Sunday, February 28, 2016

Bodega Bay, California

The last time I remember being in Bodega Bay was for my aunt's wedding at the Bodega Bay Lodge, that is owned by a former client. This trip came about after just wanting to get out of town with my ex-Roomie, Ji-Young. At first, it was a trip to Paso Robles but I realized how far it was and for an overnighter, that was a lot of driving. We picked a weekend and I booked the hotel knowing I wanted to take Bevo with me. When we lived together, she was so awesome with him. She'd take him out for a walk as soon as she got home, would play with him and let him hang out with her even when I wasn't home. He was pretty spoiled and I trusted her completely. She has a Frenchie that I used to walk.

Bevo coming was the reason why I booked our stay at the Harbor Bodega Inn. I found it on a pet-friendly site and booked it immediately. All in it was $138 a night and the rooms and grounds were super cute, close to restaurants and a general store and quick drive to the beach. Not to mention this adorably grassy area with lawn chairs and a view of the bay. It was so stinkin' adorable. 

Before we even checked in, we first stopped at the Sonoma Coast Vineyards tasting room. We not only needed to use the restroom, which is the nicest bathroom I've ever seen with a tasting room, but I was open to taste some wine while we sat in the sun. Thank goodness it was also pet-friendly.

The tasting room has been open for less than two years. It is beautiful. I was impressed with the private tasting room. I loved the large table and with a view.

Kacey, the tasting room lady, was nice enough to advise us about Bodega Head. We headed there and drove thru town which was so adorable. We passed The Tides, a small wine shop, a deli, candy shop, art gallery, the marina, a spot that says they were voted the best clam chowder and a statue of Gorton in someone's front yard. At Bodega Head, we were lucky to find parking, it was a popular spot.

There were signs that indicated I couldn't take Bevo but Kacey said it was dog friendly. Sorry, but we came all the way out here and Bevo is a good pup, I pick up after him and he needs the exercise. We disobeyed the signs. 

We took our sweet time on the trail. We passed a monument that was a tribute to those that lost their lives at sea. A cute little boy was jumping from stone to stone with his father watching over him. 

Watch out for the edges! There are railings or warnings. Just stay on the path. 

Around a bend, we could see surfers catching some waves, a horn that sounded every so often more inland and eventually we made it back to our starting point.  But we went down the beach so Bevo can play in the water. The water was cold!!!

This is my favorite photo from the weekend. I absolutely love the beach. Being there with my Bevokins, just made it better.

After all that, we have worked up an appetite.  Since we saw that sign saying they were voted the best clam chowder, it was our goal. We checked into the room and it was so adorable. Lisa greeted us and Barney the Basset Hound did the same thing.  Our room was cute and by peeking into the others that were being cleaned, it seemed we had one of the biggest ones with one bed. We were in #5.  We got Beeves situated, checked out Yelp on where to go and we ended up walking along Highway 1 about half a mile to The Tides Restaurant at the wharf. It wasn't the safest thing to do but we got it done and made it safely.

We were sat on an elevated level and the sunlight was reflecting off the bay. This is the place where Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds was filmed. Apparently the original building burned down. I haven't seen the movie so even if it was still standing, I wouldn't know which scenes were shot where.

We were greeted by Cesar, a very friendly server. He brought us our beverages, an iced tea and water. Ji-Young loved the crushed ice. As a nurse, she called it hospital ice. We then ordered clam chowder and I had the Dungeness crab sandwich on a soft roll but was delicious.

If you've read my other blog posts, one, I thank you, secondly, you'll know that I am on a fitness challenge. And how terrible my diet is. Not to make excuses but life is too short not to have dessert. And we at FIIYM, we believe in that. Stay tuned for more info on that. I cannot wait to announce that adventure. Just like I cannot wait to eat their chocolate mousse. 

Chocolate mousse always triggers a childhood memory of my father. When we lived in Vallejo, he would pick up my sister and I for the weekend. On our way back, we would sometimes go to Gemco, before it was Target, and pick up some things we would ask for. There was a cafe and a rotating dessert display, and I would always choose the chocolate dessert. I remember how smooth, light but tasty it was. Although I knew it was almost time that my father would leave me behind and I would cry every single time, I do remember this bittersweet treat. The Tides' chocolate mouse was delicious and well worth the calories.

They also had cannolis but I skipped it. Cugino would always get cannolis when we were in Italia. They looked good tho.

We walked back and stopped in the little wine shop. I could have wine tasted but I didn't want to make Ji-Young sit thru another tasting. She's pregnant so no drinking for her. It was a cute shop. We went back to the room and decided to grab my book and she watched shows on her phone while we sat outside. 

I actually ended up falling asleep in the sun instead of finishing my book. I needed it. As it got colder we went back to the room and I continued my nap. It was much needed.

Though we weren't that hungry, there wasn't much to do in the town during that evening except go out. I suggested we go hit up a local bar so we went to the The Tides Inn and hung out at the bar there. A lady played the piano, the restaurant was busy and we just sat at the bar. I had a Pinot Grigio from Venezia, Ji-Young had a Pelegrino and we split the cioppino. It was tasty! And you can't go wrong with bread and butter.

The bartender, Joseph, eventually got a little slammed. The poor thing was doing the best that he can. His bar was small, the glasses were piling up and two more couples and four walk-ups came to the bar. The couple next to me were headed to the Caberet that happened to be 100 yards from where we were staying. The gent had a house there but lived in Hayes Valley. I looked at Ji-Young and said, "Here I go," as I pulled out a DW card. I handed them each one and introduced myself, inviting them to come check us out. Hope to see you, Patricia and Charles!

Our next stop was Terrapin Creek Cafe. This was our original spot for dinner but we eventually made it. It was a little after 8 pm and we were greeted by the owner in chef's gear. He was friendly and wondered if he could accommodate. Lucky for us, he was able to.

The menu looked delicious. I ordered the Chenin Blanc and considered a salad but I asked for the dessert menu because why not?!? It arrived and I thought of getting the Lemon Tart or Chocolate Pot de Creme. Ji-Young was looking at the Panna Cotta. There was also a creme fraiche cheesecake. "Want to just get them all?"

We agreed that the panna cotta was THE best thing we are all weekend. Well done!

We had no idea the restaurant earned a Michelin star! Right on! We will have to come back and have dinner there sometime.

We went back to the room, did some squats and relaxed. I played on my phone while American Hustle was playing and the mommy-to-be and Bevo slept.

I got up around 7:30 am, walked Bevo and got dressed to go for a jog back at Bodega Head. There was no one there and had the whole, gorgeous place. As I mentioned in #250KChallenge Week 7 post, I mentioned how I paused my music just listened the waves crash as I ran. Only 1.67 miles but at least I got out there. You just can't go wrong with this view. It was definitely a reward. Also, saw a beautiful Great Egret.

Breakfast was just next door at Sandpiper. How nice and convenient it was to just walk around the fence and a delicious breakfast was served. The first thing I saw when I walked in was this crazy temptation at the counter. I didn't even both asking what it was. I knew I couldn't have it. Bottomless mimosas were also an option but I passed. Instead it was the Sandpiper omelette with crab and bacon, hash browns and I asked for a side of fruit which was just cantaloupe. I ate the entire omelette and majority of the fruit. Great view, friendly service, good food, great company.  And then we headed out of town.

We could have backtracked and gone home the way came but instead we headed north where Highway 1 hugged the coastline and you could see the rough waves crash towards the beach. Stunning. 

We arrived in Jenner and it was a town of 107 as indicated on the sign heading North. However if you head into town  heading South, the sign says 170. Which is correct? 

Come out here to kayak, check out their fine dining restaurant and rent one of their adorable river lined cottages. Ji-Young said the town is mentioned quite a bit in Sunset Magazine. DW has, FYI. 

It was a day of fun, fitness, relaxation, exploration and friendship. I love that you can feel so far away with after just an hour drive away.

Have you been to Bodega Bay?
Any hidden gems you can recommend?

Please join me for more adventures in California and more via Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter - 'bappletree.' 

Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

#250KChallenge Week 7

Sunday night, I was so tempted by appealing texts to drive back out to DW to take care of some new friends. I ended up staying home and it was a good decision. I need to stop going to the city seven days a week. Until I own property in San Francisco, it's not needed. But it's great that they were able to come to DW on their last night in the city.

Monday - it was back day, but before that, I was on the phone for a bit with Go Travel going over the itinerary for our trip to Italy. I upgraded us to be near attractions or some kind of a nightlife in Rome and to actually be on the island in Venice. Florence is a small city so walking shouldn't be a problem and we have a nice spot in Milan. By the time we get to Milan, we'll be exhausted and need some downtime. I cannot wait! I need to create a ticker to count the remaining days.

Back day was mostly upper back. A lot of pull downs, rows and abs. I have been doing 45 minutes of cardio per day. I need to get that heart pumping.

At home, I had my MuscleTech shake with organic frozen raspberries. 

I had a meeting with a woman that is also friends with me on Facebook and Instagram. She said I was lookin' good. Thank you for noticing! She said she hasn't been to the gym in months and I posted a few mentions trying to get motivated. 

The goal was not to drink alcohol this week, and what does my Bar Manager present me with?

It's a take on a cranberry vodka with pepper infused liquor. I had one sip. See, I have to taste everything! My job is so difficult. A water was paired my Little Gem salad with grilled chicken.

Tuesday was lower back day and did more deadlifts. I thought I beat a personal record at 80 lbs but I actually was doing that before so nothing new. And fulfilled my 45 mins of cardio.

Tuesday was not a dry Tuesday. Sunshine and I were invited back to the Metreon for a Washington State wine tasting event. We had a similar event on a smaller scale at DW but it was nice to be able to enjoy the event.

However, before partaking in wine consumption, it was a gorgeous day and we had lunch at B overlooking Yerba Buena Gardens. I have seen B many times but have never been there and there a new business idea was created. Think fitness, food and travel and remember #fiiym. Everything was great. Life was amazing. Feeling the sunshine on my skin and dining with my Sunshine was wonderful. And I didn't have to be at work quite yet!

We then headed into the Metreon and started our tour of Washington Wine.

The last time I was in Washington state was for my cousin's wedding in Leavenworth. I was there for a total of 12 hours but I had to be there for my family not was so worth it. I didn't try any local wine but I did stop in a city that holds the Tulip Festival and had some unique wines there two years ago. A girlfriend and I were headed on our way back to Seattle from Vancouver, Canada. That was my international trip for the year.

We tried wines from Cougar Crest, Naked Winery, Southard, 14 Hands, Nine Hats and more. There was only one spot that had a sparkling rose and I didn't write down the name but it was tasty. Sunshine liked the winemaker of Southard, we had too much fun at the Naked table, the Cougar is not what you think it means but that Marco Polo Cheddar and crostini! None of this was part of this diet but it was work related! After some tuna cubes, oysters, lox and more cheddar, I thought we should actually head into the office. I had a meeting with Veuve Clicquot and events that evening. Good times.

That night, I got to spend some time at DW with my favorite soldier plus 20 others and had more Japanese whisky, Iwai, once things started to calm down and I could mingle. How nice it is to be able to share and things you like with good people.

I suggested we head over to Mr. Tipple's, my new favorite spot, for live jazz, the delicious Rye All Day and the beautiful redhead, Madison. "Bern, what am I drinking?" Rye All Day! He also enjoyed the Fieldwork Coconut IPA I had him taste a few months ago. It was back at DW. It's so good. 

It was a really fun night. Everyone has a story. Each soldier has a reason why they joined the military, what they love about it, what they put up with and some figure out when their time is up. Regardless as to what that is, I am thankful for their  services. The people that I have recently met, they are all wonderful, good people. I guess I have to thank DW for that. I love the industry I am in. I meet so many amazing people. This group came from all over the country and it was nice to see Kaptain in his element with people in his age group. He's moving onto bigger and better things in his Army career and I wish him nothing but success and happiness. And for the love of God, keep him safe.

Wednesday - the gym was definitely necessary after an evening of drinking. I received fellow blogger's tank and rocked it that morning. Section-36 is a blog out of Boston about the Sox and Fenway Park. He first found me with a photo taken in Section 36 at Fenway when Christina and I had our first spontaneous trip in 2013 and he's been wonderful supported of mine and DW's since. I am proud to wear this.

Bevo then wanted some of my post-work out shake.

Thursday - it has been three years since I have lost my grandfather. See My New Angel post. It was a difficult morning but I was able to make it to the gym. He would want me to keep working towards my goal, better myself and stay healthy to live a longer life. So I did. Lately it has been making sure I do at least 45 minutes of cardio and abs.

Work was slow so Courtney and I thought we'd invite our friends via social media to come down and see us. Aren't we cute?!? Haha!

Working out must be working out. A man that attended one of my events asked me, "Do you go to school around here?" It made me giggle. One of his instructors at a chiropractic school at Life in Hayward, CA is a friend of mine. How funny that that alumni group is about networking and I get to do it every day very easily.  Here's my 'winning' networking outfit. Banana Republic top, True Religion jeans with Swarovski crystals, Vince Camuto shoes, Stella &Dot hoops and bracelet and dog tags from my good friend, Teresa. I can see my bis but still want them more defined.

Friday was my rest day. And fatty Friday. Sunshine is easy to convince to do bad things. I had to spread the love tho. I love my staff. I had my favorite: two sugar donuts. Yes, two.

It was also filled with getting ShopKick points and entering to win via Instagram. I got points from Marshalls and for purchasing Courtney and I these cute luggage tags.

I was also good with ordering off the light menu and resisted getting a beer at BJ's when I got some time with good friends and my Little Loves. 

And I met up with my cousin that works at Menlo Grill at the Stanford Park Hotel and didn't finish my cocktail but killed my specially ordered fruit bowl. Thanks, Cugino!

Saturday was a no gym morning but I was headed to Bodega Bay (blog post) It was filled with an easy hike with my ex-Roomie and Bevo along the coast and playing in the surf at Bodega Head and squats at night. This is my favorite pic of the weekend.

The day was filled with chocolate mousse, bread, butter, wine and dessert. I had to go for a jog Sunday morning. I am so glad I did. I went back to the parking lot at Bodega Head and jogged the same trail we did yesterday. It was only 1.67 miles but at least I did it.

I had my earphone in, started my JLo Pandora station and hit start on my Runkeeper app. After the first hump, I was a little distracted by the beautiful ocean below and could hear the strong waves crashing over the music. I hit pause. I wanted to take in everything around me. When do I ever get to go this? 

I finished my jog. I could have done another lap to make it a 5K as I intended but all I really wanted to do was sit on the edge, listen to the waves crash and remember how lucky I am to live where I do. California is so beautiful.

We had a delicious breakfast at the Sandpiper Restaurant, drove up to Jenner, Ca and then took 116 east to 101. We stopped at Sift Cupcakes. The Stuf Muffin and Pink Champagne cupcakes are the best. They were on Cupcake Wars.

Then before a nap, I met up with Best Friend and his friend at Fieldwork in Berkeley. I had half of a Petit Verdot gosa.

Now onto Week 8. Less than two weeks until Vegas!