Taking it slow in SLO

Love Birds

Hey everyone! I have just returned from a lovely mini-vacation with my husband at the awesome Madonna Inn, a themed hotel off the 101 freeway in San Luis Obispo. Matt got me a night in the Love Birds room for our first wedding anniversary in August, along with a signature massage at the Madonna Inn Spa. As a christmas present for him, I got him a massage – so we ended up getting a couples massage to end our awesome mini vacation. Ahhhh.

Avila Beach

On our way to the Madonna Inn, we stopped at the lovely Avila Beach to walk the pier and explore. It was about 65 degrees and kids were splashing in the waves while the ocean breeze cleared our minds as we strolled along the pier. After our walk, we stopped into a little candy shop and bought one of my personal favorites, salt water taffy!

Salt water Taffy

After Avila we checked into the delightfully gaudy and tacky, yet somehow charmingly cute Madonna Inn. The Love Birds room had awesome parrot wallpaper, a fainting couch and floral and bird nest vine light fixtures.

Love Birds at Madonna Inn

My personal favorite part of the room was the bathroom – decked out with a heated toilet and bidet and rock shower! Let me tell you – a heated toilet seat has made its way to the list of “things I want in my dream house when I’m rich”. Nothing like toasty buns!

Heated Potty!

In true Matt and Alyssa fashion, we decided to blow off plans for a fancy dinner in favor of an American nostalgic classic – DRIVE IN MOVIES!!!!!! We drove past it on the way to our hotel and I freaked out, because I haven’t been to the drive ins in years, and Matt had never been! We stopped by Trader Joe’s and loaded up on our picnic dinner of sourdough baguette, cheese, salami, olive tapenade, chocolate berries, orangina, popcorn, wine and cupcakes. It was quite a spread and gave me quite a tummy ache, but that’s a story for Wednesday’s blog re: over indulgence. Can you believe it was a total of $17.50 for two people to see two movies with a bag of large popcorn? UNREAL! Movies here are $11.75 a piece!

Goodies

The first movie was Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, and I know why they’re called Mission Impossible – because watching them all the way through is impossible. I made it about half way before the cheesy action scenes did me in and I caught up on Words with Friends. Best part about a drive in movie? You can text, talk, stretch, snort or harass your movie-mate as much as you want, because you’re in the comfort of your own car! After Ghost Protocol, the awesome vintage snack song came on for a brief intermission and then “We Bought a Zoo” started. We Bought a Zoo isn’t movie of the year or anything, but it was cute and charming and had  a fun storyline.

My lovebird

After the movies we went back to the Madonna, where I climbed into the nest (comfy king bed) and conked out. In the morning, we woke up for our couples massage, had a blissful rub down, and then had an AMAZZZZZZING breakfast the Madonna Inn Copper Cafe. I seriously have not had a biscuit so incredible in… a long time. They were fluffy and sweet, topped with a drizzle of honey butter, and their smoked bacon reminded me of home (Hi Dad!).

Copper Cafe Breakfast

After breakfast, our full bellies and blissed-out bodies piled into the stinky car (smelled like olives, popcorn and salami) and drove back to our smoggy valley home. All in all it was a beautiful, relaxing weekend. It’s so important to shake things up every once in awhile and get a break from things like laundry, grocery shopping, Facebook and Twitter. I feel refreshed and revived and ready for the new week (and ready to start tracking – our first Weight Watchers meeting is FINALLY on Thursday!).

If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo – it was awesome! Did you have a great weekend, too?

The Last Hurrah

Last night, I celebrated the “last hurrah”. The last hurrah for what, you ask? For my impending membership in…. Weight Watchers! After Alycia’s inspiring guest post and the fact that my work finally got the monthly-pass option, and that they’ve reworked the points plus system, I wanted to give it another try. Not to mention my flex spend account will cover Weight Watchers for 2012 – so I really had no reason not to give it a go. (And if I run into similar issues like I did last time with the meeting/leader, I can now attend meetings other than at work.) Our first meeting is on Thursday.

Sangria Sampler, yum!

Anyways, we had a groupon for Muvico – an awesome movie theatre in Thousand Oaks that has age 21+ movies where you can bring wine and beer into the theatre, and feast on free popcorn! We met up with our friends Shelley and Daniel for a double date! Before the movie, we had a light dinner at the Lazy Dog Coffee. I started my evening with a delicious Sangria sampler consisting of Red Pomegranate, White Peach and Black Currant Rose. The white peach was definitely my favorite – and Shelley’s too! I also had some super tasty lettuce wraps.

Lettuce Wraps

After dinner, we headed in to the movie theatre to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This movie theatre had very plush, reclining seats that also gently rocked back and forth. With my hot, salty popcorn (Fresh from the popper!) I was a happy girl.

POPCORRRRRN!

The movie was really good – very suspenseful and with a strong (albeit a little nutty) female lead. I was enjoying a healthy buzz from my sangria sampler, which regretfully lead to the inhalation of one bag of sourpatch watermelon slices and about a bag and a half of popcorn. I pigged out, and am not proud of it as the bloat from crazy salt manifested itself as an 8 pound gain on the scale this morning 😐

However, I know it’s 8 pounds full of salt and water and little pieces of candy floating around, so I’m not that worried. I’m back on track after my last hurrah, and even spent 35 minutes sweating my butt off on an incline 6 on the treadmill at the gym today. I’m ready to get started… and have even started tracking again! Here’s to hoping this time around I can make Weight Watchers work for me, by consistently tracking, being honest and keeping up the exercise. In this case, my last hurrah was exactly what I needed to get mentally prepared for some of the changes I need to make in the coming months.

When you’re getting ready for a diet or “lifestyle change” (I hate both of those terms), do you ever give yourself a “last hurrah”?