Staying Healthy in Sin City

You’ve worked out consistently for weeks, ate every green vegetable you could think of and drank water like crazy – all in preparation for your upcoming vacation. You go on vacation, eat whatever you want and forget about the gym the second you hit the pool. When you get home from vacation, you step on the scale to realize you have not only gained back what you lost but brought a few extra souvenir pounds with you. Who else has been there??

Sadly this used to be a regular occurrence when traveling. I have learned however that a vacation doesn’t have to be the end to a healthy lifestyle. Now when I travel, I want to be able to enjoy my travels but maintain the hard work I have put in. While it requires a little planning, staying healthy while traveling is important and something you will appreciate yourself for after the fact.

staying-healthy-in

But how do you stay healthy in a city that is known for buffets, alcohol and lounging by the pool? Well as you are planning your next trip to Sin City, check out some of the best deals for hotels on Vegas.com for hotels and activities in Las Vegas.

To ensure you keep up your lifestyle, here are 4 tips for staying healthy in Las Vegas, Nevada:

Set aside time for a workout

You don’t want to let your hard work go down the drain so start your day off on the right foot with a sweat session. Whether you visit the hotel gym or fitness studio in the area, make sure you set aside time to workout (I know I plan to visit the Orangetheory in Vegas the next time I’m there). Whether you love to workout at the barre or have a gym membership, find a workout that you love to do so you will stick with your workout routine through vacation. Better yet, set your next full or half marathon to be in Vegas (Rock “N” Roll Vegas was one of the best I have done) so you can enjoy a runcation. If all else fails, dance some calories off by hitting up one of the night clubs! Even if you don’t want to leave the hotel room (and may have enjoyed your night out a little too much) use a no equipment needed workout to get your heart pumping and burn some calories.

Use your feet to explore

I can’t tell you how many times I have walked up and down the strip. With traffic and congestion on the Strip, walking to your destination is the way to go! This has led to also finding great bars, restaurants and casinos along the way. A great way to get your steps in while exploring Sin City is walking around the city. Another fun activity? Walking to get a bird’s eye view of Vegas on the stairs to the top of the Stratosphere! Remember walking may not get you sweaty but you are burning calories to prepare you for the time you will spend sitting at the tables or next to the pool.

Allow yourself one cheat meal

Like I mentioned, Vegas is known for delicious food. Vegas has some of the most amazing restaurants (now my mouth is watering for some Grand Lux Cafe!!!) but they could also pack your daily calories into one meal! This is why people gain back the weight they lost if not more when on vacation. They simply take in more calories than they are burning. Allow yourself one meal, drink or dessert that you will indulge in (I got through my half marathon telling myself I would get a Sprinkles cupcake after). It is all about balance so make sure to keep your 80/20 rule so you are only indulging 20% of the time. The 80% of the time when you are not eating a cheat meal, utilize some of the healthier food options that Vegas does have like Skinny Fats, Canyon Ranch Grill and Protein House.

Take an active day trip

Vegas really is the center location from a lot of national parks. You are a fairly short drive to Red Rock (the closest), Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyon. Why not take a day trip to enjoy nature? Hiking in some of the most beautiful parks around the US is a great way to further expand your trip and get your heart pumping. In addition, Vegas is close to Lake Mead, Laughlin and Havasu where you can enjoy water activities like wake boarding, water skiing, boating and kayaking. Especially during the warmer months, you get to burn some calories and cool off in the water! Even if you do not want to drive, you can set up a tour (Vegas.com) to get you to one of the nearby destinations to do some exploring!


Tell me: Do you work out when you go on vacation?

Travel Thursday: Words to Describe Travel

Wanderlust is a word I have written about often on the blog. It is a word that truly describes my strong desire to travel. As I am constantly reading travel blogs and articles, I have come across words from different languages that describe travel in a better way than English words can do. Today, for Travel Thursday, I am sharing some great words that can be used to describe traveling and the feelings surrounding the life changing action.

5 Words to Describe Travel 

fernweh

Fernweh

This might be my new favorite word. Fellow travelers will understand that the ache and desire for travel is a constant craving. Every single day I feel that desire to travel and either think about past places I have been, places I want to go or when I will be able to travel next.

saudade

Saudade

Like I just mentioned, I live very much in the past. My thoughts long for past places we have been, people we have traveled with, beaches we have walked, food we have ate. It is very common for my husband and I to be somewhere and say “This reminds me of..” Nostalgia always stands for my first love, Paris and most recently for Greece.

resfeber

Resfeber

Much like the excitement before a big race or leaving for a vacation, this is the reason I usually do not sleep well the night before. My excitement and anticipation take over and just want the day to be here already! When I know I have a trip coming up, this usually takes over weeks, sometimes months before.

sehnsucht

Sehnsucht

Basically see ‘Saudade’

coddiwomple

Coddiwomple

Some of the best traveling is done vaguely with no plan but to travel to a destination. While we have gone back and forth between scheduled and leisurely traveling, some of our best eexperiences have happened from traveling a new city with no specific place in mind. Aimlessly traveling can land you in a moment you will be so glad you have.

Missed Past Travel Thursdays? Check them out on the Travel Page. 

IMG_7792

 

Weekend Trip to Napa Valley & San Francisco, California

Lesson learned from this trip – don’t forget to check in when flying Southwest. Getting out of San Fran into Oakland this evening was a nightmare which resulted in being one of the last to board and sitting solo. Thank goodness the flight back home is less an hour and they serve alcohol on the plane. This was also the only hiccup of the entire trip so this was one of the best weekend trips we have had. Our trip started on an early (too early for this lover of sleep) flight to Oakland. With no checked bags and the early hours, within an hour we left our place, passed security and were up in the air.

We landed in Oakland before 8am, got our  rental car and were on our way to Napa. The drive was just a bit over an hour and gorgeous when you start getting closer to the vineyards. We met up with our friends who got to Napa the day before for a brunch at Oxbow! The husband and I absolutely loved it because it reminded us of one of our favorites – The Gansevoort Market in New York. After a delicious mix of donuts and breakfast tacos, we made our first to our first winery stop – Stag’s Leap.


I will be doing a review of all the wineries we visited in a seperate post because some of them were worth going on a second trip to (and yes we have already decided Napa might be a regular trip for us). Our day started with a Fire and Water tour at Stag’s Leap (thanks to our friends John and Eryka who were members). We then stopped at the Mondavi, Grgich Estate and Consentino wineries. For dinner we headed back down to Downtown Napa for a highly recommend restaurant – Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & BBQ. The food was to die for and the atmosphere was even better! We checked into our hotel after dinner and were pleasantly surprised at the unique hotel / bed and breakfast. It was a large house with 2 connecting houses that offered common areas, homemade breakfasts, libraries and DVD rentals and bonfires out back. While it was different from the chain hotel, it was a welcome change.


Our second day started with champagne tasting at Domain Chandon then wine tasting at Castello di Amorosa, Hall and V Sattui wineries. For dinner the husband and I enjoyed italian food (and more wine for me) in Downtown Napa. Throughout the entire weekend the weather was perfection and most of the wineries were not crowded. The husband and I both left wanting to stay longer and with the plan to return again.


On Sunday morning, we checked out of Napa and drove down to San Francisco for the day since our flight was out of Oakland. We started by driving across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Golden Gate Park which reminded me of a smaller version of Prospect Park. We enjoyed the Dutch windmills and the beach before driving to the Coit Tower for views of the bridge and bay. There was a heavy fog over the bay but the views of the ocean and port were still spectacular. We could even see Lombard Street in the distance. Our next stop was to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf for seafood. We walked around the pier enjoying the street performers, the ocean views and people watching of course. My food highlight was the Baked Bear custom ice cream sandwich! We made sure to walk off the calories by walking to Lombard Street (hello uphill) before heading back to the airport. Traffic getting to the airport was rough but we eventually made it before walking fairly easily through security and onto the plane.


Happy Travels & Cheers! 

I travel because…

Earlier this week, I was texting a friend about our upcoming Napa trip (follow me in wine country on instagram starting tomorrow). She had just returned from the bay area so I was getting her advice on outfits and the weather (because there nothing worse than packing the wrong type of clothes for a trip) when she wrote “I am a firm believer in always having something to look forward to, big or small.” She took the words right out of my mouth!

I am always looking forward to my next trip whether it be a weekend trip or a bigger international trip. I think by now my husband knows that before we have even taken the next upcoming trip, I must have another trip booked. Plus, you have to have something to cure those post vacation blues!! The husband can count on me talking about our next trip when we are on the airplane, traveling back home from the current trip. Although I am so thrilled and excited about Napa, I am just as excited for our next international trip to Spain in January. One does not take away from another, it’s simply double the excitement and anticipation! What can I say, travel offers me so much I can’t help to love it. Today for Travel Thursday, I wanted to share my top 3 reasons I travel.

I do believe it's time for another adventure

I travel because..

  1. Travel takes me out of my comfort zone – I have shared before that traveling has helped me get over my fear of heights, flying and small spaces (fine almost over on this one). Travel has landed me in spots where I only knew how to say hi and thank you in the local language. I have been countries I felt very uncomfortable in but was forced to step out and ended up having the time of my life. Getting out of your comfort zone is necessary for growth and usually ends up being a wonderful decision.
  2. Travel leads to personal growth – Speaking of growth, traveling has been a huge part of my personal growth as an adult. I really don’t know why it took me so long to travel. Traveling was always something I thought about. Even after high school, I dreamed of traveling to France but it took me until my early 20’s to travel overseas. I have learned so much about myself, the world, what I have to be grateful for, what others experience, culture, history and on and on. I’m telling you, take a trip and you are bound to expand your horizons and thoughts.
  3. Travel makes me happy – It does not get more simple than that. Travel is the hobby that incites excitement, is something I am passionate about and genuinely fills me with joy. No one should deny themselves what makes them happy and I am even luckier that I get to travel with the person who makes me most happy. #winninginlife

IMG_7792-0

Check out past Travel Thursday posts on the Travel page.

Join in on the comments: I travel because….

Top 5 Beaches To Visit in Mykonos, Greece

The second island we visited during our honeymoon trip to Greece was Mykonos. From the moment we got off the ferry until we got back on to head to Athens a few days later, we loved every minute on the island. We spent a large amount of time at the Old Port enjoying the restaurants and the ocean view. At the Old Port, we saw the Windmills and spend many afternoons getting lost in the white alleyways in Little Venice. My favorite part of Mykonos was the ability to enjoy a large amount of various beaches. Although we did not get to visit every single one, we tried to get to as many as we could to see the difference among the beaches. We wanted to visit the more well known beaches like Paradise Beach as well as get recommendations from locals on their favorite beaches. Here are my top 5 beaches to visit in Mykonos, Greece:

Top 5 Beaches To Visit In Mykonos, Greece

  1. Ornos Beach – We spent less time on the beach because of the high winds but we sat at a bar off the beach enjoying a drink and the beautiful view. Even with the high winds, the beach was a beautiful front to decorated restaurants. The beach made me want to just sit there all day and enjoy the peaceful ocean. We stayed out on the lounge chairs until we could not take the wind any longer before spending the rest of our time reading, protected from the wind. I wish we would have been able to enjoy more of our time out on the beach but regardless it was still one of the best spots.
    Ornos Beach Mykonos Greece
  2. Platis Gialo Beach – Luckily since we visited Greece right before the peak season, the beaches were fairly quiet and calm. We really enjoyed our time at Platis Gialo as we used the shaded lounge chairs to enjoy the beach. I mean really baklava on the beach – that is a dream Greece scene! The beach had its windy moments but was a lot calmer than other beaches we visited. This was one of my two favorite beaches due to the fact that it was the perfect setting to lounge under the sun, reading a book and enjoying music!

    Platis Gialos Beach Mykonos Greece
  3. Super Paradise Beach – While Paradise wasn’t much beyond loud music and dancers on the bar, Super Paradise was a perfect mix of good music and a calmer beach. The water had clean sand and beautiful see through water. We spent the longest time at Super Paradise because of the atmosphere. The husband spent a huge amount of time in the water which wasn’t too cold in mid May and I spent a ton of time enjoying the sun. This was probably one of my two favorite beaches while this was the husband’s favorite beach of all that we visited.
    Super Paradise Beach Mykonos Greece 2
    Super Paradise Beach Mykonos Greece
  4.  Psarou Beach – Our guide who took us to the hotel told us Psarou was one of the more expensive beaches, often frequented by the wealthy and celebrities but that we had to visit just to experience. The beach was very pretty (even on the overcast day we visited) and had luxurious day beds and expensive restaurants. It is more enclosed in a bay with beautiful homes and hotels surrounding the beach. The beach also offers water sports like jet skis and kayaking. We did not spend too much time at the beach but I completely agree with our tour guide, it is a beach you have to visit just to say you did.
    Psarou Beach Mykonos Greece
  5. Agios Stefanos Beach – Agios Stefanos was the closest beach to our hotel so we spent a few mornings relaxing on the beach. The water was a perfect blend of green and blue. The beach was one of windiest beaches making the beach more ideal for the morning because the wind really kicked up by the afternoon. There were great restaurants off the beach that also served the lounge chairs as long as you purchased two items. I would highly recommend the beach for families due to the separation away from the party beaches.
    Agios Stefanos Beach Mykonos Greece

Have you booked your ticket to Greece yet? Pack that swimsuit and head to the island! 

Check out other travel recaps for Greece on the Travel Page! 

Delos, Greece

While staying in Mykonos, we took a day trip to the island of Delos. When we started planning our trip, Delos was one of the spots I was most excited to visit. Our trip included not only an educational tour by an archeologist who showed us some of the “hot spots” of the island but an additional hour to explore the rest of the island and/or the Delos museum.

Delphi-3

The beautiful island offers scenic views of the Aegean sea is a short boat ride from Mykonos Island. Delos is the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Delos is one of the most historic spots in Greece. The history spans from the Greek mythology to the Byzantine era. The island is now an archeological site being restored and preserved by archeologists.

Some of my favorite historic landmarks on the island included:

  • The House of Dionysus– a high class 2nd century private house which had a mosaic floor of for the floor mosaic of the God of Wine riding a panther.
  • The Theatre – a marble theatre, much still intact, which hosted plays and musical acts.
  • The Terrace of Lions – the well known lions are dedicated to the God of Light and stood guard to Apollo’s Temple. Originally stood 12 lions where only seven of the lions remain now.
  • The Temple of Hera / Heraion Temple – temple of Hera, queen of the Greek Gods.

 



Note: When visiting, make sure to wear comfortable shoes as some of the spots (i.e. Heraion Temple) require walking on uneven terrain and can be on loose steps / stones. Bring sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat as the island offers little shade.

Check out the other Greece recaps on the Travel page.

I love fitness. I love travel. Therefore, the best combination is when I get to travel for fitness or enjoying while traveling. As I have shared before, when the husband and I travel we always do our research before we visit a new city. By planning before we visit, we are able to plan how we will work in our exercise whether it be dropping into a local class or finding a great spot to run. Websites like Eventbrite, help to make it easy to find, schedule and even create events and that had me thinking about where I would have my dream yoga retreat! Of course it is easy for me to start dreaming of the perfect summer vacation to enjoy a yoga retreat. On a beach, overlooking the ocean? Perched on the top of a mountain, breathing in fresh air? In the snow or the heat? There are so many options that offer my perfect combination of travel and fitness.

Where would you go for a yoga retreat?

Here are the top five places around the world I would pick to go on a summer yoga retreat:

  1. Limon, Costa Rica – Costa Rica has long been on my list of places to visit because of the large fitness influence in a country that thrives on being outdoors. While I have longed to zipline, bike through the nature or raft through a river, the perfect compliment to a long adventure filled day would be winding down through yoga.
  2. Bali, Indonesia – Bali is currently the home to many yoga retreats making it one of my top choices for a yoga retreat. Although Indonesia is an island, the scenic background would offer not only ocean views but mountain escapes as well. In addition,  the heavy influence of yoga and spiritual growth would offer exactly the foundation wanted for a yoga trip.
  3. Kauai, Hawaii – This is the probably the easiest to picture. White beach and blue waters to look at while you breath in the salty ocean air as the sun warms you up. If you love the beach then yoga on the beach is a picture of relaxing perfection. My love of paddleboarding is strong and my dream retreat would involve trying yoga on a paddleboard in the middle of the ocean.
  4. Whistler, Canada – While most people think of Whistler for snowboarding (which I also want to go to Canada for) there is much to offer in the summer that many people look over. Life can get so fast paced, resulting in me sitting around wondering where the time has gone. Therefore, going to a yoga retreat in the middle of a rainforest or overlooking a lake are an ideal summer trip.
  5. Aspen, Colorado – Again, another city most often thought of for their ski lifts, Aspen offers amazing mountain views with clean crisp air. When snowboarding in the winter, I always feel like my lungs can expand much better being in out of the city and in nature. Enjoying the air while doing yoga would only help to enhance your breathing while practicing as well as offering a serene mountain backdrop.

Where would you go for a yoga retreat?-2

Looking for a yoga retreat or fitness event in your area or at your next travel destination? Check out Eventbrite’s page for yoga and fitness events around the world. Can’t find an event in your area? Create one using Eventbrite’s RSVP page to host an event in your area.

Tell me: Where would you want to go to attend a yoga retreat?

Top 5 Places To Visit in Santorini, Greece

Our honeymoon in Greece started off on the island of Santorini. Short and simple – the husband and I both agree Santorini was the highlight of our trip as well as the best place we have both visited. The island is a blend of adventure, relaxing, flowing wine and delicious food. The flight from Athens to Santorini was extremely short (less than an hour) and the people on the island were extremely friendly. We stayed on Kamari / Black Beach, enjoying the calm beach and the boardwalk filled with shops and restaurants. Today I am sharing the Top 5 Places To Visit In Santorini, Greece which should show you that the island is a stop you must make when in Greece!

TOP 5 PLACES TO VISIT IN SANTORINI, GREECE
1. Santos Winery – Before visiting Santorini, we read a lot of recommendations to watch the sunset in Oia. However, when we arrived in Santorini, we were told by many locals that we should check out other spots for a better sunset. The top recommendation was at the Santos Winery. We arrived before sunset to enjoy a glass of wine and some appetizers (both delicious). The service was amazing and the views were incredible. Watching the sunset over Oia and the Nea Kameni volcano was one of the best moments of the trip. Of course pictures can never really capture the beauty of a sunset but I would highly recommend you check it out for yourself.



2. Nea Kameni volcano – I am so glad we went to the Santos Winery the night before we went on the Nea Kameni volcano tour. We took a quick boat ride over to the still-active volcanic island of Nea Kameni before exploring the island by ourselves. The island offered remarkable views of Fia and Oia with the green and blue ocean in the background. We were able to hike up to the top of the island and see the land formations that have been created over time. It was extremely warm as we hiked up to the top but it was worth the views. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes because there were many loose rocks and uneven terrain.

3. Hot Springs – Located at Palia Kameni, off the side of the volcano island, you can access the hot springs which was like a large open spa in the middle of the ocean. Our guide advised the water along the coast has a temperature of about 30 degrees Celsius and contains sulfur that is good for the skin. Unfortunately, since boats are not allowed on the coast, in order to swim up to the hot springs, we had to jump in very cold water. Since we had just hiked along the caldera, we were sweaty and warm so the water was refreshing. Floating throughout the water you can see pieces of sulphur that people were even putting on their faces! My skin did feel amazing after though.

4. Fira to Oia – One of the highlights of our time in Santorini was hiking from Fira to Oia. We started early in the morning in Fira to avoid the heat. As we hiked through homes and hotels along the coast, we got to enjoy some of the best views of the island, ocean and volcano. We passed two monasteries on our adventure and were able to enjoy spectacular views of Oia that you could not get anywhere else on the island. If you do make the hike, make sure to bring sunglasses, sunscreen and water because a long stretch of the hike is uncovered which can get pretty warm.

5. Kamari / Black Beach – The island of Santorini has many beaches but we spent a large portion of our time at the Black Beach. Most afternoons were spent sitting on the boardwalk, enjoying a glass of wine, the slow pace of the Greeks and the beautiful ocean view. Our hotel was right on the beach which made it even more convenient. The sand was exquisitely unique with blue, calm waters.

Check out other Top Travel Lists and past Travel Thursday posts on the Travel page. 

IMG_7792-0

Travel Thursday: Food, Food and More Food

Happy Thursday! It may be late but it’s still technically Thursday so a Travel Thursday post is still allowed. Traveling from New York to 2 Greek Islands, back to New York and Boston meant we got to experience a large amount of delicious, unique food. Food is equally as important as adventure when traveling. I strongly believe that the best food when traveling comes from asking the locals. Although we have used reviews online, we have stumbled across prime restaurants from asking people who live where we are. During our honeymoon we did exactly that and were not disappointed. I was planning to include food pics in each recap but hey what’s better than a post full of food pictures? I apologize in advance if this leaves you hungry. Let the #foodporn begin!

IMG_7792-0

New York: I shared our memorable pizza from Brooklyn but we also made sure to have a slice of $1.25 greasy American pizza as well. They were both delicious, just different of course. I had two of my personal favorites in New York – Pret a Manger and Shake Shack!


Greece: The food and wine were the most amazing I might have ever had! The only rival would be Italy. Greece was filled with flavorful dishes unique to the country paired with the best wine I have ever had! I don’t think a day passed without a glass of wine. The gyros was to die for, I could not tell you how many times we enjoyed gyros with tzatziki. We also had gelato for dessert and pasta dishes galore. Even better was that unlike the USA, all restaurants are unique and mostly family owned.


Boston: Seafood galore! We had lobster rolls, white and red chowdah (because that’s how the cool people say it) and delicious drinks. Besides seafood, Little Venice had delicious options for Italian. We filled our bellies with pasta and of course, the famous Mike’s Pastry cannolis. My favorite treat however was the ice cream cookie sandwich from Cookie Monstah. The husband and I got the “Candy Shoppe” – M &M cookies with Milky Way ice cream and the “Salty Dog” – salted caramel cookies with totally turtle ice cream.


Check out past Travel Thursday posts on the Travel page.

Travel Thursday: New Haven, Connecticut

Thursday already? Fast weeks are really the best! I am jumping out of sequential order on my honeymoon recap from our first stop in Brooklyn. Being that is Travel Thursday, I wanted to share another recent example of getting the most out of your trips, especially utilizing the “in-between” travel time. When flying, we almost always make our layovers into a trip. Our honeymoon was no exception. Our travel package was booked out of New York City so we enjoyed a trip to New York before and after Greece. In addition, we decided to take advantage of the fact that east coast states are extremely close to each other. From New York city, we added a last weekend trip to finish off our trip in Boston. Yet even within the drive to Boston, we were able to see even more of the United States.

New Haven, Connecticut

While driving to Boston from New York City, we took a scenic route through Connecticut. We took a break after an hour and a half to stop at New Haven, Connecticut. I was happy because we got to check another state off the list and stretch our legs. We parked in the downtown area and first walked to Yale University. Coming from Southern California where there are a plethora of universities, I was shocked at how beautiful the school was. The Gothic architecture made it hard to believe we were at a college. The historic buildings made for an easy walking tour which made us feel like students scouting out their college (oh how I wish I was 18 again!!). Although it was extremely humid, we enjoyed the school before we walked around the New England downtown after our visit through Yale. There are two large  nearby parks and the city hall which in itself is a historic building. Overall, I loved the 2 hour stop we made which let us get a feel for the small town vibe.


Wondering what Travel Thursday is or missed past posts? Check out the Travel Page for all Travel Thursday posts! 

IMG_7792-0