I can officially say Hiiiii from sunny Florida this week! After the first few days of thunderstorms, we are now in the clear and back to the beautiful (hot) Orlando I know. Woo hoo!
If any of you have left your home city and returned to visit friends and family, then you know exactly how my week has been… pretty darn busy!
I obviously cannot document everything I am up to down here, but I am going to try and cover the highlights with you, so lets get right to it.
Weekend in Jacksonville + St. Augustine
As soon as I got back to Florida, I left with my parents and grandmother the very next morning for Jacksonville. A lot of my mother’s side of the family lives in the Jax/Jax Beach/St. Augustine area, and I knew I better get up there to visit them during my trip home.
The first stop involved a few of my favorite things: my parents, my grandparents (Dad’s mom and Mom’s step-dad), my aunt, and Olive Garden!
Scott does not prefer to go to chain restaurants, so I rarely get to go to the good ‘ol OG these days. Loved it, and my without a doubt order of soup, salad, and bread sticks!
We met another aunt and cousin later on to celebrate my Mom’s birthday. I never got around to snapping a photo, but can share one from the celebration we had for her before we left for out of town.
Happy Birthday Mom!
The next day I headed over to St. Augustine for one of my best friend’s baby shower! Ashley was in my wedding, and is the first one to board the baby train coming through my bridal party this year.
In case you missed it, I shared all of her perfectly pinterest-y ideas earlier this week!
I stayed that night with her and her family, and really enjoyed the extra time to soak in all of her preggo moments. I miss her very much, and cannot wait to meet Baby Rylan so, so soon.
Catching Up with Friends
The whirlwind of catching up with friends and family went into full swing right when I got back into O-town!
As soon as I walked in the door, I hopped in the shower and got ready to meet a group of ladies I used to dance with. At one point or another, all of us have danced or done hair for for the Orlando Magic and still remain close to this day.
I always love a good girls night, and it was so great to see all of their wonderful faces again!
Quality Sister Time
I spent Tuesday taking class and catching up at my old barre studio (which I am saving to write about for next week!), then went over to my sister’s house for a few days of quality sister time.
My sister was my Maid of Honor, and we seem to only get closer as the years go by. I hate that we live so far from each other now, but we have the kind of relationship that picks up right where it left off every time we see each other.
Trish was there to see Scott and I off to Michigan, and she was one of the first people I saw Friday when I got back into town. Before I came down, we agreed I would spend three nights with her and her family, and right in the middle was my favorite vacation day so far.
While training for my half, I often met my mom and friends up here for a run around the lake. It is a gorgeous circle!
This time, there was less running and more eating. My sister and I went to a delicious Italian restaurant I had only been to a handful of times called Cafe Murano.
Both of us were craving pasta, so we each ordered a side house salad and the Cappellini Marinara to split.
If you didn’t catch this week’s WIAW, I need to tell you my number one rule of eating while traveling: watch your portions and split big meals!
Very flavorful. Perfectly portioned. Very delicious.
After lunch, we grabbed the kiddos and spent the afternoon outside with them. You just don’t realize how much you miss family until they aren’t around every day.
During the entire week, I kept telling my sister how tall both my niece, Kayla, and my nephew, Cole, have gotten.
It wouldn’t surprise me Little Miss Legs For Days grows to be taller than me soon. After a walk, we drove over to the neighborhood Cold Stone Creamery to cool off and get a treat.
Ever since I discovered I have a little bit of an upset stomach with heavy dairy products, I try to stay clear of ice cream. Good news! Cold Stone now carries frozen yogurt, and this location featured two flavors: Chocolate Brownie and Banana Bread.
Clearly, the chocolate lover in me picked the Chocolate Brownie and added crushed Oreos. Oops!
My “small” size made a huge mess, but it was really really good and totally worth every bite.
We took our time getting home, and spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening by the pool. Helloooooo sunshine, I missed youuuuuu!
We had plans to go take my sister’s regular boot camp class, but after a busy week of running around we both just wanted to relax and make a good meal at home with her family. Hey… it is a vacation, after all.
We made a green salad with tomatoes, matchstick carrots (<- the long skinny strands. JUST found out that’s the name for them), cucumbers, avocado, and goat cheese with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
Dinner was just simply fantastic, thanks to my sister’s sides and my brother-in-law’s grilling skills.
I do not crave steak very often, but this one sided with steamed broccoli and Parmesan garlic couscous certainly hit the spot!
I dropped my sister off at work today, and she was nice enough to lend me her car to go take another barre class and meet up with a few friends. Thanks, Sis!
Park Avenue – Winter Park
Today was a great day. I got to re-live my old barre mornings by taking class and walking down to Park Avenue.
I almost forgot how beautiful of a walk it is!
Just a little over ten minutes later, I hit my destination of Panera Bread. I had plans to meet up with fellow FitFluential Ambassador, Brendon with Sequel Life, and I was excited to finally meet him!
We have booth been following each other on various social media accounts for quite some time, and I recently discovered he also works with Drink Chia. What a small world we live in. (Shout out to my FitFluential and DC peeps!)
I always love opportunities to meet other Ambassadors and bloggers in the area, and am really looking forward to traveling to Portland next month to attend my first Fitbloggin’ conference! We had a great conversation about blogging, fitness, and working five jobs at a time to support our hobbies (ha!), and I even suggested practicing yoga with him sometime soon.
The weather is
finally gorgeous outside, and I plan to take full advantage of both the sunshine and being able to catch up with friends and family while I am down here.
To top it off, my 10 Year High School Reunion is tomorrow night! Can you believe that? Nutso.
I plan to start the day with a run and end it with fun. Since Scott is currently in Spain (<- what? I know… lucky), I am going to show up with a few girlfriends of mine and plan to have a great time! This should definitely make for some good stories to share with you all next week.
Have a great weekend, everyone! 🙂