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Nada Nada Limonada

That old Beatles song… “Back in the U.S.A.” I never understood why The Fab Four didn’t call it “Back in the U.S.S.R.” Or did Chuck Berry already write a song with that title? Nada Nada Limonada.

Amy & Adam Wedding v24We jetted back to the Motherland for the joining of two souls in Sonoma County… California wine country. It was worth the 34 hours of travel, six airports, and one overnight stay on steel chairs at Dallas’ frigid airport. The occasion was splendid, Amy Sullivan making a beautiful Mrs. Adam Balentine. Our time in and around San Francisco was minted with memories of wedding festivities, wine tasting, and catching up with dear friends/family.

Cramming into the GMC sport utility vehicle, seven of us left the San Francisco airport to explore the City by the Bay. Needing to feel girlish once more, Ash dropped her bags then headed for the hairstylist. Meanwhile, Batman (Cate), Melissa, Heather, Ben, Grant, and Greg saw the sights: Fisherman’s Wharf, Lombard Street (crooked street), and the famous trolley cars. Caught up in the excitement, we were handsomely scammed at lunch. We were lured to the outdoor seating by a menu boasting cheap hamburgers and 68 beers on tap. The establishment conveniently left out the price for such a selection. We walked away with lighter wallets and shaking heads… $8.00 pints. Properly sauced, dinner was spent with Ashley’s Kappa Delta sorority sisters at a pizza joint then braved a lunatic taxi driver back to the hotel.

Morning came and across the Golden Gate we went. Ben became the resident expert on the bridge’s history, often reciting, “built ahead of schedule and under budget.” Knowing we were headed to Argentina, Benjamin (AKA “Bren”) was kind enough to teach us a useful Spanish phrase. When asked something in Spanish that is confusing, simply reply with “nada nada limonada”. So useful.

Ledson Kenwood






We pulled into the Flamingo Hotel and deposited our bags then headed east on Sonoma Highway in search of a couple vineyards looking to unload some vino. Seasoned tasters Ken (Ledson) and Lucy (Blackstone) were kind enough to instruct us novices on volatilization, grapes, and the fermentation process. Lucy took the love of wine a bit far calling pinot noir the “diva” grape after confidently informing us this would be the best tasting of our lives. Feeling a bit giddy, the girls drank champagne while getting manicures/pedicures. So the boys were left scratching their heads… what to do? Buy a case of beer of course. It had been only 6 weeks, but Greg enjoyed hanging with the guys again while playing cards pool side as women in alluring one-pieces performed water aerobics.

Hospital Gown?One day until the wedding. Ashley woke up well rested, but had peculiar bumps scattered across her body. So instead of vineyard tours, we visited Sonoma’s finest medical clinics. No doctor knew precisely what the bumps were, but prescribed an antibiotic for the welts, makeup for the redness, and plenty of alcohol for the selfconsciousness. But hey, it was our first chance to try out our traveler’s insurance! Grant rushed Ash to the wedding rehearsal just in time and the guys took a self guided tour of B.R. Cohn Winery. Next came the rehearsal dinner where the girls gave Amy a heartfelt speech, spearheaded by toastmaster Heather. Then, a white sedan pulled up with two smiling faces. Brad and Cathy Miller (Ash’s folks) had arrived!  It was such a pleasure seeing them. 

Being the excellent boyfriend that Greg is, the shaving cream and razor reared their ugly heads. After repeated requests from Ash, off came Greg’s patchy beard prior to bed. He wept as the hairs circled the drain.

Wedding Day was here. Ash met up with Amy and the Wedding Party while Brad, Cathy, Ben, Grant, and Greg headed for the Kenwood Winery. Over 90 minutes were spent exploring the grounds of the vineyard. The staff could not have been friendlier, even offering us a taste of syrah in the middle of the fermentation process. We tasted some choice selections with Dale, whom took a particular liking to Ben. Sadly, the feeling was not mutual.  Ben did not care for Dale’s meddling in how he manages his life nor his decision making process.  The rest of us got a real kick out of it.  Cheers, Dale. 

Pre-Reception Reception Kappa Deltas





We hit the showers then boarded the bus with a sack of Bud Lights headed for B.R. Cohn. Surrounded by rolling hills covered with grapes ripe for the picking, the ceremony was beautiful. Amy made a gorgeous and beaming bride, Adam brimming with joy and confidence. Batman, Melissa, Heather, Ash and the other three gals looked stunning in their pale yellow bridesmaid dresses. With warm lighting, an energetic band, and tasty food/drinks, the reception was off the charts. What a celebration.

Gun Show Bride and 3 Amigos






A tearful goodbye, and our good friends from Chicago headed to the airport the next morning. But we had the entire day to spend with Ash’s folks. The redwood trees of Muir Woods was our first stop. Then we headed into San Francisco as the Blue Angels flew overhead during an exhibition for Fleet Week. We feasted on fresh seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf overlooking sailboats and fishing vessels. Morning came and we said goodbye to Brad and Cathy. We slept awhile longer, then arrived at the airport for a 20 hour jaunt back to Brazil.

Ash had been anticipating this wedding since an early morning phone call last November from Amy informing her of the exciting news. Seeing one of Ashley’s best friends get married was an emotional experience for her, but she couldn’t be happier for the two of them. Friends, vineyards, and an unforgettable wedding was the prefect combination for a short stay on home soil.

Muir Woods San Fran v3






Does Russia have a wine country? Is there a grape that grows in Siberia? What? I am confused. Nada nada limonada.

- Greg & Ash


  1. If the price isn’t listed on a menu, always inquire before ordering. This ensures you will not have to wash dishes to pay your tab.

  2. When you feel you have been wronged by an airline, file a complaint. Our missed connection with American Airlines added an overnight stay in the airport and 12 hours to our trip. They deposited 12,000 miles to each of our frequent flier accounts.


  • Wong

    Despite the current economic climate, Brazil continues to shine and for good reason. It has much to offer by way of bustling cities, lazy beaches, verdant rainforests, and natural wonders. With the 2014 World Cup and Summer Games in 2016, this fascinating country will be known more for its merits than the popular Brazilian Wax.

  • ardywong

    Despite the current economic climate, Brazil continues to shine and for good reason. It has much to offer by way of bustling cities, lazy beaches, verdant rainforests, and natural wonders. With the 2014 World Cup and Summer Games in 2016, this fascinating country will be known more for its merits than the popular Brazilian Wax.

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