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…

Cocoa Bits: John Hope Franklin
and Oakland's Cop Killer a Hero?

John Hope Franklin

I was sad to hear that historian John Hope Franklin passed away today at 94. He died from congestive heart failure. Dr. Franklin's research focused on the history of the Southern United States. He wrote about the African American struggle to civil rights. And he taught the South's history, examining both the black experience and white experience. Dr. Franklin earned his bachelor's degree from Fisk and his doctorate from Harvard. He and other scholars worked with Thurgood Marshall to win Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. The brotha was deep and it's because of people like him I was able to go to good schools and get a quality education. Dr. Franklin was born in Oklahoma and lived in the South when segregation was legal. Can you imagine what he had to deal with? Read his book From Slavery to Freedom and his 2005 autobiography Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin . Go to the National Visionary Leadership Project website to learn more about him. He's somebody that all Americans should know about it. What a blessing that he lived long enough to see a black man become President of the United States.

Thank you Dr. Franklin.