Back from the Convention plus a little break — Batteries are fully recharged.

Well I’m back from the convention (WPPI). Every year, we meet really cool new people, learn lots of new concepts, and refresh our creativity. A big shout out to Lori from Nordstrom Photo and to Jasmine Star, both awesome photographers, and a pleasure to have met. Angie has actually found the inspiration to start taking some baby pix, so look out for some of her work coming soon.

This year we didn’t get any 1st place albums like last year. We received two Accolades of Excellence for two of our albums, and one Accolade of Excellence in the 16×20 competition. We can’t wait for next year’s competition to submit new and exciting work that we couldn’t submit this year because we missed our deadline.

The classes we took and the trade show were very overwhelming 8:30 am to 9:30 pm almost every day, so needless to say we needed a little break after. So we decided to detox from Vegas by spending a few days in Napa Valley. We did some fantastic wine tours, and ate at amazing restaurants (big ups to my brides Gina and Michelle for giving us such great recommendations). One of the most comprehensive wine tours was at the Benzinger winery where they do Bio-dynamic growing–very interesting stuff. Here’s a shot of their cave where they age the wine.

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And of course a nice finish with a nice refreshing Chardonny only sold there at the vineyard.

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After some good wine, and some amazing food, what better way to see Napa than 3000 feet above the ground. Angie had reserved this hot air balloon ride which was really nice. It was really cold though, but it was a very enjoyable ride. I really didn’t take that many shots. I guess I was really detoxing. This is not the right time to photograph Napa–October/November is. Nonetheless I managed to take one good shot from this experience.

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And then on to more wine tasting…

Opus One, was definitely the nicest winery we visited, but also very expensive. At $30 for each taste of wine (truly just enough for a taste), we got out of there really quick, lol. I felt like we were back in Miami at the Mandarin buying overpriced drinks.

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Opus one was ultra modern, but also very cold, unlike the other family owned vineyards, so I decided to take more a fine art shot of its entrance (above)

The whole place was full of fine art shot opportunities, but again I was in detox mode so I only took a few.

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After we were there for a whole 6 1/2 minutes we decided to grab some food at Dean & Deluca Market and decided to drive about 1 hour to the Pacific coast and have it by the water. We found a nice water front spot and decided to have it there. Check out our view.

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Not bad huh?

Last but definitely not least, a big thank you to the people at Elm House Inn in Napa. What a warm and customer service driven group of people. The location was great, right in downtown, but their freshly baked chocolate cookies every day were even better. One afternoon we arrived a bit after the cookie batched had disapared and they were so nice that they baked some new ones for us. Nothing is better than freshly baked cookies!

Overall Napa was great. Not exactly my style but a very relaxing time nonetheless. 5 and 7 course meals that take 2.5 hours isn’t really my preference. I need energy, nice lounge music and nice cocktails.

Well back to work now. I’ll post some new recent images soon.

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