For me, traveling is one of the best ways I relax. I love seeing new places, spending quality time with dear friends and most importantly, being inspired by my surroundings and those friends. Last weekend I went to southern California for EatSeaRetreat, with a group of wonderfully inspiring bloggers to regroup, gather my thoughts and hone my mission with this blog. This space, this little corner of the internet, is one of my favorite things in the world. Sharing my love of cooking, photography, my dream of a small and humble country life in the city is what makes me get up and hit the ground running every day.
Seattle to LA is a quick two and a half hour jump, but a whole world away. Thank goodness Alaska Airlines has a bunch of non-stop flights. In a couple of short hours I was in a whole new environment, filled with sunshine and warm weather, and a sea breeze in my immediate future.
Along with me was:
- Amelia at Eating Made Easy
- Liz at The Lemon Bowl
- Ashley at Edible Perspective
- Lauren at Climbing Grier Mountain
- Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats
- Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean
- Nikki at Seeded At The Table
When we arrived at Terranea Resort, we swung open the doors of our villa and soaked it all in. It’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the beauty of this place and feel the immediate relaxation kick in.
Whether you’re wanting to just lay pool side, do some walking around the resort, or hit up the links, of eat at one of the MANY restaurants, you could do it all and stay right on site. Our first night we dinned at Mar’sel where we dined on local delicacies, fresh from the sea. One of the things all of us girls loved about Terranea was their pride in local, home grown, sustainable food. From the produce grown on site, to their own honey and sea salt – the restaurants all showcase the best that is available, at the peak of freshness. You can’t argue with that!
We woke up the next day to get down to business. Unlike large conferences, these small retreats provide us bloggers with a chance to really dig deep into our blogs, help each other diagnose our challenges and come up with creative solutions. Over breakfast, provided by Nature’s Path Organic and Stonyfield, we talked about critical elements that help our blogs run smoothly – like time management, blogger outreach and growing our readership.
One of my problems is balance and burnout – especially since I work full time on top of blogging. With seven other experts and friends, who care deeply about my success as well, it was so helpful to get creative and innovative feedback that went beyond anything I could have come up with on my own. We’ve all been there, and done that at some point – so it’s great to get another perspective.
In between sessions, we had lunch made for us by the executive chef of Terranea who gave us a spread, with fresh local cod, chicken with a Moroccan seasoning, local wines, and a chocolate mousse that would make your head spin. Hearing the passion these chefs had for their job was inspiring. And it did more to inspire me in the kitchen as well.
One of the great things about all that eating we did, was that the resort had plenty of walking trails around as well. If I hadn’t let my FitBit die that weekend, I probably would have hit my 10,000 steps by noon! Sunrise walks along the rugged coast with Lauren and Ashley got the mind in gear for the last sessions and burned off some of the calories from the ice cream sandwiches from Sea Beans as we all stayed up way past our bed time the night before.
Not to mention the pretzel, and s’mores we had cliffside at Nelson’s, too.
We ate our way through two days and two nights, in a sea side retreat with seven other inspiring women, at a resort that exudes pride and passion in everything they do. If that isn’t a recipe for success, I don’t know what is.
Terranea Resort has a won me over, heart, stomach and soul.
*Fine Print* Thank you so much to Terranea Resort, Nature’s Path Organic, and Stonyfield for sponsoring our stay, and fueling us up as we brainstorm, inspire each other and rejuvenate! All opinions are my own.