In the last month or so I've been to the Bradley Lodge to spend time with family (and find snow), to Santa Barbara for some time at Bacara, and have been able to enjoy some pretty spectacular wines while also keeping up with my cardio goals ... running lots.
It started at the Bradley Lodge for President's Day Weekend, a family tradition that I haven't been able to go to for the last couple of years. Although we got we didn't have any fresh snow at the lodge, it was was nice to enjoy a beer while looking at snow out the window (it was a blizzard) at Bear Valley, and we had our share of wine and food throughout the weekend, including a trip to Murphys. With no snow I was able do some of the mountain runs that I love the most and was even greeted by my youngest nephew at the end of a couple of them.
Back in Napa there were wine tastings, nights out, and some long runs. As part of our winemaker dinner series I often get to go to the wineries in advance for a tasting with our F&B/Culinary teams and I am never disappointed. We tasted amazing wines and got some exclusive access to the wineries, the wines and the winemakers that many are not able to. We started in Sonoma County at Paul Hobbs, then had to stop next door at Merry Edwards. The following week we drove north, past Calistoga to Peter Michael Winery and again made a few extra stops, including an impromptu tasting with the winemaker at Crocker & Starr, followed by lunch at Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen. We finished our tastings at Schramsberg, where I've been before, but this time got to see more of the spectacular caves that house hundreds of thousands of bottles of sparkling just waiting for the right moment to be riddled, corked and brought back out to see the light of day (and our glasses). Beyond tastings, I was also invited to attend a fun event at Raymond Vineyards.
There was also a trip south to San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach and Santa Barbara. We were able to take some time to go to one of my SLO favorites ... Splash Cafe, I ran to the Oceano Dunes (somehow I never actually made it there while in college). Before getting to Bacara we stopped at Hollister Brewing ... I had some very yummy Fish Tacos, then we were off check-in. They always treat me well and this time was no exception. We had a suite and a double queen guestroom awaiting us with a beautiful view of their magnificent pool and the Pacific Ocean. The next day we had the pool (and a cabana) to ourselves as my niece and nephews swam for almost the entire day ... and I was able to experience a Natura Bissé Facial in the "Bubble." The bubble is filled with ultra pure air to help the skin even more ... and even your lungs. It was 50 minutes of Bacara Bliss for sure. It was also fun to get a quick tour of their new fine dining restaurant, Angel Oak. My entire family had a great time and I hope that we're able to make it back again in the future for a quick getaway.
Back to my "normal" life in Napa ... there were also some very long runs including a 10 mile run and a half marathon (I beat my previous solo half marathon time by 16 minutes ... I credit pretty views for that), tried out Tannery Bend Beerworks on opening day, and we moved offices. I love my new office and I think I've already been even more productive since moving in just 5 days ago.
See all the pictures here.