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…

Whitney Houston and the Insensitive Media

The fun, talented, sexy Whitney Houston I idolized.

It took me a while to take in Whitney Houston’s death one year ago today.  She died a few days before my grandfather, so I was more focused on his transition.  I still can’t believe she’s gone. She was beautiful, amazing, graceful, indefinably talented and classy when she debuted.  Whitney was also troubled. Some pain in her life drove her to drugs. And for that I have compassion for her.  It hurts to see a family member or friend who is brilliant and kind, spin out of control from drugs. I know personally from relatives who couldn’t move past their pain so they turned to substances.

But I won’t dwell on that because that was just a part of Whitney’s life. I cannot tell you how many times as a little girl, I paraded around my bedroom in my pajamas with a hairbrush microphone pretending to be Whitney. I wanted to cut holes in my jeans so bad just to be like her. Oh and her voice. It was like she gave a gift to your ears and heart with every note. That’s the Whitney I loved and admired.

I wish I saw more of this Whitney from the media.  I noticed when she died, it seemed like the media used as many crackish looking shots they could find. They’ll show her “I Will Love You” video and then cut to a crackish shot. I felt like there was some sick joy in watching her fall. Lady Gaga has talked about society’s love for a rising star and their twisted eagerness to see them tumble.  But most of the media was definitely not Team Whitney.

When Farrah Fawcett died, the media hailed her as a beauty icon. She had problems with addiction. I didn’t see too many clips of her high on Late Night with David Letterman. Just a lot of images of her glorified hair, body and Charlie’s Angels days. Yet, I saw a lot of photos and videos of Whitney high. When the media mentions Elvis, the focus is more on his fame and music, not his bout with drugs. Not the same case for Whitney. Rarely do I see a story not mention her drug abuse.  And then there’s Lindsay Lohan who lives in a courtroom because of her foolishness.  When entertainment shows mention her, I get a sense that they want her to win. They want her to beat her demons. Whitney didn’t get the same compassion. They weren’t cheering her on to get better. They were waiting to see when they could get the next headline about her drugs, or Bobby Brown drama.

What’s scary is that I notice they’re doing the same thing with her daughter. I turned to an entertainment show the other day and the big question was “What’s Bobbi Kristina smoking?” Days before her mother’s death and the media is tying Bobbi Kristina to drugs.  I hope her handlers are watching her because I can see where this is going. The media hound dogs are eager to see her mess up.  I wonder if Liza Minelli was treated the same. Like her mother, she had problems with drinking.  I wonder if the media will treat Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter the same (I loved Anna Nicole Smith). Whitney Houston deserved better from the media. Especially since most people say she was a kind person.


  1. The media loves to bring back all of the negative words and photos when someone has died. You are right I wish we could have had more of the Whitwhit we knew.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate,

  2. Hey Tiffany,
    It's really unfortunate how the media treats her. But I am feeling your peace, love and chocolate. That sounds like a heavenly combo.


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