Had THE BEST time filling my cup (literally and figuratively) in Napa for a recharging girls weekend. For Tracy’s 40th birthday were wined, dined, sweetened up, and given more champagne in 4 days than I think I’ve ever seen in my entire life! And I don’t drink! (Usually)
We stayed at The Meritage Resort and Spa – and it was wonderful! Their restaurant Sierra had lots of healthy and delicious options. And Spa Terra (also at The Meritage) is now one of my favorite spa experiences ever. Rosalie’s hubby bought us a fruit plate and champagne to enjoy between services. And then we were able to spend time at the pool, and the hotel brought us MORE champagne – with fresh fruit and orange juice for mimosas. I think I gained 5 pounds just from champagne.
If you ever want a memorable getaway, go there because I can’t say enough wonderful things about our stay! I have NEVER felt so pampered in all my life. You must stay here because they can take care of everything for you – even a limo for wine tastings. We went to 6 different wineries over 2 days. They suggest you don’t do any more than 3 per day. And that was perfect for us to do those, and still have a leisurely lunch and dinner. We fell in love with charcuterie boards!! Easiest (and prettiest) lunch idea ever!
The concierge at the resort set up darn near everything. It’s going to be hard for any place to measure up after this.
And I even found 5 bottles of wine from all of the places we toured that I liked. So, Alan and I are set on alcohol for a year or two – at least!
We try to do an epic family trip every 2 years.
It’s been almost 4 years. So we were due to explore someplace cool. And our friends were living in Sydney, Australia for 2 months and invited us to stay with them. We decided to stay NEAR them and also swing by New Zealand for a few days too. Hint – you need more than 7 days to explore New Zealand and Australia, but we did what we could considering we could only be gone during Spring Break. Our son’t new school is challenging and we want to teach him the importance of school…and prioritizing what you want to do when you travel. What is the most important thing to see/do/explore? Do that!
Day 1-3 (thanks to the international date line):
30 Something hours of travel (door-to-door), 2 delayed flights, 3 flights total (just to get here). We rented the prettiest home through Airbnb and made a day full of memories playing on the beach, exploring our cute little beach town, and dreaming of more adventures traveling (with and without the kids)…..all that travel is totally worth it. New Zealand is enchanting!
(And it’s hard to see in this sunset photo, but the water is aqua there!!!)
“Home” after a full day exploring (and eating) our way around Able Tasman National Park, New Zealand. (Google it because it’s beautiful but we don’t have any photos because our phones died and our camera started acting wonky). Best farm-fresh & organic food here!
Day 5: Flew to the North Island and saw the glowworm caves.
Sydney, Australia with my little family.
Of all of the cities we have visited, Sydney is the most likely to be our daughter’s future home town. It’s all things she loves the most:
– Big City (financial district + art galleries + sky scrapers + chi-chi hotels + amazing restaurants…) PLUS
– Beach Town (fitness/surf culture + open air cafes + scenic walking paths + family friendly)
…sprinkled with a bit of history, scandal, and old country rivalries. Bonus is everyone speaks english and it’s a super friendly culture.
The only downside is everyone drives (and walks) on the wrong side of the road. 😉
Sydney is kind of like London, San Francisco, & Miami had a baby. Lol! Such a cool vibe! Can’t wait to go back and see our friends (hopefully) next year too.
Coogee Beach, Sydney, Australia
Spent our last morning of this short (but epic) adventure in Australia watching the sun rise and the biggest waves I think I’ve ever seen. Thank you GOD for this beautiful planet we live on. I will do what I can to help protect it because sharing moments like this with family (and the world) is priceless!
There was too much cabbage and carrots to cook last night so instead of a shake for lunch I made an Asian chopped salad with the batch of leftover (uncooked) carrots and cabbage I shredded last night.
Apples (carb serving)
Chicken (protein serving)
Almond butter (fat)
A little bit of toasted sesame oil (fat)
½ lime (or lemon if that’s all you have)
White rice wine vinegar
Chili flakes (or Sriracha) **optional**
Yes! Lost 5 pounds in the past week and a half. As much as I LOVE sugar, I have to stay away from it because I have a serious sweet tooth!
I also took hubby’s advice and now add resistant carbs to meals (and eat fewer carbs in the morning and most carbs at night – so I can reset my cortisol rhythm). And I’ve only been eating “unlimited” foods for snacks.
My favorite unlimited foods are spaghetti squash with tomato, sweet onion, fresh basil, & garlic sauce that I simmer for an hour. Mmmmmm…….
*HINT: Make several batches at once because this is THE MOST filling snack ever! So good!
Preheat oven to 360
Cut ends off. Then cut the OPPOSITE of lengthwise. You want to end up with 5-6 “circles” about 1-1 1/2″ thick.
Remove the seeds from the center.
Place on parchment paper (or lightly oiled aluminum foil) and LIGHTLY spray with oil (avocado oil has a neutral flavor and can take high heat).
Bake for 1 hour. You can turn once at the 40 minute mark.
*You may want to double this if you like more sauce*
On medium-high heat, saute’ onions until they are transparent….about 3 minutes (stir frequently)
Add 3 cloves of garlic
Add 1/2 of a portion of finely chopped basil now – and add the other half at the end. (I probably had 3/4 cup un-chopped basil leaves)
Add 1 package of cherry/grape tomatoes (slice in quarters first).
Reduce to a simmer – and stir occasionally for 1 hour. This takes the acid out of the tomatoes and makes it naturally sweet so you don’t have to add sugar.
You can also throw some spinach in the last 3 minutes of cooking for additional veggies.