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Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Weekend Getaway

Some days you just have to getaway 

*sorry this is a day late, had doctors appointment that lasted a lot longer than I expected.
A few months ago hubby came home and told me he bought a hotel package for The Peppermill Resort up in Reno, which is about 2.5 hours from where we live. We kept trying to figure out when we would take advantage of this, but time kept passing by, until this last weekend. we finally were able to make the trip up. The weather was scorching hot here in the valley and we had high hopes that we might escape some of it, but that was not the case, we left in triple digit heat and it was just below that when we finally arrived at our destination. 

Ready to head out for a fun weekend get away

image via
Taken above the city of Reno

My first impressions of The Peppermill was that of just what it now claims to be, an upscale resort, quite the departure from the strip portion of S. Virginia there in Reno which is in some areas dank and dirty and unchanged in years and just what you might expect for an older casino strip that has been around forever, and in where in spots you can begin to see that they are trying to spiff it all up and add a bit of polish to it to compete with Vegas. It seems to be designed to resemble Ceasar's Palace but with it's own unique flair. As we drove in there was columns, large stone statuary and the ever present in larger resort hotels, fountains and indoor lighting used to light the valet area. As we entered the hotel check in area, marble flooring, shades of pale rose pink, terra cotta and gold and giant screens pretty much everywhere you look with high definition screens with beautiful moving scenes and photos from all over the world. That portion was a bit of a departure, in my mind to the over all theme, but still quite beautiful in comparison to the standard art work or non stop logos found in other hotels. Our check in was swift, even for a Friday night and we quickly made our way to the elevators and up to our room, the whole way glancing at these moving artworks. 

As we entered the room, it was beautiful in shades of cream, champagne and gold. The tv was on, again beautiful images playing upon it and set to a radio station playing much to my delight Frank Sinatra. Our view? Our room overlooked over the pool area, the spa, steak house and night club. It was gorgeous... busy, but gorgeous in shades of terra cotta, rich blue from the water and deep rich reds of the seating, and as the sun was setting, the lights made everything sparkle. The view expanded far past the roof tops to make it possible to gaze upon the surrounding mountain tops.

 Once we were settled and freshened up, we went down to find something to eat. There was a lot of wonderful places to eat, but we chose to go to one of the more casual bistros there at the Peppermill by the name of Biscottis. It being nearly 9 p.m we simply wanted something light to eat, so we ordered a lovely cheese plate, a salad for myself and a sandwich and salad for hubby. As Biscottis is centered around having a wood burning pizza oven, the cheese plate came with grilled bread, the bread and turkey on my hubby's sandwich, also the shrimp on my salad were all prepared in this oven creating a wonderful flavor profile. Once eating our fill of the above, we headed out to do a little bit of sight seeing of the hotel and found the non smoking slot area as well as the Fireside Lounge ( of which I shared with you from my trip to Vegas when we went to the Peppermill Fireside Lounge there) , to partake in a cocktail before returning to the slots...we did not do very well, up by 20 and then lost the 10 invested.

Settling into our comfy room, and after snacking on a cookie we bought before returning to the room, we turned in for the night. Unfortunately sleep was hard to come by since there was not as good of air movement as we are used to here at Muse Cottage ( we sleep with standing fans aimed on us) and so it got a bit stuffy. The next morning red eyed from lack of sleep and the exposure to cigarette smoke in the bulk of the casino area, we awoke to room service and a wonderful breakfast set up for us in front of the beautiful view of  the pool. My husband had the cinnamon french toast and I had the fresh apple danish.  There was fresh coffee, real cream and fresh squeezed orange juice. After a leisurely breakfast and taking my time to get ready, we headed out for a day of adventures.

First stop was to a short portion of Virginia St. just about a mile up the street was a delightful retro dress shop by the name Dressed Like That. I had been wanting to visit Cynthia's shop for at least two years now as soon as I discovered it was in the scheme of things so very close. I was not disappointed. Greeted with a warm smile and hello and hugs exchanged, I was delighted to poke around this adorable pin up clothing store. There was something new at every turn and so much eye candy. In the end, I bought three blouses, from various brands, including Heart of Haute ( see link on side bar of web version) some Suavecita grooming spray, a pair of gloves and an Elvis wallet.  After a few photos and some goody byes, we headed out for the next portion of our day....Virginia City.

We had been there about 5 years ago and really enjoyed the fun western environment, the historic buildings and general enjoyable, easy going feeling. The drive is beautiful and a quick trip from Reno. The first time we visited we knew we wanted to take the 30 minute round trip steam train trip to Gold Hill and then back, so after a yummy lunch of grilled cheese and avocado sandwich for myself, and fish and chips for hubby, at the Mustang Ranch cafe and a stroll up and down the main street we headed out to the train depot. It was such a fun and interesting little trip, filled with amusing commentary, wonderful scenery and history of the mining area we were seeing, it is worth the 10.00 per person and is truly a must for any visitor.

 Once the ride was over, it was back to Reno and our hotel. We once again freshened up, as it was only a few degrees cooler than Reno up in the mountains, a sponge bath was much needed. We made reservations and headed to supper at Romanza . A short stroll from where the elevators were located we were greeted with a mimic of the rest of the hotel, statuary, shades of pink, gold and lush greenery. As we were actually guided to our seats it unfolded to be so much more, semi secluded high back booths in a deep salmon color, drapery, columns reaching to a faux sky filled with puffy clouds and twinkling starlight and floral arrangements all glowing by the table top candlelight, it was truly one of the most romantic restaurants that I have ever been in, lending I am guessing to the name. Italian food was the theme of the food, and the menu would make a foody swoon! Fresh house made pastas, breads, risottos and polenta offerings as well as a nice selection of appetizers, seafood and meat dishes. My husband ordered crab stuffed shrimp with the house made pasta and a creamy lemon sauce, for myself I had the panceta wrapped bay sea scallops served with a lobster asparagus risotto... and as a special treat I ordered the house Bellini that was made with peach sorbet, rum, red wine and persecco....  it was AMAZING...wonderfully refreshing on a hot day! Hubby had the Chianti and it was quite yummy as well. As it had been a very long day and we were tired we retired early to our room, enjoyed the perks of room service, ordering a bottle of sparkling wine to be delivered to our room and watched the Olympics until we turned in. 

As the sun rose on another day, and it was time to check out, we headed out, and ate breakfast at Ihop, and started out on our drive home. We did make some stops at a couple local wineries on the way home, to pick up some bottles for our wine cabinet and made it back before supper.  All in all, other than the red eyes, a cold I happen to get and lack of sleep it was a pretty good weekend getaway and I hope one day to repeat it. Now to look forward to our trip in September! 

As seen from the front of Biscottis in a near by bar.

image is via google search

Day 2

*dress in first few photos Sara USA
accessories all but shoes and pearls are vintage
Second dress is Lindy Bop 

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Summer's Day in Winters Ca.

Main St. Historic Winter's Ca 

A couple of weeks ago my husband and myself spent the weekend in Winters California, a small town of just over 7,000 people in Yolo County.  We did not actually spend the night, instead deciding to go back after having stopped there  this particular Saturday,  as a way to spend the day before going to a car show in Woodland Ca., called Midnight Mass later that day. We had done some wine tasting at the two wine tasting rooms in the historic district, Turkovich and Berryessa.... there are other places that serve wine or have a wine bar, but actual winery tasting rooms there is only two. 

The first day that we had stopped in, it had been a number of years since we had been in to do any wine tasting or to sample the cheeses that they also offer for sale there. We enjoyed each of the offerings, but one sparkling wine, a reserved Brut, made in the traditional way that Champagne has been made for centuries, was in one word, DIVINE! From the golden color, to the aroma to the way the bubbles never died off grabbed our attention, sadly, it was not something we could purchase that day as we, as mentioned were headed off to other destinations and with the weather being what it is has been, it could not be shipped. We decided right then and there that we would make the 40 or so minute drive back to purchase a bottle, or two.  Flash forward to Sunday, we did just that....before going back to Turkovich however we choose to go have a bite to eat. We found a wonderful Mexican food place that fit the need for substance and for a craving that has been nagging at me.

If you are ever in Winters Ca, and need to pad your belly
before doing some wine tasting, this is the place. Great food,
and reasonably priced!

Plus they have these beautiful circle skirts decorating
all the walls. Sorry for the glare...could not disturb the

I think this one was my favorite....

Or maybe this one was! 

After getting our fill of the yummy food at Chuy's , we headed back down to Turkovich to sample that yummy bubbly again, and this time we would not leave without a bottle, maybe two. 

After revisiting and trying some new wine offerings, we headed up hwy 128 to our other long time favorite Nichelini , the oldest family ran winery in the Napa area and one that has been both owned, ran and the wine made by one of the family members since it's conception. It is always as I said a favorite and worth the drive to it's remote location right along the highway between Winters and Napa. You are always greeted with a warm smile and friendly hello, and get to taste some amazing wine poured (weather allowing) among the trees, greenery and singing birds, poured by a family member. If you are lucky you will get a few family history lessons as well. 

Parking is limited and the walk from where you do park
and where the entrance of the winery is can be a little scary,
 so do be careful and aware of cars.
What you see here is across the road from the
Nichelini homestead and tasting rooms.

Down a couple of flights of stairs await good times and
fine wine. 

Until Next Time....

Purse by Sourpuss Clothing
Shoes Amazon
Petticoat from Malco Modes
Blouse is thrifted and brooch is 
Earrings are by Twinkleburst 
Sunglasses by Retro Betty  SLC. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dressing 50's at 50 ~ Featuring Heart of Haute

So the joke around Muse Cottage is that I am now officially Mid Century, and well I dress Mid Century. I guess it takes the sting out of officially turning 50. Honestly I do not 100 percent mind turning 50. I look relatively young for my age, especially with my magenta hair, even with my silver locks that I now have, my face does not look it's age.... my body perhaps. I do have a larger tummy now after having a hysterectomy, I have noticed the firmness of the skin on my neck and my eye lids is more crepe like and I have far more cellulite on my upper arms than I have ever had. I have a bit of extra padding in places, and less in others... weight maintenance is harder, and the list goes on with changes. I have noticed my fibromyalgia and arthritis has advanced a bit in the last couple of years as has my anxiety, both social and situational, but that might not be age related...just life experience related. 

Photo taken in vineyards outside of  Clarksburg Ca.

Aside from all that self nit-picking and observations of my aging body, as I said I do not mind turning 50 as much as I thought I might. It is truly just a number right?? It does become a bit tricky tho being my age, "mid century" and dressing well, mid century. I feel on some levels I am walking the line between what can look silly on someone my age and well if being inspired by those wonderful ladies of Advanced Style, rather dialed back. Most people however seem to respond very favorably and so this seems to be my own self doubt, anxiety and self esteem or rather lack of it trying to rule the entirety of my life and style.  Daily I struggle with if I should let my hair be and grow it back to the salt and pepper or dye it a natural and neutral color , on if what clothing I wear seems more like a costume etc etc... I am sure you can imagine the voices in my head. The truth of the matter is, of all the styles of fashion I have worn throughout my adult life, dressing in the 1950's style is my all time favorite and where I feel at home in my skin, despite the voices in my head ( imagine that cartoon from Pixar that had the "feelings" ...yes I believe it to be a real thing!) . I love the beautiful dresses, the fuss that goes into planning such outfits, and creating an over all look. I enjoy wearing the undergarments, and feel incomplete most times without a petticoat and a some form of retro or vintage jewelry. I truly do feel so much prettier in the hair styles and makeup, tho I am comfy without make up as well as long as I am dressed in the style. 

One thing that has come with age is that I have realized that I deserve the best that I can afford...hard for me as I am very budget minded and like to get the most bang for my buck! I of course still shop sales, but I have begun replacing my cheaper made purchases, be it clothing made from at home seamstresses with Etsy shop, cutting out the middle man or overhead, or the company from which the dress I am wearing in these photos, Heart of Haute. It is true I just became one of their affiliates, but I did not get sent this dress, nor are they paying me to write this review. I actually bought this beautiful dress last September and this was the first time that I have had a chance to wear it. I thought it was the perfect example as well as how you can dress with a 1950's flair at 50.  

The day was a beautiful Saturday afternoon along the area known as The Delta here in Sacramento. We had driven down to Clarksburg, and stopped first for some wine tasting at Scribner Bend Vineyard's along the way. Technically still part of Sacramento, the beautiful and relaxing grounds of Scribner Bend was the perfect place to take photos for this blog post and it did not hurt one bit that they also have some really good wine. It was our first visit there and from the moment that we turned into the drive and could see the grounds ahead of us, I knew we had made a great pick at least for photos and the hope was that the wine would back up the mentioned they did not disappoint! We stepped into the small but tastefully done tasting room and were greeted with a smile and friendly regards. Outside, though we choose not to partake, the regularly happening, as weather allows, sounds of the live music and scent from the stone oven baked pizza, wafted in through the open doors. We spent a leisurely and truly enjoyable time there sipping wine and discussing the particulars and left with not one, but two bottles, with the promise and intentions of returning.  Then it was time to move on down the road and get some lunch.  Next stop was Clarksburg and our favorite little spot for a nice juicy burger, some amazing fries and onion rings and a chocolate shake. 

Now just a bit about the dress! I know it must have a name, most dresses do in the pin up/ retro world, but it is unknown to me. It is a lightweight cotton, slimmer cut to the skirt than most of my regularly preferred fuller skirts and fuller skirt no petticoat was required, (though a slip was required as it is not lined) , but perfect for a warm Summer's day. The floral print a lovely mix of sky blues and grassy greens, one of my most preferred color combinations. The dress zips up the back, which I like a lot and has a matching sash belt. I bought the small and it fits like a glove to my 34b/26.5/38 measurements, not too tight under my fuller upper arm area. I am 5 foot 2 , barely, and the skirt falls to the point just below my knees. It flowed in the breeze and even without a petticoat I felt I could twirl and swish about in my pretty HOH dress and feel beautiful in it. Worth the cost right there, but better yet, the construction is top notch as well. So though I am an affiliate of HOH, it is not for that reason I recommend clothing from this company, but for the reasons above, anything I am sure, is also worth the cost to own something from HOH. I mark this Ruby's Musings Approved! 

The Photos.....

Doing my best Vanna White...
Dinky Diner, but nothing dinky about the flavor!

Dinky Diner in Clarksburg Ca. We love this place for lunch on a pretty day.

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