{City to the Sea}

City to the Sea

At this time last year, I was just about to cross the finish line of my first half marathon. Growing up, I absolutely hated running and always considered myself a swimmer, not a runner. In fact, before I started training, I had never run more than 3 miles at one time in my life. But two Christmases ago, my sister was training for her first half marathon and forced asked me to go on her 5 mile training run with her. And when I actually was able to run all 5 miles without dying, I wanted to get in on the action! So the following summer, we signed up for the City to the Sea half marathon from SLO to Shell Beach in October in and after 3 months of training, I was able to successfully run all 13.1 miles without stopping!

City to the Sea

I decided not to run again this year, but I’m definitely thinking of all of those runners out there this morning. I don’t know when I’ll train for another one, but I have decided that my next hurdle will (hopefully) be a local olympic triathlon in the spring. Given my swimming background, I’ve always wanted to complete a triathlon but was scared away by the running portion. But now that I know I actually can run, there’s nothing stopping me but my own laziness!

I’ll need to start training in December, so I’ll keep you updated!

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{Savor the Central Coast}

SAVOR

Wow, what an event! I am so happy and grateful that I was able to participate this year, and that I am able to share our fun day with you here.

Where do I start? At the beginning, I guess! We arrived at the gorgeous Santa Margarita Ranch in Santa Margarita (just north of SLO) a little after 10am on Saturday morning. Our good friends are getting married there next summer, so it was fun to just scout out the location. At the entrance, they loaded us up with a reusable bag, lanyard, and wine glass–ready for the fun to begin!

Savor the Central Coast

Our first stop was the main tent with local vendors representing the various SLO county cities and, of course, wine tasting! Let me just say right now that we tasted a lot of wine yesterday…

Main Tent

My first bite of the day was a real first for me–oysters! Sunset magazine actually has a really fascinating feature on the Morro Bay Oyster Company in their current issue, so I figured it was about time I actually tried one. And to my surprise, I actually liked it! It had a wonderful fresh salsa on top and honestly, it just kind of tasted a bit like salt water. Plus, they’re fun to eat!

Morro Bay Oysters

Morro Bay Oysters

Cal Poly Organic Farm had a stand too. We got to try their chocolate covered pistachios, beef jerky, and chocolate milk–yum!

Cal Poly Organic Farm

Cal Poly Organic Farm

We got sidetracked by the Atascadero Zoo stand for a bit–who could leave this cute little guy?

Hedgehog

And then got sidetracked again by my other favorite thing–the gift shop!

Gift Shop

Gift Shop

At Jeff’s pleading, we finally got back to the food and wine–it was hard to escape! There were over 200 wineries from the central coast represented at the event including the Sunset Western Wine Awards.

Sunset Wine Awards

Sunset Wine Awards

Wineries

One of my favorite parts of the day was the port and cheese pairing station. Port is usually a bit sweet for my taste, but the cheese really brought out the richness of the flavor in each wine. Plus, I’ll never say no to cheese!

Port and Wine Pairing

The event also had a few breweries set up on what is traditionally the wedding ceremony site, so of course, we spent a fair bit of time in that area! As expected, Firestone Brewery and Tap It were both pouring their beers. We also got to try an amber and pale ale from Figueroa Mountain Brewery based in Buellton, which we was new to us.

Breweries

The beer tasting area had picnic tables set up in the center so people could sit, drink, and enjoy the band. Of course, each table had these cute little centerpieces set up–how perfect and easy to make would any of these be for an outdoor party?

Centerpieces

Centerpieces

Centerpieces

Happy Acres Goat Farm was also set up in the garden area with a few of their goats. I’ve been wanted to go take their tour for such a long time now, so it was fun to see them there!

Happy Acres Goat Farm

Happy Acres Goat Farm

Happy Acres Goat Farm

It was definitely a fun filled day of excessive eating, drinking, and entertainment, and such an amazing celebration of a place I love!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post: somehow winding up with a seat in Aarti’s, last year’s food network star’s, cooking demonstration!

{Avocados and Margaritas? Yes please!}

Morro Bay

On Saturday afternoon, Jeff and I decided to head north to the annual Morro Bay avocado and margarita festival. We’ve lived here for 6 years and had never been…fail. Actually, I had the festival on my computer calendar all las year and then I think something came up the weekend we were supposed to go and we never made it. But none of that matters anymore since we made it this year! And it was definitely worth it!

The festival started at 12pm but we got there about 2pm after I finished my morning photoshoot. After a 20 minute women’s bathroom line (really?) and a 10 minute wait for tickets, we got our stickers and made it in the gates!

Line

Sticker

Our first stop was the margarita stand, obviously. I started off with a small peach and Jeff had a small original–they definitely hit the spot on the unusually warm Morro Bay day!

Margaritas

Next, we grabbed some guac and chips and found a spot in the shade to eat and drink our loot. We hadn’t eaten lunch yet, so we also grabbed a bite of some real food at the food trucks lining the venue. I was a bit disappointed when none of the food trucks had any vegetarian options, but I somehow convinced SLO’s local food truck, Porter’s, to make me some  off the menu fresh veggie tacos–thanks guys!

Chips and Guac

Veggie Tacos

Chocolate dipped avocados anyone?

Chocolate dipped avocados

We walked around for awhile, had a few more margaritas, picked up a free avocado slicer (really curious to try this out!), and then headed back to SLO around 4pm.

Avocado Slicer

I just wish we could go back next year!

Morro Bay Avocado and Margarita Festival