Sunday, July 31, 2016

San Francisco in Two Days

I'm way behind on sharing travel posts about all of our adventures since May, but hey- you've got to start somewhere. I managed to squeeze in a post on Napa and Sonoma back at the end of June, but the rest of that trip included a couple of days exploring the amazing city of San Francisco! The land of seafood, streetcars, and amazing sunset views did not disappoint. Here's what we did and what we'd recommend for an amazing trip to the city by the bay.


We rolled into town on the BART after returning our rental car on the way back from Napa and Sonoma.  The BART was very affordable and clean. We got on at the Oakland Airport (where our rental car company dropped us), and then rode through to the Coliseum stop, where we transferred and rode to the Embarcadero stop.

Club Quarters Hotel San Francisco
Rooftop Lounge at Club Quarters Hotel

We stayed at the Club Quarters Hotel in the Financial District. It was only an 8 minute walk from Chinatown and a 9 minute walk from the Ferry Building. There was also shopping right across the street in Embarcadero Center. We were upgraded to a suite, which was awesome because we stayed for free on the credit we'd earned from submitting Best Rate Guarantees on Orbitz. All in all, it was a great location where we could easily walk and get around to all the major city sights!

We checked in and headed out just in time for a little pizza at Golden Boy Pizza (which was recommended by a local). It's located in San Francisco's Italian area- North Beach, which has tons of awesome food. It was served by the slice and was the perfect lunch before we headed off on our biking adventure.

My favorite activity of the day was when we biked the Golden Gate Bridge! We used Basically Free Bike Rentals, which I would highly recommend. There is literally no catch- you just pay to rent the bikes, but get store credit at their retail store, Sports Basement, for the full amount of your rental. The credit is good for three days.

Sports Basement
We rented two bikes for the full day for $64 total, then rode to the store and used that credit to buy Aaron a new pair of running shoes that he needed anyways. Winning! The views were amazing, and the ride was super comfortable and pretty easy.

After biking, we explored some of the crazy super hilly streets of San Fran, and then walked over to the Ferry Building to eat at Gott's Roadside where we enjoyed the most delicious burgers and the best Mexican corn I've ever had!

Gott's Roadside


Of course, a San Francisco visit isn't complete without a visit to Alcatraz, so we walked over to the Pier 33 for our reserved time to tour. Make sure you purchase these tickets in advance, or you won't be able to get them. You can find the official site here.

Alcatraz Cell

Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz was super interesting, and we had a really great time doing the audio cellblock tour. It was kind of creepy, but definitely worth seeing. Ferries run back to the Pier quite often, so you can linger as long as you like.

Fisherman's Wharf

After Alcatraz, we walked to the super touristy Pier 39, where we grabbed a yummy lunch at Mango's Taqueria and Cantina. We had a beautiful outdoor table that overlooked the harbor. Then we walked on through the Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood, which is also super touristy but fun to see. We're not really seafood folks, but this would be a great area to get it!

Ghirardelli Square

If you've got a sweet tooth like me, any trip to San Francisco has to include a stop at Ghirardelli Square. I had an ice cream sundae with hot fudge that was to die for!

After our sweet stop, we walked up the crazy, crazy hills to the ever popular Lombard Street, which is known as the "crookedest street in the world".

Lombard Street

And of course, I just had to ride the streetcar! We rode it in the direction of our hotel, back into Chinatown. After that we were pretty beat, so we went up to the enjoy the hotel's views, and then ordered some Chinese to our room.

If you've got the time...

We had a little extra time the next morning before our flight left, so we made a couple of fun pit stops.

1. Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory
You can see them actually making the fortune cookies, and you can even personalize a message to put inside if you'd like. Pictures cost 50 cents. Located in Chinatown.

Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory

2. Ferry Building Farmer's Market 
If you're in San Francisco on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday, it's worth a stop at the Farmer's Market in the morning. They have lots of yummy food and craft booths set up. We had fun exploring!

Ferry Building Farmer's Market

Hopefully you're able to make a visit to San Francisco in the near future. We loved it, and would definitely go back for a visit again, probably coupled with Napa and Sonoma again. Let me know if you have any questions!


Friday, July 29, 2016

Five on Friday: July Updates

Well hey there, strangers! It's been one heck of a month around these parts...which can explain the reason for my basically month-long hiatus from the blogging world. Between travels and feeling icky and taking on some new adventures, there just hasn't been a whole lot of time to sit and fill this corner of the internet. I've been grateful for time unplugged and the chance to be fully present, time spent making memories and sharing laughs and dreams for the future. Here's what we've been up to this month!

1. YoungLife Camp

From July 2nd to the 10th, I spent the week sleeping on the floor and sharing a bathroom with 17 sweet girls. We had a crazy amount of fun running around in Christmas sweaters and midnight obstacle courses and more, but the highlight was really getting to share our hearts and stories as they heard the story of Jesus and his love for them (some of them for the first time!). It's always an exhausting, amazing experience that humbles me and reminds me of just how big and amazing God is, and how honored I am to be along for the ride as he changes lives for eternity! (For more on what YoungLife is all about, check out this post!)

2. Greece! 

If you follow along on Instagram, you caught sight of some of the breathtakingly gorgeous photos from our time in Greece! We scaled mountains and more than one acropolis, explored islands and ancient ruins, and really just had an amazing time exploring a beautiful country full of very sweet people. We've got a bajillion wonderful photos to show, so I'll have to get those in a post in the next few weeks. I'm so behind on travel posts, but am so grateful for all the amazing traveling we've had time for this summer.

A photo posted by Kelsie Kleinmeyer (@currentlykelsie) on

3. A New Addition 

Hold your horses, folks. I'm talking about a new transportation addition to our family. Aaron and I bought a car! This little lady (she looks like a lady to me, anyways) is the first car we've ever purchased, and we are still amazed and thrilled about the way she came to be ours. Craigslist rocks, y'all. We would never have purchased a 2014 Toyota Camry XLE new on our own, but the family selling it was moving to New York City, the price was right, and it just worked out perfectly. With only 35,000 miles on it (and some heated seats I'm pretty thrilled about), we've got years and years ahead of us with this car! We bought it right before YoungLife Camp, and have been gone nearly the entire month, so it's just been sitting in our garage for now. I'm excited to start driving it more in the coming weeks.

4. A Year Older

Yesterday I celebrated my 27th birthday. It's hard to believe that I'm now officially way closer to 30 than I am to 20. At the same time, I think that 27 is going to be my favorite year yet. Even though the mid-20s are a weird time full of laughter, adventure, and confusion, I truly do feel blessed to be in this stage of life, and I'm loving seeking to make the most of each moment I've been given. It scares me to think about getting older (and having those I love do the same), but I truly believe that aging is a privilege that not everyone gets to experience, and that helps remind me just how blessed I am to wake up each new day. Twenty six was probably one of my favorite years ever, and I'm excited to see how 27 will top it!

5. Summer Lovin' and Dreamin'

In the time that we didn't spend at YoungLife Camp, in Greece, or celebrating my birthday, it's been fun to just enjoy summer. Pool days, reading lots of books, and just talking about life have been good for my soul and my stress. I have done officially nothing for school all summer long, which I think is good and necessary to feel re-charged for the coming school year. I'm excited to start year 6 and be tenured and feel like I'm in my teacher groove. I'm blessed to have some amazing kiddos back again that I had in class last year, which makes it even more fun. I'm also excited to get back into blogging some more. I've had a lot of time to think and dream about lots of new things I'd like to share on the blog, and I'm excited to share them with you in the coming weeks and months!

I hope your July has been fabulous! Cheers to the rest of summer.


Monday, July 4, 2016

10 Great Ways to Burn 100 Calories

It's been a while since I've shared a fitness post, but believe me, it still matters to me. With summer in full swing and pool time happening on a regular basis, it's important to me, and I care about not only what the scale is saying, but just how I feel about myself. Like I've shared before in The Fight to Be Fit, my goal is to feel healthy and strong. And thankfully, I've been able to move in that direction over the last few years.

Today, I'm excited to be partnering with Chobani to bring you 10 fun, fabulous ways to burn 100 calories. I love running, but you may hate it. Never fear, just dance around the kitchen for 20 minutes and you've burned 100 calories. Heck, even 38 minutes of shopping will do the trick (winning!). Check out these awesome, and easy, ways to burn those calories in a hurry.

The best part of this is that it's actually pretty dang easy to burn 100 calories, which is awesome because Chobani has some new Simply 100 and Flip yogurts that are only 100 calories. I've started eating them in the morning before I head over to work out. Not only are they delicious, but I love knowing that I'll burn through this breakfast (and more) pretty quickly. I love love love the peanut butter dream.

If you're looking to burn a few hundred calories, my favorite workout is at my local 9Round. I love the mix of kick box, weights, and whole body fitness, and I always feel like I get a super good workout in, in only 30 minutes! If you're competitive like me, and have been without an outlet for that since you've outgrown most team sports, then 9Round is perfect. It never gets old and never gets boring, with new workouts every day. When I'm not punching bags and pushing the Bosu, I also love running and going on long walks with friends, while catching up on life and exploring cute neighborhoods. 

What are your favorite ways to burn 100 calories? Are you meeting your fitness goals?


This post is in partnership with Chobani to focus on fitness and healthy lifestyles. I was provided free samples, but all opinions are my own. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Five on Friday: Unexpected Uber, Flat Tires, and Other Updates

It's been quite the week! Aaron got back home from WyldLife Camp on Saturday night, and I spent Friday night enjoying Houlihan's with the ladies and hitting up Neon Wild for a little fun dancing. I also chopped my hair, if you hadn't heard! It's been nice to have hubby home, and I've also enjoyed continued girl time while he's busy working on cars from our garage. I've been home for about two full weeks, which has been really nice, but I'm also super excited to leave tomorrow for YoungLife Camp (more on that below). July is going to be a busy travel month, but we are looking forward to it before we come back to softball tryouts and eventually (ugh) school. Here are some crazy stories from the week!

1. Uber to Church

When we were in DC, we used uber for the first time. We used it quite a bit to get to the metro station and back from our hotel. Our experiences were good, and thank goodness I have the app still, because I ended up being probably one of the only people in the world who has ever ubered to church. Ha! Long story short: Aaron's truck had been sitting for days and wouldn't start. He had to be really early for our 8:30 service, so I told him to take my car. The people I thought of for a ride fell through, so I ended up setting my location and spending $6 to go to church. Dedication, I guess?

The crew that made it there the day I (thankfully) did too.

2.  Flat Tire

Unexpected story number two came on my way to lead softball workouts on Tuesday morning. Thankfully, my flat tire didn't come until I was almost all the way to Liberty North. I pulled over into a little church just off the outer road, then threw on my back pack and walked over to practice. When I got close, I recognized a girl and asked her mom for a ride over to the field. Crazy that I was the only coach there that day, had the keys, and thankfully still made it on time. I'm also super grateful that my amazing husband was home and free, and drove over to fix it while I was doing workouts (and right before it started pouring!).

3. House Updates

One of my favorite parts of this week was getting to finally make some changes to our front room. I took some extra paint I had from our rustic dining room, and it's been amazing to see how much lighter and brighter it makes it. Of course, I had to run all over creation to see what Hobby Lobby, Home Goods, Michael's, and IKEA had to offer. I found some great pillows and fun things and I'm really happy with how it turned out. Of course, I'm always a little hesitant to consider it done, because I know I'll be making some more changes at some point, but for now I'm feeling good about it and will probably show you more in the next month!

The whole crew from Castaway last year!

4. Off to Camp

We are beyond excited to head off to YoungLife Camp tomorrow at the gorgeous Crooked Creek Ranch in Fraser, Colorado. Nestled in the mountains right next to Estes Park and Winter Park, this gorgeous place will be our home for the next week as we live life with cabins full of kids, hike, ride horses, enjoy Western night, and just have an amazing time full of conversation and hopefully hearts changed for Jesus! Pray for us- we've got a long 10 hour bus ride where we have to sleep and it's a little rough ha. But overall, I'm pumped for my 8th camp trip as a leader! I'll be pretty off the radar this coming week, but I'll be back soon with lots of great pictures and stories to share.

5. Poolside, Car Ride Reads

Although I have to be careful to not read-myself-sick in the car, I've been jumping in to my next round of books. It's been glorious to have lots of poolside time with friends, and it's been a lot of fun seeing my library holds pop in. Of course, I had like seven pop in at once for pick-up, so I'm hoping I can be a good little reader in the next month and finish them off. So far, I'm flying through eleanor and park, and I'm thinking between a long plane ride to Greece and back and the camp bus/free time, I should be able to polish off another few. Has anybody read any of these?

Cheers to the long weekend, the holiday of the 4th, and all that July will bring. (I can't believe it's here- slow down summer!!) I'm grateful for those who have served, and continue to serve our country with such heart and sacrifice. I'm reminded just how proud I am to be an American, and am so grateful for the freedoms we have here. Have a great week!