Behind The Butter

California In A Day

Hi guys!!!

WOW…what a total and complete whirlwind this has been! I am blogging now from LAX, where I have about three more hours until my “red eye special” leaves. I get into Tampa at 5:15 tomorrow morning, which will of course feel like 2:15 California time. Tomorrow I shall be one very tired blogger, that’s for sure! I took about 80 pictures today but, honestly, photographs can’t even document the beauty of where I was. It was an absolutely phenomenal day and I definitely felt a great sense of connectedness to both Denise, the talented winemaker, and the vineyard itself. But without anything further—here is my photo journey down the California coast!


I woke up this morning in Santa Rosa (up in Northern California) and boarded a private jet down to Santa Maria (Southern California). The trip took about an hour and 15 minutes and was just breathtaking. We flew down the coastline and the scenes of the mountains and the ocean almost brought tears to my eyes. SO gorgeous…I can see why people come to California and then never ever leave! 😉 I quickly ate 2 Kashi GoLean packets with pb, cacao nibs and goji berries before we left on our adventure—



Once we landed, we were whisked away to Starbucks first and then to the Cambria Estate! I grabbed a soy chai and a banana for a quick snack….

The Estate was a.m.a.z.i.n.g!!! Very country-ish, but at the same time trendy and chic. I fell in love!


It was there that I met Denise, the very talented winemaker of Cambria .


We instantly hit it off because we both are runners and Denise actually has a background in nutrition as well and loves to cook! I love that this vineyard is run by a strong woman–girl power! We headed up the vineyard in trucks to get a better view of the grapes and learn more about what is the essence of Cambria wines. I loved hearing how the climate had such a major role! This vineyard actually has the coolest conditions of any vineyard in California, due to the Pacific being RIGHT there. This makes the conditions perfectly ideal for phenomenal Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which are the two shining stars of the Cambria label.


When we got down from the mountaintop, there was a gorgeous lunch waiting for us outside! Adam and I kept pitching ourselves to see if it was all really real! 😉


I grabbed two sandwiches but only ended up eating the eggplant one. I also grabbed a TON of fruit salad and a lemon bar for dessert!


And, obviously, there was vino. We tried both the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir—



And then headed into the Tasting Room to taste the ENTIRE collection!!!!!! Gah! Of course I took tiny sips and spit….a little 😉

Honestly, I loved them all for so many different reasons….and I totally tasted about 20 of them. Hahaha! As most of you know, I’m a HUGE Pinot Noir fan so I’m a little biased. Having actually met Julia yesterday (the real Julia behind “Julia’s Pinot Noir”) it made me instantly love the wine. I also loved the Chardonnays because, more than anything, they exceeded my expectation with tons of flavors of bright peaches and fruit rather than intense oak that I used to think all California Chards had. Oh yes, and my friend Viognier…………what more can I say?! I brought back a bottle of Pinot Noir Clone 115 (the most popular of the Pinot Noirs) for a special treat back in Tampa. Hopefully we will have something to celebrate soon! 😉
After tasting, we had a great tour of the actual winery itself and were incredibly lucky to actually walk in on the bottling process! Even Caroline Shaw, the VP for PR for the entire Jackson Family Wines, had never seen this process before. It was such an unexpected and marvelous treat!



After a quick group shot, we were off without a second to spare since Adam’s flight was leaving in two hours from LA!

Starstruck (and a little tipsy), Adam and I climbed into the private jet once again and flew to Santa Monica, where a limo was waiting on us to drive us to LAX to catch our flights home! We totally brought wine for the air (hahaha) and I had a glass of viognier in true first-class style 😉

Adam was less than fortunate in the Pinot Noir arena…….LOL

Classy McClass, he is 😉

Let the girl have her moment of stardom, will ya?!
Couldn’t believe we were racing through the streets of Santa Monica……….I seriously feel like I’ve covered an entire continent in one day. And I think I almost have actually!!

And now here I am…….with three hours to spare in the lovely halls of LAX. I just ate a CPK bbq chicken salad and I’m catching up on emails as we speak


WOW. What a journey!!!!! And I get to take the “red eye special” home! I honestly feel so incredibly blessed to even have gotten chosen to COME on this trip but today just totally blew me away. I know you all are about to ask if I got a job and to answer your question, details have not been worked out as of right now. When I know something relevant I shall share it with you, but all I know right now is we are all going home to decompress a little bit and chat over the next few days. Its definitely a very interesting opportunity and I think that Jackson Family Wines as a whole need a voice behind them, which I think that I can be. But who knows? Only time will tell! As of right now I am dressed in my pajamas roaming around Los Angeles. Never thought I’d be here right now in a million years so who’s to say what tomorrow will bring? 😉

See you in the morning from sunny Tampa, Florida!! Ryan is being a gentleman and is picking me up from the airport at 5:30 am. I can’t complain!

You Might Also Like

  • Mandy
    July 22, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    What a day! Too funny, I’m going to LAX to catch a red-eye to Detroit. What airline are you flying? I’m flying Northwest, maybe I’ll see you there…


  • Erin
    July 22, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    That is so awesome Jenna- you deserve it all! I’m gonna say a prayer that everything will work out the way it is supposed to. Have a great flight home!

  • LK- Healthy Delcious
    July 22, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    you are such a rockstar!!!

  • Daria (Summer of the CSAs)
    July 22, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Gah, those pictures are stunning! Have a good flight!

  • Courtney Craig
    July 22, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Lovely! Just lovely! Looks like you had an awesome time, and got treated to the best! You were/are right in my ‘hood! I live just down the street from the Santa Monica Airport…in fact, I hear a small plane taking off now! I wish you all the best, Jenna.

  • MarathonVal
    July 22, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Can’t wait to see that video of yours of the trip!!!! Again, sooooo excited for you and you must be on cloud 9 from all of the excitement!

  • Meredith
    July 22, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Jenna!! This is all so exciting! Your pictures are gorgeous and make me wish I was in Cali right now. And Cambria looks and sounds amazing…I am going to search for some of that Pinot tomorrow ASAP. I’m so happy that you have been blessed with these opportunities; it honestly restores my faith in the universe and strengthens my belief that everything happens for a reason.

    Good luck catching some sleep on the red eye!

  • Lizzie
    July 22, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Amazing trip – thanks for sharing!!! Even though I just start reading your blog a couple of months ago, I am excited for you and where you’re headed. It’s always great to meet people who share similar interests and you can really connect with. I love Santa Monica – it’s one of my ‘go to’ places on my way home when I have a loooong lay over.

    Have a good trip home – you sound ‘happy’ exhausted so you’ll probably sleep like a baby! 🙂

  • Maria
    July 22, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Oh my goodness it is absolutely gorgeous out there!!! The land is amazingly beautiful and breathtaking. Ahhh, yes you totally rock the star look 😉 Best of luck, Jenna!!!

  • Still Life in South America
    July 22, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    What a beautiful, beautiful day. A private jet!?!?! Woot!

    Your black jacket and red shirt are perfect for the event. Very good choices.

    I’m sure you can’t wait to get home and curl up in your own bed. Glad you had such a fun time and hope you get a little sleep on the red eye out.

  • Kristy
    July 22, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Wow, a limo and a private plane…you got the rockstar treatment 🙂 I hope everything works out for the best. It’s amazing to see what incredible possibilities life holds!

  • Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats
    July 22, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Jenna – are you kidding me – what an INCREDIBLE day and opportunity and location and…everything!! I am so happy for you! Have a safe trip back home! 😀

  • Meghan
    July 22, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    You look like you fit in perfectly, Jenna! What a jetsetter 😀

  • Deva
    July 22, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    You take such wonderful pictures – they really do tell a story and they do it so well! Everything is so lovely and lush looking – I can nearly feel it just looking at your images.

  • Megan (Runner's Kitchen)
    July 22, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    What a whirlwind day! Cambria wines do seem like a perfect fit for you! And your CPK salad looks yummy – good find in an airport 🙂

  • Recipes for Creativity
    July 22, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    I have LOVED, LOVED, LOVED reading about your adventures out there! You know we are all dying to see what happens! Have a safe flight 🙂

  • Michelle Hisae
    July 22, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    WOW, that vineyard is so beautiful. What a great opportunity that would be to work there. You deserve it! Best of luck!

  • Michelle
    July 22, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    I have goosebumps and tears in my eyes for you Jenna. I am so happy that, if nothing else, you got to go on a great adventure. It’s so exciting to live life in the moment and blissfully enjoy it. What comes of it…who knows…but I am so happy and excited for you.

    Waiting on pins and needles in Oz!

  • Kat
    July 22, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Safe trip home Jenna! What a wonderful week. Thanks for sharing it with us. xo

  • Melissa
    July 22, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Wow wow wow! I am a fairly new reader – and I am in love with your blog! We share all of the same interests so it is fun to be able to see someone out there livin’ it up and followin’ their dreams. And, yes everything happens for a reason! I feel like I have been a part of your trip because your excitement just bursts through your writing and your pictures are beautiful! I have been dying to go on vacation – but I felt like I did a bit through reading your blog (while nursing my baby) hahaha!

    Hope everything works out well for you! You deserve it! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your fun trip with all of us ‘readers’ he he. Excited to see the video!


  • aron
    July 22, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    sooooo awesome 🙂 sounds like a wondeful experience!!! YAY santa maria 🙂 haha thats where I was born and lived until 18… then moved 30 minutes north to SLO for college – you would LOVE it there!

  • Rebecca
    July 22, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    I LOVE California. I have family that lives out there and I really want to move there. New York is an awesome place to live but I think Cali would be ten times better!!
    All of your pictures are so amazing. I especially like the one of the wine glasses near the window with the view from outside coming through them! 🙂

  • Sheri
    July 22, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Wow..what a week you have had! I hope that everything works out for you the way it should! You sooo deserve great success in your life! But if nothing else you sure have had an amazing adventure! Thank you so much for sharing it all with us! 🙂

  • Marcia
    July 22, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Well, glad you had a good time and welcome to California! I live in Santa Barbara, so you pretty much stopped and flew in my stomping grounds.

    And yeah, once you move here…hard to leave. I’m an east coast transplant myself.

  • Julia
    July 22, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    What an amazing trip and an awesome opportunity! I’ve been absolutely waiting on the edge of my seat to hear about the day! Now I’m waiting on the edge of my seat to hear what kind of offers come along and whether or not you accept them!
    Congratulations and get some good rest!

  • Whitney
    July 22, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    OMG Jenna! How amazingly gorgeous! What an exciting opportunity! I hope every thing works out well for you!

  • Anais
    July 22, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Woah, what a terrific day! Either way, no matter what happens, it’s obvious that you had a life-changing experience over there 🙂 Beautiful pics!

  • Niki
    July 22, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Congrats! You really have had an amazing experience! I can’t wait to see the video! 🙂

  • Tay
    July 22, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Oh you probably drove through the town I’m in right now for school – San Luis Obispo! Santa Maria is about 40 minutes south while Cambria is about 25 minutes north. Too bad I missed ya! 😉

  • leslie
    July 22, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    what an incredible end to your california journey! have a safe flight back, and congrats on everything. 🙂

  • Heather
    July 22, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Hey Jenna!

    I’m so incredibly proud of you! This opportunity is amazing and you’re right – no matter what happens, whether you get a job or not, you have SO much positivity to take away from this.


  • Madelin @ What is for Breakfast?
    July 22, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Can’t wait for your video!

  • Allie Katie
    July 22, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    I like that your description of racing through Santa Monica was accompanied by a pic of what appears to be cars stopped on the road…just as I remember my time living there, haha!!
    Fingers crossed for you!

  • Help Meghan Run
    July 22, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    I cannot WAIT to see the video and see what comes of this! You have worked hard for this, you have been lucky, and you deserve it. 🙂 Congrats and enjoy that flight home!

  • Jennifer
    July 22, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    I haven’t been reading your blog for very long, but I am rooting for you, which says a lot about your ability to communicate! They’d be foolish not to hire you. I moved to La Jolla, near San Diego, from Georgia five years ago–will never leave!

  • Rachel
    July 22, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    AMAZING! I can’t wait to see what happens next!

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl))
    July 22, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    Oh my gosh, that is so incredible! A whirlwind of excitement for sure!! Have a safe flight!

  • Jenna (reader)
    July 23, 2009 at 1:58 am

    What an amazing trip! It’s awesome that you were able to see the bottling process. Wine country looks just as beautiful as I had expected.

  • Jessica
    July 23, 2009 at 3:22 am

    wow that is so gorgeous. eggplant and lemon bars … YUM what a dinner!

  • prinny
    July 23, 2009 at 3:26 am

    Amazing pictures – thanks for sharing!
    And good luck – hopefully things will turn out just like you want them to!

  • Marianna
    July 23, 2009 at 3:36 am

    Wow, it seems you had such an amazing experience! I love how you treasure every moment of your life and I love your enthusiasm and optimism…it is kind of contagious! Thank you for sharing with us!

  • Kiki
    July 23, 2009 at 4:23 am

    fantastic news for you jenna! and may I say, you totally rocked the jet-setter outfit! looks like u are born for this life hehe! x

  • Debbie
    July 23, 2009 at 6:09 am

    What a great day! I love California – it is a very special place. I love all the pictures and your recap. I hope you made it home safely. GET SOME REST!

  • Christie @ Quit Your Diet
    July 23, 2009 at 6:20 am

    What an amazing adventure you have been on! By now, you are back in Florida, I hope you had a safe trip and am very excited what may be to come for you!

  • Emmanuelle
    July 23, 2009 at 6:24 am

    Bonjour Jenna!

    I have been reading your blog for a while now, I have never commented before but here I felt I had to!
    I love your blog and your enthusiasm, this would be such a great opportunity, I hope everything will work out the way you want!
    By the way, I am French (but live in Belgium), so if you want to practice a little French, pas de probleme 🙂
    Fingers crossed!
    (sorry for the mistakes in English *blush*)

  • Suzanne
    July 23, 2009 at 6:34 am

    Wow, what an amazing adventure! Well done you!

  • Sandy
    July 23, 2009 at 6:42 am

    Praying for you. I hope today brings the right answer for you.
    What an exciting and fun opportunity.

  • Lynna
    July 23, 2009 at 6:47 am

    Nothing to say that hasn’t been said, but I have enjoyed every minute of your California adventure. I was so bummed that the “livestream” I was watching never went live, but as they say, maybe the window opened as the door closed.

  • Kathleen
    July 23, 2009 at 7:02 am

    Total rock star treatment! You are one lucky, lucky girl. (Of course, your luck was created by your hard work, experience, and motivation.) Cannot wait to hear the details as they unfold.

  • amethyst
    July 23, 2009 at 7:05 am

    How wonderful, Jenna! I was getting goosebumps as I started reading – it’s a perfect match (for you!). Even better than where your adventure started… ;-D

  • kristen
    July 23, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Those pictures are incredible! Regardless of what happens next- what an experience.

  • Courtney (The Hungry Yogini)
    July 23, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Girl, I’m so glad you had such a great time!!! What an amazing adventure and opportunity…I can’t wait to watch how your future unfolds!!

  • Ada
    July 23, 2009 at 7:19 am

    Wow, what an incredible experience! Congratulations!!!

  • Kim
    July 23, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Wow!! What an amazing trip! Gorgeous pictures!! I can’t wait to hear how this all works out! 🙂 Keeping my fingers crossed for you!!

  • Susan
    July 23, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Your pictures are gooorgeous!!! What a great opportunity 🙂 Can’t wait to hear whether or not you take the job. Until then though, get lots of rest and decompress from the amazing trip 🙂

  • megan
    July 23, 2009 at 7:46 am

    WOW!!! What an amazing adventure! Best of luck to you Jenna! Cambria Chardonnay is my FAVORITE – we served it at our wedding 🙂

  • katie s
    July 23, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Sounds unbelievable, Jenna! I can’t wait to hear more and see the video!!

  • Andee (Runtolive)
    July 23, 2009 at 8:05 am

    The trip sounds amazing! Congrats again on the wonderful opportunity!

  • Hilary (Red Head, Yellow Dog)
    July 23, 2009 at 8:06 am

    so wonderful and exciting!!!

  • Jenna
    July 23, 2009 at 8:08 am

    I felt very tearful reading this post!! 🙂 I hope everything works out the way it should! It all sounds truly amazing!! I’m sure your family is so proud of you!

  • Sheila
    July 23, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Not sure how I found your blog (maybe it was on for murphygoode job??) but you have inspired me to start to eat healthier!! Good luck with the Cambria gig. Luv their Chard…

  • Jean
    July 23, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Jenna, your trip just looks so beautiful and sureal. What a place to live/work!
    You are such proof positive that by following the path that God has created for us you can never imagine the happiness that could bring to your life! I am really happy for you and am excited to continue reading about your adventures!

  • Little Black Dress
    July 23, 2009 at 8:29 am

    OMG I am dying. I am so incredibly excited for you in so many ways. I know you, Ryan, and your family will talk about this together, but I just know deep in my heart that this trip will change your life forever, and even if you don’t take the job, you will be pushing forward with a renewed focus and optimism.

    You needed this lady, and I could not be more happy for you. Congratulations- I can’t wait to hear more!

  • Jess
    July 23, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Jenna you are SUCH a rockstar! I hope it all works out for you and everything falls into place. I can’t wait to hear more about your upcoming opportunities! 😀

  • Stacy (Eating To Live Love Laugh Tri)
    July 23, 2009 at 8:42 am

    It looks like a wonderful trip Jenna. I can’t wait to hear what happens next!

  • gina (fitnessista)
    July 23, 2009 at 8:52 am

    so glad you had a wonderful time 😀

  • Becci L.
    July 23, 2009 at 9:04 am

    What an amazing journey you have been on! Thank you for sharing the gorgeous pictures with us! They are breathtaking!!

  • Funky Lady
    July 23, 2009 at 9:10 am

    What a trip!! Amazing!!

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance)
    July 23, 2009 at 9:14 am

    AMAZING trip and opportunity! Can’t wait to see where it takes you!

  • Cait (Cait's Plate)
    July 23, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Jenna – you’re so lucky! It looks like it was such an amazing experience and you must be so grateful to have had it!

    Cali looks aboslutely amazing and I can’t wait to see what your future holds!!

  • Laura W
    July 23, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Such an amazing trip! I’m glad that you were given this experience… it certainly seems like good things are to come! I hope that you’re getting some rest now!

  • jamie @ sweatyhugs
    July 23, 2009 at 9:38 am

    What a DREAM experience that was! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Cheers to you!

  • Eve
    July 23, 2009 at 9:38 am

    WOW! I hope it works out. If anything this seems like the most amazing experience. I hope you had a safe flight back.

  • Runeatrepeat
    July 23, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Now you know why I was so sad to leave California – it’s amazing! Glad you had a great trip 🙂 Congrats on everything.

  • Stephanie
    July 23, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Ahhh… spending the evening in Terminal 1 at LAX. Been there… After an incredible weekend, it is sad to be stuck in that food court. 😉 I can’t wait to hear if you will be coming back to Cali soon! Fingers crossed!

  • Kristin
    July 23, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Wow Jenna! I must say that after everything you have been through this year, you have definitely deserved this opportunity more than anything. It looks like an amazing time and I know you’re perfectly suited for any job they have in mind for you. I wish you the best of luck!

  • Sarah
    July 23, 2009 at 10:37 am

    You have a very glamorous life! Anything you choose to do will be exciting.

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope
    July 23, 2009 at 10:49 am

    What a beautiful area! Everything looks so gorgeous and seems like the perfect fit for you. I’m so glad you had such a wonderful time and are things are looking optimistic. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you! 🙂

  • Carolyn
    July 23, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Good luck on the new opportunity, Jenna!

  • Dawn
    July 23, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Wow what a day! Hope everything works out the way you want it to–such wonderful opportunities coming your way!

  • Mel @ She Runs Brooklyn
    July 23, 2009 at 11:13 am

    you’re livin’ the dream my friend.

  • Sonia
    July 23, 2009 at 11:14 am

    wow your whole trip looks AMAZING!!! hope you have a safe trip home! 🙂

  • Kim
    July 23, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Hi Jenna – I just started reading your blog about two months ago, and I just want to say I really admire your positivity and optimism. This looks like a fantastic trip, and it’s been fascinating to read about. Best of luck with this new opportunity, which sounds amazing! God clearly has great things in store for you! Can’t wait to hear what happens next!

  • Krissy - Single Serving
    July 23, 2009 at 11:53 am

    I was in Santa Barbara last year (briefly) and it is so beautiful. Wow! Private jets and everything! What an amazing (and well deserved) experience.

  • Jess
    July 23, 2009 at 11:58 am

    must have been an awesome experience. I read a blog from a belgian lady who moved to california and she never wants to leave either 🙂

  • Jess
    July 23, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Oooh your blog will be so cool if you get the job! You better believe I’d be taking pictures and blogging about being on a private jet too.

  • Casey
    July 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Wow, what an adventure! I loved reading this blog and seeing all of your fantastic photos. California is awesome.

  • amanda
    July 23, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    speaking of cambria wines, next time you are in california (esp if u get the job!) you should visit Cambria, CA!!!!!!!!! its very pretty, rocky shorelines with sea otters and seals and its a cute little town about 30 miles away from san luis obispo.

  • Bec
    July 23, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    wow the landscape is breathtaking!

  • Menden (SkinnyMenny)
    July 23, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Your photos are absolutely gorgeous. Whatever happens for you, I’m so excited for you and really happy that you got the opportunity to see so many amazing sites in Cali! Get lots of rest 🙂

  • Sarah
    July 23, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    What an exciting adventure! Way to live the high life, Jenna.

  • faith
    July 23, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    you are truly amazing! i have been following you pretty much since the beginning, and i have to say i love how you passionately live each day of your life to the fullest. you run with your dreams, you challenge yourself, and even when life throws you a curve ball you just keep on going! you are truly an inspiration! i know God will lead you down the right path and open just the right doors for you! from one coast to another…if it is Cali, i’ve heard great things (i was a northwest coaster gal myself) and man is the raw culture thriving there so you’ll be one lucky gal!
    may angels keep you always,

  • Kelly
    July 23, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Super jealous. Sounds like a dream opportunity. I would love for something similar to happen to me, but only with a farm that makes its own cheese. 🙂 You’re making me really want to be back in CA.

  • Angela
    July 23, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    I am so stunned by the beauty of everything! WOW..I want to travel there someday!!!

    Goodluck with the job opportunity! I know you will find the right fit for you soon 🙂