Traveling Yogi: San Francisco, California + Wine Country

As promised, below is a recap of my trip to San Francisco. I didn’t really plan much for this trip except for my yoga conference, so I figured I would drive out to wine country for 1 day, check out a cycle studio, and get some runs in.

As soon as I landed, I caught a shuttle to my friends apt. We spent the next few hours catching up on life before I decided to head out for a nice, 9-mile run. Except, 1) I didn’t realize how hilly SF was, and 2) I got lost, so my 9 miles turned into 10+ miles. No biggie, except my calves were sore for a solid week afterwards! There were people running past me the entire time – people are in serious shape out there!

SF Bridge

Anyways – I had to stop – a LOT – because look – the views are beautiful!!

SFBridge1

Which made me seriously question a lot of life decisions – for one, why am I living in Ohio? It was 45-65 degrees the entire time I was visiting (which is actually cold for this time of year), but it felt amazing! I was running around in a long sleeve shirt and was dying by the end of my run! And people were walking around with hats and long fur-lined coats… they obviously have never experienced Ohio weather.

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Run Across the San Francisco Bridge = Check off my bucket list!

After getting lost and running over 10 miles, I finally found my way back. My friend and I went out to eat, splitting a bottle of wine and staying out until the wee hours of the night – 1:30 am (4:30 am eastern time!).. Needless to say, I was a little fuzzy the next day, but I survived 😉

BBWD

Fast forward to Sunday night – the yoga event had come to an end, and I was pretty tired…. So, i caught an Uber and headed over to Roam Burger. Let me tell you – this burger was the size of my head: Bison, bacon, cheese, fried egg, fries, avocado, tomato, lettuce… I mean, just look at it. And a beer & fries on the side, because that is just mandatory with a burger 🙂

RoamBurgerSF

RoamBurger

I basically ate myself into a food coma – so come Monday morning – I slept in… and of course, finished the reset of my burger for breakfast! I planned out the rest of my trip while waiting for my food to digest (a burger before a run = sometimes I don’t make good decisions), deciding to run & explore + catch up with a friend from high school at dinner…. Tuesday, Wine Country…. and Wednesday, a cycling class!

My Monday run consisted of heading over to Rincon Park, then back to fisherman’s wharf to hang out with some sea lions, then to Ghiardelli square for CHOCOLATE!! I actually found an amazing juice spot, THEN bought some chocolate – because I have to be a little healthy sometimes, right??

Juice Shop

After my run, I stretched & did some yoga before heading out to dinner with a friend. Of course, I stayed out wayyyy too late, and that alarm at 7/8 am was not welcomed! However, I was way too excited to pick up my rental car and drive to Napa that my lack of sleep was quickly forgotten.

Napa2

A 1 1/2 hour drive later, I ended up just north of Napa Valley at a Winery called The Terraces – highly recommended by a friend, and it didn’t disappoint!

TheTerracesWinery2

I was greeted like an old friend and did a tasting with the employees, as I was the only customer there (note-you need to make a reservation beforehand). We chatted for over an hour before heading out to take a look at the property… Just absolutely stunning! There were fruit trees, honey hives, rosemary plants…. just gorgeous. And the wine? Let’s just say this is the first and probably not the last time I will spend $60 on 1 bottle of wine!

TerracesWineryCA

TerracesBV

After the tour, I headed off to Domaine Carneros – a winery that makes champagne & pinot noir – 2 of my favorite wines!

DomaineCarnerosWinery

Miles and Miles of delicious grape-bearing vines!

It just so happened that I was the only one in the last tour of the day – so I was able to get a one-on-one tour, with plenty of time to ask questions & hang out! I learned the process of making champagne (it’s actually pretty ridiculous what goes into it!), tasted the different kinds of champagne, and then ended with some Pinot Noir. Wine connoisseurs are seriously dedicated people!

ChampagneProduction1

DomaineCarnerosWineTasting

I now know that Brut champagne is the least-fruity champagne (it’s normally made with chardonnay)- so if you want something “sweeter”, go for the dry or extra dry champagne. There is an extra tablespoon or 2 of sugar in there 😉 And Rose is nothing but champagne with a touch of red wine in it!

WineTasting

I grabbed a charcuterie board after the tour and relaxed for about an hour, watching the sun set. Seriously, perfect end to a wine-filled day!

Domaine Carneros

I got back around 7, dropped off the rental car, and hung out with a friend after. Of course, I stayed out too late… and I had already planned to go to Soul Cycle – a high-energy cycling class that I was told (by many people) to try. So of course, rise and shine at 5:15 am…

Soul Cycle

I personally don’t like cycling, as it makes my thighs super muscly… but, I had already run around SF a few times and decided to get my interval run workout in for the day instead. The room was filled with bikes almost on top of each other, and I went in early to get clipped in to the bike (note – I really, really needed help from the staff, my shoes did not want to clip in!) and get settled in. There were weights under the seat, and the last 10 minutes of class we used them for an upper body workout. The class had awesome music, buuuuuttt… Not a fan. Just go and try for yourself – it just wasn’t my cup of tea, but some people go religiously they love it so much. For $30/class (YES – it’s ridiculously overpriced), I’d rather be doing yoga or get yelled at by a personal trainer.

Soul Cycle_2

Besides being pretty motivational & having modern decor, I wasn’t super impressed. Also, I learned that I have absolutely NO rhythm. Like, worse than I originally thought. So there’s that.

Unfortunately, my trip was less than a week long, and I had to eventually head back home to Ohio. There was so much more I wanted to do, more wines to drink, and more relaxing to get done! And although it rained half the time, it was still pretty warm & I had so much fun! Upon landing back in Ohio, I was invited with snow and freezing cold weather. BUT – the good news is, I’ll be back! I am planning another Yoga/Wine trip in June, so I’ll be able to visit many more wineries and get a little zen in 🙂

So who has been to San Francisco? Lives there? Did I miss anything I absolutely needed to do?

Yogance & NYC Adventures

I am going to just preface this post by saying I want to move to NYC… actually, more than want – I need to move to NYC. Or at least travel there All.The.Time. I had such a blast this past weekend, and I wish I could have stayed an extra few days. or week. or year. My favorite part? all of the walking! Why can’t it be like that here in Columbus?! Anyways, below is a recap of the shenanigans I got into this weekend – including yogancing with the one and only Cuchira (Tamara Levinson-Campos), solo dinners, broadway shows, and a life-changing massage!

NYC Sunrise

I arrived at Laguardia at 7 am on Friday morning, and it took 3.5 hours until I finally made it to my hotel…. I took a shuttle from the airport, and  was the last one to be dropped off at my hotel. By the time I arrived, it was raining and cold – meaning, my plans to go for a run in central park were shot. So, I decided to head straight to the Spa – The Great Jones Spa, which was recommended by a few friends. I have never been to a water lounge before, and I ended up staying for a solid 2.5 hours! I did a few rounds of sitting in the steam room, then the hot tub… then the sauna, cold plunge water bath, then hot tub… then relaxing and repeating. I almost wish I had gone for a run beforehand, as this would have felt even more better on my muscles! My sinuses & entire body felt amazing after!

Great Jones Spa

Since I had only eaten 2 protein bars the entire day, I decided to continue being a responsible adult and grab something to eat afterwards – ICE CREAM. I looked on yelp and found a place on the way back to my hotel that had some amazing-sounding ice cream cones – Big Gay Ice Cream. I went all out and got a salted caramel cone rolled in crushed pretzels, dipped in chocolate and topped with peanut butter. Yep, my stomach was happy after that 🙂

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop NYC 2

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop NYC

After arriving back at my hotel room – or should I say SHOE BOX?? (my room was 5×7, no Joke) – I got ready to go out with a fellow yoga-teacher-trainee that I met in Belize back in March. After doing a handstand, of course 😉

NinaEliseHandstand_NYC

We met up for a drink and apps (avocado toast + brie!) at my hotel bar, then headed out to her friends apartment. On the way back, we stopped for a nightcap at a bar nearby, and I ended up getting home around 2 am. After such a long day, I ended up sleeping in until 11 am the next morning! I woke up to my back-up alarm, which means I probably could have slept a lot longer.

I hurried up and ran to visit the highline, a park built on an old railroad spur. The views of the city were amazing!

Chelsea Market Highline

NYC Highline

Chelsea Market Highline 2

It was also ridiculously cold, so I scooted my butt into Chelsea Market for something warm and a bite to eat.

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I settled on Sarabeth’s Bakery – a latte and pastries for brunch? heck. yes.

Sarabeths Bakery Chelsea Market

Sarabeths Bakery Latte

There were so many places to eat, I couldn’t just stop at an almond croissant and cookie… I also had to get a hot chocolate topped with mascarpone gelato & whipped cream. Because sugar and coffee cures hangovers, right?? I know, I know, I am awesome at being an adult.

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Chelsea Market Gelato

I walked over to PMT Dance Studio, the main reason for my NYC visit: taking a Yogance workshop with Tamara Levinson-Campos! I ended up meeting a ton of wonderful people – my favorite being Jo, a lovely yoga teacher from England who runs her own yoga retreats in Ibiza! Another thing to add to my bucket list 😉

Tamara showed up about 15 minutes before the workshop, and sat down to chat with everyone. It was like another student showed up and waited with us – she was super down-to-earth and awesome! The workshop itself was amazing – we learned about engaging the mula bandha, and the proper alignment for every single yoga pose/movement! Something so so simple and surprisingly easy to understand. I will be incorporating this into my classes 🙂

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After, we learned a yogance sequence, and I was surprised by how easy it was! There was no pressure, just moving and lots of smiles. Following the sequence, we did partner work – music was turned on, and our partner basically controlled our movements by touching us in different places, and we moved our bodies in whatever directions our partner touched. Different, but the lesson was to pay attention to how it felt in our bodies & be controlled by someone else. The workshop ended with 10-20 minutes of Savasana – much welcomed, since my sugar-coffee hangover headache was in full affect by that point.

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I ended up staying for about a half hour to chat with Tamara, got a selfie and of course a handstand picture with her! Hopefully I will get to see more of this lovely, kind woman in the future at the studio I teach at… stay tuned!

Cuchira_Dance

Afterwards, I rushed back to my hotel to get ready for broadway – to see Book of Mormon! I took an Uber to Soho to grab dinner, but unfortunately the restaurant didn’t open until 7… No problem – I hopped in another Uber, and found a super close restaurant near times square to eat at: Cielo at the Mayfair, a cute italian restaurant nestled underground.

Cielo NYV

I ordered a glass of wine and a half order of gnocchi – seriously to die for. and their garlic bread? Amaaaazing – dipped in herbs & olive oil and served warm. This was right next to the Eugene O’Neille theatre, so I was able to catch the show in time. If you are ever in the area… another great place to eat 🙂

Cielo Gnocchi

Book of Mormon – pretty much every single one of my friends has told me to go see this on broadway, so I shelled out the money ($280, I am cringing just thinking about it) and bought the ticket. I think I was crying from laughing so hard throughout the entire show, so I would say it was well worth it! Yes, it was crude and vulgur, but I’ve seen worse. Do yourself a favor and see it, you won’t regret it!

Book of Mormon

Afterwards, I headed back to my hotel shoebox and fell asleep by 12:30…. all this walking and yoga and sugar and good food had me beat!

The next morning, I met up with my friend again for brunch, and we grabbed coffee at Kaffe 1668 in Tribeca. This place was decorated with a ton of little sheep, and there was a downstairs area perfect to set up shop if you wanted to do a little work on your laptop.

Kaffe NYC Sheet

Sheep Kaffe

I ended up getting the Mocha Latte and Blueberry Scone – because, why not. I really wanted to try the slow-drip coffee, but didn’t want to be too wired for my massage afterwards!

Kaffe Coffee NYC

NYC Yogi

After saying our goodbyes, I grabbed an uber to grand central, where I had the most amazing massage of my life at Body Mechanics. It had the best reviews on Yelp for what I was looking for, and I am so, so, so, SO happy I went! My masseuse Laura was AMAZING. She was so knowledgable about the anatomy of the body, the fascia, ligaments, etc – since she works on professional athletes and dancers all day, she knew exactly what to work on when I told her about my issues. Deep tissue, trigger point therapy and warm towels were all part of the massage – she even went a little over time to get to everything I needed worked on. We chatted a lot about how to do trigger point/massage on myself at home, and how to massage away from the muscle fibers, going deep into the belly of the muscle to get results (disclaimer: its painful, but oh-s0-good). Afterwards, she gave me tennis balls to use for trigger point therapy while at work, traveling, etc.

Body Mechanics NYC

I also mentioned that I still have numbness on the outside of my left shin where I had my ACL surgery – she massaged deep into that area, and even taped my leg up before I left.

Rock Tape Shin

I wish I could bring this place back to Ohio – seriously so, so amazing. I am already planning my next trip back in March for the United Half Marathon (Starting in Central park, through Times Square, and ending near Wall street), and am scheduling an appointment immediately following the race.

After the massage, I ran to grab a quick lunch with an old highschool friend I hadn’t seen in almost 10 years. It was a nice last-minute get together, and it was so great to chat and catch up!

Le Pain Avocado Toast

We ate at Le Pain Quotidien, and both got a latte and avocado toast (basically my entire weekend in a nutshell).

Afterwards, I stopped at Grand Central for a sec, since my shuttle was running late, and grabbed some food for later (Laguardia seems to lack any good places to eat).

Unfortunately, I arrived at the airport at 3, and my flight was delayed several times. 4 gate changes later (including leaving the terminal to go to another one, then shuttling back to the same gate one 1 hour later), we were finally jetting off around 10 pm, arriving back home to columbus around 11:15.

Columbus Skyline

The following morning, I tried to get up for a 5:30 am workout class (I know, I am crazy), but ended up sleeping in a bit longer. This weekend wore me out, and I am looking forward to having an entire day (CHRISTMAS!) to relax and sleep in!

If you have made it to the end of the post, thank you for sticking it out and reading about my adventures! I love sharing my travels & adventures with everyone in hopes that it helps fellow travelers/athletes/yogis… or simply puts a smile on someones face!

Did I miss eating at any staple restaurants or touristy-type things to do while in NYC?

 

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