California Trip – Our first day in Santa Rosa

Saturday was a super busy day!

My roomie was up at 4:15 am to go on a hot air balloon ride (totally jealous!), but I had the chance to sleep in a little bit. Around 10:15 we all loaded onto some buses for the ride out to Napa for the race expo. Even though it was kind of a pain that EVERYTHING was at least a 30 minute drive from the hotel, at least someone else drove us there.


The drive out to the expo was amazing. It was our first real look at the Napa wine country. Wow. I loved being able to take pictures of everything on the drive out. Lauren actually met us at the expo because it was halfway between her balloon ride and the hotel. Our first, and really only, snafu of the weekend was when we couldn’t find Lauren on the race list. We ended up finding out that they mixed up her first and last names which was why we couldn’t  find her. Her last name ended up being on her race bib instead of her first, but at least she was on there.


The expo itself was really small. There are only around 3600 runners for this race so I kind of expected it. Thankfully since Lauren was there with her car I was able to ride back with her instead of having to wait another hour for the bus to take as back. We took another route back to the hotel so I was able to see some different scenery which was nice.


Once we got back to the hotel we dropped off our stuff and headed across the street to the vintage clothing store I’d seen on our way into town the night before. I picked up a vintage 1970s orange coat and a blue slip for my vintage lace dress. Both were 50% off so I was a VERY happy Meghan. We were able to wander around the shops a little more before we met up with the team for lunch.

We “inherited” the South Florida team, so our team went from 9 people to 19 people which was kinda cool. At lunch we were able to meet some of the South Florida team and get to know them. They were all so cool! We were lucky to have them as part of our team for the weekend 🙂


Our next “event” was our Team Meeting. We went over all the details for the next day, Lauren spoke, and we got some goodie bags. The Team Meeting really made everything seem real. I kept thinking “Holy crap, the race is tomorrow!”

After the Team Meeting we had just enough time before dinner to head to the local cupcake shop to get some cupcakes. Sift was only 1/2 a mile away but we took the car just in case. We were lucky to find a parking spot right out front that even had some time left on the meter. Holy wow was that place awesome! I did some research before we left and found out that Sift had been on Cupcake Wars and WON, so I was pretty excited about their cupcakes. I bought 2 and Lauren got 5 (tee hee) and had the worst time trying to decide which ones to get – they all sounded amazing. I ended up with Key Lime and a Samoa cupcake. I ate the Key Lime one that night after dinner and had the Samoa one for breakfast at the airport on Monday. Hey, the box said that it was okay to eat cupcakes for breakfast!



Dinner that night was the Team Challenge Pasta Party. We’d all ready heard about how amazing the event was, so we were pretty excited before we even left the hotel. Our group, which included all the teams, coaches, managers, and guests, was over 1200 people! None of our hotels had a ballroom big enough for everyone so they had the dinner outside in a field which was really cool. Of course it was a 20 minute drive, so we hopped back on the buses yet again.


We arrived to a “cheer line” that included all the coaches and managers cheering us on. It was such a cool experience! It was just another of those “holy crap its finally here!” moments. Once we found our tables they had everyone go ahead and get there food and get seated. We saw a slide show of pictures (some of which were of our team), ate dinner, listened to a couple of speakers (one of which was from the South Florida team), and were introduced to all of the teams. Once team even sang their own version of the Thrift Shop song. It was great! The speakers were fabulous and were a great reminder of why we were there and why what we were doing is SO important. Team Challenge raised over 2.4 million dollars with just this race! Pretty cool huh?


After dinner we met up with a couple of team members out by the firepit (it was only around 50 degrees out) for a glass of wine before bed. They had gotten in a couple of days early and had been visiting wineries. It was a nice way to end the day.


Only 10 hours until race time…

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