Boston and Cape Cod: Weekend Getaway Recap

img_7790For the past few years, I’ve gone on girls’ weekend trips which usually involves a running event, tons of good food and drinks, old friends and new ones too.  So far we have been to Aspen , San Francisco and Napa and now Boston/Cape Cod. Getting together with your girls is so important. It’s a way to catch up, relax, rejuvenate and inspire. To determine the destination, we look at a few key features:

Can we all travel there easily? Our trips are usually long weekends so easy locations are a must. This year we had travelers from Jacksonville, Denver, Boulder and San Francisco. We were all on different flights to take advantage of mileage points and maximize our time there, so location was key.   I flew Jetblue to Boston and Southwest back, both legs on points… FREE flights! <– Click here to get the Southwest card and earn 50K points!  I’d consider that an easy travel location!  To top it off, I flew in style with my Stella & Dot arm party! So glad my pyramid watch arrived just in time for the trip!

img_7794Second, is there a running event we can do while there? (Because what’s a girls trip without an excuse to wear tutus). We found the Zooma Cape Cod woman’s “fitness weekend” and booked out flights! Although this was supposed to be a half marathon which turned into an untimed race, turned into a group run with your friends, we still had a great time. I was disappointed that the race could not come together in time with permits and all that mess, but I still enjoyed out little mock run around the town, chair massages and beach yoga.  Plus, I was in no shape whatsoever to run a half marathon. 🙂

Will lodging and transportation work out for the group? Is a hotel or Airbnb going to be the best? We used Airbnb for both our night stay in Boston as well as 3 nights in Cape Cod. Our stay in Falmouth was so lovely. Bill’s Falmouth home had everything we needed and more. He was so accommodating to us, answering all questions we had and giving us tips along the way. I hope to make it out to Cape Cod again some day, and would definitely stay here again. It was perfect or our group and would be a great family vacation place too! 

img_7793Does the location have fancy foods and delicious drinks? “Give me lobsta and chowda.” New England is the Mecca of seafood in the continental US in my book now. Hands down.  I had everything including crab cake and salmon sandwiches, oysters, lobsters, shrimp, lobster rolls, clam chowder and even muscles. These people can cook!!  I also had cupcakes from shops on Falmouth and Martha’s Vineyard. The frosting was on point on all that I tried- peanut butter, mint and cream cheese. The carrot cake didn’t impress but hey they can’t be amazing at all things, right?

 

img_7792

Lastly we look for a location with fun things to do and see. Since I had never been to Boston I was super excited to learn about the history. Boston fills the pages of history books and now I got to see it! We did a hop on hop off trolley tour and harbor cruise, toured Fenway Park and got lost among the skyscrapers, underground tunnels and weird parking situations. When touring new cities, check Groupon for tours!  We did the Cityview Trolley Tour and it was awesome! Oh and then there was a cannoli. I mean the best-cannoli-I’ve-ever-had-in-my-life. That merits its own blog post, but I’ll keep it short- mainly because I want one right now and this is making me hungry.  Mike’s pastry, home of all the different types of cannolis you can dream of, is a cash only establishment in the heart of Boston’s Little Italy. Thank goodness I only carried a small bit of cash or I would have bought a ton! 

img_7791

img_7796

In Cape Cod we explored the little town of South Falmouth, relaxed on the beach and checked out a few local restaurants.  I was so thankful out Airbnb was within walking distance to all of that! 

On our last full day of vacation, we hopped on the Island Queen ferry and took a short boat ride to Martha’s Vineyard, docking in Oak Bluff. We biked from Oak Bluff to Edgertown, stopping along the way for sightseeing pictures, ate incredible seafood right on the way, walked around a lighthouse then found a little brewery for a refreshing summer ale afternoon drink. Not going to lie, my butt was a little sore from the biking!!  Oh and, bike rentals were so cheap! I highly recommend this place. The staff are super helpful with directions and activity suggestions too!

img_7797I said before our girl time is so important. We talked about goals and what we want to accomplish before our next girls trip. I have too many but I’ll focus on two- travel to Colorado in the spring/summer and work less to enjoy life more.

So where’s the next destination? After throwing not around ideas, I think we’ve settled on the Oregon Coast! We hear great food, wine and nature fill that area of the country! 

What cities do you think are great for the until ate girls getaway?

img_7795

Advertisements

DIY: Tutus for under $10

Donna_5k_TPC_tutus
DIY Tutus

 

There’s something therapeutic about crafting. Add a little wine, frozen pizza and a friend who loves all of that equally and you get a pretty awesome craft sesh.  Somewhere between the hectic work week and the weekend, an idea emerged. Tutus. Pink tutus.

Back track a few weeks and this conversation happened:

Me: Hey Katie, do you want to do a 5k?

Katie: Ha!? Have you seen me run?

Me: It’s The Players Donna 5k to raise money to FINISH breast cancer

Katie: Umm, I can’t run a 5k

Me: Well everyone will be wearing pink.. Like everyone… Head to toe #pinkout4donna

Katie: Ok, I’m in.  (And 15 minutes later she ordered pink knee high socks for the race)

So on Friday, with less than 24 hours until the race, Katie and I were talking about what to wear and somehow we needed something more. What possibly could make running a 5k even more fun? Tutus. Where else can a woman wear a tutu and it be socially acceptable other than a 5k!?  I already have two Tough Girl Tutus, but they aren’t pink.  I sported a lime green one at the Napa Zooma half marathon two years ago and the leopard one at the Amelia Island Zooma 10K. With time against us, we set out to put our crafting skills to the test.

With Hobby Lobby coupons in hand, project tutus was well underway. We lucked out with tulle at 50% off and used our coupons on scissors and an elastic band. We over-purchased tulle just in case but ended up taking 3 rolls back.   These were so incredibly easy to make. Time consuming, yes – but so much fun!

pink_tulle_tutusWhat you will need for 2 Tutus (because twinning tutus > one):

  • 3/4″ elastic band – long enough for 2 people
  • Spools of 6inch wide tulle
    • 25 yards of hot pink tulle with sparkles
    • 25 yards of light pink tulle
    • 75 yards of hot pink tulle
  • Scissors
  • Yard stick, measuring tape
  • 2 safety pins (or a sewing kit)

How to make tutus:

Step 1: cut the spools of tulle in half with a knife so you have 3″ wide strips.

pinkt_tulle_tutus_how_to

Step 2: cut the elastic band so it’s a little longer than hip measurement. Use a safety pin to pin it together. Wrap the band around a barstool or chair legs.

tulle_tutus_stool

Step 3: Pour a glass of wine. This next step takes a little while.

Step 4: cut strips of tulle. Lots of strips.  I used 20 inches and am 5’7″ and Katie used 18 inches and is a little shorter than me.  We both thought the length was perfect.  Just remember however long you want the strips, double that and add one inch for the tie.

image

Step 5: fold each tulle strip in half and loop it around the elastic band. Alternate the looping by looping on top of band and then behind the band. We used two hot pinks, one light pink, two hot pinks, one pink sparkle and repeat.

Step 6: squish the tulle together and tighten the loops. The more squished the tulle is a) the more poofy the tutu will be ✅ but b) the more strips you will need

Pink_tulle_tutus_DIY

Step 7:  take lots of pictures 📸

The total to make both tutus was only $16!! This includes the 50% off all tulle and 40% off the elastic band. It did take us about 5 hours (including dinner and wine) but it was so much fun. And seriously, how cute are these tutus!?

Also, major shout out to Katie who completed her first 5k in style!!

image
#pinkout4donna 5k @ TPC Sawgrass
image
I love running with friends with tutus!

Napa: Running Swag & Wine Tastings

napa-zooma-tough-girl-tutus-sisters

This year’s annual girl’s trip lead us to Napa, CA for the Zooma Women’s Half on June 28th.  This was my second half marathon and second destination run.  Last year, I ran the Subaru Distance Classic Half in Jax on Thanksgiving Day and also a women’s 5k in Chicago!  Napa was the perfect girls destination weekend trip!  What’s more to love than great food, amazing wine and laughter with wonderful friends?  Oh maybe perfect weather… Napa had that too!

I took hundreds of pictures and have way too much to say about Napa and all that wouldn’t even do this city justice.  If you love wine, this place is definitely worth the trip!!  In fact, I don’t think you can do it all in one trip and I already have a list of places to see next time!  Napa is about a 1 – 1.5 hour drive outside San Francisco (if no traffic) but feels like it’s a completely different world.  The weather perfect… sunny, warm and low humidity ( <— according to my standards), the people are extremely nice (they drink all day) and calories don’t count!

So here’s a short recap of our weekend and my favorites of this trip!

napa-fume-bistroFirst things first… drink wine.  Eat lunch.  Check and check.  Right around the corner from our hotel, the Napa Winery Inn, was Fume Bistro, a delicious restaurant with great outside seating.  This place was great for late night cocktails, early lunch and everything in between!  We ended up eating here at least twice and brought our own bottle of wine the last night.

So the wine tours (and amazing food) planning process was well under way!

napa-il-posto-italian-restaurant

The first night we  ate dinner at Il Posto, and let me just say, OH MY GOODNESS Italians sure do know how to cook.  The desserts…. well we couldn’t pick just one so we got three… My favorite, hands down, the affogato.  It just sounds Italian, right?! Affogato!  Affogato what I ate for dinner because this dessert was so delicious!

  •  Affogato – vanilla bean gelato, espresso
  •  Tiramisu – coffee, ladyfingers, mascarpone
  • Fiorello’s Sorbeto – strawberry

The next morning we got up super early (thank goodness for carb-loading the night before!) and ran a half marathon!

napa-zooma-half-marathon-starting-line

This was the first time the  Zooma Women’s Half Marathon Race Series held a race in Napa, Ca.  Seriously, what’s more enticing to women than beautiful weather and wine!? I know, feeling super girly and fun with awesome women and awesome tutus from Tough Girl Tutus!  I love, love Tough Girl Tutus.  This was my first order from this company but I have since placed a second order.  The tutu really is fit for a runner and the colors are so much fun!  I emailed Tough Girl Tutus about shipping times and their response was super helpful.

napa-zooma-half-marathon-tough-girl-tutus

The course was beautiful so we thought, why not take a few snazzy pics?! I used my Jenny Collection Handy 10 water bottle during the full 13.1 miles!  This was a great size for the race and allowed me to hydrate with Gatorade between water stops.    I actually run with this often because I hate searching for fluids on runs, especially in Florida!

napa-zooma-half-marathon-tough-girl-tutus-run

After the race, I was feeling pretty tired but the thought of wine tours and more amazing food was enough to keep me going… and so we went!  Off to Yountville!  I would definitely stay in this little town within the Napa Valley.  It has great restaurants and many wine shops with tastings on the main street.

napa-yountville-RandD

Wine tasting…

napa-yountville-cornerstone-cellars-tasting

The last full day was even better!  We went on two tours of vineyards and both could not have been more different from each other.

napa-bell-windery-clone-6Bell Wine Cellars was stunning!  The grounds are beautiful and we even got to drink wine and play bocce ball on the lawn… how fancy can you get?!  I loved learning about the wine making processing and our tour-guide-tasting-teacher-master-wino-extraordinaire, Elise, made it such an enjoyable experience.  <— the wine might have helped a little too 🙂

 

Our next stop was a crazy-interesting-must-go-to-see-for-yourself winery.  Raymond Vineyards.  The wine was amazing, the atmosphere even better.  I don’t think I’m a wine connoisseur and nor can I comment on wine tasting other than my own preference but Napa wine is definitely top notch!

napa-raymond-winery

I feel alittle wine-isticated (<— note to self, not a wino if you use that term!) after this trip and every glass I’ll remember, swirl and sniff!

napa-raymond-winery-inside

Not sure how the next girl’s trip can top this one, but I can’t wait to find out!  Any recommendations for destination races?