Disclosure: The costs of the events and activities for #Fitcation13 were defrayed by sponsors, and the attendees were contractually obligated to write a summary of the experience and also received free swag items. However, the thoughts and opinions I’m sharing in this post are honest and my own.
If read my about me page, you’ll notice a line at the end that talks about where my favorite place in the world would be…
So late last August, when my dear friend Andrea (from The Greenbacks Gal) asked me if I wanted to go to Mamavation‘s #fitcation13 conference that was being hosted by Travel Paso, I didn’t have to think twice, I just said YES.
(And then begged her to stay an extra few days.)
This 2 and 1/2 day #fitcation was the best mix of wine, food, fitness, the Central Coast, and fun.
I’ve been to the Central Coast and Paso Robles several times over the last ten years. I love Paso Robles for a number of reasons, mostly because it is filled with some of the best restaurants, shops, and tasting rooms in the world. The highlight of the trip was eating at Artisan with Andrea on our final day in Paso Robles. Artisan truly embodies the farm to table movement with some of the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten in my entire life.
Even though I had been to Paso Robles several times, this trip was different because of the education provided by SIP Certified Vineyards. SIP stands for Sustainability in Practice and they spent a lot of time with us over the weekend discussing how several vineyards in California are going above just “organic” – they are being proactive in their sustainability plans so the beautiful land will be around for generations to come. This includes safe pest management, water conservation, and energy efficiency.
We were able to spend some time at SIP Certified Castoro and Halter Ranch Vineyards and Wineries, and learn about their practices and taste some amazing wines. And in true “Kelly” form, I bought several bottles of wine that were shipped back to Kansas.
One of the highlights was hiking to the ancestor tree on Halter Ranch’s property. The tree is the oldest of it’s kind in North America and is probably 450 years old. And it is a big ‘mutha of a tree.
After our hike, we were treated to a dinner sponsored by EarthFootwear at Halter Ranch. It was in a barn. And it was breath-taking.
EarthFootwear gave each of us a new pair of shoes (I received the teaberry) and you should have seen the carnage as 30 girls were trying on new shoes. (Did I mention we had been hiking all day? So these shoes felt like HEAVEN.) They are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. I’ve got a second order in for a pair of boots for the winter.
On our final day together, we experienced the Central Coast by visiting Hearst Castle, beaches in Cambria, kayaking in Morro Bay and dinner in San Luis Obispo. I think that is why I love this part of California so much, you can do yoga on the beach, to kayaking, to dinner with wine in about a 30 mile radius.
In my humble opinion, Paso Robles and Central Coast is the best part of California. I appreciate Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as Napa and Sonoma, but nothing puts my heart to rest than the land, wine, and surf of the Central Coast.
If you are looking for a relaxing long-weekend filled with sun, sand, surf, wine, and food…plan it with three of your girlfriends and go Paso Robles. You’ll fall in love as fast as I did the first time I went and will be planning your next trip back.
Disclosure: I’m blessed. I get it. My husband reminded me of this when I left for this trip. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel with one of my best friends, meet some new friends, drink a ton of amazing wine, workout on the beach, and eat the freshest food known to man. But what it reminded me of was that life is short, and if you don’t take the opportunities presented to you, you can miss out on some amazing experiences.