Mother’s Day: A Weekend Guide to the Hills.

Was it even really Spring and how are we already almost in the heat of Summer? This quarantine life definitely changes the sense of time. Since the only people I’ve really interacted with is my immediate family, I decided to head out of Colorado for a bit and spend Mother’s Day up in Rapid City, SD where my mother lives.

It was a beautiful weather and a relaxing weekend spent with family. Some restrictions are slightly lifted so we decided to safely venture out a bit around the area. Here are a few of our favorite things to do around the Hills [Yes, it of course includes plenty of wine]. This post mainly focuses on Hill City hot spots but stay tuned for more Rapid City favorites in future posts.

On Friday evening after work wrapped up, my mother had an appointment downtown so my sister grabbed her camera and we had a little impromptu photo shoot around downtown Rapid City. After all the hard work, we stopped into Que Pasa for some happy hour margaritas and chips & salsa. 

Friday & Saturday were my splurge days from the no-sugar challenge, so I definitely indulged in a Marg. Then we went home for some pizza.

I was planning to drive back to Colorado on Sunday so we celebrated Mother’s Day on Saturday. We started the morning off with a live stream Barre class and breakfast at home. Then we all piled in the car and headed up to Hill City [about an hours drive from Rapid]. First stop was Alpine Inn for lunch. This place is known for excellent German food during the lunch hour and a special steak plate for dinner. I ordered the Pear & Fig Salad – bonus, it had almond brickle. I would have never thought of almond brickle for a salad ingredient, but let me tell you – I wasn’t complaining! 

It’s a holiday weekend so of course we had to have lunch dessert! Alpine Inn never disappoints with the dessert options so we went with two – An apple tart over caramel and ice cream and the bread pudding. Both were AMAZING!

Next stop [and as most would know, my local favorite] was Firehouse Winery. There are two locations, one in Hill City and one downtown Rapid City. We frequent the RC location most of the time and you’ll more than likely find us enjoying some Margarita pizza and a bottle of Sauv Blanc on a warm afternoon. But the Hill City location as an equally warm environment. We stopped here for a quick tasting & to catch up with a couple of the wine-tenders. 

Last stop before heading home was Prairie Berry Winery. If you are more of a sweeter wine fan than this is your place in the Hills. The tasting room is gorgeous and spacious. They also have a small kitchen that you can order appetizer or small plates from. My favorite in the summer time is the open-face salmon sandwich. If you have the time, stop here to sit out on the lawn, take in the view, enjoy some yard games & a bottle of wine. 

We headed home and I will say, one of my most enjoyable activities is just simply driving around and taking in the views.  The scenery of the hills and the greenery will take your breath away. Another highly recommended item to check off your list if you visit the area. 

The afternoon was spent enjoying a simple meal of chicken wings and watching Outer Banks [anyone else binging?]. The next morning we got up early to sweat it out through another Barre class and then enjoyed a homemade brunch before I hit the road. It was a simple weekend in quarantine but was nice to get out just a bit to feel a little normal again. 

If you ever find yourself heading to the Hills area or swinging through on a road trip, be sure to hit me up for more recommendations of my favorite spots! 

 

Healthy Road Trip Guide.

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Oh, the open road.

It’s a great escape during this time but it can also be a daunting one if we’re trying to stick to our health goals. Gas stations and rest area vending machines aren’t necessarily the best options when it comes to fueling our body with nutrition-dense food. Top 40 and talk radio also might not be the best option to feed our brains for a long drive either. Which is why today I’m sharing my tips on how I prepare for a long drive, because we know I’m on the road plenty! (Stay tuned for a Healthy Flying Guide soon)

I’ve been on my fair share of long drives and to be honest I’m not always super excited about them. There has been many mornings before hitting the road that I dreamed of a time traveling machine that would just zap me right to my desired location. But on days that I plan ahead, I can actually be excited for the time in my car. 

Working a desk job for 40 hours a week and running a blog on the site, it can be a much needed change of pace to get away from screens. And I know I’m not the only one that needs this change every once in awhile. So might as well use the time I’m already spending in the car to focus on hobbies I wouldn’t necessarily have time to invest in. 

So what is my plan you ask? Here is how I prepare before my road trips to make the time more enjoyable: 

  • Clean my car, vacuum the floors, and insert a new Air Freshener (I use the car fragrances from Bath & Body Works)
    • It feels so good to spend time in a fresh space!
    • You’ll also need space for your suitcase and anything else you’ve packed so remove unnecessary items you’ve had store in your backseat and trunk.
  • Prep Podcasts and Music Playlists
    • I go back and forth between the two when I find my mind drifting off. Sometimes podcasts are nice to dive into for new inspiring information and at other times, you just need to have a little car karaoke session. 
    • Here is my current playlist I’ve been jamming out to in the car. 
    • Favorite recent Podcasts:
      • Den Talks Podcast
      • Teaching Yoga Podcast
      • Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher
      • Mile High Podcast
  • Pack snacks – this is a very important one!
    • Favorite road snacks:
      • Pretzel sticks
      • Apples
      • Bananas
      • Grapes
      • Lara Bars
      • Built Bars
    • I pretty much like anything that is light (in the sense I won’t feel heavy or tired after eating too much) and that won’t be distracting to eat. 
  • A good pair of Sunglasses 
    • Because it’s always more fun to be fashionable – but we also need to protect our eyes.
    • If you wear contacts, have your glasses ready incase your eyes get dry and you need to switch out. 
  • Sunscreen
    • You might be thinking, “we’re not outside”. But you are still being exposed to sun rays so not only should we look out for our eyes but our skin as well. 
  • Stop & enjoy the view when possible.
    • A really smart person once said “It’s not just about the destination, it’s about the journey” (It was Ralph Waldo Emerson if you were wondering). Give your mind and eyes a break from staring at the road & take in some open air. 
  • Simply enjoy your time!