Summer Bucket List 2017: In Review

Summer has come and gone and we're finally out of the triple digit temperatures here in Las Vegas! Kids have been in school for a month and our days are packed and busy again.  Anyone else out there ready for a break already?!? 

I thought I'd go back and relive a little bit of our summer fun! As you all know, we've been putting together a summer bucket list for years now, but I think this year's was a little too ambitious and it's no surprise we didn't get to do everything on the list.  Some things we didn't do together as a family, such as the grandparents taking the kiddos to Dave & Buster's while we were away in Napa and Jason taking the kiddos to the drive in movies while I had book club.  Diego got to go to Wet N Wild water park with some friends and I took Elysse to Gravady Trampoline Park last weekend with her friend. Sure we didn't get a chance to try rolled ice cream, but we did enjoy plenty of ice cream this summer, including the famous Salt n Straw in Portland! YUMmmm! Although we didn't get to visit Zion National Park, we did visit  Sand Hollow Sate Park in Utah.

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We'll have to try to get to doing some ice skating this winter, try to get a camping trip in this spring, even if it's close to home in Mount Charleston, and Spring Mountain Ranch Super Summer Theater will be back on the list for summer 2018! 

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Hope your summer was fun and that you got to spend time together as a family and make some messy memories together!! XO 

Surprise Trip to Southern California | Summer Bucket List

The kiddos are on their 3rd week back to school and although it's been nice getting into a regular routine and being able to work without interruptions, sometimes the school grind has me missing the lazy days of summer.  The heat in Las Vegas has not let up, so carpooling and driving back and forth in 105+ degrees is the worse!! So, it make me so happy that we were able to squeeze in one more super quick trip before school started earlier this month.  

Ever since Diego started school we've taken a beach trip to Southern California in August as our end of summer/back to school trip. We had such a  busy summer this year that we just didn't think the trip would happen.  We told the kids and they were totally fine with it  But, It's been our tradition for years and I still wanted to make the trip happen! I decided to redeem some of our Hilton Honors Rewards points for the hotel and drive out to SoCal on Friday morning and head back Sunday!

Since the kids didn't think it was happening, we thought it would be fun to surprise them! For the past few years we've added a "mystery activity" to our yearly Summer Bucket List and they've been simple things like mini golf with friends and driving out to get ice cream.  Well, we totally surprised them Friday morning when we woke them up to our favorite California song! You can listen to it HERE ;)  Elysse got it pretty quickly and started jumping up and down and ran into Diego's room yelling, "We're going to California! It's our mystery surprise!" It was a pretty funny moment!  We had packed the car beforehand, so we had them get in the car in PJs and change when we got there. It was epic. 

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And just like that, 4 hours later, we were sitting on the beach under our umbrella in Crystal Cove State Park in Newport Beach, CA! The kids had a great time boogie boarding, building sandcastles, and just playing in the water.  Once everyone started getting tired, we packed up and headed to our hotel to shower and grab some dinner.  We were all beat after our long day on Saturday, so we slept in Sunday morning and took our time checking out.  We decided to hit the beach again, this time making our way towards L.A. and hanging out in Venice Beach for a bit. Jason and Diego skateboarded along the boardwalk and Elysse and I hung out at the beach.  The boys joined us after a bit and we stayed a little longer but we didn't stay too long since we were driving back to Vegas.  

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It was definitely a whirlwind trip but it was still a good time and we made some fun memories together, which is always the best.  The kids were so appreciative of their surprise trip and kept thanking us.  I'm so glad we made it work and didn't break one of our family traditions.  Now, I hope the kids don't expect us to top this "mystery activity" next year! LOL

What traditions do you have with your family? Have you ever had to break a tradition? How do you keep them going year after year?  

Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon Race Weekend

Last month I ran the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon and although it was one of my slowest half marathons to date, our weekend in wine country was amazingly fun and a much needed summer getaway! This post is much more about the weekend than the race itself! OOPSY!

We have some really good friends who flew out with us to show their support of my running and cheer me on during the race! HAHAH Who am I kidding, they came along for the wine tasting!! Either way, it was so much fun having another couple to enjoy the weekend with.  We arrived to San Francisco Friday just in time for lunch! We picked up the rental car and made our way to Francis Coppola's  Cafe Zoetrope  for lunch. Such a nice treat! Afterwards we walked around Chinatown and couldn't resist picking up some steamed dumplings and sticky buns at our friend's favorite spot! We took the food to go and seriously enjoyed them during our long drive in traffic up to Napa.  

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Saturday morning we went straight to packet pickup right when it opened at 10am.  The location was so pretty and it was a nice expo with some good vendors who handed out some nice samples ;) That's always a plus! Once I had my bib + shirt and my fair share of samples, we were off to do some wine tasting! 

Our first stop was our favorite winery, which we are also wine club members, Benzinger Winery. They use bio dynamic and organic farming, which is such an interesting process and we learned so much more about their history and sustainable farming practices during the tour.  Afterwards we enjoyed wine tasting in their private members only tasting room.  We lost track of time chatting and tasting, but our tummies soon let us know it was time to eat, so we bought a bottle of wine and found a nice picnic table with some shade to enjoy the snacks we had purchased earlier.  Had the weather been just about 10 degrees cooler, it would have been perfection!

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Our next stop was their sister winery, Imagery Estate Winery, which was such a cool artsy place and the grounds are beautiful!  It was packed inside because it was just way too hot to be sitting outside by then, but we found a nice spot in the members only area and enjoyed a bit more wine tasting and fun conversation.  

The last stop before dinner was Domaine Carneros! I absolutely love bubbly wines and pinot noir so I'd been looking forward to this visit for a while. Plus, the grounds were so pretty! We ended up sitting outside and again if only it had been 10 degrees cooler, it would have been so dreamy! The view of the vineyards from the terrace were beautiful and the flights of champagne were super yummy! By this point in the day, we were really getting hungry so we ordered a small charcuterie plate to enjoy while we finished our flights.  Thank you so our server who recommended the best place for us to grab a casual, yet delicious dinner, which of course included lots of water and my go-to pre-race meal of...PIZZA!!

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Unfortunately, for as much as I tried to stay hydrated during wine tasting on Saturday, it was still not enough! I started off ok.  I wasn't going for any PR or anything, but I was hoping the idea of another fun-filled wine tasting day would be enough to make my legs go fast! The race course was beautiful and running alongside rows and rows of vineyards was amazing.  The weather was unseasonably warm and I soon started struggling with the heat and the sun beating down on me.  After I saw the hubs and friends at mile 7ish I got some renewed energy and I was doing good and keeping a nice pace till about mile 9 or so.  At that point my calves started to feel super tight and by mile 10 they were cramping terrible.  I was dehydrated and in pain! I managed to pull through, but I had to slow down and even walk those last 3 miles.  I felt bad and was so disappointed in myself.  After I limped my way across the finish line, I chugged some coconut water and stretched my legs as best I could.  I met up with the hubs and our friends, plus some running friends from Vegas who ran the race too and together we grabbed our wine glasses for post-race wine tasting festival! Soon enough, my pain was gone and I was back to feeling great! lol 

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After the race, it was back to the room to shower and get ready for round 2! We visited my hubby's favorite winery, Sequoia Grove.  Talk about another good time tasting, laughing, and making new friends! Afterwards we had some time to kill before our dinner reservations at Ad Hoc, so what else is someone to do while in Napa waiting? We found a wine bar, enjoyed another charcuterie platter and waited patiently ;) Dinner at Ad Hoc was amazing! Thomas Keller's take on family style casual dinning was spot on. We just wish we would have had more room to fit more food in our bellies!! 

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The next day we started our trip back to San Francisco! We spent some time walking around Fisherman's Wharf and enjoyed some clam chowder and some delicious Irish coffee from the iconic Buena Vista.  Then, as all good things, our trip came to an end and it was time to catch our flight back home to our little ones!  

I learned a valuable lesson on this trip: Although I love running and I love wine tasting, the two shouldn't really be paired up! At least not for me!!! The next time I go to Napa, it will only be for wine tasting.  And the only drinking I'll do on race weekend, will be my post-race celebratory beer! Live and learn, right?