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…

More Drama at the Grammys than Oscars

Sadly incidents outside the Grammys were more interesting than the actual award ceremony. Everyone's talking about R&B singer Chris Brown allegedly assaulting his girlfriend Rihanna. The LAPD booked Brown last night.

Usher canceled his performance for Clive Davis' pre-Grammy party Saturday night. He rushed to Brazil to be with wife Tameka Foster who is suffering from plastic surgery complications. Foster is reportedly in stable condition.

As for the Grammy show--B.O.R.I.N.G. Many of the acts were weak. Heavy hitters like Alicia Keys, John Legend, Pink, Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, were missing and needed. There were some high points. Jennifer Hudson was great of course. Carrie Underwood--country fierce. Coldplay brought it as usual. The Rap Pack theme of the "Swagga Like Us" collabo was cool. A nine-months pregnant M.I.A. bouncing around the screen in a tight black, nylon-looking bodysuit took away from the performance at times. The black and white polka dots covering her boobs and belly left my eyes hurting. A cute baby doll dress like the one she wore to the show would have been more flattering. The LA Times report M.I.A. performed on her due date and a golf cart was on standby in case her water broke. I do give her props for her energy because M.I.A didn't move like a woman due to give birth any day . The Jonas Brothers lost their swagger on Stevie Wonder's "Superstition." They sounded off and one forgot a few of the lyrics. Neal Diamond should've performed "Sweet Caroline" earlier in the show. By the time he sang I needed to hear something with energy and the song was too slow for the latter half of the program. Tom Jones would've been a better pick. Kudos to Lil' Wayne for getting deep on "Tie My Hands" with Robin Thicke. Incorporating New Orleans Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Mardi Gras dancers into the performance reminded viewers of Hurricane Katrina and the Big Easy's soul and culture.

Maybe I'm getting old but I remember when my friends and family were hyped about Grammy night. The performances were memorable and watching my favorite artists win awards was fun. Now many of the awards are given off air. Only 10 awards made it to the podium during last night's broadcast. Another bummer, Jazmine Sullivan didn't go home with a trophy. She's still awesome. We'll get 'em next album Jazmine!

Ahhhh but the one person who never disappoints is the always handsome, always fly LL Cool J. All he did was introduce an act and that was enough for me.

Below are some artists who we didn't see take home Grammy gold.

Best Vocal Performance
Carrie Underwood Last Name

Best Traditonal Pop Vocal Album
Natalie Cole Still Unforgettable

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
Alicia Keyes Superwoman

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
Nee-Yo Miss Independent

Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
Al Green featuring Anthony Hamilton "You've Got the Love I Need"

Best Contemporary R&B Album
Mary J. Blige Growing Pains

Best Rap/Song Collaboration
Estelle Featuring Kanye West American Boy

Best Gospel Performance
CeCe Winans Waging War

Photo Credit:
3. Lester Cohen/


  1. I was disappointed in the grammys too, and I may not watch it next year. I don't know who picks the acts, but they need to have artists on that will keep us awake.


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