Friday, May 29, 2015

Fort Ross Vineyard

The first vineyard we visited on the trip was Fort Ross (well, tasting room), which is on the coast, just north of Jenner-by-the-Sea.  We didn't get to the ocean, just to the coast.  I'm sure the Pacific was very chilly, but there were plenty of seals sleeping on the beach.

We went to the tasting room because that is what is open to the public.  We had our tasting and then sat outside for a picnic lunch overlooking their deck.   The weather on the coast is cooler than inland, so the grapes will taste a little different because of this.  The wine I liked the most here was the Chardonnay.  While Chardonnays are beginning to be really oaky, heavy, and butter, Fort Ross's Chardonnay is able to keep its crisp, fruity flavor because of the cooler weather.  The crispness reminded me of a Pinot Grigio and it wasn't heavy at all.

I prefer light white wines because I tend to drink white wines more in the summer.  I'm mostly making light dishes since I don't want to spend a lot of time cooking, and heavy dishes just make me feel blah in the summer.  Light, crisp white wines tend to work best with what I eat most of during the summer.

They also grow Pinotage, which we found out is a variety of grape that was created in South Africa.   It is South Africa's signature variety and it was created by crossing Pinot Noir and Cinsaut, which is known as Hermitage in South Africa, hence Pinotage.

Here's our tasting list:

Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir Symposium

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Napa Valley Wine Train

Sunday morning we left San Rafael and made our way to Napa to board the wine train.  We opted for the lunch tour, which departs at 11am sharp.  Boarding starts at 10:30, and there are various options available, including lunch and de-training and touring Grgich Hills Estate.  Grgich used to be the wine maker at Chateau Montelena where he helped craft the Chardonnay that won the Judgement of Paris in 1976.

We went for the Gourmet Express option, which was in a 1915 Pullman dining car, and we had lunch going up to Saint Helena, then in the lounge car for dessert going back to Napa.  In all, the journey is 3 hours, and we were assigned a table on the left side for lunch and then the right side for dessert.  The journey is through the historical industrial district of Napa, and once out of Napa, the train rolls by a number of vineyards.  The Wine Train provides a map of the journey with the major wineries included on the map.

For food, I had the baby lettuce salad, grilled breast of chicken, and then the flourless chocolate cake for dessert.  Our wine during lunch was a complimentary glass when we came on board, and we ordered a Sangiovese from Castello di Amorosa.  No picture of the chocolate cake since I ate it without thinking of taking a picture.

After arriving back in Napa, we got in the car and headed up to Geyserville for the next two days.  The train ride was a complete splurge but was very enjoyable.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Music and Memories

I don't normally post two write ups in one day, but today's Wordless Wednesday would have some fun pictures from my trips to Disney World and Disneyland.  There are some great various acts around Disney to enjoy in the fun.

San Francisco

The first part of San Francisco isn't exciting.  We fought rush hour Friday traffic to get across the bridge into Marin County to our friends' house.  I don't know how Californians deal with their traffic. I would go bonkers if I had to drive in that every day.  Dallas traffic can be bad, but it's not California bad.

Saturday we drove into the city and parked near Fisherman's Wharf.  I was very happy we did not have a hotel in the city since the Bay to Breakers was that Sunday, right when we needed to get to Napa to the wine train.  Even with the expo going on, I didn't feel Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 were all that busy.

The sea lions are coming back, and you can hear their barking before seeing their lounging spot.  They sleep, swim, and people can buy fish to feed them.  Now tell me why they would want to leave?

We picked up the cable car at Market Street and rode it all the way up Nob Hill.  I don't know how races take place in San Francisco.  All those hills and it's hard just to walk up them.  When we walked back down the hill towards Boudin for lunch, I had to lean back.  The hill is so steep I figured if I walked upright like normal, I would tip over and land right on my face!

Boudin has their bread stand but they also have a cafe.  I had their soup/sandwich combo with grilled cheese and then tomato basil soup in a bread bowl.  Afterwards we went through their museum, which is on the second floor, and it goes through the history of the Boudin French emigres from the '48 rebellion (think Les Miz), and how the mother dough was saved during the earthquake.  Every piece of Boudin bread uses the same yeast from when the bakery started since a piece of dough is saved at the end of every day as the starter for the next day.

And how could I not go to San Francisco without going to Ghiradelli.  This is their Nob Hill Chill which is vanilla ice cream, ice cubes and homemade fudge smoothied together then sprinkled with mini chocolate chips.  My parents and I split this and it was perfect!

If you want good pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city, head out towards Marin County and take the first exit.  It's popular, so you might have to circle to find a parking spot, but the views are amazing!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I'm Back!!

I'm back from Napa/San Francisco.  When we booked the airfare and went Friday to Friday, I didn't realize I'd be getting back the Friday of Memorial Day weekend.  Bonus.  I could use 3 days to recover and get back on Central time, plus recover from all the fun and wine consumed.  And deal with an upset cat.  She wasn't happy I went on vacation and she got boarded, plus her yearly physical and shots.  She doesn't react well to the shots but it's once a year, and she has to get them.

In 6 days we did the Napa Valley wine train, hit 10 wineries and had 1.5 days in San Francisco around the trip to Napa.  The first day in San Francisco was walking around pier 39 and Fisherman's Warf, we rode a cable car, and ate Boudin bread.  Given the lines and demand for Boudin, I don't think Gluten free matters in some parts of San Francisco.

The wineries we went to are Fort Ross, which is on the coast, just north of Jenner By the Sea, then Coppola, Seghesio, Silver Oak Cellars and Lytton Springs, all up around Geyserville, then Schramsberg, Chateau Montelena, Duckhorn, Rombauer and Baldacci, all between Calistoga and Napa.

We stayed at the Geyserville Inn the first two nights in the valley, then at the Bear Flag Inn the next two nights.  I would recommend both if any of y'all are looking to go up to Napa.  The Geyserville Inn is not a B&B but the Bear Flag Inn is.  We have friends who live in Marin County so we stayed with them the nights in San Francisco, then the Westin by the airport the last night since we had early flights out.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Boo to You

I can't remember if I've done a Wordless Wednesday, but I followed the link to Deb's blog and I found today's topic is Disney parades.  I have pictures of my favorite one, Boo to You Halloween Parade.  I've seen the parade three times and I love it!  The first time we did not get the Headless Horseman because we had a couple cloud bursts, and they do not want to risk the horse if the ground is wet.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Summer Playlist

It's been a while since I posted a playlist, and since the temps are warming up, here's my summer playlist:

Hawaiian Roller Coast Ride (Lilo and Stitch)
Jump in the Line
Sunshine and Summertine
Boys of Summer
Summertime Blues
Girls in their Summer Clothes
Summer of '69
Chicken Fried
He Mele No Lilo (Lilo and Stitch)
Where the Boat Leaves From
Hot Hot Hot
Take It Easy (live)
Beer in Mexico
Runnin' Down a Dream
Jamaica Farwell
In Summer (Frozen)
Knee Deep
Under the Boardwalk
Under the Sea (the Little Mermaid)

Tuesdays on the Run with  AprilPatty, and Erika.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday Musings 5/11

Weekend update!

It was a calmer week than normal, but life gets in the way sometimes.  Between my car and chiropractor appointment, I didn't do as much, but sometimes we just need these weeks to recharge.  I also found some good strength training videos from Pop Sugar, and found some exercises that also target my weak butt.  I did a routine put together by Tracey Maleltt, then a Pop Sugar core workout that also did some glute work.

Saturday I got 2.25 miles done but my right periformis was a little tight after the strength training on Thursday, and the tightness manifested in my IT band.  I wanted to do more running, and probably did 1/4-mile too much, but I knew it was a tight butt instead of knee issues.  I spent a lot of Saturday trying to work out any knots in both legs.  Then Sunday I did more strength training.  I followed this video and this video.  Oof!  I could feel the second workout through the afternoon.  And since I didn't think it was enough, I did HIIT for my arms.

Sunday was a very lazy day due to the weather.  We've had t-storms in our forecast since last week and Sunday was raining almost all day.  There were breaks in the rain, but it was perfect for movie watching.  I finished up the Hobbit trilogy and am done with it.  I love the book but they bloated the movies way too much.


Sunday: Pure Barre

Monday: yoga

Tuesday: Bike 30 minutes

Wednesday: Chiropractor

Thursday: strength training

Friday: rest

Saturday: 2.25 miles

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Vineyards

It's Friday Five and even though the theme is how to share the running love, I'm sharing the vineyards I have chosen for my Napa trip.  It's coming up soon and I'm super excited!  We'll also be in San Francisco until we drive up to Napa.

1) Seghesio - known for their zinfandels but they've got Italian reds, Italian whites and blends

2) Schramsberg - sparkling wine.  This one we're taking a tour and tasting.  It was my one requirement and will be my way to celebrate my birthday.

3) Chateau Montelena - the vineyard that shook the world at the Judgement of Paris when their Chardonnay was chosen as the best in a blind taste test. 

4) Rombauer - Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon

5) Baldacci - Cabernet, Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir

I'll add a sixth one too since I asked to go to the Coppola vineyard.  I hear it's quite the experience, and in the museum section, you can see movie props like Don Corleone's desk!

Friday Five with Eat Pray Run DCMar on the Run and You Signed Up For What?!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Thinking Out Loud 5/7

I got my car back yesterday morning.  It now has a new AC breaker switch, new dry belts and new struts (whatever those are).  I just drive it, I don't know what makes it work.

This week has been a little different, which means my workouts have been less intense.  I seem to hit these moods or these times right before vacation, but when I need a break, I need a break.  I've already done the whole "let's not listen to the injuries and push through them, otherwise the Sergeant major of a coach will yell at me to get going" phase.  I did that in high school and college.  But now I can listen.

Not to mention Pure Barre kicked my muscles and my hamstrings were still tight on Wednesday, after the class was on Sunday.  Yeah, I'd say the class worked on those.  I even found a knot in my right periformis.  Please tell me this will work and help me strength train.

I'm starting to mentally put together my packing list for Napa.  The trip's coming up fast, and I started my countdown at 90 days out.  This got here fast!  I'll be gone a week so double-digit shirts will work, right?  I seriously need to start setting aside what I want to bring and make sure it all fits in my suitcase.  The one positive?  Buying liquids in San Francisco, so I only need an emergency bottle of contact solution.

If y'all have seen the news about replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20-bill, I voted for my pick on Tuesday.  For those who don't know, there's a campaign to replace Andrew Jackson with a woman, and we're down to the final 4 candidates.  I chose Wilma Mankiller who was the "first elected female chief of a Native nation in modern times".  Poetic justice.  Jackson is famous for signing the removal of the Native Americans and forcing them along the Trail of Tears.  A huge portion of that native population were the Cherokee, so not only a female Native American and a Cherokee to boot replacing him on the $20?  I like that idea, plus I'm (small) part Cherokee.

Thinking out loud with Amanda.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What I'm NOT Loving

A little spin on things... what I'm not loving right now.

Cars.  I normally love my car.  I bought it for a reason and it's done well for 6 years.  But I don't love it this week.  I took it in to have the AC looked at, and they found the problem.  Plus two more issues that needed to be replaced, and an alignment is needed.  Oof!  As of right now, it's still at the dealership, and I have a rental.  The rental car I have is quite compact, and it's very weird to be driving a car as compact as this.  My Mazda's a bigger car, with fewer blind spots.  I will consider myself lucky that the AC was acting up because one of the other issues is my dry belts are almost cracked through to broken.  No idea about that, and at my last oil change, the only thing that needed to be replaced was my battery.

My other rant is related to the NCIS shows.  Anyone watch them?  Watch last night?  If not, skip the next part.  Spoiler alert:

Why does it seem no character on the NCIS shows can have a happy personal life?  I thought it through and the only character I'm aware with a good persona life is Jimmy Palmer.  NCIS New Orleans put one of their characters through the ringer last week, and then killed off his girlfriend to set up the season finale.  Really???  It's getting old, and I'd like to see an agent with a successful life outside of the agency.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tuesdays on the Run

I've thought long and hard about announcing this, but since I did 2.75 miles a couple weeks ago, here goes.

I signed up for a 5k.  That's right.  I sent my info and payment in a month ago, and the 5k is in October.  Yes, I have to wait a while, but that will give me plenty of time to keep building, keep having fun, and give me time if I pick up some more knocks that need attention.

I'm also starting to mentally prepare a running outfit, but I need to buy the skirt from Sparkle Skirts.  I'll get that done in the coming months.

Tuesdays on the Run wit AprilPatty, and Erika.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Mondays Musings 5/4

Weekend update with Tara!

My weekend consisted of soccer, hockey, and working out.  Not a single football draft, horse race and (oh hell no!) certainly no boxing match.  Makes things easy when I don't care about a lot of sports so I can weed through to get to what I like on the weekend.  If someone in my family watches horse racing, a horse will fall and break its leg.  And I didn't care about boxing so much I slept through it!

Sunday I went back to Pure Barre, and I like the every other weekend that I'm doing.  My muscles get a huge shock but it feels good to know I'm working them.  I see workouts that are different, difficult, and could possibly hurt (a lot), and there's that little voice in my head saying "Let's do it!"

I do know this weekend had a few races across the country - anybody run one? 


Sunday: upper body strength

Monday: PT

Tuesday: 2.25 miles

Wednesday: yoga

Thursday HIIT core

Friday: rest

Saturday: 2.25 miles

Friday, May 1, 2015

Routines for Race Day

Today's Friday Five is Race Day.  I do a few things leading up to race day, so I'll post about all those, and not just what I do on race day itself.

1) Up the carbs a week prior.  I don't indulge in the carbo load the night prior to race day.  I don't believe what I can eat would be helpful, plus I graze.  I up my carb intake starting a week prior to the race, and at first they'll be complex carbs to try to store them up, then they'll be easier carbs a couple days out.  I stay away from greasy carbs though, so I'm picky about pizza prior to race morning.  The best carb meal I had was in 2014 before the WDW half.  We ordered take out from the Macaroni Grill and brought it back to our Disney hotel.

2) Flat Lesley.  I lay out EVERYTHING I need for race morning so I'm not banging around, getting dressed in the dark, waking up the whole hotel room.  If the whole hotel room is partaking in the race, everything is laid out and electronics are charged.

3) Never try anything new.  That includes breakfast.  I've traveled with my hot cereal mix and bagels and to-go peanut butter cups so I have exactly what I need and it's tried and true.  If we're at a place where I can get to a grocery store, I'll get a couple bananas to have as well and take one with me to the corrals.

4) Puppy bladder.  Some people need a PRP, I get puppy bladder.  You know all the excitement and puppies piddle on the floor?  Yeah, I get that.  I grew up taking road trips and my bladder can hold it for quite a while.  Put in race day, and I might as well have a revolving door to the bathroom.  Go, get out, get back in line.  Repeat.

5) Pedicure.  I pamper my feet after a big race because they've taken me through training and the race.  When the pedicure hits the massage part... heaven!

Friday Five with Eat Pray Run DCMar on the Run and You Signed Up For What?!