Travel

Summer Tour: TX & CA

I am so excited to tell you all about my trip! Last week I traveled to Dallas, TX and then to San Francisco, CA to visit two different friends and had such a great time with both of them.

First, I left for Dallas very early on Tuesday morning and was picked up by my lovely friend, Julie, who I first met in a small group through our church in Chicago. Julie and her husband are both originally from Dallas and moved back home a couple years ago. She has two ADORABLE little boys and it was so fun to just hang out with her and her family and get to know the two little guys.

After getting in, we went to lunch at HG Supply Co (I got the poke bowl and it was delicious!) and then walked around the little shopping area. There were so many cute shops! That evening, we went to dinner at Meso Maya where I tried their signature Avocado Margarita (not sold…) and had some delicious tacos. Then it was off to see Aladdin the Musical at the Music Hall at Fair Park. I don’t get to go to many musicals so I don’t have much to compare it to, but this was SO GOOD! The dancing and the costumes and the music were amazing. My favorite part was the song “A Whole New World.” While not actually my favorite song, how they did the set was so beautiful and magical. I also loved “Friend Like Me.” The dancing and costumes were spectacular and the song went on for at least six minutes! Haha quite a show.

On Wednesday, we went to the Dallas Arboretum in the morning. It’s close to their house and they have a season pass, which I’m so jealous of because it was such a beautiful place to visit and walk around in the morning and she mentioned they have concerts and events there fairly often as well. Then I got a taste of mom life with a trip to one of her son’s one-year doctors appointment. The poor kid was NOT happy about being there and getting his shots! But he’s so cute, even crying. Honestly, I just loved hanging out with Julie and doing her “normal” life with her. That evening we had dinner at her house and just hung out talking.

On Thursday morning, I was up and out the door for my 7-mile long run! I was very hesitant to do my run in Dallas since it is so hot and humid there but I made it! I took several water breaks and ran slowly and was able to make it all seven miles. I did most of my run around the SMU campus, which was so pretty and all the people were very distracting (key to a long run alone…).

We went out to lunch after that (and a shower…) and then we went to the pool with the boys. Then it was off to the airport and on to my next adventure! Honestly, when I was packing up I couldn’t believe almost three days had gone by. I miss you, Julie!!

My flight landed in San Francisco and I took the BART through the city and to Oakland where my friend picked me up and we went to her apartment in Berkeley for some GF pizza (she’s also gluten free!) and catching up. I hadn’t seen Caroline since Christmas and we had a lot to talk about but good thing we had a couple days of road tripping in front of us to do so.

We were up Friday morning and ready for adventure! We drove to Santa Cruz and from there took Highway 1 down the coast. I had always wanted to drive along Highway 1 so it was very neat to be able to do so and see so much of the coastline.

We also stopped a couple times (once in Carmel - so cute, I would love to stay there!) and made fun of ourselves with some Instagram photo shoots… we’re such good models.

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One of our destinations during Friday’s trip was the restaurant Nepenthe, which is on the top of a hill right out on the edge of a cliff. The views were absolutely beautiful and it was so nice to sit outside overlooking the coast. Even at 2 pm it was crowded but we were seated fairly quickly at some bar seats overlooking the view. As you’ll see below, we had to put up a barrier of menus since a bird jumped onto our table and snagged a french fry. Zero fear! Our hilarious waiter suggested we put up another since they tend to like the walnuts that were on our salad! We thought it was absolutely hilarious and had a great time. I highly recommend going here if you’re in the area.

We continued our way down the coast after lunch stopping only for the elephant seal beach. We saw a crowd of people and figured that must be a great place to stop! It was a very cool sight to see. Once we made it to our final destination, Pismo Beach, we checked into the Cottage Inn By The Sea and then went to explore the town. Of course, we had frozen yogurt for dinner…

On Saturday morning, it was time for the one activity I was most looking forward to: surfing!!! I went surfing last year in March when I was in La Jolla and absolutely LOVED IT. I knew I could not go to California without surfing again and thankfully convinced Caroline to join me. We signed up for a group lesson through Sandbar Surf School but apparently we were the only ones crazy enough to want the 7:30 am class. Caroline actually did very well (she’s a natural!) and I didn’t get as many rides as I’d hoped but it was quite a workout. I was actually very proud of myself because twice I made it out past the surf which was VERY hard on that big board. Once you get out there, it’s so calm and peaceful. 100% worth the effort and I even caught a wave from out there!

After our lesson, we rushed back to the hotel and got ready to head out to our next destination, Hearst Castle! We almost missed our tour time but after some great driving by Miss Caroline and running across the parking lot, we were on the bus just in time.

Hearst Castle is a massive home built up on a hill overlooking the ocean. It was built in the 1920s and a location for many of the family’s friends, as well as celebrities and politicians, to visit and enjoy the pools, tennis courts, movie theater, zoo (yes, he had a zoo!) and beautiful art. Honestly, I was BLOWN AWAY by the art we saw in the Upstairs Suites tour. I mean, these pieces should be in a museum and I can’t even imagine how much they’re worth. When the tour was over, we did a little exploring and wandered the grounds.

After Hearst Castle, we headed towards Paso Robles and stopped at a couple wineries on our way for tastings. The second one was highly entertaining as it was family run and one of the family members was outgoing yet awkward. And there was a serious Instagram photo shoot happening with another group of friends who were sitting outside.

Once we made it back to San Francisco we had a late dinner and watched a movie. For my last day we went to a rose garden, got some gluten free breakfast at Mariposa (LOVED being able to go to a bakery and pick anything I wanted!), walked around some shops and then got a tour of a nicer neighborhood in Oakland by my lovely tour guide, Caroline. Then it was back on the BART and back to Denver!

My first summer trip was definitely a success and it was so nice to see my friends as well as have a nice mix of relaxing and adventures.

Are you going on any trips this summer?

Have you ever been to Dallas or Northern/Central California?

The Art of Ditching The Plan

Aug 21, 2017


I'm a planner. I like to know what's going to happen, I like to be in control of what's going on, and I like to have an exit strategy if I end up not wanting to be there anymore.

It's Sunday afternoon and I've just gotten home after leaving my apartment at 7:00 am. Yesterday. I'm covered in dirt, I have grease marks all over me, I haven't showered in days, I'm a little sunburnt and I'm pretty sure I smell enough not to be allowed anywhere a respectable human being should go. My weekend did not go as planned, but I have a feeling you know where I'm going with this...

I had the BEST TIME.

Because I have one of my biggest events for work on Monday (today for the purposes of this post), I've barely been home and I haven't slept well from stress. Yes, I have done everything I could do and now we'll just have to see how it goes but, nevertheless, I worry. I figured I would need a relaxing weekend. I'd planned to spend a few hours with my friend Julie who is visiting CO with her family, have a quiet Saturday night doing meal prep and laundry, then going to church and the driving range on Sunday.

I got up early Saturday morning, drove to the airport to pick up Julie and we had a great morning. We went to brunch at Maddie's, I showed her around where I work, we walked around Wash Park and even went through an open house in a cute neighborhood (I SO WANT THAT HOUSE! Only $1.3 million! ;) ).

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When I went to drop her off to get her rental car, there was quite a snafu and they had nothing for her. Actually, none of the rental places we called had any cars available. I told her not to worry and that I'd drive her to pick up her friend from the airport and take them both to Boulder where Julie's family would come down from the mountains where they were staying and pick them both up. Sure, it was a dent in my "plan," but I wasn't going to leave them stranded and I really didn't mind - I love Julie!

Well, once we were leaving the airport, Julie asked if I just wanted to come up to the lodge with them, hang out and stay the night. My anxiety immediately said to me: "No! That will completely mess up your plan! You probably won't sleep well. You'll be tired tomorrow, you'll get back home too late for church, blah, blah, blah."

You know what I did? I told that voice to shove it. After much practice, I've learned to tell that voice that it's wrong. That spending time with people I love (and I LOVE her family) will be much more fun, refreshing and memorable than a night at home with Netflix. So I said yes. With literally the clothes on my back, I headed up for an evening in the mountains.

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Yes, I hadn't showered and had to wear a mishmash of other people's clothes to dinner and the put my same Saturday outfit back on for Sunday, but no one cared. Yes, I had nothing with me but my phone and water bottle, but I didn't care. Even in the morning, when I hoped to get back home with plenty of time to go through my Sunday "routine," I said screw it and I stayed. I went on a walk, I had breakfast, I sat around and chatted, I went and rented bikes and rode through a gorgeous mountain pass.

I had conversations. I met new people. I got to see the beautiful mountains. Most importantly, I felt welcomed, loved and appreciated.

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You've heard it before, but I'll say it again: life is best outside of your comfort zone. It's less scary stay at home and do the things you know you like to do. It's easy to read a book, watch a movie, go for a walk around your neighborhood, or even see the same person you see every week. But when I'm actually around other people, when I give up the plan and I do things that I don't normally do or can't control, that's when I feel the most fulfilled, the most alive, most in-the-moment, and the most like myself.

Dear rental car companies, thank you for being rude yesterday. Love, Katie.

Get On The Plane: NOLA Trip Recap

July 21, 2017

I know, it's been a while, but things have been pretty crazy! While I have been busy, I've also been decompressing from a big weekend and dealing with dog-sitting. I'm with one dog this week, Monday through Friday, then on Friday, I switch to two dogs for SIXTEEN nights! You read that right! But let's move on because that's not what this post is about!

Today, I want to talk about my trip to New Orleans for the 2017 Beachbody Summit, which is essentially our big conference for Beachbody coaches. There were about 20,000 coaches there! This was the third year I've attended but the first time that I've been genuinely nervous.

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Why was I so nervous? Because this year I felt like an outsider. Do you ever feel that way? Like you're showing up for something and everyone else is on one page and you are totally somewhere else? Well, I was afraid that because I'm not really coaching right now that I'd either feel really separate from everyone else who is super fired up about coaching, or they'd all try to convince me to dive back in.

To be honest, I almost didn't get on the plane.

The whole morning that I was heading to the airport and getting ready to leave I had to keep fighting the urge to turn around and go back home. I was ready to leave my luggage and book it! Luckily, I have a few experiences and tools under my belt.

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I asked myself, what's the biggest reason you don't want to go? I realized that the ONLY reason I didn't want to go was that I was afraid. And you know what?

I refuse to let fear drive my life.

I know from many, many experiences that when I get out of my comfort zone and do something that I was nervous about doing, 99% of the time I am so glad that I pushed myself. I almost always end up thanking myself and God for that last push to get me to go because I always gain so much or at least have a fun time.

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And we sure had fun!

Within a minute of seeing my teammates, I knew I'd made the right choice. It was so good to see them and hug them and they all told me they were so glad that I came. You know what? I'm so glad too.

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Yes, there were workshops around coaching and I zoned out more than I would have in previous years (although, to be honest, I'd heard of lot of it before!). But there were also some amazing speakers that I took pages of notes from, there were fun celebrations that I enjoyed watching with my teammates, but most of all, there were those moments when we were just hanging out together.

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Whether it included adventures on Bourbon Street and Frenchman Street or sitting on the floor of a conference center, I loved every minute with these women. Some of them are friends I'd met at previous conferences and talked with over the year, others were women I knew of but I'd never really talked to or seen in person.

Every single one of them felt like family. It sounds cliche but it's so true:

Your vibe attracts your tribe.

My coach, Anna, has done an amazing job of attracting a group of women who all seem to just "get" each other. Some of the girls I'd never spoken to and suddenly we're realizing just how similar we are and could have talked for hours. I wish we'd been able to, but the time just flew by!

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So, as I expected when I pushed myself onto that plane, I had a great trip. I made memories that will last me a lifetime, I made new friends, I reconnected with old ones, and I got to see New Orleans through a 29 year-old's eyes rather than a 20 year-old's. 

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Next time you find yourself presented with an opportunity and it makes you freak out a bit with fear and anxiety, ask yourself: "Am I being led by fear or led by love?" Push yourself out of your comfort zone and you'll either be rewarded with a great experience or at least you'll learn something about yourself.