Climbing To The Top

Sometimes it's a matter of putting one foot in front of the other...

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A glimpse of the Upper Sonoma Valley from the top of the Milkmaid Trail at Sonoma Valley Regional Park. (c) Loving The Suite Life

Sometimes you have to face the things that challenge you, and just put one foot in front of the other.  When I’m in a new town, I love to walk and get outdoors, it’s my preferred work out, but I always crave seeing what the view looks from the top of the mountain.  I will look up hiking trails, but back out when I see the words “steep incline” or “advanced hikers only”.  

Not all hotels in the world have fitness centers or studios, sometimes you have to get a little creative, but when you do, it always pays off.  I checked into the Olea Hotel in Glen Ellen, California, a small, sleepy wine country town that boasts the renowned, Glen Ellen Star.  I wasn’t discouraged with the lack of a fitness studio, because the hotel is literally within walking distance to the Sonoma Valley Regional Park, a gorgeous, oak tree studded slice of paradise and the perfect place to re-charge.   


The Olea Hotel, a small boutique hotel nestled into the hillside of Glen Ellen, CA. Photo Credit: The Olea Hotel.

The next morning, I grabbed a quick bite from the self-service bar at the Olea Hotel, walnut-zucchini bread, yogurt, and a chamomile tea.  I headed down the road about a mile to the park, and headed out, stopping to snap a picture of the park map before I took off (always a good idea in case you get lost while hiking).  I started a leisurely walk along the Valley of the Moon Trail that cuts through the base of the park.  In absolute amazement of the oak trees and the hilltops surrounding me. 

My heart had a desire to see the park from it’s highest ridge, but my brain kept screaming “incline”.  I laughed, and pulled up the map that I snapped a picture of a few minutes prior, and noticed that the Milkmaid Trail cut up the hillside and was only .10 of a mile.  After telling myself “what goes up, must come down” and reminding myself that 1/10th of a mile was just about the length of a football field, I headed up to the top.

Challenging myself out of my fitness comfort zone and reaching the top, I was rewarded with the most amazing 360 degree views of the Sonoma Valley.  After enjoying a leisurely walk back down the front side of the mountain, I was on a high from pushing myself to do something new, and out of the box. Relishing in the fact that I felt good about my accomplishment, and anxious for the next day to come so that I could push myself to explore other trails within the park.

Returning to the Olea Hotel, I enjoyed a re-fuel with their amazing two course breakfast on their patio.  A glass of homemade Chai Tea, fresh squeezed orange juice, a fruit salad and shooter, along with an amazing egg dish that I can’t even begin to describe.  

The start of an amazing breakfast at the Olea Hotel.  Photo Credit: Olea Hotel

Most visitors to the Sonoma Wine Country stick to the “big box” hotels that are in town, but if you are looking for accommodations that support healthy living, healthy eating, and a healthy body, I would look no further than the Olea Hotel, which will help you stick to your healthy lifestyle while you are on the road.

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