Napa, CA Trip Day 2: Croissants, Caves, and Winery Cats

I’m back with day 2 of our Napa, CA adventures! If you missed day 1, check out the full post here.

On day 2, I woke up early due to being on east coast time. Which was fine by me because it gave me plenty of time to go for a run along the Napa Valley Vine Trail. I absolutely love to run on vacation. It gives me a chance to explore the area or just zone out and enjoy nature.  In this case, the trail was along some vineyards so I just zoned out dreaming of the yummy wine I’d be having later that day morning 😛

After a nice run, our first stop was to Bouchon Bakery for a light breakfast since we were still a bit full from the day before.

First off, this is why I run. Because I literally wanted to eat every single thing in that bakery. But I was good and ordered a chocolate croissant and cappuccino. For good measure, I ordered a sandwich cookie for Greg and I just in case we got lost driving from winery to winery. 😉

After we said goodbye to Bouchon, we headed to our first winery of the day, Schramsberg. Known for their sparking wine and rich history in the wine business. We chose to do the tour and limited production sparkling wines tasting. The winery grounds were absolutely beautiful and we got to tour the wine cave which was pretty cool and fun to learn the history about the family and the cave. Greg and I have actually had their wine before so that’s why we chose to do the limited production sparkling wines tasting.  Schramsberg did not disappoint!

And they had a winery cat!! This started my obsession with asking every single winery if they had a winery cat or dog lol.

After saying goodbye to the kitty and awesome Shramsberg staff. We headed to St. Helena for lunch at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch. This was hands down our favorite restaurant of the trip, other than French Laundry (spoiler alert! blog post to come on that!). The grounds that the restaurant was on was really cool. It was a compound with the restaurant, a general store, a cafe, a garden, and all sorts of other areas to explore. What a cute place!

But the food….my mouth is watering as I type this!! To start we had the mini ham sandwiches.  Mark my words, I will recreate this at home! It was basically small cheddar biscuits with salty ham and pepper jelly. To save room for dinner, Greg and I split the grass-fed cheeseburger. I was craving beef after having all that chicken the day before LOL. It was amazing!  The beef was so fresh and the avocado was so flavorful. I highly suggest everyone stop by here.

So what’s there to do after you eat so much food?!  DRINK MORE WINE!!! 😛

After Farmstead, we headed to ZD Wines. Which I have a slight obsession with because it was started by two aerospace engineers who had a love for entrepreneurship and winemaking. Which then ties into my love for Neil degrasse Tyson and people who live their passions! The people at the winery were so nice and I really enjoyed their wines.

Greg and I bought their 2014 Cab and the Rosa Lee Sweet Whim (port-style wine) and we were off again to explore Yountville prior to having dinner there.  We both really wanted to walk through French Laundry’s garden, which is literally right across the street from the restaurant.  It was so cool to view the map of the garden and see what sunchokes actually look like. The highlight for me though was the chicken/duck coup.  How freaking cute is this?!

Oh man that last picture cracks me up!  I love the hen looking out the window haha. Then I made the mistake of asking out loud, “do we eat their eggs? or do we actually eat them?!” This made me think about becoming a vegetarian for a bit. But then we went to dinner at Redd Wood and ordered the Prosciutto Crudo pizza. Oh the fickle mind… 😛

Honestly we weren’t that impressed with Redd Wood. It’s so hard for a restaurant to stand out in Napa because all of the food is just on a whole ‘nother level. The pizza was good, just not great. Hey gotta keep it real with you guys!

So that ends our day 2 adventures! Stay tuned for day 3! 🙂

3 Reasons Why You Need the Runner’s World Cookbook “Meal on the Run”

NOTE: This review is 100% my opinion and I received no compensation for this post.  I just want to share my opinion with my readers.

Happy Monday! I wanted to switch it up tonight and talk about a cookbook that just gets me. I don’t know about you, but I have gotten my cooking style down pat. The food has to be delicious, less than 10 ingredients, healthy and under 30 minutes. BOOM!  Enter the Runner’s World cookbook, “Meals on the Run”.

I was eyeing up the cookbook on Amazon for a while and kept watching the price fall.

Then Runner’s World wrote an article about soup and it so happened to give a recipe from the cookbook for Chunky Tomato-Beef Soup. After making this recipe several times and getting tired of meal planning, I knew I had to purchase it.

Here are the top reasons why you need this cookbook:

#1 The amount of delicious recipes!

Spoiler alert! The subtitle is “150 energy-packed recipes in 30 minutes or less”. With 150 recipes, you are bound to run into several you’ll make over and over again! So far I have made the chunky tomato-beef soup, curried pumpkin soup, quick-cooking barley and kale soup, black and white bean sausage soup, sweet potato chicken stew, summer corn salad, warm tomato olive and arugula salad, gazpacho chicken salad, bow-ties with roasted cherry tomatoes, and Kara Goucher’s kitchen sink pizza. Ok then….so I have tried way more than what I originally thought LOL!

#2 Each recipe has a helpful color coded guide indicating the dietary category (vegan, vegetarian, etc.) and performance need (recovery, pre-run, etc.).

It makes deciding what to eat and when to eat super easy! I also like to scope out recipes that are hydrating when I know it’ll be a particularly hot and humid week. There are helpful special recipe lists in the back of the book that lists all recipes by category (vegan, post-run, 5 minute fix, and so on).

#3 The range of recipes

I feel like a lot of cookbooks focus on one type of food and not so much on other types. For example, it may have 6546465 chicken recipes but 1 breakfast recipe. I need variety people!  This cookbook does a great job of having a ton of recipes for the following; breakfast, smoothies and juices, snacks and sweets, salads, soups and stews, pasta and noodles, vegetarian mains and sides, seafood mains, and meat and poultry mains. Oh, and did I mention most recipes have pictures? 🙂

I have several runner cookbooks but this is easily my favorite.  What other running/sports cookbooks do you love? Leave a comment. 

Girls Trip to Santa Barbara, CA: Day 2

Hey gang! Happy hump day! Maryland is currently (and feels like forever will be…) in a heat wave this week.  I hope everyone is practicing safe running 😉 Typically, I hate to carry anything while I run.  But I’ve stopped fighting it and decided to carry a small water bottle on my runs.  What a lifesaver! If I can do it, you can do it.

So onto the long awaited day 2 recap of the girls trip to Santa Barbara! I already miss it 🙁

That morning I woke up early and decided to go for a run along the coastline. Generally when I am running on vacation, I am not worried about my pace.  I take it slow and enjoy my surroundings.  I couldn’t help but notice all the beautiful landscaping on the side of the roads. In Maryland, we typically have free furniture on the side of the road 😛

I mean, who wouldn’t want to run by this every morning?!

flowers

After my run, my cousin and I headed to the breakfast at the hotel restaurant and fueled up for our first paddleboarding lessons! This has been on our bucket list for years and it is nice to have it finally crossed off.  I would HIGHLY recommend Cal Coast Adventures as the tour company.  Conner, our guide, was very encouraging and fun.  We paddled all around the harbor and saw some tiny sting rays.  Then we got brave and paddled under the pier, which I definitely ran into a few times before I made it through. We ventured out to some of the boats that were anchored off the shore and we found a sea lion just chilling on the back of a boat like he owned it haha.  After we returned to shore, my cousin and I definitely agreed we would do it again.  Yay for accomplishing some life goals!

After out paddleboarding adventure, we worked up quite the appetite and headed back to the Funk Zone to a pizza place called Lucky Penny.  If you find yourself in Santa Barbara, you NEED to go here. Immediately. We ordered the house market salad, The Parker pizza, frosè, and watermelon beer. We were in heaven!!!

After indulging, we needed to walk off all that food. We decided to walk around and just explore.  We came upon an arts and crafts fair right along the shoreline that had some beautiful jewelry. After some shopping we wandered over to Stearns Wharf to watch everyone catch some fish and enjoy the sunshine. The views from the pier captured the beauty of Santa Barbara perfectly!

After some wandering around, we decided what good is going to a beach town if you don’t sit on the beach?!  We headed back to the hotel, changed into our swimsuits, and off we went to the beach!

We stayed on the beach for a few hours and before we knew it, it was time to get ready for dinner.  We headed to Cadiz on State Street for some yummy tapas, that were apparently so yummy that we forgot to take pictures.  After dinner we just walked around State Street and enjoyed the evening people watching 🙂

That wraps up day 2!  Stay tuned for the day 3 recap with more delicious food!