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!!


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.


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 😉


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 🙂



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.


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!


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!



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


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!



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!


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?

Flotation Therapy + Weekend Recap

Happy Monday!

This past week has been an absolute whirlwind – between running 17+ miles for my half marathon training, I picked up another yoga class to teach on Sunday, booked my flights for March (Florida & NYC!!!), had a long-overdue christmas party at my apt with my family, tried flotation therapy, and became a wine & cheese expert. Don’t worry, I got some sleep in there!

First off – Family came over to celebrate a late Christmas since my Sister and her husband were in town. Insert: pizza, lots of wine, more wine, presents, drunk baking and opening presents! It’s always fun when my mom and all of my siblings get together – we are all goofballs.


Saturday I ran 5 miles with my MIT group – and met a few new friends in the 9:15 pace group. I am seriously loving training so far! Slowing down my pace while training has made running so.much.more.enjoyable. I don’t mind running the miles, and the speedwork on Wednesday’s is so much fun! Big shout out to Nikki for inspiring me to join 🙂


Early Afternoon run in the rain!

(Side note – if you would like to support my run by donating to St Jude, you can find my fund page here. Every cent helps, and your support is so much appreciated!!)

After my run, I went home and showered before heading to Whole Foods with my cousin. She had some amazing blueberry wine, and we decided to build a cheese board and make an afternoon out of it!

Cheese and wine

After chatting with the Whole Foods cheese dept, we bought a bunch of different cheeses and curated an amazing cheese board to go with the wine – I was in a food coma for basically the rest of the night!

Cheese Plate

Yes, that is all amazing cheese-that slice in the middle that looks like cake? Yep -baked lemon ricotta cheese that is literally life changing.

After going to bed at 9:30 Saturday (I am such a grandma on the weekends these days!), I taught my first back-to-back yoga class Sunday morning – and can you believe it, my 8 am class was still BOOKED (over 40 people!), while the added 9:30 class only had about 20 people. (Personally, I would have slept in for an extra 1.5 hours ;))

I loved teaching both classes – the energy is so different based on the size – bigger is more fun, more laughs, and much, much less space. A smaller class is a little less loud, but I can give more one-on-one attention, which I love! Teaching yoga has been such a (wonderful) surprise for me – I never in a million years thought I would teach again (I taught gymnastics in college, but that’s very, very different!). It’s taught me to face a lot of fears, and while I still get nervous teaching my classes, it has helped me grow, be more creative, and get out of my comfort zone 🙂

After my second class, I rushed over to try Flotation Therapy – which is basically floating in a salt-water filled tank in complete darkness & silence for an hour. I know what you are thinking… WHY?! For a few reasons – It’s a form of meditation, for one. It’s great for relaxation & reducing stress, and increases healing time for any type of injury (seriously wish I knew about this post-ACL surgery!)… I also bought a groupon, which means it was half the cost of a normal session. You can read more about the benefits here.

Float Therapy2

Hallway to the Float rooms

Float Therapy 1

Post-Float area with hair dryers, lotion, etc.

You need to arrive 30 minutes before the appointment to sign a waiver, watch a short video, then are given a tour of the treatment area.

Float Spa

After showering, you put in ear plugs and enter the tank. It’s a really weird feeling, because you are literally floating on water without being held up by anything (in 10 inches of water). BTW – that pod is actually HUGE in person – There was room for 2-3 of me!

Float Therapy 2

After my 1-hour session, I felt a little off-kilter once I stepped out of the pod to shower – kind of like stepping off of an elevator, but it lasted for 5-10 minutes. After that, I felt fine and relaxed. Followed up with 15 minutes of oxygen therapy & tea, I felt like I could nap for hours!

It’s actually pretty pricey – $80/session – or $300 for 3-6 months, or something like that. I kind of wish groupon offered a package deal of 3-6 sessions, as you are supposed to notice the difference after 3+ floats. I am going to see how I feel in the next few days, and MAYBE go again (If I win the lottery and have a ton of extra money to spend on floating in salt water ;)).

So that’s been my past week – this week, I need to begin packing for my weekend in San  Francisco! Packing for 2 days of nothing but yoga workshops at the Yoga Journal Event, plus 3+ days to explore the city.

So what’s everyone else been up to? What’s your favorite cheese/wine pairing? And have you ever tried flotation therapy?

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