Saturday, October 30, 2010

Red, Red Wine... Go to my head...

 After getting up at 4:45 a.m. and catching a 7 a.m. flight to California, what a better way to start the trip.  Sitting on the tarmac in MN watching the wings get in OCTOBER...we couldn't help but start to feel a little excitement at the prospect of landing on some warmer soil and heading up to the wine coutnry of Sonoma Valley to enjoiy some beautiful scenery, good company, and oh yeah, WINE!

We got off the plan to rain and mid-50s, but that didn't stop us.  At least it wasn't the gale force winds, rain and 40s with snowflakes mixed in that we had left in MN.  First thing we did when we got in our rental was plug in the GPS and type in the address for our first destination, Seghesio Family Vinyards.  It was an almost 2 hour drive there, but we finally arrived and the fun began.  We weren't nearly as impressed as we thought we'd be with that place based on the recommendations.  However, we didn't let that stop us.  We headed down to the Russian River Valley and were quickly wooed by the beauty of the tree tops that umbrellaed the winding roads with the changing fall colors of the vines of the wineries in between. 

On our way to Gary Ferrell winery we happened upon Hop Kiln winery.  Before they began making wine this place was an old hop kiln, where hops were processed for the production of beer.  There wasn't a wine there that we tried that we didn't like.  From there we drove a short way down the road to Gary Farrell.  Up the long and winding drive to a breathtaking view, where we could sit and sip wine and watch the clouds pass through the hilltops all day long.  Being the designated driver, John decided to skip the tasting here, but Michelle indulged and was most pleasantly suprised by the Chardonnay.  It was rich and smooth with a nice butterscotch finish.  While it would have been nice to stay all day, most of the wineries were only open until 5 p.m. so we had to move on. 

Next stop was Korbel winery.  There we enjoyed a nice change of pace with the tasting of some great bubbly.  We also found out that Korbel is now allowed to officially be called champagne due to some sort of grandfathering rule.  So, instead of sparkling wine it's now called California Champagne.  After 5 different taste tests we settled on a nice bottle of Korbel Sec that we fully intend to use for a nice memosa breakfast during our stay.

The last stop was Martinelli Winery.  Like Hop Kiln, this was an old hops processing building.  It was close to 5 p.m. so we were a bit rushed to taste a few selections and found their Pinot Noir to be very good.   

After alot of wine we really needed a good place to stop and enjoy some of the Sonoma Valley food.  We drove a short way to Graton, where we stopped at a small, trendy restaurant called Underwood (this was a recommendation from the taste master at Korbel).  We settled into a corner booth and had a nice meal. When we sufficiently full we got in the car for the 1 1/2 drive down to our hotel in Foster City where we climbed into bed and Michelle fell fast asleep within about 10 seconds.  Great wine, great company, great day!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Last Homecoming Dance!

Ok, so we couldn't have had 2 more opposite styles.  Stephi went totally glam with sequins and rocker heels and Julia was more low key with a down to earth halter dress and cowboy boots.  As unique as each selection was, each girl pulled off their look like runway models.  This is their last homecoming dance and they were going to make it a memorable one.  Neither one had a date (well... technically Stephi did since she asked Rachel to go to homecoming with her through a game of hangman.), but then again, neither did 3/4 of the senior class.  It was more important for them all to enjoy the night with their friends than it was to have a date to worry about.

After the girls' 11 a.m. soccer game we hurried to Eden Praire (remember the 101 bridge is still closed so we had to go the long way around) to find a pair of shoes for Stephi.  We lucked out at the first stop and found some fun, strappy heels at JC Penney.  When we got home, Julia had already showered and was basically ready, which was a good thing because when we got to Rachel's house to finish getting ready she ended up doing makeup for 4 other girls (including Stephi's) and hair for  5th.  While she did help Stephi get the 'tease' in her up-do, Stephi did most of it herself.  However, to mom's frustration, Stephi was the very last to be ready.  As usual, we were running late for the pictures, so we hurried to John Erickson's house where everyone met for a photo opportunity and John's parents served lasagna, salad, garlic bread and dessert for the whole crew of 21. 

The girls headed to the dance, where they had a blast dancing the night away.   Afterwards they came home and left a trail of shoes and clothes to their room as they rushed to change and go to Travis' house for a bonfire and sleepover with about 20 other kids.  A big thanks to Travis' mom, who is a total saint, for staying up all night to make sure the kids behaved and for making them a huge breakfast of eggs, pancakes, muffins, doughnuts and oj before they came home. 

The girls came home completely exhausted, but stayed awake to hang out with their Grandparents for the day since they are leaving for Texas in a couple of weeks.  Thanks girls for being good sports!

Take a look at 2010 Homecoming Dance under the Pictures section of the blog on the left or at

Thursday, October 7, 2010

2010 Missota Champions!

On Thursday, October 7th 2010 the Shakopee Girls Varsity Soccer team made history by taking the Missota Conference Championship for the first time.  They beat the Northfield Raiders 2-1 to finish with a conference record of 6-0-1 and an overall record of 9-5-2.

Within 5 minutes in the first half, we scored, which got the girls excited and just kept the momentum of the game moving in Shakopee's direction.  The Sabers dominated the field and at half time the score was 2-0.  The crowd played a big factor in the game as we had  a whole section of students (aka. superfans) there to cheer them onto victory.  Shakopee held Northfield to 1 goal in the 2nd half for a final score of 2-1.

Julia and Stephi both had great games and controlled the middle of the field to help draw the Raiders outside where their offense was cornered and virtually shut down.

Lookout Burnsville...Here we come!  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Senior Picture Time!

Well, it took 2 sessions and a 2+ hour drive to Granite Falls, MN.  But we finally got the girls senior pictures finished.  We know most seniors do summer pictures, but since mom loves the fall colors the most we thought it would be great to have the pictures taken when the colors peaked.  Unfortunately, with the busy schedule that the girls keep getting pictures at just the right time was impossible.

The photographer came to Shakopee for the first session.  We encountered a bit of a problem at the first photo spot at a barn off of Cty. Rd. 14 in Shakopee, when the grandson of the farm owner pulled up and informed the girls and the photographer that they were trespassing on private property.  There were posted signs, but with the high grass nobody seemed to see them.  Thankfully, the photographer talked to him and agreed that he would go no further onto the property other than by the barn and silo on the side of the road.

We moved from the barn to Memorial Park and then broke the law again by sneaking into Murphy's Landing through a broken fence.  They ended their first session at an abandoned gas station off of 1st avenue.

The girls scheduled their 2nd session for October 4th, but due to a rescheduled soccer game we had to postpone the final shoot to October 6th.  We had to detour around the closed bridges to make our way over to Highway 212 which added an extra 20 minutes to our already long drive, but we made it to Granite Falls right in time to begin the studio session.  Julia forgot one pair of shoes and her scarf for one of her outfits, but we made the best of what we had.  After an indoor session we moved onto a park by a creek where he took several outdoor pictures.  From there we all went to lunch at the local golf course and then afterwards headed to the Minnesota River where we decided to take some of our own photos (attached).   On our way home we also found an old railcar with some graffiti.  Unfortunately the sun  and the fact that the girls were tired of smiling made it hard to get any good pictures, but we managed to snap a couple.   The rest of the drive home was pretty quiet.  The girls were exhausted and napped and mom and dad enjoyed the quiet time. 

In 2 weeks we will get our proof books from the photographer.  We're so excited to see the pictures, its going to be hard to wait that long.  You can also look at some of the pictures we took ourselves under our Pictures section.  Look at 2010 Granite Falls or go to

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Soccer from the Faribault News Paper

If you look close, that is Julia on the right in the background.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Time Flies When You're Havin' Fun

Seems like just yesterday we were in our North Minneapolis home with the Oakley's and the Kilanowski's living a short distance away. The days of late night canasta games, house parties and fun nights at the local bars are long gone, but the memories... Oh, the memories... There isn't a time when we get together with our long-time friends where there isn't a familiar story that is told about those days. And they never cease to make us laugh. Whether it be Pete walking in on Michelle while she's giving birth to Julia, or John's trip to the ER after a fall that broke his ribs where Pete picked him up at the door to be the designated driver for the night, the Halloween parties (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles still ROCK), or Jeannie's crazy cat, Kitty, attacking John's feet as we walk in the door of their home. Each and every one of those stories holds a very special place in our hearts. Our kids were born in those homes and we spent our first years getting together at least once a week to hang out, have a backyard bbq, spaghetti dinner and play cards.

Now our kids are all grown up. Jake, the first one born to our family, has graduated and is going off to college at the University of Iowa. Julia and Stephi graduate next year and Kaitlin will be the class of 2012. The kids may be busy with their own lives, but every time we have the opportunity to get together they act like siblings and pick up right where they left off.

We have watched these kids grow up to be fabulous young adults. We have been so very blessed to be a part of each others' lives for this long and hope that we are part of each others' memories for many years to come.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Music Videos

Check out the new music video site to the left.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Back to State, Again

We cannot believe that another year of club soccer has gone by. Seems as though we just wrote the blog a month or so ago saying that "The Girls Heads Back to State" for last years season. Looking back at the blog though and it was one year ago today.

This year the girls had a very good season. They ended the regular season with 5 wins, 1 loss and 4 ties. But they took home the championship in the two tournaments they were in.

New this year, the girls played in the Schwans USA Cup. It was a great experience for all. They had a lot of fun and met players from countries all over the world including Sweden, Haiti, Mexico, Costa Rica, Iceland. During our game against Lake Simcoe, Canada, Stephanie had a head on head collision with one of the Canadian players and they both ended up getting stiches. We do have the broadcast video and are in the process of getting it on the blog. Stephanie and Kelsey (the canadian player pictured on the right) are now facebook friends.

The girls went into districts this year the number one seed. They played the Minnesota Thunder Acamedy in Game 1 and with both Julia and Stephanie each scoring a goal, they won 3-0. In game two the girls played Monticello and again Julia and Stephanie each scored a goal and the game ended up going into overtime tied 2-2. Julia, Stephanie and Racquel(Ducky) scored while Dani was able to stop 3 of Monticellos shots and we won 3-2 in the shootout sending the team back to the State Tournament for the fifth year in a row.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Date Night!!!!!

Big night at the Dovolos household! Julia had a date with Josh and Stephi went to the Shakopee High School Prom with Joey. Both got all dolled up for the occasion.

Early morning mom treated the girls and 2 of their friends to a mani/pedi at the local nail salon. Its always fun to get pampered once in a while. And those soccer player feet needed it!
After we left the nail salon the girls rushed to shower so they could get to Missy's house so Julia could do their makeup and Stephi could get her hair done. 2 hours later.... we finally made it back home only to have Josh show up minutes later. Needless to say, Julia wasn't even close to being ready. Thank goodness she's a natural beauty. ;-) She changed into her dress, pinned her hair back, brushed her teeth and was out the door in less than 10 minutes.

Stephi, on the other hand, took MUCH longer to get ready. Between the nails, hair, makeup, lotion, shimmer spray, etc... it was an all day affair. It was all worth it though. She looked like a movie star. Joey was in awe when he walked in the door and saw her.

They rushed to meet their friends for group photos and were off for an evening in their "time-machine" party bus, dinner and the dance.

After the dance ended a group came to our house and hung out. They got good use out of that new ping-pong table. The last of them left at 5:15 a.m..... Yes, it says "a.m.". Yet, both girls woke up with a smile at 9:30 and happily went out to brunch for Mother's Day. However, I think we'll ALL be needing a nap later.