3 days in Napa Valley: Memorial Day Bottlerockin’ edition

My favorite weekend of the year to visit Napa Valley is Memorial Day.  Why you ask?  Well, it’s the annual Bottlerock music festival weekend.  Alas, this year is the first year I am not attending of the past few years, as I’ve moved away from Northern California.  That means I’ll be missing out on the Killers, Bruno Mars and tomorrow’s headliner, Muse (all of whom I’ve seen before, but still).  This is the most civilized of all the festivals, with culinary stages and wineries to boot.

While you’re enjoying the festivities, don’t forget to head out from the festival grounds and explore the valley, one of the best weekender locations in the country!

Wine or wine not?

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weekender in Palm Springs (Coachella tips, y’all)

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In two weeks is a weekend that is one of my favorite of the year, first weekend of Coachella, the granddaddy of all music festivals.  Sure, Lolla is great, Governor’s Island is hip and Outside Lands is chill, but Coachella is the one they all aspire to be, for the star power and cool factor alone.  I mean, watching hundreds of musical acts in sunny California is ideal.

In my twenties, I looked forward to actually attending the festival, but now that I’m a little (read: a lot) older, I look forward to the mass exodus of festival goers from LA/OC (less traffic, reservations!).  But, I do have fond memories of attending the festival, so here are some tips to aid in your weekend of revelry.

Hopefully with no Beyonce biting…

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3 days in Napa Valley

So I have to confess something here.  I’m not much of a drinker.  I know, I know.  Is it too late now to say sorry?  Just kidding, I’m not sorry.   You’re wondering: how could a light imbiber possibly have anything to say about the most famous wine producing region in the US?

Turns out, there’s a ton of things to do here that don’t necessarily involve spirits, and don’t worry, I will feature some absolutely fantastic wineries on our journey through the beautiful Northern California countryside.  There’s just one question you have to ask yourself:

Wine or wine not?

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3 days in Austin

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They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and they’re right.  You will have a hugely gratifying experience when you visit Austin.  The capital city is a mix of college town, music hub, antique treasure trove, yuppie wonderland; there are so many facets to it, all enjoyable. Austin is famous for many things, but SXSW and Austin City Limits festivals are held here and are awesome.  I’ve yet to attend SXSW, but ACL is one of the most well run festivals.  Since it’s ACL time soon, this guide takes that into consideration for your plans, from Friday to Sunday.

Austin will always hold a special place in my heart, as I once saw Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers walking around and he gave me a head nod there.  I haven’t washed my eyes since.

the stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas…

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3 days in Nashville

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Of the places I’ve lived, I’d say Nashville was the most fun (and I grew up minutes from Disneyland).  I LOVED living in Music City and go back whenever I can.  It seems everyone else in the US has this idea, as tourism and people moving to Nashville is at an all time high.  So much so that they are undertaken a huge project to increase the size of BNA to accommodate more flights (including a new nonstop from London–watch out, Nashville, Harry Styles is coming for you).

It’s no wonder why…this is a world class destination.  There’s no way you can fit it in 3 days, but I sure as hell try when I visit.  I usually return for a concert, Bonnaroo/CMA fest, sporting event, special occasion–whatever the reason for your trip, just know that you will leave Nashville less rested, a few pounds heavier, but your soul will be more fulfilled than when you arrived.

Pack your antacids and settle in kids, this is gonna be a long one, but it should have you..

Chillin like a Nashvillain…

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36 hours in Cleveland

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There are very few pleasures in my life akin to traveling to a new destination to see one of my favorite bands perform. This pastime has allowed me to explore cities all over the US and immerse myself amongst locals, which is truly what I love.  Wanderlust sigh.

Recently, I traveled for the first time to Lebron James’ town Cleveland, Ohio to see U2 perform on the Joshua Tree Tour.  This was my second time traveling to see U2, the only band whose music soars better in stadiums than in smaller venues, and as always it was resplendent.  I have climbed highest mountains, I have run through the fields, only to be with them (sic).  Who better to spend a Cleveland summer night with, than ~70,000 locals?  It was a beautiful day…sorry not sorry.

Even though I only had a limited amount of time, I still managed to pack in a ton of sites and eats while discovering that there is so much more to see.  Believeland delivered like Lebron on an alley-oop from Kevin Love.  Guess I’ll just have to come back when NBA season starts up again because…

Cleveland rocks.

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