Now I Know Why Rutherford

“Why Rutherford?” is the question baffled people asked me when I told them I lived in the tiny town in the Napa Valley. “Why not St. Helena, Yountville or the city of Napa,” they wondered. I never had much of an answer except to say, I was looking on Craigslist for a house to rent in Yountville and came across a listing for Rutherford, which stated in the ad that the house was between Yountville and St. Helena. The house turned out to be perfect so here I am! … [Read more...]

Green acres is the place to be

If I had a C-note for every time someone has said to me, "What a big change for you" when they heard I was moving/moved from San Francisco to Rutherford, well, I could buy a vineyard—though probably not in the Napa Valley. Moving 63 miles was not a big change distance wise, nor has it been that big of a change for me personally; of course it's only been a week. In Rutherford, I drive on the same side of the road as I always have and speak the same language too. Moving here was not nearly as … [Read more...]

Napa is the new Italy

Just like orange is the new black and 50 is the new 40, Napa is the new Italy. That's why I've chosen to make California's heralded wine region my new home. Today I moved to Rutherford—home of Cakebread Cellars, St. Supery Vineyards & Winery, Peju, Caymus and other top brands,  including me! I figured if I can't move back to Italy, where I lived from 2003 to 2005, then Napa is the next best thing. I'm nestled between my two fave Napa Valley cities: Yountville, the culinary capital of the … [Read more...]

Hobnobbing with Kobe Bryant, Margrit Mondavi and Marchese Piero Antinori

kobe bryant hublot watch kelly e. carter

The last couple of months have been strange ones for a jetsetter like me. Accustomed to flying often, I traded in my wings for wheels as I made multiple driving trips to Napa to work on the Auction Napa Valley issue of Haute Living and to Monterey County to research the July/August issue pegged to Monterey Car Week and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Along the way, I encountered boldface names like Kobe Bryant, Marchese Piero Antinori and Margrit Mondavi. … [Read more...]

It’s time for a tune up

Now that I’m several months shy of a milestone birthday, it’s time for me to get my butt in gear. I expect to look a certain way when that big day comes in November and I won’t accept anything less. We all have our standards and mine are high. I thought I was my worst critic until I saw the experts at SHA Wellness Clinic on Spain's Mediterranean coast. After hearing from Dr. Ken Prange that my nerves were frayed and that the excess of refined sugar I consume is apparent in my fingernails and … [Read more...]

Eat Pray Love: Take Two

Count me among the over six million people to buy Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love. And count me among the many who didn't finish the  New York Times bestseller. My gold Oleg Cassini bookmark is right where I left it three years ago. On page 72. It would seem that I, of all people, would be able to relate to Liz's story for I too had moved to Italy on a quest. But unlike Liz, who embarked on a "search for everything" after her marriage failed, I went to eat, drink and pray for love. And she, … [Read more...]

How I (Never) Met Your Mother

I know some of you envy me for being able to enjoy a six-week holiday in Europe but at times it was torture. It’s like finding the ideal mate and knowing you only have a limited amount of time together. When I told friends I was going to Italy for a month, they wondered if I’d return. Well, sadly I did. I’m back in L.A., though more determined than ever to find a way to become an ex-pat once again. Walking down cobblestone streets in Rome’s Trastevere section or through Tropea's narrow … [Read more...]

Is it time to meet his mama?

Just as Layne and I were complaining vehemently about Tropea men not knowing how to properly treat women, we go out Saturday night and meet due fratelli (two brothers) who show us a good time and can teach these men around here a thing or two.   We met them at a restaurant when Paolo fell innamorato (in love) with me at first sight. Seriously. He couldn’t take his eyes off of me the entire time. Eventually his group, which included his fun brother Giampiero and a quieter friend, Carlo, joined me … [Read more...]

Eat, Drink, Pray for Love

While Layne went off with Corrado, an Italian hottie who says “Call me Coco,” I was left on the beach with a toothless Moroccan who peddles towels (I bought one from him yesterday) asking me how much I’m paying for my apartment for the month and if I’m married. I told him he was maleducato (rude) and my marital status is non importante. We’re into Day 5 in Tropea, in the southern part of Italy, and it’s official: the entire town of 7,000 knows we’re here and knows our every move. After all, … [Read more...]

It’s always wine o’clock in Italy

Day One in Tropea is drawing near an end and it’s been an experience. We’ve drunk too much wine, been mistaken for being the wives of senior citizens from Florida and discovered n’ duja. Right now Layne and I should be enjoying dinner at some restaurant owned by the family of a guy who runs one of the Italian language schools in town. Layne, whose Italian is pretty impressive, begins one-on-one Italian lessons in the morning and I think I’ll take a week-long intensive course in a couple of … [Read more...]