Sun, Soul & Puppy?

Life kicked my ass this week.  In the game of life I was being carried out on a stretcher at halftime and forced to return for the second half only to suffer a humiliating defeat.  So, what better way to put the week behind me and spend this rainy weekend than to transport myself back to South Beach, poolside, next to my new husband.  South Beach was more so chosen for us than by us.  When we decided to get married in New York, a friend offered us their condo in South Beach for our honeymoon.  Having never been there, and not ones to argue with free, we decided on South Beach.  The condo offer fell through, but it all worked out for the best.  We loved South Beach, and for us it was a perfect honeymoon destination.

I would be doing travelers an injustice if I didn’t spend a minute to talk about 1 Hotel.  It’s exceptional from the moment you walk in the lobby when their unique (soon to be bottled for resale) signature fragrance hits your nose.  The decor is clean, contemporary and beautiful.  If the ambience isn’t enough to impress you, the entire hotel was built from reclaimed materials, and everything down to the room key had been recycled to reduce their environmental footprint.  Every aspect of the hotel is clever and deliberate, yet elegant.

Still coming down from all the excitement of the wedding, I made our first day in Miami a rest day from working out.  Instead, we swam in the ocean, laid on the beach, enjoyed amazing food, and despite my best effort to rally, we were back in the hotel and in bed by 10pm.  How’s that for a Saturday night well spent in South Beach?

img_4777The next day we were both ready for an ass-kicking workout and day by the pool.  Lucky for us both were easily accessible.  In the same building as the hotel was a Soul Cycle.  I’d taken a similar spin class in the past, and I knew Cam would love it.  I was eager to get us signed up.  First thing Sunday morning we grabbed a healthy breakfast from the hotel’s all organic coffee shop and fueled our workout with two $15 Greek Yogurt parfaits.  I said the hotel was beautiful, not cheap.

One of the things I love about working out on vacation is trying new fitness classes.  I have my routine and my preferences at home, but I’m more open to trying new things when I’m traveling.  This class was so much fun.  The instructor was energetic, the music was phenomenal and the burn was sooo good.  We left drenched in sweat, smiling and ready for the day.

I’ve said before that work travel is not glamorous, but even vacation travel at a 5 star luxury hotel has it’s moments.  When two people work out every day in hot humid climates  things become a little ripe.  Here I am taking stank matters into my own hands:  img_9300

With gym and laundry done, it was time to tan.  We may have gotten the order wrong, but not the good time.

fullsizerenderIf there’s a boardwalk, I’ll run it!  If there are stairs, I’ll run those too!  You never know what you will and won’t have access to when traveling, and sometimes you have to make due with running flights of stairs in a old hotel because their one treadmill is broken and the walls smell like mold.  Other times you’re in your beautiful Miami, FL and want to be outside as much as possible.

On Monday morning, Cam and I ran the boardwalk that stretched between the resorts and the beach.  With Beyoncé’s Lemonade to motivate I ran a fast and scenic three miles, but at this point I was jonesing to get back into the weight room, and I hadn’t even seen the gym yet! After our run we went down to the Spartan Gym.  This gym is unlike any hotel gym I’ve ever seen.  It had everything from group fitness classes, cardio equipment and a large weight room.  I was so thrilled when I walked in that I instantly regretted not going sooner.  It felt good to lift.  There is something very satisfying for me about lifting heavy.  It makes me feel strong, capable and proud of my body.

That afternoon we headed into Miami.  We wanted to see a bit of the city and do a little shopping at Bayside Marketplace, but, Miami had different plans for us.  By the time we finished lunch it was storming.  We’d heard it rains almost daily in Florida, but the storms are hard and fast and the sun quickly returns.  This was not one of those storms.  As Cam and I sat under covered shelter from the rain I began to flip through to pass the time.  Our plan was rescue a puppy when we got home, and I had puppy on the brain.  But, we would never adopt a puppy in Miami, that would be insane!

When it rains on your honeymoon.

One of the many things I love about my husband; I still haven’t gotten used to saying “husband”,  is that he likes to vacation the way I do.  We enjoy a balance of activity and relaxing, healthy and indulging, and even with all the excitement, celebration, amazing food and travel woes we still found time to be active, healthy and adopt a puppy.

1-hotel-stairsOur last day in South Beach started with a 10 minute warm-up on the stairs outside the hotel.  There are four sets of these stairs that lead from the pool on the third floor down the the beach entrance.  Miami was forecasting another stormy day, but according to the weather app we had until 2:00 to workout, ride bikes to lunch and use the SUP (Stand-up Paddle board) Groupon I purchased the day before.  After that we would pick up Dex, our new puppy, and get him ready for the long travel day back to Portland with us.

There’s something that should be said about Home because no matter how exciting the trip, how life changing the event or how perfect the hotel, Dorothy said it best, “There is no place to home”.  It’s hard to go from the build up a wedding and/or a big vacation back to the normalcy of life, but I can tell you for a fact, because I’m away so very often, there is no place like home.

Oh!  I didn’t forget to give you a new gym workout, and this was had me sore for days!  All you need is a kettle bell.  A dumbbell will work too.  Enjoy!


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