Posts tagged ‘shopping’

September 14, 2011

napa part 1

So how about if I talk a little bit about my actual trip to Napa and not just the plane/airport? I’ve been home for a week and have been dying to share my trip. I’m hoping some of you use my recommendations in the future. I absolutely loved Napa. I knew I would since we were going for food and wine, but it was so much more than that. Thursday was day 1 and it was all about relaxation. We went to Spa Solage at 10am to use their gym, but unfortunately they don’t allow people who don’t stay at the resort to use it. We were totally disappointed since the gym was half outdoors and the weather was gorgeous. Ok, so I wasn’t completely heart broken because it also meant we got to start using the spa facilities sooner. We spent the first hour floating around the co-ed soaking pool, which was like bath water. It was only the two of us for a while so very quiet and relaxing. Then we decided to relax in the cabanas until our Mudslide Experience. That was amazing. We started off with covering ourselves with mud in a private, heated lounge, second step was soaking in an over-sized tub, followed by nap time in a fancy chair. Normally I do facials or massages at spas, but this blew all of that out of the water. I think next time I would do the mudslide followed by a massage, doesn’t that sound perfect?!? After our treatment we went back in the co-ed pool, ordered a little lunch, and were on our way.

We stopped at Markham Vineyards for our first wine tasting of the weekend. On our way to the spa we past a ton of vineyards and recognized Markham, obviously because they sell Markham at Trader Joe’s. Those prices weren’t from Trader Joe’s though! We knew the tastings were expensive, but those pours were so tiny!! Oh well, it’s vacation!

Next stop was the J. Crew outlet. It was super close to our hotel so we decided to run in. I didn’t want to be at the outlets while in Napa so we had a strict rule of getting in and out quickly. You should have seen me. I didn’t mess around. There was tons and I had everything I wanted to try on within 20 minutes. I could have been out of there in 30, but Jared took about 10-15 minutes longer. I ended up with a couple skirts, sweaters, tops, and headband. It felt good since the J. Crew outlet really disappointed me in Maine.

We had plenty of time to make one more pit stop before heading back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and that was for ice cream of course! We stopped by the Oxbow Public Market for Three Twins Ice Cream.

I had strawberry je ne sais quoi (strawberry with a splash of balsamic) with burnt caramel sauce on top. Oops and I almost forgot this is also when I had my first of many mini cupcake from Kara’s Cupcakes. We split a blackberry chocolate mini. This market was so amazing and nice, totally our scene. Of course there was the fresh produce section inside, but they also had a large farmer’s market every Tuesday and Saturday. We were able to check it out on Saturday for a few minutes before heading to brunch. The market also had an oyster bar, wine and cheese bar, mexican food, pizza, coffee shop, and much more. We ended up there at least once every day of our vacation. We were happy we discovered it on the first day since there were so many cupcake flavors was so much to try!

Next up was dinner at Bottega, Michael Chiarello’s restaurant. I was definitely excited for the food, but disappointed I allowed myself to go there altogether since I wasn’t his biggest fan on Top Chef Master’s. Let’s just say Chef Chiarello can act however he pleases cause his food is amazing.

We started our meal off with the Succotash forno roasted summer squash & sweet corn, cherry tomato, ricotta & chili stuffed squash blossom, arugula leaves, corn pudding.

Followed by the short rib meatballs and fresh figs.

And I can’t forget to mention that the bread was the best we both ever had.

After a couple apps and bread we knew we had to move on to the pasta dishes. There were so many we wanted to try. We ruled out the gnocchi options right away since Jared makes amazing gnocchi. We needed to start off with the most out there options.

First choice was the Potato dough raviolo filled with spinach and ricotta, black truffles, farm fresh egg yolk, sage browned butter. Ummm ok black truffle, egg, and pasta in one dish? Sold and boy we weren’t disappointed. Def one of the best pasta dishes of my life.

Next course was the Angry Tomato Strozzapretti summer heirloom tomato sauce, calabrian chili, crispy basil & orange essence. You could only describe this dish as angry. It was so different with the spice and orange essence at the end of each bite.

We were getting a little full now and we knew chocolate souffle was for dessert, but I just had to try one more pasta dish. The portions were small so I knew we could handle it. We went for the Calabrian Sausage and Lemon Ricotta Tortellini spicy broccoli rabe, tomato-pork jus, mosto oro olive oil. It was extremely good, but probably would have been better if we ate it before the other two rock star pasta dishes. Oh well.

Dessert time! It was an excellent souffle, but i have to admit it wasn’t the best I ever had. Overall, this was one of the best meals I’ve ever had and we will definitely be returning on our next Napa trip.

August 22, 2011

tier 2 celebration

I made it to tier 2 a couple weeks ago and finally decided how to reward myself! It’s the end of August and fall is fast approaching. Of course the cooler weather makes me sad, but I’m always ready for the wardrobe change. I didn’t need a new handbag and I actually am going to a spa in Napa next week, so I decided to get a pair of Michael Kors over-the-knee boots. I’ll be pairing these with lots of skirts, dresses, and leggings. I’m kind of excited if you couldn’t tell!

This is all very exciting, but now comes the hard part: reaching tier 3. It’s only 3 inches and the last time I measured it was only 2.5, but I have a feeling it’s going to get tough. I’m going to attempt to change up my workouts some. I’d like to get in one heavy weight workout once a week since I do a lot of body strength classes that focus on multiple reps with lighter weights. I also want to run a few miles for some extra cardio. I’m talking 2-3 miles, nothing crazy. I just need to change things up a little since I’m on the verge of getting bored.