Category Archives: Travel

Carmel is for Lovers…and Dogs

This weekend Aaron and I traveled to Carmel for our friends’ wedding and decided to stay an extra couple days. Neither of us had ever been to Carmel and we were excited to explore. My dear friend, Lisa, was marrying Alex and the festivities started off with the rehearsal on Friday. The rehearsal dinner was held at Rio Grill in Carmel and it was such a fun night. Great food, great company and lots of love for these two.

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Aaron and Cash were not able to come down until Saturday, so I spent Friday night with the Bride at Carmel Valley Ranch. We got lots of sleep and woke up for a leisurely breakfast at the resort. Lisa and Alex’s puggle, Chesty was a little stir crazy in the morning, so I took him for a long walk around the property. It was so beautiful.

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When Aaron and Cash arrived, we quickly drove to the beach and checked into our bed and breakfast – the Lamp Lighter Inn. What an adorable place. They are so friendly, allow dogs, have a nightly wine and cheese reception and are just a few blocks from the beach.

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After a quick change of clothes, we were of to the wedding. Such a beautiful spot and wonderful ceremony. I read a poem by Roy Croft during the ceremony and I managed to not ruin the whole ceremony. 🙂

The next morning, Aaron and I woke up, enjoyed the continental breakfast at the Inn and then took Cash down to the beach for his first trip to the ocean. City Beach in Carmel is one of the most beautiful places I have seen. And they are completely dog-friendly. Off leash, even! So refreshing. We walked, Cash ran his butt off and played with so many different dogs. He was a happy camper.

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After our walk, we headed back to the Lamp Lighter, rinsed Cash off in their outdoor shower, and relaxed in the sun in the courtyard. The rest of the morning and afternoon we spent walking around town with Cash. I cannot believe how dog friendly the entire city is. We were able to bring Cash everywhere – into restaurants, the cheese shop, retail stores. So much fun!

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We went wine tasting, had oysters, margaritas – whatever stuck our fancy. We didn’t have to drive anywhere, which was so nice.  We made it back for the evening wine and cheese reception and then sat in the courtyard for our own little picnic happy hour.

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Our trip to Carmel was perfect. We had so much fun and everyone in the city is so friendly. I was expecting much more attitude and snootiness because Carmel is an expensive town. I was pleasantly surprised with how laid back it was. We will definitely be back!

Traveling Takes a Toll

Being a creature of habit who thrives on routine, traveling takes a toll on my energy levels, training, diet and overall sanity. But I love traveling, so it is all worth it. The past couple weeks have been non-stop travel and have worn me out. But they have been super fun as well, so I thought I would recap.

Before I left on my trips, the first thing I packed was my goodie bags of gluten-free snacks. GF oats, KIND Bars, GF pretzels, almonds, individual packets of peanut butter. These rations saved my stomach and my mood a handful of times. They also saved some of my travel buddy’s as well.

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The first stop was Palm Springs for a Bachelorette party. Lots of girl time, pool time and drink time ensued.

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Less than 12 hours after returning from Palm Springs, it was off to Florida for a mix of work and fun. Right off the plane, we headed to Four Rivers Smokehouse for their famous BBQ. I managed to get one short run (2.5 miles) in while in Florida, but the late nights, heat and humidity made a second run just not possible.

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Go Kart racing was fun and intense – 10 competitive people racing against each other can get hairy.

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Mini golf at Disney World, on the other hand – not so intense. But equally as fun and hot!

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And more pool time

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And just a few hours after returning to Florida – it was off to San Diego to see friends.

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I went to Balboa Park for a scenic 3 miler and it felt so nice to run in cooler temps.

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Best menu innovation I have seen in a  long time – Roulette Wings. 9 regular hot wings – one really f-ing hot wing. You don’t know which is which. Aaron, our friend Joey and I played and Joey “won”. It got down to the last two wings and we were all so nervous. Joey took the wing like a man, but said it was definitely one of the hottest things he’s ever eaten. We loved the concept, though, and will implement our own version and future parties, for sure.

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I also found the most amazing sunglasses in San Diego for $5. Fake Ray Bans with an attached mustache. They had different style stashes and they were a huge hit! The cigar is just for show.

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We couldn’t go to San Diego without hitting up Ramone’s – Aaron’s favorite Mexican food spot in the world and the thing he might miss the most about living in San Diego.

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And then the long drive back from San Diego, with a pit stop to visit Aaron’s gramma.

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It sure is nice to be home – leaving really makes you appreciate what you have, doesn’t it?

Staying Healthy While Traveling

I am gearing up for some major traveling in the coming weeks and months. Starting Friday, I will be traveling 16 out of 18 days. WOW. I will be traveling for work and pleasure and am looking forward to most of the trips. But I am anxious about staying healthy, gluten free and not totally blow my half marathon training. But traveling does not have to mean you have to put aside health and fitness.

Here is what I do to try to stay healthy while traveling:

  • Come prepared: Don’t assume you will be able to find the healthy food you are looking for. I always come prepared with my go-to, travel friendly snacks. Some of my favorites are; KIND bars, almonds, brown rice cakes, Justin’s nut butters in individual packets, cut up vegetables, trail mix, dried fruit.
  • Stay hydrated: The whole no liquids thing has probably lead to the dehydration of countless passengers. I often find myself wanting to boycott the $4 bottles of water just to spit them. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Bring a reusable water bottle with you. All you have to do is empty it before going through security and then you can fill it up. My favorite is Water Bobble because the bottle has a built in filter so you can fill it up in your hotel room or a sink and not worry about the water tasting nasty. If you have it, drink some coconut water the day before and day of your trip. And grab some from a grocery or convenience store when you arrive.
  • Plan to exercise: If there is any chance you might be able to exercise on your trip, even if it is in your hotel room, pack your workout clothes. I will admit, there have been plenty of times where I have packed my workout clothes and not used them. But there are even more times when I have used them and so glad I had them. Look at your schedule and try to anticipate when you might have some time to workout. Running or walking is a great way to get to know a new city. Bring a workout DVD, or find workout videos online on sites like Body Rock.
  • Research: If you are traveling to a new destination, research your surroundings. Look up restaurants with healthy menus or options that meet your dietary needs, look up running trails close by, gyms that offer day passes, yoga studios, etc. If you are trying to find somewhere heathy to eat when you are already hungry, you will be more likely to settle on the fastest and easiest thing. Have a few options in your back pocket.
  • If you are staying in a hotel, ask for a mini fridge. I did this in Florida in January and it was a lifesaver. I stocked up at the grocery store for healthy snacks and things for breakfast, so I always knew I had something on hand.

See you on the other side! What are your healthy travel tips? 

Jet Set

This week is the Girls on the Run Summit. I absolutely love Summit.  Last year was my first summit and it was such an amazing experience.  So inspiring, motivational, and positive. You can read about my experience here and here. After a long Saturday of coaches training and an intense 49er game (!!!!!), I was up at 5 this morning for a 7:30 flight. I flew out of the new terminal at Sac International and I didn’t even know I was at the Sacramento airport.  I never really mined our small old terminal because it was quick to get in and out of. But this is like a real airport.

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I brought lots of gluten free snacks for my trip and a full day of travel (I don’t land in Tampa until 5pm). I figured it would be all granola bars and rice cakes today since the Sac airport has very few food options, and probably none for gluten free folks. But then I walked into the new terminal. The new terminal is packed with travel sized versions of some of the city’s best restaurants.

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I snagged a Turkey, Brie and spinach omelette to eat at the gate. Glad I got some “real” food. They even had a Peet’s which was awesome. I do not like Starbucks, but it is usually the only airport option.  Not anymore!

Cali to Florida is far! One 2.5 hour flight followed by a 3.5 hour flight. Yowza! And I don’t know what I was thinking taking the window seat on a 3+ hour flight and then guzzling water. #tinybladder

Ready for some fresh ocean air and.some GOTR love!

Here we go!

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The Honeymoon is Over

Literally, but not figuratively.

We got back from a week in Hawaii a few days ago and returned to Fall weather and today even some heavy rain, thunder and lightening. But the honeymoon was fantastic.  We rented a convertible and drove all over the Island exploring a new beach everyday, volcanoes, waterfalls and eating and drinking to our hearts’ content.

Our family friends were so incredibly generous and gave us their condo for a week as a wedding present! Ah-mazing! This was our backyard for a week:

Our first day we rented snorkeling equipment for the entire week and had them in the trunk of the car wherever we went.  The snorkeling on the Big Island was great. We saw so many colorful fish, lots of turtles and eels. I can’t wait till we get the underwater camera back to see how those pictures came out.

We named this turtle (and every Turtle we saw all week) Terry. I literally almost stepped on this guy as he was sunning on the beach.  Rough life!

We stayed on the west side of the Island in Waikoloa Village but took a road trip to the other side of the Island to see the volcanoes and waterfalls.  We spent the night in a little “B&B” in Hilo and woke up to browse their famous farmers market before continuing on to drive all the way around the Island.

The convertible was to best decision.  It made driving so much fun! We didn’t have to worry about missing out on tanning time because we were couped up in the car. 🙂

We enjoyed some nice dinners and plenty of nice drinks during our trip. I would always recommend staying in a house or condo if you are going somewhere for a long period of time. We had breakfast at home everyday, several lunches and made dinner at home as well.  So much better than eating every meal out.

As amazing as the honeymoon was, it is always nice to come home, wake up in your own bed, snuggle with the fur babies and get back to our old routine. Fall is my favorite season and it has definitely arrived. I am looking forward to all the fun stuff coming up like pumpkin carving, Thanksgiving and the holidays! And blogging, too!