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…

BlogHer Book Club Review
If You Think Push was a Tough Read, Brace Yourself for The Kid

Don’t be fooled by the title of Sapphire’s latest novel, The Kid. There’s nothing childish about this follow up to her first novel Push. I’m woman enough to admit it that it took me 12 years to read “Push” because I was scared. I didn’t know how I would handle reading the story about Precious Jones, an illiterate, obese, black teenager pregnant by her father and abused by her mother as well. Push is a brilliant novel and emotionally challenging to read. But The Kid makes Push look like the minor leagues when it comes to the graphic scenes.

The story starts with nine-year-old Abdul Jones preparing to bury his mother Precious. Our Shero, who left an abusive home and sought education, lost her battle to AIDS at 27. The health care system failed her by not providing her medication she couldn’t afford. But Push fans will be happy to know that Precious grew into the woman and mother we hoped for. Precious became literate, wrote poems, went to college and exposed her son the arts. She encouraged Abdul to always ask questions and protected him. She reared a bright boy. I loved the character Precious and was so proud of her. It hurt to read that Abdul was going into foster care -- another system that would ruin all his mother hoped for. Although he’s The Kid, Abdul’s childhood dies when his mother’s coffin closes. He grows up brutally fast. 

Read the rest on BlogHer.com. Warning,the remainder of the review includes content that discusses child abuse and rape.

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