying to start stuff by comparing Jill and Michelle's style. I've seen articles asking who dressed better. You'd never hear someone comparing Obama's and Biden's bow ties. Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden have different styles but they both looked great the other night.

Cocoa Grooves
There are two songs I've been listening to lately. India Arie's new album is coming out Feb. 10th. The first single "Chocolate High" features Musiq. But I'm really digging her duet with artist Anthony David called "Words." It's sweet, romantic with a smooth melody. I'm late on this song because it's been out for some time. Wish India and Anthony luck at next month's Grammys because "Words" was nominated .

And if you haven't OD'd on Obamania just yet check out "America's Song." When David Foster,, Bono, Faith Hill and Mary J. Blige get together, you can't go wrong. Whether you're on the right or left it's a spirited, patriotic song. I have Republican friends and relatives so if any of them are reading this don't watch the video. Just close your eyes and listen to the music.

Photo Credits: AP