Napa Day 1

by Jenn

I messed up – didn’t bring the CF card reader to Napa from San Jose.  So no pictures till Sunday.

I’ll just give a brief snipet of what we did today.

Ate breakfast with Mom, Dad, Sarah and George.  Yummy pancakes that I made.  Then we drove to Fairfield where we are staying and where the Budweiser Factory is.  So… we had to go there for the free tour and tasting.  Two glasses of free beer each – rock on!  Of course it got us to spend $13 on a 12-pack but it was still worth it.

Then we went an hour north to Berringer Winery in St. Helena.  We took their 60-minute tour, complete with cave tour, 4 wine tastings (one out of the barrel!) and pairings with cheese and chocolate.

After the tour we shared a brief snack.  The afternoon was cool and breezy.  It was nice being the only ones around, relaxing and taking photos.

We met up with family (all here for cousin Rob’s wedding) and ate dinner at Azurra Pizza in Napa.  Very good – but reminder to self – skip the arugula.

Now we are back in Fairfield at the Marriott (of course!) watching some TV.

Will post pix asap!

Courtyard Tokyo Ginza Hotel

by Jeff McNeil
Courtyard Tokyo Ginza Hotel

Courtyard Tokyo Ginza Hotel

Our second stay on our Asia Honeymoon mini-moon trip will be at the Courtyard Tokyo Ginza Hotel.  It is a no frills business hotel with style and the most important thing, location, location, location. In the heart of downtown Tokyo this Marriott is only steps from one of the many subway lines in Tokyo.  It will be a quick 20 minute ride to get to the front gates of Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea.  The hotel doesn’t offer a pool but it surely makes up for that with the number of restaurants it has for the tourist or business traveler.  I look forward to some sushi and other asian cuisine when we get there.  I hear noodles are all the rage these days 😛  I have done a little homework on the hotel and it did not suffer any ill effects from the earthquake in March.  Keep in mind that the most earthquake and tsunami damage was done several hundred miles away. 

I am excited about our stay here in Tokyo as I learn more about the culture and the sights to see.  Unlike Hong Kong, Tokyo has 2 Disney parks, Disneyland and DisneySea.  Jenn and I will be going to be of them on our trip.  The Disneyland park is what you would expect to see in Anaheim from the original Disneyland.  However the DisneySea park is based on different ports of call like New York in the 1920s, Venice, Moracco and other exotic places around the world.  It looked so interesting that Jenn and I will be paying a visit.

We  will have 1 afternoon, 1 day and 1 night to explore the city, asisde from our trips to the Disney parks.  We again are going to not be the museum tourists and instead trek to the Imperial Palace, the Tokyo Tower and as many local hot spots as we can find.  I have seen many photos of the Tokyo streets at night lit with all the neon signs that give Las Vegas a run for their money. I will post a little bit about those later.  For the most part I think this going to to be a photo trip for the two of us.  Jenn will bring her new camera and I will bring my old trusty Canon XT.  Who knows, maybe there will be a great sale on Canon camera when we are there in some huge electronic store.  I could get a top of the line camera for pennies on the dollar.  Eveyone has told me that the deals in both Hong Kong and Tokyo are really good.  We shall see.

Coronado Mini-moon!

by Jenn

So fun today was!  We met up with Jessie, Rick, Zach and Michah for lunch before heading into Coronado to stay where else? Marriott!  After spending some time lounging at the pool, I shot a wedding and then came back to have what I think was the most amazing bath ever!  Yay for hot tub in the room!  Just lounging around watching TV now.  Tomorrow is more relaxing by the pool.

Here are some pix of our gorgeous room:

Arizona: JW Marriott, Spa, and WICKED!

by Jenn

Okay, so I’m a loser who didn’t post while we were there due to my not having the equipment to transfer photos, and I’m an even bigger loser that now when I could have the photos on the computer, I don’t, so I am using Marriott’s pictures.  I will add our own later, I promise!

At any rate, our 3-day weekend in Arizona was a blast.  Only a 6 hour drive to another paradise.  Lazy river!  Need I say more?  But of course…

close up of the lazy river

Our drive was nice and easy, and we got a phone call from someone who offered us her WICKED tickets, score!  First thing we did when we got to JW Marriott’s Desert Ridge Resort and Spa was slip into our bathing suits and hit that lazy river.  After that, our room was ready, and we had our things sent up before going back downstairs to the Vista Lounge for some half priced sushi rolls and drinks.  Yum.  I then got to spend a good hour at the spa in the steam room and taking a nice hot shower.  For dinner, we took a walk to BJ’s pizza, but nearly got ran over by a dummy.  That being said, thenight was nice and relaxing and hey, BJ’s had happy hour specials too!

The pool was heated and fabulous

Sunday we woke up at a reasonable hour of 10am and headed to the pool for some more fun.  We had an early lunch, followed by more pooling and hot tubbing, and again, I got to go to the fabulous spa.  No treatments, but hey, my gold member status got me in for free! Yay! It was then time to check out and make our way to Tuscon where Wicked is playing at Arizona University.  It was so exciting to get to see my favorite musical again.  Jeff is so cool for thinking to look what was going on in the area!  We had some Olive Garden for dinner care of wedding gifts, and went to bed early.

Monday we decided to go ahead and start driving home after breakfast, but we stopped a couple times for photo ops and even got to wade in the Colorado River right at the border of AZ and CA.  One thing I hope we can go back that way to do some time is ride 4-wheelers all through the sand dunes!  Very cool.

So that was our weekend and now it’s back to work.  Can’t wait till next month’s “Mini-Moon”  Where will we go?  Maybe SD Wild Animal Park.

relaxation is great

Honeymoon Trip #2: Hollywood Renaissance

by Jeff McNeil
Renaissance Hollywood

Renaissance Hollywood

Our second weekend trip will be to the city that makes stars, Hollywood.  Jenn and I will be staying at the Renaissance Hollywood directly behind the Hollywood and Highland complex.  In the past few years we have been together Jenn and I have rarely been to Hollywood.  Sure for a restaurant here or a wedding there, but not for a weekend trip just the two of us.  The hotel looks to be one of the more modern Renaissances in the local area and I am excited to go to the pool and see if there are any stars there getting some sun.

I have a few things planned for us to do like take a walk down the Walk-of-fame and maybe catch a movie in Grauman’s Chinese Theater or take the subway to go to Olvera Street one morning for some amazing taquitos at Cielito Lindo.  We plan on relaxing and being a bit of a tourist with the stores and activities there.  If you have any ideas of things to do, please let us know by posting a comment on the blog.

Bonus to all of this, we got a night free due to Jenn’s Gold member Marriott Status.  Woohoo!!

Relaxing by the pool

by Jeff McNeil


This is the view from our first honeymoon trip to Marriott. We are hanging out by the pool having coconut frozen rum drinks and lunch. My wife has had a massage and facial spa treatment this morning and is radiant. I have watched movies and people watched by the pool. Could this afternoon get any better? I don’t think so.

Thank you to those who contributed to the Marriott honeymoon fund. We are enjoying our relaxing time so much!