salt and straw

What I'm Into Wednesday - Annual San Francisco Trip

This was our fourth consecutive year travelling to San Francisco to compete in the North Face Endurance Challenge Series.

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I was a co-leader of NPSD when we traveled the first two years. We stayed on friend's floors (shout out to Paddy for the floor and Orrin for the entertainment the first year) and on couches in overstuffed AirBnbs. We drove all the way from LA and carpooled with other leaders we rarely see. We attended the North Face headquarters and partook in design talks. And we raced the marathon relay. One year as a two woman team with the one and only Voychick and one year as a four man team dressed up as BG.

Those first two years were nothing but fun.

Last year we headed up and many of us competed in the 50k. We ran the most beautiful trails I've ever been on, shared stunning views, and conquered distances that were new to most of us. It was an epic adventure of a completely different kind.

This year, the fourth, was totally new. The courses were different - they now finished over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco proper. Fewer people went up. We all ran different distances. Yet, it was still magic. There's something about getting a big group of excited, positive. motivating, and funny humans together. It brings out the best in people, and in a city. 

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DO

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See above. Literally. Go do the North Face Endurance Challenge in SF next year. Any distance. Just sign up. It's a blast.

SEE

The day before the race we had a debate/discussion about how to spend our afternoon. It's tempting to want to walk all over the place and sightsee anytime you're in a different city, but especially in SF. There's a never ending list of parks, architecture, museums, shops, and restaurants that I want to check out. But walking the day before running many miles is usually a bad idea. So a group of us chose to venture over to the Exploratorium at Pier 15 instead. Holy crap. It was so fun. The $30 admission price is WELL WORTH IT. We spent almost three hours like little kids running around this museum playing with everything. It's an interactive science museum at it's core and you'll be entertained by the exhibits, the shows, the nerdy stuff, and the fun. Go.

SMELL

About half of our Airbnb was the same folks that shared one in Boston for SUMMIT 5.0 this year. And for a second time, we ate pretty much the same things as a family: Thai food two nights before the race and pizza the night before. This time the pizza was a star. Tony's Pizza Napoletana was the shit. Specifically the Eddie Muenster - fried kale, smoked bacon, calabrese peppers, muenster cheese, honey, and lemon.

HEAR

If you're like me, weekends with friends are amazing - but you crave silence. I've been true to my November goal of not hitting snooze, and with that extra 5-10 minutes I'd usually waste on the snooze button I've been meditating. Truly just sitting in silence, repeating a mantra. It's been a centering way to start my day - whether at home or on the road.

TASTE

No trip to SF, LA, or PDX is ever complete without a trip to SALT AND STRAW. Since the location in SD seems to be taking forever to open (come on guys!) we took full advantage of our last day to eat ice cream. November's specialty flavors are all about Thanksgiving dinner. From a salted caramel turkey flavor to stuffing to mashed potatoes and gravy. But the winner? Everyone was in agreement that Sweet Potato Pie with Maple Pecans took home the grand prize. I'm drooling as I think about it.

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What I'm Into Wednesday - Camp Edition

This past weekend I had the very distinct pleasure and honor to have been an expert at the March edition of Campowerment in Malibu. The low down: Campowerment is summer camp for adult women. A place to inspire women to re-ignite their lives, no matter the stage in life they're at, their professions, marital status, whether they have kids, etc. It's one of the more inspirational and moving experiences I've ever been a part of and is a place that every woman should get to experience.

Naturally, this week's list is fairly camp centered!

See:

 

The weather was unbelievable this weekend. Camp takes place at the top of a magical mountain in Malibu and while Friday and Saturday's weather were 85 and blue skies, Sunday and Monday brought this awe inspiring low fog. It literally felt like we were in Ireland. Otherworldly and breathtaking. If you ever want help feeling like you're making life changes, shifts, and revelations, standing on a mountaintop in Malibu in the fog is where you want to be.

Hear:

In the few days leading up to camp I was feeling stressed, slightly lost in why I was doing my work, and like I was butting my head against a wall trying to figure things out. I took a break from sitting at my computer to take Arlo for a walk and listen to one of the newer Tim Ferriss episodes with Dr. Phil Zimbardo. Dr. Zimbardo is a psychologist in his 80s who was involved in some fascinating experiments and now focuses his research and work on being less evil and being more heroic. One of the better episodes I've heard recently. 

Taste:

Post camp blues are real. And the best cure for blues of any sort is... ICE CREAM! Luckily our car ride home took us through Venice so my mom and I could stop at Salt and Straw. This month they've brought back 5 of their favorites for their monthly rotation. I had Cinnaholic - a cinnamon ice cream with snickerdoodle cookies and the coconut milk based ice cream with marionberries and shortbread. YUM. 

Do:

I'm a firm believer in passing along information and things and opportunities that I'm passionate about. And camp is one of those things. I had the opportunity to go as a lululemon ambassador on a mini-camp retreat about a year and a half ago. Since then I've been hounding women I know to go (including my mom, who finally went this weekend!). The coolest thing Campowerment has been up to is getting a 501c3 non-profit up and running called Give Her Camp to provide scholarships to send women to camp who otherwise couldn't afford to go. I've been actively looking for a charitable cause that speaks to me to start doing some work and fundraising for... and this is it. Keep your eyes and ears open, cause Bodies in Motion 4.0 will be coming and it will be fundraising for this cause.

Smell:

The only un camp related thing, but kind of related to camping as it has to do with bugs. The ant problem in our house is OUT OF CONTROL. Partially due to having a dog (hello, dog food), partially due to the heat, and mostly due to the fact that our house was relatively, um, quickly?, built. I've been struggling with how to get rid of them since most pest sprays are nasty and definitely not dog friendly. Enter Pest Soldier! This vinegar based spray has been working wonders and smells good (thank you peppermint oil) and I'm stoked.

It's going to take me a while to quit buzzing from this weekend. From teaching these amazing women, to bunking with some awesome experts, to meal times with a Food Network Star, to being on the Today show (WHAT? Yup, stay tuned.) - this weekend changed my world, as camp always does. It is getting me excited for my own retreat! Just a reminder, 3 spaces have opened up for May 18-21. Do you want in? You even get to blend your own custom wine! Let me know!

And happy Wednesday Campers!