The Rich Life On a Budget

Valentine’s Day Getaway

In my last post, I told you that my husband, Bill, had taken Valentine’s Day off to spend with me. Not only did he take Tuesday off, but Wednesday, too.

Some generous friends of ours gave us a gift certificate a few months ago to use at a hotel in Healdsburg. Valentine’s Day was the ideal occasion to use it up.
Late Tuesday morning, we left the house and headed toward Alexander Valley, a wine appellation

just outside of Healdsburg. We had Bill’s son, Ryan, take a photo as we were departing.
(In case you’re wondering, I decided on the hot pink trench with a red T-shirt, leopard belt, Gap blue jeans and Steve Madden blush pumps. I tied a very old heart scarf around my handbag to be festive).
Even though we are several weeks away from the official start of Spring, you would never know it. Mustard is in bloom throughout the county,
as are the darling tiny white daisies that look like freshly fallen snow.
We stopped briefly at Alexander Valley Vineyards, a very old winery and the namesake of the region.
Then started toward one of our favorite wineries, Preston Vineyards in the Dry Creek Valley appellation. I’ve written about my love for this winery before. I like their wine, but what I really love is petting all their kitty cats.
This orange kitty, who we drank wine with last time, was the first to welcome us. He is getting a little long in the tooth. I wonder how old he is.
Next to arrive was this lionlike fellow (or gal).
I have a special fondness for long-haired kitties.
He, or she…let’s just go with “he”… came right over and hopped onto our table. They must have known we’d stopped to the Oakville Grocery for salami and gruyere. I can just imagine them saying to one another, “hey, I’ll work the lady for the cheese, you work that tall guy for the meat.”
The black, fluffy guy was so darn cute, I couldn’t keep my hands off of him. And it shows…
he’s a bit feisty.
Soon, we were surrounded by all sorts of kitties.
A grey kitty,
a grey and white kitty,
a calico kitty,
 and a tabby,
From the looks of her belly, I think she may be momma.
After our picnic, we walked around the property. The trees lining the bocce court were in full bloom,
complete with the humming sound of feeding bees.
It was finally time to check into our hotel. We stayed at the Hotel Healdsburg right on the town square. We were very surprised by the spaciousness of our room.
I particularly liked the bathroom with its large, deep tub and doorless shower.
We had a view of the square and a small balcony.
After we got settled, we went for a hot tub downstairs next to the pool the got ready for dinner.
I wore the $5.00 dress just like I promised.
I brought the Mary Janes I ordered and the Steve Madden pumps so I could show you the difference between the two (the Dancing-with-the-stars shoes were a big thumbs down so I didn’t bother with them).
I wore the patent Mary Janes with a wide patent belt.
 Then I tried the Steve Madden pumps with a grosgrain ribbon tied as a belt, a clever idea I got from my dear reader and friend, Kathy Peck.
I wore the second look to dinner at Zin.
My favorite parts of the meal were the creamy cauliflower soup with a generous drizzle of fresh pesto and our Bvlgari San Pelligrino bottle.
I thought about bringing it home with me but decided against it. What would I do with it?
We went to sleep early after a long day. Lucky for us, our bed was comfortable and the sheets were very soft. It was easy to sleep in past 8:00, something we never get a chance to do.
We took our time packing the next morning and decided to take the long way home, taking a few photos before we left the property. This is a solarium near our room with lots of seating. I bet it’s fun to hang out there during the warmer months.
(I wore the same jeans, shoes, and belt, with a black camisole, J Crew khaki blazer and gold necklaces).
I’d love to go back to Hotel Healdsburg in early fall to spend the day by the pool.
We took the long way home, through Napa Valley, and had lunch at one of our favorite places, Brix. We both had blue cheese burgers and salads, then walked through the garden area in back of the restaurant before heading over the mountains towards home.
What a great little escape we had. We weren’t gone very long and we didn’t go very far, but we feel as though we went on a real vacation.
If you ever visit Healdsburg, I would highly recommend the Hotel Healdsburg for your accommodations. It’s a lovely place and the prices are not that high in comparison to other hotels in the area.
I’d love to hear what you think of the two different looks with the $5.00 dress.
Mary Janes or blush pumps?
Grosgrain ribbon or patent belt?
Your opinions are welcomed and encouraged!

67 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Getaway

  1. Juhli

    What a beautiful get away and you both look so happy as you get ready to head out. Have you considered a third look for the dress – ribbon belt and patent pumps?

  2. déjà pseu

    What a lovely getaway! Thanks for “taking us along.” I would’ve been all over those kitties too. I like the nude pumps better with the dress. But I really love your pink-and-red combo, very nice!

  3. Diane

    Your trip sounds wonderful! We’ve only been to Healdsburg once, but loved it and would like to go back. I think you look great in both options, but prefer the nude shoes.

  4. kathy peck

    Love the nude pumps and the grosgrain belt – the dress is a dead ringer for a Chloe, and you look great in it. Thank you for the mention – so sweet.
    I too love the hot pink and red combo. Your mini vacation sounds wonderful.

  5. Leigh Powell Hines

    I love this post because it combines two of my favorite things…cats and hotels.

    What cute cats. The black one reminds me of our cat, Bailey, when we had him.

    I really liked your outfits. Both days.

    I think the dress with the ribbon is a must of the two. I think it gives the dress more of a modern edge with femininity. I can’t put my finger on it because I’m certainly not a fashionista, but I think it softens the look. It works really well.

    Glad you had such a great Valentine’s Day night.

  6. Cindy Swanson

    Oh! so many things to say!

    First, I’m glad you had a wonderful getaway! I love those little escapes with my husband–too few and far between.

    Secondly–I would so love to visit the Napa Valley. It looks so beautiful…but I’ve only been to California twice, and didn’t make it there either time.

    Thirdly–Adrienne, you are GORGEOUS, and your sense of style is a real inspiration to me!

    And last, I did prefer the grosgrain ribbon, and what a great idea…I plan to use it!


    Cindy at Notes in the Key of Life

  7. Adrienne Shubin

    @Diane Healdsburg is one of my favorite local towns to visit – my others are Sonoma and St. Helena. They are all three very quaint and have great restaurants and shops.

    I prefer the nude shoes, too. Thanks for your opinion! It’s much appreciated.

  8. Adrienne Shubin

    @Leigh Powell Hines I knew you’d like the hotel part. It’s pretty rare I ever stay in one anymore what with the RV and all.

    The black one is my ideal cat. I have always loved long-haired kitties.

    The ribbon does soften the look and honestly, it’s a lot more comfortable than the patent belt that I have to readjust ever two minutes because it continually falls down.

  9. Adrienne Shubin

    @Cindy Swanson Bill and I talked about taking these mini-vacations more often. We do get out in our RV regularly but you know, that is a lot of work – you have to bring everything with you short of the kitchen sink, then unload it and clean it when you’re through. Hoteling it is so much more relaxing.

    If you ever do come out our way, please let me know. It would be my pleasure to show you around!

    Thank you for your very sweet comment…and your feedback on the belt/shoes/dress.
    xo, A

  10. Anonymous

    I love the dress with the grosgrain ribbon belt and nude shoes, as a previous poster said, it looks very “Chloe”! I personally think the patent belt is a little too ‘heavy’ for the dress…. It would look great with patent or suede ballet flats too, in black or nude…..


    What a wonderful Valentine’s…a great picture of you and Bill.

    I love all your outfits. Amanda has the same Steve Madden nude pumps. I’m still thinking about purchasing a pair myself.

    Looks like you had a perfect getaway. We had dinner at Brix many years ago, I remember it being very, very good.


  12. jill815

    I love all the kitties! It’s like cat heaven. My daughter (and I) would be so happy there. I like the grosgrain ribbon and blush pumps a tiny bit more. And I love that you paired hot pink with red! You look great, as always, and I’m glad you and Bill had a good time! XO, Jill

  13. lowcarbhighstyle

    Looks like a wonderful trip! I love your festive Valentine’s Day outfit, so fun. And I really like the dress with the nude pumps and ribbon belt, what a great idea! Also love all the kitties, that is my kind of spot : )

  14. Anne @ The Frump Factor

    OMG: wine-tasting, California countryside, AND kitties? It’s too much! LOVE the J. Crew blazer. And I had to smile b/c I recognized the Brix photos right away. (I took tons of pics there on a visit a couple of years ago). Glad you had a good time.

  15. annie


    Love the dress and it looks great with both, but the ribbon belt is a nice touch. It kind of does look like a Chloe…mind if I borrow it? Looking everywhere for a dress to wear to Madeline’s NCL fashion Show.

    We loved your area in the Fall and it looks like Spring is a perfect time to go as well. We had Thanksgiving dinner at Brix and it was wonderful. I think you may have recommended it. Your photos sure make me want to return. Such an amazing place.


  16. Adrienne Shubin

    @Anonymous The patent belt is too heavy, visually and physically. I have to readjust it all the time as it falls a bit. I am in between belt holes I guess.

    I think flats would look great! I like that idea. I only have kid leather black ballets right now. I can experiment with them first.
    Thanks for the feedback and clever idea!

  17. Adrienne Shubin

    @LRS4AMANDA The shoes are very comfortable and go with lots of outfits. They run wide so order a narrow if your feet run on the narrow side.

    I love Brix…the people are so friendly, the food is fresh and tasty and the views are lovely. Plus, it’s rarely very crowded.

    xo, A

  18. Adrienne Shubin

    @jill815 It is a paradise of kitties…I have to go to Preston at least every six months just to get my fill. We have a cat, but he’s elderly and not very playful anymore.

    I was surprised how much I liked the pink with red once I added the leopard belt. That really pulled it all together.

    Thank you for the feedback!

    xoxo, A

  19. Adrienne Shubin

    @Grammy Goodwill I really did think about taking that bottle and if I was a crafty gal, I am sure I could have done something really cool with it. But I’m not so I left it there. The photo doesn’t do it justice to how pretty it really is. I like it even better than the Missoni one they did a couple of years back.

  20. kathy peck

    The black patent shoes are actually “T-Straps”, not Mary Jane’s. I think they’d look great with jeans and a blazer or cardigan. Would give the jeans a sexy, vintage vibe – barefoot, or with fun socks.

  21. Adrienne Shubin

    @annie Borrow away! I will probably only wear it a few times a year anyway…with my casual lifestyle, dresses often sit in my closet for months on end.

    It is always pretty around here. Spring is especially beautiful but Fall is my favorite. You can’t beat those vineyards turning colors.

    Please do return soon! I would love to show you around – take you to Preston to see the kitties.
    xo, A

  22. Adrienne Shubin

    @kathy peck Oh gosh you are right…what a dingbat. I have been calling T-straps Mary Janes for a long time. Thank you for correcting me!

    They would look great with jeans. Good idea – you are full of them. I will try it over the weekend. I need to make sure they aren’t too high for my longest jeans first.

  23. Adrienne Shubin

    @kim at northerncalstyle. When I lived in Mill Valley years ago, I used to take walks around my neighborhood. I planned my walk around where I’d seen kitties before. It actually motivated me to walk more because I wanted to see my kitty friends so often.

    Please come up for a visit sometime and I will take you to Preston. I am pretty sure you will love it…they have a huge garden, chickens, a bocce court and they bake their own bread on certain days. It’s divine.

    xo, A

  24. Terri

    what a wonderful getaway. The room & the bath truly are lovely. I think I like the dress best with the ribbon for a belt. How lucky you are to have so many wineries…

  25. Sara Louise

    If you like cats, you’d love Le Petit Village, we’re swarming with them!
    I prefer the ribbon and the blush heels, but I bet the mary janes would look even more fantastic with that dress if you add some black opaque stockings 🙂

  26. Adrienne Shubin

    @Terri I was so surprised by the size of our room! It’s a lovely place – and very “green” too.

    We have so many wineries. I could wine taste everyday and probably never see them all. They are everywhere and new ones pop up all the time.

  27. Adrienne Shubin

    @Sara Louise I know I would LOVE Le Petit Village – cats or no cats! I will be coming for a visit in about a year – we are taking Tori to France and will be near your town – hope you don’t mind is we pop in for some cheese

    I’ll have to try the tights out with the T straps…thanks for that idea! xo, A

  28. Mongs

    what a lovely way to celebrate valentine’s day! You look immaculately chic and beautiful. I like your outfits and the place looks absolutely stunning and scenic!


  29. annie

    I do hope I can return before moving back east. It was way too short. I had very high expectations for your area and I must say they even exceeded those. It is just an amazing place with so much beauty and I would like to spend a bit more time there and would love to have you show me around your favorite vineyard or town. Have a wonderful weekend.

  30. Adrienne Shubin

    @Anonymous Hi! I bought it at Macy’s in November for about $40. I like it but I don’t love it because the inside of the belt has a gold coating that is beginning to flake off – and it gets on my clothing. Other than that, it’s a very cute belt. I wear it often but I do have to check for gold specks every now and then.

    Thanks for asking!

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