I started with Platypus in 2013. Prior to coming to Platypus I worked in the corporate world for about 30 years.
I was in the TV and Movie industry for 15 years where I worked on TV shows such as “The Wonder Years” as well as movies such as “Robocop” and “Lethal Weapon”.
Then in 1995 I went back to college at 32 years old and got a degree in Graphic Design and Marketing which I did for 15 years. I’ve designed many things including some really cool book cover designs for an author in New Zealand!
They say the average person has three careers in their lifetime and being a tour guide is my third career and the best career I’ve ever had. I have so many stories about my wine tours over the years that I could write a book. There have been many tours that have stood out during the last 9 years but overall every day is wonderful and amazing.
I’ve toured with many celebrities such as Stan Lee, Hal Linden (aka Barney Miller) and Jeff Bridges. In 2015 I had the fortune of being on the “Long Island Medium“ TV show that occurred while giving a tour.
I ended up being on the season opener of Season 6 and the episode was called “On The Road – San Francisco”. That was a very emotional experience and one I will never forget because Theresa Caputo connected with my Mom who passed away in 2010. Yeah, I cried on National TV. LOL!
Despite meeting celebrities I’ve also met many wonderful guests who have turned into friends. One set of friends, Michelle and Romey from Austin Texas, would come out every July to tour with me and our friendship has really blossomed over the years.
I’ve even given a tour to my High School Prom date. That was a special day too!
While giving tours I LOVE to play music! I really think it adds to the day. I imagine my guests going home and hearing one of the songs I played on the tour and they would stop what they’re doing a reminisce about the day they were with me in wine country. I literally have thousands and thousands of songs on my iphone with many different playlists that I’ve put together for the different types groups that I may have on a tour. One day I had a woman from Korea and she asked if I could play some K-pop and sure enough I had some for her and she was shocked! LOL!
Besides music, one of the things I love to do is to cook. I cook between four and six times a week and it has really turned into a passion and has given me a few extra inches on my waist as well! LOL!
I also love to paint and I fly Ultralights as well.
Another great aspect in wine country is the fact that there are so many incredible restaurants. I love all types of food just like I love all types of music and Napa and Sonoma do not disappoint in the variety of restaurants that are available. I absolutely love Sushi and Italian and there are several wonderful choices in downtown Napa. For Sushi I love to go to Eiko’s and for Italian I like to go to Ristorante Allegria.
One of the things that I pride myself in is that when I give a tour I try to get the guests to see the entire Napa Valley. I try to drive up one side of the valley in the morning and come back down on the other side of the valley in the evening.
Napa, Sonoma and the Russian River areas are absolutely beautiful and it truly is hard to have a bad day in wine country even though I’m the one NOT drinking the wine! Spending each day with new people is absolutely wonderful and I hope to continue to give tours to many more guests over the years to come. Being a wine tour guide is the best job I’ve ever had and I’m very proud to be a member of the incredible Platypus Tours team.
One day I might get the opportunity to write that book about my tours and maybe I’ll call it “Confessions of a Wine Tour Guide”. Who knows, maybe it could be a best seller!
I look forward to meeting you all and to show you how amazing and beautiful wine country is anytime of year! I hope to see you soon!!
One great thing for our many returning guests is that each Tour Guide has a unique background which will make each tour different from the last.