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…

Artist Synthia Saint James Unveils Piece
Inspired by Pres. Obama

A few days ago renowned artist Synthia Saint James unveiled her latest piece "Fire Rainbow Obama" to onlookers at the African American Fire Fighter Museum in Los Angeles. Saint James says the piece is inspired by the hope that President Obama has created throughout the world. She learned about fire rainbows a few years ago from her aunt. They are a rare phenomenon in nature. They've been seen in the Midwestern United States.

The painting features a group of people of various races, nationalities and ages gazing up at this vibrant rainbow. There is no overt image of the president but he and his family are in the crowd. Also if you notice in the center of the front row, there's an African man and white woman next to each other. They represent the President's parents.

The painting is beautiful. I love the rainbow because it's bright and strong, yet peaceful. The piece reflects the spirit of many Americans and much of the world during and after the election. Saint James says she is working on getting a copy sent to the Obama's.

The day of the unveiling marked Saint James' 60th birthday. She looks nowhere near 60. See what happens when you take care of yourself and do things that make you happy? This year also marks her 40th anniversary as a professional artist. And what a career. Saint James has written and illustrated 13 children's books, created the U.S. Postal Kwanzaa stamp, designed architecture for facilities in California and Florida, won numerous awards and her paintings have been on the cover of more than 60 books. If you read Terry McMillan or Iyanla Vanzant you've probably seen her art on some of their book covers. According to her website Saint James is celebrating her 60th birthday in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Photo Credits: Both photos by Cocoa Fly/Jenee Darden


  1. That piece is beautiful, and it's crystal clear why he won the election. People were looking for someone to save them from the last eight year of a do nothing administration. Hope has arrived!!!


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