napa valley

Napa Valley Fire Two

Napa Valley Fire OneNapa Valley Fire Three

Napa Valley Fire Four

Napa Valley Fire Five

Napa Valley Fire Six

Napa Valley Fire Seven

The top photos are from my first attempt to find cell service around 7am. The bottom two photos are taken in the same spot just one hour later. The air from these Napa Valley Fires was horrible from the start.

Where do I begin? The last two weeks have been a rollercoaster and one that has shaken me to my core. Just two weeks ago I had spent the day wine tasting with my friends. We were having so much fun and enjoyed getting to take in the beauty of Napa Valley. A gift that I don’t take for granted everyday on my way to work. It still blows my mind that a day filled with so much laughter and fun ended with heartbreak and started what would be considered one of the most devastating wildfires ever.

Even now, two weeks later, my emotions are still high. My heart is broken for those who lost everything. I can’t imagine the heartache of those who lost loved ones and I some how feel guilty that all I lost was a lot of food out of my fridge. It truly shows you what you can and can’t live without when you have to run through your home and figure out what to take and what to leave behind.

While my heart aches for this community I have seen first hand so many incredible things come out of this tragedy. I have seen hundreds if not thousands of people donate their time, effort and goods to families and first responders. I have seen groups of firefighters driving down highway 29 after a long nights shift with exhaustion in their eyes and ash on their faces but still willing to sleep a few hours and get up to do it again. I have seen signs displayed all over town, thanking every first responder. I have spent time with first responders and while they will try to convince you this was just their job, I know different. Whether they admit it or not, they saved families, animals, homes, memories and the lives of so many people.

Words can’t express my gratitude for every single firefighter, EMT, nurse, doctor, law enforcement officer, military member and volunteer who helped save lives. You are the people who make this country so great. You put your lives on the line to help make sure others will live. I am extremely proud to know so many of you and just so you know, I think you are the bravest people I’ve ever met.

The smoke may be clearing the air, but this is far from over for so many people. I am extremely grateful to everyone who has asked about me and checked in on me. You all are greatly appreciated and loved.

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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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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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