Napa Valley

 

Napa Valley Wine Train Tracks

Napa Hot Air Balloons on a golf course

Napa Hot Air Balloons in Yountville

Numbered Balloon

Yellow Balloon

Napa Hot Air Balloons in the sky

Balloons in the Rear View

Balloon in the sunrise

Napa Hot Air Balloons

I will openly admit that I have become one of those annoying early morning risers. Long gone are the days where I could sleep in till noon and not even care. Now days i’m happy if I sleep past 7. Although it has its downsides, it also has its serious benefits. The other day I slept in till 7 then got up and went on a little adventure. Every morning on the way to work I always want to stop and take pictures of the Napa hot air balloons. My mid driving snaps with me looking at the road and NOT at the camera, just aren’t cutting it. So I decided to actually get up and grab my nice DSLR camera and head out.

When I got there, one was just taking off and all the others were just getting inflated so it was perfect timing. I drove in circles for a good hour, just striving to capture the perfect shot. I took quite a few photos and these turned out to be my favorite. They were so beautiful and colorful. I couldn’t get over how incredible the sunrise looked behind these balloons. I know some people could care less, but when you’ve always wanted to see a hot air balloon up close and now live in a place like Napa, it will take a while to get tired of this sight. If I ever do, that is!

I was laughing to myself because the hot air balloon operators kept eye balling me and I moved into position. They probably thought I was crazy because I definitely looked like I was. But really, I just wanted the perfect angle. I highly recommend that if you are planning a trip to Napa Valley you wake up early and head to Yountville to see this!

They generally take off from the golf course off Highway 29 and the Marketplace parking lot in the town. Interested in booking a trip? Napa Valley Aloft, Napa Valley Balloons and Balloons Above the Valley, all offer rides!

Hope you all enjoy these images as much as I do!

Have a great day! God bless!

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Sunshine on Vineyards

1 Month Down in Napa

So today I realized that I have officially been at my new job for a whole month! Where did the time go? I thought it would be fun to reflect on my first couple weeks living in Napa. I have already been to so many incredible places and can’t wait to share those pictures in separate posts.

Reflections:

– I have come to realize that I am majorly obsessed with hot air balloons. Will I ever get in one? Probably not. I put that in the same category as skydiving. No thanks! However, what a beautiful sight they are! Every morning as i’m driving down Highway 29, I come around a turn in the road and BOOM, there are hot air balloons. They are always just about taking off or have just taken off by the time I get there and I literally squeal with joy. It’s the little things right?

– I have learned to eat alone. I always had this thing about eating alone. I never did it. I spent the last couple of years in a city where I was totally embarrassed to eat alone. Don’t ask me why, but I was. Now, I have learned to embrace it. Napa Valley is a place of many travelers and I love to hear different accents and different conversations from people seated around me. Yes, i’m that person overhearing some conversations and let me tell you, some stuff you probably shouldn’t talk about in public. (insert monkey emoji with hands covering its eyes, lol).

– What a difference a good boss can make. Let me just drop some knowledge on any of you that are considered leaders in the work place. Encourage your team, don’t break them down. You should constantly be trying to train your replacement. That’s what a good boss does. Not okay with that? Then maybe management isn’t for you. I have to brag on my new boss right now, he has been totally awesome and so encouraging while I have attempted to navigate this new position. While i’m pretty confident with my skill set, any new position has it’s challenges and knowing that I have a boss that supports me is so uplifting for a change. You don’t know what you were missing until you have it again!

– God is good. Everyday I drive 25-30 minutes into the heart of California wine country. I pass through towns, drive by vineyards and can see the hard work that goes into a single bottle of wine. That appreciation carries over to my work ethic and my constant drive to better my craft. While i’m not saving lives and will never act like I am, I do take my job very seriously. I am proud that I get to be a storyteller everyday when I get to my desk. Whether it’s talking about a winery, family history or education about the wine itself, it is my passion.

So happy to have been able to share a little insight from my last couple of weeks. It has been a blast and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Hope you all have a great Saturday! God bless!

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Napa Valley Welcome Sign

William Hill Winery

Let’s just call 2016 the year of silence on Michelle’s blog. I 100% admit that I failed miserably at keeping up with all my posts. I felt so bad every time I received an email, text or message from someone asking where my posts were. For those of you who were wondering, yes, I am still here. 2016 was a funny year. I celebrated so many things but also struggled with a few. It was the year of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. But that’s life right? I am so grateful that God got me through it. I couldn’t have done it without my faith, family and friends. I’m thinking by now you all are assuming what I am going to say. Here’s a clue, it has to do with Napa Valley. 😉

Well for those of you not on my Instagram, yes, I moved to the beautiful wine country called Napa Valley. I can’t express how grateful I am to be here and feel so blessed that this opportunity presented itself. While everything transitioned very smoothly, it was not without struggle. I left a job that I felt very secure in. I left people that I not only considered as coworkers but as friends. I moved further away than I ever had before. All these insecurities would have been overwhelming had I not felt that God was tugging at my heart to make this change. He answered my prayers in a big way and I am grateful for a new adventure. I have always kept my job in the wine industry off this blog. Mainly because I have a lot of young readers and didn’t want them exposed to anything alcohol related. However, my readership demographic has changed a bit and just like my life, I am going to adapt and embrace it.

The wine industry is a big part of my life and i’m excited for a new chapter in the most beautiful place ever. I plan to share adventures, restaurants and experiences that I will get to enjoy! For the last 4 years I have let you all be apart of my life and this new move is quite a large part of my life now. Fashion is still a huge passion of mine and if you ask my parents how many clothes we had to move here, they would say its a borderline obsession. Just like everything else, my life has evolved into much more, just like this blog has. I’ve gone through relationships, friendships, travels, fitness journeys, new jobs, leadership opportunities and discovering a deeper faith that I never knew existed.

I hope you all find this new season of Graceful Glamour Girl exciting. I can’t express how happy I am that I get to experience this beautiful area and further my knowledge of wine. Please let me know if you have any recommendations of places I should see, eat at or shop at. I can’t wait to learn this valley inside and out.

Hope you have a happy Monday! God bless!

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