Modern travel never ceases to amaze me.

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Friday afternoon I was thoroughly enjoying a private wine tasting session with David Georges under a long, ivy-covered arbor in the middle of a vineyard in northern California, and not 6 hours later I was stepping off a plane back home in Iowa. I mean, what?!

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My disbelief was further heightened by the fact that I randomly ran into my brother in the Pheonix airport on the way home – BAHAHA! I knew he was traveling for work that week, so I wasn’t that freaked out to see him there, but he had no idea I was traveling and was convinced he was on some sort of hidden camera show when I nonchalantly walked up and stood beside him at the gate. Classic. ;)

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I can’t wait to tell you more about my whirlwind trip to Flipflop wines’ headquarters later this week!

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This afternoon my family all gathered at my parent’s house to celebrate my Dad’s birthday. You only turn 50, cough, something once! ;)

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My Mom prepared a feast of all his (and my) summer grilling favorites. Their first appearance of the season.

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Extra charred beer brats, just the way Dad likes ’em, Judy’s Baked Beans,

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and the best potato salad ever. Ever!

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After lunch we opened presents. I get presents?!

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You bet! Both my brothers and I ended up getting him something deck related. It’s his favorite place in the house.

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Well, besides the hammock. :)

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Cake was next.

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You know the kind – our¬†family’s traditional Pepperidge Farms Freezer Cake!

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Pretty much!

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Finn helped his Papa blow out the candles, then we all dug in.

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I know I say this every time, but seriously, best cake out there, and for like, what – $4 or something insane like that?!

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Happy birthday Pops!!!

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We love you so much! :D