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?

 

 

To be a quarter of a century…

bday cupcakes

I feel old.  Is that bad?  Relatively speaking, 25 is young.  I mean I can just now FINALLY rent a car at a cheaper rate, but I don’t get carded at rated-R movies and the latest music sensations look like children.  Ok, I am old.  But I am owning this year.  I am owning that I’m 25.  That I’ve never been happier.  That I have the best friends and family.  That I found a passion in traveling, running, biking, cooking and blogging. 🙂  I love this life!

For my 25th birthday, I had a small gathering of my friends but wanted to share just a few highlights with you… the food of course!

bday foodThis is the fun yumminess I made/prepared from left to right…

  • Guacamole
  • chili-lime humus from Publix
  • Salsa from Publix
  • s’more cups and carrot cake cupcakes
  • Cowboy Caviar (CHECK THIS RECIPE OUT… IT’S AMAZING)
  • and other yummy snacks

Of course, I can’t forget about the desserts… oh my desserts… I made key lime pie which I have yet to post — seriously — These are so good I keep forgetting to take pictures because I eat them to fast!

bday s'more cups

My friends and family are awesome.  Here are a few pictures that I took…

My step mom and I….bday cassie sally

My best friend, Leah, her mom and I…. bday walkers

My final birthday celebration was dinner at Taco Lu… the BEST Mexican place EVER.  If you live in Jax or are visiting, this is a must go to place!!   The service was wonderful and the food absolutely amazing.  Ok, I might be bias towards Mexican style dishes, or pizza, or desserts, but this is a very very good place!

For dessert, the bartenders sang happy birthday to me when delivering the chocolate churros!  What a great end to a birthday week! 🙂

bday taco lu

25 has started out as the best year ever and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings!  I might be too old for Justin Bieber, but I can definitely enjoy a good glass of wine and great company. 🙂

Relax.Rejuvenate.Reflect.

wine and cookies

Cookies – Beach – Pool – Book – Baking – Biking – Wine

Well this weekend was SUCH a great weekend.  Let me say that again… such a great weekend!  Having lived in Florida my whole life, I think I’m a little spoiled when it comes to the weather.  So great weather has high standards in my book.   This is the second weekend in a row when Saturday has been A-Mazing!  So… what does a girl do on a beautiful Saturday? 

Hit the BEACH (After a cycle class and CXWORX class at the Y)!  First time in a long time I’ve been to the beach.  Relaxing. RejuvenatingReflecting. Enough said.

beach

Today, I read more of my book club book, “Swamplandia!”.  This is the first time I’ve actually opened a book for the club.  I’ve been so crunched for time, I’ve been listening to book on tape while driving to and from work (although a GREAT use of time I must say). 

swamplandia 

Of course, the best place to open a book… on the pool deck (right?!)!

 pool 

Picked up some bananas, tomatoes and a Redbox at Publix…. on my BIKE!  (yes, pulled out the bike this weekend to get ready for the KATIE RIDE!)

bike

Ended the day with oatmeal chocolate chip cookies + wine (adult cookies + milk?). (yes, still in my post pool, post bike, pre shower ensemble… should have squeezed a shower in there)

wine and cookies cassie

Now on to the movie, The Lucky One, with my second glass of wine.  Been wanting to see this for a long time. 🙂

I hope you and your family and friends had a awesome weekend too.  What was your favorite part of yours?

Life is good great!