Tag Archives: traveling

Back Home & London [Day 8]

31 Jul

Good morning!

I’m back in America!  I had a great trip in London, but it feels good to be home.  Special shout out to Katie and her family for taking care of me 🙂 they were wonderful hosts and Katie made sure I saw everything there was to see.

On my last day in London, we finally saw rain.  Every other day was beautiful with hot temperatures and sunny skies.  In the early afternoon, we went to the Tower of London.  The Tower of London is a huge castle that was used as a royal residence and also as a prison.  We even got to see the Crown Jewels!  It holds a great deal of history and it was really cool to explore.  Next up, we stopped at a pub for lunch and a drink.  Later in the evening, Katie and I went out with her family for my last meal in London.

Some pics from the day:

On Vacation: To Exercise or Not to Exercise?

27 Jul

As I enjoy a vacation of a lifetime in London, I’ve gotten to thinking about finding that perfect balance between rest and activity while on a trip.  The point of vacation is generally to relax, rejuvenate yourself and take a break from your everyday life.  It’s a time to try new foods, see and do new things, or lay around on the beach.  But should your usual fitness routine go completely out the window?

For me, I generally like to maintain some level of activity while on vacation.  If I completely throw that out the window, I usually end up feeling sluggish and crabby as a result of deviating so far from my typical routine.  However, I also think it’s important to cut yourself some slack.  Sleep in and opt for activity later in the day.  Eat a delicious, but perhaps unhealthy, meal that you might never eat at home.  Enjoy some cocktails at the swim-up bar.  Determine what works best for you and will give you the best vacation, while still making you feel healthy and energized.

Last summer, when I went to Sicily with my parents, I went to the hotel gym almost every morning and got a sweat session in before laying at the pool all day. Yet when I went to Jamaica in March with all of my friends, I worked out once the entire week.  And honestly, it was one of the best weeks ever.  Sure I ate and drank things I would usually skip at home, but it’s a vacation I will never forget.

Chillin’ hard in Jamaica.

While in London, I haven’t gotten any formal workouts in.  However, we have walked between 15,000 and 18,000+ steps every day while sightseeing (love the FitBit!).  It’s not “going to the gym” workouts, but it beats laying on the couch all day.  Additionally, I already feel excited to return to my fitness routine when I get home.  Allowing yourself periods of rest can be the perfect thing for increasing motivation and making future workouts count even more.

Traveling is a great way to expand your horizons, create lasting memories with family and friends and fuel your overall personal health.  Get out there and enjoy the world!


London [Day 4]

27 Jul

Hello all!

How is everyone doing?

I can’t believe I am already more than halfway through my London vacation!  I feel like I’ve been here forever but it also seems like it’s flown by.  We’ve been doing so much and it makes the days go by really fast.

Yesterday we went to Covent Garden, a popular market spot with many stands, stores and places to eat.  It’s a bustling place with live entertainment, things to buy and tons of people milling around.  We browsed around for awhile and took it all in.

There were tons of cool places to eat, including a place with the largest pan of paella I have ever seen.

We settled on Union Jacks, a place with British tapas, grilled plates, wood-fired pizzas, salads and desserts.  We went with a pizza:

Mixed field & wild mushrooms, Westcombe Cheddar, red onion, tarragon & chervil

 It was delicious and unlike any American or Italian pizza I’ve ever had.  I love trying new things on vacation!

On our way out, we stopped in Kurt Geiger to look at the shoes.  It was unreal.

Next, we headed to Westminster Abbey.  Westminster Abbey is a famous church in London and the traditional place of coronation and burial of British monarchs.  Prince William and Kate Middleton were married there last year!

It’s a place full of so much history.  I really enjoyed our tour there!  The architecture of the church is beautiful and I loved learning about British royalty.

After our tour at Westminster Abbey, we headed to The County Hall Arms, a great pub right on the river.

We relaxed and ordered Pimm’s & Lemonade.

Pimm’s is a dark liqueur based on gin, and the drink is mixed with lemonade (which isn’t really lemonade, but Sprite), mint, orange, lime and lemon wedges.  It was so refreshing!

After that, we had reservations at Vertigo 42.  Vertigo 42 is a champagne bar on the 42nd floor of the Natwest Tower in a central part of London.  The bar has floor-to-ceiling windows and offers a spectacular view of the city.

We both ordered a glass of Pinot Gris and caught up while enjoying the view.

Finally, it was dinner time!  We went to Pizza Express.

Such a wonderful day!

London [Day 2]

24 Jul

When my alarm went off my first morning in London my initial thoughts were, “Where am I?” and “I need to sleep for three more days.”  The time change hit me like a ton of bricks.

When I finally got moving, Katie and I got ready and headed to the Victoria & Albert museum.

We went to a ballgown exhibition, and it was really cool to see the changes in British fashion over time.  We weren’t allowed to take photos of the whole exhibit, but some of the more modern dresses included those worn by Beyonce and other stars.

Next up, lunch at The Tattershall Castle.

The Tattershall Castle is a bar, restaurant and nightclub on a boat on the River Thames.  Views from the restaurant deck included Big Ben and the London Eye.

It was such a cool place!  We were starving and both got chicken club sandwiches with British chips (french fries) and Heineken to drink.

It totally hit the spot and gave us the energy to keep venturing to all the sights!

We wanted to get to a tour at Westminster Abbey, but time slipped away from us a bit at lunch and we showed up too late.  We decided to save the Abbey for another day, and ventured over to Hyde Park to walk around and relax.  The weather has been beautiful since I arrived and we wanted to take full advantage of the sunshine!  Until this week, the summer in London has been very rainy.

It was a perfect day!  Some more pictures for ya:

Katie enjoying her beer.

Big Ben

Goodies at Paul’s Bakery.

Rochester in London?

Celebrating with the fam!

Some serious wedges.

Priciest flats I’ve ever seen (£300+).

So much to do and see!  More recaps to come 🙂

Hello from London!

23 Jul

I’m here, safe and sound!  I can’t believe my second full day in London is already almost over.

The Friends episodes in London are some of my favorites. Anyone else agree?


Let’s back up with a recap!

Saturday – travel day:

After getting checked in and settled at the airport, I spent the time walking around and talking on the phone.  The Rochester airport is really small, so it was pretty boring trying to pass the time.  Finally, it was time to board the plane to Chicago!

The first flight was smooth and the time passed quickly.  I read for most of the flight (I’m currently reading Divergent by Veronica Roth).

When I got to the Chicago airport, the first mission was to find food.  I found a small place called B. Smooth that served smoothies and salads.

I created this salad beast with grilled chicken, avocado, red peppers, cucumbers, chickpeas, feta and roasted sunflower seeds topped with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  It was a great option among a sea of some questionable airport fast food.

I boarded the next plane hoping the 8 hour flight would pass as quickly as possible.  This trip was a birthday gift from my parents and I was very fortunate that they got me a business class ticket.  The extra amenities made the long trip very comfortable and enjoyable.  They served food that looked like this:

The meal started with a glass of water and warm nuts (TWSS), followed by a salad and fresh bread.  I opted for the tilapia entree served with saffron rice and artichokes.  For dessert, I chose the fruit and cheese plate.  I honestly didn’t eat much of anything because I was full from the salad I had in the Chicago airport.  I thought they offered a great spread though!

After the meal, I did everything possible to fall asleep.  I wanted to be raring to go when I landed in London!

Sunday – Day 1:

After many hours of traveling and a five hour time change, I finally made it to London!  Katie met me at the airport and we headed back to her aunt’s house.  We had tea and toast, then got cleaned up and headed out.  Our first adventure in London was a double decker bus tour!


It was the best way to see all of the major sights without exerting a ton of effort.  I was feeling pretty good post-travels, but I knew I would crash hard later.  It was a great tour!

My favorite photo of the day:

Tower Bridge with the Olympic Rings.


Next up, Buckingham Palace!

When we returned back to Katie’s aunt’s house, we eventually ate a dinner of chicken, broccoli, squash and potatoes.  Everything was roasted and covered with gravy and it was DELICIOUS.  It’s nice to be on vacation and still get home cooked meals!  I crashed soon after dinner and was in bed by 10 p.m..

It was a perfect start to the trip 🙂

Day 2 recap coming soon!

A Good Run

21 Jul

This morning was the first good run I’ve had outside in awhile.  I got out by 10 a.m. and it felt great to run in sunny, low 70 degree weather.  It’s been a HOT summer and running in 80 or 90 degree weather has been tough.  I felt really good this morning and was able to bust out a run that looked like this:

  • Mile 1: 8:24 
  • Mile 2: 9:18
  • Mile 3: 9:12
  • Average Pace: 8:58 min/mile

I finished up with a 1 mile walk/jog to cool down and get myself back home.  Success!

A pretty view makes running a little easier!

After the run, I needed to shower, eat lunch and finish packing.  Thankfully, I was able to make this:

Turn into this:

I’d say that looks pretty good for a 9 day trip overseas!


Lunch was a little lame because it turned out there weren’t a ton of groceries in the house.  And by that I mean there was no deli turkey or Wegmans sliced wheat bread to make the same boring sandwich I eat nearly everyday.  Guilty.  I picked at some random food here and there, but eventually rolled with tuna fish on a wheat bagel thin.  I mixed the tuna with a Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese wedge, some salt, pepper and garlic.

Then I packed up some snacks for the trip:

Banana, PB, Kashi granola bars, apple, homemade mini muffins, almonds & a strawberry Chobani.

I doubt I’ll eat it all, but when I travel I get super hungry and I hate to get stuck with nothing to eat or have to settle for crappy airport food that I don’t want.  I’m going to be traveling for 12+ hours with a 5 hour time change, so I want to be prepared!

I’m going to try to blog from London, so see you from across the pond!

Questions for the Afternoon:

  • Do you pack healthy snacks with you when you’re traveling?
  • Have you ever been to London?  Tell me what places I need to see!

Happy Things

21 Jul

Good morning!

Today is the day I go to London!  When I planned this trip in February it felt so far away, and now I can’t believe that it’s already here!

My flight isn’t until later this evening, so I’m glad to have time to get some normal food in me and get a workout in.  Aside from my family and friends, the thing I miss most when I’m away is my normal routine and my own food.  Is that weird?  I love trying new meals but even when I was in Italy (!) I was so ready for my own food when I got home (living more than a few days without peanut butter is just too hard).

This gem is going right in my carry on bag.

Recent happy things:

New work out swag!  Kohl’s had a great sale this week and I took full advantage.  Fila might be one of my new favorite fitness brands.

A trip to the zoo with some residents at the senior home where I volunteer.

This face.

Good eats:

Veggie burger with sautéed zucchini, scrambled eggs with turkey, broccoli and spinach, and fruit salad.

Another kickball win!  Still undefeated!

Old photo – me and my friend Julia after ANOTHER successful win!


A killer workout courtesy of The Fitnessista:

What happy things have happened to you lately?

I’m off – definitely need to get a run in before the traveling begins.  I’m glad I’ll have my FitBit to help me track my steps, but sitting on a plane for so many hours always makes me feel restless and gross.

Question for the Morning:

  • What are your tips for staying active while traveling?

For me, I try to walk around the airport as much as I can instead of sitting at the gate while waiting to board.  On this trip, I’m not sure I’ll get many “formal” workouts in, but I do expect we will be walking a lot.