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Cultural Heritage Centre Tanzania Cultural Heritage Centre Tanzania Cultural Heritage Centre Tanzania Cultural Heritage Centre Tanzania

It’s been months since our trip to Tanzania, and we still talk about it just about every day. I can’t say enough what an amazing place it was, and if you would like to read the rest of my Tanzania posts, please visit my Travel Blog page.

One of our stops on our trip was at the Cultural Heritage Centre in Arusha. The Centre is a really cool space full of art and information on Tanzanian culture. We toured the property on our own, taking in arts and crafts, animal sculptures, dishes, jewelry, antiques, and beautiful grounds. We also had the opportunity to do some shopping for arts and crafts as well as the rare gem Tanzanite, something I regret not buying as it will soon be gone.

It wasn’t quite as exciting as camping in the Serengeti, but this was still a really worthwhile stop and one I enjoyed. Tanzania is full of beauty, in its landscape, its people, and its arts and culture. and the Centre is a wonderful glimpse into that.

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Tags: Africa, Arusha, culture, safari, Tanzania, Travel, travel blogger, Travel Tuesday, vacation

Happy Travel Tuesday! How is everyone? I have missed this space as it has has definitely taken a back seat to work life and summer fun these days. I have so much catching up to do, but most days after a 12 hour work day, marathon training run, gardening, and attempting to eat healthy, I just want to curl up on the patio with a good book. Weekends have been full of seeing friends, and beach, boat, and pool time and little else, meaning our poor house is a mess as it tends to be every summer. I am definitely still traumatized by winter; I had  nightmare about it last night. I want to squeeze out every drop of sunshine.

Still I have so much I want to write about, and I have missed this space! I am still mapping out posts from my recent work trip to Sonoma County, and today’s features a new favorite winery that you must visit if you head to Sonoma or Napa.

Ram’s Gate Winery is an architectural and natural masterpiece, set at the gateway of Napa and Sonoma amongst gorgeous hills and vineyards, capped off by perfect blue sky. 

Ram's Gate Winery

Every inch of the winery has been designed with incredible attention to detail and taking into account the views and the light that this location is bathed in. I loved how, upon arrival, we could see right through to the other side of the building and out to the hills. The photo doesn’t capture even 10% of how amazing it was.

 

Ram's Gate Winery

As we took our tour, each room brought more ooh’s and aah’s. From the barrel room to the various tasting areas to the chef’s kitchen, each space is meant for entertaining and education. I loved how each corner brought a new seating area or something different; this place is perfect for group get togethers or small tastings as a result.

Ram's Gate Winery    

 Ram's Gate Winery As we traveled through the winery to the outside, the beauty just kept coming. Nestled above the vines, the property really boasts some pretty views.

Ram's Gate vineyards

 

Carneros Chardonnay

And just as the property delights with details and finesse, so does the wine. It was a hot and sunny summer morning when we visited, and a cold splash of bright, tropical Carneros Chardonnay was a welcome treat for our walk around. Ram’s Gate’s wines reflect their unique sense of place, and Carneros Chardonnay is beautiful.

Carneros Chardonnay

Our tour concluded with a tasting of three Chardonnays and three Pinot Noirs, grapes the Carneros area specializes in. As always, it was fun to taste through the same grape grown in different places to note the differences created by the conditions in each location. Ram’s Gate makes Pinot Noir in a range, from the cool climate Carneros region to Northern Russian River, and they really pride themselves on the knowledge and craft of those wines, highlighting the characteristics driven by terroir. As their website says, they like to get specific about where the grapes come from; they can pin it down to the actual row the grapes came from.

wine tasting

Ram’s Gate is a true experience not to be missed. It is open by appointment only, so be sure to check their website and call before your travels. I can’t wait to bring my husband there when we visit later this summer.

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Tags: Carneros, chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sonoma, Sonoma County, Travel, wine, wine tasting

That’s Massachusetts for you. Just when you think you’ve discovered all of your favorite MA beaches, seaside towns, and waterside watering holes, friends have suggestions for more, and locals lead you in new directions. The possibilities of summer in Massachusetts are endless; why is the season so short?! Next year, we are taking a week off for a staycation. I long to have extra days to sip and linger at Westport Rivers Sunset Music Series and trips to Horseneck Beach and to camp at Spectacle Island or hike at World’s Endto take the ferry to Provincetown, not to mention to indulge in the bounty of the sea and local farms. It is summer, and I am in my annual love affair with Massachusetts.

 

Our July 3 truly felt like a holiday. We got together with friends and headed North to the sweet town of Ipswich where we were introduced to Salt Kitchen & Rum Bar and instantly saw why it is a local favorite. And it’s not just because they offer so many different types of rums, including local option Privateer. The interior is adorably  coastal and rustic, staff is friendly and warm, and the food was delicious.

Salt Rum Bar

I loved my Big Foot cocktail, which included Ragged Mountain Rum, Chipotle Maple Syrup, and Lime, for a sweet and spicy kick.

 

Big Foot rum cocktail For lunch I indulged in the Lobster Wellington, which was amazing, with its tender sweet lobster and corn in a flaky puff pastry, served with a salad to balance it out.

Lobster Wellington During lunch we learned that our destination, Crane Beach, was at capacity, which 1) made it impossible to go there but 2) made us not really want to even attempt it if it was that crowded. Luckily, bartenders and bar patrons always have the best knowledge, and we were on our way to a hidden gem of a beach nearby that turned out to be even better than our first choice. The water and sky were perfectly blue, and it felt so good to be on the hot sand. The water, on the other hand, was a little chilly, as you can see from my bracing below. Still, it was all so perfect, the quintessential New England summer day, so very welcome after a hellish winter.

beach in Ipswich

Since laying at the beach works up quite an appetite, we stopped at CK Pearl on our way home. This was another new-to-us spot, and it is a new favorite. The deck is right on the water, providing great views of beautiful nature and boats.

CK Pearl

CK Pearl The filter for this photo is sunscreen. I love it.

 

Our waterside feast included Octopus Carpaccio and oysters, paired with bubbly, of course. CK Pearl is an amazing spot to relax, and it’s right across the street from the famous Woodman’s if you also need a fried clam fix. We’ll definitely be back this summer.

Octopus Carpaccio    oysters  I took a little over a week off from blogging to visit family, get lots of work done, and enjoy a holiday weekend, and I am now excited and refreshed and looking forward to catching up on all of your blogs and updating my own.

Cheers to the best month of the year!

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Tags: beaches, cocktails, Food, Ipswich, Massachusetts, oysters, rum, staycation, summer, vacation, wine

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