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…

Where to Be and What to Watch This Weekend

Black History Month '09 is coming to an end and there's a whole lot of stuff going on

On Saturday the State of the Black Union returns to LA where it began back in 2000. Cocoa Fly will be in the house, well actually the LA Convention Center. Tavis Smiley has been hosting this forum for 10 years now. If you're in the area you may still be able to register for the event at Tickets are free. Or you can watch it at home on one of my favorite channels, C-SPAN. The program starts at 8am PST and yours truly will be up extra early and probably arrive at the convention center probably around 7am. Invited guest panelists include Michael Eric Dyson, Danny Glover, Iyanla Vanzant and Nikki Giovanni. Check back over the weekend for my coverage of the event.

Lifetime is airing two black movies this weekend. Wow 2 whole black movies. Tonight Charles S. Dutton (you remember Roc) plays a prison guard who starts a girls track team for inmates to ease racial tensions in "Racing for Time." Glad to see YaYa DeCosta from the third season of America's Next Top Model co-starring. She's a fly sista that's pretty and talented.

Rosie O'Donnell and Ruby Dee star in "America" which airs Saturday at 9pm with encore airings throughout the weekend. O'donnell's character is a psychiatrist who helps a biracial teen boy named America survive the foster care system. The boy's mother was a crack head. Not sure if his mother his black. I just hope this isn't another one of those "Losing Isiaiah" type of films. I get tired of seeing movies with black women who can't take care of their kids and white people have to save them. But I'll check it out.

I usually like Lifetime Original Movies, especially, the cheesy romantic ones. I know Lifetime has aired black movies from the silver screen like "Brown Sugar." But it would be cool to see some romantic Lifetime Original Movies with black characters. The movies I mentioned above are both about troubled youth. That's not to say these movies are bad because I haven't seen them yet. But I'm tired of watching these movies about black folks struggling in the hood. Yeah, that's a reality in the black community but we have other things going on.

Now from the lower class to the OVERclass. CNBC journalist Lee Hawkins is exploring black wealth in the documentary "Newbos: The Rise of America's New Black Overclass. It's based on his upcoming book with the same title. Some of the people he's interviewing are BET founder Bob Johnson, Kirk Franklin, Cash Money execs ( I have to see this) and more. It originally aired on Thursday and I totally missed it because I was watching Stevie Wonder recieve the Libary of Congress Gershwin Prize on PBS (you can catch reairings of that show in some U.S. cities). "Newbos" reairs this Sunday at 10pm EST.

Okay I'm done plugging folks. Check back this weekend for MY blog on the State of the Black Union. Have a Cocoa Fly Weekend. And thanks for reading!