Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Pictured above are three items found when Hubs cleaned out the garage this week. Two french doors that we replaced at the house and a piece of siding we removed when putting up the deck.

Are they in a trash pile? No.

Are they going to Goodwill? Huh-uh.

Are the going to the ReStore? Nope.

These little things are being hoarded. By me. For future awesomeness.

Behold, dear reader, my plans:

  • The doors will be sanded down and the panes will be removed. I'll take off the hardware and paint the outside of the doors a soft gray and the inside a pale turquoise. I'll find brushed nickel and glass hardware and replace the panes with metal sheets covered in a pretty fabric - definitely pale turquoise and hopefully involving some kind of chicken pattern. They'll become part of our wall of closets in our finished attic.
    • Oh, yeah. The attic is unfinished and we have no plans to renovate for at least another five years. But when we do, those doors will look magnificent and I can tell everyone they were original to the house, which eventually, when I'm old and gray and sell this place, will be like 100 years old.
  • The siding will be power washed and we'll find a funky font and trace some words for a sign to hang by our basement bar. Maybe something about home brew or cheese.
    • Yep. I'm talking about the basement that got flooded and the bar we no longer own. But, we should be back in business this winter, so it's not that bad.
What do you think? Do you see the vision? Do you store junk treasures for use in the distant future, too? 

PS How tidy is this garage? Hubs made the little side under the pegboard table out of leftover deck parts. Ain't he resourceful? (And yeah, those are the crepe paper wedding bells our pals tacked on our car on the wedding night. Wasn't kidding about the hoarding, people.)

Monday, August 30, 2010

St. Lou-ish: 24 hours in the burbs

I took a solo road trip this weekend while Hubs was working away. My partner-in-crime since seventh grade was hosting an open house party at her new pad, so I jumped at the chance to head back to my beloved city. Well, kind of. You see, my people are all suburb people - we hail from Chesterfield on the western edge of St. Louis county. But, like a pioneer, my bud bought even more west than that. So my 24 hour trip was actually 40 miles outside of the STL. It's OK though, did you know Nelly isn't even from St. Louis City? Technically, University City is a suburb, too. True story.

Anyway, my mini-getaway was lightening quick, but here are the highlights:
  • Making stellar time on the way down - just 5:15 from my house to a local grocery store where I picked up a few ribbons for my unwrapped housewarming gift.
  • Lunching with the mayor of Cottleville, Missouri and my aunt. (The mayor owns the restaurant and stopped by our table to talk about asphalt trails)
  • Downing massive and unladylike quantities of various dips.
  • Picking up a Crave Case and driving it the long five and a half hours back and only sneaking four little sliders.
How was your weekend?

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'll just assume you're cheap like me

I'm well known among my people as a Frugal Franny (no one has ever called me that, but who doesn't love alliterations?). I have a little plastic coupon organizer and will attend basically any function that promises free food. I cruise the city streets looking for empty parking spaces with non-expired meters. I take compliments terribly because I'll always tell people how much I paid for the shoes they like or a new bag. Don't get me wrong, we're comfortably inhabiting the Yuppie side of the scale, but saving a few bucks just ices my cake.

The point here is that I just scored an awesome deal and I wanted to share it. Restaurant.com is new to me (since the rest of the world hasn't caught on to how bodacious Des Moines is, we get stuff like that a little later), but oh, wow. There's a deal right now, where you can get an extra 80% off! Just type in "clearance" as a coupon code when you check out.

I nabbed $50 to my favorite swanky restaurant, Lucca, for $4. Yeah. Four hundred pennies. Sure, we have to spend $100, but that little $4 spend is about to become one fancypants bottle of wine!

So, go forth, my little cheapskates, and getcha some! You can even print out your gift certificate and go out on the town tonight.

Happy weekend!

*Not paid for this little PSA. Just one cheap gal, spreading the l-o-v-e.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

One Thing Thursdays: Savannah, Georgia

Almost ten months ago, Hubs and I got hitched than ran South, toward grits and shrimp and Yuenglings and pecans and greens. We spent a week in Savannah, where seafood and Southern food collide in a symphony of radness and moss drips from centuries old trees and antiques are hella expensive.

One Thing to do in Savannah: See that line? Get in it! Like now! Now!

Here we are outside the most delicious and amazing food experience of my life, ever. No joke. You see, there used to be this sweet little old lady in Savannah named Mrs. Wilkes. She ran a boarding house, which basically is like a hotel, except you get a home cooked meal every night. And Mrs. Wilkes had the best Southern spread in town. She passed away a while ago, but every day from 11 to 1, the staff uses her sweet old timey recipes (they include things like lard and canned ham, which is oddly endearing and disturbingly delicious) to feed throngs of hungry folks, like the two good looking specimens above.

So, we waited in line for an hour in the rain, surrounded by obnoxiously chatty New Yorkers (bless their hearts) and I can still say it was worth it. Once we were sat at a table of eight other strangers/friends-to-be (everyone loves newlyweds, I guess, even if they are snarfing down country ham like the world is ending in an hour), the waiters started bringing out food. And they didn't stop. We had 36 dishes, served family style, and I guarantee you there was not one Hubs and I didn't try. Fried chicken, greens, cole slaw, cornbread, beans, macaroni and cheese, BBQ pork, biscuits, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and stuffing and more. We made friends, we got a taste of the South and we gained ten pounds in an hour. Signs of a good meal, right?

If you have time for two things in Savannah (and room in your gut): get some pralines. Then, eat them, preferably by the amazing house pictured below (it's part of the art school, so naturally those crafty folks know how to play up the awesomeness). Then, pass out from joy overload.

If you have time for three things or aren't hungry (who are you?), skip on over to Wormsloe Plantation for creepy pre-Civil War ruins, low swinging moss and the most impressive driveway ever.

Did I miss your favorite Savannah stop (if you want to say Paula Deen, just unsubscribe right now)? It's one of my favorite cities!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Tar and Feather

Something about the repetitive process of actually applying the sealer to the driveway made this the best part of the whole process (and not just because it was the final step!). 

It was super easy, but not exactly as economical as we had thought. Each five gallon tub of tar claims to cover about 500 square feet, but we found we were lucky to get one tub to cover 200 square feet. At twenty two bucks a pop, this mean our little project went overboard real quick. We ended up using 14 tubs to cover our fancy little driveway.
Jorts! The workshort of all glamorous ladies.

You use a giant squeegee to spread the Latexite mix over the drive. The directions said two thin coats are better than one thick one, but we only did two coats in some high-traffic areas. Pretty sure this won't ruin our property value or cause the whole thing to explode - two key things we consider before taking shortcuts.

It took about three hours to finish up with the squeegees and then a day to dry. Even though no one will ever come over and say, "I love what you did to the driveway!" we really liked this project. It turned a huge eyesore into something that blends in and makes our whole front yard look tidier. I'm not sure a driveway should ever be the first thing people notice when they see your house, but you definitely don't want them noticing it for all the wrong reasons.

Have you done any hideous-to-liveable projects lately?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Cracking up

Once our driveway was clean and we were pretty sure the house had stopped getting all cranky on us, we started to fill the cracks on our asphalt driveway. But, it's always safety first around these parts, so I put up a little blockade at the end of the driveway so no one would use our freshly decracked drive to pull a u-ie, as they are apt to do.

Seeing as I was hot, tired and possibly adopting the house's snitty attitude, I made due with what I had. Two garden stakes and this:

Yes, ma'am, a red whiffle ball on some string. It really says, "Hey, don't park here. PS We're kinda trashy but also ingenious."

Anyway, I was in charge of tiny cracks and used Latex-ite crack filler. It comes in bottles that look like sriacha, except black and not tasty. There were millions of cracks, but soon, I had a pretty web of non-cracks.

Hubs filled the bigger problem areas with trowel patch. This stuff was way more economical and when we have to do this again in eight years, we'll use this for all cracks big and small.

It took us about an afternoon to get the driveway super smooth. Then, it was time to seal.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Dirty Work

Although my house decided to pitch a fit and take on a little water in the basement, I was determined to seal the driveway this month. I wanted to remind the house how much we loved her and how much blood, sweat and tears have gone into making her all gorgeous and that she shouldn't be such a diva. I mean, seriously. The house knew the basement didn't suit her, so she basically dumped red wine all over it (OK, it was water, but I like to picture my house with teased hair, wearing a white evening gown, screaming, "NO! These shoes will not do! I'm not wearing them and I hate them!" before dumping a bottle of merlot over her whole outfit. What a B).

So, seal the driveway we did. The first step was cleaning the driveway - all 1,100+ square feet of it!

I pulled weeds and pried the grass off the edges first.

Then, we power washed all the grime off.

My legs were kind enough to collect the grime, so that it wouldn't spread. Thanks, legs!

Once the driveway was clean and shiny, it was time to fix some cracks. Stay tuned, I know this is riveting!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Baby steps

One of my goals this summer was to can something. Maybe a salsa, or a jam, or a sauce - I didn't have anything pinned down yet. But, after realizing that resurrecting our basement from a teensy bit of water (seriously, who knew less than an inch of water could wreak such havoc?) would be a much larger job than anticipated, I chucked the goal of canning and figured smaller goals like not crying on the phone to the insurance guy and trash people might be a little healthier.

Then, I discovered freeze canning. Flipping wistfully through my old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (that's the plaid one. Everyone has one.), waiting for some contractor or other to call me back with a quote, I saw a section on freeze canning - or, canning for people who cannot emotionally handle real hardy woman canning. Having just gotten a bag of apples from our beloved CSA, I decided the apple butter recipe would work. It was really easy and it tastes better than any apple butter I've bought at a store.

Basically, you just boil down some apples and simmer them with some spices until thick.

Just what I needed to boost my confidence and remind me that though the basement is overwhelming, Hubs and I are truly, truly blessed. We have great jobs, our health, fabulous friends and family and a buttload of apple butter. What more could we ask for?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Patio Palooza: Big brother

Allow me a nerdy little break here. Google recently updated it's satellite images of our little corner of the world and caught Hubs working away.

You can see the huge dirt patch that would become the patio, plus Hubs tamping away at the dirt. That patch of dirt to the right is where our digging guy dumped the excess dirt, to level out a small hill. If you look close at the driveway, you can see the massive amounts of sand and gravel that would become the base of our patio. You can also see the sad little circle of dead grass from where we put our fancypants inflatable pool each summer and our sad little landing strip of a garden (it looks much better now, I swear!).

Google's Streetview was also updated and caught our street on a very windy trash day, so there are oodles of recycling and trash bins rolling around in yards and whatnot. Pure class.

Admit it Des Moines, you're about to look up your house to see if you got caught doing something cool.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

One Thing Thursday: Riomaggiore, Italy

When Hubs and I went to Italy a few years ago, we were looking for good food and good views. This led us to Cinque Terre, a collection of five tiny towns, perched on cliffs above the sea.There are hiking paths between the towns, plus trains if you're not looking for a long walk. We spent about a day in Riomaggiore, the first town we visited in Cinque Terre.

Isn't this exactly what you'd imagine an Italian seas-side town to look like?

One Thing to do in Riomaggiore: Take a walk!

Riomaggiore from the start of the Via dell'Amore.

The paths connecting the towns of Cinque Terre are one of the biggest tourist attractions; the views are just amazing. The "hike" from Riomaggiore to Manarola is the easiest; you're basically walking about a mile on mostly flat sidewalks. The first start of the walk is under archways, called the Via dell'Amore (Walk of Loooooo-ooo-ooove), which the good people of Italy cheesed up with some kissing statues.

Formaggio, no?

However, if you hike in the other direction from Riomaggiore, down the coast, you'll find a guard tower. This hike  was uphill and had some kind of treacherous ledges, which freaked me out in a good way. We spent some time walking up this side and then rewarded ourselves with gelato, of course.


Of course, walking through town is lovely as well. There's castles and churches and some really steep hills. I don't know how the little old ladies do it. I was definitely huffing and puffing, which was wholly unrelated to the pounds of pasta I'd eaten the night before, I have no doubt.

I struggled with what I would deem my One Thing for Riomaggiore. I thought I'd direct you all to the best pizza I've ever had - a simple slathering of tomato sauce, basil and mozzeralla on a thick foccacia - from a little deli-type thing (it wasn't a restaurant, there weren't any tables or anything) on a hilly street. But, after I'd relooked over my photos from the trip, I realized that it'd be kinda silly to come out and say the pizza was better than the views. I mean, it was the best pizza ever in the history of man, but the views were even more amazing. So if you have time for two things - get a slice. 

Have you been? Did you find the magical pizza? 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dessert of my dreams

A few weeks ago, before our basement leaked, when we were innocent homeowners who had never huxed 400 square feet of soaked carpet up the stairs and lost our dignity by spilling out of the house, falling on the carpet just as the professional cleaners arrived just in time to hear some highly unladylike language, we had our pal over for dinner.

Feeling adventurous, we decided to do another Chopped style dinner, like we tried last winter. The first two courses were good; we had some meatballs and some trout and no one was repulsed but no one was jumping with joy, either.

Until dessert.

Dessert's mandatory ingredients were bacon, melon, chipotle and panko. So, we hopped on the bandwagon and dipped our crispy bacon in chocolate that we'd infused with chipotle powder. We toasted the panko with cinnamon and sugar and placed the breadcrumbs over the chocolate before it cooled. Then, we just sliced the melon, so that was kind of a cop-out.

OMG. Now, I know that like, everyone and their brother is making chocolate covered bacon, right now, but I really don't care that I'm just following a trend, because this trend is delicious. This trend is smoky and spicy and crispy and melty and sweet and when you stick it on a melon, you might just pass out from happiness.

How do you take your bacon?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Faces for radio

A few weeks ago, Hubs and I had the pleasure of snarfing Jethro's wings and chatting with Katie and Chris on the Garden Grunt radio show.

Check out my freakishly tiny head and stealthy beer sipping abilities here!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Fried green tomatoes for the win, y'all!

Our brandywine tomatoes are gorgeous this year. We slice 'em.

Bread them with an egg wash and panko and fry 'em up in a pan.

When they are good and crisp, we plop on some thick mozzerella.
Add a little smoked paprika.

And die of happiness.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sweet corn and old dudes

Have you ever been to a sweet corn feed? I think it's an Iowa thing, but maybe other corn-crazed states have them, too. Anyway, I'm here to tell you - sweet corn feeds are AMAZING. If you like sweet corn and old people and cheap dinners, that is.

Couldn't tear myself away from the brat to take a picture.

For years, I've been baffled by the sweet corn feed. I imagined lines of people, shuffling through dimly lit cafeterias with trays filled with sweet corn and the constant hum of hundreds of pale people munching corn on the cob. It terrified me. All that chewing and spit and corn bits in the teeth of strangers? No thank you.

Somewhere along the way, I realized how delicious sweet corn was and that it really wasn't something to fear. I'm sure I could find a quiet corner at a sweet corn feed to quietly enjoy a few cobs. Surely, there had to be a place for people like me in the sweet corn feed arena.

Last week, Hubs and I hit our first sweet corn feed, hosted by the Izaak Walton league. While we did have to wait in line, nothing else from my original vision was there. First, I was shocked that there was more than just corn to eat. There were polish sausages, garden tomatoes, potato salad and watermelon, in addition to butter-drenched corn. Plus, the crowd wasn't pale or overly loud chewers. They were friendly folks, with lots of old dudes saying hi to each other and doing that handshake/pat on the shoulder thing old men do so well. The food was good, the people were friendly and I didn't hear a single person crunching (other than myself, which seriously I wish someone would invent a silencer so I couldn't hear that, too. I've got sensitive ears, people. Like delicate flowers, they are.).

Old men in action!

Point is - get your buns to a sweet corn feed this summer. I'll be out in Adel next weekend at the shucking party for their sweet corn festival. Should be a good time!

The bounty I came home with - 16 ears for $4!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The tale of the soggy cellar

Oh, my dears. I was so pumped for this week. I was like, wicked jazzed about a week to do as I pleased (you know, before I start my new gig) - knitting, laying in the classiest blow-up pool in the 'hood and tarring the driveway - what lady doesn't look forward to these things?

Sadly, it all came crumbling down (ish) this morning, when the Hub-a-rino (eyyyyyy!) woke me up and told me I needed to get into the basement. Now, I was in such a sleepy stupor that I actually thought he was about to surprise me. My brain said, "There's a present in the basement! I hope it's a kitten!" Silly brain, you were WRONG.

Nope, the basement was soaked. Water, water everywhere and not a drop to spare. It had rained about 5 inches last night in our area, but it seemed like our basement berber had soaked it all up. Hubs and I had a harried conference in which we decided that I'd spend the morning cleaning up and calling water damage specialists and he'd come join the fun after lunch (what a rock star - taking PTO to wet vac a basement!).

So, we're waiting for somebody (anybody!) from the water damage pros to call us back so we can get started on the real work. Since err'body and their brother seemed to have a wet basement today, we're on waiting lists that might leave us low and wet until Wednesday! That means our carpet is likely unsalvagable.

And you know what that means - awww yeah, dudes - new carpet. We're about to start rocking a basement re-do waaay earlier than planned. A few wet spots of drywall that need to be patched is enough to get us thinking about a new paint color, too. So, there is a spot of silver lining in all this mess.

Anyone else have a soggy cellar? How about a direct line to Mike Holmes?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Signs I Might be Crazy, Installment Six

The other night, friends were coming over. I hadn’t seen them in a few months, so it was going to be fun. But, I was also making one of my favorite dips that I haven’t had in a whole year. I was equally excited about the social interaction and the dip. Maybe just a smidge more excited about the dip.

(Ladies, please do not take this personally. You know how I adore adore adore my dips. If it wasn’t super morbid and highly illegal and possibly poisonous, I should like to be cremated and mixed into sour cream and served with butterfly crackers. Dip and I, we have a history that cannot be denied.)

PS the dip was this.

PPS When all was said and done, the friends and conversation trumped the dip. They're funny gals, my pals.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

One Thing Thursdays: Italian Train Stations

When our rental car got cancelled in Italy, Hubs and I decided to take the train from Bologna to Levanto. The trip took a few hours and required us to change trains twice and sacrifice our dignity as we raced across platforms, Hubs huxing our two Very Heavy Suitcases in an effort to not miss our four minute connection. That was ugly. We were taking out little old ladies (not really! I'm painting a picture with my words - just go with it) and getting all red-faced and sweaty in the way only nerdy Americans can. Someone might have cried. Someone else might have silently cursed his girlfriend for bringing 50 lbs of junk to Italy. Might have. Maybe. We may never know the truth.

Anyway, at the other stop, we had a little more time. Twenty minutes or so - not enough to actually leave the station, but enough to not make huge nuisances of ourselves. That's when we saw it - a lovely alcove full of vending machines, just waiting to satiate our travel-induced hunger with delicious Italian candies and weird flavored potato chips.

As it was lunch time, we needed something salty so it felt like a meal. This brings us to the One Thing you should do in an Italian train station: get Parmesan from a vending machine.

Oh, I wish we had photographed this moment. Hubs and I standing side-by-side, perusing the vending machine offerings up and down and up and down when simultaneously, our eyes landed on a shiny red and blue packet with a pale yellow triangle on the front.

"Is that cheese?" one of us asked. We looked at each other - eyes big and questioning. Yes, it was cheese. And yes, we were getting it. Nod in agreement. Drop in our change. Get the vending machine cheese. Oh boy.

Now, I'm sure this makes me some kind of bad person, but I'd never eat cheese from an American vending machine (although I totally eat squirty cheese when no one else is home, so figure that out). This was classy Italian cheese, from a classy Italian vending machine. And really, it was not too shabby. It also came with the ability to - when I'm old and gray - gather the grandkids around, turn off the lights, hold a flashlight to my face and tell them how when Grammy was young, she once.....ate....VENDING. MACHINE. CHEESE! Ahhhhhhh! Everyone scream! Scary!

One thing NOT to do in Italian train stations: use the ladies' room. You won't feel overly lady-like if you find yourself in this situation. Rather, you might feel like you just paid one euro to play a game called "Let's Not Pee on Our Shoes." Scary! Scream!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A glorious return to the non-profit world

So, while this blog isn't really about my professional life, I've got some big news from Professional Alexson to hit you with. And so, a guest post from Professional Alexson:

Hello! I'm so proud to announce that I've recently accepted a position with the American Heart Association as the new Director of Communications in Iowa. Friday, I'll leave the agency world and step back into a non-profit role. It will be sad to leave the agency where I gained national media relations experience, learned from amazing co-workers and developed a deeper understanding of all those agency jokes in Mad Men,* but I can't wait to dive right in and start reading up on all things cardiovascular. I love seeing marketing plans through from conception to implementation to measurement and this job will give me the chance to get back to being a one-woman show when it comes to communications - at least in Iowa. I'll be working alongside 11 counterparts across the Midwest, so there will be plenty of people to bounce ideas off of. That's a great balance - room to customize plans with lots of regional and national support.

*Editor's addition: Just like doing drama club in high school had me cracking up at Waiting for Guffman. Everybody dance!

Short but sweet. Professional Alexson is all about getting right to the point. Since the new job doesn't start for a whole week, DIY Alexson will be out in full force around the old homestead. I've got a real doozie of a project for ya, too. I'm going to re-tar the driveway, which will be just fascinating, I have no doubt. Any volunteers? I pay in soft pretzels.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I don't know science

Hubs and I sat on the couch last week, discussing that massive cucumber our neighbor gave us.

“It’s the biggest vegetable I’ve seen, except for a pumpkin,” I said.

“Cucumbers aren’t vegetables – they are fruits,” he replied. “Fruits have seeds inside, like tomatoes.”



I knew tomatoes were fruits, but somehow, I thought they were some kind of freakish exception.

“If cucumbers are fruits, then so are zucchinis,” I laughed kind of nervously. “That’s ridiculous, you’re full of baloney.”*

Blank stare from Hubs.

“If everything with seeds inside is a fruit, then peppers are fruits?!” I’m shrieking now. “Jalapenos are FRUITS? Strawberries have seeds on the OUTSIDE, how are they fruits?!” I felt like that dude in the Matrix. My reality was zipping past me and now I have to live with the knowledge that most things I think are veggies aren’t.

Hubs was right. The difference between botanical fruits and culinary fruits is vast and mind-bending. I should have been paying a little more attention during that whole genus/species session in 7th grade science.

*Possibly not my word of choice, but this is a family show.

DIY killed the radio stars

Check out Hubs and I rolling live on the fabulous Des Moines internet radio show, Garden Grunt! We'll be chatting with Katie about Deckstravaganza and Patio Palooza at 6 p.m. CST tonight. I'm pretty sure you won't want to miss this, our internet radio debut.

Until then, got any burning questions about our big outdoor makeover? Ask 'em in the comments section and we'll answer them on air. Otherwise, you might end up listening to me rant about bunnies and their pillaging of my papery yellow flowers. Those cute, fluffy jerks!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Westward ho!

You guys, last week was a long week. A week full of spreadsheets and Trip Advisor research and comparing and contrasting and group decision making. Once Hubs and I cancelled our Panama trip, we needed to plot a new adventure like STAT. Due to our deflated budget, this wasn’t easy but Goonies never say die.

It was a toss-up for a while between the Bahamas and Grand Cayman. Hubs, who typically is not a beach-vacation type of guy, was all set to sit on a beach and be handed drinks all day long. Seeing as how this might never happen again, I was all gung-ho about it. But, we realized real quick that a decent beach vacation can be had for way less on plane tickets we aren’t taking a huge loss on.

New plan time. We started hunting for tickets that were so cheap that the $300 penalty wouldn’t hurt us, but would leave us about even. That brought San Francisco to the front. Once we started thinking about all the food-y, booze-y goodness this trip would entail, we rebooked. We are suckers for gluttony. So, we’ll be spending a few days in the city before heading to Napa for two nights and Sausalito for a night so we can check out Muir Woods, which I hear is delightful in every way. Like we officially rebooked our plane tickets and everything. We’ve got spreadsheets outlining our choices in lodging and wine tours, because making vacation decisions for two people is tough, especially when one of the people has in recent memory convinced the other person to book a vacation somewhere seedy and no longer trusts her own travel spontaneity.

Who’s been to Napa? More importantly, who’s been to Napa and didn’t drop fat cash on a nice place to stay? I found some cheap places, but they are mostly for nude hippies, which doesn’t really jive with our Midwesterness.
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