We get asked all the time of unique places for weddings or events. People want to find a unique location, that is new and refreshing; not overplayed. To be honest, we try our best to recommend our favorite venues for events, but sometimes you just need somewhere that is perfect for you. That could be an air bnb, your favorite coffee shop, or a winery! Wineries are one of the most beautiful (and seriously unique) spaces that you could have your event or wedding at. Depending on the size or capacity of your event really helps determine what it is exactly that you’re looking for.
When we were in Wisconsin, we had the pleasure of visiting Parallel 44 Vineyard and Winery. Starting a winery, nestled in the heart of beer country, in 2005 was considered to be a novel idea. Wisconsin has really always been relatively popular for beer, not wine and surely not for grape growing. Owners Steve and Maria, however, envisioned this area in Northeast Wisconsin as the next great wine region in the world. With courage they planted their grapes and built the winery. Over a decade later, their passion continues, as they discover the best grapes and wine styles from this wine region.
The geographical location of Parallel 44 Vineyard and Winery (and Door 44) was the inspiration for the names. Both wineries are situated on 44° North Latitude – which circles the globe, and is renowned as the world’s finest grape growing and wine making regions. This latitude includes the great wine regions of Bordeaux, France and Tuscany, Italy. How interesting to know that they share many similarities with these regions such as seasonal growing climate, annual rainfall, and length of daylight. It is their inspiration to share this latitude with their counterparts, while celebrating their own unique tradition of growing grapes on the “Frozen Tundra” of Wisconsin.
Best news? You can order wine online!! We recommend giving their Ice Wine a try! The grapes that produce ice wine must be picked only after the grapes have frozen solid on the vine. This usually requires repeated temperatures of 15 degrees or colder for several days. The grapes were then pressed while still frozen, extracting very concentrated sugars and acids, as all the water content of the grape is removed as frozen crystals. What results is an intensely flavored wine that cannot be produced in any other way! We had such a blast visiting and touring their property and dreaming up ways we could host unique events at this beautiful space. If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by for a tasting or order some of their delicious wine online.
At the end of August, as we were wrapping up our personal time off and gearing up for our very busy season coming up, we headed to Wisconsin! My cousin was getting married so it was the perfect opportunity to share the city where my parents grew up & met in, with Matt. Matt had never been, so naturally, I had a checklist of where I wanted to take him; shops, hotels, museums, wineries… it was a very long list. But surprisingly, we got a lot of the hot spots checked off the list.
Our first night, we stayed at the BEAUTIFUL Journeyman Hotel in the Third Ward district of Milwaukee. This hotel is incredible!! Not only is their entire aesthetic top notch, but the staff is unbelievable. From the moment you walk into the building, you feel very comfortable and welcomed. Depending on your definition, a journeyman is a traveler, a wanderer, an apprentice — always seeking to learn and do more. We knew that this hotel was built on a brand that we related to. We checked in much later than we had anticipated, so when we walked into our room we were so happy to kick our shoes off and lay down on the comfiest bed. We didn’t lay down too long, as we heard that the rooftop bar, The Outsider, was definitely worth a visit. So, we freshened up and made our way to the roof. The view of this city from The Journeyman’s rooftop bar is unreal. The breeze and temperatures were perfect for us Arizonians. They offer events in a couple different locations. You could book a private section of the rooftop bar for a rehearsal dinner, or, have your entire wedding in their stylish halls or meeting rooms. The best part? You can have your event catered from the on-site restaurant Tre Rivali, with cuisine from Chef Heather Terhune. We had dinner at Tre Rivali on our last night. We ordered a couple of different pasta dishes and about died and went to pasta heaven!
The next day, we put on our walking shoes and headed out to explore the city. We went to Kickapoo Coffee, the Milwaukee Art Museum and got to experience the Rashid Johnson exhibit, which was so beautiful. We ate our weight in yummy local cheeses, explored the Milwaukee Public Museum, stopped in a couple of cute boutiques stores and bought some goodies to bring home from Broadway Paper. Something that is so fun about downtown Milwaukee is all the shops and exploring. Phoenix is great, but their downtown isn’t necessarily as walk able as most downtown cities are. So, we took advantage of it.
If we are being honest, we love to travel, but want to be able to share our personal insight when it comes to weddings or events. That’s why we love to learn how the places we travel and visit, hopefully will benefit someone planning an event. Whether that be in Wisconsin, Arizona or anywhere else. If our insight helps you plan your dream destination event, we’ve done our job. We hope that you enjoy our travel entries and we hope, that if you’re looking for a place for your next dinner party, wedding, bridal shower or birthday party, you consider taking a peek at a place that isn’t in your own backyard. You may be surprised by what you find and how everyone can enjoy a trip, like we did in Wisconsin, to somewhere that is truly enticing for you and your guests!
On our final post on our California trip, we wanted to just share a little bit about why traveling, getting out of your comfort zone, and doing things that make you feel alive are SO important.
San Francisco, Ca
When we drove through to San Francisco, the city was engulfed with fog. It is such a cool view! We had plans to share a VRBO with a few of our closest friends for the weekend of Outside Lands. We met with our friends for beer and wine down at The Ferry Building, before checking into our VRBO. We found the cutest apartment that slept 6 relatively close to Golden Gate Park, which was perfect considering the music festival was there.
After our long weekend of singing with some of our favorite musicians like Lorde, Bleachers, The Who, Vance Joy, The Avett Brothers and so many more, we left super early Monday morning to drive straight home. 15 hours later (with probably 3-4 hours stuck in LA in traffic), we made it home to our own beds.
We embarked on our California road trip with our final destination being San Francisco, California. We had purchased tickets to the Outside Lands music festival and figured, let’s make a trip out of it. It was so great! We made so many fun stop along the way, visited places that we wouldn’t have been able to see if we had flown, and best of all, got to take some much needed time off from work. Running a business is hard. Running a business with your partner can sometimes feel even harder. It’s really important for us to do things together that don’t always feel or seem like work. Shopping at antiques stores, traveling to new places, viewing art and architecture; these are all things we enjoy doing together. This trip had a little bit over everything. It was so needed. So, with that, I want to keep it real. Do things that are fun. Do save money to do the things that are expensive and you think you could never afford to do it. You can! We have worked so hard the last few years building Tremaine Ranch to what it is today. It is so rewarding to get to share these moments with each other, and to share them with you. We may not take the best pictures, but we are so happy to share what inspires us, what makes us happy and why we love what we do with all of you. Thanks for reading!
Similar to our part one of our road trip, we wanted to divulge with our readers some fun recommendations and places that stopped at long the way from Phoenix to San Francisco. If you missed Part One of our road trip, we drove through Long Beach & San Luis Obispo. We stopped at coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants, and had too many laughs with close friends along the way.
From SLO, we made our way into Cambria. Cambria is SO cute. We found the cutest accommodation for our night. Cambria Beach Lodge is based upon an interpretation of the classic California road trip experience. How fitting for our stay! With their newly remodeled rooms, fresh design, delicious breakfast and unbeatable views; you’re bound to have the best time at this place. Thank you so much for having us!
After our check in, we made our way to the elephant seal beach. These guys are HUGE! The pictures don’t do them justice. We were lucky to see the last few on the beach, completing their molting, before headed back out to the ocean. They have some very interesting migration patterns. If you’re ever in the area, we recommend checking it out. After all the exploring, we were hungry and decided to check out Linn’s. We order their famous chicken pot pie, as well as a piece of their famous olallieberry pie! If you’re in Cambria, please do yourself a favor and go to Linn’s as soon as possible. Knowing us, we couldn’t resist visiting some antique stores. Right across from Robin’s Street you’ll find a cluster of vintage inspired shops overflowing with all sorts of goodies. It was hard to resist buying a ton of stuff, especially all the pretty glassware, but we just really didn’t have all that much room in our car.
We made our way to explore Hearst Castle on the way out of town. This Gateway to the bohemian culture of Big Sur, lies the decadent and legendary Hearst Castle. William Randolf Hearst entertained a steady stream of the era’s biggest movers and shakers on this ‘La Cuesta Encantada’ (Enchanted Hill). This actual castle is unbelievable. The rooms, the pool, the view; it is 100% worth the visit. We couldn’t help but imagine what it was like vacationing in this home and having friends over for a pool party. Could you imagine?
Santa Cruz, CA
From Cambria, we headed to our favorite California city, Santa Cruz! We’ve definitely explored Santa Cruz before, so we already had a few places on our checklist that we wanted check out that we always make a stop at. Matt’s from Santa Cruz, so we have places we always visit like Riva Fish House, The Buttery, and Walnut Avenue Cafe!
We wanted to visit some of the boutique shops that are around town. Santa Cruz isn’t filled with a ton of big stores that you may be used to, which is one of the reasons why we love it so much. We made our way to Stripe to walk around this cute boutique style shop and even made our way to their other shop, Stripe Men, just a few steps down the sidewalk.
We heard about the new Abbott Square Market that opened this spring, and knew we had to pay a visit to this unique spot. The owners transformed an old county jail building into a culinary and entertainment venue in the heart of Santa Cruz. This place was SO cool and extremely fun to explore. It reminds us of a few places in Arizona that we frequent. We were so full by the time we left from the pizza we ordered at Pizzeria la Bufala.
When we decided to take this road trip months ago, we didn’t really know what we were getting ourselves into. We have talked about taking a road trip up the coast of California since we started dating back in 2011, so when we finally made the decision to actually take it, we were both way too excited. We wanted to drive from Phoenix to San Francisco, and make stops along the way visiting different cities and towns we haven’t been fortunate to stop at. Matt, being from Santa Cruz, has seen his fair share of California but we wanted to share more of the cool stops along the way together, but honestly we just never made the time to plan our trip out. The biggest reason for our road trip is because we decided to go to Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco. It was destiny, right? So, rather than flying to SFO, we decided to finally make the drive and enjoy a couple of weeks on the road together.
We’ll be sharing a few different posts from our road trip and the route that we decided to take for anyone who is interested in taking their own California road trip similar to ours.
Long Beach, CA
Our first stop was Long Beach, California. One of our very best friends is a professional dancer and she was chosen to compete in the Capezio A.C.E. Awards, (Award for Choreographic Excellence). The Dance Teacher Summit is committed to featuring emerging choreographers who foster the art of dance. To further this goal, the Summit is proud to host the A.C.E. Award Competition. This is an opportunity for choreographers to expose their work to one of the most influential audiences in dance. There are only a certain number of finalists chosen to compete, and our friend was in that list! We had a great night grabbing dinner and drinks afterwards, to celebrate such a huge accomplishment of competing for her.
We decided to check in that night at the The Queen Mary . No tonly was the location ideal, but the history of this hotel was hard to resist. If you’re unfamiliar with The Queen Mary, we recommend getting your booty to Long Beach, California, to take a tour of this magnificent ship. That’s right, we stay on an old ship from 1930’s. It was SO cool! We had dinner at Federal Bar which was an old bank turned restaurant/bar, and enjoyed breakfast at Creme de la Crepe; a french style bistro with, you guessed it, crepes! We enjoyed our stay in Long Beach very much. We only wish we had a little more time to explore.
San Luis Obispo, CA
After Long Beach, we headed north to San Luis Obispo, California. One of our number one spots we wanted to visit was the Madonna Inn. We’re sure you’ve seen it on social media. It is this crazy, unique hotel in SLO that offers hiking, horse back riding, entertainment, and the coolest rooms. Each room is themed different and has a different design to it. When you book the rooms, you don’t know what room you’re going to get. Just part of the element of surprise, right? We had dinner that night at the Gold Rush Steakhouse, which is the steakhouse within the Madonna Inn. They have world famous cake, specifically their Pink Champagne cake. As full as we were from our very delicious dinner, we could not resist a slice. It was 100% worth it!
The next morning, we woke up and headed to downtown SLO. We went to Scout Coffee, enjoyed some delicious pastries and walked around this cute town.
This trip is coming at your in three parts, and we will be sharing part two of the trip (Cambria & Santa Cruz) soon!
This past weekend, we celebrated Matt’s birthday and we weren’t quite sure what to do. If you have been following our blog or social media accounts, you know we are big fans of supporting local and small businesses. When we need a break from day to day life, we often find ourselves browsing local hotels that are fun and really make for the ultimate staycation getaway. After researching a little more of what was going on around town, I realized that there was a super fun pool party with local DJ’s from Arizona taking place at The Saguaro – Scottsdale. I thought it could be a lot of fun to get a group of our friends to come and have a pool day at the hotel!
We decided to book a king bed suite, with a pool view for the night, because why not. The hotel itself recently went through a really beautiful makeover on all of their rooms and upgraded as much as they could, with still keeping that charm of the original structure. Each door is painted a different color, each room has unique touches to them, and the furniture around the property was right up our alley. We love pulling inspiration from decor and furniture on our travels, so we were excited to stay and spend some time away ourselves to walk through the hotel. What we didn’t realized was how much space this hotel offers for events! Seriously, this place has ballrooms, boardrooms, event space for weddings, outdoor patio event space, and more. We left our getaway feeling refreshed and inspired to tackle some new work projects. We even left with a few ideas of fun photo shoots or events that we could potentially host at the hotel in the future. It is such a cute location, we want to share it with our readers and entice people to come visit Arizona!
Thank you so much to The Saguaro – Scottsdale for such a fun weekend! It was the perfect birthday trip and we are so excited to come back.
Leah and Matt Theodosis; husband and wife team based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Tremaine Ranch’s blog features real weddings and events, oodles of inspiration (from home design, event design & planning, and photoshoots), vendor guidance, travel recommendations for event planning, guest accommodations, and more. Why has Tremaine Ranch grown so quickly over the past year? The answer is simple… We focus on researching the vendors, locations, food and details from large to small, to help make your event become one of a kind and memorable for all involved. Interested in working with us? Contact us here.