Sunday, February 27, 2011

Girl in the Pink Hat meets Girl and the Fig (Wine Country: Part 2)

So where did I leave off......

Oh yea, after our hike Evan and I brought our picnic lunch over to Arista, in the Russian River valley, and enjoyed this beautiful view

while we dined on pasta salads, black truffle cheese, grape leaves, a French baguette and carrots. After lunch, we did some tasting. Arista was another favorite winery and the staff was accommodating and helpful. In addition, the winery had gorgeous gardens that we toured.

Next up, Hop Kiln winery, which actually was our least favorite wine of the trip.

While the wine pourer was very nice and accommodating, the wine itself was very alcoholic tasting. So much in fact that I wanted to spit some of the pours. However, they did have some GREAT chocolate sauces (we bought a bottle).

Our final stop of the day was Kunde Winery. We had not planned to make this stop, but our hotel gave us a bunch of free wine tickets.

**Note** If you are staying in wine country make sure to ask your hotel for wine passes. Ours' had both free passes and two for one passes.

Kunde was probably the most extensive winery we had attended.

The wines were OK, probably second least favorite. However, there were a few bottles that were nice table wines that would be good to go with most foods (and they were probably the least expensive).

After we arrived back at our hotel for cocktail hour, we decided to take our drinks up to the rooftop hot tub. We relaxed for a little while and enjoyed a glass of wine.

Afterwards, we got ready and walked to dinner:

Finally, this girl met the infamous Girl and the Fig! I was SO excited!!!!

We started with the arugula and fig salad.

and split a French wine flight.

For my entree, I enjoyed the flounder with lemon-caper brown butter sauce with sauted spinach and potatoes.

Ok, so I know the blog world is going to get a little mad, but I have to say I was not a huge fan of this meal. It was a little too buttery and while it tasted good while eating it, the fact that it was drowned in butter and lost all other flavors made this meal not one of my favorites.

Tuesday morning I woke up bright and early and went for my first run of the trip! I planned on just running until I got tired. The terrain, while beautiful, was somewhat flat. Here are my stats:

Distance: 5 miles
Duration: 42:35
Mile 1: 9:06
Mile 2: 8:12
Mile 3: 8:42
Mile 4: 7:53
Mile 5: 8:40

I felt great!!! I loved every second of this run. It felt so nice to sweat out all the wines and heavy cuisines I had been enjoying the last few days. It was amazing!! I had a lot of enjoy and the weather was perfect (cool but sunny) and just a wonderful run. I been having some tough runs in the snow and cold lately, so this run was just amazing. It was also great scenery and I even forgot my iPod, but that didn't bother me because I had lots of scenes to keep me from getting bored.

After a quick shower and breakfast, it was off to do our final few wineries of our trip. None of the wineries were memorable, except for the Deerfield Ranch winery. Great wines and an awesome space!!! The tasting was done in their tasting cave, so cool!!

After picking up a few more of our favorite bottles, we headed out on our way to San Francisco.

To be continued......

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wine Country: Part 1

I started my trip in the amazing countryside of Sonoma Valley.

Our first stop was the St. Francis Winery

St. Francis offered spicy red wines (my favorite type), beautiful mountainside views and amazing gardens.

Next stop was our FAVORITE winery on the whole trip: Ledson Winery

Ledson was incredible, probably the best wine of my life! I am a huge red wine fan and these were delicious; both Evan and I agreed that they were bold, spicy and smooth. Needless to say we bought a few bottles from this winery. Oh and the "castle" where the winery was held was pretty cool too!

After our tastings we headed over to our hotel in Sonoma called: The Inn at Sonoma

This hotel felt like a mix between a bed and breakfast and a hotel. Once we arrived we were greeted by snacks and wine! We enjoyed the cocktail hour and then settled in to our quaint room equipped with a lovely patio. Thanks Kath for the recommendation!

For dinner, we went to Zazu, a farm to table restaurant, in which the head chef was featured on Top Chef!

To start, Evan and I split the brussels sprouts salad.

Best salad of my LIFE, the fresh hazelnuts made the salad! For my entree I enjoyed (for the first time) Tikka Masala Quail with cauliflower simosas

and a glass of red French wine.

The quail was so good, kinda like a more flavorful little chicken and it was SO fresh. In addition, the Indian spices were a nice complement to the bird. YUM! And the wine was good and a nice change from the California wines of the day. Zazu was my second favorite meal of the week!


Monday, Evan and I woke up and decided to go on a hike in lieu of running (or other exercising) that day. We had heard that the Armstrong Woods state park offered nice trails and large redwoods. And that it did!

We chose a strenuous 3.3 mile hike around the forest. We are not much of hikers, so this hike was a bit steep for us. Luckily, we are in pretty good shape so it was not horrible, but it was definitely a work out!! However, the scenery was wonderful and the trails were wide and well marked. I highly, highly recommend this state park if you are in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. 

To be continued.......

Friday, February 25, 2011

Be Back Soon......

Hello, it's been a while! I hope everyone is having a great week! I have had an unbelievable time eating, drinking and running up this guy:

Be back with all the details soon!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Attempt #2

Yesterday was another amazing day here in Boston, I think the temps reached close to 60!!! I took advantage of the nice weather by going on a run with Evan. I guess everyone else had a similar idea because the streets were packed! It was actually kinda annoying at points, but I still managed to get in a good run. 

Evan stayed with me for the first 2 miles and then headed home, while I continued to run for 6.2 miles. Here are the splits:

Distance: 6.2
Duration: 54:30
Mile 1: 9:49
Mile 2: 9:13
Mile 3: 8:22
Mile 4: 8:37
Mile 5: 7:52
Mile 6: 8:53
Mile .2: 1:40

Running these past two days have regained my love for running ( I was getting a little burnt out with all this cold/snowy running and treadmill running). It was nice to be sweating for once outside on a run. I cannot wait for this spring!!!

Ok, on to the questions.....

Where and when were you happiest?
I can think of two times; the day Evan asked me to marry him and the summer after my senior year in high school when my 10 best girlfriends rented a house on the beach in Cape Cod. That was one CRAZY week!!!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would change my hair because it is SO thick and frizzy. I wish it could be straight and silky.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Finishing grad school!

What is your most treasured possession?
My computer!!! haha

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Being stuck in the house for a LONG period of time.

Where would you like to live?

What is your most marked characteristic?

What is your greatest extravagance?
Going out to fancy dinners!!!

What are the qualities you most like in a man?
Funny, good looking, kind, caring and sensitive

How would you like to die?
In my sleep as an old, old women

Who are your favorite writers?
J.K. Rowling, and a variety of others...currently loving the book "Sarah's Key"by Titiana De Rosnay and "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen, but I haven't read any other books by those authors.....

Who are your heroes  in real life?
I would say a mix between Jackie Kennedy and Hillary Clinton. Someone who has the grace, beauty and style of Jackie, but the brains and drive of Hillary!

What is your motto?
"Live like you are dying." I know it is corny, but I think it is important to think about every day!

I would like to hear from:
Taking Back My Twenties
Runner's Kitchen
Early Morning Run

I leave you with some pictures of last night's second attempt at bowling at Sacco's Bowl Heaven and Flatbreads Pizza in Davis Square. A few weeks ago I went there with my family, but was really bad at bowling. I am happy to report I had a comeback last night and actually beat Evan in a game! Afterwards we went to a local bar to hear some music and dance. What a fun night with friends (and good food and beer!).

Ommegang: AMAZING!!!

Flatbread's pizza!!!

Fun night!
Off to pack for San Fran!!! Not sure what my blogging will be like this week, but I will be sure to get a few good runs in and take lots of pictures of amazing food, wine and beer!! Have a great week!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

In Response to....

WOW what a day! It was 50 degrees here in Boston, crazy. It was a beautiful spring day! And what better on a beautiful day than go for a run! I ran with the DreamFar team on the streets of Brookline and Boston. We ended up doing 7 miles in 62 minutes. It was one of my favorite runs this winter (probably because it was most like spring). The weather was great, snow was melting and I felt good! Today had me looking forward to spring. Plus tomorrow is supposed to be even nicer! Do I hear another day of running calling my name....

A few bloggers have started this Q&A session, Tenaciously Yours graciously asked to hear from me. I decided to do half the questions tonight and the other half on my next post. Here they are:

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
My idea of perfect happiness is feeling successful in what you do, being with the ones you love and drinking great wine and eating good food!

What is your greatest fear?
Failure and being lonely

Which figures do you most identify with?
Claire on Modern Family because I like to be in control, try to be perfect, but it doesn't always work out as planned. I also have a lot of people in my life who can help me laugh about it!

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Being Type-A.  While it is very useful sometimes, other times I wish I could be more spontaneous.  

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Acting like they are better than you and being rude.

What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty and loyalty

What words or phrases do you most overuse?
Like, Incredible

What is your favorite journey?
Going to San Francisco this weekend ; )

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

What is your favorite occupation?
Not sure, still trying to decide......

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
My nose! I have hated it since I could look in the mirror!!!

What is your greatest regret?
That I never went on a semester abroad in college

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

To be continued......

In other news, Evan and Laura sent me this article.

What do you guys think? 

I am a little nervous because I don't think I can make those new cut offs. Looks like a charity it is, maybe run in 2012?!?!

Off to relax, but before I leave here's a pic of my yummy dinner: Old Bay chicken with couscous and broccoli 

Happy almost Friday!