Gloria Ferrer Winery, Sonoma Valley

When we visited San Francisco recently, we took a wine tour that visited three Napa and Sonoma Wineries. The best of the best was the Gloria Ferrer Winery – Sonoma

The tour took us from the anti room, to the barrel holding room where they have lots of parties, then on to the bar overlooking the production room.

We tasted grapes fresh from the vine. They were super sweet and delishious!

We enjoyed a close up look at some of Gloria’s Champaign flute collection. Unfortunately we did not have a tour of their famous caves, however, the harvest was beginning that evening and they were getting ready for it to begin that evening.

The grapes are harvested mostly at night, but hand.  It is a long process, but it ensures the grape skins (which ad color to the final wine) are not broken.  This gives the wine maker more control over the color.

My favorite wine at Gloria Ferrer was the 2015 Jose Ferrer Selection Chardonnay at $40 a bottle, it is not inexpensive, but for a special dinner – it would be perfect.

I decided to join their wine Cuvee Club which ships two bottles every quarter. I recieved my first shipment recently.

If you want to try some great wines when you are in Sonoma Valley, be sure to visit the Gloria Ferrer Winery.  You will be happy you did.

Hope you get Lost in the Journey

Sandi

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How to Navigate the NYC Fabric Stores – Turn by Turn Directions

Some of these links are affiliate links some are just things I love. I recieve compensation if you purchase through these links at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Want to shop the New York City Garment District Fabric Stores? Don’t know where to start? Here is a stop by stop, step by step tour of my favorite places to shop!

The best place to start if you are taking the train is Grand Central Terminal.  If you are coming in on Amtrak and start at Penn Station, this will work for you too. Our starting point for all other travelers is Mood Fabrics. I like to start at Mood for two reasons: 

  1. It can be overwhelming at the end of your trip when you are tired.
  2. When starting from Grand Central, your bags are empty on the longest part of the walk – important to consider.

Speaking of bags.  I take one wheely carry on bag (this is a good one from Amazon) with a back pack inside. This is a day trip itinerary, so I’ll add a water and some snack bars incase I get hangry.

When you arrive at Grand Central Station, you need to exit the station through the 42 Street Door.  Turn right, you should be facing Madison Avenue. Walk to Madison and turn left and walk 5 blocks (these are the short blocks) to W 37th Street. Turn right on 37th Street, you are headed West and the streets will change from E to W.  You will cross 5th Avenue, Avenue of the Americas, Broadway and 7th Avenue. Mood is halfway down the block on the right side of the street, 225 W 37th Street, take the elevator to the 3rd Floor and have FUN! The attendant at the door will ask you to check you bag, this is another reason I like to start here – my back is empty! Be sure to have your camera ready, Swatch is a quick one! I usually spend 1 to 1 ½ hours in Mood depending on my list.

Next stop is Elliott Berman Textiles. They are a wholesale and online shop that is open to walk-ins during the week.  They are not open on the Weekend. When you walk out the door of Mood turn left, walk to 7th Avenue.  Take a right on 7th Avenue then a right on W 35th Street. EBT is on the right side of the street at 225 W 35th Street. They are on the 7th Floor. They have lots of great imported French and Italian fabrics.  You do have to hunt – it is a fun and quiet place to shop. Nothing has a price on it, so you have to buy on faith or keep asking for help. When you have made your selections, one of the girls will follow you around with a pair of scissors and cut what you need off the bolt. I usually spend ½ – 1 hour here.

About this time I am ready for a coffee and muffin. There is a Starbucks in the lobby of our next stop, but there are lots of great places along the way.

Next stop is one of my all-time favorite stores – B & J Fabrics!  525 7th Ave, New York, NY 10018 Take a left out of Elliott Berman and head back to 7th Avenue. Turn left on 7th Avenue, B & J is 3 and 1/2 blocks, between W 38th and W 39th Streets. You will need to cross 7th Avenue. They are on the 2nd Floor.  Be prepared to want

All. The. Pretty. Things!

They carry and extensive line of suiting and dress shirt fabrics, cottons, and a large array of silks and specialty fabrics.  Here you shop by the hanging sample. Then you take your selections to the staff and they will fetch to bolts for you. Also, if you decide on a bolt on the floor, ask the staff for help.  They would prefer to move everything around themselves. I have been known to spend up to 2 hours here. They are the best!

My last stop is Pacific Trimming 218 W 38th St.  I like to stop here last so I can get all the buttons, zips and trim I need for my purchases.  This way I have all the fabrics with me and can match colors and textures. From B & J, take a left out of the building and cross 7th Avenue at W 38th Street.  You should see Pacific Trimmings, it is on the left side of W 38th one building down.

From here you can easily make your way back to Grand Central Terminal, 89 E 42nd St, Turn right out of Pacific Trim, Walk up W 38th to Madison. Turn left on Madison and walk to 42nd Street to the Grand Central Terminal.

Catch your train, rest your feet and enjoy your fabulous fabric!

Other shops to add in:

Leather Impact is on the 10th floor, in the same building as B & J Fabrics. I haven’t been to their new shop here, but in the old shop you had to be buzzed in. They sell top quality leather.

Until this last trip, New York Elegant Fabrics would be my last stop, they were on W 40th street and have a large selection of discount fabrics.  They are moving to W 36th street in the Fall of 2018 to a much smaller shop.

There are lots of great, small shops all along the route.  You should top in and take a peek. You can get some great deals.

I run guided shopping tours several times a year in NYC, register for my newsletter to find out when the next one is happening!

Of course, if you can’t get to NYC, all of these shops have great online stores with helpful staff.

Sew What’s Fabulous

 

 

 

Sandi

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California Road Trip – San Francisco to Los Angeles

Some of these links are affiliate links some are just things I love. I recieve compensation if you purchase through these links at no additional cost to you.

California Coast Tour: San Franciso to Los Angeles – our 3 day California Coast Road Trip where neither Chris or I had to drive!

This trip included all the must see stops on the California Coast. Our guide was Adam, he is knowledgeable, friendly and is like your new travel BFF!

We booked our tour through Viator, it was simple and amazing.

On Tuesday morning, Adam pulled into our hotel, the Hyatt Regency Downtown San Franciso, right on time.  He loaded our luggage and after we collected another group from a different hotel we were off and running aimed at the Pacific Coastal Highway. Adam gave us a brief overview of the day and then we were on our way to Monterey.

There are planned stops every few hours to give you a chance to regroup, stretch and view the sites.  Our first stop was Pigion Point Lighthouse, part of the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

I was thrilled to see the plants! All of these we have to grow in pots back in New England.

Our next stop was at Swanton Berry Farm in Davenport. It is a family run farm with a lovely little shop where you drop your money in a till on the honor system.  We bought a pint of Mara Des Bois organic strawberries.  Chris and I had finished them before we pulled out of the parking lot. Yum!

We saw some beautiful California beaches and lovely homes on our drive down to Santa Cruz, where we stopped for lunch and a stroll.  We had a light lunch and a stroll around town window shopping.

Our next stop was Monterey, we were staying at the Spindrift Inn in Cannery Row (Steinbeck anyone?).

But first we visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  I did not expected to be impressed, but I was wrong.  The Monterey Bay is filled with Kelp Forrests which is home to some amazing sea creaters. Our timing was good and we watched the diver feed the sharks and other large fish. The special exhibit was Viva Baja, which featured creatures from the coastal habitats of Baja. Just take a look at this flamboyant cuttlefish – it is beautiful.

Our room at the Spindrift Inn was lovely, upscale beachy decor. There was a sweet bay window seat overlooking Cannery Row.

The only downside of the room was the lingering smokey smell.  The inroom fireplace had be used recently.

The hotel is 4 stories and has a large roof deck which overlooks Monterey Bay. We had our happy hour and breakfast the following day on the deck.  The views were spectacular, I want to have  my coffee there every morning!

Adam collected us early in the morning for day 2 of our coastal trip.  We were excited because the Big Sur scenic drive had just reopened a week before, it was closed for almost a year due to a landslide.

But first it was the world-famous 17-Mile Drive.  Magnificent views, homes, and my husband’s favorite – Pebble Beach Golf Club.  We had about an hour to wander around the grounds and through the club house. Did you know Pebble Beach is a public course? Anyone can play there – even me – Ha!

But there is more to see on this drive, The Lone Cypress – a California landmark, the Del Monte Forrest, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, The Poppy Hills Golf Course and more.

Carmel-by-the-Sea was our next stop. We had a drive by some of the sweet cottages then parked. We had about an hour to grab a quick lunch (lots of great little coffee shops) and window shop. Since Chris and I love walking, it is fun to explore these little towns. This $3,500 leather jacket caught my eye,  but I couldn’t get Chris to bite 🙂

Big Sur – all I can say is WOW! The 3+ hour drive up and down twisting roads with breathtaking views. We stopped several times for photographs, even ran into people from Boston. These photographs do not do the scenery justice!

We stopped in San Simeon to view the Elephant Seal Colonies – the male seals were in residence – they are huge and loud.  Fun to watch.

Hearst Castle – what can I say…..250,000 acres, 41 fireplaces, and 60 bathrooms!

1 Refilling-the-Pool_4157

Photo credit: from www.hearstcastle.org

Adam dropped us off and went to check us into our hotels and drop our luggage (one of the great perks of tour travel). We boarded the bus at the visitor center then began the treck up the mountain to the Enchanted Hill for the Grand Rooms Tour. The tour was interesting, and included parts of the gardens, pools and the large entertainment areas.  The real fun was wandering the gardens and taking in the breathtaking views.

After a white-knuckle ride back down the long driveway, we were off to our hotel in Cambria, The Rigdon House, a lovely boutique hotel off the main drag. We were just a little late for happy hour, which is ubiquitous in Coastal California. We enjoyed some nice Chardonney and light finger food along with delightful company: a young couple from Dublin, Ireland, a couple from Simi Valley and a couple from Los Angeles.  We eventually made our way to Robin’s for dinner. It was accross the street from Rigdon House and recommended by Adam.  The atmosphere was California Coastal Casual and we had a great meal – I highly recommend the Pecan Tart if it is available, Yum!

Our suite at Rigdon House was gorgeous, well appointed and very clean. We really only were in Cambria for dinner and sleep, but from my short peak of the area – it looked like a nice sleepy, well traveled town between San Franciso and LA.

Day 3 began with an 8:00 am pickup and a morning drive to Solvang. A Danish tourist town loaded with wine tasting and pastry shops.  We stopped for an hour and had enough time for a pasty, coffee and a walk about town.

Santa Ynez Valley was next on our list, loaded with vineyards, grapes and cows as far as you can see (at least until the mountains inhibit the view).

We finished our time with Adam in Santa Barbara.  He brought us to the Amtrak Station as planned and organized each groups tickets to Los Angeles.  We were spending two days in Santa Barbara (do you see a new blog possiblity here?), he arranged our tickets, and dropped us at our hotel, which he had recommended and was spot on!

Our touring trip was perfect, Chris didn’t have to drive so he got to see all the amazing vistas, relax and enjoy the ultimate summer road trip!

If you want to take this wonderful Pacific Coast road trip, you can book it here. Make sure to tell Adam, Sandi sent you!

Happy Travels,

Sandi

Note: Some of these are affiliate links, which means I receive a commission from the vendor when you purchase through this link.  It does not add to your cost. Other items listed are just items I love and want to share with you!

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