Jul 23

Work It Out On Vacation

Vacation is a time for relaxation.


I would say rest and relaxation, but I’m not good at being still.

Taking a break from your exercise routine doesn’t have to mean being sedentary.  Being active away from home is one of the best ways to explore a city!  Today’s Work It Out is dedicated to a few of the ways Lisa, Heather, and I stayed active in Napa* last week.

*Raising a wine glass doesn’t count as lifting.  But not for lack for trying.



The cottage we stayed in had bicycles available to guests, so on day 1 of our trip Lisa and I decided to cycle from winery to winery.  There was plenty of entertainment, as neither of us bicycle.  As we were pulling out of the cottage area, a couple stopped to tell us we needed to take a few practice laps before we got on the road.  Haha!

It was a blast – we went up and down some hilly roads on the cruiser bikes (read: no gears or handle breaks).  Talk about a killer quad workout!  The unexpected value add was that it kept us from buying too much wine – you can buy more than you can fit in the basket on the front of the bike!  That is, until we discovered a winery that offered to deliver to our cottages.  Tee hee.


Photo courtesy Lisa


On day 2 we’d planned to take a break from wine gluttony enjoy the town.  We set out on a 7 mile hike up Oat Hill Mine Trail.  The trail was filled with flora and fauna I’d never seen before.

This tree’s red bark fascinated me:

Calistoga hike


We were rewarded for our hard work up the winding trial with a stunning view:

Oat Hill hike in Calistoga


Then we were rewarded again with a mud bath that afternoon.  No pics of that (it was a nude area), but it was certainly a fun experience (if not a teensy claustrophobic).


Heather arrived the next day.  She is doing the Live Fit program right now and needed to run 30 mins of sprints.  I tagged along and pointed us down the Silverado Trail.  I hadn’t been in that direction on the bike, and it was fun to watch the fog lift from the valley in the cool morning air.

I don’t normally run with other people, so it was also a nice change to have Heather there.  I definitely wouldn’t have done 30 sprints without her encouragement!

Photo courtesy Heather

Photo courtesy Heather


Added bonus: after being so fit you can feel good about flexing in front of a giant bottle of wine from Del Dotto Vineyards called “The Beast.”

Nevermind the fact that the winery owner was looking at me like I was nuts. #shameless

Del Dotto Beast


Finally, we took one long, long walk to dinner.  I thought we could cut down a side street to get to dinner… it ended up making a 3/4 mile walk more like a 3 mile walk.  I don’t recommend this method of exercise unless you have very patient friends.

The upside was seeing a gorgeous sunset over the vineyards.

Calistoga sunset

The downside was walking the last mile in the dark… rockstar Heather ran the last mile to get them to hold our reservations.


Exercising without knowing you’re exercising is a blast.  So is getting home and back to a routine… vacation wears me out!

How do you stay active on vacation?

Have you ever taken the long way on accident?  I’ve gotten lost on runs more times than I would like to admit.



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  1. Debbie @ Live from La Quinta

    I love running in new areas when I’m on vacation. Some of my best memories are of long runs/lost run through San Francisco, Paris, Florence.

    Napa is so beautiful. I haven’t been for so long (last visit to Nor Cal was close, in Santa Rosa), I love it up there! It sounds like you all had a great time.

    1. Laura

      I got lost in Florence once too! That was the most entertaining 7 miles of my life. ;)

  2. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf

    That is the best way to exercise while on vacation – when you don’t realize it and you get to see and do amazing things with friends. Like Debbie, some of my favorite memories are running in different European cities. I loved seeing all your gorgeous photos.

  3. lucie@swissfitchick

    I LOVE to do different exercise on vacation. When I was in NYC I joined the outdoor bootcamp on the Brooklyn Bridge – LOVED it. And I run everywhere I travel, and since I used to be a Flight Attendant I ran on quite a few places around the world. And got lost. Oh my goodness, I ran more half-marathons than I planned in my life, because of all the times I got lost lol. The worst was in a rainforest on the Philippines. Talk about panic, haha.

    1. Laura

      Cities I can deal with, but lost in a rainforest?! I would have had a heart attack.

  4. Angela @ Happy fit Mama

    Sounds like the perfect vacation with a mix of keeping active and relaxing. I don’t do sitting still either!

  5. lindsay

    best kind of exercise ever!! Not knowing it. Oh and being surrounded by vineyards

    1. Laura

      And wine.

  6. Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    LOL it’s timely you posted this as my coach and I were just discussing how I’m going to get in some workouts on holiday. In Montenegro, the nearest gym is a 2 hour drive (seriously), so I have to improvise. He wants me to pack an axe and chop up some logs, but the locals will probably lock me up haha! His next suggestion was to find a farm with some tyres and ropes, but again, farming is non-existent in that country! I think I’m going to take a sandbag, find some stones on the beach, do some fireman carries with Rob and some hill sprints. That should be good enough for a week!

    1. Laura

      Ok, you are far more dedicated than I am. People on the beach are going to LOVE you. :)

  7. Linz @ Itz Linz

    that sounds awesome!! i love being active on vacation! i love checking out new gyms, i love exploring the city, i love being outdoors, and i especially love hiking!

  8. Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers

    Bahahaha – I love the winery photo bomb. :) I don’t generally work out on vacation (unless I’m taking multiple vacays in a year), but I do always stay active. There was a bike tour in Vienna that went through wineries. I soooooo would have done that if I knew how to ride a bike.

    1. Laura

      Ohhhh… Vienna is on my bucket list! A bike tour sounds fantastic (now that I know how to bike).

  9. Jody - Fit at 55

    LOVE THE PICS!!! Screw that restaurant owner – the pic with that large bottle of wine is hilarious!

    Have I taken the long way – YES – and in more than exercise! ;)

    When we went to Hawaii in better times, we always got so much exercise just being out there & walking & hiking & enjoying! I usually schedule 3-4 days of planned exercise on a 7 day vacation but the rest is just being active & I take my exercise bands with me.

    Such a wonderful trip for you!

    1. Laura

      I am DYING to go to Hawaii. I don’t think I’d go inside one time.

  10. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    Considering that I have one of the worst senses of direction ever, it’s pretty safe to say that I’ve taken the long way by accident more than once. I prefer to think of it as the scenic route! ;-)

    And while I don’t usually get in formal exercise over vacation, I do try to stay active. When I want to Chicago last November, we made sure to walk to dinners, the conference we were attending, shopping…best way to stay active!
    And cruiser bikes are definitely the way to go, I’m not an experienced or knowledgeable biker, so when I needed one this year that’s the style I went for. It’s so much simpler than fiddling with gears and all that.

    1. Laura

      You’d think a cruiser bilke is easier… but oh man, hit those hills and you’ll be begging for gears.

      1. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

        And that is definitely the downside ;-)

  11. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    I always try to stay active on vacations. I’ll admit to being a little OCD about making sure the place has a gym and there’s also a place to run. So, I’m actually really loving this post as a reminder that you can stay active in different ways and probably appreciate your surroundings more too.

    1. Laura

      Haha – my mom says I’m OCD. When I travel for work I tell my admin the hotel has to have a gym and room service. :)

  12. RavieNomNoms

    Hahaha, love the big bottle of wine, or should I say big bottle of WIN :-)

    1. Laura

      I love the way you think. :)

  13. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    LOVE you flexing with the beast! Hiking, biking, running- those are all my favorite ways to stay active on vacation too. It doesn’t feel like a workout when you’re exploring a new place… especially hiking, I could walk all day!

  14. Kim

    Love that picture of you and the large wine bottle – awesome arms!!!
    We are currently on vacation and I’m still running and doing other workouts!! Plus, I try to add in extra activity – in the next day or two I’m going to kayak and try stand-up paddle boarding!! Should be a good workout!!

    1. Laura

      Thanks, Kim! I’ve been a little sad they’ve gotten smaller since my surgery. :(

      I really want to try SUP too! Let me know how it is!!!

  15. Nicole @ FruitnFitness

    I love to go out exploring when on vacation! Long walks is one of my favorite ways to tour new cities. Two summers ago we rented bikes and went all around downtown ny and Central Park. It was so much fun!

  16. Alison

    I love vacation for exploring new areas! On our honeymoon we did so much hiking it was one of my biggest mile weeks this year ;). Looks like a fun trip!

    1. Laura

      That’s awesome! What a fun way to spend time together. :)

  17. Kelly @ Cupcake Kelly's

    I love visiting walkable places, it makes me feel a bit better for the consumption that takes place, haha!

    1. Laura

      Exactly! ;)

  18. Melissa @ Treats With a Twist

    Hummm…those little detours can be quite a bother when you’re hungry :) good thing she was ready to run!

    1. Laura

      I know!! Heather is so hard core.

  19. Melissa @ Treats With a Twist

    AND I want to know how your friend is enjoying the LiveFit program! Please :)

  20. Caitlin

    i love love love visiting a place where i can walk everywhere! i hate getting the car out on any trip. biking is such fun! i’m jealous of your trip. i’ve always wanted to go to napa. damn these places that deliver to hotels! haha, they are clever huh? i love that pic of you with the giant bottle of wine. i frequently spy folks in the background of my silly pics giving me “you’re crazy” looks. whatevsss guys.

    1. Laura

      They were so cool to deliver though – these were teeny wineries and they dropped it off to our cottage!

  21. Christine | Oatmeal Bowl

    You both rock! What a fun weekend, but I am kind of bummed you didn’t post the mud bath pics ;) What a great Napa trip. I still need to try it out and bicycle all over the place. Course, it would be pretty cool to see a friend run the distance to hold the table. ha!

    1. Laura

      Haha – next time! The lady actually said she would have taken a bath. All you could see was mud anyway.

  22. happinesssavouredhot

    Good job at staying active on vacation! So important. I try to be active every single day, vacation or not. Even if some days it means walking the whole day. Not intense, but long.

    1. Laura

      Same here – I just feel better if I move. :)

  23. Parita @ myinnershakti

    Directionally challenged might as well be my middle name! I once made friends walk 3+ miles in the sweltering heat that is July in Miami because I thought the gelato shop was a few blocks away. I made it up to them by letting them get whatever they wanted (when we finally made it)! I still haven’t lived it down.

  24. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    HELL NO! Vacation is NOT A TIME TO SLACK ON WORKING OUT – EVER!! I always make sure that my hotel has a gym or that there are tons of hiking or walking opportunities! The good thing is, is that when I go on vacations, I am typically with my family who is just as anal as I am when it comes to working out so we always make our days crazy active and we start BRIGHT AND EARLY at 7 or 8 am!!! :) I love me FAMILY!!

    1. Laura

      Lucky you! My family just thinks I’m insane. LOL!

  25. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    It depends for me – there are times when I plan for vacation to be a break, and times where I make sure I have a place to train. I’m so glad you ran with me! :)

    1. Laura

      You were a good incluence – I ran sprints yesterday too!

  26. purelytwins

    we try our best to stay active on vacation but we also try not to stress over it either ;)
    we try to walk a lot or just do some push-ups in the room.

    1. Laura

      I miss doing push-ups!!! Silly boobs… LOL!

  27. Heather Williams

    Wow! How lucky are you to go to Napa!:) I love being active on vacation too! In fact, I have more energy because I’m so excited, and it’s great to be able to connect with nature while you’re sweating it out somewhere out of the norml:)

    1. Laura

      Exactly! I get antsy if I’m not constantly exploring. :)

  28. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen

    I was just thinking about this today: just being active–even if that means getting up and walking around town, or your kitchen, or down the block–can be a boost to your health, as opposed to sitting on your bum watching TV all day. I definitely love my gym workouts and classes–and yes, even weight training now ;)–but I think it is important to keep in perspective that moving and doing can help keep you ‘fit’ especially when you are on vacation.

    1. Laura

      Agreed! I get antsy and grouchy if I have to sit all day. I even stand at work.

  29. Jennie G

    I was just in Napa in February and we biked everywhere. Loved it! What cottage did you stay at? I want to go back next year and always looking for fun places to stay!

    1. Laura

      Fun! What part were you in? We stayed in Calistoga at the Cottage Grove Inn.

  30. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets

    I like working out on vacation, especially when you do things you don’t normally do. I’m on vacation this week and there’s been lots of biking, swimming and some heavy lifting (and by heavy lifting I mean hard cider). I’m laying somewhat low because we’re all doing the Tough Mudder at the end of this week.

    1. Laura

      Smart move. Tough Mudder kicked my ass!

  31. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

    Ohhh, the bicycling sounds like so much fun…especially since wine was the acting motivator! ;) I don’t usually “plan” workouts while on vacation, but I enjoy going places where I get to walk around and sightsee a lot OR the beach were fun in the sun almost always turns into some kind of workout! One year in Florida, my friends and I went boogey boarding and had to fight the current the whole time…I’ve never been SO SORE in my life…well, besides how I felt after the GPP workouts at Blend! Ha!

    And since I have absolutely NO sense of direction, I almost always get lost on walks/hikes which is why I tend to stick to the city park that has a trail that goes in a circle! #smartcookie Once in California, a 5 mile hike turned into a TEN MILER! And I was wearing my Vibrams for like the first time…ouch!

    1. Laura

      I went kayaking in FL and had a simiar experience. Exercising without realizing you’re exercising is the best. :)

      I remember you circluar walking story. That hike though! How sore were your feet? Yeow.

      P.S. Are you a speed reader/typer? You are a commneting champion. I am so flattered you took the time to read all this AND leave your usual incredible comments. xo

      1. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

        Omg, I had blisters for a WEEK! And thanks to their unique construction, those blisters were in the weirdest of places…like the long part of your big toe before you actually get to the toe? Yeah, how about that for some medical descriptions? Haha!

        Speed reader I am not, but I do type pretty fast…and once I get going on your posts, I don’t want to stop! You always make me laugh/drool/nod like a bobble head! ;) I would have read more last night, but I totally passed out at 8pm…and didn’t wake up till NINE!! 8O

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