This year for my birthday my good friend and Hubby planned a birthday get away. I was whisked away to Slovenia for wine tasting, bar hopping and skiing. Well skiing didn’t happen due to snow not showing up until our last day there. We still had a great time taking in the beauty of this country and filled our bellies with sausages, potatoes and sauerkraut.

London, England

Went to London with my neighbor to do some tours and just have a fun weekend. We stumbled upon Santa Con taking place in London. If you were bad brussel sprouts would be thrown at you. I will post those pictures in another post.

We really had an awesome time at the Tower of London. So much history and the Beefeaters are pretty entertaining too.

If you would like to see more of the Beefeaters in action. They are pretty funny.

We also stumbled upon the Winter Wonderland Carnival/Christmas market too!

Santa Con – London

Santa Con apparently started in San Fransisco in 1994 (via wikipedia). Basically this is just a great opportunity to meet new people and participate in a pub crawl with your friends through large cities dressed as Santa.

Google answers the question…

What is the point of Santacon?
SantaCon is a bar crawl in which participants dress as Santa Claus or other Christmas characters. It is also known as Santarchy, Santa Rampage, the Red Menace, and Santapalooza. The event is described by its organizers as “a nonsensical Santa Claus convention that happens once a year for absolutely no reason.”

While waiting for the tube we stumbled across some locals dressed as Santa and asked if we could tag along. They were so gracious to let us join in the fun. I found out that Santa’s in England like to chick brussel sprouts at others, I guess it’s better than coal?

Asiago, Italy

I went with a group of friends to Asiago to check out their Christmas market. This small town known for their cheese is a little gem. They are far enough north that they are lucky to get snow from time to time in the winter.

Apple & Pear Festival

I absolutely love Fall. This Apple & Pear Festival took place in early October in Lusiana, a northern Italian.  Many flock to the town to celebrate the harvest of these fruits. In the  main hall, farmers proudly display their best fruit and other items. Lusiana is know for their farming and cheese so there is also a museum dedicated to the history of the town and how cheese was made in the past. Imaging that farmers would have a cow or two to milk for their families cheese production.  You can see it would be hard to herd cattle on these steep streets.

My favorite is the community of folk singer and vendors. Many of the booths we came across sold handmade items such as honey, roasted chestnuts, apple cider, apple butter, and dried apples and pears too.

If you are ever in the northern area of Italy and you are in town during the fall, I highly recommend getting out and visiting some of the local festivals.

Paris & Bordeaux, France

I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Paris with a friend this past September. What was incredible about this trip was she is fluent in French and had lived in Paris. This was the most non stressful trip I have taken to date. Since we are both winos and foodie lovers it was a match made in travel heaven. The whole time I was there I felt blessed to be standing in Paris, drink champange every chance I got. I also gained at least 10 pound taking in all the macaroons, french onion soup, fresh baked bread, homemade butters, etc.

We also took a trip to Bordeaux to really indulge in our love for wine. We stayed in this excellent airbnb that was located above a bakery. The struggle to get out of bed and run downstairs to grab fresh bread and croissants was all to difficult. The apartment looked like it was decorated by Betsy Johnson but was perfect for two girls exploring Bordeaux.

Harvest of Wines

As autumn is upon us it is the season for local wineries to open their doors to locals and tourists. This is a great opportunity for the wineries to get extra hands to help out collecting the grapes but also have some fun during this very busy time of year.

This year I went to many wineries but Salvan Winery was the only one I remembered to bring my camera at.

While out in the fields working up a sweat the ownered delicious goose burgers or goose ragu with gnocchi. Either paired well with their wines.