Friday, May 27, 2011

Vacation Road Trip

When it was time to leave our
lovely Sonoma Valley hideaway, 
we made our way over to Napa.

We stopped by 
where we picked up some
cherries from the farmer's market, 
a fresh loaf from 
& Z's favorite, 
some charcuterie delicacies from

We took our yummy treats
& headed for San Francisco.
It was raining as we drove over 
the Bay Bridge...

But by the time we arrived at
the precipitation had paused.

We had a cozy picnic in our car
before taking a stroll around the park.

We hit the road again, 
driving along the coast on the 
gorgeous 101
until we reached Santa Cruz.

Finally, we stopped for 
a bite to eat before heading home
& came across this fellow.

We could have used a few more days of vacation,
but what a fabulous way to end the trip!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Life Breathing feature!

My friend Emily over at 
asked me to write a
guest post for her
Fashionista feature this week.

Be sure to check it out here!

Sonoma Valley: What to do...

...or at least what we did!

There are so many vineyards & activities
in wine country, that it can be overwhelming
to decide what to do.

Since we didn't have a lot of time, 
and we really just wanted to relax, 
I made sure we didn't schedule too many things.

First off, we were really glad that we 
stayed in Glen Ellen instead of Sonoma.
Glen Ellen is a gem,
just 10 minutes from Sonoma,
but it's quiet, picturesque.
It truly feels like you are in a story book.

One vineyard that I knew we had to visit
I had some of their wine on our honeymoon
and loved it.

They were so incredibly nice to us,
explaining the finer points of wine tasting, 
talking to us about what wines we normally
liked & making suggestions.

Our favorites here were the Cuvee
and the Port...oh my goodness, the Port.

It was overcast & rainy for nearly our whole trip, 
but the sun would peak out every now & then, 
allowing us to snap a few photos of the gorgeous area.

Grapes everywhere.
If it had been sunnier, I would definitely have been
tempted to rent bicycles.

We also visited B.R. Cohn
where we tasted some fabulous
Cabs & olive oils made on the property,
& took a short tour where we learned
the winery's connection with 
the Doobie Brothers,
as well as how the wine is actually made. 
But the rain started to pick back up, 
so no photos from there.

Both of these winerys were just a few miles 
from our Secret Cottage.

Glen Ellen also has some
gorgeous parks that are wonderful
to run or stroll through, 
as well as tree-lined streets
& quaint bridges.

We drove through the Sonoma Developmental Center
which is a campus for folks with
developmental disabilities 
that boasts some gorgeous historic buildings.
It was there that we came upon Tuggy, 
& I just had to get a picture.

Other Glen Ellen musts
 & dinner at The Fig Cafe
both just steps from where we stayed.

Of course we wanted to visit Sonoma, too, 
so one evening we headed down to the
town plaza for some scrumptious
thin crust pizza at The Red Grape
& browsed through the many
shops selling vintage wares, kitchen goods, 
and our favorite: books.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Glen Ellen Inn Secret Cottages

Z & I just returned from 
our 5 year anniversary trip
up to Northern California.

The goal of the trip was
and the Secret Cottage
that we stayed in definitely
helped us with that!

Secret Cottage #3
was tucked away,
hidden away from the entrance
to the other cottages.

We had an awesome view
of a one-lane bridge over
a bubbling creek.
And a big basket of fresh fruit,
cookies & scones that
was replenished daily.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One more racing post

Ok guys, 
I really hope you aren't too tired
of posts about Z's running.

It's just that I blog about
what we are doing, 
and that's been a big part of life lately.

The next post, though, 
will be pictures of our road trip
to Northern California,
 so stay tuned for that.

Anyway, last Saturday
we drove up to Kernville
for Z to race a 10K on a very
crazy & difficult trail.

I wanted to get some shots along the trail, 
so I went ahead of the runners
to this awesome spot...
it definitely made the runners slow down
as many of the planks were loose
and the whole thing was uneven!

The setting was really gorgeous, 
which made waiting for the
finish easier for me.

Z headed to the finish line.

(Z wins again!)

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Winning the race

Z ran another race this morning...

It was a 5k on a fairly difficult course.
The first half or so is up some pretty
steep hills, and the finish
is in a narrow canyon gully.

And he won!
His prize? A race medal
& a free pair of running shoes.

The race was a fundraiser for scholarships
for local high school students.
The school's mascot are 
The Blades.
I'm still not sure what
a Blade is, but Blade Man
was there, so we had to get the
race winner in a photo with him!

Z is part of a running group in town,
many of whom raced this morning, too.
They are obviously the group to beat, 
as most of the overall, gender, 
& age group winners 
were Donut Shop racers!

Finally, there's a local photographer
who covers lots of races.
If you want to see more fun pics from the race, 
check them out here!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

On finding clues.

Last Saturday Z & I arose before the sun
to drive up to Visalia for Z to run
with his running group.

While he was getting in about 12 miles, 
I meandered around the park.

The park was lovely, but I wouldn't 
say it was peaceful.
You see, it is evidently home
to large, large numbers of geese &
other water fowl, 
so the noise level was rather high.

Even so, the park was interesting, 
with several waterways, ponds, 
picnic pavilions, playgrounds, 
open green spaces,
and historic buildings.

I think my favorite thing was near the picnic pavilions.
I was really just cutting across one of them to 
get to a bridge, when something in the grass caught my eye.

It was part of a coloured eggshell.
At first I just chalked it up to the recent Easter holiday, 
assuming that this park would be a likely spot
for a large egg hunt.

But then I saw some other eggshell remnants, 
and beyond them a vast rainbow
of forgotten confetti
scattered all around the pavilion's 
concrete edges.

I love images & stories,
 and I especially love little clues that allow
me to piece together a small history.
It became obvious to me that this was way
more than just your ordinary Easter egg hunt.
This was an epic Easter egg celebration.
Someone had taken the time to hollow
the eggs, dye the fragile shells,
fill them with paper confetti,
and seal them off with tissue paper.

Can't you just imagine all the participants
running through the grass, armed with
eggs of all hues, 
and then chucking them at each other!

The rain of color that floated down
in a cloud after each egg burst!

It made me laugh aloud, 
standing all by myself, to think of 
what a joyous scene that must have been.