Happy Monday! I have a fun weekend to share with you all!

My parents and I went to Napa Valley and took the pup. The whole area is actually really dog friendly, so we had no trouble finding a place to stay, eating out, and visiting wineries with a dog in tow.

The real motivation for this trip was actually to run the Silverado Trail 5k. I ran this race 2 years ago but did the half marathon. I have to say, as I sipped on my wine the day before the race, I kept saying, “wow, I’m so glad I’m not doing a half marathon.”

We left around 11:30.


And arrived in St. Helena in time for a late lunch at our favorite, the Bistro!


I started with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. When in wine country, right?


I love these big, clear, beautiful glasses.

We split a grilled artichoke.


For my meal, I actually tried something different from my typical avocado salad! I had a salad with apple, pineapple, feta, and grilled chicken with a mango honey vinaigrette.


Despite sitting in a car for 2 hours prior, Chloe was an angel thanks to a new bone that completely dyed her paws pink.


Next, it was time to make our typical St. Helena stops. The pet store, because Chloe obviously needs more toys.


Olivier, an olive oil and gourmet foods store for balsamic vinegar and truffle oil and salt.

And of course, Woodhouse Chocolates.

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Then, we checked into our dog-friendly cottage at a bed and breakfast in Calistoga. (Complete with kitties!)


After watching an hour or so of a very depressing Giants game, we headed to dinner at the dog-friendly Calistoga Inn and Brewery. Beer flight to start.


For my pre-race meal, I had a grilled chicken salad and a side of creamy parmesan polenta.

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For dessert, we shared lemon-blueberry icebox pie.

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Before I knew it, it was 5:30am on race morning! I made sure to keep my Achilles warm all morning before we left. Thankfully, I woke up with it feeling awesome. Chloe was WILD when we arrived at the race. She’s been to a few races now, and she goes CRAZY when she sees me run away from her. She seemed to know what was going to happen, so she was all over me all morning! She almost completely took me out when we were waiting for the race to start, so when I wanted a pre-race pic with her, she had to be at a distance.

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(Look at those views in the background!)

I was fairly bundled up because temperatures starting in the 40s and I’m a baby, but it was clear it was going to quickly turn into a beautiful day as the sun came out.

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A few minutes after 8:00, we were off!


The race started on a track, and as we left the track, everyone in the front (including me) turned the wrong way! We were quickly turned back around, but that was not expected!

I actually took some photos as I ran because it was so beautiful and I ran with my phone.

This was a smaller race. I think the half was actually the biggest race. I found myself pretty close to the front of the pack, although I was definitely feeling faster than normal also.

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The 5k and 10k started together, and before I knew it I was at the 5k turnaround. And suddenly…there was almost no one in front of me. There was a group of 3 wayyy in front (like 4 minutes ahead of me), but there was nobody near me in front or behind for a pretty big distance. What?? It was the craziest feeling to be running alone near the front at a race.


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And then we were done!

I love how Chloe is airborne in this picture as she comes to greet me post-race.


I was really happy with how this race went! I was hoping for 8:30ish pace because I wasn’t sure how my Achilles would hold up, but I felt good so I went with it. My Achilles got sore within the first mile, but it wasn’t sharp and it didn’t get worse. I actually beat my pace from my last race a month ago, despite hardly running at all during that time thanks to my tendonitis. It really goes to show you how effective cross training is!

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After the race, we walked to a coffeeshop, Yo El Rey,  for breakfast and coffee.


I had a decaf iced latte (it warmed up a lot outside!) and a GF apricot muffin.

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We got cleaned up (well, I got cleaned up) and checked out of our cottage and then headed to V. Sattui. I went there with my dorm last year and really liked it, plus it’s dog-friendly!


They have a really nice deli there, plus BBQ on weekends. We bought a couple of bottles of wine to drink outside with lunch. My wine of choice was the Sauvignon Blanc, which I remembered enjoying from my previous visit.


We bought some nice herb gouda with GF crackers, and I had a caesar salad.


Thanks to past Aurora’s blogging, I remembered the creme brûlée there was insanely good. Past Aurora was definitely right. YUM.


And some scenes from V. Sattui. The grounds are beautiful.


Wine train^

When your glass is empty so you just take a picture with the whole bottle:

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On the way out, we stopped at the gelato cart. My mom and I split mango.


Out final stop was the dog-friendly Mumm, which specializes in champagne.

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I’ve actually only had Mumm sparkling rose, so I was excited to try some of their other bubbly!

We snagged a table outside and did a toast trio tasting.

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Chloe actually nearly broke half these glasses. She was sitting calmly under the table when another dog came by and barked at her. She jumped up, barking, knocking all the glasses. SOMEHOW, the only casualty was a spilled half glass of champagne, thankfully!

Then, it was time to head home. Near home, we actually tried to get the Unicorn frappuccino (hey, apparently I’m a sucker for marketing. We were all curious!) but the Starbucks we stopped at was all out. Darn.

After a race and wine tasting all day, I was in need of nutrients and hydration! I broke out our new aged white balsamic and made a salad, along with egg whites and fancy cheese, and leftover roasted sunchokes.


For dessert, I tried making flapjacked cookies with greek yogurt instead of butter or applesauce, and I think I liked how they came out! I think I didn’t cook them enough though. Interesting, they were much lighter in color and fluffier! Huh! I also added some Easter m&ms.


And that, my friends, is a wrap!