Greece in May 2017-Athens Tattoo Convention and #Winelover Meet Up in Thrace 

Greece is a must-visit for me. I come from Greek heritage on my father’s side, plus my love for wine has led me to time and time again to the region. It’s finally time for me to explore the land of my ancestors, with not one, but TWO events in May that are close to my heart!

The 11th International Athens Tattoo Convention will take place May 11-13th in Athens, Greece. The three day show will feature an impressive list of A-list tattoo artists traveling to Athens from all over the world, artwork, contests, and, of course, tattooing. I’m trying to plan it so this convention will kick off BoozyLife’s Tattoo and Wine Tour of Greece 2017…
May 25th-28th brings the second half of the tour, with the official #WineLover meetup in Thrace, Greece. Luiz Alberto, founder of The Wine Hub blog and LifeLover extraordinaire has teamed up with Ted Lelekas and I Love Greek Wine to celebrate the anniversary of the WineLover community–and I’ve been invited to attend! 

Morro Bay, California


The Molina’s have finally settled into our little RV spot, located on the central coast of California! Our Vogue is parked in Morro Bay, surrounded by views of rolling hills, trees, and cattle lowing in the distance, above the community. We are loving it! 


Morro Bay is a small beach town of around 10,000 people. Less than fifteen miles away from downtown San Luis Obispo, this little coastal gem takes it name from Morro Rock, a volcanic cap at the mouth of the bay. 


The Morro Strand beach is covered in sand dollars, whale watching and dolphins cruise the area, and sea lions bark at fisherman for treats. 


One of the main industries is tourism, and it exists happily with the local fishing vessels that in turn provide seafood to bayfront dining spots. There are a few wine spots I will be checking out here, now that I’m a local and we are mostly settled. Honestly, I could use some wine and unwind time….

BoozyLife is On the Road

We have left the snow and cold of the Finger Lakes for the sunshine and surf of San Luis Obispo, CA! 

Currently, our big ole RV is in New Mexico–tomorrow, I will be hitting a bucket list tasting at Caduceus Cellars in Jerome, AZ. For those that aren’t in the know–Maynard James Keenan of Tool, Puscifer and A Perfect Circle, master of ceremonies and creator of much of the soundtrack of my life is also the owner and hands on winemaker. Homework–check out the movie Blood into Wine about Maynard’s love of AZ viticulture 💀🍷

My new piece on Greek Wines is out! Thank you LM Archer and binnotes.com

Guest Wine Writer Series | № 9 | Demetra Molina – Beyond Retsina: 7 reasons you should be drinking Greek wines – binNotes | redThread™

https://binnotes.com/2016/11/04/guest-wine-writer-series-%e2%84%96-9-demetra-molina-beyond-retsina-7-reasons-you-should-be-drinking-greek-wines/

Harvest in the Finger Lakes 2016

Well, that’s pretty much it! Harvest 2016, for the Finger Lakes wine area of upstate NY, is in the bag. Winemakers are busy in the cellars, but the backbreaking labor of bringing in the fruit is over. 

Watkins sunset on Seneca


The drought of summer 2016, along with hot late summer temperatures, created a harvest situation different than in years past. Usually, whites ripen first, and there is a window of staggered time to pick the grapes. This year, almost every variety was ready to pick at once, creating a push for helping hands–as well as a more aggressive grape seller’s market. Winemakers that buy grapes had to make fast decisions or be priced out to the next highest bidder. ‘Time crunch’ was the big term of this year’s harvest. 

riesling ready to go


I had the opportunity once again to get my hands dirty and hand pick for a few different, local, smaller FLX grape growers. First-hand knowledge of grapes and fields make for a more educated taster and pourer of wines, so I take the chance where and when I can. 


I exclusively hand picked on Seneca Lake this year-Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc. As always, I learned so much from the people I worked with, the experience alone was worth the labor put in. Long hours, little pay (mostly), but you really get out of it what you put into it, and the access you get to the winemakers will absolutely change how you think about making (and drinking!) wine.

Even Master Somm’s sort grapes in the FLX


Look for 2016 vintage FLX reds as well to be exceptional–the extensive drought and heat really created an intense, smaller crop of beautiful fruit. I’ll be back in NY from California next year to try some of the Rieslings, Cabernet Francs, and Gewurtztraminers, that I helped pick, for sure…

Flying the skies, and keeping it friendly…

 

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BoozyLife in the air

I’m going slightly off topic, here.

I’m not going to talk about wine (yet), or tattoos, or even how the two were a huge part of my trip to Lodi, California and the Wine Bloggers Conference 2016 (WBC Website) this past weekend. I reconnected, we networked, we drank, and it was a fantastic time. More about that soon.

This post is about air travel.

 

It has taken me three years to become what I would consider a decent traveler. I am a nervous flier (but better each trip), get motion sick in moving vehicles, boat sick on the water, and generally arrive in much worse shape than I started in. I am a walking advertisement for Sea Bands, Bonine, and Rescue Remedy….(feel free to sponsor me). Four years ago, flying cross country, alone, would have been an absolute, panic attack inducing no-go.

What happened?

I was tired of that debilitating, paralyzing fear being “my normal.” I wanted to see the world for myself. I went for hypnotherapy sessions. I tried different medications. I exist out of my comfort zone, being afraid and doing it anyway. I’m living life, and occasionally it makes me nauseous along the way! So what. Sick is uncomfortable, miserable…but do-able. Find the tricks that work for you. Eat the Pringles. Chew ginger candies. Valium and headphones work wonders.

So, here’s why I’m proud.

My journey to Sacramento airport from Syracuse, NY was supposed to be a relatively easy, two plane trip. Thanks to air traffic control and the airline I was on (United, not that it mattered, everything was a mess), it became apparent that this first time solo cross country jaunt was going to be a test to my mental fortitude as well. Delays led to missed connections and overnight groundings.

What did I do?

Not panic! I made the best of it, and planned ahead when I could. Always find outlets and chargers. Keep an empty water bottle handy.

 

I bought myself a fuzzy pillow and blanket set when it became apparent that I would be sleeping overnight on the Denver airport carpeted terminal floor. I amused myself at five am playing Pokemon Go (seriously). Buy the good headphones, you’ll be glad you had them. Nap when you can.

I MADE IT. FOURTEEN HOURS LATE.

Don’t freak out. Try to be cool to the other travelers surrounding you. I had some very lovely people give me tips and help me out in a couple of tough spots. Airline staff is also dealing with some major shit, so a little bit of nice can go a long way towards getting you rebooked. Don’t be THAT asshole. You know who I’m talking about.

My very first cross country solo flight? I would call it a “trial by fire,” successful escape from New York.

I promise, more about booze and tattoos soon!🍷✈️🍷