Fitcation ’13 Overview
As most of you know, I’m pretty new to the blogging world and social media. So as you can imagine, I was so thrilled to participate in this past weekend’s Fitcation, which was held right in my backyard of Paso Robles, CA.
Leah Segedie of Mamavation created Fitcation with the intension of it being a special destination weekend vacation for bloggers. Among the social aspect of the weekend where I met an outstanding group of about 30 women bloggers with whom I hope to have made life long friendships, we were treated like royalty touring the spectacular SIP Certified Wineries (Halter Ranch & Vineyard & Castoro Cellars Winery), Hearst Castle, Pasolivo Olive Oil Company, Morro Bay, Cambria, Paso Robles, and San Luis Obispo as well as plentiful bags of swag.
Within Fitcation’s 2½ days, I cannot believe all that we did! And even though we were constantly on the go, staying up late, sampling all the wines, and exercising; I have to admit I still walked away feeling refreshed. Most of the time I feel like I need a vacation from my vacations, but not this time. Maybe it was all the yummy fresh & healthy food incorporated into meaningful yet often quite silly antics of 30 women traveling together. A BIG thank you to FIG Good Food of Atascadero & Cahoots Catering for providing the most delicious meals!
Putting The “Fit” into Fitcation
The first morning we headed out to participate in a Boot Camp workout in the park. Even though I find myself fit, boy did Erin from Dig Deep, Play Hard kick my “you know what.” We ran the stairs, used the picnic tables to do triceps dips and pushups, as well as miscellaneous drills. Erin reinforced that you don’t need to pay exorbitant amounts of money on gym memberships; all you need is your body weight and room to move. The only thing I need to get over is the feeling of looking silly while planking on the kid’s swings 🙂
Our second day included yoga on the beach in Cambria. Up above the beach where we ate a delightful meal it was extremely windy, but once we step down onto the warm sand we were protected from the wind and enjoyed the peaceful teachings from Kia. The wonderful thing about yoga is that you are always learning and anyone can do it from the young to the old; fit to the unfit- that’s why they call it yoga practice.
After yoga, we headed down to Morro Bay where we went kayaking in the bay. Kayak Horizons provided the kayaks for us to cruise up and down the channel as we paddled past the sea lions and boats. June and I were determined to paddle the full hour even though we were in single kayaks, we battled the winds together and had a wonderful time.
Fitting the “Wine” into Fitcation:
From the moment we arrived at the Hotel, wine was flowing freely and heavily like the rivers after a storm. If you’re not familiar with the Central Coast of California, Paso Robles has been one of the fastest growing vineyard and winery regions in the country. With a long growing season of warm days and cool evenings, the Paso Robles region hosts more then 40 winegrape varieties.
One of the event’s sponsors was SIP Certified (SIP standing for Sustainability In Practice). It’s not enough these days to say “natural” or “organic,” these terms don’t have any meaning. If a winery is SIP Certified, you know they have gone through a rigorous evaluation. Every 3 years, the winery must get re-certified. SIP Certified sustainably farmed vineyards and wines speak to the farmer’s commitment to protecting both natural and human resources. The Standards address many interrelated elements of the whole farm system. Habitat conservation, energy efficiency, pest management, water conservation, economic stability, and human resources are some of the key elements of the program. The Standards look at the farm in its entirety: the worker, soil fertility, cover crops, wildlife, native plants, irrigation, and more. Currently, there are over 175 SIP Certified Wineries. This was something new to me, and I will now be basing my wine purchases on those participating wineries with the certification on their labels.
We visited 2 separate SIP Certified wineries. The first one was Castoro Cellars. Here’s a trivia fact…Castoro is the Italian work for beaver (the owner’s nickname), so if you ever make it out to this winery, be on the lookout for their little mascot all over the place. This family winery has over 350 acres of SIP Certified grapes and as a testament to their award winning wines; they have had the same wine maker (Tom Myers) for the past 22 years. Their wines are outstanding and their grounds are truly spectacular. Note to any future brides: September/ October is the best time to have your wedding here while the grapes are still present and plump.
After learning about the fundamentals of wine tasting (more on this in a future blog), the second winery we visited was Halter Ranch. Halter Ranch was one of the first SIP Certified wineries obtaining its original certification in 2008. When asked about why they chose to go through the grueling SIP Certification, I love that their answer was that they’re on the 100-year plan. Planting for the future. There are over 280 acres dedicated to the vines with 19 different varieties. More to follow regarding this winery and their wine caves.
As I’ve had a full week to reflect on our experiences from Fitcation ’13, I sit here looking over the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of photos with great pleasure and a lot of laughs. Thank you to everyone who had their hand in putting this event together and a huge thanks to all of the awe-inspiring women that I met. May we cross paths again soon!