The very best kind of morning, dinner in Berkeley and my workouts

A new day, a new week! Hi, friends! Are you coming off of a good weekend? I hope so. We had a nice one over here in our neck of the woods. Let’s look at the highlights and my weekly workouts …

The perfect morning with friends

Friday evening included a walk with Rudy and watching the Olympics Opening Ceremonies on the couch in my pajamas with Dave, which means we woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on Saturday morning ready for some action. Shortly after 7:30 a.m., I hopped in the car, and Dave set out on foot to the gym (he runs there, and I choose to drive), and we had some extra pep in our steps.

Although I’m always excited to teach BODYPUMP, this particular class was even more exciting, because we had three friends joining in on the fun. Jill, her guy Paul, and our friend Phil, all showed up for my class (two of the three were BODYPUMP first-timers, which is awesome). Together, we pumped out more than 1,000 sweaty reps with loud music and about 45 other participants, then all headed to downtown Walnut Creek together to grab some acai bowls at Vitality Bowls. Not before a photo-shoot of course …

Group of friends after BODYPUMP by A Lady Goes West

Group of friends flexing after BODYPUMP by A Lady Goes West

While we all enjoyed our totally delicious and superfood-filled bowls (with protein powder, of course for quick muscle recovery after our resistance session), we chatted about life in the Bay Area, and of course, about BODYPUMP. I must say, I love to hear what people think of my beloved BODYPUMP after trying it for the first time. They were fans at that moment, but maybe not today, as two days later their muscles are probably aching.

Acai bowls in Walnut Creek by A Lady Goes West

A combination of an intense workout with a bunch of friends, followed up by a tasty and healthy meal is truly what great mornings are made of. I wish every day started like that! 

The rest of Saturday afternoon included some errands, chores and a hair appointment, which was only subpar. 

An incredible dinner in Berkeley at FIVE

Although Saturday morning was pretty perfect, the evening turned out awesome as well. Around 6:30 p.m., Dave and I headed out on foot to take the BART to Berkeley for a special dinner. While we usually stay local in Walnut Creek, we were excited to be invited by the FIVE Restaurant team to try out their dining experience, which is located in the Hotel Shattuck in downtown Berkeley. 

Ashley at FIVE restaurant in Berkeley by A Lady Goes West

The air was crisp and the area was bustling, and we arrived at FIVE just a couple minutes after our reservation. Immediately, we were both impressed by the setting. While the hotel, nor restaurant was busy when we arrived, it was just gorgeous. High ceilings. Chandeliers. And a red, black and white color scheme, which was the color scheme of our wedding and one that I love. In fact, the wallpaper was reminiscent of our wedding cake!

FIVE restaurant in Berkeley by A Lady Goes West

We sat near the window and had the perfect spot to watch the restaurant and bar, as well as the street outside. For the next two-and-a-half hours, Dave and I were treated to one amazing meal. From the cocktails, to the food, to the service — it was all top notch. And being that we’ve been to almost 300 restaurants in the Bay Area, I’d say we are good judges.

Cocktails at FIVE restaurant in Berkeley by A Lady Goes West

We tried a selection of salads, some shrimp and scallops for the appetizers. (The pan-seared day-boat scallops were the most mouth-watering thing ever. And because Dave is not a fan of the round little sea creature, I got to eat them all.) The salad combinations were unique, and my favorite was one featuring smoked duck and feta, which is a seriously good flavor sensation. For entrees, I selected salmon (go figure), and Dave had the gnocchi. We also got to try the ravioli, and everything was totally fresh and delicious. That salmon will go on my list as one of the best ever. Just melted in my mouth.

Appetizers at FIVE restaurant in Berkeley by A Lady Goes West

Entrees at FIVE restaurant in Berkeley by A Lady Goes West

We finished up with a sampling of the house desserts, in which the stand-out was definitely the mango cake. Needless to say, by the end of the meal, we were super full, and I was glad I had worn a loose dress. But clearly we did a good job on the food, because our server was impressed that we ate it all. (Leave no crumb behind has always been by motto.)

Desserts at FIVE restaurant in Berkeley by A Lady Goes West

Conversation for the night was mostly about our upcoming trip to Vegas and about Rudy (slightly obsessed). But honestly, we were mostly just commenting on how great our meal was.

It was nice to get out of our immediate neighborhood for the night. It’s a little cooler temperature-wise in Berkeley, and the scene is totally different. Overall, it was one fabulous evening. If you’re looking for a nice dinner in the East Bay, put FIVE on your list!

*Thanks to FIVE for the hospitality and for treating us to a delicious hosted meal. We are still full, and we appreciate it!

The rest of the weekend

I spent Sunday doing some shopping, and I also met up for coffee (tea for me!) with an old friend from Florida — Tiffany — who was in town for a wedding. We showed each other pictures of our respective little dogs and caught up on life in Peet’s for just over an hour. In the evening, Dave made us some steak for dinner, we watched gymnastics and prepared for the week ahead. A strong weekend overall!

My weekly workout recap

And now here’s a look at all of the workouts I completed last week …

Weekly Workouts by A Lady Goes West

Weekly Workouts

  • Monday: Rest day
  • Tuesday: Taught a one-hour BODYPUMP class
  • Wednesday: Took a one-hour yoga-barre class
  • Thursday: Did 30 minutes of weights
  • Friday: Took a one-hour BODYFLOW class
  • Saturday: Taught a one-hour BODYPUMP class
  • Sunday: Rest day

How did this past week of workouts go?

This past week was a lighter one, with two full rest days and two days of very light workouts (yoga barre and flow). Those were mixed in with three tough resistance sessions, so it all balanced out. The yoga-barre style class I took was at a local Walnut Creek studio, and it was unlike anything I’d ever taken before, with yoga poses mixed in with light weights and a little bit of barre pulsing. That class, along with BODYFLOW, gave me plenty of chances to stretch and breathe — just what I needed. What was the highlight of fitness this week? Saturday morning BODYPUMP for sure!

Have a lovely day, my friends!

Enjoy these tales of fitness, food and fun ... #WeeklyWorkouts #BODYPUMP Share on X

P.S. Thanks to Meghan for today’s “Week in Review” link-up. 

Questions of the day

What does your ideal morning entail?

What was the best thing from your weekend?

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    1. Well, we’ve been here almost four years, and typically go out to dinner 1-2 times a week. It adds up! πŸ™‚ Hope your weekend was great, lady! AND YES, come visit!

  1. Yoga-Barre sounds awesome, I think I would really like the combo of those two workouts. And I love scallops but my husband doesn’t either. I would never try making them at home because they taste so good out! Have a great week!

    1. Hi Patricia! I don’t often make seafood at home at all! My husband usually will do the grilling of salmon for me or white fish for him. Because I agree — some things just taste better when only eaten at restaurants heehe. Happy Monday, my friend! πŸ™‚

  2. Sounds like an awesome weekend! I love weekends that are productive, but also filled with a lot of fun. Ultimately, feeling like I’m prepped and ready for the week ahead!

    Although, I’m a HUGE Olympics fan and I have to say that ending at 11pm each evening is way past my bedtime. This is going to be a long two weeks, ha!

    XO, Jessica

    1. I didn’t make it up to the end of the opening ceremonies or to the end of gymnastics last night. I’m impressed you did!! hahah!! Nice job, Jessica! πŸ™‚

  3. OK, first? You looked stunning in the photo outside the restaurant πŸ™‚
    Next? I need to go check that out when I’m back in April. I’ve committed to the Oakland marathon and will be staying for a week or so after.

    1. Do you miss living in the Bay Area, Carla? Too bad we didn’t meet up at a blogger event when you were here. And how cool you’re doing the marathon in Oakland! YAY!! Thanks for saying hi, lady!! Have a great day!

    1. Thank you! Believe it not, I got this little R ring for $3 at a painting store in Walnut Creek called Canvas and Cabernet. I love it!!

  4. That sounds like the perfect Saturday! My ideal morning would be waking up without the alarm clock, a nice long walk with the pup, a great workout, and then going out for coffee/brunch. πŸ™‚

    Does Rudy like squeaky toys? We bought this Hide-a-Squirrel ( earlier this year, and wow, it’s been a favorite at our house for months now! We bought the Ginormous for our corgi.

  5. A morning workout is always an amazing way to start the day! Although I can almost never convince myself to do it, it always makes me feel so accomplished. I really have to start doing them more often. Maybe I can motivate myself with an amazing breakfast afterwards like one of those smoothie bowl πŸ˜‰ . And oh my gosh, that salmon sounds so mouth-watering, now I’m seriously craving some for dinner! My weekend was absolutely incredible. I went on vacation to New York City, so of course it was filled with tons and tons of delicious food. My two favorite bites would have to be the French Toast at The Butcher’s Daughter and the vegan ice cream (specifically the chocolate PB cup flavor) at Van Leeuwen.

    1. Hi Meah! Wow! Sounds like you did have a nice weekend. And I’m wanting to try all the food you mention hehee. As far as morning workouts– it’s totally worth the effort for the feeling you get to hang onto all day after you are done! πŸ™‚

  6. That mango cake sounds really good, and I love that your friends came down to try Body Pump. Body Pump was my very favorite strength experience I’ve ever had, and it left my muscles aching for days! πŸ™‚

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