4 Days in Napa Valley

I am finally getting around to editing these photos after a few crazy weeks! I have a million photos I took from these few days we spent in Napa Valley with our families just to watch Zach and Kimmy RUN A MARATHON! While I was pretty bummed about not being able to complete the race myself due to an injury, I couldn’t have picked a better place to be injured.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the trip!

2017-03-05 09.29.13Saturday was the day before the race, we had a day to ‘take it easy’, carbo load, yet still explore Napa Valley. After picking up our race packets in the morning, we took a drive to Russian River Brewing, a place that beer folks tell me is the ‘mecca of beer.’ The weather was miserable that day, so we were happy to spend inside eating pizza and getting a taste of their infamous Pliny the Elder.

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2017-03-04 14.22.37Sunday was RACE DAY! We got up early, carbo loaded, and headed to the starting line. It was cold and rainy,  and the nervousness of the runners was palpable. Even with a stress fracture in my foot, I managed to run a mile alongside my sister before I had to call my dad to pick me up on the side of the road. I was pretty disappointed for an hour or so about not being able to finish, but once we all set back out in our orange gear to find and cheer on Zach and Kimmy, I was too excited for them to be sad!

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Our Airbnb was smack dab in the middle of our own private vineyard

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I loved the wine-themed street names

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We may have quickly stopped at a winery while Kimmy and Zach were between miles 16 and 23 🙂

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2017-03-05 12.29.27They did it! Kimmy and Zach ran through sun, rain, hail, rain, sun, wind, and some more hail for 26.2 miles. They did such an incredible job and both had huge smiles on their faces afterward. After heading home for a bit, we enjoyed a lovely celebratory dinner at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch (where I sadly forgot to take photos). After heading home for a few beers in the hot tub, it was early to bed.

2017-03-05 08.15.23Monday was our last full day in Napa,  so we set out exploring the variety of wineries Napa Valley has to offer. We started at Clos Pegase, which is known for their art, estate wines and “luxury hospitality”. Since Zach’s parents have been members for years, we were able to score a private wine tour of the property which included wine tasting in their caves!

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Looking great post-race!

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Afterward, we explored Dutch Henry Winery which was the smallest winery we visited, and reminded me of Austin with it’s chicken coop and picnic tables. After a delicious lunch at Gott’s Roadside (get the fries!!), we sipped on some bubbly at Domane Chandon and finished off the day at the best winery of the day: Artesa (great hosts, i n c r e d i b l e wines).

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Napa, we had a great time and will be back soon!

 

fall in ireland: dublin beginnings (part 1 of 2)

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i still can’t believe our 10-day trek across ireland went by so quickly! my parents, sister and i have been planning this trip for about 6 months. after many cross country skype dates between our family, we finally had the details of our trip nailed down. we decided to start our trip in dublin and then rent a car and drive around the country clockwise, driving a full circle around the bottom half of the country.

it was quite an ambitious trip because a lot of driving was involved, but i think we did a great job of delegating the appropriate amount of time in each place. we got to see SO much of the beautiful country. according to everything we read (and all the irish people we spoke to), we got so lucky with almost no rain and beautiful 60’s-and-sunny days every day of our trip save for the last day.

  • stay: 2 days | ashling hotel
  • don’t miss: guinness storehouse, kilmainham gaol, making conversation with as many lovely irish bartenders as you can
  • skip: one of the cathedrals
  • eat: a proper irish breakfast at the queen of tarts
  • drink: like the irish do (guinness). or if that’s not your cup of tea, anything from the francisan well brewery which is on tap most places

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our trip began in dublin where we landed at 6 am extreeeeemely jet lagged, yet excited to begin exploring. the first day we set off exploring the kilmainham gaol which was a great introduction to irish history and the city in general. it wouldn’t be a true trip to dublin without exploring the temple bar area which was fun to see, but would gladly never go back again. we had our first of many fish and chips (and guinness) dinners and called it an early night.

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the second day we were feeling a little more rested and hit the ground running. we walked the entire city starting with breakfast at the quaintest little cafe, queen of tarts. next, we walked over to christchurch cathedral and crypt which is the oldest church i’ve ever set foot in. the 1,000-year old crypt/museum was incredible, but extremely creepy. after christchurch we walked through dublin castle, st. stephens green (see the birds attacking us below) and trinity college to see their library as well as the book of kells (wow).

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our daytime activities ended of course, at no other than the guinness storehouse. coming from someone who is a passive lover of guinness, this was one of my favorite parts of dublin. the storehouse is in an absolutely massive building that literally takes up an entire city block in dublin. the tour was definitely setup to accomodate masses, but it was still so interesting to read about arthur guinness and the affect that he and his brewery have had on dublin, and irish culture as a whole.

after our big day of sightseeing and walking around downtown, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for a special birthday dinner for my dad. it was a “traditional” dinner with stories and folklore at the oldest bar in dublin, brazenhead. while it was a little hokey for my liking, it was still entertaining to be a part of. they had this adorable couple of old men playing music during dinner which was the highlight for me.

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most of the photos from dublin were unfortunately taken on my iphone. i discovered on our last day in dublin that what i thought was a complete camera meltdown was actually just a little dust inside 🙂 back to regularly scheduled schmancy photos in the next post…7

on our last day in dublin, i went for a run through the incredibly beautiful phoenix park. then we picked up our rental car, explored both the grafton street and o’connell street shopping districts, and ended with a ridiculously cozy dinner of champagne and mussels at a local pub near our hotel.

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^birds attacking us at st. stephens green 🙂

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upstate new york | labor day weekend

 

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even though today is technically the first day of autumn, i always consider labor day weekend the unofficial end of summer. to ring in the end of our crazy hectic summer, zach, maribel and i took a trip to upstate for an incredibly relaxing weekend with our parents a few weeks ago over labor day weekend.

zach’s hometown is about 3 hours north of nyc, and about an hour away from the saratoga horse track. we spent the majority of saturday in saratoga (the cutest little town), walking around and seeeing the sights, while also partaking in some horse betting activities. i can’t bet if my life depended on it, but i still had a great time hanging out and doing what i do best: eating and drinking.

the rest of the weekend we spent relaxing in zach’s parents incredibly beautiful and lush backyard, catching up with our families, and having some of the best italian food of my life (this is coming from someone born and raised in philly). i definitely didn’t take as many photos as i’d hoped, but here are a few of the good ones that i did manage to snap.

happy fall, y’all!

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grabbing coffee in downtown saratoga

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apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…
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how beautiful is zach’s parents’ backyard?! i also love that they’re all on their phones in this photo 😉
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for a few races throughout the day, we watched from the tv screen back by our table

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stud 😉

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when maribel met the ocean | ocean city, new jersey

a few weeks ago, my family took a weekend trip together out to our shore house in ocean city, nj. the weekend started with my brother surprising my parents, who flew in for the weekend from san diego without them knowing. i don’t think i’ve ever seen my mom so shocked!

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can’t visit ocnj without at least one stop here

we settled in after the initial surprise and immediately took maribel to the beach. even though we’ve been back living on the east coast for about a year now, we never managed to get her to the ocean. she was obsessed with the baby pool we bought her while we were living in austin, so i was so excited to see her first experience with the ocean.

as soon as we hit the sand she took off running. i’m in decent shape, but i’m so happy my super-fit brother was there to keep up with her as she sprinted toward the ocean. i don’t think i’ve ever seen her happier! she’s still a little unsure about big waves, but we determined that we definitely have a water dog on our hands.

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a welcomed, “more healthy” alternative to day-drinking beach beers: truly (spiked seltzer)

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after what ended up being a highlight of the weekend for me, we spent the rest of the weekend doing what you do down the shore: relaxing on or near the beach, and eating and drinking way too much. we sprinkled in a few bikes rides and run here or there to keep things balanced.

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panama hat (and yes of course, i bought it in size XL #bigheadproblems)

we took our last beach trip of the year a few weeks ago and while it was sad to say goodbye for a little while, i can’t say that i wished summer lasted any longer. i feel like we properly “did” summer.

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i saw citizen cope live at the music pier, which was my first concert at that venue. it’s a beautiful location right on the water and i highly recommend seeing a show (any show) if you have the chance.

 

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clams casino at the crab trap in somers point. THE BEST

this summer i also ate my weight in kohr brothers frozen custard, rode bikes to strathmere for mahi mahi sandwiches on the bay at twisties, had one too many bud lights at the beach/back bars in sea isle, drank coffee and read books on the porch, let my hair run wild, stayed up too late watching movies, and spending time on the beach at the 5 o’clock hour (the best hour on the beach, from a pitkin’s standpoint). 12this has been the busiest season of my life with all of our road trips and adventures (i’ll be writing a summer wrap-up). i’m so thankful for the weekends we were able to spend by the water.

and now that summer has come to a close, i’m really, really looking forward a relaxing and rejuvenating fall.

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inside irene’s, austin’s newest gem

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irene’s is the kind of place that make me question why i ever left austin. while on my quarterly trip to austin last month, some friends and i stopped into this new spot that just opened up. it’s the same folks that run easy tiger so it’s no surprise that this place is incredible.

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not sure if it was the rose on tap, a cool window where you can order coffee and toast in the morning,  extensive cocktail list,  massive (gorgeous) patio overlooking shoal creek, incredible decor (including a vintage piano) or “vinyl happy hour” every day, but i’m already counting down the weeks until i can go back.

if you’re in the austin area, do yourself a favor and get here as soon as you can.

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all photos via irene’s instagram or eater austin

rachel’s bachelorette in miami

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back in may, a group of my oldest friends met in miami for a weekend celebrating our dear friend rachel’s bachelorette. the majority of us have been friends for over a decade, so needless to say this weekend/reunion was filled with lots of yummy food, belly laughs, and of course alcohol.

we all flew in from our respective cities friday morning and checked into the blue moon hotel (champagne upon arrival — thanks, ed!). the rest of the weekend was filled with picture perfect weather, poolside dinner at broken shaker, bribing limo drivers, celeb sightings and scooping up paper at liv, incredible art deco architecture, fish tacos, 4 am skinny dipping and pizza on the beach, galavanting up and down south beach, the clevelander and endless mojitos.

when we all were giving hugs goodbye, we made a promise to do this again before another year went by. where to next?

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photos via: blue moon hotel miami and broken shaker

weekend in temecula [video]

i love revisiting past trips by looking through old photos, almost as much as i love taking and sharing them. my goal this year was to do a better job of organizing, editing, compiling and sharing the photos i’ve taken instead of having them sit in dropbox untouched. i’ve invested in technology and software (like this blog!) to help make that happen and it’s been great so far!

for some reason i’m not as dedicated to the little video clips i take along the way. i have a million tiny videos and my goal moving forward is to do a better job of compiling them into large videos…like this one! it’s my first try at editing a video so please excuse the quality 🙂

enjoy!

 

temecula, california – part 2 of 2

part 1 can be found here

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on our drive back to la, we stopped at oak mountain winery  (which boastst ‘southern california’s only wine cave’) in temecula. having lived near virginia wineries for so long it always shocks me how beautiful california wineries are (virginia wineries, i’ll still always love you). we did a quick tasting, bought a few bottles and snacks and had a great afternoon.

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it was definitely the perfect way to end a great weekend!

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temecula, california – part 1 of 2

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when my sister got home from work last friday, we told her she had ten minutes to pack a bag for the weekend. we gave her no other details about where we were going or what we were doing. she was excited but also nervous, and it was great for us to just to hear her try to figure out what was going on (her guesses ranged from a lumberjack competition to mexico to camping). our 2 hour drive to our destination trip was spent primarily giving kimmy false clues and her making wildly inaccurate guesses about where we were heading.

we finally arrived at our destination: a dark, quiet house with several cars parked out front. as soon as kimmy stepped out of the car, 10 of her friends and our brother popped up and shouted “surprised” from the roof. after giving hugs, we quickly poured some champagne, threw up a few decorations and spent the rest of the weekend drinking, enjoying our incredibly beautiful rented house, and most importantly — celebrating 30 years of kimmy.

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this was the view from our backyard. since it was dark outside when we arrived on friday night, this was a pleasant surprise to wake up to on saturday morning!
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sisters

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the gang minus two

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Continue reading “temecula, california – part 1 of 2”