Back in August I was chosen to go on Fitcation 13, a fitness based vacation for mom bloggers. The opportunity to get away for a few days and meet some moms I had been interacting with online for over a year was something I was looking forward too and so glad I went!
Fitcation was a fun-filled time with fitness activities as we all explored Paso Robles, California. Upon arriving, I finally met Leah Segedie the creator of Mamavation™ who has been inspiring women to lose weight online and holding them accountable through weekly virtual chats, twitter parties and her private Facebook group. She has guts and motivated to make world a healthier place by being an activist for passing GMO-label laws, ridding food dyes and junkie ingredients in our food systems. Sounds like someone you know, right? As she kindly stated when I left Saturday night, we have “kindred” spirits. Those are the type you bond with because while many look at you like your are cru-AH-zee when it comes to food, health and wellbeing, folks like this, we understand each other. Kind of like a 50 year marriage.
I arrived late Thursday evening. I dropped of my bags and headed straight to a local art gallery called Studios in the Park for a local, organic meal from Fig Good Food. It was wonderful. I even guessed the secret ingredient in one of my favorite Moroccan dishes they made. Proud Foodie over here. While eating this fab, fab meal, we were sipping on sustainable local wines from wineries that are SIP Certified. Hit the brakes, SIP Certified? Oh yes, there are now official labels for wineries that produce, green AND organic wines, however, SIP Certification is a unique combination beyond those two labels. You can read more about their tough standards on their website. Now I know if I want to drink wine from grapes that is sustainably grown and organic, I will look for the SIP Seal! After the event was over, we went to a local bar and listened to the locals play music while getting to know more folks, including my roommate from Happy Mothering. (Another kindred soul).
Friday morning we woke up and did bootcamp in the park with Erin Kreitz Shirey of Dig Deep Play Hard, who was six months along with her third and the energy of a high school cheerleader. I loved this workout and her hard-core attitude. Afterwards we were hit the showers and in the van for our excursions.
First up Castoros Cellars were we ate a fantastic gluten free and vegetarian lunch. While we were finishing up our lunch the wine tastings began. We got an informative session on how to sample wines from Stasi Seay of Unlock Wine. I definitely feel more refined after that info session. During the taste testing I learned that Castoro Cellars makes the Coastal wines for Trader Joe’s and while they do not have the SIP Seal (TJs is a private label) I can feel good buying that particular brand of wine since visiting the winery itself. I did purchase Castoro’s Pinot Grigio and some organic, local chocolate truffle. Oh my!
Next up was the Pasolivo Olive Oil Tour. We walked through the groves which houses 6000 olive trees and learned they hand pick their olives and press them within 24 hours right on site. That is the key to a quality oil which goes through a rigorous testing in California. It is more difficult to pass their testings than international testings.
I do know most olive oils you buy from the store are not high quality and some of it may even be blended with other types of oils. Though I love the benefits pure olive oil has, I did sign up for their “club” and looking forward to my first shipment of olive oils and other goodies!
Our third and final stop was Halter Ranch Vineyard and Winery that sits on 2000 acres of vines and one of the two oldest live oak trees in the world. Yes, I had to climb it. I enjoyed the hike through the vineyards very much and the behind the scenes peek at seeing some wine being processed was also fun.
After the hike and tour, we headed over to the barn for a reflexology massage and dinner hosted by Earth
Brand Shoes. I’ve been eager to see these shoes in person. We all got to choose a pair of these “healthy” shoes that takes the pressure off of your spine and help to keep it in alignment. Sounds good to me! We got to see the new spring 2014 line and I must say, I am super impressed with how much care goes into creating the shoe, but the designs are ones that I would completely flock too. I chose the Bellflower in Pewter. Super adorable with dark jeans.
The meal was amazing! We sipped on more wines from Halter Ranch and headed back to our hotel for an evening of chatting and laughing.
Saturday we began our tour on the outskirts of Paso Rablos taking our trip to Hearst Castle. I have not heard of this place and was intrigued by a castle in the west coast. The history and story behind it was amazing. I happen to like history (and black and white movies) and enjoyed the rich history and the master mind of how this castle came to be. I was really starting to enjoy getting to know many of the moms on this trip including our tour host, Kris Beal. Who super cool and a passion for health and happiness.
After the tour, we headed to San Simeon Beach in Cambria for some lunch by Robin’s Restaurant, sponsored by Visit Cambria and yoga lead by Kia Ruiz of Bodhi Bear. (another kindred spirit). I’ve never done yoga on the beach and I really enjoyed listening to the crash of the waves and seeing the beauty of the waves hit the rocks. I really felt grounded and thankful for this trip.
Next off was Morro Bay for some Kayaking with Kayak Horizons with my roomie. I must say we rocked our ability to kayak, but so bummed I didn’t get a picture with her the whole weekend. (next time Chrystal!). Gal Pal Pam over at Renaissance Mom was doing a daily squat challenge and said she had to do 60 squats. I said, well what are we waiting for…so we did 60 on the beach…we heard some wonderful info about the hidden gem, then got in the van and headed to down town San Luis Obispo.
We ate at another local place called Eatz, where everything in the place is local and organic. They even had gluten free pizza, yay! After sipping on more SIP Certified wines from Tolosa Winery, the Pinor was my favorite and we heard the big announcement from Leah about starting the first Eco-Wellness Blogger Conference called ShiftCon. (early bird tickets just went on sale!) I am excited to be a part of the leadership team. After that, Erin from Dig Deep Play Hard drove me back to the airport. We were non-stop chatter all the way. I felt like we were old friends.
I really enjoyed my time away and super thankful for this fun and unique opportunity. In fact, I am already thinking about doing a 10-year anniversary trip here with my husband next year, that is how much I loved it and would highly, highly recommend visiting this unique gem!
Disclosure: Fitcation13 was a sponsored event by the organizations mentioned in this post. It was part of our agreement to write a summary of our experiences and list the sponsors involved. All opinions are my own.