California Dreaming: Lodi Wine Country

Let me preface this post by saying we survived Natalie's first week of Kindergarten.  She's already like an old pro; has a new bff who she is already trying to arrange sleepovers with, and has full-on yellow & black gear to rock on Spirit Day today.  I, however, am still trying to adjust to the whirlwind, along with my new 6:30 am wake-up call.  I need a stronger under-eye concealer to hide these bags.  Did you know that Kindergarteners are now learning at a 2nd grade level?  I was informed of this at back-to-school night yesterday.  By the end of the school year she will know how to read, write and add and subtract up to 10.  She will also have homework starting next week.  Talk about throwing you right into the swing of things!  What happened to the days of finger-painting and naps?  I guess that is left in the pre-school dust now.  

Any-holycrapimgonnahavetostarthelpingwithhomework-way, this is the second installment of my new series "California Dreaming" where I take you along on my little journeys around my home state and fill you in on all my favorite spots.  Now if you are a native Californian, particularly of the central valley, you may be thinking "Lodi?! WTH??" 

But let me tell you, my husband and I had a wonderful time here last weekend when we went back to celebrate our wedding anniversary. 

We stayed at Wine & Roses, which is where we were married nine years ago.  It is absolutely beautiful there, and if you are going to spend the night in Lodi, it must be here. 


Our room was so nice.  I would say the decor was very sparse-modern-farmhouse.  On one wall there was a single wooden pitchfork affixed to the wall with industrial looking sconces.  Loved it.  Forgot to take a pic until we were on our way to check out, so you get the lived-in look.

This is the garden where our ceremony took place.  It was so surreal walking through there and pondering on how much has happened in our lives since that day nine years ago.  Deep thoughts by Jackie.

Wine & Roses is also home to the Lodi Wine & Visitor center, which offers an extensive wine tasting menu, and lots of info on all the local wineries.

Gotta love the palms!

Okay, on to where to eat:

Crush is a must!

For two reasons: the edamame hummus with chili sauce app and the Monkey Knife Fight! Hi-ya!

Where to drink:

Cycles Gladiator was great.  Super friendly staff and great wines.  Plus I love the label.  I got a poster to hang in my kitchen, naked lady on a bike and all.

This was taken in front of Abundance Vineyards.  Driving up to it you really get that "I'm in Napa Valley not the Central Valley" feel.  Which is really what we all strive for.  I kid.  Kind of.  The inside smells like cedar thanks to the ceiling.  Wine + cedar scent made for a lovely mix as it turns out.  Or maybe it was just because this was our second stop and i was already "happy" from Cycles.  I kept saying "Gosh, it smells SO gooood in here!  It's like we're camping!" to which someone replied "Yeah, or in Grandma's closet."  I also repeatedly told the lady serving our wine that I needed an exact shirt like hers, which was bedazzled with the saying "Save Water, Drink Wine."  Yeah, I think I was definitely a bit happy at that point.

As one last little fun surprise, there happened to be a car show in town that day, in which I found my dream car:

No words people. No words.

I hope you enjoyed the Sweetie Pie guide to Lodi!  I'm curious if any of you readers are from the area and have any input?  Leave your thoughts in the comments!  

Have a wonderful weekend! 
The It List will be back next Friday.


  1. As a born and raised CA'ian...now living in NJ (do not ask) I am going to have to make a trip to Lodi. You have inspired me. :) Also, I have seen the Cycle wine in the grocery store too and want to give it a whirl. I love this new segment!

  2. i love some "deep thoughts by jackie"! so sweet. lodi looks gorgeous this time of year.

  3. looks like a great weekend! love your wedding venue :)

  4. I love an unmade bed! Unfortch I live with a neat-freak so I never get to go curl up in a pile of covers. And since I know nothing of this "Central Valley" I'd have to say that it looks good to me! You know, charming and wine'ified and whatnot. And I love me a Fidel appearance!


  5. The next time you are in "lovable, livable Lodi" I would love to invite you to our wine tasting room. You actually were standing right next to it when you took the picture of the Lodi Arch downtown. It's called Jeremy Wine Company, we specialize in small lot production
    of unique varietals, as well as the famous "Old Vine Zinfandel". Ask me how to get a really great rate at Wine & Roses the next time you stay!
    Choral Trettevik, Owner
    Jeremy Wine Company

  6. Wine & Roses is beautiful, being from Stockton, we have gone to a few weddings and other events there.