Posts Tagged ‘Travel’
April 3, 2014
Over the weekend, I made a trip down south to see two amazing people tie the knot in St. Augustine, Florida.
I feel like I could write an entire series on these two, as they are so incredibly perfect for each other. But for times sake, I am going to try to condense it all down to a single blog post!
Katie is one of my dearest friends I met back in high school. We ended up going to the same college, and living together for two years at the University of South Florida. She was a bridesmaid in our wedding, and we have remained very close, despite the thousands of miles currently between us.
When Katie met John a few years ago, I could tell that she was instantly smitten. She was always a very smiley and happy person, but somehow her smile grew even bigger after they started dating. It only took a few times of meeting him before I thought they would end up being husband and wife, and I couldn’t wait to be there in person to celebrate their nuptials!
The wedding festivities began after their rehearsal dinner at an Irish pub called Meehan’s. The bride comes from an extremely (proud) Irish heritage, and we all had a blast kicking the weekend off with lots of spirits and laughs.
It was also fun for me to reunite with some old high school and college friends, as well as the girls I met at Katie’s Bachelorette Party!
The bride said her goodbyes around 11 p.m. and I knew the next time I saw her she would be walking down the aisle.
The O’Sheaton Wedding
Around 4 p.m. on a cool and sunny Sunday afternoon, a group of loved ones gathered at The White Room in Downtown St. Augustine.
If you have never been to this area before, it is absolutely gorgeous and is famous for being the country’s oldest city! Scott actually took me here for my 25th birthday, but I never got around to blogging about it. Anyways, I love this area and definitely want to return again with my groom!
Everything about Katie + John’s wedding was adorable.
I could tell they spent a lot of time on the little details and it was neat to see everything come together before the ceremony began.
As expected, Katie looked incredible walking down the aisle. As the two exchanged their vows, I was surrounded by sniffles and would be lying if I said some of them weren’t coming from me.
They walked back down the aisle to Bruno Mar’s “Treasure” and that’s when we knew the party had begun.
I loved this venue and the fact that it was somewhat of a destination wedding. If I had to plan my wedding all over again, I might just consider this place and area.
(Can you believe Katie and I used to be nannies for this one?!)
Everything about the space was charming, and I loved how they kept the decorations simple, yet stunning.
Knowing how a wedding day can go by in the blink of any eye, I tried to leave the couple to eat in peace, but couldn’t help but to grab the bride for a quick hug and photo.
There was a buffet of a delicious variety of meats, vegetables, and rice, but my favorite part was definitely the mashed potato bar!
As we finished up dinner, we listened to the speeches and watched a very special video John made as a surprise wedding gift.
It’s one of the best I’ve ever seen and I just might share it with you tomorrow, if I get permission. Their wedding was so much fun!
The DJ played a great mix of party music for the young and old, and everyone had a great time busting moves and creating havoc in and out of the photo booth.
As the night came to a close, it hit me that Katie is one of the last of my bridesmaids to get married. All of my girls are officially grown up!
Being an afternoon wedding, we had plenty of time to continue the celebrations outside the venue for a few more hours.
Even though Scott wasn’t able to join me, I am so glad I got to fly down and spend the weekend with such special people. A big congratulations going out to the bride and groom!
We are so happy for you!
March 14, 2014
Hello, hello! It’s so close to being the weekend now I can hardly stand it.
We have quite the eventful one ahead of us, so I wanted to pop back in and finish recapping the rest of our NY trip before the madness begins!
Just as I mentioned this morning (<- Friday Favorites!), I spent the past couple of days in New York City with some of my favorite blogging friends to cover the launch of a brand-new (amazing!) runaround shoe.
I had never been to one before and fell in love with the entire store and menu. The company only uses products from local and organic markets and farmers and is extremely vegan, gluten-free, and allergy friendly.
Unable to pick just one thing from the menu, I ended up making my own green salad of goodness that included baby spinach, tofu, quinoa, sweet potatoes, black beans, corn, and tomatoes in a chipotle lime dressing.
It was the perfect healthy and substantial meal we were looking for to power us through walking the streets of New York City!
The restaurant was about forty blocks away from our hotel, so Julie, Gina and I bundled up in the chilled weather to make our way back on foot. Yes, I said forty blocks. We aren’t sure exactly how long that measured out to be, but I will tell you we did an average of about 15,000 steps that day, according to the girls’ Polar Loop Activity Trackers.
As we made our way down the streets, we giggled at what we must look like. Coming straight from the event, we all donned our pink Reebok Skyscapes, pink Reebok bags, and pink Reebok umbrellas when it started raining.
Just call us the pink brigade.
It wasn’t the warmest walk, but I couldn’t help myself from taking pictures along the way. I mean… we were in New York City after all.
Getting closer and closer, the temperature kept dropping and we officially vetoed the idea of going for a run in Central Park. Bummer.
Treats in hand, we weren’t too far from the hotel and only had about an hour of downtime until our plans for dinner. Inside on a rainy afternoon, I couldn’t have pictured spending that time any better than snuggled up on the bed with my Magnolia Bakery treats.
I ordered a skinny version of their vanilla latte and a not-so-skinny version of their chocolate cheesecake.
Surprisingly enough, I didn’t devour the entire thing right there because it was pretty rich. Every bite I did have was dreamy though!
Around 6:30 p.m. my friend Erin and her friend Merri met us at our hotel to take us out for dinner. We got the full New York experience taking the subway and even saw a giant rat pass by in the process. Umm… eek.
We grabbed a drink at Flatiron Lounge while waiting for our table to open up next door at Boqueria Tapas Bar and Restaurant. All wanting to try everything, we ordered a pitcher of sangria and an appetizer sized entree each to share. Everything was so, so good!
Roo, Gina, Julie, Me, Erin, Merri
I really enjoyed meeting and hanging with Roo! She is a hilarious mom of three (!!!) and also a professional ad copywriter. That’s not my dream job or anything.
Quick, funny story: Julie, Erin and Merri all know each other from their college sorority in Orlando. I danced with Erin for the Orlando Magic for four years, and now Erin and Merri both work together in New York! Clearly we had to all get together and collide our worlds. It truly is a small one!
Fairmont Fit Program
Before arriving to the city, Julie and I hopped on a conference call with Reebok and found out we would be staying at The Plaza Hotel, which is the legendary hotel you probably recognize from the movie Home Alone.
It’s known to have housed many famous families and celebrities and is absolutely stunning. Here are a few photos of the inside, in case you missed them before.
Yeah, I guess I could stay here.
With a goal of staying fit during your travels, Fairmont partnered with Reebok to provide traveling fitness enthusiasts with rented workout gear.
Hand picked in your sizes to be ready and waiting for you upon your check-in, Reebok workout gear and footwear is delivered straight to your suite to use in-room or outdoors.
You can request certain items to test out and make a note to include shorts, capris, sports bras, or specialty socks as part of the service.
After your workout, simply leave the used fitness gear in your room, or call to receive a fresh set whenever you are ready for another one. If you like the products, you can then decide to purchase the new items at a 15% discount and take them home with you!
In addition to the gear, the program provides health tips, jogging routes, and running loops with marked out distances. You can even request to borrow a pre-loaded mp3 player with all different types of music!
This service is a complimentary for Premier and Platinum members, and Club level members can take advantage of it for a small fee. All guests can request the service while booking their stay or even online. Pretty neat!
Julie had an early flight out yesterday, but since Gina and I didn’t depart until the afternoon, we wanted to take advantage of the fitness gear and decided to take a yoga strength class at Uplift Studios.
That was our first time visiting the exclusive to women studio, and we both really enjoyed the vibe and atmosphere.
(Excuse me while I enjoy a cup of coffee and time to myself in this reading corner after class.)
The studio offers all different types of group fitness classes and personal training. We took a Sculpt Fusion class with Bronwyn and she challenged us with body weight and yoga-inspired exercises with a ton of arm toning.
After a few days of barre inspired workouts, I was more than sore coming home last night and will be taking the day off from workouts today.
The staff was very friendly and suggested we go grab a juice at Terri afterwards. Sold.
It was the perfect pick-me-up on our walk over to brunch at Penelope.
We both wanted something warm and ordered coffees with vegetable and chicken sausage stuffed omelets. It was yummy!
Before I knew it, we were packed up and ready to head out to the airport and our trip was over. (Womp womp…)
I enjoyed chatting up a storm with Gina on the cab ride over and the entire weekend soaking in some quality time with some wonderful people. Thank you, again, Reebok and FitFluential for the fabulous opportunity!
March 14, 2014
Holy moly, it’s Friday already? Yesss.
Actually, I kind of cheated and started typing this blog post up on a layover at the Washington Dulles airport. And when I say layover, I really mean a flight delay of over three hours. No big deal. (?)
I spent the week in New York City with some of my favorite blogging friends, so I really have no business complaining here. It was such a blast and if you missed the recaps, you can read all about our city and Reebok FitHub adventures here and here!
After after an arrival time of midnight last night, I might need to retreat back upstairs to catch up a bit more. We have a handful of Scott’s friends coming in town this weekend and I am not even close to having the energy for that yet. Regardless, I am really looking forward to having fun with them over the next few days. Visits from friends when they live out of town are the best!
Getting back on the party train, here is this week’s installment of Friday Favorites. Don’t forget to link yours up at the bottom and tell me all about what you have been loving in the comments section too!
Friday Favorites #28: Week of 3/14
• Pi Day
First of all, do you guys know what day today is? It’s actually a holiday and on a quick phone call earlier, Scott couldn’t believe I hadn’t the slightest.
It’s Pi Day also known as March 14th. (<- 3.14). Don’t worry if you didn’t know about it either… math has never really been a huge “thing” holiday-wise.
Anyways, I feel like this is the perfect excuse to bake something later. Perhaps a pie?
Don’t you tempt me, leftover fall cans of pumpkin…
• borrowed tablet + embarrassing electronics
Okay, I am going to let you all in on a little secret. My blogging equipment in the electronics department is really sad. Like, sad enough to be embarrassing.
Scott and I purchased an iMac Desktop for Christmas about two years ago and that might have been the best investment we’ve ever made. Besides that wonderful machine that resides in our basement, my “official” blogging camera and laptop are less than sub-standard.
We purchased a Canon Powershot Elf something or other point-and-shoot a few years ago and the reason I don’t know the exact model number is because the outer layer of it is ninety percent scratched off. Brand new, it came in black and now looks very silver camo-esque.
The back of the screen has a crack in it, among the dozens of other scratches on the surface, so you can imagine why I feel a bit silly whipping it out in group settings and especially at blogger events.
Although it has certainly seen better days, it still takes great pictures for a regular every day camera. I can’t justify purchasing a new one until the camera quality is affected. My goal is to finally research quality “big girl” digital cameras this year and teach myself how to use it, but until then I get to sport the camo cracked beast!
On that same note, my laptop is a white 2006 MacBook and won’t even allow me to download updated versions of Internet browsers or flash player. You can imagine how much longer it takes me to post on the road, right?
So that is the awesome combination of things I travel with these days. Knowing my frustrations, my friend Alex was an absolute sweetheart and let me borrow her old tablet to have handy in New York.
I fell in love with the idea of the tablet right away! I have been pining after an iPad for ages now, and still haven’t taken a step down that road either. This one is a Verizon Wireless tablet that runs off of the 4G network.
I loved having it accessible without the need for wi-fi at the airport and throughout the entire weekend. I really, really need to invest in something like this sooner than later.
• Five Below iPhone accessories
Speaking of electronics, I recently upgraded to the iPhone 5s and needed to protect it with something while the case I ordered for it online comes in. I made a trip over to Five Below and became super impressed by their cell phone accessories line!
Their collection is designed mostly for iPhones, but they also carry a decent selection for the Galaxy 4 and Android as well. I expected something “I can deal with” for $5, but what I got instead was adorable and trendy!
In fact, all three of those items came to a grand total of $14.
Not too shabby!
• Pentatonix’s cover of Say Something. You might recognize them as the Season 3 winners of The Sing Off and are still both Scott and I’s favorite group throughout the series.
Acoustic music has blown up over the past few years and I am definitely a fan. I could listen to this one track for hours!
I have been living in jackets with thumbholes lately. Particularly pullovers. In fact, it is now rare that I will purchase or even wear one without them.
In my opinion, thumbholes make any jacket more comfortable and cozy. They also protect my hands from the cold when I don’t feel like putting gloves on! (Says the girl with seriously chapped hands…)
I found a similar pullover to the North Face Bernadino last year on clearance at the North Face Outlet for $65, and it has been my favorite heavier one for running outside or layering.
• 90s pop throwbacks
While traveling this week, I tuned into Pandora whenever I had wi-fi available. I always rotate through a collection of different stations, but have been really digging the 90s pop throwbacks lately.
They just put me in the best mood!
This week, Spice Girls Radio has been my fav. *NSync Radio is always a win, and for those of you who like “less poppy” check out the Top 40 station. It’s a great collection of music that still makes me rock out.
• Greek frozen yogurt
I have seen these pints pop up in the freezer section, and finally took the leap to try the Ben & Jerry’s Greek line of frozen yogurt. It’s pretty amazing… if you enjoy frozen yogurt that tastes like real ice cream, that is.
I am a true fan of fro yo, but these two flavors really surprised me with a more like ice cream-like taste and texture. Plus, they are now Scott approved, which is kind of a big deal around here.
• this little kid with a lot to say. I can’t. He’s just so great. “Linda, Honey, Listen”… you might just have your hands full here, momma!
• Monday’s Coffee Talk. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I am still tickled over your feedback and am looking forward to including those type of posts on a regular rotation.
March 12, 2014
Good Morning from the Big Apple!
Yesterday was jam packed with excitement as I made my way from Detroit to New York City. I am here with a few fellow bloggers and FitFluential Ambassadors (thanks to Reebok!) to cover a launch party later this morning. Just another standard Wednesday, right? (!!!)
After an eventful morning of travel, I arrived at the JFK airport mid-afternoon. Julie was scheduled to arrive just a few minutes later, so I grabbed us an afternoon pick-me-up from Starbucks and before I knew it we were in a cab and on our way to the Reebok FitHub on Fitfh Avenue!
Reebok FitHub Fifth Avenue Tour
Luggage in hand, we quickly made our way into the store and both noted the bright and active feel of the store right away.
How cute and fun is their yoga line?
As we walked up to the front counter, we were greeted with enthusiastic smiles from employees and Reebok Fitness Ambassadors Michele and Darren.
I had never been to a FitHub before, so I was excited to learn about all of the different activities like dance classes, events, and workouts that happen right here in the store.
While waiting for Gina to arrive, we kept busy chatting with Michele about what makes this retail store unique. With a quick look around, it all became obvious. The ground is made up of gym flooring, there are ropes and rings hanging about, and the store is filled with weights and kettlebells.
Near the wall of shoes, there are boxes placed specifically for people to test out real CrossFit moves on. In order to figure out exactly what shoe fits your type of workout the best, why not test out how they feel right there?
The end of our tour took us down to what seemed like an underground secret workout society. Just downstairs, we entered the Reebok CrossFit Box that screamed amazingness.
With upbeat music blaring, CrossFitters ran by us sweaty and “in the zone” during their WODs. We were all tempted to jump right in! Alternatively, we just took photos of the box and I shared that was my first visit to a real CrossFit box.
I’m pretty sure the words “this makes me want to lift really heavy things” even came out of my mouth. Maybe one day I actually will visit a box in my area! (Maybe.)
Core Fusion Barre at Exhale Spa
About 5:30 p.m., we gathered our belongings and took a cab over to 77th and Madison to Exhale Spa Upper East Side.
While the spa offers plenty of pampering treatments that could have kept us occupied, we were there to take a barre class from Kat Steers. There was also a gorgeous yoga studio and adorable lobby filled with boutique-like items like fitness apparel, candles and jewelry.
Everything smelled so good!
All dressed and ready to go in our Reebok True Studio Slippers, we entered the barre studio for a Core Fusion class.
(A full review of these slippers will be coming soon.)
The class was filled to the rim and Kat made sure to introduce herself and learn our names. The style of this barre class was very similar to what I am used to and included the expected tucking, lifting, holding, shaking, and burning I normally get out of them.
Although I just took one in Orlando two weeks ago, you would have thought it had been years with how bad I was shaking! The class definitely gave me a challenge and I have a feeling I will be be sore for at least a few days as a result.
(Gina, Julie, Me)
With rumbling bellies, we made our way to our hotel by foot and actually got stopped at a stand still for a good fifteen minutes. Apparently President Obama is in town and just so happened to be exiting someone’s private residence. I’m pretty confident we kept the NYPD entertained with a series of questions as we waited for the security to clear and the sidewalks to open back up again.
Finally, just shy of 9 p.m., our hotel was in sight!
The Plaza Hotel
The Plaza Hotel in New York City is nothing short of a dream. I have only been to NY a handful of times, and remember passing by the gorgeous building thinking it would be amazing to stay there one day.
Thanks to an awesome partnership between Reebok and Fairmont, one day is currently today and tomorrow!
I have never had the opportunity to stay in a hotel quite this enchanting.
The beauty and elegance of this legendary stay is obvious, but all three of us couldn’t get over how good it smelled too. Every single flower in the hotel is fresh and replaced weekly, and there are a lot of them.
As I walked into my hotel room, I became instantly impressed. Gorgeous, no?
On the bed was a hand picked Reebok outfit waiting for me, as part of the Fairmont Fit Program which I will explain in another post coming up!
While deciding what we wanted to do about dinner, I noticed this alluring fruit basket and hand written welcome note that made me feel extremely welcomed.
Also, at least a third of that entire bowl was gone in about two minutes after snapping this photo.
Still in fitness apparel, we made our way down to the lobby and ended up grabbing a bite at the The Plaza Food Hall on the bottom level. It was perfectly casual enough for us to feel comfortably dressed, but still served food worthy of a 5-star restaurant.
All of us wanting everything, we put in an order for lobster guacamole to split as an appetizer.
I also ordered a shrimp and spinach tortellini (made with homemade noodles!) for my main entree.
The portions were perfect, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t go to bed feeling wonderful. I am already having the best time and am bursting with excitement over today’s itinerary!
I’ll be sure to check back in when I can with more NYC adventures!