outdoor fitness


Exploring the west side of Lake Tahoe

Over the Memorial Day weekend, we took a quick family trip up to Lake Tahoe. We always stay in Truckee when we visit Lake Tahoe, and we tend to visit the same hiking trails, beaches, and attractions every time we visit. This time around, we decided to explore the west side of Lake Tahoe; and we are so thrilled we did!

Anywhere you go in Lake Tahoe, there is natural beauty all around. So when I say my breath got taken away in Emerald’s Bay, that says something. It has to be the most beautiful hike I have ever done in the Lake Tahoe area. The hike we went on was at Vikingsholm.

Vikingsholm is an early 1900’s estate which has been turned into a public attraction. Initially I thought we were going to tour a mansion; much like the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. I was wrong! When we drove down highway 89 and approached the parking lot for Vikingsholm, I realized this was not your usual fancy house tour. The parking lot is quite small, and if you do not arrive when the lot opens at 10am, then chances are you will not find a parking spot. We snagged one of the last two open spots in the lot. Score!

While my husband was purchasing a parking pass, my kids discovered some huge rocks behind the parking lot office. They climbed up the rocks and discovered the beautiful Emerald Bay, and a roaring waterfall. It was beautiful!

I had no idea how long the hike from the parking lot, to the Vikingsholm mansion, would be. I thought it would be quick and easy, boy I was wrong! My daughter slipped on some rocks on the hike down, bruising her knee, and all of my kids started to complain about how long the hike was. Thankfully, we packed water and snacks for the kids, so that helped us get down the hill without too many complaints from the kids. Despite their tired feet, they were amazed at the beauty of the bay as we hiked down the hill.

At the bottom of the hill you are rewarded with a pretty, private beach and the Vikingsholm house. Unfortunately for us, the house wasn’t open yet for the summer season! We had to peer through the windows to see inside. I cannot believe I was able to get this shot of the dining room! Aren’t the details on the ceiling amazing!

The hike at Vikingsholm continues past the house, along the beach, and up a small hill where it meets a beautiful, roaring waterfall. To hike down the hill, be a Peeping Tom at the house, walk along the beach, hike over to the waterfall, and back up the trail to the parking lot took us one hour, and forty-five minutes. We were a little slow-going up the hill since the kids stopped a few times for water breaks and to rest their feet.

If you are looking for a beautiful hike, with a beach, and pretty house, then I highly recommend Vikingsholm on your next Tahoe trip! You can learn more at their website Vikingsholm.com.

Treat a visit to Vikingsholm as you would treat any hike. Be sure to wear hiking shoes or boots, wear pants to protect your legs, wear a hat to guard from the sun, wear sunscreen, and bring a first aid kit, snacks, water, a whistle, and anything else you pack when you hike.

We normally cook most of our meals at the cabin in Truckee, but sometimes we do venture out and enjoy a restaurant here or there. We ate at two restaurants this trip, Thai Kitchen and Sunnyside.

We have eaten dinner at Sunnyside a few times now and love the water-side ambiance, and delicious food. If you want to enjoy a meal by the water, at a buzz-worthy spot, then be sure to book reservations at Sunnyside a few weeks in advance; especially if you would like to dine on the patio! They are also a popular brunch spot. Parking is limited so be prepared to valet or park on the street a couple blocks down from the restaurant.

Thai Kitchen was a new spot for us. We were coming back from our hike at Vikingsholm and discovered it on our way back to Truckee. Thai Kitchen is located in Tahoe City, and has a small, shared parking lot. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, so if we were not starving for food, we may have walked past it. We are so glad we didn’t! Despite the dated decor, the food is fabulous! Seriously, I lived in San Francisco for ten years and have enjoyed a lot of different Thai food, so I feel like I can confidently say this is some of the best Thai food I have tried! LOVE it!

They have a lunch menu, and a dinner menu, so it is a great spot for either meal. Love!

Of course, when the weather is warm, the beaches at Tahoe cannot be beat. We enjoyed a restful day at Meeks Bay Beach over the Memorial Day weekend, and we loved it! The beach is tucked off the highway, so you don’t hear any street noise. Before you reach the beach, there is a general store where you buy a day pass for parking. It is really quick and easy. Then, you continue a few feet behind the building and park in the lot. There are picnic areas, camping sites, and a beautiful beach!

If you want a serene beach area, which is less busy then King’s Beach, then check out Meek’s Bay Beach. You will love it! Plus, if you have a raft, they have a pump you can use for free to blow up your raft. Love that!

Have you ever been to the west side of Lake Tahoe? If so, where are your favorite spots?

My round beach blanket can be found online here.

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy


Fall 2016 fitness routine and outfit ideas

fall fitness outfit ideas routine

Indoor and outdoor fitness outfit ideas from top left: cobalt blue fleece / blue and purple print workout leggings / black and white fitness tank top / black and white capri leggings / blue Nike running shoes (my favorite running shoes!) / Nike ID running shoes

The fall season is here. For me, this means my kids are back in school, and I have a full schedule surrounding their activities; as well as homeschooling my fifth grade daughter. My challenge during the fall season? Fitting in my workout routine!

My fall fitness routine is not as robust as I would like it to be. During the summer I was able to workout five days per week at the gym. This enabled me to stick to me goal of 1200 calories per day, and lose the ten pounds I wanted to shed over the summer months. Yay for being ten pounds lighter! The fall challenge? Keeping the weight off, and possibly losing more!

I have another fifteen pounds I would like to shed. If I can lose fifteen more pounds, I will be back to where I was in 2013. I really liked my weight back then, and I would like to return to it! My challenge is fitting in workouts when I homeschool one child. I do not have free time to go to the gym, so my only gym time is on Saturday mornings. This means I need to get creative the rest of the week in order to at least maintain my current weight, and possibly lose more if I am lucky.

I know there are other Mom’s out there who are struggling with schedules, work, and attempting to fit in a workout. This is how I have been fitting in my workouts during the week, and maintaining my end-of-summer weight.

Monday: Rest (super sore from the weekend workouts!)

Tuesday: Walk/Run around the neighborhood 25 minutes, abs and push ups at home 10 minutes

Wednesday: Just Dance on the Wii with my daughter, 30 minutes. Squats and Lunges, 30 each side/leg

Thursday: Walk/Run around the neighborhood 25 minutes, abs and push ups at home 10 minutes

Friday: TGIF rest!

Saturday: BodyPump followed by Advanced Step. (This burns over 900 calories and incorporates weights and cardio, I die a little inside when I miss this workout)

Sunday: BodyCombat (I rush home after church, change into workout clothes, and dash off to the gym!)

This is my ideal fall fitness routine. I have not been diligent about sticking to it this season. My son is playing Pop Warner football and his schedule is quite full. This means I cannot always make it to my weekend workout sessions. My daughters have activities during the week, and my son has football practice, this can interfere with my weekday fitness goals. While I struggle to get in five workouts per week, I try really hard, and hopefully I can maintain my current weight without gaining back what I worked off over the summer.

As far as calories are concerned, I am still trying to stick to 1200 per day. I use MyFitnessPal to keep track of my workouts, and caloric intake. I love this app, if you have not downloaded it yet, please do. You will love it!

Since my workouts are not as intense this fall as they were over the summer, I am not burning as many calories. This means sticking to 1200 calories a day is quite a challenge! As long as I don’t go over 1600 calories in one day, I can maintain my summer weight. Fingers crossed this works through the fall season!

Now, about all that Halloween candy entering the house this month. . .hmmmm

How are you sticking to your fitness routine this autumn season?

Indoor and outdoor fitness outfit items on my wish list:


Swimming for fitness gear

swimming for fitness gear

Pictured from left: swimsuit / swim cap / one piece swimsuit / fitness tankini / goggles

If you have been following my swimming for fitness series, you might be thinking about getting some new gear for the pool! While most pools provide kickboards, pull boys, and paddles, you will need to bring your own swimsuit, goggles, and cap.

I am extremely picky when it comes to my swimming for fitness gear. I trust two brands to supply quality construction, comfort, and performance enhanced gear. These two brands are Speedo, and Nike. Over the years, I have found these are the two brands I can trust to manufacture the ideal gear for swimming.

When it comes to swimsuits, Nike and Speedo make the most comfortable suits. If you are looking for swimsuits for fitness, both brands are perfect. If you want to move into competitive swimming, I would recommend standing by Speedo. All of their gear is engineered for performance, and I have to admit, every record I set as a child was done in a Speedo swimsuit, with Speedo “Sprint” goggles on my head.

Since swimming for fitness is not necessarily a performance situation, you can have a little bit more fun with your gear. Both Nike and Speedo make really cute, and comfortable, two piece suits in both tankini, and bikini form. These are great for working out in the pool since you can keep your belly out, and it can get a little sun.

When you swim a lot, especially in the summer months, the one-piece suit can give you what I like to refer to as a “Speedo tan.” This is a very modest, one-piece tan which makes your white torso look bright in a bikini. The two-piece suits by Nike and Speedo are great for eliminating this stark white belly problem by allowing the sun to tan your belly while you workout. Love that!

Unfortunately Speedo does allow clipping from their website, so I cannot provide a scroll bar for you with my picks. You can find fabulous swimsuits, goggles, and caps online at Speedo.com. I am sure you will find something you love!

My picks from Nike, and other websites, are in the scroll bar below. I hope you find the swimming for fitness gear you love! Happy swimming, and stay fabulous 😉