Relax and Unwind with Cambria and Music

This post was sponsored by Cambria Winery as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Find out where to get Cambria’s Benchbreak Chardonnay & Cambria’s Benchbreak Pinot Noir to relax with wine and music notes #ad #CambriaWines #NotesOfCambria

Ok, you ALL know I used to live in California, right?

If you don’t, I’m surprised, but if you do, it’s because I love to take the time to remind people about it a half dozen times! I’m proud of the time I spent in California. Why? It’s because it was a life dream of mine for most of my life and I was able to fulfill it. I was actually a bit reluctant to come back, even though I knew it was the best answer for us at the time. We wanted to raise children close to their grandparents and many aunts, uncles and cousins. It just made sense at that point.

We lived right in the heart of the city. You all know I’m a country girl, and ultimately, the things I miss the most about California are the unique landscapes, beaches, fields, and wineries. That’s right. Wine country made me the most proud to live where we lived. I loved having house guests so that we could go for amazing drives and find amazing places to stay right in California’s wine country. From the north to the south, and back again, it’s a dream of mine to explore it in full detail one day. And perhaps, that’s where I’ll retire? A girl can dream, and I’ve already fulfilled one California dream so far in life.

California dreaming is an essential part of what makes me.. me.

You also know, I hope, that I’m a super taster. It might make me a pickier eater than most, or at least it did when I was a kid, but it means I love and respect only the best (to me) foods and wines. I love how a smell or a simple sip can take me back to those sun-ripened valleys and fields. To get a feel for it, you HAVE to check out this Notes of Cambria video series:

I’m so enthralled with this video series! I have been listening all day. And, I definitely don’t want to give too much away, but a musician was asked to write two songs, each based on a Cambria Wine. First, was Cambria’s Benchbreak Chardonnay.

The song, like the wine, starts with a swirling of the glass sensation. The wine inspires notes of citrus. It’s bright, fruity, high level, and with a soft, beautiful finish. I found it dreamy – and that the accordion opened up my heart and mind.

They called it the Chardonnay Shanty.

I love how taste can inspire music. I have thought this my whole life. Next, the musician was asked to write a song based on Cambria’s Benchbreak Pinot Noir. And this one, of course, was different! It was in the key of minor, instead of major.

The Pinot Noir inspired red fruit flavors – like cherry, strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, etc. It was rootsy and down home. The darker fruits stick around in your palate and in your mind. It’s deeper and more thematic, but still plucky.

I totally thought I’d like this Pinot Noir Waltz best, but ultimately, the Chardonnay Shanty was the one to stick with me all day. I usually have to listen to a song several times for it to stick in my head, but the Chardonnay Shanty was instant. It made me think about sipping the Cambria’s Benchbreak Chardonnay in a field in California. I’m a sipper. And of course, I thought about drinking Cambria’s Benchbreak Pinot Noir at night in the vineyard. Maybe with light music playing and in late summer/early fall. They both evoke different California memories for me, as well as dreaming of any future trips.

Cambria Benchbreak Pinot Noir and Cambria’s Benchbreak Chardonnay are both estate-grown, bottled, high-quality, immensely flavorful wines that are evocative and expressive of California’s Santa Maria Valley – which is the wine-growing region they’re from. I love how these musical pairings are a brand new approach to experiencing, learning and talking about wine. I know it has made me think more about wine, and has made me yearn for a trip out west! Which would you try first?

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Enjoy!

The Day I Met My Favorite Actor: A Sorta Love Story

This is when it has to happen.

You know, there is NO way to do this story justice, but there is EVERY way to do this story justice. I honestly think I can’t lose. There’s a lot of pressure and a lot of emotions – nearly at boiling point – simmering on my mental stove. Sometimes, it’s just hard to go back to “normal” life. Not in weeks filled with personal crisis, cats with UTIs, kids away, and then kids back for 14 hour days without a breath in between. Expensive vet appointments, exhaustion, tentative steps towards.. something.. everything. All the while, I fear I’ll slip back into the abyss. Have any idea what I’m talking about? I hope so.

If not, just know it was a WEEK.

Have you ever had the chance to meet your favorite actor? I wished on every birthday candle & shooting star I'd meet mine. 23 years later, I granted my wish

The thing that scares me the most is going back to doing the same things at the same times. I wasn’t nearing boiling point – I was threatening to spill out over the stove and burn everything. I think I cried every day for a week. It was awful. Sometimes it’s just the talks, and the pressure, and my horrible ability to suppress, suppress, suppress, until I’m burning up with a fever. There were days last week in which I questioned everything. I’m so afraid that will happen again, but I guess I’m even more afraid it won’t. I met a semi soulmate last Saturday – going through similar motions and emotions I was going through.

I said to her, “That breathless pounding of your heart? I embrace it as it tells me I’m ALIVE.” At least I try..

Have you ever had the chance to meet your favorite actor? I wished on every birthday candle & shooting star I'd meet mine. 23 years later, I granted my wish

Live it. Challenge it. Lose your breath. Lose your mind. Let go of your heart.

I need to go back to the beginning of this story – from when I was 12-years-old – and got the biggest movie star crush of my life. Never before; never to be followed. The thing is, when I fall, I fall HARD. And I rarely fall. It’s rather once-in-a-lifetime. If someone is going to bowl me over, boy, am I going to be bowled over. Impact. My first crush was Michael Jackson. My second was John Stamos. My third and final was Tim Curry. Yes. That Tim Curry. Rooster from Annie. Pennywise from It. The butler from Clue. The “bad guy” from Legend and Home Alone 2 and a million things. Yes, Frank-n-Furter from Rocky Horror Picture Show. That’s when I fell. It hurt. The crush didn’t last forever, luckily, but the respect is lifelong.

Have you ever had the chance to meet your favorite actor? I wished on every birthday candle & shooting star I'd meet mine. 23 years later, I granted my wish

The first time I saw the movie, I HATED it. So bizarre and disturbing. Something changed over time. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The music was breaking through me. I couldn’t stop thinking about the “Superheroes” song. I couldn’t stop thinking about HIM. It was bad. I knew why it was a cult classic movie, because it was taking over me like a contagious disease. I was a goner. And I loved it. This was a pretty big chunk of my adolescence, actually. My parents just rolled with it, like pros.

I wrote him fan letters. I thought they were deep. They probably were. I’ve always been a writer. My crazy family friend told me he had met Tim Curry and gave me a locket that he said Tim gave to him during their theater days. I will never know the truth, but I wore the necklace on Saturday and I’ve always half-believed the story. I wished on every birthday candle and every shooting star for YEARS that I would meet him. That wish never died. My ex took me to see Spam-a-Lot on Broadway when Tim was starring in it, and we waited after the play for an hour to see if he’d come out. He didn’t. Jeff Goldblum did and he was super rude. Guess what, Jeff? I wasn’t there to see you at all. My eye is always on the prize.

It’s not you.

Have you ever had the chance to meet your favorite actor? I wished on every birthday candle & shooting star I'd meet mine. 23 years later, I granted my wish

Over time, I never questioned Tim Curry’s role as my favorite actor, but life happened, as it will. College and falling in love and having 7,000 spiritual crises/awakenings/discoveries. Whatever. Travel. Big life dreams. Being published. Being a photographer. Falling in mad, crazy love at least twice. Having kids. Going to Alaska. LIFE. The heart-pounding kind.

We never forget our roots and wishes. Somewhere in time, there’s a 13-year-old girl and she’s either super impressed with me, or super disappointed in me. I wanted to tell her that all her wishes and dreams could come true – but it would never feel the way she thought it would feel. It would OFTEN be better. Achier. At some point in the last few months, I found out through Facebook that Tim Curry was going to be at Boston Comic Con. Not only that, it would be Doctor Who-laden. Rocky Horror + Doctor Who = Tamara and Cassidy’s Stuff of Dreams. I don’t know that Cassidy was excited as I was but I told him it was the only thing I wanted for my birthday. There were different prices/tiers for your Tim Curry experience and Cassidy counseled me to get the most expensive one – The Ultimate Tim Curry Experience – because it’s that chance of a lifetime.

And it was the best chance to get everything offered.

Have you ever had the chance to meet your favorite actor? I wished on every birthday candle & shooting star I'd meet mine. 23 years later, I granted my wish

We arranged for the kids to go away to Cape Cod and I reserved a free Red Roof hotel room I had gotten through work. Shoutout, Harry and Red Roof – the hotel ROCKED! We loved our room and we loved our great date night the night before Comic Con and having a nice bath/king-sized bed to sink into – to deal with the nerves/excitement of what was to follow.

You see, I tend to numb myself. I hate it. I can logically see that things are big deals, but sometimes I freeze over to scare away the inevitable nerves/anxiety. It’s ok, though. They’re going to come if they’re going to come. You can’t fully numb a warm heart. You just can’t. I woke up that morning and put on a TARDIS dress, and proceeded to (accidentally) starve myself until MUCH later that day! It’s ok, though. I’m not a fainter and I’m not a puker. I’m TOTALLY a giggler, though.

When I see people in costume, even if I’m in costume, I get the giddy giddy giggles. It’s fun, really.

Have you ever had the chance to meet your favorite actor? I wished on every birthday candle & shooting star I'd meet mine. 23 years later, I granted my wish

We saw AMAZING costumes and it took a long time to wait on line just to get into the Con, and then pick up my special Tim Curry ticket, and then walk through the crowds. Morale was UP. We instantly ran to the panels and got on line to meet Karen Gillan. (Amy Pond from Doctor Who) She was late and we saw John Barrowman entertaining the heck out of his crowd, so we jumped in his line to meet him. He’s spectacular. So gushing and warm and witty and real. His young niece was there and I got to talk to her and she was awesome. She said, “Everyone loves him and it’s funny. He’s just.. my uncle.”

An.. Admired Uncle.

By the time we took a selfie with him, and I DID keep my hands to myself (although he touched my shoulder so warmly to say goodbye), it was nearly time for my Ultimate Tim Curry Experience. I waved my ticket around like a clown for awhile and talked to many other strangers. While standing on line, I saw Patricia Quinn, Barry Bostwick and Nell Campbell (Magenta, Brad and Columbia from Rocky Horror) RIGHT there! We saw Eliza Dushku (GORGEOUS) and Ming-Na Wen (stunning and easily with the longest line of anyone AND she pulled a little girl up on stage to sit with her for a photo). We talked to others.

The girl in front of us in line was with her mom. They were on an epic adventure because, like me, her life dream has been to meet Tim Curry since she was 13 or so. It was so awesome standing with her. We were both nervous/excited, and probably afraid of fainting or barfing. At least a little. In fact, I was talking to all three of them (new friend, new friend’s mom, Cassidy) and they were all facing me. That’s when Tim Curry was escorted into the room we’d meet him in. I actually kept my voice normal and said, “He’s.. right there.” I had seen him in Spam-a-Lot, but that was ages ago and across the room. This was RIGHT THERE. My 13-year-old self came marching up from the future to pinch me right then and there.

Um.. then, STAN LEE was wheeled right by us! Right then and there! So of course I pointed that out!

The line to meet Tim Curry started, and the second or so guest to go in was dressed as River Song from Doctor Who. She was fanning herself and crying. She came out and said how amazing it was and how lovely he was. By now, my new friend, Becca, and I were really feeling it. One person would go in, and the next would stand in a waiting room that was courteously equipped with a mirror. I was behind Becca and saw her come back out crying. I was so happy for her! All of my nerves went away when they called me in. I mean it – I felt nothing but ambition/determination to swiftly and effectively release 23 years of fandom to this man. I was calm and direct. Cassidy met him too and it was like this insane moment of looking from one of them to the next. I introduced them! That was.. poignant. Then I stood for my photo. The happiness was so legit.

I wrote down everything I said verbatim:

Me: “Hi. What I want to tell you is that when I was a little kid, I wished on every shooting star and every birthday candle that I would meet you. And here I am.”

Tim Curry: “Here you are! Your dress is beautiful. And you look beautiful.”

Me: “And I hope you’ve had and have a lot of joy in your life.”

Tim Curry: “I have. I really have. And I do.”

Me: “My name is Tamara.”

Tim Curry: “You have a beautiful name.”

He met Cassidy and they shook hands. I wanted to shake his hand and asked if I could. We shook hands. Then, he took my hand and HE KISSED IT! I exploded into a fit of exhaustion, hunger, happiness, relief and pride. I said it. I did it.

We hadn’t eaten since the night before because of nerves and waiting to meet John Barrowman so we finally found our way to some cold water and mediocre food. Then we went into the crowds and finished out our day of Boston Comic Con 2017!

It’s been five days and I feel the regular feels of anyone who is completely nutty like me, and undergoes a life dream. It’s pride and relief, and it’s extreme happiness/giddiness. It’s mournfully sad at the process of aging and that he had a stroke. It’s a bit of a letdown that it’s over, but I’m not let down that it happened and I’m certainly not let down by him. He was clear, kind, intelligent, joyful, friendly, and everything I have wanted him to be. May we all live like I hope he has lived.

But in our own quirky, cool, loving, and BRAVE ways. All I could think about was meeting him, and then telling YOU about it.

Have you ever had the chance to meet your favorite actor? I wished on every birthday candle & shooting star I'd meet mine. 23 years later, I granted my wish

Much love to you all. If you read this far, you deserve a cookie!