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Monday, November 29, 2010

to erin, who led me to jessica, who led me to...

...Heather, who led me to the best place to sip a girl could ever work in:

Swanson Vineyards Sip Shippe

I came to Napa and found a lot including my fabulous Swanson Soul Sisters. This Alaska or Bust adventure has been a most growing and incredible 5 months of my life. What a way to end it working with you all. I heart you for life chicas. Thank you.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

get your seat belts on

The road trippin' begins again in 3 days. We've been to Alaska, we have busted it. We left from the east coast almost 5 months ago. (Yes, by "we" I mean you all, my peeps, my readers, my friends; all who share here.) Lets hit the road to complete the loop and see what's around the next corner.

One life. All the freedom and opportunity in the world and things to learn every day. I'm loving that.

See you on the road...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

hot air balloons and bubbles

Don't tell anyone, but I took this photo while I was driving yesterday morning. (Hey, I didn't want to miss a close-up shot!)

Hot Air Balloons in Yountville, CA

The day before, I snapped these leaf-changing vines at Mumm on my day off:

Fall at Mumm Napa

If you work IN the wine biz like I have been here, you rarely get to run around and go tasting yourself, because you are so busy serving others the good grape juice. I managed to weasel some time in for bubbles, after all- they are my favorite. I love fall, I grew up in Vermont and changing leaves of an kind have always been beautiful to me. In Vermont I'd be drinking cider and eating apple doughnuts looking at the beautiful changing colors through the windows with good company. Here in Napa I have done the same- just with a bit of sparkling instead.

I will never again have a first harvest season in Napa, with a first time working for a winery. I will probably not live in a lot of places where I can see hot air balloons filling the sky each morning or where I'm able pop in on my way home from running errands for a sip of some wine or food that's known around the world. For these, and many other delicious reasons I am giving my thanks this year.

Cheers to never taking any moments good, bad or bubbly (hee hee...) for granted.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

second round of skirt!

I confess, I occasionally Google myself.

I'm glad I did just now when I can't sleep at 3am. Look what I found! The Skirt! magazine article from the August Issue. Yay! I have to say a huge thanks to Editor Constance Costas for seeing a story in me more than once.

The U.S Border Patrol knows about Skirt! too. They Googled me when I was coming back into the country from Vancouver this summer. I guess when I rolled up to the booth with a car packed full and no plan as to where I was exploring next, then told the agent I had just driven to Alaska alone he thought I was a criminal or fruitcake. He then sent me inside with an orange slip. I waited in line, went through a bunch of questioning and stood there nervously as the agent typed away on his keyboard. I knew I was good to go when he looked up from his computer monitor and said: "Crushing Oreos in a jar of Nutella?"

All that typing he was doing, he was Googling me. Sure enough a Skirt! story about me that included information about my chocolate habit popped up from 2007. All the guy could do after reading that story was free me laughing and shaking his head. He handed me back my passport telling me: "Be careful Ms. Peacock, Ok? Really, be careful. Safe travels."

Thanks for saving me at the border and being a cheerleader for my exploration and adventure Skirt!

send me to manhattan

Um, my ultimate favorite sport soccer combined with Caribbean-style booty shaking dance moves? This class was made for me. The two ways I like to sweat best. I'm in love.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

follow the yellow brick road

...actualIy, mean the red line. Click on the "Alaska" button above and track where I am going! I head east shortly and you know a cross-country road trip comes with a lot of stories.

I never imagined that when I declared; "2010 is MY year!"- it would mean that all in this quick flash of less than 365 days I would:

1.) Work with one of my best friends helping him to organize his company during it's wildly successful growth.
2.) Drive alllllll the way to Alaska, alone, to hit my 50th state reaching a 16 year old goal.
3.) Live and work a full harvest season in Napa for a winery owned by the most lovely kind-hearted people I could imagine.

....and then some. And I don't take one second of any of it for granted.

I still can't wrap my brain around all the memories and experiences that I have just from this one single year. I look forward to sharing my 2011 with you here. Nothing like following your heart, setting goals and doing what feels right. It always works out. I am so thankful this year for being inspired to follow my dreams. I can do this because of all the friends and family I am lucky enough to have.

In honor of a chuckle and giving those thanks for Thanksgiving, I'm using the term "The Napa 15" (like The Freshmen 15 so many gain in college.) This describes how tight my jeans are after 2.5 months here. I mean, who's not going to eat cheese and drink wine everyday when you work in a place like this? To add to the wine and cheese, now comes the turkey. Let the buttons pop. I'm going out with a bang.

Happy turkey feasting everyone!

Monday, November 22, 2010

how you know when you're really in love with something

*You think about it everyday. Even if you are insanely busy, stressed or otherwise pre-occupied
*You sometimes put it before yourself
*You feel like if it's not a part of your day, your day is incomplete
*You feel lost without it
*If you never got to see it again, your heart would be broken in two
*If a someone proposed the question; "If you could do anything in the world, what would if be?"- it would be that thing

That's how I feel about Blue Lollipop Road and sharing my life, in all the glory and madness here; I'm in love with it. It makes me feel free. Not writing here even for just a whopping few days was a much needed space and break, but has made me feel like I lost my love, my puppy, my best friend. I have too much to say to keep my mouth shut for long. There's all that cool and funny stuff that happens during the daily bs that I can't wait to share too, so here I am again. What can I say, I just can't stay away.

If you know me or if you've visited here more than once, you know I am more comfortable sharing and being wide open than hiding things. This sometimes gets me in trouble. I have no problem telling people when or why I love them or when I think they suck. This sometimes gets me in trouble. I can stomach and be smiles and rainbows even to the biggest of jerks, but cross me or someone I love and I will go postal on your ass. This sometimes gets me in trouble. Living life open on the world wide web sometimes gets me in trouble, but it's worth it and then some. I wouldn't have it any other way. I have said it before and I will say it again; I won't change who I am, being truthful, or how I write because I am afraid that someone won't like me. (Yes, this includes any current/future employers, boys, in-laws dogs, chickens or other.) Sorry.

I took this cute (bad) photo (with my phone) at a wine event in The Marina today in San Fransisco:

Ice truck at Vintners Market in San Fransico

I only have ICE for you Blue Lollipop Road!

In more news; I just saw the New Kids on the Block perform with the Backstreet Boys on the American Music Awards. I'm not even sure what to say about that, but I do have another announcement that will come soon. Don't you just love surprises?

Friday, November 19, 2010


Apparently when I say I am taking a sabbatical, the world really wants me to take one. I just found out that my email inbox has been bouncing back all the messages people have been sending me for a week. Nice when I'm working my tail to connect/network, send resumes and all that good stuff huh? Life always seems to have that perfect timing. The email issue is fixed now, but if you have emailed me in the past week- please resend to diane (@) blue lollipoproad.com -Thank you and sorry!

Now back to my sabbatical. Happy weekend. I'll be back soon with a vengeance. Promise :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

recess, sabbatical, furlough...

...whatever you want to call it. I am taking one from here. Overwhelmed? Not really. Stressed? Nah. Feeling like I don't want to share my every thought, decision and move with everyone, every second of my day so I can actually have a clear head and worry about only me? YES. Totally.

Absolutely I realize sharing everything is what I signed up for. I love transparency, most of the time. My life has been one big transparency-fest. I've turned myself into a giant piece of Saran Wrap and I'm feeling like I need to be more of a tarp right now. (Yes, like the blue thick ones you buy at Lowe's and Home Depot.)

I want to live in a big fat city. That is SF, Chicago, DC, NY. If I can't live in one of those I want to make enough money to be able to go to them as much as I can. In order to figure out how I can do this when I have like negative zero dollars in the bank, I need more time to game plan, brainstorm and all that fun stuff even more than I already do. Blue Lollipop Road is my life and my love, but makes me no loot so right now it must take a bit of a back burner to things that make me loot so I can actually live where I want to live. If I keep moving to places I really don't want to, or making peanuts for money just because a job falls in my lap, I will never be at my best and I'll have to keep moving to stay interested, engaged. I will also never have $2 to my name. That's just silly. I've loved my time being a professional vagabond. Change is good, but I have moved 96 million times in the past 14 years. I have learned a TON, but now I'm flippin' tired. I am way too talented and capable of having my own business or working for someone else who will pay me a decent amount for my talents and experience to not be funneling all my energy into a great concept or company in one place/city/state. I'm ready to put that 14 years of being a professional vagabond and trier of all things to good use.

So?- I'm funneling right now. If you hear nothing but crickets here, on Twitter, Facebook, email, phone, etc.- don't be surprised. I'm fabulous, I'm healthy, happier and more confident than I've ever been. I'm just taking some extra time to make major headway on my future.

I promise I'll show back up here, bounding and smiling soon enough. As I sit in San Fransisco today, it seems a perfect time to quote The Governator:

"I'll be back."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

sunday strangers

I have been relishing in my last few Napa weeks, going for runs, walks, wanders in the morning in what's been an insanely warm and just absolutely gorgeous balmy few days in November. I've also been working a ton to get some loot in the bank account. Buying 3,000 miles worth of gas for my upcoming cross-country trek is not cheap. I went to bed on Friday night at 8:40pm (I know- I'm living on the EDGE!) I've been just loving floating about, relaxing, waking up to grapevines and being thankful for my learning experience and time in wine country. This will certainly go in the books as yep, I've even worked a harvest season in Napa- how cool!

While I was working today, I met a spunky older woman who's a college professor. She made me look quiet, boring and shy. This woman has the energy to light a fire to something when she walks by it. I was playing hostess and we got to chatting with another girl I work with. It didn't take long for the worlds of "Do it, do it while you can, if I could ever go back and have gone, moved, done more traveling, etc. before there were mortgages, kids and all- I would have." I have heard these words a million times over. Always from extremely accomplished, much older and well respected people. These words from this spunky stranger today made me and my coworker, who I have a lot in common with, very happy. (Not that I need permission to go and do you know that I'll do what I want regardless of what anyone says.) It's nice to hear words like those from someone who's lived long enough to know better after going some places and doing plenty of things.

I'm excited. Like really excited. I know you all read about a lot of things that "excite" me, but the excitement I feel now is an true excitement for life, work and possibility that I have not felt for about 4 years. I didn't realize until my time here how much of a tough, but needed growing phase I've been in these past few years. I feel like me again, but even better. Just ready to take the world by storm, knowing what I want and being able to actually vocalize it.

On a bonus note, I had a comment from a new blog follower today, a return email from a business owner who's website I found and complimented her company (I told her I'd love to work with her!) and an after work cocktail at this gorgeous green hotel and spa with a new friend who I'm quite convinced in the short time we've known each other- will be one of those lifer pals.

Now that's what I call a Sunday Funday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

roads, vines and skies- oh my

Vineyards in Oakville CA

I love it when the intended jump quick out of the car and snap a few pix turn into gorgeous ones like this that remind you of how incredible an everyday adventure is.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

decisions, decisions

Life is one big fat adventure right? You never know what's going to pop up and say "OOH! Pick me!"-or when you will hear nothing but silence. As one of my readers commented recently "It's always feast or famine with you isn't it Diane?"

That makes me giggle.

Well, I suppose so. I choose to think of "it" as one big ol' feast though. There's never been famine in my life. I'm constantly feasting on experiences, mistakes, food, people, places, opportunity and so much more. Some think I'm crazy, some think I'm great, some think I'm an immature fool. I'm just happy being me. I've tried to be other people. It never works.

In a moment of frustration some weeks ago with my schizophrenic decision process of should I stay (in California) or should I go now and trying to manage the advice and input of way too many people, (even though I have known what I wanted to do since leaving NYC in July), I told my Mother on the phone that I know I might infuriate some people all to hell, I know I might make lots of mistakes or look like a nutcase sometimes, but I'm just living my truth. I can guarantee if my funeral was tomorrow not one single person would feel a bit sorry for me. People know that I have LIVED. I know I have LIVED. That makes me happy.

Her best Mom ever and agreeing response; "That's right darlin'."

Learning about who you really are, accepting who you are and feeling fully confident about it is no easy task. I work on it every day. I'd like to say I feel a bit wiser or confident because of my age (you know, all that "when you get to a certain age" stuff) but I really think that my drive to Alaska this summer and time here in California this fall, in a whopping total of 4 months- have shown me more of who I am and what I know for sure than the previous almost 32 years of my life have. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around this. I't been a surprising but welcomed discovery.

A couple of these "know for sure" things:

1.) When you have a burn to do something, a thought or thing that wont go away- you're a fool if you don't do it. Not to get all Field of Dreams on everyone here, but for real?- If you build it, try it, go for it- it will come. You MUST trust your gut and your instincts. You simply cannot fail if you put your true heart and soul into something.

2.) It's pretty safe to say, you will always flop, fail, be unhappy, and have regrets in if you don't trust your gut and your instincts; With every choice you make.

Saying this, my journey continues as originally planned- back east in a few weeks. The total bummer of this story is that In a miniscule amount of time at a job I have had in California, I have 100% fallen in love with the crew of people I work with. I hope they will be my friends forever. A crew like mine here are a rare find and not an easy one to leave, but instinct- all that heart gut, and opportunity tell me east right now so that's the direction the little Civic that could will go. So? I wrap up a most lovely harvest fall season working in Napa Valley wine, and never forget my time here. I will think of this experience and these people any time I question my decisions. Most doubt quickly fades when I'm reminded that I'm making my decisions based on the most important things.

Thank you to all who have stuck by me as friends, family and followers during the "rat race" (as my Mother has lovingly called it since submitting a few words and a baby photo to the yearbook my senior year in high school.) You know I don't forget people. I love you for loving me.

Let the race continue...

***Most importantly for today: THANK YOU TO ALL MILITARY MEN AND WOMEN. Special shout out to my friends Andrew and Alex. Hats off a million times over.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


This is a photo from the lawn of the cottage I stayed at last summer in Maine with my Mom, Brother and Sister:

View from the cottage in Maine

Sigh. I miss my family and my east coast peeps.

farm girl flowers is born!

Congratulations to my friend Christina for the launch of her fabulous company Farm Girl Flowers!

Check out her website here and she what she's up to. She's bringing gorgeous, fresh, local flowers to people all over San Fransisco at a ridiculously affordable price. Pass the word if you have a friend in the bay area or heck, send the peeps you know there some fresh flowers yourself!

Blue Lollipop Road always supports anyone following their dreams. Especially when they are being green and giving a great deal too. Go Christina!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"honey, gas up the jet ski!"

My friend sent me an email with the following directions so I followed:

‎1. Goto Google maps.
2. Go to "Get Directions."
3. Type Japan as the start location.
4. Type China as the end location.
5. Go to direction #43....
6. Laugh

Now that's pretty funny. Oh that Google, they're always being so fun and creative!

sunrise hot air ballon ride anyone?

Hot air balloon morning at Luna Vineyards 10/10


Reveling in my day off from work relaxation time, I was just uploading photos, finishing a book, and was thrilled to catch up on one of my guilty pleasures; Watching missed episodes of Desperate Housewives online at abc.com. I finished watching my show, and a window for Match.com popped up. Here's the link. As I was about to X out of the screen, what do I see on the left column?- A marital status button.


Am I missing something?

Call me granny panties, old- fashioned, out of the loop- whatever, but why in the bleep would a match making/dating site have a marital status button?!?! Does this thing let you post your profile to read; Single 30-something female who likes long walks on the beach and to travel- seeks married dudes to date. No offense to those who have found true love on the internet, but now I can add one more reason I think online dating is ridiculous. I mean, to each his own. I just don't think I'll ever lean over to one of my gal pals to say, or post something online that says "Sweet! Bob is married!? Hook a sister UP!"

Sheesh. I don't get it.

i make-a da-peetsah, i make-a da-pie...

...I chopp-a da-onions, dey make-a me cry!

I wonder if they'd kick me out if I put a sleeping bag on the floor, camped out, and tried to get my mail sent here. Did somebody say espresso, prosecco and grana padano for breakfast? I'm so in.

Food, glorious food.

Monday, November 8, 2010

fall foliage

Vino style:

Vines in November

Sunday, November 7, 2010

the proprietress

When someone generously offers the gift of safety and comfort, thank you is never enough. When that someone is pretty near a complete stranger, thank you times a million is even less enough. Today I was given the gift of safety and comfort by one of the most lovely, energetic, radiant people I have ever met. I am so very thankful.

I will never forget your sincere generosity E.S. Thank you. I'm excited to be able to pay that generosity forward to someone else soon.

Now I'm off to that best nights sleep of my life...

leave cash on the bumper, or?

I stopped to buy a barrel from this person a couple weeks ago, even though- what the hell do I need a barrel for, I practically live out of my car- but there was no one around so a photo had to suffice.

Roadside sale in Napa, CA

I really just wanted to donate $15 to this person, get their story on why they were pulling out all the stops to go to London. I would have liked to post a photo of their face here. You know I fully support wanderlust and adventurers. I love someone who has no shame and just goes for it. Why not? I hope you made it across the sea, stranger!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I like "firsts." You know the first time you made out with a cute boy, the first time you went to Europe, the first time you tried some kind of crazy food or went skydiving, etc. Those are so fun.

The following was not a fun first:

This morning for the first time I stepped in cat poop, on the carpet inside the house...

...with my bare feet.

I want to say so much right now, but for one of the only times ever in my life, I will shut up here and just leave it at UGH. Vile.

For the love of god if anyone knows ANYONE around the San Fransisco North Bay area who has a room they will rent to me while I'm working here, please let me know.

You've gotta laugh. You can't make this stuff up.

Friday, November 5, 2010

farm to table

I LOVE this place. I can't remember if I have written about it before, but here it is again:

Farmstead. Farm to table dining in St. Helena California. YUM. Farmstead is a big part of the reason I was only a vegetarian for like 22 seconds.

If you are visiting the Napa Valley, you must stop here to have a glass of something red with the meatball appetizer and salt rolls while sitting outside by the fire.

Just thinking about it makes me smile, lean back in my chair and sigh...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

is that a ski gondola on a car...

...or are you just happy to see me?

I walked past this ride last night after fun times in the Mission in San Fransisco:

Ski gondola car in the Mission in SF, Cali.

Yep, the car and gondola are all spray-painted silver. (Smiles and daydreaming of rat race...) I just can't get enough of funky culture and the ridiculous blast of surprises around every corner in city neighborhoods.

Here's to never leaving your camera at home and unplanned nights out wandering with my old high school pals.

promised chicken poop

Here's the photo of my new little tube of Chicken Poop lip balm as promised:

My gifted chicken poop lip balm: 10/10

Chapped lips? Never! You are no match for what the chicken poo can do!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

walking in honor of a mom

Anyone can do a buck right? Read this blog post about my Uncle's Mom Pat. This woman was such a spitfire and hoot to be around. Support her daughter Lori in raising money for cancer. She's got 3 days to reach her goal and is only asking for one dollar. Everyone can manage that. I am playing serious bill catch up and I just donated a buck here. That was easy! Please pay it forward and use all your social media outlets to spread the word.

It makes me happy when I hear about wonderful people doing generous selfless things. Especially for the love, honor and support of family.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

the gift of chicken poop

No I am not kidding. A woman came into work last week and gifted us all lip balm made from chicken poo. Check out their website for their craft. I have photos I still have to upload and will add them here later. For now enjoy their website. What's not to trust about a company that says "If ya got chapped lips...put chicken poop on 'em...so you won't lick 'em"

Monday, November 1, 2010

i heart work exhaustion!

So you all know that I'm bored unless I am doing a million things and that I can handle chaos and being swamped. That sure has been put to the test lately and I need an espresso! I have said many times and I will say again; I have no idea how moms do it. I'm now working full time with one winery that I'm in love with (YAAAAAAAAAY!!!) as well as babysitting, housesitting and dogsitting. I'm also working some nights at another winery and back into my regular 5 to 6 day a week running schedule. Even took a couple of yoga classes last week. Did I mention I am still homeless too? I have been couch surfing with 2 awesomely fun and generous chicas since my arrival in CA. While it's been fun, it's time to find my own room. I have recently added finding a place to live to my list of to-do's, so I can get off the couch and stop being that weird girl that never goes away.

This is all life right? Working several jobs to make ends meet, learn, network, meet goals, pay off debt, find time to exercise and be healthy, etc.? Yes, of course. BUT! Of course maintaining all that has left my recent posts short and less fun and creative than I'd like them to be. BLR is never going away though. Just on vacation right now. I hope all of you that have stuck with me this far, will keep sticking with me for the long haul. I might disappear here and there, but I'm still here. It only means I am studying for work or off making a few extra bucks. I'm hell-bent on paying off all my debt by my birthday. Debt free by 33! It's on!

I'll make a video of some gorgeous grapevines soon and post them to make up for my absence. Turkey Day is coming soon too of course. I will surely have some great photos of the FEAST we are going to make. Who wants to come visit Napa during the holidays? :)