Hello, my beautiful friends! How are you? What’s new?
I hope you’ve been having a great week. My week was busy, busy, busy. I taught my usual five classes, took Brady to swim and on a play date with a friend from his preschool, went to tennis, worked on another very complicated fitness freelance article and did all the rest of the stuff I always do.
This weekend, we’re heading off to Atlanta to visit my brother, Matthew, and his wife, Stephanie. We haven’t been to see them at their house in Alpharetta since we moved back to the East Coast and they have always come to us, so we are very due for a visit in their neck of the woods.
We’re taking Brady to the aquarium while we’re there, and he’s pumped, and so am I, because I’ve heard the Georgia Aquarium is amazing. We’re looking forward to some fun with family, and I’ll share on Instagram stories and then report back here next week.
Also, before we begin: Congratulations to Wendi T. for winning my $300 e-gift card to NOW from my supplements post. If you would like to check out NOW for some natural foods or other health items, you can use my discount code, WEST, at any time on the NOW website here. Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway.
Now for the current faves …
Current faves of the week
All about our overnight trip to Asheville
So fun! We finally got away together. I hadn’t spent the night away from our house since August when we went to the Florida Keys with my family to celebrate my dad. We may have only been gone for one night, but we sure fit a lot in on this little overnight trip to Asheville.
We had hoped to make it to Asheville during the holiday season to check out the Biltmore Estate (which I actually went to long ago with my mom, when I was in college), but we didn’t get to it with the busy-ness of the holiday season. But Asheville remained on our list as an easy overnight trip from Charlotte, because we’re just over two hours away.
We left on Saturday morning, stopped at Starbucks, then made the drive. We wanted to do some outdoorsy stuff, so we drove straight to Chimney Rock State Park, which is somewhat on the way to Asheville. Chimney Rock State Park is right near Lake Lure, which we drove through, and that is a super-cute area (and I was told is where some of the film “Dirty Dancing” was filmed).
To get to Chimney Rock, you have to go through some very remote places and take on some winding mountain roads, which we definitely hadn’t done since living in California. Dave was driving, so it was okay by me, but Brady was quickly over it.
(Wearing my favorite casual sneakers.)
We got to Chimney Rock at just the right time, (the line to get in was really long as we were leaving, and we didn’t have to wait at all). We parked, then climbed the stairs up to the top of Chimney Rock to enjoy the views, and although there were a lot of steps, it was an easy journey. We sat up there for a little while admiring the fresh air, and it was so nice.
There were many other paths and peaks we could have visited at Chimney Rock State Park, but we didn’t want to spend too much time there, so we could get to lunch in Asheville. I would absolutely go back and stay longer to do more. The views were awesome, and they had an elevator in the mountain to take down too, which was awfully convenient and would work great for someone who loves a view but can’t physically do all the stairs.
Brady was a big fan of reading the park map, in fact, we had to remind him to look where he was going so he didn’t veer off the ledge. (Just kidding, they had a lot of safety fencing.) 🙂
From there, we drove the 45 minutes to downtown Asheville straight to Wicked Weed Brewing, which came highly recommended to us. It was very busy, but we were able to get a nice table outside after a 30-minute wait. The people watching was excellent there at the restaurant (and throughout downtown Asheville actually).
Dave and I shared a burger, sweet potato fries and salad, and it was all very tasty. We saw quite a few bachelorette party groups at this restaurant and walking around Asheville, and I can see it as a great place for a girls’ trip.
After lunch, we checked into our hotel, the Aloft Asheville, and got organized, then we went walking around downtown Asheville. We grabbed lattes from a super-cool double-decker bus coffee shop, then stumbled upon a pep rally in a little park. There were some NCAA basketball games going on, so a lot of people in college gear were walking around town. Brady loved seeing the Mercer University marching band, and we ran into them the next day too. I also peeked into an art gallery and found a million things I wanted, but I didn’t pull the trigger on anything.
Once we did a little exploring, we went back to the hotel to shower up, then we headed out for dinner, once again on foot. We went to Rhubarb, which had a really cool vibe. The food was decent, and I loved the scene — it reminded me a lot of San Francisco restaurants with an open kitchen, small tables and a limited menu. I was so proud of Brady being such a trooper, because he didn’t get a chance to take his usual nap this day, and he did great even with the hike and a lot of walking around the city. We let him watch a show with headphones during dinner, so we could talk, and it was a very good set-up for us all.
Also, Dave had a mini-celeb sighting during dinner, which made him happy. He saw a Formula 1 racing manager (who came to small-scale fame from a Netflix series about the same topic) eating dinner with his family — it didn’t mean much to me, but Dave told his friends, and they were into it.
Because we had Brady in tow, we didn’t get to do any night-life activities, but that’s totally fine. It was a quick, but fun day, which completely flew by.
On Sunday morning, we got ready and then walked around downtown Asheville again, trying out a local coffee shop and ultimately having brunch at a place that was recommended to us, Tupelo Honey. And while we were eating outside, the Mercer University marching band was back performing. Brunch was tasty, and from there we checked out of our hotel and made the two-hour drive home without stopping once.
Funny thing: Brady said his favorite part about our trip to Asheville was being in the hotel. He loves hotels, and he jumped from bed to bed, took “work calls” on the phone, put his toys in the safe and pushed the suitcase around too. Also, he slept in a queen bed, and he felt cool about that, because it’s huge compared to his tiny toddler bed at home. (I, however, didn’t sleep great that night, because he took advantage of being in the same room as us, and pulled up my slumber mask in the middle of the night multiple times to say “hello.”)
We only scratched the surface of the things there are to do in Asheville, and we’ve love to go back and explore the Biltmore Estate, do some hiking in the Appalachians and try plenty more restaurants. But for this short and sweet 30-hour adventure, I think we fit in plenty. It was a great getaway. And of course, going on one little trip makes me crave more trips, so I’m glad we’re off to Atlanta this weekend.
I made a little video on Instagram about our trip, so you can find that here, if you’d like to see it.
And our trip to Asheville basically completes my favorites for the week!
My workouts from last week
Here’s where I share a recap of my previous week of workouts. I share this to show you how I try to get diversity in my week, and how I always take a rest day. But remember, I do a little bit more than the average person, because I’m a group fitness instructor.
Workouts from the week of 2/28
- Monday: Taught 1-hour barbell class at Life Time, 9:45 a.m.
- Tuesday: Taught 1-hour barre class with light weights at Life Time, 9:30 a.m.
- Wednesday: Taught 45-minute barre class with light weights at Life Time, 9:30 a.m., taught 45-minute barre class with light weights at Life Time, 5:30 p.m.
- Thursday: Taught 45-minute combo class at Life Time, 9:45 a.m.
- Friday: Taught 45-minute barbell class at Life Time, 12 p.m.
- Saturday: Rest day
- Sunday: Practiced barre for 45 minutes, took a 30-minute walk, 5 p.m.
This past week of workouts was full of classes again. I didn’t get to play tennis this week, because I was away and missed my Sunday class. But I did teach six classes, take a rest day, go on a leisure walk and prepare some new barre material for this week, which is always an undertaking, but always worth it. I feel pretty good in my workouts, but I do need to find time to work on my own stuff and do yoga, but of course, it’s hard to fit everything in. Even when exercising is part of your job, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do all you want to do each week. There’s only so much we can do, and I have to accept that.
Best read from the week …
Here’s an article I read this week that I felt was worthy of sharing with you:
Build habits that will help you cope. This article from Precision Nutrition is a great look at two straw people, one who thrived during the pandemic, and one who crumbled. While they both started out healthy, the one who thrived had better coping mechanisms and solid habits around sleep, recovery and stress management to help them get through life’s curveballs. There are some useful worksheets and questions to ask yourself if you’ve got those solid habits down or not and how you can proceed to make them better. Totally a worthy read.
Quote of the week …
Discount of the week …
I’m excited to be working with NOW this year, one of the biggest and best natural foods and supplement brands around. Any time you’d like to shop on nowfoods.com, you can use the code WEST for 20 percent off your entire order, and you can even get this discount on any other sale taking place. Head here to get shopping. And thanks for supporting an A Lady Goes West sponsor.
A Lady Goes West archives of the week …
There are so many posts on this blog, let’s look back at two good ones (one recent, one older) …
Food. This is the one of the most requested types of posts on the blog, so I hope you enjoyed a look at a typical day of my eating … “Here’s everything I ate in a day.”
Skincare. We haven’t talked about skincare in a while, but it’s still an important topic for us ladies, so here you go … “Five sneaky skincare mistakes you could be making.”
Thanks for stopping by, my friends! Stay hydrated, stay grateful and make a little time for yourself.
Questions of the day for YOU …
What are you up to this weekend?
Have you ever been to Asheville?
What’s one fun plan that you have in the month of March?