I’m in Love! Why does Steve Madden have to have so many cute shoes that are to die for? I spotted the Steve Madden Rego on their website and fell in love immediately and had
to have it. They have a platform which makes
it easy to walk in the 5 inch heel also I am loving the color Silver for spring 2011! Now I’m eyeing Steve Maddens Wiicked, apprently with the popularity they went up in price in the last month about 40 bucks at 149.99, yikes!

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Vineman was an awesome race. I really enjoyed this course, not only is this course located in Sonoma, Ca. with some the of worlds best wineries, it is also a gorgeous course. The swim is in Guerneville, Ca. in a lake that is so warm that it was in the high 60’s but still USAT legal to wear a wetsuit.  The swim is very shallow, so swimming was very interesting, I found myself pulling up dirt with every stroke in some sections of the swim course.  For the first time in my life I was glad I didn’t have long arms.

The bike course sent us through the Sonoma County going past many vineyards and wineries, the course had it’s hills so it was not completely flat. It was warm and it was sunny and it was a great race day!

The bike finally led us back to Transition 2 where I had all my run shoes and gear. The run course brought us to our turn around at La Crema Winery. Unfortunately they didn’t have wine to taste but they did have food and water, the run took us on a little tour through a little pond in the backside of the winery and back on the road for a turn around. The run course isn’t completely flat, it had it’s share of some hills but nothing major.

This was a great course for me, a special race particularly because I had done it just shy of 4 months after giving birth to my wonderful baby girl.

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The San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island, the name itself sounds cold, very cold. The thought of any swim in the San Francisco Bay sounds freezing cold. Yet in November many triathletes get up early in the morning probably 4 or 5 am to run into this nice cold water. Crazy, yes! And that is why I do this, because I may be crazy or I just may think this is FUN!

The day of the race as I get my transition area prepped, I walk around and check out the area, it was the first time I had arrived at least a few hours early before any race to pick up my race packet and prep. I am usually the one coming an hour before the race and running out to the water barely making the start.  It was soo nice to just relax before the race, take my time and not rush! I better take a mental note for future reference!

As I wait for my wave start, women’s 29under, I hear the announcer saying that the water is exactly 47 degrees, which is USAT legal to wear wetsuits. Just about 4 months ago I had swam in 69 degree balmy waters at Vineman. As I wait I see a triathlete coming into transition  from the swim who is freezing cold, he had this uncontrollable shake, he was searching for a medical team, someone that can help warm him up before he got on his bike. People ran up to him and took off what they had on and put it on him. As I watched on, I thought, man I’ve swam in northern California ocean waters many times and never saw this before. This scared me! I was freaking out mentally! Luckily, I got out of the scare and went on with positive thoughts!

I went into the water and it was certainly cold but not bad, the wetsuit always helps, thank god for the wetsuits.

After my horrible slow swim it was off to the bike, the bike is a good friend and I feel comfortably strong on the bike! For those of you that plan to race this course, beware, the roads are bad, many potholes and there are sections where there are cobblestones. Technical sections as Tricalifornia describe as ‘technical’ are the many sharp turns and bike traffic.  It is a 6 loop course.

The run is a 3 loop course that has a great view of the bay bridge.  Unfortunatley, I wasn’t getting excited about the bike or run course.

All in all a great race. As always, gotta improve my swim but am very happy with my bike and run splits. Would I do this race again? Hmmm..ask me again in 5 years!

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It was so nice to get up and over all the bad air that Northern California has been getting from all the bad wildfires! And in this case all it takes is 20 miles up Mt. Hamilton road to get an otherwise great scenic view of the bay area. This was another great bike ride for me, the temperature was perfecto, minus the sun gleaming on you. The bottom picture reflects how bad the air quality is, very hazy indeed!

Check out the local bike ride that I did a few weeks ago! Above is a picture from the start of Mt. Umunhum road and the Sierra Azul trail entrance. I was able to do lots of good hill climbing without driving far.

Also, here is a map of the 40 mile ride courtesy of http://www.mtbguru.com

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If you love 1950’s diners inspired restaurants that serve the all American classic burgers and fries with a malt shake, Fentons Creamery is the place to go. A classic Oakland, Ca restaurant that started in 1894, and in 2007 opened up a location in Vacaville’s Nutree, California’s legendary roadstop. Above is a picture of Alyssa Lugtu about to enjoy her Jumbo 4 scoop ice cream with 4 toppings!

I had the opportunity to dine at this wonderful 2 Michelin star restaurant in a quaint cozy street just off the main downtown strip in Los Gatos, Ca. I had almost passed it since from the exterior it looked like just another Los Gatos house. I think that is what makes this restaurant so special, it is as if a good friend had invited us to their home for a dinner full of innovating, fresh, unique food full of amazing flavor. As you walk in you can watch the chefs, sous chefs at work in the kitchen, there is a window in the hallway before you are greeted into the dining area.

Executive Chef David Kinch made this restaurant not only a Michelin star restaurant but has also garnered his food and gained influence from French and Catalan style cooking. They receive their bio dynamic vegetables from Synthia Sandberg’s Love Apple Farm near Los Gatos, harvested that morning the same day for the evening. Love Apple Farm is exclusive to Manresa, which is also what makes Manresa special!

As the name Manresa comes from a medival small town from Spain’s Catalonia region I was expecting some Spanish flavors but was mistaken.

The menu is french style menu like at French Laundry where you have little tasters and aperitifs as well as small concoctions to clean your palette before your next course.

The first tasting was a little fried aperitif which seemed breaded and the filling looked like red radish infused with Swiss cheese. The second was an oyster with a foamed oyster sauce very light but full of flavor on the top. My favorite was an egg somewhat half cooked with a special light cream sauce and you have to dig in the egg with your spoon. My first entree was a raspberry foie gras jellied sauce, which was different though it seemed like I was already having dessert, but the raspberry sauce tasted so fresh! I then had fish with John Dory sauce, onion and potato skin. For my main course I had beef tender rare with potatoes, very juicy and tasty. For dessert I had a dark chocolate mousse on top of a lime froth with fresh light ice cream, which for chocolate lovers is the perfect choice! Then as a finish a dark chocolate truffle before the final huge bill.

A special wine that may be a bit pricey for most people is Pride Valley 02 which I believe you can purchase for 135.00. It went very well with the meal.

As you can tell it is hard to take pictures inside of the dishes, a bit embarrassing and tourist like I may say, so I only have the exterior sign of Manresa. Definitely a meal worth doing AGAIN.

Australia’s BEDE DURBIDGE, 24, (Gold Coast, QLD. Australia) claimed the BILLABONG PIPELINE MASTERS title today in high-performance conditions on Oahu’s North Shore. DURBIDGE, 24, simultaneously captured the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title for the best overall performance over the course of the Hawaiian winter. The combination win earned DURBIDGE over $75,000 in cash and prizes, the biggest single one-day haul in the history of professional surfing.

Check out this video on Metacafe.com

Isn’t this gorgeous??!! Ahhh… I’m dreaming of going back!

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