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…

I Can't Get Everything I Want on Black Friday

I still can't believe how some American shoppers act on Black Friday. I saw the video of people fighting over pre-paid cellphones at Walmart and the stampede at a Victoria Secret in Oklahoma.  What are they putting in the panties and bras at Victoria's Secret? While watching the chaos, I thought for people to behave like that, what they need can't be found in a Walmart bargain bin, like sense and manners.  And maybe better paying jobs or financial planning so they don't have to damn near risk their lives for a cellphone.

I won't lie to you.  I hit up the Black Friday sales. But I always wait until after the chaos. I took the train to the mall at noon. By then, the hardcore shoppers were nestled in their beds, with visions of Walmart bargain bins fights replaying in their heads. There was nothing really on my heart that I really wanted, aside for a pair of tall, flat leather boots. We scoured the whole mall and the only thing that made me whip out my wallet were button up, business shirts that were on sale at JC Penny for $12.  What I really, really, really want, I can't get on a shopping trip on Black Friday.

--I want to rent a nice one-bedroom apartment in a certain area SOON that fits my budget.
--I want to see the world and write about it.
--I want to make more money.
--I want my public speaking career to take off.
--I want this blog and my podcasts to take off.
--I want success, based on how I define it.
--I want to be a bestselling author.
--I want more time in the day.
--I want my dentist to have a change of heart and take my insurance.
--I want to own a flat in London and a house in Napa.
-- I want to have dinner with Oprah and the Obamas.
--I want to interview Janel Monae.

It's not just the material things I can't find at Target's electronic department.

--I want peace in the world.
--I want AIDS, cancer and hunger eradicated.
--I want the human race to take better care of our planet.
--I want the criticism of our president that has racist undertones to stop.
--I want more humanity in our world.
--I want child sex trafficking to end, especially in my neighborhood.

Then there's the nostalgia…

--I want to go over my late great aunt's house for Thanksgiving and eat her tamale pie again like we used to do every year.
--I want to watch my late grandfather make magic over the stove.
--I want my colleague who passed away recently to walk into my office, give me a hug and complain about his day.
--I want Whitney to get a second chance at life and heal from whatever pain that drove her to drugs.
--I want to eat dairy without getting sick. I miss milk, cheese and ice cream.

Then there are the really superficial things…

--I want to film and reenact Charlize Theron's J'adore commercials.
--I want to sunbathe in Europe on a yacht while wearing a white bikini with a cute guy stretched out next to me.
--I want to be cast as the next Catwoman.
--I want to fly to Vegas with my girlfriends, stay in a 5-star hotel and rent a limo. Then I want us to shop our behinds off, club hop, go to the spas and get front row seats to all of the shows. I want this to be an annual thing.  And I want us to do this in Paris, Spain, etc.
--I want to do photoshoots with David Bechkham and Trey Songz.

There are other superficial things I want, but I'll keep them to myself because you will think I'm off the hook.  Bwahaha.

This is not even half of my list of wants. My lack of desire for material things at the mall is a blessing. It means I have a lot. Despite my long list of wants, I'm happy that I have good health, a job, my family and friends, shelter, clothes and my car.  The last three years have been tough for me, but things are changing for the better.  After being unemployed for 2+ years, getting in a horrible car accident that thankfully didn't kill me and scraping by, I know how blessed I am. And those things make you realize what's important.  For that, I'm thankful.