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…

Welcome Back Whitney

It's been seven years since Whitney Houston's powerful voice captivated our ears. If you're a real Whitney fan, it's been a rough seven years. We've watched her struggle through drug abuse and a turbulent to marriage to ex-husband Bobby Brown. Now Miss Whitney is back with her new album I Look To You. In an era of music where vocal skills or knowing how to lip sync are not required for a record deal (like this mess) I welcome Houston's return.

Executive producer Clive Davis brought out the "big guns" for this project--R. Kelly, Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, Diane Warren, David Foster and others. I listened to the album three times. Houston's voice is not the same. She still sounds good, but you can tell drugs and cigarettes have taken a toll on her vocals. I was also disappointed there wasn't an emotional ballad that blew me away--something along the likes of songs from Waiting to Exhale or Bodyguard soundtracks.

But don't count Whitney out. She captures you from the jump on the first track "Million Dollar Bill." Alicia Keys and Swizz Beats co-produced the funky tune, reminiscent of a 70s disco beat. Houston sings about fighting her demons in the title track "I LookTo You." R. Kelly wrote that song along with "Salute." "Salute" is one of those songs you play after getting rid of a man because you're tired of his mess. In it she refers to herself as a "soldier girl" and sings:

"Took me all of these years to realize that you don't belong here. I can do better. You say I'll never do better? Yeah, right. Whatever."

The song I keep replaying is "I Got You." Akon gave this song about unconditional love a chill sound with a hint of island beats.

I Look To You is not my favorite Whitney Houston album but it features good songs. Houston has a loyal fan base and I imagine she's going to sell a lot of copies when it hit shelves and iTunes. The record company pushed her album release date up to Monday Aug 31 so she can be in the running for a Grammy nod. Whether she wins or doesn't win a Grammy is not important to me. After the way Michael Jackson left us I'm happy Houston is still here, looking good, and singing again. We missed you Whitney. Welcome Back.

You can hear Whitney Houston's entire album on her website here. Or click on the picture below. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.

Set your DVRs! Whitney debuts on Good Morning America this coming Tuesday Sept. 1st and sits down with Oprah on Monday Sept. 14. Can't Wait!!!!


  1. Thanks Cocoa Fly,

    I'm going to listen to her album today @ work. I can't seem to get any work done without music. I always said that if I was stranded on an island left with the entire catalog (features included) of 3 musicians of my choosing, they would be Whitney, Mary J. and Michael.

    Also, I discovered this band while working out at the gym here. I think they're pretty darn hot the lead singer is drop dead gorg....check them out.

    Miss One

  2. Hi Miss One,

    Whitney, Mary J and Michael are great choices if you're stranded on an island. I'm glad Whitney's record company put the whole album online to give us a chance to hear it. I saw the Noisettes on Wendy Williams a few weeks. They're a cool band. Thanks for the info and thanks for reading.

  3. Thanks Cocoa Fly for letting us know about Whitney's upcoming appearance on Oprah. I haven't listened to her new CD, but I will tonight. She was blessed with an amazing set of vocals, but she didn't take care of them, and this is the end result. In any case I wish her well.


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