Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Drinking, Eating, and Running in Healdsburg

This past weekend, I flew down to California for the purpose of running a half marathon in Healdsburg with my mom. The weekend actually played out with importance placed on activities in the order listed in the title of this post. Drinking reigned, eating was secondary, and only tertiary was the pesky 13.1 miles.

My mom and I drove up to Healdsburg on Saturday morning, stopping at the Gary Farrell and Hop Kiln wineries on the way to Kendall Jackson where the packet pickup was held.

Gary Farrell (view from patio shown above) produces what are considered the premiere Pinot Noirs of California. My mom and I were very curious to see how they stacked up against Oregon Pinots. The wines were good, so good that I decided to join their wine club. I had motives other than the good wine, though; I want a reason to wine taste more in California, and joining a wine club is the perfect excuse to take a trip to wine country. I look forward to visiting Gary Farrell again.

Hop Kiln (which really did used to be a hop kiln, check out the picture above) makes mostly typical big jammy California reds. My mom and I were not impressed, but we were visiting Hop Kiln for more than just the wine. We were starving and needed a place that sold food. We picked up a round of Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk cheese and some crackers and feasted like fools. I hope no one was watching, because we attacked the cheese (cutting it with a nail file, I may add) like we hadn't eaten in weeks. 

We met up with my little sister in Healdsburg, did some more wine tasting at the tasting rooms around the town square, got a snack at Healdsburg Bar and Grill - where we drank some beer, then headed to our motel to change into some warmer clothes.  

Our dinner reservations weren't until 8 pm, but we headed back to the square to walk around and maybe do some more tasting.  I don't know how we decided to stop into Willi's Seafood and Raw Bar for some oysters and wine, but we did.  Because, you know, it wasn't enough that we were drinking to our hearts content the night before running a half marathon, we had to add raw oysters into the mix.

I had to take multiple pictures of my little sister before she approved this one for inclusion on PEP.

After feasting on oysters, it was off to Baci for pasta carb loading - finally a good pre-race activity - and more wine. Dinner was spectacular, but I forgot to take any pictures.

Despite all the drinking and eating that occurred on Saturday, my mom and I had a pretty good race. And in the words of one of my sisters friends: Why do we run a half marathon?  For the drinks after, of course!

An excellent weekend all around.

Bon appetit.

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