San Francisco: running, food, and shopping.

A few weeks ago I met my mom in San Francisco for a long weekend of food, shopping, and running a half-marathon. The whole purpose of the trip was the half-marathon but it should come as no surprise that our entire weekend was centered around food.

We arrived Thursday night and met up at SFO before taking the BART into the city. We stayed at the Hilton in Union Square which is a short walk from the Powell BART station.

We checked into the hotel and quickly made our way to our dinner reservations at Hops&Hominy. For a place with hops in the name, their beer selection was pretty disappointing. They did have Autumn Maple from The Bruery (which we ordered) but there were only about 6 beer options to choose from and only 2 were California beers. The food was good, but not anything super special. Id say this place is best for an after work drink and an appetizer, but thats about it.

After dinner we walked back to the hotel, took in the amazing view from our 36th floor room, and quickly called it a night.

The next morning (Friday) we got a little bit of a slow start thanks to my migraine headache. Luckily it went away enough for us to venture out just in time for the NWM Expo to open. We were able to pick up our race packets, experience the expo, and make it to the NikeTown store to shop and find our names on the wall without too much chaos or too many long lines.

We took a cab over to the Ferry Building and walked around a bit. I just love the Ferry Building. We stopped at my favorite stores: Miette, Heath Ceramics (they also have a location in our neighborhood in LA, which is actually where I get all of my Weck jars) and Village Market. We actually didnt get a latte from Blue Bottle (which is surprising) but we had just finished a latte when we arrived.  We had lunch at Market Bar and then made our way back to Union Square. We found the lululemon store just south of Chinatown and helped stimulate the economy a little bit and then we wandered around a little more and made it back to our hotel in time to change and cab it to our dinner reservations at Baker & Banker.

I highly recommend Baker & Banker. Small place, great food, great wine selection, and great service. We left overly full and a little giggly from one too many glasses of delicious wine. We took a cab back to our hotel and were in bed soon after.

Saturday was a gorgeous day.
We woke up to this view:

We walked over to Farm:Table for breakfast; which is a super cute and super small place in the Union Square/Nob Hill area. They only have one table which is designed to be a community table and their menu is small, but the food is delicious and they have a great latte. I really cannot recommend this place enough, but please be advised that this place is small. Most of the locals were coming in for a latte to go.

After breakfast we made our way to the Mission area. We got another cup of coffee at Ritual Coffee Roasters and then went and grabbed some of the most delicious pastries I’ve ever had at Tartine Bakery. With our goodies in tow we walked over to Dolores Park and enjoyed them while enjoying the unbelievably beautiful day.

About the time we were done devouring our pastries at the park, my Aunt came and picked us up. We drove around the city a bit and then found ourselves sitting in another park by the marina starting at the Golden Gate Bridge.

We made our way back to our hotel and met up with my dear friend Sarah and her friend Andrea for a drink at Urban Tavern that was located at the bottom of our hotel. Then we made our way to our dinner reservations at Cafe Tiramisu. The restaurant was nestled down an adorable alley. Dinner was wonderful, the wine was wonderful, and the company was fantastic.

Sunday morning we woke up at 4:30am. We got ready, had our coffee, and made our way to Union Square to meet up with Sarah at the starting line around 6am. The race finally started at 7am and we enjoyed 13.1 miles of beautiful scenery, chilly temperatures, and lots of hills. Mom and I finished the race (so proud of her!) and we were eager to get our Tiffany finishers necklaces and get back to the hotel to shower.

Unfortunately, getting back to Union Square ended up being much more difficult that we had planned (trust me when I say it was a nightmare) But, after a couple of hours of trying and a city bus later, we finally made it back.
We showered, put on our necklaces, and headed to our lunch reservations at the Rotunda at Neiman Marcus. Lunch was great and we enjoyed a much-needed bloody mary, but we were both pretty tired from the days events.

As a gift to us for finishing the race, Dad treated us to a handbag from Louis Vuitton. So, even though we were exhausted, we managed to find the energy to do a little shopping before heading back to the hotel to pack our suitcases, order room service for dinner, and fall fast asleep.

We got up early on Monday morning and took the BART to SFO.
After going through security I saw this sign:

I had heard of SFO having yoga rooms available in their terminals; I’m so glad that I was actually able to see one! Hopefully this trend catches on and they put them in airports all over the country.

While walking to my gate I heard someone say “Tanis, is that you??!!” and I turned around to find one of my good friends from high school who I had not seen in 10 years! Luckily we were early enough to the airport that we were able to sit and catch up for about 45 minutes. It was so great seeing Evan after all of these years; I am so glad he noticed me! Its such a small world.

running.

I have taken a bit of a hiatus from running.
2009 was a big running year for me. I ran a 5k in May, another 5k on the 4th of July, a 10k in August, and a Full Marathon in October.
2010 started with a half marathon in January, a half marathon in September, and ended with another half marathon in October.
Since October of 2010 my running has dwindled to a few times a month…. or even none at all.

BUT. its time to lace up the running shoes again because my mom, friend Sarah and I got into the half-portion of the Nike Women’s marathon via the lottery system! wahoo!

I am really looking forward to it. I am looking forward to the training process, I am looking forward spending a girls weekend in San Francisco in October, and I am looking forward to running through the wonderful city of San Francisco again. It will also be nice to add another Tiffany’s finishers charm to the two I already have. Its hard to believe this will be my third time participating in the Nike Women’s marathon (the half-portion twice, and the full-portion once).

Now the trick will be getting back into the training routing… without it affecting my yoga practice.
I’m bad about being a “one sport” kind of person. I was practicing yoga regularly until the 2009 training season started, then my practice started to dwindle due to my marathon training. Then, in 2010 I tried to be better about finding a balance but while I was training I didnt make it to a yoga class much, and then, when I managed to get my yoga practice more regular my running was affected.

This time around I am determined to have a healthy mix of both yoga and running.
Plus, yoga is such a great compliment to running. Its just a matter of managing your time well.

To kick off the training season I went to my favorite running specialty store to get a new pair of running shoes and a new water belt.

Here’s to finding a healthy balance of yoga & running… and to breaking in my new running shoes!

photos from Northern California.

So, Northern California was fabulous.

The Nike Women’s (half) Marathon was good, and the time spent in San Francisco was wonderful… BUT, Santa Cruz/Capitola/Carmel/the Carmel Valley really stole the show.

I could honestly see myself living there (although, Im beginning to believe that I can see myself living anywhere/everywhere).

We went to Pebble Beach (umm, wow) and here is the view of the water from the Pebble Beach Lodge:

We walked outside of the Lodge and saw this view:

Then, we went to Carmel to walk around and do some window shopping.
We then headed to the Carmel Valley to a FABULOUS winery (Bernardus Lodge & Winery) to enjoy lunch… which turned out to be one of the best meals I have ever had. and the wine was fantastic too.
Here is a view from our lunch table, looking out onto the croquet field and some of the cottages that they rent out:

Fabulous, I tell ya. Fabulous.

Recipe For The Weekend:

I’m going to make these for our Team in Training post-6-mile-run-potluck next weekend… I hope they’re as delicious as they are healthy!

Marathon Cookies

2 cups rolled oats (not instant oats)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon aniseed, crushed in mortar and pestle (or spice grinder)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

one 15-ounce can white kidney, great northern, or navy beans, rinsed & drained
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup sesame seeds

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees and place a rack in the top third. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Pulse the oats in a food processor (or blender) until they resemble a raggy flour. Transfer the oats to a large mixing bowl and whisk in the flour, aniseed, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest and salt.

Pulse the beans and olive oil in the food processor until they are creamy. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract and pulse until smooth. Scrap down the sides of the bowl once or twice along the way.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until the ingredients start to come together. Sprinkle the dates across the top of the batter and stir until everything just comes together.

Place the sesames seeds in a bowl. Make each cookie with a scant 1/4 cup scoop of dough. Roll each scoop of dough into a ball then coat it with sesame seeds. Set each ball on the prepared baking sheet and with the palm of your hand flatten the dough just a bit (see photo). Repeat with the remaining dough, leaving at least an inch or so between each cookie – they’ll spread a bit, but not much. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the sesame seeds around the bottom start to get golden.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies.

Thank you Heidi from 101 Cookbooks for your recipe!.
Please check out Heidi’s blog to view photos of these amazing cookies.