Sunday, October 30, 2016

Running Away with the Girls

Right before Halloween, I got to escape to Northern CA with Breen, Mals, Cat and Susi, and it was fabulous. The cornerstone event of the weekend was the Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon, but the highlight was simply catching up with dear friends who go way back. This started with a very chatty car ride from the airport to Healdsburg, continued with a delicious Italian restaurant in the charming downtown, and carried on through a groggy, early, dark and rainy race morning.
The race itself was gorgeous, but tough (pretty sure my training wasn't the best I've ever logged). Nevertheless, we finished and even managed to choke down some post-race wine.
After we cleaned ourselves up, we visited Kendall Jackson winery before heading to a sumptuous post-race bbq hosted by Breen's friends, who run the race every year in memory of a loved one.
As is always the case, the time flew by. But given how easily we always pick up with each other, I know it doesn't really matter how long until we meet again!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Blue Ridge Mountain High

Overlooking Tallulah Gorge
Every year, as I sit down to recap our mountain weekend with the Francos, I look back to previous years for comparison (and memories). One thing is consistent: each year claims to be the best yet. This year was no exception!
Foiled by our attempt to rent last year's house again, we wound up away from the water and up in the hills - and it was stunning. Kleinhaus was not only fun to say, but an absolute blast for our group, at least once a wine opener was procured. Nearly brand-new, it had a fantastic layout for our families, incomparable fire pit and a screened-in porch with breathtaking views (and excellent couches for napping, just in case anyone happened to stay up too late the night before).
Writing and illustrating stories in the morning.
The house was also well located for nearby hikes, charming places to eat, and even a farm for pumpkins (and a corn maze!) on the way home.

Suspension bridge over Tallulah Gorge - not Danny's favorite spot.
As I looked back over the years, I noticed that the kids are as much sticklers for tradition as the Euchre-playing parents. References to writing stories can be found in each recap, as well as lots of fresh air and outdoor games, not to mention glow sticks and s'mores. The five kids have grown quite a bit over the past six years, but they remain as compatible as ever. We are blessed!