I had the privilege of being one of 27 bloggers who attended a health-focused weekend getaway to Paso Robles, California this past weekend. Fitcation ’13 was organized by Leah Segedie of Mamavation and sponsored by SIP Certified.
Disclosure: The cost of the events and activities for Fitcation were defrayed by sponsors, and the attendees were contractually obligated to write a summary of the experience. Attendees were also provided with free swag items. As always, thought, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are honest and my own.
Something that I’ve experienced since I started blogging was this sense of being a dark cave writing, by myself. While writing my stories solo has been therapeutic for me, meeting people who write blogs too has been so great. I realized last year that it was time to bust out of the blog cave. I connected with Mamavation when I began writing about GMO’s last year, and what a community to connect to!
I applied to go on this trip, which, as I mentioned above, was partially subsidized by sponsors like SIP, Earthies, and Travel Paso. To be included was so incredibly cool. I spent a weekend doing the things I love to do: exercise, taste wine, eat delicious food, and connect with people. Those of you who know me well, know that “connect with people” is a euphemism for “talk.”
First, I had really great ladies to room with, Greta and Jeanae. They were fun to talk to and hang out with, and I loved hearing their stories. These ladies are awesome. Hint: go read their blogs. Friday morning first thing I got my bootie handed to me by a fantastic boot camp workout, courtesy of Erin Shirey. It was a good way to assuage the coming food and wine guilt. Erin has a really inspiring story. She’s pregnant with her third child,in her third trimester and is still completely a rock star. Erin has a bit of history in Portland as the former owner of Baby Boot Camp.
We were off to lunch at Castoro Cellars after we cleaned ourselves up. Castoro was the first winery we visited with a SIP Certification. SIP stands for Sustainability In Practice. In essence, the wine makers implement a host of practices that keep the soil and ecology of the area healthy, the workers empowered, and the wine top-notch. We had a wine tasting lesson, which included tips for strengthening the connection between what you smell in the wine and what you taste. A view like this does not suck. The wines were delicious, too. (We ate grapes right off this arbor. So cool.)
Our next stop on Friday was Pasolivo. Have YOU ever been olive oil tasting before? Me neither. The people at Pasolivo are very passionate about their company. They have a line of infused oils that include lime, tangerine, basil, and rosemary. I brought a few home with me to cook with. Stay tuned for results.
Our last stop of the day was Halter Ranch, another SIP Certified vineyard. They engage in a practice called ‘dry farming.’ Dry farming encourages the roots of the vines to grow deep in search of available water, which is also a water conservation measure. Their red blend, Cotes de Paso was my favorite wine of the trip. Because Paso Robles is a dry climate, grapes like Cabernet and Zinfandel grow very well here.
Our tour guide, Lindsay, led us to a 600 year old oak tree at the top of a hill. I kinda wanted to camp out there. And I don’t camp voluntarily.
Our dinner that night was at a converted barn at Halter Ranch, and it was set up beautifully. It looked like something you would see on a Pinterest wedding board. We had the awesome privilege of Earthies Footwear coming to the ranch to give us SHOES.
And foot rubs. It’s never a bad day when someone is rubbing my feet.
We ate, drank, laughed, and talked, getting to know each other and building bridges. It was about this time of the evening that my phone konked out, so I’m fresh out of pictures of our rustic dinner. Suffice it to say, it was delicious, and the evening was really fun, and inspiring. One of the women, Meagan, has lost 129 pounds through diet and exercise. Connecting with people and hearing their stories makes a trip like this so enriching. Day two included a trip to Hearst Castle (holy smokes, people!) and yoga on the beach. Stay tuned!