Category Archives: Vacation

Oh hello there!

Should we try this again? You know that whole I actually login and write stuff down about what’s going on in our crazy life and you occasionally read it, offer color commentary or just secretly binge read a month’s worth of posts like I do with oh so many bloggers?

Truth is its hard to get back to blogging when you’ve left for a while. It’s like skipping the gym. So you miss one day. It’s not that big of a deal if you creep back in the next day. But skip three or more days? Well you might as well put on your sweats and start a monthly pizza and beer subscription because you aren’t leaving your couch anytime soon. Restarting is the hardest part. Which reminds me. I should really get back to the gym.

Where do you start? How do you catch people up on the last few months when more blog worthy events have occurred in a few weeks than you could have ever dreamed of in your blog life?

I’m sure you’ve heard of writers block but when one (well way more than just one) plans a wedding in just under 6 months, executes said wedding at the end of last month and then leaves directly for a honeymoon that took her and her new husband (still sounds weird) through 4 cities in Italy in less than 10 days well then you have the opposite problem. An intoxication of blog content (and red wine and Renaissance Art and bread and gelato).

 

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Don’t get me wrong it’s a great problem to have. We’ve experienced more love and life in the past few weeks than we may for the next four years and we’re completely ok with that.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, wedding, canal, gondola, summer in venice,

In an effort to try and circle the wagons and bring you back up to speed and any other analogy out there on life lately, I’m going to work backwards from our honeymoon to wedding, attempting to share our experiences over the past few months with you along the way.

So grab a glass of prosecco or chianti and a hunk of Tuscan bread (not that crap from Venice) and let’s go on a tour of Italy.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, wedding, canal, gondola, summer in venice,

 

IMG_4719 IMG_4744 IMG_4778 venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, wedding, canal, gondola, summer in venice,

 

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Ciao!

 

Super Spring Break

If you couldn’t tell from my overgramming last week, my nephews (and my sister) came to visit us to celebrate their spring break. Unfortunately I spent most of the week at work, but I’m grateful for the afternoons and evenings I spent brushing up on my toilet humor, identifying fire ant hills and avoiding getting jinxed.

Days were spent punching water spouts at the splash park and evenings cheating at mini golf. We even managed a second attempt at the beach since the first time was ‘too boring.’

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On Thursday, we celebrated Jake’s 5th birthday the only way Jake prefers to celebrate, with superhero masks and store-bought cookie cake.

IMG_4663IMG_4664IMG_4669IMG_4670IMG_4671Friday we had a picnic at the beach and then spent the afternoon drop-kicking waves to cap off the trip. And is it just me or did we do so right next to a Nana lookalike? IMG_9943

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We miss them already but we’re soaking up the quiet and resting up the busy months ahead.

Sand Art

Before I begin this post I’d like to issue a disclaimer for my readers to the north.

Disclaimer: this post references 80-degree weather in November but is in no way intended to be a gloat, brag or the like. I braved enough winters in the Midwest to be empathetic during this time. Please accept my apologies for the unseasonably cold spike. Should you consider a trip to visit because of the following photos, I will not deter you. Seriously though. Come see us!

Do you remember when you were little and you would convince your mom, dad or aunt who happened to live in California to spend ridiculous amounts of money on colored sand art you would take home and display proudly next to the rock collection on your shelf?

I do.

And perhaps that’s the reason I took more than 20 photos this weekend of sand. But not just any sand. Sand art sand. The kind of sand art that takes 3 full days and a wee bit of elmer’s glue to complete. Don’t believe me? Check this out.

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Sand not your thing? Well if you come visit me I will treat you to a bag of the best mini donuts you’ve ever tasted. Sorry Illinois State Fair. Siesta Key mini donuts have just taken the lead for best donuts to be eaten in full sun while counting how many people you see without their shirts on.

siesta key crystal classic, sand sculptures, sand castles, siesta key beach, crystal classic, florida, vacation, margaritaville

 

Stay warm, Midwest!

A weekend under the Arch

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a weekend recap on the blog. Please accept my apologies. It’s not that I don’t love sharing my every free moment with thousands of my closest friends and the occasional Internet troll, but rather that our weekends haven’t been filled with much more than trips to Lowe’s and the occasional beach visit. Not that there’s anything wrong with Lowe’s. Except for the fact that it’s not Target.

It’s probably no surprise to you that we are big Eric Church fans. So when we had the opportunity back in April to get pre-sale tickets to his first big headlining tour, we decided St. Louis would be a good spot to catch a show. Even better when as the date approached, we found out one of my best friends and her husband were planning a babymoon/anniversary trip the same weekend. Bonus!

st. louis cardinals, st. louis, baseball game, travel, broadway oyster bar, yadier molina

We caught a Cardinals game and got to put all of those fall clothes we had packed away to good use under a very brisk November-like September sky.

rooster, pi pizza, st. louis, st. louis arch, travel, weekend, breakfast, lunch,

On Saturday, we had breakfast at a cute farm-to-table spot downtown, immediately followed by lunch with some of my favorite guys…and my sister, too.

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Saturday night was everything I expected it to be, minus the hour-long-line to get in and the fact they ran out of beer by 9:30. Perhaps the latter explains the reason I am just now feeling like a normal human again.

Until next time Midwest. Back to the 90’s.

 

 

 

30!

I’m thirty. 30 years old!

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Thirty! I did it. I finally passed the last milestone birthday that all of my friends passed nearly a year before me! Being the youngest of the group, I was used to being last in line for all age-related events. Last to drive at 16, last to do whatever a non-smoker is allowed to do at 18 and the last to legally drink at 21. Now don’t feel too bad for me. Looking back, I can see now that it actually worked out in my favor. I had cool friends to drive me to and from school, to book rental cars when we went on trips and to illustrate which liquor you should not make your best friend on your 21st birthday. Tequila maybe. Whiskey no way. I remember thinking that when they all turned thirty, I would still be 29. And how cool that would be to still be 29 when all your friends were old and thirty. turning 30, birthday, friends Well I realized about a year ago that it’s neither cool nor old. Thirty is not the old age I (and probably every other 24 year old who is reading this) thinks it is. There’s a shift that happens about the age of 26 or 27 where you suddenly realize that you are rapidly approaching the thirty year-old you thought was so old just a few years ago. I am now that thirty year-old that kids just out of college scoff at. Only I don’t feel very different than them. Minus pretty much all of these things. I stayed up until 2 a.m. this weekend. Only it was because my mom and sister’s flight got delayed, not because we wanted to hit up the late-night bar and watch the sun come up. I cannot tell you the last time I willingly stayed up that late. And I’m ok with that. As if last weekend’s surprise party wasn’t enough, my mom and sister came down to visit me in Florida this weekend to celebrate the official birthday. You don’t realize how loved you are until you live really far away and people go out of their way to make you feel special on your birthday. turning 30, birthday, friends   On Saturday, we headed down to St. Armands and Lido Beach. Lido Beach, St Armands, Florida, family, birthday   And on Sunday we spent most of the day at Siesta Key, followed by a sunset dinner along the beach on Anna Marie Island. beach, florida, family, birthday, swiss mountain dog, sunset, anna marie island, siesta key beach, florida, family, birthday, swiss mountain dog, sunset, anna marie island, siesta key   It was so nice to spend some quality time with just my mom and sister. If the next two-thirds of my life look anything like theirs, I can’t wait to get there. Thank you again for all the well-wishes over the weekend. I’m excited for the year ahead.

Breaking Breck

Hello. Me again. I hope you didn’t forget me due to my short hiatus in posting.

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Truth is I was on vacation. And while I’m pretty dedicated to this whole blogging thing, I draw the line at vacations. First of all, chances are you aren’t on vacation at the same time as me so you probably don’t want to hear about our 11:00 bloody mary’s at T-Bar or the $.10 shrimp we were inhaling at the Whale’s Tail at 4:30 after getting off the mountain. And secondly, I try to max out the time I have while on vacation with activities that don’t relate to social media or the internet. Instagram aside, you probably won’t hear from me when I’m on vacation. It doesn’t happen often but I do occasionally prefer a little radio silence. And with scenery and company like this, how can you blame me?

breckenridge colorado, ski trip, breck, whale's tail, denver airport, breckenridge brewery, peak 10, peak 8, peak 7, downtown breckenridge

But now that we’re all on the same playing field again in the real world, I thought I’d share a few of the photos I was able to capture on our spring ski trip to Breckenridge this year. We had to cut the trip a little short, but we’re already talking about going back. I highly recommend finding a good set of friends and checking this place out. Hopefully you already have the friends and don’t have to find them just to go on the trip, but you know what I mean.

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breckenridge colorado, ski trip, breck, whale's tail, denver airport, breckenridge brewery, peak 10, peak 8, peak 7, downtown breckenridge

I’m exhausted and sore but thankful to have had a chance to make the most of a short trip out West. My friend Keli made the trip seamless by handling all the details so it was really nice to just show up and enjoy ourselves. Many thanks to Keli for her planning!

If you’re looking for a fun or family friendly ski trip, check out Breckenridge. It’s my favorite of any place I’ve been thus far, even with trails blocked by giant Bull Moose.

 

Workout Wednesday: Vacation-style

It’s workout Wednesday, vacation-style. It seems only fitting to talk about workouts in warmer climates in the midst of yet another winter snowstorm doesn’t it?

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I thought so too.

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Now I’m not saying you have to exercise on your vacation. Some people prefer to use it as a recovery period and that’s fine. If you’re like me though, you see vacations as an anthropological opportunity. Translation: an opportunity to eat and drink anything and everything the local culture is known for. In excess. This is truly the only way to experience a new culture. Man I love anthropology.

Even if you’re not into cultural assimilation, there’s a good chance you’ll be indulging more on vacation than you normally do. Getting out for a few workouts are a great way to make room for the next meal, liquid or solid. Plus, your body could some movement after sitting on a plane for 3 hours.

So let’s go through some workout tips while your traveling, shall we?

Seek water and run alongside it. Oceans are great. Lakes are cool and rivers work too. Chances are if there is a body of water in the area you are visiting, there will be some sort of bike and running trail also. Lace up your running shoes and enjoy the scenery. No equipment needed!

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San Francisco

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Austin

bradenton florida riverwalk, winter vacation, simply social blog

Bradenton

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La Jolla

Pack the right gear. Yes you would need to pack various sets of workout clothes if you decide to exercise on your vacation. And no, it’s not like that one pair of jeans you can wear 3 times during the week. These are one and done outfits. Fortunately workout gear does not take up that much room and doesn’t wrinkle easily. In an effort to save space in my suitcase, I pack my running shoes in my carry-on. Most running shoes are light and you can use the extra space for other essentials like:

  • Flipbelt. The front pouch is perfect for your hotel key and cash. Put your phone in the back for music, photos and emergency Google mapping.
  • Watch. To chart your distance and time.
  • Sunscreen. You don’t just need it for the beach.
  • Dryer sheets. Put one in each shoe and save a few more for your dirty laundry bag on the way home.
  • Headphones with a speaker. To better communicate with your sister when she calls you during her commute (and your run). Safety Tip: When running alone, only put one earbud in so you are aware of your surroundings. 
  • Running Hat. Protect your face from sun and sweat.

Read more about my go-to running gear here.

Make the most of your surroundings. It’s not often that you run out of trail to run on but in some cases you just don’t have the chance to run safely for very far. In my case last weekend, the riverwalk I was running on only lasted about a mile or so. Knowing my motivation wouldn’t support repeating the sequence multiple times, I opted to use it as a warm-up and try some other exercises using what I had around me.

vacation workout tips, pier to pier sprints, workout wednesday

If I’m being completely honest, I ran past this pier multiple times before considering using it for sprints. As I ran past it the final time I considered the distance and view and thought,

Huh. I bet you could do a quick sprint workout on that fishing pier.

And then I continued running.

The end of the path is right there, Sarah. What are you going to do now go back to the gym and get on a treadmill? It’s February and you have a chance to be outside all morning. 

I turned around and considered how far I’d actually be able to sprint without landing in the water.

Ok. Maybe just a few. It’s been a while since I let my legs go fast. 

I only did 5 sets. Each were maybe 50 yard sprints at best. As a result, my quads still feel like knives are cutting them two days later. It felt good to let my legs go fast. I haven’t done sprint work in a very long time and I forgot how different it is.

vacation workout tips, travel workout tips, bench workout, park bench dips, workout wednesday, simply social blog

Did you know that these two benches work the exact same way for dips and push-ups? Sure you would look silly sitting and tossing bread at the ducks in the gym with the one on the right or grunting and attempting to lay flat on the one on the left, but when it comes to simple exercises, they serve the same purpose.

The key here is to find an empty bench in either location. Otherwise you just look arrogant. Work your triceps with 3 sets of 12 dips and flip around and continue with push-ups.

Then wash your hands.

Don’t forget to stretch. One thing I’ve always struggled with when working out while traveling is making time to stretch and foam roll. It’s easy enough when you’re at home in the gym with no immediate plans, but when I travel I am constantly hopping in the shower as soon as I’m done to get ready for work or the next activity. For that reason, I was thrilled to be greeted with this little gem when I arrived in Florida.

triggerpoint foam roll, travel size, workout wednesday, valentine's gift

Isn’t she cute? And though she be but small, she is fierce. Perfect size for travel and small enough to bring with you to the gym if yours doesn’t provide foam rolls for use. So fellas, if you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day gift for your lady, nothing says I love you like a foam roll to the piriformis.

Have a great workout!