Castello di Amorosa

Deep in the heart of Napa Valley, there is a castle.  A wine castle.  It’s called Castello di Amorosa and it is just about the coolest place in the United States.  

12511_10203716273040978_4485328006783349643_n 10420133_10203711838530118_280410715710271264_n 10562942_10203716272360961_4428178330204143571_n 10590655_10203716271920950_7375282606631132810_n 10653725_10203716314162006_3748328652163232792_n10622798_10203711831849951_1547690339992735662_n 10624904_10203711838010105_7592316948198780039_n

This is a legit castle.  It has everything, from gargoyles…


To wishing wells…


To lush gardens…


To the regal Prince Edward the Cat (we named him… that’s not his official name) who reigns over the castle with a stern paw. 

10629723_10203711845730298_7870414299686550845_n 10521098_10203716270960926_3980681980153855455_n

He’s so regal.  

And of course, there are the vineyards…

10420784_10203711830009905_2612376478973094833_n 10616213_10203716315602042_7277222959553566418_n 10628335_10203716313681994_4843211252226682188_n 10647176_10203711829489892_1569890361596384665_n10628366_10203711837330088_2352331148174107984_n

And the wine itself! 

10639728_10203716285321285_1823322051190433987_n 1976924_10203716290041403_2331727504998174286_n 10659152_10203716287401337_3939091745594783538_n

The wine, of course, was amazing.  Interestingly enough, I’m usually a fan of red wine, but my favorite wine here was definitely the Chardonnay.  It was the most amazing white wine I’ve ever tasted.  

Finally, after the sampling, we made our way to the gift shop, where I realized that these vineyards and wineries have discovered the most brilliant marketing plan ever: get your customers buzzed and then set them loose in the gift shop.  Seriously.  You want to buy everything.  I especially liked this book…


After a delightful dinner, we ended up leaving Napa around 10:30 – 11:00 at night.  Four hours later, the massive 6.0 earthquake struck.  My friends and I had no idea until the next morning, when I woke to several text messages, a missed call, and a voicemail.  

I immediately assumed my parents were checking to make sure I would make it to the airport on time (which, in case you’re wondering, I almost didn’t), so I called my mom and told her, “Don’t worry.  I’m awake.  We have plenty of time.”

But instead of expressing her relief, she just asked if I was okay, if we’d been affected at all.  I had no idea what she was talking about.  By that point, my friend Hannah was awake and also receiving text messages from concerned loved ones.  It turns out that, had we been awake at 3 AM, we would have felt the earth shaking and swaying. 

I know it’s been more than a week now, but I’m still thinking about all the nice people that we met in Napa.  It’s such a beautiful and wonderful community with good, honest people.  I hope that they’re all alright and that they will soon bounce back from this horrible disaster.  

Aside from the earthquake, my trip to California was an absolute delight.  Thank you, Hannah, my dearest friend.  I can’t wait to return! 

1908409_10203711808009355_3285491432403269666_n 10393876_10203695263395750_685834268541363922_n 10460322_10203695227874862_6517463231347229474_n 10614268_10203695262675732_5804351485236691470_n 10620820_10203711817569594_6399239458534339511_n 10653361_10203703834090012_5362267396607986980_n


The Problem with Pictures

So, I have a problem. It’s called I Want to Share my California Pictures with all of you but I Take WAY Too Many Pictures for One Blog Post.  To solve this problem, I’ve decided to split the pictures up into several different posts.  

For this first post, I thought I’d share my favorite part of San Francisco… the SEA LIONS!

1609917_10203695193674007_3138347045869537245_n 10461372_10203695221314698_8358457849183980469_n 10562967_10203695195754059_3813530638603770951_n 10570492_10203695223394750_8039707808925900781_n 10583813_10203695204754284_6837375591753734149_n 10615643_10203695217514603_3511757541570676236_n 10628487_10203695195114043_5969725874020194861_n 10629655_10203695199034141_746153961133221053_n

Seriously, I love sea lions. They are absolutely one of my very favorite animals ever.  I was thrilled this trip to be able to visit the Marine Mammal Center and see how they work to help stranded and sick marine mammals all over the coast:


I also got to visit the Aquarium on the Bay (I think that’s what it was called).  I’m a big fan of all marine life, so I will never pass up an opportunity to peruse an aquarium. 

1937464_10203695238315123_7536467868131405745_n 10171234_10203695237355099_4738104660725294002_n 10387310_10203695244315273_5622982838279948903_n 10394787_10203695239435151_3718682109841195278_n 10468521_10203695232354974_3129328307808047491_n 10609607_10203695232114968_1121970514940818591_n 10628293_10203695247035341_4414342027564813542_n 10635842_10203695237595105_2357943738806571769_n

As you can see, I’m particularly fond of jellyfish and sea stars, especially this sea star who looks like he just finished an epic Broadway musical number.



California Bound

Hi, friends! 

Well, after writing that lovely post about getting back to work and being a responsible adult… I’m off to California!  My best friend from high school lives out in San Francisco, so I’m going to spend a few days out there, seeing sea lions, drinking wine, and having an all around good time. I’ve been once before and had an awesome time. 

58420_1557438929547_4139263_n 63021_1557432969398_7269957_n 58689_1557418849045_2124609_n 61660_1557419209054_4024159_n 63056_1557415048950_3871175_n 63008_1557449329807_937481_n 60229_1557446889746_6757830_n

I’m especially excited this year to visit some new places, especially the Marine Mammal Center. Although one of my goals is to become a New York Times best-selling author by the time I’m 30, marine life will always be my first love.  

Well, I’m going to continue writing as much as I can today, though I will be setting my books aside in order to pack and prepare for the journey to San Francisco tomorrow.  I hope you all have a great rest of the week!  

A Few New Cemetery Tours Photos!







My college buddy texted me this picture the other day.  As far as I know, we have no connections on Amazon, so I think it’s pretty neat that Amazon is recommending Cemetery Tours to readers… especially with Stephen King!  



Love from my office.  🙂  



A picture from one of my youngest readers!  





Love from San Francisco!  

My sister, who is a freshmen in college, has been recommending Cemetery Tours to new friends she meets on campus.  Apparently, one of them approached her the other day and demanded to know if there would be a sequel!  So exciting!  And yes, in fact, there will be a sequel!  It is being written at this very moment.  🙂