Happy Presidents’ Day in the U.S.! Fun fact: Did you know that Presidents’ Day is celebrated on the third Monday in February each year in the United States to celebrate George Washington’s birthday, even though it doesn’t always fall on his actual birthday? The Federal Government still recognizes the day as Washington’s Birthday, although it’s now widely considered a collective celebration of all previous U.S. presidents. There are a few other presidents who have birthdays in February (including Abraham Lincoln, William Henry Harrison and Ronald Reagan), and several states celebrate Lincoln and Washington’s birthdays as separate holidays, while others merely observe the joint Presidents’ Day as one catch-all. No matter the significance of this day, I thought it would be great to start the week out with a little history lesson. But let’s get to the fun stuff. This weekend was a good one …
A wonderfully sunny and perfect weekend
Sometimes weekends are just perfect. You feel good, you have fun and you live in the moment. This weekend was just that for me. Although I don’t always capture pictures of every single thing I do over the weekend, this time I did. So here’s my full recap of where we left off since “Friday Favorites.”
Friday night is sushi night
On Friday night, Dave and I went to a sushi place in downtown Walnut Creek called Oyama Sushi, where we ate at the bar. Sometimes we sit at the bar at restaurants by choice, just because we like to switch it up. As a sushi lover, I would say the food at Oyama was very good, but not amazing. The scene was a little bit more uppity than our usual hole-in-the-wall Friday dining, yet we still had a very fun time. Part of that fun included the fact that we were seated next to a couple of ladies who were taking shot-after-shot of something hard and flirting with the waiters. Yes, they kept us very entertained.
Shown above is not only a shot of Dave and me, but also a look at all of my food for the night. I had mackerel nigiri, a cherry blossom roll, a ginger house salad and a carafe of hot sake. I also finished some of Dave’s extreme California roll once he claimed to be full.
We typically go out to a sushi dinner every Friday night, and it’s one of my favorite weekly rituals. It means Friday night dinner decisions are much easier to make, typically quite casual and always very healthy too. I don’t think we’ll be heading back to Oyama again soon, unless we can be sure that those same ladies are seated next to us, of course. Another highlight from Friday night? On the drive home, we got a call from our very best friends, who visited us in March, which you can read about here (Surprise visit and a Kokkari dinner, A bluebird day along the Embarcadero, Perfect park day at Fort Mason and Tandem biking the Golden Gate Bridge), and during our call, we made all sorts of plans for our next visit together.
A little Valentine’s Day fun
On Saturday, Dave had the day planned for us, featuring all of my favorite things. In the morning, being that I wasn’t teaching a class for once, I elected to skip my workout. After breakfast at home, I had a little photo-shoot at a park near our house (which I’ll talk more about soon and you can see a sneak-peek of on the right-hand sidebar of the blog today), then, when I got home, Dave asked me to go upstairs to wait for a minute so he could set something up in the kitchen. When I came downstairs, I found flowers and a selection of nibblies on the table, which we would be taking with us on a picnic.
Shown above is basically everything I like. Fancy cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, chocolate-covered strawberries, strange protein bars, almonds, crackers, fruit, coconut water, honey, jam and of course, Chardonnay.
We packed up this entire spread and hit the road for an outdoor adventure in the sunshine (another one of my favorite things). For those of you who live in the Bay Area or may visit one day, let me encourage you to check out Cowgirl Creamery. There is a retail location at the San Francisco Ferry Building, and this place offers cheese to remember. Cheese to remember.
Hiking, picnicking and soaking up the sun
Dave had heard great things from his friends at work about a little outdoor activity in the East Bay called the Lafayette Reservoir, and so that’s where we went. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, about 70 degrees, with not a cloud in the sky. We showed up to the busy park area, paid $7 for all-day access for the two of us and began walking the well-manicured path. Lafayette Reservoir is nearly a three-mile loop around a huge and gorgeous lake, which also offers a few leisure kayaking and water-sports, which we did not do. Along the path, there are hills, trees, picnic tables, grassy park areas and even well-maintained restrooms placed along the route (which to me, was the best thing ever, being that I’m a very hydrated person, who constantly has to go to the bathroom).
Shown above is a look at the gorgeous Lafayette Reservoir and some of our picnic supplies spread out on our blanket. And the Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk cheese chopped up on the wooden cutting board there — well, it is everything. Everything.
Each armed with a backpack full of picnic supplies, we spent most of the walk around the lake commenting on all the dogs passing us by, as well as looking for the right spot to veer off and set up. About halfway through the walk around, we trekked down closer to the water to find a perfect sunny spot for our picnic. There we sat for about an hour, nibbling on our foods, listening to music and chatting. And boy it felt good to get some Vitamin D.
When we finally finished and packed up our picnic, we both realized how incredibly full we were, so it was actually nice to have the second half of the path to walk before getting back to car. Along the walk, I kept remarking on how much I am in love with our new area. It’s warmer outside the City, and being that I’m a Florida girl at heart, I’m loving every minute of it.
And you know, even though there were a lot of people at Lafayette Reservoir on a bright and sunny day like Saturday, it was still very peaceful, quiet and relaxing. I am absolutely positive we will go again one day soon.
Saturday night means steak night
We arrived home in the mid-afternoon, laid around and watched some TV, catching up on the last couple of Vanderpump Rules episodes on the couch. In the evening, Dave prepared a fancy dinner for us, which he had bought ahead of time, featuring more of my other favorite things.
While Dave made our dinner, I played on Pinterest on the couch looking at recipes I am considering make for our upcoming housewarming party. He was busy-as-a-bee in the kitchen and told me to stay out of the way, so I didn’t feel bad (although I did have to instruct him from afar to make sure he properly massaged the kale salad.). He even pulled out our fine China, we had received as wedding gifts, to set the table, which was so very sweet (that China has only been used twice, so this was a big deal). Suffice to say, our food was great, and the thought and effort put into the entire day was amazing. I loved every second of it, because Dave surely made it a special Valentine’s Day for me. (And if you’re wondering, although I didn’t have an entire day planned out like this for him, I had bought him some gifts and written out a card, which he appreciated.)
Sundays usually involve errands
On Sunday after breakfast, Dave and I did our respective workouts. He went for a run outside, and I did a core workout in my pajamas in the spare bedroom. Then, we had a quick lunch, suited up and went on some errands. Perhaps this was the only low-point of our weekend. Even though I packed some snacks for us in my purse, it wasn’t enough to make it through our ambitious plans. We went to the Crate and Barrel Outlet in Berkeley, Z Gallerie, CB2 and finally, the dreaded Ikea in Emeryville. Ikea was rough, my friends. We were hungry, anxious and fairly miserable. And no, we didn’t buy anything. That being said, our shopping was pretty unsuccessful, so after a quick trip to the grocery store, we went home to watch the NBA All-Star Game and seek solace in delicious grilled bison burgers for dinner (compliments of a gift from my Mom via Omaha Steaks). After dinner, we watched TV, had dessert, and I finished up this post.
And ladies and gentlemen, that was the most thorough weekend recap I’ve ever done. But there’s more …
Recapping my weekly workouts and fitness
Every single Monday, no matter what else I have to talk about, I always like to take a minute to go through the workouts that I did the previous week. This recap serves not only to document my workouts completed, but also as a way to talk about how I try to seek variety and balance to stay fit. Let’s get to it …
- Monday – Taught one-hour BODYATTACK class, foam rolling
- Tuesday – Taught one-hour BODYPUMP class, foam rolling
- Wednesday – Taught one-hour BODYATTACK class
- Thursday – Taught one-hour BODYPUMP class, attended one-hour heated power yoga class at CorePower Yoga
- Friday – Taught one-hour BODYATTACK class, foam rolling
- Saturday – Rest day (went on a 3-mile hike outdoors)
- Sunday – Did 30-minute CXWORX core workout at home
What was good about my week of workouts?
This past week was full of a lot of group fitness for me. I taught five classes (all of which included me doing the full workout), as well as attended a yoga class and completed a core workout at home. With three sessions of cardio (BODYATTACK) and two sessions of resistance (BODYPUMP), I did get in plenty of variety. Also, the addition of the yoga class and core workout rounded out my week. It felt wonderful to be back in a heated yoga class after a few weeks away from that particular format. I have felt very balanced lately with my new routine and have no complaints about this week. Although Dave and I went on a leisure hike on Saturday, technically that was a rest day for me as well, which is another important part of my week.
What could have been better about my week of workouts?
Once again, just like the week before this one, I could have benefited from an extra weight-lifting session completed on my own outside of the group fitness room. Because BODYPUMP is focused on lighter weights and higher reps, it’s considered a muscular endurance program. And I do like to complement that with a workout featuring heavier weights and less reps, which helps build more muscular strength. Nonetheless, in the grand scheme of things, this week was a good one.
That’s that! A lot of eating, exploring, exercising and enjoying life.
Okay, my friends! I sure hope that you have a wonderful Monday. And please come back by A Lady Goes West tomorrow for a fun and colorful giveaway.
Questions of the day
Are you off of work for Presidents’ Day today? What was the best thing that happened during your weekend? Do you have any workouts planned for the week?