Friday, April 25, 2014

Surfs Up!

     I've been feeling a little off this week, working a lot and traveling weekly is starting to catch up and makes me wish I had a trip planned for this Spring like I normally do!  I was going through photos this past week and realized it was 2 years ago this week that I "escaped" to Costa Rica for a surf/yoga retreat!

     I had wanted to visit a place I'd been to, try something new and disconnect as much as I could - I called my friend Katie - I saw on FB she had been to a women's surf and yoga retreat in Costa Rica - she share her experience and how she enjoyed it... SOLD! Book it Danno, I'm on my way.  A friend from work and my friend Cindy join me.

     It took a bit of time to get there - Denver through Houston to San Jose, Costa Rica.  From there we boarded a small plane to a remote area and drove 45 min to Malpais.  It was exactly what I needed - bungalows, beach and lots of new friends.  They cap it at 15 women - crazy as most of us were "type A" and competitive.  Had a welcome drink at the bar,  tour of the property and sent off to bed as tomorrow morning at 6am is yoga, followed by breakfast, then surf all day - repeat for 6 days!  Enjoy my trip as I walk down memory lane!

Puddle jumper we took from Tambor to Malpais.. we prayed a lot as we flew through a small  rain storm

The sand was so soft, the water so blue and I learned to love the ocean.  This trip challenged me in so many ways!

I'm not one to strut around in my bikini...but this trip, it's what I did (another challenge!)

The food was incredible - fresh, healthy and I think I lost a few pounds on this vacation. 

Melissa was a riot!  We spent a lot of time splashing around in the afternoons and trying to figure our life and men. 

Cindy and I found this place - fantastic drinks, beautiful view and time to take it all in.

I screamed with excitement - I'm up! It was such a cool feeling!  They took so many pics of us, videos and caught lots of funny moments.

Sunsets were spectacular!  This one was taken the night we paddle boarded (another challenge)

Cindy and I could be spokes people for Athleta! Loved their swimsuits!
It was an interesting trip for me, learned a lot about myself, dealt with some heartache and sadness and I don't thank Cindy enough for being there!

Yoga - Surf - Sun - Drinks! Repeat!! I think this was the Electric Lemonade drink,

Last night - Cindy and I with our surf coach Brett!

I hope you enjoyed my trip to Malpais as much as I just did re-looking at the photos.  It was actually a really hard time for me - a lot going on in my personal life and wasn't dealing with it very well.  This trip brought me some laughs, 'Kristin' time, friend time and recharging time, but overall an incredible place, new friends and lots of amazing memories.  I look back on this trip and see how lucky I am to be able to pick up and travel to foreign places, create new adventures with new/old friends and know that no matter what comes my way I can handle it - as my Nonnie told me a long time ago - This Too Shall Pass!  She was so right. 

Well, I need to contact Cindy - it's been awhile since I've talked to her and seeing these pics reminds me how much fun we had while I lived in Denver and traveled to Pura Vida Adventures together!

If you need a week away - give surfing a try!

Monday, April 21, 2014

How Was Your Weekend?

     Ah! The weekend and an extra 1/2 day to enjoy being home! Thank you to my parents for understanding my need to stay in Chicago for the Easter weekend. Time to enjoy the city and sunshine coming our way!

     I'm not the best at shutting down - aka stop checking work emails/calls but Friday afternoon I did just that, SHUT IT DOWN!!! I had some good ole 'Kristin' time - made plans for the weekend, hit the gym and grocery store and most importantly got some sun on Sunday!

     I got a surprise in the mail on Friday from my friend Alex - she's like a little sister to me and knows me well.  She knows I love Kate Spade...
I love Kate Spade - love her packaging, her note cards and look, a bracelet that looks like my glasses! Love you Alex, thank you for starting my weekend off with a smile! xo

Next up, the gym, have I told you how much I love my gym?!? East Bank Club is my country club in the city - it has everything I need! Gym, spa, pool, juice bar, restaurants, dry cleaners and lots of people watching (almost better than Vegas) My neighbor and I have a routine on Sat morning - run/walk, Body Pump class, breakfast and nails... catch up and workout time all in one!

     As though that wasn't enough of a workout I had to get more steps in so I walked to Nordstrom, my friend Amy and I compete with each other on steps and she was almost 30,000 ahead of me so I had to keep going! I ended the day at 22,000 steps.. 

    I met my friend Katie later for lunch - we tried Roots on Chicago Ave.  Pizza, salads and homemade mozzarella sticks.  It was good, I picked off the tortilla chips as I'm not a fan of Doritos type flavoring (if my sister reads this she'll laugh and say "of course she's not"... Katie and I have been friends since high school so there is always plenty to chat about.  I do have to comment on the mozzarella sticks - as I'm a Wisconsin-ite I pride myself in 'knowing' my cheeses.  They make their own mozz then roll it in a breadcrumb mixture with garlic and serve with marinara... YUM!

Ended Sat night with more friend time... love weekends like this.

Sunday - Hello Easter! Sunny and 70! Perfect! I went for a 4.2 mile jaunt - it was so nice to open my doors and finally be able to let some fresh air in!  I took advantage of the Spring temps and cleaned my grill, removed my screen door, cleaned inside and washed some windows!

All in all it was a fantastic weekend!  Lots of friend and wine time! I def need to work on my writing and get back into the swing of things with this blog... I need a vacation - then I'd have lots to write about!  xo

Take the bus
Game at Soldier Field
Africa for safari
Take the train to California

Enjoy Chicago! I took this yesterday from the Planetarium. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Back in the Saddle...again!

     Time to get back to my blog - it's been way too long and I miss it! Since my last post - I moved, visited Italy, got settled in Chicago, traveled weekly for work, spent most of the Fall back and forth to Oshkosh to help my mom get healthy, rang in the New Year,  went to the Super Bowl, got promoted, moving to Michigan and finding out my sister is pregnant with twins!

It's been a busy time for me but I need to get back to cooking, clean eating, traveling for fun and blogging my Chicago fun while I can.  Yes, this does mean I'll need to change the title of my blog but until I sell my condo.. that's on the back burner.

I went to the Chicago Heart Ball last weekend - always touching to attend an event like this but this year the Heart Association means so much more to me - my mom and her heart went through way too much last Fall.  She's on the mend and changed her lifestyle and it's inspired me to get healthy again.  For Christmas I bought FitBit Force's for my dad and sister, it's been great to push each other and track where we are daily with steps!  Goal: 10,000 steps a day!

It feels great to be back - look forward to blogging my travels, cooking and summertime fun! xo