Florida Labor Day weekend perfection

I really couldn’t have asked for anything more out of Labor Day weekend. Dave and I had fairly easy travel, enjoyed the gorgeous sunshine and spent tons of time with my parents, older brother and even had a special visit from friends.

The only time we left my parent’s house was to go out on the boat. Other than that, we just relaxed, ate delicious food and played some games.

Because it was so lovely, let’s take a look at how the whole weekend played out …

Friday morning departure

We left out of San Francisco on an early flight and were able to score seats together on both legs of our trip, even though the flights were totally full.

Preflight photo

It was just over a month ago that we booked this Labor Day weekend trip, and once we were sure we were going, my brother also got a flight down from his home-base in Atlanta. 

And conveniently, we flew into the airport the same time as him and met him at the baggage claim. From there my Mom picked us all up, and we drove the 1.5 hour trip to my parent’s house in Port Charlotte.

That evening we had a delicious steak fajita dinner and some wine in the kitchen before retiring for a good night’s sleep.

Steak fajita dinner

Taking it easy in the Florida heat

Upon arrival, I was reminded of something immediately: It’s really hot in Florida. Dave and I couldn’t stop remarking on the stifling temperatures and humidity. Even when we arrived around 6 p.m. on Friday evening, and walked out of the airport, it was like opening the door of a sauna. And my hair — not a fan of the frizz-inducing stickiness anymore. It’s come to enjoy the San Francisco cool.

Thus, we had even more of a reason to take it easy …

On Saturday, I spent some time on the computer working on programming for clients and sending emails while enjoying this little breakfast of Greek yogurt, blueberries, almonds and a banana.

Breakfast in PC

It was so incredibly rare for me to wake up on a Saturday morning and not prepare to head off to teach a crazy BODYATTACK class. I felt so free and easy, dawdling around with no morning obligations. That in itself was vacation enough for me.

But in order to get in a little sweat, after breakfast, I did a short 30-minute CXWORX core workout and then laid by the pool and finished up a book I had started reading all the way back in June when Dave and I went to Cabo. Even though it’s been almost three months since I started it, I never find the time or energy to read these days, so the book has been hiding in my bed-side drawer. A weekend away was the perfect time to pull it out and finish the great story while in the sun. 

By the pool in PC

And it also gave me the opportunity to take this very rare occurrence of a selfie …

Ashley Laying Out

Knowing I can’t go a day without seafood, my Mom prepared a big chunk of grilled salmon for our lunches that day, and she picked up Publix subs for the men. I had the following meal twice over the course of the weekend and probably could have had it again if we stayed another day.

Salmon salad lunch

While I was keeping busy the first part of Saturday, my brother, Dad and Dave went out fishing for a few hours. 

Enjoying fitness as an appetizer

In the early evening, I had some fun with my brother. In fact, I conducted an official functional movement analysis on him (much like I do with clients) and walked him through some new exercises he should be doing based off his needs and goals for fitness. It was super fun showing him some of the awesome stuff I’ve learned as a trainer. Since our little session, I’ve even written a tailored workout program for him that I’m planning to monitor from afar. Yay!

Once the fitness talk was complete, we poured some more wine, had a nice big dinner at the table, got into a friendly game of Trivial Pursuit and then had some dessert.

Trivial Pursuit

I couldn’t bring myself to take pictures of the desserts I consumed each night, because quite frankly, the portions were nothing I need to document for others on a blog dedicated to all things health. But that’s neither here nor there …

With a belly full of sugar, I got a pretty good night’s sleep. And on Sunday morning, I did another short 30-minute workout, laid out for about 30 minutes and then helped my Mom prepare for our get together.

Labor Day BBQ with the best-of-the-best

As soon as Dave and I booked our trip, I was quick to find out the plans of my favorite ladies — all of whom were awesome enough to mark their calendars to make the trip over to my parent’s place for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon.

We hosted some of my very best friends, including Yolanda, Melissa, Stefanie and Kristen, who make up four of the five bridesmaids in my wedding. Three of the girls have their own little ones and they brought them, along with most of their husbands and fiances. We had BBQ food, sat around the living room and caught up on life, including the excitement of Melissa’s pending wedding next year and perhaps some more babies in the future.

Florida Ladies on Labor Day

Florida Ladies and Babies on Labor Day

I’ve known most of these girls for more than 12 years, some as long as 24 years. That’s a long time. During the years, we’ve had weddings, career changes, cross-country moves, home-buying, babies, and so many of life’s big events.

This marked my first time meeting Yolanda’s new baby boy, Benny, and I loved seeing her as a mother. Oh how we’ve all grown up!

Ashley and Yolanda and Benny

There’s one thing that always comes out of my visits home to Southwest Florida, in addition to good family bonding. Seeing my oldest and best friends reminds me that I’m lucky to have relationships with people like them. We definitely don’t get to talk every day, in fact, sometimes we go longer than we’d like without a decent conversation, but when we’re together we don’t skip a beat. This Sunday afternoon’s visit was only a few hours, but it left me feeling happy and recharged, just to have all these special people in one place.

That evening, after cleaning up the party and relaxing a bit, my Dad took us on a family cocktail cruise in the lagoons behind our house, which was another great moment in time.

Ashley and Dave on the boat

The stillness and quiet on the water is something Dave and I don’t get to enjoy often, and it was nice. Plus any time I’m hanging with my original B.F.F. (shown below), I’m a pretty happy camper …

Ashley and Mom

So is she …

Just before dark, we pulled back up to the house, had dinner, played Apples to Apples and had some more dessert. 

Getting back on the jet-plane

Monday morning came too quickly, and it was time to pack up and hit the road. My brother’s flight took off a little earlier than ours, so we dropped him off at the airport first and were able to snap one last photo before he walked inside …

Pinders at the airport

Dave, my Mom and I went to a nearby Panera to keep hanging out for a while, and then it was our turn to go too. I can rarely say goodbye to my Mom without going into a full sob, and yes, this goodbye had us both shedding some tears. Do you notice those crying people at airports? Go easy on them.

Tears aside, Dave and I arrived back in our apartment just after 8 p.m. pretty darn wiped out. Cross-country flying can take a lot out of you, but we came back with happy hearts.

It’s hard to live so far from my family. Even though it’s been two years since Dave and I moved to San Francisco from Orlando, it just doesn’t make managing the distance any easier. I love the moments when my parents, brother, Dave and I can be together in one place, and this weekend was visit perfection.

Questions of the day

When was the last time you took a trip on an airplane and to where? Are you an airport crier? Does your family have a favorite game to play?

 Ashley signature

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  1. Aww saying good bye would be so hard! I am really close with my mom too so I know I would be a crier! The last flight I took was to Denver for my cousin’s wedding! Family time plus dancing all night-win win!

    My mom each year used to buy a new game for us at Christmas time. The newest one we played was ‘head’s up!’ from Ellen DeGeneres! It actually is super fun especially with different generations and seeing how they interpret different clues! Looks like an amazing vacation!

  2. Ahhh so glad you got a short and sweet trip back home over the holiday weekend! Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend filled with family and friends. So perfect!! Hope you’re getting back into the swing of things easily this week. I know it’s always tough when coming back from vacation! xo

  3. I loveeee your dress in these photos, it looks super comfortable and stylish at the same time 🙂 I feel you re: saying bye to family and friends — mine are all back in the Philadelphia area and goodbyes are always so tough. Part of me thinks I’m crazy for not sticking closer to home to be around the people I love, but the other half of me loves the adventure out west (and knows I’ll be back home sometime down the line). I’m sure you can relate!!

    1. Hi Lauryn,

      Yes and yes and yes. I love the adventures in SF, but sure miss my people in Florida. My dress is from Dillard’s a while back, it’s called GB brand, you can buy this brand on ShopStyle too, but they don’t have this one anymore. Hope you had a great Labor Day as well!

    1. Hi Lauren, I actually bought that dress in the spring when I visited Florida from Dillard’s. Its GB brand and is not for sale anymore, but check out ShopStyle for similar ones!

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