Besties in the Westies: Hil and Jill Visit California

The last time Hil, Jill and I were all together, we ran Grandma’s Marathon. This time I am happy to say that no marathons were involved, HOWEVER, with all of the hiking, dancing, running, kayaking and Soul-Cycling we did… I’d say we still got our fair share of activities! That is one thing I love about these girls – they are up for anything! I couldn’t wait to give them a taste of my life in California.

They both flew in on a Wednesday and since Jill’s flight came in earlier, we were able to have lunch together shortly after she arrived. She got a run in while I finished up work and then we spent the next few hours relaxing in the sun, eventually making fish tacos with mango-avo salsa for dinner out of Run Fast Eat Slow – one of my favorite cookbooks! She was also able to attend our Midweek (church small group) before we went to pick up Hil from the airport that evening.

Thursday: San Francisco

After a good night’s sleep, we were ready to take on San Francisco Thursday morning!


We made pancakes and eggs for breakfast before driving into the city, and straight to the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market for lunch (us girls can EAT!). This was the first time I went to the market on a Thursday and not a Saturday, and turns out it’s pretty different. Instead of local farmers, bakeries and produce stands outside, restaurants set up food stands/trucks. There were lots of great food options to choose from- everything from salads to tacos to rotisserie chicken sandwiches. It was the perfect way to each get what sounded good to us. For me, it was a flat white from Blue Bottle and tacos from Tacolicious.

After eating lunch on the pier, we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge to start our hike to Kirby Cove. The hike takes you down to a beach and is about 3 miles total with lots of hills and incredible views of the bridge.

After getting our full share of the beach, the bridge and the city, we drove back to my apartment and grilled chicken and pineapple for dinner before calling it a night.

Friday: Testarossa Winery and Girl’s Night Out

I did have to work Friday morning, but before I knew it, Hil, Jill and Mo were all meeting me for lunch. Mo unfortunately had to stay behind and work while the three of us girls headed out to Testarossa Winery in Los Gatos. Testarossa is best known for their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We did a tasting and decided on a bottle of Chardonnay to drink on the patio. It was a great decision.

After enjoying the vino, the views and the beautiful weather, we stopped in the town of Los Gatos for a little shopping. Shopping after wine… also a great decision.

The trip wouldn’t be complete without a night out of dancing! Believe it or not, after we all ran Grandma’s Marathon in June, we stayed out until 3AM dancing. There’s just something about good friends, loud music and maybe a littleee bit of alcohol that makes for some great memories!

Saturday: Monterey Bay

Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day so the four of us drove down to the coast and rented kayaks. The sea otters and sea lions were all out to play! It was a little windy and the ocean was pretty choppy, but all was good… until Mo and I capsized on our way back to shore! Let’s just say it was a great couple-bonding moment.


After a full day in the sun, we were ready to go back and relax. Dinner and the hot tub were the only things on the agenda for that night! Sydney came out to join us at the hot tub and was in for quite the surprise when she unexpectedly jumped in. She was NOT a fan of the hot water! I think she learned her lesson…

Sunday: Church, San Pedro Square and Soul Cycle

We all went to church Sunday morning, and I loved that I had the opportunity to take Hil and Jill to Vive! I have to say, I am quite proud of the welcoming atmosphere, the community feel and the love and passion that our pastors and congregation have for God. We proudly show that passion through our worship and interactions throughout the message.  After church, we went to San Pedro Square in San Jose for lunch, before dropping Jill off at the airport. San Pedro Square is an indoor food market, similar to a food court, but with high quality food stands instead of fast food. We again all got to choose what sounded good to us and I chose a turkey reuben. All of us agreed on one thing… dessert. The homemade cookies at Chocotoo are INCREDIBLE.

We said our goodbyes to Jill (luckily we already have another trip in the works!), and Hil and I had the rest of the afternoon and evening together before her flight took off. Naturally, we signed up for a Soul Cycle class and I introduced her to the wonderful world of Pressed Juicery. It doesn’t get more “California” than that!

Thanks for following along in our adventures! I am so blessed to have such incredible friends, family and followers!

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