Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wine about it!

**Okay, so I totally got called on not posting this sooner.  I know, I'm a  No excuse for not posting this on time, besides just being lazy.  So Jordan this one's for you, kid!

Our wine is finally ready!  And it's time to party!  Well, sort of.  We called it a party and provided food so that people would come and help us bottle it.  Pretty smart, eh?

Okay, so it was Greg's (The owner of Oeno Winemaking)  Still it worked out pretty nicely.  Everyone had fun bottling and drinking wine.  Not to mention munching on the freshly hand-made by yours truely pizzas.

Zac, Storm, Jordan, and La'akea digging in before getting to work.
 The spread.  Pepperoni and roasted garlic pizza and prosciutto and arugula pizza.  With a glass of wine, delish!
*Secret confession:  I was slightly obsessed with making pizza at this time.  I made pizza after pizza a few weekends before this party to get it just right.  I'm a dork, this I already know.  The result of my crazy massive pizza making weekends, a damn tasty authentic Italian style
 (I can share the pizza recipe if you all would like.  Just hit me up with a comment to and I'll put it on my list of posts to write.)

Wine bottling 101:

Step 1: Fill the bottles with wine up to the bottle neck. 
*Note: Go slow or risk getting wine on your clothes, or worse, spilling it all over the floor.  Wasted wine = Sad Christmas.

All of the men felt like this was a very manly man job to do and took it upon themselves to take on the task.

 Speaking of men at work.  I had to take a picture.  It's a rarity that none of us women had to jump in to rescue someone from either getting injured, dirty, or otherwise making a mess. had to be said, but I mean it in the most loving way.

Who am I to stand in the way of men wanting to work?

Shh...just don't tell them that I didn't really want to do that job
 Adam filling bottles.
 The hubby hard at work.
 The key is to make it look like you really know what you are doing.
 Jenna keeping an eye on things for me at the bottle filling station.

Step 2: Top off the bottles with just a bit more wine so as not to leave too much air between the cork and the wine itself.
You can see La'akea in the background topping off bottles.

Step 3: Put a cork in it!
 That, my friends, is a corking machine.  It looks pretty scary, but is quite easy to use.  Just be sure to keep your fingers out of the way.
Jordan jumped in there to prove that girls can do it too!
When it's all corked you should be left with this product, as modeled by the lovely Jordan.

Step 4: Apply the plastic cork wrapper.
For all you crafters out there, it's kind of like using shrink wrap.  You place the plastic tubing over the top of the bottle.  Heat it with a heat gun, being sure to turn it every now and then, until it shrinks to the form of the bottle.
By the way, Storm was the master at this.  Everyone else who tried ended up having theirs redone by him because theirs came out all bubbly.  I like your perfectionist ways, Storm!

Step 5: Slap a label on it and be done!
 This turned out to be my department.  What can I say?  I have mad label placing skills.
 Look at all those labels that I needed to place on.  Guess who had the team on her back?  Me, that's who.  Lol...just kidding guys!
 The A-team over there.  Best label putter-oner and best shrinky-dinkinker.  Oh yeah!

Step 6: Drink and be merry!
Our finished bottle.  Isn't it pretty?
Post bottling.  We seem to look a lot happier  

Thanks to everyone who helped us bottle and partake in the festivities.  Special thanks to Greg and the Oeno crew for the awesome brewing experience.  We had a blast!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 4: Todo Santos

In order to really soak up some Mexican culture, we decided to do a guided walking tour through an old town, somewhat off the beaten path, called Todo Santos. 

Just in case you all wanted a little bit more information about the town: Todo Santos is a desert oasis.  Thus, the town gains most of it's capital via farming.  In it's hay day it was one of the major producers of sugar cane.  Now it's mostly filled with artists, farmers, and retired hippies. 

Our first stop was the town's cultural museum.

The interesting thing about the museum was that it wasn't run by the government like many of our museums are, it was run by the people of the town.  Each person gets to bring something that they find interesting about their culture to put on display in the museum.  Kind of a blessing and a curse at the same time because you got to see some really cool things and some just crazy weird things.

The corridor of the museum.
A replica of a traditional Mexican farm home.
Spurs and other farming tools.
Cave drawing.  Told you there was lots of diversity in the displayed items!
The inside of the museum.

This museum was, if I am speaking honestly, was the strangest thing I saw while in Mexico.  It was great that everyone in the town brought something to share, but none of it really made sense together.  Also, they took all that time to bring their treasured items in, but no one bothered to paint or upkeep the museum.  The window screens were tattered and torn, bugs were eating holes in photos and maps, the light bulbs were flickering or burnt out, pictures were hung haphazardly, and the list goes on and on.  It really made me appreciate all of our wonderfully kept museums back home.  I will never look at a museum the same again.  (If you are a museum employee, just know that I totally appreciate all that you do!  Thank you!)

Next we walked through the town.  Our tour guide was great, though he didn't really have much to work with seeing that it was such a small, laid-back town.
Everything in Mexico either says "Se Vende" (For Sale) or "No Se Vende" (Not For Sale).  Check out the super thick walls on this building.  They don't make 'em like that any more!
Me in town square.
The town church.
"Am I done holding your purse yet, honey?"
One of the various stores that sold handcrafted items.
The strange note on the side of the phone reads, "JOC group is also against the toxic mining."  I'm not sure what they are talking about, but it doesn't sound good.
A typical family home in Mexico.  This one looks like it's a one bedroom.  (Most of the homes there are.)  The black container on the roof of the house holds their tap water.  The container both heats and provides added water pressure since it sits up on the roof.  The rebar sticking out of the roof is for when they decide to remodel and build upwards.  (Pretty much every house and building had rebar sticking up out of the roof.)  
One of our tour guides told us that his family of four lives in a one bedroom home and that it is the norm.  I couldn't get over that!  I love my family, but if we all had to squeeze into a one bedroom home...let's just say that there probably wouldn't be many of us

Last stop, lunch at the famed Hotel California.