Wednesday, April 4, 2012

California and Me - It's Love

Keith and I got back last night from the most amazing trip to northern California. We spent three full days in San Francisco, half a day driving up the coast of northern California, and a day in Napa Valley.

At Point Reyes Beach!

I’m just going to get this off my chest – I love JetBlue. On-time flights with lots of legroom? Sherlock Holmes Game of Shadows on demand? Free blue-colored potato chips? 

Pick the more photogenic one out of the two. 

It was a whirlwind trip, and we did so much that the full story will be saved for my journal and scrapbook. But here is the recap on my favorite stuff:

#1 – Wine Tasting in Napa
This was my favorite moment of the trip. My mom and I went to this awesome winery called Hopper Creek two years ago, and I was so happy that I was able to book the same tour this trip. 


We pulled up in our Mustang (yes, Keith got the upgrade and we drove through Cali like in Bullitt. It was awesome.), and happened to walk in with a bike tour that also came for a tasting. The hysterical winery owner had a heavy hand and let us all sit on his patio while we tried his amazing wine. Keith and I completely skipped the other wine tour we had lined up - we were having so much fun guzzling wine that we ended up staying two hours.

I <3 your heavy hand.
Note the stained teeth. 

#2 – House of Nanking
My dear friend Meggie recommended this place to me, which is a delicious Chinese restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown. It is without question the best Chinese food I’ve ever had.

Mmm sesame chicken. I begrudgingly shared.

#3 – Bike Tour
Keith and I did a historic bike tour of New Orleans last year, and wanted to keep up the tradition since we had such a blast last time. Our charismatic tour guide, Christopher, took us past the bay, over the Golden Gate Bridge, and into Sausalito. 

I couldn’t help noticing all of the runners we passed along the bay… 50-60 degree weather all year round?! This may have been the moment I decided I will move here one day. Although the history and views were spectacular, Keith was required to keep his helmet on per the tour guide’s instructions (much to his dismay).

Had to post this gem.
#4 – Alcatraz

When we were planning our trip, Keith said that he felt bad I would have to go to Alcatraz again since I went two years ago. I told him I was pumped to go again, as it is a really cool place. He was quickly convinced.

What is that in my purse you might ask?
Keith bought it for me at the gift shop.
I am 23 years old with a stuffed animal seagull.
As chance would have it, we stumbled into a talk by Robert Luke, former Alcatraz Prisoner #1118. He told some stories about being sent to the "hole" in Alcatraz and what it was like when he got out. And he was a bank robber in the 50s – which is pretty B.A.

#5 – The Tonga Room

Introduced to us by Mr. Bourdain, the Tonga Room is a tiki bar in the basement of a hotel that has a pirate ship in the middle of the bar with a fake rainstorm that happens every hour (intentional run-on as there are so many great things about this place). If that doesn’t convince you, the strong neon-colored cocktails will. Oh, and I spotted Colin Hanks while we were there!

Straddling the line between tipsy and drunk right here.
#1 and Only – The Run

I like to focus on the positive, but there was a lowlight that is very related to what I like writing about most – running. After a day of having jelly donuts, breakfast sandwiches, burritos, coronas, and a hot tub soak, Keith and I thought it would be a good idea to go to the gym. I ran a miserable three miles on the treadmill while the gym's thermostat was set to a cool 80 degrees. A guy with no shame did yoga poses in front of me for the entirety of my run. Now I know why yoga rooms are dimly lit.

I had the post-vacation blues today, but I am pretty sure I will be back soon, and have every intention of moving there someday.

To sweat out the goldfish bag, cookies, potato chips, and ginger ale I had on the plane last night, I went for a run after work.

One of my favorite paths.
I decided not to worry about how far or fast I would run as it was my first day back, but let my body take me as far as it would go. I ended up doing 5.85 miles at an 8:53 pace – my goal of running 8:45 miles for the Brooklyn Half-Marathon seems more and more likely!

And last but NOT least – I am officially signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon!!!

They make it so exciting!!!
I’ll be running this beastly out and back with Jillian and Lauren and I could not be more excited. See you in November.


  1. I am wearing the bike helmet as I read your post. Safety first.

  2. Hahahaha I can't believe Keith wore the helmet...he gives off this "I-Don't-Play-By-The-Rules" vibe...hmm