The Del, A Massage, and Wine

I feel like I have been writing about this trip to California forever, recapping all the fun I’ve had along the way. In its own fabulous way, NTTC is sort of my very own scrapbook.  A great way to recap trips, outings, and recipes for my friends and family!

So, I’ve got one more day to share about this awesome week.  And, then, I will get back to my normal blogging schedule… whatever normal is… :)

The day after the concert, I woke up and had to get my things packed to head out.  Notice, I didn’t say HOME, I said out.  Whenever I get a chance to travel to California, I usually try to extend my trip a little to visit friends that I don’t get to see nearly enough!

Now, when I visited my friend Crystal in early June, we agreed that if I had a chance to travel to Rockstar again… that I should come back to visit her family!  You don’t have to ask me twice… the plan came together so nicely!

Hotel Del Coronado | No Thanks to Cake

Before I met up with her, I decided to spend a little time unwinding on Coronado Island.  And, my favorite way to unwind… I scheduled a massage at a nearby hotel.  Not just any hotel, however… I scheduled it at the Hotel Del Coronado.

Hotel Del Coronado | No Thanks to Cake

My goodness… what a beautiful place.

Hotel Del Coronado | No Thanks to Cake

The hotel is an institution on the island…. and so incredibly gorgeous.  I can’t even believe I got to spend the day here.  I checked my luggage at the bell stand and headed off to the spa.  To get there, I had the option of walking through the hotel or walking outdoors on the property… I choose the outside path and had a chance to experience the beauty that is the Del.

Hotel Del Coronado | No Thanks to Cake

From the white buildings with red roofs to the lovely outdoor cafes to the exquisite view of the Pacific… the Del is perfection.  The guy at the bell stand told me to walk until I saw the herb garden and the spa would be on the right.  I absolutely love that the property has such a delightful herb garden.  Just made it all that more perfect… 

Herb Garden Hotel Del Coronado | No Thanks to Cake

Spa at the Del | No Thanks to Cake

Inside the Spa at the Del, I quickly got changed into a robe and slippers and waited for my massage.  I had scheduled myself a Hot Shell Massage and was so excited to see how this would work.  I’d had hot STONE massages before, but never hot SHELL!  How perfect for this trip!

Spa at the Del | No Thanks to Cake

Spa at the Del | No Thanks to Cake

When I got called back into the spa for my service, I found that the shells weren’t REAL shells, but instead ceramic shells created specifically for this purpose.

Hot Shell Massage Spa at the Del | No Thanks to Cake

The massage was WONDERFUL.  Relaxing.  Perfect.  After all the excitement of Rockstar, my feet were incredibly sore… so my masseuse spent some extra time on my toes.  HEAVEN!

After the service was completed, I ordered some lunch and found a spot at the spa pool to relax.  I had intended upon reading a book, but it felt better to just relax and soak in the atmosphere.  There was beautiful people watching to be had… families vacationing, couples walking by hand in hand, and that gorgeous ocean in the distance.  I soaked it all in… and a little sun.

Lunch at the Hotel Del Coronado | No Thanks to Cake

The Spa at the Del | No Thanks to Cake

Spa at the Del | No Thanks to Cake

At the end of the day, my friend Crystal picked me up to whisk me away to Temecula.  One of my favorite people, I am so thankful that I had a chance to visit with her again this trip!

We spent our time catching up, cooking, and tasting local wines… you can only imagine how much I loved that!  We also spent some of her favorite wineries.  First stop:  Miramonte… Such a beautiful patio for tasting the most delicious wines!

Miramonte | No Thanks to Cake

I’ve always thought of Napa or Sonoma when I’ve thought of California wine country; however, I have to say… Temecula should be listed right there in that list.  I’ve loved so many of the wines I’ve tasted here… and the tasting rooms are so lovely.  Highly recommend touring this area if you are ever close.

Miramonte Winery | No Thanks to Cake

The next day, after a lovely lazy morning, we headed out to Robert Renzoni for the most amazing round of wine tasting!  His Concerto was my favorite… and I was able to get a signed bottle to take home!

Robert Renzoni | No Thanks to Cake

 

Robert Renzoni | No Thanks to Cake

After our first stop, we set off for some lunch (and more wine!) at Ponte Family Estates.  SUCH a beautiful place!

Ponte | No Thanks to Cake

Ponte Grapes | No Thanks to Cake

The magic happened at lunch…. Crystal and I ordered a Watermelon Tomato Caprese that just knocked our socks off.  Expect to see a version of this on NTTC soon.  It was that good!  Doesn’t it look gorgeous??

Watermelon Tomato Caprese Ponte | No Thanks to Cake

While the massage, the wine, and the food were amazing, the best part of the weekend was getting to spend it with this girl…

Ponte | No Thanks to Cake

We’re in the early stages of planning another adventure early next year… I absolutely can’t wait!  Thanks, Crystal and Adam, for a wonderful end to a wonderful trip!

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How I Spent My Blogcation: California Edition

I hope you all had a great week.  I can’t even tell you how strange it felt to not be checking in much over the past week, but I truthfully had so much going on that there just wasn’t time to blog.  So how was I filling my time??

I Jetsetted to California!

Last Saturday morning, I woke up bright and early and headed to Southern California!  I had my annual work trip to Orange County last week and added a few days of fun and sun onto the trip.  And, I got to spend time with this girl!

Crystal and Kelly | No Thanks to Cake

Crystal and I have known each other for years now.  Former co-workers and great friends, I definitely don’t feel like I get to see this girl nearly enough!

This trip was especially lovely in that I got to meet Crystal’s family (who I’ve heard about for years!) and visit her home… She lives in Temecula, right in the middle of wine country.  The timing for the visit was perfect in that we got to enjoy the Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival.

Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival | No Thanks to Cake

Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival | No Thanks to Cake

And, we drank a LOT of wine.  WAY too much wine.  And, don’t be surprised that I couldn’t keep up with the locals.

Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival | No Thanks to Cake

Before heading to Orange County the next day, Crystal and I hit her local gym, where I enjoyed the most amazing yoga class.

Yoga in Temecula | No Thanks to Cake

Before leaving Temecula, we visited one of the beautiful wineries in the area:  Leoness Cellars.  We packed up a little lunch and headed over there to enjoy a glass of white wine on the terrace… delicious!

Leoness Cellars | No Thanks to Cake

Afterward, Crystal was nice enough to drive me up to Orange County where I met up with the lovely Janelle.  Traffic in SoCal was insane, so we ended up meeting up in San Juan Capistrano.  What an adorable little “old town” area!  We had a wonderful dinner visiting and catching up at Guapas Tapas – - Check out the gazpacho cucumber cups below!  Amazing!!

San Juan Capistrano | No Thanks to Cake

I wrapped up the week in Orange County with co-workers.  Long days of learning and networking, I learned a lot and was exhausted by the time I came home late on Wednesday night.

And this is just the beginning of the week!  

Have you been to Temecula Wine Country or beautiful San Juan Capistrano?

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Currently: March

Happy Friday, My Dears…

We’re almost to the end of  March already!!!  That’s so hard to believe… but I figured there’s no time like the present to post this month’s “currently” post… Enjoy!

CURRENTLY: MARCH 2014

Divider

Current Book:

I’ve been so busy lately!  Downtime, schmowntime… Who needs it?? {Um, I totally do!}  I took some time this weekend to just relax and disconnect.  In doing so, I stumbled across this book by Elin Hilderbrand… and I am loving it so far.  I’ve read a TON of her books, and I’m such a fan.

Summer People by Elin Hilderbrand | No Thanks to Cake

Her books also have a lovely way of taking me to Nantucket Island, on the beach and splashing in the ocean.  Needed that, Elin.  Thanks!

Current Music:

I got a new iPod last month, and it has been making me dig through my archives for songs I haven’t listened to in forever.  I may or may not have landed on some Air Supply last week… and I freakin loved belting it out in the car!  No judgment… who doesn’t love Air Supply??

Air Supply | No Thanks to Cake

Current Nail Color:

I’ve been rocking “Power Clutch” by Essie this month… LOVE IT!

Essie Power Clutch | No Thanks to Cake

It’s sort of a greenish-greyish color, and I’m wearing it on my nails and toes!  I do, however, feel summer colors coming on pretty quickly… stay tuned!

Current Drink: 

As always, I’m drinking mostly water… but I’ve gotten hooked on a new drink at Starbucks.  How about a tall skinny latte with 1.5 pumps skinny hazelnut and 1.5 pumps skinny mocha??

So delish!!!  And, I’ve needed the caffeine kick lately… so it’s been my afternoon pick-me-up!  110 calories worth of warm tasty goodness!

Current Food:

I’m eating a LOT of Jenny Craig these days, and I’m LOVING it!  Specifically their amazing cinnamon rolls…. they make my tastebuds sing!

Jenny Craig Cinnamon Rolls | No Thanks to Cake

Current Favorite Show:

Grey’s Anatomy has been amazing lately.  I’ve been watching it for years, and frankly… it was amazing, and then it sucked for a while, but it’s back to incredible again.  I must admit some of the draw to Grey’s Anatomy has everything to do with the Jackson-April storyline…

Jackson Avery | No Thanks to Cake

Move over, McDreamy and McSteamy…

Current Outfit:

I’ve been all about dresses lately.  Whether it be this sparkly number

A Night on the Red Carpet - Belcourt Theater Nashville | No Thanks to Cake

Or these dresses… from JCP, New York and Company, and H&M

Cute Dresses | No Thanks to Cake

 Hurry up, Warm Weather!!!

Current Wish List:

Another black tie event to look forward to…. yeah, I freakin’ love getting dressed up…

A Night on the Red Carpet - Belcourt Theater Nashville | No Thanks to Cake

Current Excitement:

I am heading to Phoenix on Sunday night for a work trip.  I’m excited to get out of Denver for a few days with one of my favorite co-workers.  There’s something delightful and healing about the desert.  I can’t wait to get there…

Desert | No Thanks to Cake

Current Needs:

I need to decide what the heck I’m doing for Fitbloggin this year.  I’ve booked my room and my registration… but I can’t decide if I’m going to spend a few extra days on the east coast.  I need to get with the friends and family and decide!

Current Indulgence:

Mug Cakes… after making this cake on Saturday night, it’s all I want to eat.  So delish!  Click here for the recipe details…

Microwave PB2 Chocolate Mug Cake | No Thanks to Cake

Current Online Obsession:

Sole Society – - I’m not sure how I even found their site, but they have the cutest shoes… including these DEA wedges in BEET that I had to order.  I have a feeling I’m going to be living in them for the next few months.  So cute!

DEA Wedge Sole Society | No Thanks to Cake

Current Inspiration:

This mantra, and saying it often…  It can shift your energy pretty fast, in the best possible way.  Try it…

Happy Healthy Wealthy Healed Whole | No Thanks to Cake

Current Mood:

Determined.

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An Arizona Getaway

When I booked my trip to Iowa in October, I pretty much thought that was going to replace my trip to Montelucia this fall.  After all, Donna and I would have a chance to catch up at the wedding… so, I assumed that would suffice as our fall catch-up trip. I’m so glad I was WRONG!

The Montelucia advertises specials this time of year, and a special that included spa credits and a great deal on room rates made it impossible for us to turn down.

And… how could I wait another 7 months to see this beautiful view?

Montelucia has very quickly become one of my favorite places on the planet.  While San Francisco caught my eye this year as a contender for favorite new city, Montelucia blows it away completely.

Prado Montelucia | No Thanks to Cake

Donna and I have been coming here for several years now… and it’s become a second home to me.  The service on property is phenomenal, the experience exquisite.  Frankly, I can’t get enough of this place.

Montelucia Pool | No Thanks to Cake

And, it’s not like we do the same thing every trip…. there are some commonalities (pool time, yoga for me, and Donna running her “loopty-loo” around the property), but there are always different events going on here to help us mix it up. This visit, for example, we didn’t even leave the property… not once!

Joya Spa Montelucia | No Thanks to Cake

Some might argue that this trip came at a horrible time for me (due to majorly stressful work events greeting me when I return home), but I’d like to instead say that the timing was absolutely perfect.

Oasis Pool Montelucia | No Thanks to Cake

I’ve ruined my share of vacations by overthinking what will come on the other side of trip.  I’ve spend too much time thinking about what’s going to happen… rather than just enjoying the now.  My escape to Montelucia has reminded me that THE NOW is beautiful and should be appreciated.

Joya Spa | No Thanks to Cake

It’s kissed by sunshine and drenched in laughter… and absolutely delicious.  And, you can kind of miss its delight if you’re just worrying about the tomorrow.  I refused to miss it this weekend.

Montelucia | No Thanks to Cake

I think it also helps that I’m spending this trip with one of my favorite people.  Donna and I have been friends for years and years… and just get each other.  We can spend time in silence, soaking up the whisper room or reading a good book.  Other times, we’re enjoying the fire pit singing old Huey Lewis hits… yep, that happened this trip (Note to self: Must download more HL on iTunes when I get home.)

Oasis Pool Montelucia | No Thanks to Cake

The conversations that cause me pause though are those where we’re talking about the things that matter.  The things that make us grow.  Everyone needs a friend that digs beneath the surface a little, and makes you think about those things that matter most.  Those dreams you’re chasing and the challenges that you’ve faced.  Donna is that friend for me, and I adore her for it.

Joya Spa Montelucia | No Thanks to Cake

As always, it was an amazing two days in the desert, and just what the doctor ordered.  While it’s difficult to say goodbye to this beautiful place, I know I will see it again in May… and look forward to the joy it brings me upon my return.

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