My mention of The Essence, designed & developed by Meridian Themes, is all based on my opinion. During my exhaustive search for a theme that I felt would capture my personality & my plans for my blog’s future, I found and fell in love with The Essence. I am receiving no compensation from Meridian Themes for all of this gushing. In fact, I paid them for the use of this AWESOME theme!
This is the third blog theme I’ve used since I founded Napa Valley Vegan in 2014. You would think that by now, I would realize that it is never easy and always takes longer than expected. Apparently updating a blog is similar to child birth. I forget the stress, headaches and technical challenges so I’m willing to do it again and again! The definition of insanity, right?! Well, after weeks of aforementioned challenges, I am proud to debut Napa Valley Vegan – A Plant Based Travel Blog – to you. I think it is gorgeous & I am so excited to see my vision grow.
It is unlikely that you haven’t already heard the news since I blab about it constantly BUT just in case…I will be relocating to Berlin, Germany this summer. There are many reasons but three of them are the most powerful motivators. First, I fell in love with the city. I admit it, I am a total romantic that believes in love at first sight. That is what happened when I met my husband Steve 18 years ago and it happened again when I stepped off the plane in Berlin. Second, Berlin is the vegan Capital of the World. Yeah, not just the vegan Capital of Europe but the vegan Capital of the WORLD! Third, while the division in our country breaks my heart & reason #3 may cause you to stop following my blog, I cannot live here anymore under our current President. There, it’s out…now you know my politics. I planned on voting for Bernie Sanders if he had only been given a chance! I adore Richard D. Wolff, an author, speaker & Professor of Economics who follows a new approach to Marxism. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that my love of animals and the end to their exploitation & suffering translates to humankind as well.
When I came up with the concept of Napa Valley Vegan, it was almost completely motivated by the lack of vegan offerings available in Napa Valley. To see the improvements in the attitudes of chefs, store owners and winemakers changing over the last 6 years is phenomenal. And while I can’t take all the credit for this, I truly believe that if it wasn’t for my constant pestering, emailing, blogging, cajoling, Happy Cowing, Yelping and chatting our vegan voice would not be nearly as loud as it is today! Looking back, I’m so proud to have been such a vocal part of this movement!
I know that you follow my blog either because you are a family member and love me OR because you are interested in finding vegan food & wine in Napa Valley! So how will this new blog affect you? The biggest change is that on July 7th, I will be driving out of Napa in a rented minivan full of my last remaining belongings & my family. My new reality will include a four week cross-country trek that will cover 14 states, 60 hours of drive time and 3,810 miles until we reach our final U.S. destination – Brooklyn, NY. I will be blogging about my long distance adventures with visits to friends, my brother’s wedding and some quality family time with my step-kids sprinkled in for good measure. On August 3rd, my whole crew will be boarding Cunard’s RMS Queen Mary 2 (QM2) and beginning the 10-day transatlantic voyage that will end in Hamburg, Germany. While this may seem like an extravagance, the QM2 is the only ship on the globe that offers kennels for our beloved furry family. And after researching all possible options on how to safely get my family 9,000 miles, the ship was truly the only option! From Hamburg, we will all load up on the high speed ICE train and be standing in our new city about 90 minutes later. So, while I wish that I could maintain my Napa Valley Eat!, Sip! & Events pages, I have come to the realization that will be impossible once I arrive in Germany. With all of the cross country & global travel that will soon be happening, morphing Napa Valley Vegan into a plant based travel blog was the obvious & perfect choice!
Another important change is that my husband Steve will be joining the team. After way too many years in the car business, he will be retiring on June 15th (yeah, those squeals of joy that you will hear that day at 5 p.m. PST will be ours!). Steve will not only continue as my resident videographer but he will also be joining the writer’s circle. His contributions will include topics like planning & attending the 2019 Isle of Man TT race; his favorite Berlin dive bar and attending West Point at age 60. All of this adding a new perspective & texture to the blog. We will be adding many more videos to reveal more about our adventures than just words & photos can do. My dog Violet has even volunteered to join the team. She will be sharing all of her favorite experiences from dog-friendly hotels to the best city parks to…well, whatever else dogs love to blog about! We have finally upgraded our ever loyal iPhone 7 camera to a new Sony a6500 digital camera. I am in the midst of photography lessons & mastering Photoshop Lightroom as we speak so the images I share with you will be as gorgeous as the actual experience was!
I truly hope you will join me on these new limitless adventures. I could never have continued doing what I love without your support. Please let me know what you think of the new blog & the types of travel information you’d like to see. I want to thank all 2,013 of you for joining me on my Napa Valley experiences. We have many more adventures in store so come along with us and as always…eat, drink & be vegan!
Coming Up Next: Napa Valley Vegan’s adventures in Barcelona!
I think this all sounds very exciting. I love all your reasons for moving to Berlin. And especially that you thought enough of your animals to make sure they had as safe and enjoyable journey as possible. I had always hoped to meet you on one of my visits to Napa, but I guess that won’t happen now. But I do thank you for the changes you have made in the mindset of the Napa community to embrace the vegan lifestyle. I find that when I visit my sister there, the vegan choices are much more plentiful than they used to be. Good luck and good fun in your travels! Hope to hear lots about vegan food and the vegan lifestyle in Berlin.
I really appreciate your positive words and feedback. It is too bad that we won’t have the opportunity to meet. Maybe during your next trip Berlin?! I promise I am very much looking forward to sharing all of my adventures with you! Auf Wiedersehen!