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Wine Country trip to Napa

Our family took a long road trip to Napa; Alex had a work conference there.  I had been wanting to see more of Oregon, so it seemed like a good idea to tag along. We drove 10 hours there (five hours each day) and 10 hours home.

First, we drove through Sisters, a small town consisting of Old West style buildings.  We then stopped in Bend for Supervillian Sandwiches, which were amazing! Nearby Mirror Pond had a play structure that Henry enjoyed.
The terrain of red soil and pine trees reminded me of Flagstaff.  

Klamath Falls was our overnight stop. We saw OIT, where Alex went to college and had Abby's Pizza, one of his old favorites. It was a small desert-y town with a college housed in old military barracks.

A quick stop in Redding for In and Out Burger was the highlight of the trip for Alex, I enjoyed it too.

Once in Napa, we enjoyed a vineyard walk.  Henry and I also visited my friend Wendy in Petaluma and had a picnic with her and her kiddos in Sonoma Plaza.  This was the highlight for Henry. We also ate some good chocolates there.  The last day of the conference, Alex watched Henry in the afternoon while I sat in the jacuzzi.  This was my favorite thirty minutes of the trip!

After four days, we left Napa and stopped at the Vortex/House of Mystery. We heard a talk about a crooked house where up is down and down is up, and took a plethora of pictures. After a little more driving, we spent the night in Grants Pass/Rogue River.  There, we all enjoyed a dip in the hot tub while it rained. And Henry and Alex enjoyed the free make-them-yourself waffles.

After morning check-out, we stopped at the Wildlife Safari in Winston,OR.  It's a drive-through sanctuary for a variety of animals.  The park boasted stunning scenery that looked like the set of Jurassic Park.  Afterwards, we drove to Eugene and ate at a divey spot near U of O.

Two hours later, we were back home.  We all missed our house, our town and our routines. I missed Henry being in preschool and personal space!  But I'm so glad we got to see some sights and do the family right of passage: the too-long-road trip.  And I'm grateful that we made it home safe.   Maybe in 10 years we'll try another long road trip, or maybe never.

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Cake Mix Cobbler

When I need a break from writing, I bake! We have peaches on our tree and frozen berries. This is the perfect recipe for using both. Versions of this recipe are all over the internet. This is my version that is tweaked a little to use less cake mix to make it more of a crumble than a cake.

Here is the recipe:

Peach/Berry Cobbler

Grease 8X8 pan

3-4 cups of fresh or frozen peaches and berries
1 1/4 cups of yellow cake mix
1/4 cup of melted butter

Put the fruit in the pan and sprinkle the cake mix over the top.
Drizzle the butter over the top of the cake mix.

Bake for 45 minutes at 375.

If you have super tart fruit, like blackberries, feel free to toss them with sugar before adding the topping. I find peaches are sweet enough and don't need the added sugar. We like to serve it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Bon Apetit!


Falling: A Cape Disappointment Novel is .99

My new release is on sale on Amazon for 99 cents.

Here's the blub for FALLING, my first YA Contemporary Novel
Mia’s on a road trip in a hearse with her dead brother’s ashes. Magnus, her brother’s best friend is behind the wheel. The Grand Canyon is a long drive from Cape Disappointment. In just a week this unlikely pair will share:
Grief Worries about their future A mule ride into the Grand Canyon Feelings for each other
Together they help each other get through the sadness of their shared loss. And they get a glimpse of a future that may hold a bit of happiness for them after all.