A fun and relaxing trip to sunny San Diego

This past weekend was a very good one. Dave and I traveled down to San Diego to visit his parents, and we even brought our little Rudy pup along for the trip. I have so much to share about this fabulous getaway, but let’s start with the highlights …

  • The weather was complete perfection. It was pleasantly cool in the mornings and nights, yet sunny and warm during the days. Dave’s Dad said the weather was actually a little bit more moderate than normal during our stay (not too hot or cold), and we loved it.
  • I had the most amazing acai bowl at a local coffee shop in the Ocean Beach neighborhood of San Diego, and I’m still thinking about it. I love everything about eating acai bowls. I could eat one every single day.
  • I learned how to play backgammon, and it’s not quite as easy as it looks, folks. 
  • We went to a most wonderful jazz concert in the park on Sunday on the island of Coronado, where Dave’s parents live. That evening, we picnicked and salsa danced among a large group of people in front of a gazebo. So fun.
  • Our little Rudy pup took his first plane trip, his first boat ride, his first ride in a convertible and even had his first encounter with a cat, all in the span of three days. He was a great traveler — with only a few cries and yelps on the plane when he was fully zipped up into his traveling case. Although it was expensive to take him on the plane, traveling with a puppy is not difficult at all, and we’d do it again in an instant.
  • We spent a ton of time outdoors, whether we were by the pool, kayaking, on the boat or eating (a lot of eating …), we soaked up plenty of fresh air.
  • I sat in a massage chair (which Dave’s parents have in their guest room), for about an hour total over the course of the weekend, and it was very relaxing. I’m pretty sure I’m going to put one of those on my (long-shot) Christmas wish list.

Now, let’s get to a little recap of the happenings …

A short flight to San Diego on Friday with a nervous puppy 

On Friday morning, after teaching BODYATTACK, I showered up and zipped up my suitcase, then Dave, Rudy and I headed to the Oakland airport for our lunch-time flight. We got there plenty early in order to get Rudy checked in, and the process of traveling with a pet was a breeze — although he was pretty shaky for much of it. The flight was quick, and in just over-an-hour, we had landed at the small San Diego airport.

San Diego trip with Rudy via A Lady Goes West blog

By the way, your in-cabin pet is supposed to stay under the seat in front of you for the duration of the flight, but we may or may not have let Rudy stick his little head out and up when he needed it. And at one point, he was on my lap in his carrier, and the flight attendant made me put him back down. After she did that, another flight attendant came by and said she wished that Rudy could stay out, because he was so darn cute. I agree. Needless to say, numerous people approached us to pet Rudy at the airport on the way there and back.

An evening boat ride and dining al fresco on Friday night

Dave’s Mom picked us up from the airport, and we crawled through some bad traffic on the way home to Coronado. We had never been to his parents’ new place in the Cays area, where they’ve been for a few months, and it was just gorgeous. They are on the water and have a lot more space than their last home, which was closer to downtown Coronado.

San Diego trip boating and eating via A Lady Goes West blog

That evening, we took a boat ride on the water behind his parents’ house with the family and then enjoyed a nice dinner outside on the deck.

The gym, the pool and some pampering on Saturday 

On Saturday morning, Dave, Rudy and I swung by Panera to pick up breakfast. Once breakfast was complete, Dave’s little sister, Gwena, and I rode bikes to the nearby hotel gym to complete this hotel-gym workout together. I showed Gwena some new exercises, and we had fun sweating and talking. By the way, Gwena is a Zumba instructor, and was totally jealous of my experience meeting Beto and taking a class from him at IDEA BlogFest with Sweat Pink in LA a few weeks ago.

San Diego trip at the Loews Hotel via A Lady Goes West

After spending about 45 minutes in the gym, we rode our bikes back home, put on our swimsuits and went back to the Loews Hotel again with the whole family to lay by the pool and have lunch. We got some sun, then Dave’s Mom, Gwena and I hit up the fancy spa to sit in the hot tub and shower. From there, we went to get manis and pedis at a brand new nail salon in downtown Coronado, while Dave and his Dad went on the boat. It was a great manicure and pedicure, full of some funny moments, like when my manicurist spilled numerous things on me throughout the course of my services.

Beachside dining in Imperial Beach on Saturday night

On Saturday evening, we all went out to the Imperial Beach neighborhood for dinner at SEA180 Coastal Tavern in the Pier South Resort on the water. While the Imperial Beach neighborhood is not super nice, this particular hotel was pretty cool.

San Diego eats at SEA180 Tavern in Imperial Beach via A Lady Goes West

I loved the decor of the restaurant, and the food was great. Some highlights from our meals included the brussels sprouts appetizer, and the mashed purple sweet potato that came under my macadamia-crusted fish dish. Because the dessert selection wasn’t quite up my alley, we swung by Von’s for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and a massive slice of carrot cake for us (me) to enjoy at home.

Kayaking and exploring San Diego and the beaches

On Sunday morning, Dave and I made another trip to Panera for breakfast. Then, we came back and took a little loop on the kayaks behind the house. The water was super calm, and it was a peaceful activity, in which we got to look at the back of many beautiful homes. I was totally content to stay inside, but Dave insisted we go on the kayaks, and I was so happy we did. It was a great way to start the day.

In the mid-morning, Dave, Gwena, Rudy and I loaded up in a convertible and went on a tour of San Diego with the top down. We drove through the Gaslamp Quarter, which is a trendy restaurant and bar strip in downtown San Diego. Then we went straight to Ocean Beach to Newbreak Coffee & Cafe, a place that Gwena swore had a great acai bowl. She knew I needed to eat a good one, because my last acai-bowl experience in San Diego in November was sub-par. Well Gwena’s recommendation came through. The three of us all got delicious and huge acai bowls and sat outside in the sunshine slurping them down — with Rudy on Dave’s lap, participating in all the action.

San Diego trip to visit Ocean and Pacific Beach via A Lady Goes West blog

From there, we drove to Pacific Beach, parked the car and walked along the sidewalk just above the beach. We had planned to walk on the beach, but found out that dogs weren’t allowed during the day hours, so we had to stay off. Gwena thought we would like to see Pacific Beach, because it’s a totally casual and laid-back scene, with little huts, surfers and shops all crowding the coastline, and she was right.

That was our last stop on our adventure before heading to the grocery store for picnic supplies. And I must say, it was the perfect selection of San Diego spots. Gwena did an awesome job showing us some new areas, yet we barely scratched the surface of all there is to see in SD.

Sunday night concert in the park on Coronado

On Sunday night, the whole Pitt family loaded up and headed to downtown Coronado at Spreckels Park for the Coronado Promenade Concerts in the park, a free weekly event which takes place during the summer on the island. We packed some chairs, some cheese and crackers as well as some wine, and set up an area in the crowded park. I will say that this was by far my favorite time during our great weekend trip. The scene was wonderful. It was super family-friendly and everyone had elaborate picnic set-ups.

San Diego Coronado concert in the park via A Lady Goes West blog

The musicians of the night made up a live jazz band, Louie Cruz Beltran, who were total crowd-pleasers and played a lot of Latin music. At one point, there was a salsa instructor giving lessons, so of course, Gwena and I joined in. Toward the end of the concert, most people were dancing, and even Dave hopped up to take me for a swing on the grassy dance-floor. 

After that, we went back to home for a final delicious grilled meal outdoors, which Dave cooked up for us. The weather was so gorgeous, and the sun was down as we were eating pretty late into the night. We had some dessert, and then called it a night shortly thereafter, totally fulfilled from our day of fun.

Heading back to the Bay Area on Monday morning

On Monday morning, Dave and I packed up our stuff, said our goodbyes to his Dad and little sister, and his Mom dropped us off at the airport. We arrived very early, super hungry and were a bit disappointed with the food selection in our terminal. We had to settle for breakfast at Einstein’s Bagels, which was not-so-good. But at least our flight was on-time and easy, and by the mid-afternoon Dave was back at his office, and I was heading home with Rudy to unpack, hit the grocery store and collect myself before heading to teach. 

Overall, it was an awesome weekend. Not only did we enjoy a lot of quality time with Dave’s family, who I just love, but we also relaxed, ate good food, explored new areas and totally changed up our normal weekend routine with extra outdoor activities. I can’t wait to go back to San Diego, because it’s definitely a place I’d like to see more of. And that concert in the park on Sundays? Count me in! We need Walnut Creek to offer something like that near us each week, because I’d become a regular. Thanks for the fun, San Diego. We surely enjoyed the weekend and hope to see you again!

San Diego trip via A Lady Goes West blog

That’s the story. We’re back in the real world for just a few days before heading down to Monterey this weekend for a wedding. And the Hawaii countdown? We leave in 23 days! We don’t normally travel so much, but I’m totally loving the fact that this summer has included so many trips. Have a fabulous Tuesday, folks, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow to talk about food.

Questions of the day

Do you travel with your pets?

Have you ever been to San Diego before?

What’s your favorite thing to do on vacation?

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A short-on-time hotel-gym dumbbell workout

Hello, my friends! I hope this blog post finds you well. After having a wonderful weekend exploring San Diego and hanging out with Dave’s family on Coronado (an island off of San Diego, where they live), Dave, Rudy and I are flying back to San Francisco this morning. Tomorrow, I’ll be giving you a full run-down of our adventures, as well as how Rudy did with all the travel, but here’s just a taste …

Scenes from Coronado visit via A Lady Goes WestA little snapshot of what the weekend looked like enjoying the sunny weather of Southern California.

Now, let’s get to business and talk about recent workouts and fitness …

A 25-minute short-on-time dumbbell workout for hotel gyms

On Saturday morning, I didn’t really have any intentions of going to the gym and was fine taking the weekend off, but Dave’s little sister, Gwena, (who is going to be a senior in college this year) mentioned she wanted to work out. Well, of course, I said yes. The two of us hit up the little gym at the Loews Hotel, just a short bike-ride away from home. We knew we wanted to do something targeting the full-body, and we knew we didn’t want to spend too much time doing it. Once we got to the gym, I did a quick glance around the selection of equipment and decided to stick to moves not requiring a machine, which is why this workout is called a “hotel-gym” one. You don’t need much to get it done.

What you need …

  • 1 set of medium dumbbells (10-15 lbs.)
  • 1 set of heavy dumbbells (20-30 lbs.)
  • 1 stability ball

After a couple minutes of incline walking on the treadmill and some dynamic warm-up moves, the two of us completed this workout and were surprisingly sweaty and fulfilled by the end, in less than 30 minutes. Because it was just what we needed, I thought I’d share it with you in case you’re ever in need of inspiration.

**Disclaimer: Even though I’m a certified personal trainer, I’m not your personal trainer and these moves may not be right for you. Always consult with your doctor or trainer before beginning a new routine. Be careful!

Hotel-gym workout via A Lady Goes West blog

Here’s a look at some of the exercises with links to demonstrations and notes …

  • Squat to shoulder press – Keep your core braced the entire move. Drop your hips back and down, and as you stand up, dig your heels into the ground and squeeze your glutes.
  • Reverse lunge – Keep your chest up, hips square to front and as you step back and bend your back knee toward the floor. Return your foot to hip-width distance.
  • Arnold press – Stand up tall, shoulders back, core braced. Start with the dumbbells in front of your shoulders, palms facing your body. During the move, maintain great posture as you rotate your arms out and then press up.
  • Single-arm chest press – Keep your body super still and anchored to the bench, as you bring your elbow down to bench height and back up to the set.
  • Stir-the-pot – Make sure you keep your body in a long, strong plank the whole time, bringing your bodyweight forward up and over your arms. Squeeze your thighs and butt and push your forearms into the ball.

For more short and efficient workouts, head on over to my Fitness + Workouts page.

My weekly fitness and workouts recap

Now, as we do on Mondays, let’s take look at how I did with my recent workouts, in addition to this one ...

Weekly workouts via A Lady Goes West(Photo credit to Leah Bentley Photography, 2015.)

Weekly Workouts

  • Monday –Taught a one-hour BODYATTACK class, foam rolling
  • Tuesday – Taught a one-hour BODYPUMP class, foam rolling
  • Wednesday – Taught a one-hour BODYATTACK class
  • Thursday – Taught a 45-minute BODYPUMP class and a 30-minute freestyle core class, foam rolling
  • Friday – Taught a one-hour BODYATTACK class 
  • Saturday – Did a 25-minute dumbbell workout and went on a leisure bike ride
  • Sunday – Rest day

What was good about my week of workouts?

Balance? Yes. I did three sessions of cardio (BODYATTACK) and three sessions of weights (BODYPUMP and the hotel-gym workout), which means my week was finally even and balanced, after many weeks of being cardio-heavy. It was really nice to have time to work on a few moves in the mirror doing the dumbbell circuit that I made up on the fly, because it gave me a chance to do moves I haven’t done in a while.

What could have been better about my week of workouts?

I think this is the first week since March when I didn’t fit in at least one short yoga session. However, I did have a full rest day, so there was plenty of recovery. I don’t want yoga to start slipping from my routine, so I’ll be back on it this week. 

That’s it for today! Dave, Rudy and I should be back in the Bay Area in the early afternoon, so I’ll be teaching BODYATTACK tonight and continuing business as usual. Here’s to a great start to the week for us all!

Questions of the day

How was your weekend? What was the highlight of it?

What’s your favorite dumbbell exercise?

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