Lucky #13

13 days and counting until the big day…and I’m not talking about PFM’s debut for the Broncos…tonight was spent sending more pictures in for our slideshow, finalizing our seating chart and looking up hotels in Playa del Carmen and flights home in October. Each day is getting busier and busier and we can’t really believe that everything is coming together. We can’t wait to spend time with friends and families then head to Mexico for an awesome 10 days on the beach in Cozumel and Playa del Carmen.

My job is going well but is equally as busy with Kickoff this Saturday. There are fewer and fewer boxes scattered around the apartment and this place should be quite suitable for Nikki when she finally moves out. We’re looking forward to spending time enjoying California and all it has to offer as soon as we can.

 

 

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Frez Yosemite Intl Airport #FAIL

Well so far FAT (Fresno air terminal) has gotten me off on time, lost my bags and held me hostage for a 4 hr delay…33% success rate is fairly poor so far.

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Dinner and entertainment on the way to Vegas include peanuts, m&m’s and katniss everdeen (no double-take required, I am finishing up the Hunger Games trilogy).

I’m going to arrive pissed and will no doubt take it out on the blackjack tables at the Bellagio and Jake’s liver.

“So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?”
― Hunter S. Thompson

Jake’s Bachelor Party (Preview)

Who: Jake Haberle, friends and family

Where: Vegas

When: This Weekend – August 17-19

Jake and his tornado posse will be descending on Las Vegas in the same quaalude induced stupor that once was only reserved for Hunter S. Thompson in the search for cocaine and hookers cheap blackjack tables and open seats by the pool.

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If you see Jake wandering around Vegas alone…run the other way.

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All kidding aside…I am psyched to be Jake’s best man and can’t wait to spend a great weekend in Vegas with him and the other 8 dudes coming (more updates to come)…

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Steel f’n Panther…circa 2009.

Move complete – One Month and Counting…

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Nikki’s Tired…21.5 hours later

Nikki and Todd braved a 21.5 hour drive last Tuesday and arrived to a warm welcome of Rogue Dead Guy Ale and Coors Light around 12:30am “Wednesday” morning. The next day was spend unloading, arranging, unpacking and enjoying each other’s company. Todd left Thursday morning and Nikki stayed around until Saturday. Nikki and I got some great time together and are on the path to making this apartment in Fresno home…for now…

Being able to settle down for the first time since late June/early July is nice but it doesn’t come with added stresses. DirecTV comes tomorrow but I do not think I have missed not having TV…Saturdays and Sundays could have been more exciting with the Olympics to watch and my bar tabs at Yard House could have been a little less but thanks to HBO GO and my parents XFINITY sign in I’ve been able to watch most of everything that I need to (and have a number of HBO Sunday Night “Dates” with Nikki). My biggest take-away’s from the last month will be to read more, listen to more music and swim.

Nikki and I have 27 days until our Marriage and I have 19 days until college football Kickoff…needless to say this upcoming month is going to be crazy and filled with a ton of excitement. Nikki has moved in with my parents for the next month and I think they are more excited now than anytime I ever moved back in…but they should be.

I will get better at this whole blog thing but for now…GO Rams!

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When life leaves you a 2/3 full bottle of Crown Royal…make Crown and Gingers.

Getting Settled

Finally getting settled here in Fresno. It’s been great having Nikki and Todd here been for the last 2 days and we couldn’t have done it without them.

Nikki leaves Saturday morning and we’re looking forward to the rest of our time together. Here are some photos of the new place…still under construction…

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The Fresno County Wine Journey

Yesterday I spent the afternoon a little outside of Fresno at 4 wineries that were all within a mile or two from each other. I went to Englemann Cellars, LoMac Winery, A. Nonini Winery and Moravia Wines. With all the tasting rooms being no more than a few miles apart it makes for a nice afternoon of sipping local wines and getting to know the owners and winemakers. My timing must have been right because I was able to spend a little time getting to know people at each spot. 

First was Englemann Cellars and they did not disappoint. Bret Englemann led me through a full tasting of 6 of their varieties (they had close to 15 available) along with the full story behind their vineyards (4th generation grape grower). I sampled the Rose (more on the Red side compared to a French Rose), Cab/Shiraz Blend (very good and easy drinking, lots of smokey and cherry notes), Uber Zin (excellent), Ziraz (Zzin and Shiraz Blend), and Tempranillo (spicy wine, my kind of Red). Their wines all carried excellent color characteristics. Englemann has the best set-up of any of the wineries and hosts concerts on Friday nights in the summer to go along with their tastings on Saturday and Sunday. My 4 hour long afternoon in 95 degree heat didn’t allow me to purchase any but I will bring Nikki the first Saturday we have. 

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Englemann Cellars – Outside their tasting room

LoMac Winery was the 2nd stop. I’ve never had a Barbara before LoMac and it was really a good varietal. It was definitely peppery and fruit heavy but also a light and easy drinking wine. The color was different as it wasn’t nearly as Red as I would have expected. I tried their Rose, Pinot Noir (tough to make in the central valley because of the heat…you could tell with the color that they had to harvest the grapes a little too soon), Merlot, Tre (Cab, Syrah and Zin blend), Moscato (super sweet dessert wine; peachy) and the Lady Da Vine (heavy dessert wine, red). Not bad all around but it’ll be my third stop down the road. 

A. Nonini Winery was the third stop and my least favorite. They specialize in sweet table wines. The winery and vineyard has a great story. I was able to chat up James (GM, winemaker, etc.) about the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos and all things sports during the tasting. He loves Jay Cutler…and I love that Jay Cutler is the Bears QB and not the Broncos, so we agreed on that. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the wine I definitely respect the history and will end up back there again. 

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Ben Franklin Quote at Nonini

Moravia Wines was a great way to finish up my tour. They make more of the traditional wines and their color was awesome. It was a pleasure meeting Trent and seeing 4 generations of his family in the tasting room, we should all be that lucky. I started off with their Rose (same nose as a dry Rose but a stronger fruit taste) then the Petit Syrah, followed by the Merlot (awesome color and nose but an even better taste…almost confused me for a really intense Cab. One of the best Merlot’s I’ve ever had) and the Old Vine Zin (everyone seems to make an “old vine” Zinfandel…sweet up front but smooth at the end…ultimately not my favorite of varieties) and finished with their Cabernet Sauvignon which was very good. Moravia’s wines were also the most affordable which was highly encouraging since I liked them so much. Trent and I talked just as much about beer as we did wine and he’ll be getting a nice little package of Mountain Livin’ Pale Ale when I get around to it. 

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A few takeaways:

  1. Because of heat of the Central Valley most wineries have to search a little harder for excellent grapes that are a little smaller for their wines. I learned that in order to bring out the best color for the wines you need to have super sweet small grapes so that the skins can take over during the aging process to create a full and dark colored red. 
  2. The area/soil/vines here give a lot of the same characteristics because I had a tough time differentiating some of the varieties. 
  3. Englemann Cellars is probably the premier place to get married in all of Fresno. I haven’t seen many places that could hold a large event any better
  4. Having a number of wineries within 20 minutes of my apartment and within 5 minutes of each other is really neat and we’ll be back for sure. 

Fresno Yard House

Currently enjoying a nice Sunday chilling at the Yard House watching the Dodgers and the Olympics. Beer of choice is the Firestone/Walker Union Jack IPA.

Also taking some good me time to review last week at work while also formulating a plan for the upcoming week. So far this has helped me identify things I need to work on an transition into the next week with a better plan of action.

Spent a very fun day visiting 4 wineries just west of town yesterday. Full post will follow this later this evening fresh with photos and reviews.

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