It’s Elemental, My Dear

I love celebrating awesomeness, whether it’s something that happened for me – or a friend!

My good friend and incredible artist Keoki Flagg is a fine art and adventure photographer. He has a gorgeous gallery in Squaw Valley, California… if you ever get there, you MUST stop by and say that I sent you!

He most recent creation is a book called “Elemental“.

The other day, I went over to congratulate him on this huge accomplishment and buy the book, since it’s DEFINITELY one I want in my “inspiration” library.

Seriously, I was so excited about this you’d think I’d written the thing myself! I’ll tell you one thing; I truly believe that the more we focus upon the kinds of events and things in life that feel good, the more goodness gets created all the way around. This success of Keoki’s makes me feel AMAZING… I’m so happy for him, proud of his accomplishment and I’m celebrating!

Here’s the book… along with me and Keoki, standing in between a couple of my fave images of his.

KeokiBookKaren

Then he wrote an awesome dedication in it for me. It says:

“To Karen:
Life is an Adventure, the World is our Stage.
What a pleasure it has been to share this journey with you. 

Live, Love, Laugh, Play… Every Day

Aloha, Keoki”

KeokiKarenBook

KEOKI ON THE CHAT

Some of you may remember my introducing you to Keoki via The Chat, my online show (on hiatus now), wherein I chatted with creatives who “live life as an artist… or better yet, live their lives as if it IS their art.” It’s a notion near and dear to my heart.

I thought you might enjoy visiting or re-visiting them. Heck… you might just be inspired!

This was the main episode: 

And this short segment (it’s only about a minute) is about Art and Finding Original Perspective… something I thought was important enough to create as a stand-alone reminder!

Meanwhile, Just Outside of Las Vegas…

I’m off to Photoshop World in Las Vegas today. Gonna jump on the big silver bird and wing my way to the Bugsy’s big playground in the desert.

OK, I’m really going to connect with a bunch of photographers, put my finger on the pulse of the industry – and probably go out in the desert and take pitchers (as my friend Barry Blanchard refers to photographing. hehheh).

This was from last year, when a few photographer friends headed out to Valley of Fire for what turned out to be a gorrrrgeous sunset. I’m hoping for another sky like this one! There are also wild donkeys out in another area out there… am hoping for a wee visitation. They are so awesome… but I don’t want to disturb their natural flow. If they happen to flow my way… well, who am I to turn away? Grin.
Continue reading “Meanwhile, Just Outside of Las Vegas…”

The Chat with Karen Hutton: Chris MacAskill

We’re BACK!!

Whew! What a summer it’s been. Who knew you could get so busy – and in so many ways? Hey, no complaints – but I’m tha-RILLED to be back ON with The Chat after its unintentional summer hiatus… because people, I’ve got some amaaaazing folks to share with you!

To kick it off… I’m stoked to present Chris MacAskill. Talk about deep. And awesome! You may know him as President and co-owner (along with son Don MacAskill) of SmugMug, Inc… one of the top photo-sharing, photo-selling sites in the world. But did you know he was a Geophysicist? That he was founder and co-owner of Fatbrain.com, Inc.? That he worked with Steve Jobs at Apple… or how being at ground zero on 9/11 completely changed the direction of his life?

Well, then this is The Chat to watch! Because we talk about all that – and quite a bit more in this action-packed episode. His story is one incredible journey, paved with one stunning tale after another. Plus we take a tour of SmugMug HQ in Mountain View, California and hear stories about some of his favorite photographs on the wall. I mean HUGE photographs! Baldy (as his friends call him) doesn’t do anything halfway, let me tell you. In fact, there was so much to cover, we made this episode plus two short “extras”; pieces that I’ll show separately from this one, but are no less fantastical.

Life + Story = Chris MacAskill.  I hope you enjoy getting to know this positively inspirational man!

And… look for 3 episodes of “The Chat Extras” that I shot with Chris this day over the coming couple of weeks! They’re pure inspiration…

PS… huge thanks and gratitude goes to Michael Bonocore, for filming our “walkabout” through SmugMug HQ… and helping create our cozy “set” for the day!

Tomorrow – Get Ready for the Return of The Chat!

The Chat And Chris MacAskill

… and then her mind was blown!

That’s the ending of the story that began with my emailing Chris MacAskill of SmugMug and asking; “Baldy, how would you like to do a Chat with me?” some months ago.
A full day with  SmugMug HQ in Mountain View resulted in my mind well and truly being blown!  You’ll see why… THAT episode goes live tomorrow!

The Chat Extras

This week will also begin “The Chat Extras”… segments you’ll sometimes see in between show, with additional footage posted separately.  These won’t happen every time. Their content could be outtakes – or, in the case of Chris MacAskill – they’ll broaden the scope of a person’s story and message. Because sometimes, those are just bigger than the format. With “The Chat Extras”  you’ll have a chance to experience the depth and the breadth of it all.  These won’t happen every time… but you can definitely look forward to them related to this week’s show!

The Plan Moving Forward

Moving forward, while I’m not making the perfect promise of sticking perfectly to a bi-weekly show schedule (sometimes it might be more like once a month!)… but I CAN promise you some amazing people appearing here in the coming episodes! And sometimes you’ll see the “Extras”.

For now, while I run off to put the finishing touches on everything for tomorrow, here’s a backstage peek at Baldy and I the day we recorded his amazing episode:

Photo credit and big gratitude goes to Michael Bonocore.

KarenBaldy2

KarenBaldy

The Lay of The Land

What’s Been Going On Behind the Curtain?

I’ve been nose to the grindstone. Behind closed doors. Below the radar. “Leave a message at the beep” now for weeks. I might even say for months!
So, I thought perhaps I’d take a moment to have a gander of the lay of the land looking forward… and share it with you. Because fun stuff is coming up!

An ALL NEW Episode of  The Chat This Week!!

FIRST up this week is my first completed episode of “The Chat” in about 2 months!! Yes, on Wednesday it will be released to the world. Woot!
The pace of said past few months has been so intense I haven’t had time to edit a single episode, which has pained me to no end. Well, truthfully I had to finally let GO of the pain, because it wasn’t doing me – or you – any good. But it’s unintended hiatus will be over on Wednesday with a brand new episode. Chris MacAskill, President of SmugMug will be my guest. And LORDY what an amazing life he’s had! In fact, we shot the main episode AND 2 shorter segments as “extras”, which I’ll show as exclusives right here. It’s all fantastic!

But wait, there’s more! Like who my upcoming guests on The Chat are, a new website on the way, TWiP Pro, Photo+ Expo, a big NYC photo walk, new works coming up and more!
First, however… a word from our Mother Nature in New Zealand:

Continue reading “The Lay of The Land”

The Chat with Karen Hutton: RC Concepcion

As if Chatting with Scott Kelby weren’t enough when I visited Kelby Media in Florida earlier this year… then I got to sit down with my amazing and multi-talented friend, RC Concepcion!!

Once again, this episode was filmed by Kelby Media’s stunning video crew – who volunteered to do it! They just blow me away on every level; from their professionalism and beautiful lighting/set design… to their smiles, great sense of humor and positive energy whilst working with me. HUGE GRATITUDE and a big smackeroo on the cheek to each one of them!

As for RC… well, the man is peerless at what he does. You’ll hear it all in the intro of this episode; photographer, author, dad, Lightroom and Photoshop expert, teaches all over the world, musician – AND he used to be a DJ and drive an ice-cream truck! Oh wait… did I mention he has a degree in Education? Yeah, the man is a dang genius.

But besides all that, RC is generous, has a huge heart and is an absolute delight. He’s got so much going on – I could do an entire other episode, not touch on ANY of the same stuff and it would be equally as fascinating.

Here, then, is RC Concepcion as you may never have seen him!! Big hugs and thumbs-up for joining me on this one, my friend. 😀

The Chat with Karen Hutton: Frederick Van Johnson

Thank Goodness for Re-Do’s

The first time we tried doing a Chat last December, Frederick Van Johnson and I were in a mood. A silly mood. A silly, goofy, kid-like  mood that resulted in recording an entire episode that I actually had to scrap! That’s what happens when Frederick and I get together sometimes, er, a lot of the time! Got friends like that? Where anytime you hangout all hell-arity breaks loose? Hahahah, it’s funny and I love it. But it didn’t do the right job of presenting the absolutely amazing Frederick Van Johnson.

Today’s episode does!


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Vic Gundotra & Google+: My Story

Get Ready For My Windiest Post Ever!

Amanda Blain started it. I blame her. She wrote this blog post, as well as posting on Google+. She made her point… then said “tell us your story.” Well, I’ve got a good one!

This all started because Google Senior Vice President of Social Vic Gundotra announced his departure from Google last week. This is huge. Vic and his team created Google+ – a platform that has forever changed my life.  If you’re wondering who Vic Gundotra is, I’m re-posting this episode of The Chat I did with him awhile back. It’s my first re-run (!), but in honor of him and the lives he’s transformed through his work, I felt it was only fitting.


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How Do You Define Success?

ScottKelby.com

On his blog today, Scott Kelby made a post about our recent visit on The Chat. If you didn’t see that particular episode… you really should! It’s right there on his blog… or right here on mine.

One of My Favorite Questions

One of my favorite questions is the one about “how do you define Success?”. It’s interesting no matter how little or how much “success” a person has had… and it’s a SUPER important question to ask of yourself! The answer to this question is loaded with information. If you ask it of yourself, you learn what’s really important to you, what you will and won’t tolerate, what sorts of tired old worries or concerns you can finally let go of… and what thrills you so much you leap out of bed in the morning, stoked to do more of it! It helps define what to spend time, energy and resources on now that’ll take you down the road of your own choosing. Choice is key!

If you’re a curious sort like me; passionate and committed to creating a life-worth-living, you genuinely want to know how people you admire approach this answer. I just never get tired to hearing it! It’s always completely unique to that person and likewise, tells me so much about them. Plus, it always gives me so much to reflect upon, as I continue to consider what I want to stand for and be about in my life.

I asked Scott Kelby this question… and divided it down into two areas: Business and Personal.

Here’s how he answered the one about Business:

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The Chat with Karen Hutton: Scott Kelby

The One and Only Scott Kelby

Scott Kelby is an icon in the Photography world. And rightfully so! His list of accomplishments is a mile long and growing, his influence is global, his vision has helped evolve an industry. That would be reason enough to want to do a Chat with him… but he’s also a devoted husband and father, a photographer, a businessman and a human who genuinely loves what he does and loves life! He has made his art his life – and lives his life in a most artful way.

How This Chat Came About

I visited Kelby Media in Florida to visit with my friend (and Scott’s wife) Kalelbra Kelby… and while I was at it, joined Scott and Matt Klowkowski for an episode of “The Grid”. That same day, Scott graciously made time to sit down with me and share his views on art, life and business. And by the way, I have to share a story about that…

So, there we were. I had my list of questions at the ready, we were just about ready to start… when RC Concepcion leaned down to my ear, and in a stage whisper said: “Ask Scott to tell the story about what teaching means to him and what’s behind all of this.” Or words to that effect.. and of course, by “all of this”, he was referring to the world of Kelby Media.

What followed is this episode. It was a revelation; so moving, so deep, heartfelt and genuine. Scott opened up in ways that will probably take you by surprise. He is  incredibly passionate about teaching – and about making knowledge accessible to the many, not only the few. You’re about to find out why… and discover the moment in Scott’s life that started an empire.

Coming Wednesday: The Chat with Scott Kelby!

It All Happened a Few Months Ago…

A couple of months ago, I visited Kelby Media in Florida. My primary purpose was to visit my friend Kalebra Kelby… but it evolved into a content creation extravaganza! I was asked to be a guest on The Grid, which I was so delighted to do… plus I got to do episodes of The Chat with both Scott Kelby and RC Concepcion (which will be coming up in the next few weeks!). EVERYONE at Kelby Media in incredible in every way… and when they offered to make a set and actually handle the shooting of this episode, I thought I’d gone to heaven! I accepted their wonderful offer, am incredibly grateful to them… and am completely and utterly spoiled now! hahaha!

Scott Kelby: Teaching is Absolutely His Passion

Coming up on Wednesday: Scott Kelby!! I’m practically bursting at the seams with excitement to share this episode with you. I love it with all my heart – and I think you will too! It goes deep – and he shares his heart with us.

Teaching is woven into Scott Kelby’s soul.  In Wednesday’s full episode, he shares an incredibly powerful and personal story about how his passion for teaching was triggered. But in this clip, he sets the stage by sharing how he feels about it, where it comes from. To him, its a calling; one that a person is born with. And for Kelby, it’s one that has launched an legacy… and an empire.

The Chat with Karen Hutton: Tamara Lackey

My guest on this episode of “The Chat” is award-winning children’s portrait photographer Tamara Lackey. She’s a radiant, beautiful ball of fabulous energy!

She and I had only met briefly once before at Photoshop World last year: this was actually our first real conversation. I can tell you she’s just as natural and easy to be with in person as she is in her videos, on stage or behind the camera. Tamara possesses a rare blend of authenticity, along with a genuine joy, interest and zest for life that shows up in everything she does. I’m also convinced those qualities are a huge part of what makes her such an outstanding photographer as well.

Part of what we photographers do is present a unique vision and point of view. Tamara’s photographs positively bubble over with both hers – and that of her innocently delightful subjects.

I ask her how she keeps her crazy schedule together (did I mention she’s also a teacher, author, speaker, host, mom and wife?), how she manages to have some kind of balance and flow… what her 3 favorite tips for better photographs are… and what legacy she hopes she is creating for her own children… and so much more!

I hope you are as inspired as I am by the amazing Tamara Lackey…

The Chat with Karen Hutton: Jennifer Freeman

This week’s guest is the lovely Jennifer Freeman.

I only met her for the first time when we all converged upon Castello di Amorosa with my pal Annette Biggers for a photo shoot. Jennifer and her daughter Bella were the focus of the weekend; they had a story to tell and they did it beautifully.

Jennifer started her acting career at 9 years of age. She starred in My Wife and Kids with Damon Wayans… and growing up, appeared in feature films like You Got Served Johnson Family Vacation and Mercy Street as well as guest appearances on TV shows like 7th Heaven, Switched, One on One and The OC.

But now, Jennifer has begun a new chapter of her life and career as a single mom, calling the shots in her acting career and being a voice for young women who also have big dreams and aspirations. She’s so young herself; but she knows what she wants her life and work to stand for, both for herself and her daughter.

BTW, we almost didn’t have this Chat! Through Annette, Jennifer communicated the fact that “Interviews make me so nervous!” I completely understood – and was game if she wanted to do it, but totally fine if she opted out. I’m so grateful she dove in, because we had a great time. And now YOU get to hear how she keeps her mind right amidst all the chaos of Hollywood, her belief in the importance of empowering girls and young women to follow their dreams, the shift she’s experienced since stepping back into the acting world after a break to discover more of life – and see some beautiful images from the photo shoot.

I’m delighted for the opportunity to present Jennifer Freeman…

The Chat with Karen Hutton: Matt Kloskowski

Matt Kloskowski is a super awesome professional photographer, photography and Photoshop instructor for the world-renowned Kelby Media Group. He travels all over, spreading the good word about Lightroom and Photoshop to audiences numbering in the hundreds, all over the country. He’s like an encyclopedia of knowledge and awesome know-how in the world of photography.

He’s also a regular guy and my friend.
Matt was in California to give a Lightroom workshop for an audience of 400 (!), so he called me up to go shooting. We hit Lake Tahoe, which also seemed a lovely and fitting spot to do our Chat.

This particular Chat really is just that… a chat about a bunch of different topics from photography to family to thoughts about life. It was all very informal and laid back, which was so fun. You’ll also get to see a slew of Matt’s photos, which are, as you might imagine… stunning!! Plus… you and I get to drive over together an pick Matt up. HeeHee… and fun new experiment I tried.

Enjoy!

The Chat with Karen Hutton: Vic Gundotra

Chatting with Vic at Google HQ

In this week’s episode of The Chat, I visit with Vic Gundotra; Senior Vice President of Social at Google. He and his team are also the creators of Google+… the social network that literally changed everything for me. I was so excited to sit down with him – the only agony was trimming the huge herd of questions I had!

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Coming Monday: The Chat with Vic Gundotra!

Sneak Peak!

Here’s a sneak peak at what’s coming this Monday… when my guest will be Vic Gundotra!
Vic is the Senior Vice President of Social at Google. He and his team are the innovators behind Google+, which sees 1.5 billion photos uploaded every week as of this show – and growing.

Vic graciously agreed to sit down with me and Chat with me about whatever I wanted to ask… he made no rules, nothing was off-limits. I was most interested in some things social… but all things inspiration. Turns out, what inspires him largely the role technology needs to play in bringing us closer to each other – and our own humanity.

In this clip, he talks about where he sees Social going… and the role of photography within that. He says “I think we’re just getting started”. I think he may be right!

The Incomparable Annette Biggers

My recent Chat with Annette Biggers was so much fun – and so enlightening too! Lots of good stuff to think about and feel into to start the new year.

Here’s a quick snippet with just one of them. It’s where Annette talks about why she’s passionate about her fairy tale photo shoots – and why she thinks she’s seen so much transformation happen as a result of them:

In the beginning of the full episode she shares one of her favorite quotes; “It’s more tragic to be alive and not know why – than to be dead and not know life.” I love that Annette truly walks her talk… and lives life fully with her heart wide open. It’s amazing to be around people like that! They just lift you up.

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THE CHAT with Karen Hutton: Annette Biggers!

Photographer, artist and humanitarian and my friend Annette Biggers is my guest on this fabulous episode.
Annette was my #1 choice for a holiday episode, because I can think of no more inspiring person to share with you as we wrap up one year and envision our next, sparkling new one!

Annette and I met up on a 2-day fairy tale photo shoot at Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, California and sat down in the Great Hall for our Chat. There could be no better place to talk about the transformational power behind her famed fairy tale photo shoots, the power of prophetic words and how they saved a nation, the role she believes artists play in culture, how she sees her work as prophetic art, her orphanage in Uganda and the importance of believing in yourself.

Every time I talk to Annette I walk away inspired like crazy! This was no exception… except that this time I get to share it with you.
We’d actually been trying to do this episode for MONTHS! Originally, I’d planned on doing The Chat as a Google+ OnAir Hangout series. But once I got a taste of having them on-location it was so awesome, there was no looking back!

Annette was part of my original group of scheduled guests… but every single time we’d try to connect via Hangout to do our episode, there’d be some problem. Computer, connection, internet, you name it – something always glitched and hamstrung our attempts. Looking back, think it was because if we were going to talk about such royally inspiring and uplifting things, THIS Chat just HAD to be done in a castle! Hahaha!! It was entirely worth the wait!

Big, huge mega-thanks to Dave Bell for his help with cameras and audio. We did 3 Chats that day and it took two sets of brains and hands. Dave was – as always – totally awesome!


Continue reading “THE CHAT with Karen Hutton: Annette Biggers!”

New Zealand and The Chat

New Image: Milford Sound

Today I’m in the mood to share a couple of things: first, a brand new photo. It’s from my trip to New Zealand earlier this year for Trey Racliff’s New Zealand Adventure in which I co-taught. We visited Milford Sound, of course… got rained out one night, but woke up to a properly mystical morning!

MilfordStrand

The Chat with Annette Biggers: Sneak Peak!

Then… this coming Monday is an all new episode of The Chat! They just keep getting better and better… and more and more fun. This one was no exception… but add “inspiring as all get-out” to the mix. heh. My guest is photographer Annette Biggers… who is also an artist, humanitarian and Deep Thinker About Life.

In this clip, she talks about her belief that “artists are the creators or life in culture”… and explains what she means by that. You might find yourself agreeing with her! It was certainly true in the Renaissance… and I think its as true now as it ever was then! As artists, I personally think we need to consider carefully what we’re putting out there.

Tune in on Monday for the full episode!!

Keoki Flagg: on Art and Original Perspective

There was such a great response to my recent episode of The Chat with Keoki Flagg! Thanks to all of you who watched and appreciated. Keoki has such depth to his talent and perspective that it’s always a treat to chat with him. In the course of his episode, he shared so many awesome ideas and tips that I just had to highlight a couple!

This is just one of them… and perfect byte-sized minute for anyone who hasn’t seen this episode yet, or just want a reminder and a “think about it” moment to take home with them:

THE CHAT with Karen Hutton: Keoki Flagg

I’ve been a fan of fine art and extreme sports photographer Keoki Flagg’s work for years. You’ll see the photo that did it for me right at the beginning of this video… I giggled when I first saw it, and still do when I see it today! It’s emotional, original and timeless. Those are the 3 qualities Keoki always says are what brings a photograph from “a picture” to “art”… a topic we talk a lot about in this episode.

We have a fantastic time chatting about photography, art, living life as an artist, some ways of approaching one’s photo work to set it apart from others’, what it’s been like to transition from the “old school” to “new digital age” of photography… what’s possible now that never was before and how he’s trying to push it to the limit.

Sitting in his fabulous Gallery Keoki, it was hard NOT to feel more artistic! It’s a beautiful space, created to hold a vision “bigger than a lifetime” (to coin my friend Daria Musk’s term!).

It was the perfect place to bring you this episode of THE CHAT with my friend Keoki Flagg.

Peaceful, Easy Lagoon

Lagoonia Reflections

I named this “Lagoonia”. Ha! So silly. It means “the land of The Lagoon”, which I also made that up. But I like it. I tend to like reflection photos… they always calm me. I don’t know what the brain actually does when it sees a mirrored image, but whatever it is must involve endorphins. That’s my guess, anyway because of how peaceful and easy it makes me feel. Wait. Not EASY… oh for pete’s sake, you know what I mean!

This was a lovely spot on the Castello di Amorosa grounds… just up from the castle itself. We were there in fall, obviously – but what a gorgeous summer’s afternoon spot to take a break from the world! Just wanted to share this moment of “breeeeathe”:

On another note..

2 New Chats Coming Up!

You know how I recently said I was going to go on a bi-monthly basis with “The Chat”? Well, for the next two weeks, I’ll be running brand new episodes! ‘Tis the season, I suppose. But on Dec. 16 & 23 you can tune in and be inspired by two fantastic photographers who each approach their photo world and lives very differently. And they’re both equally awesome.

The past couple of “off weeks” where I DIDN’T post new episodes… granted, I loved the breathing room. And needed it! But dang, I missed airing the show.  It felt like a big gaping “empty Monday” instead of Chat Monday! So I’m excited that I’ve been able to get these two ready to go.

Stay tuned for those… and OH so much more!!

 

 

THE CHAT with Karen Hutton: Dario Sattui!

Meeting Dario

I literally only met him minutes before this Chat… but Dario Sattui may well be the most inspiring person I’ve met all year!

Dario is the great-grandson of Vittori Sattui, founder of V. Sattui Vineyards in the Napa Valley. He may have learned the vintner business from family… but his love of Medieval architecture is all his own!

Castello di Amorosa is the culmination of these two great loves…
One part 13th century Tuscan castle, one part world class winery.
ALL parts passion and holding to your vision!

Photography brought me to Castello di Amorosa… I was there with my friend Annette Biggers for one of her fantastic fairy tale photo shoots. We spent 2 days at the castle. The entire time, I was amazed by the love, the attention to detail, the extreme vision that went into this place. It made me so curious to know the person behind it all! I hadn’t even finished setting up for my Chats with Annette and Jennifer (MUCH more than a model!)… when in walked Dario. I scrambled to get set up enough to record him, because I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity!

Dario is an artist, a dreamer, a vintner, a visionary… but he believes in living those dreams and fulfilling them as big and boldly as you possibly can. The Castle is visual proof that this is possible… my Chat with Dario makes it perfectly clear why he was able to pull it of.

He’s is easily one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. The story of the 30+ years that it took to build the Castle is the thing legends are made of.

And yes, I’d  only met him minutes before this interview… but I just knew he had Important Things to share with us from his amazing life journey.

And boy, was I right!!! 😀

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Castello Di Amorosa & THE CHAT

The Castle

I visited Castello di Amorosa in the Napa Valley for the first time recently. I went to hang with my great friend Annette Biggers – and to help out on one of her fantastic fairy tale shoots. She’s done them at the castle before, so I’d heard a lot about the place. I couldn’t wait to see it! And yet… nothing prepared me for what I saw! My jaw about hit the floor when I walked in. This is basically the first thing you see when drive up. Y’know, just a basic Napa Valley winery. NOT!
Castle in gold. Its best color of all.
Continue reading “Castello Di Amorosa & THE CHAT”