1/2 Marathon PR in NYC + Thailand & Ibiza

A few things:

St Jude is awesome
Running through Times Square when it’s shutdown is amazing
I PR’ed my half marathon time by 1.5 minutes
I’m pretty sure I’ll be living in NYC in the next year or 2 because I love it so much
Vacations are never vacations for me
I need to learn to wear sun block & not fall asleep on the beach
I’m going to Thailand AND Ibiza in October

This past week has been an absolute whirlwind – so much, in fact, that I barely took any pictures. The race weekend was jam-packed full of running, meeting up with friends, celebrating, and spending time with family. By the time my (delayed) flight got in after midnight on Wednesday, the last thing I wanted to do was work a 12-hour day on Thursday… but, like all my travels, no regrets 🙂


How I felt by the time I got back home

I flew into NYC Friday morning, checked into my hotel, and picked up my packet. I got a good look at the race course – and I’m so glad I did! I had never run in Central Park, but apparently there are a decent amount of hills. I got the rundown on what to expect from others who have run this course before, and it was extremely helpful!

Grey Dog Cafe NYC

Brunch before the Expo: Grey Dog Cafe in Chelsea!

Afterwards, I took a nap before heading out to Sadelle’s – one of my new favorite places for drinks & awesome bread (with truffle honey & Icelandic sea salt – amazing!). I caught up with a friend from my Belize yoga teacher training over dinner and drinks… It never ceases to amaze me the people I stay in touch with from all of my travels!

NYC_Nina Elise

Saturday consisted of sleeping in, then finally meeting the coordinators of the St Jude Charity & the other runners! Everyone was So nice, and I spent about 2 hours chatting with everyone. As a total group, all runners raised ~ $50,000 for St Jude!! That’s 50 Chemo treatments for children with cancer! Just absolutely amazing.

Afterwards, I went on a coffee date with a new friend, then headed over to Jivamukti Yoga to take a class with another friend I met at the Cuchira Yogance workshop I took back in December. She convinced me to go to Thailand in September with her… I mean, why not??

Most trips I take aren’t personal – I always take yoga classes or workshops at other studios everywhere I go in order to learn more as a teacher and grow my own practice. I always take a ton of learnings back, and I think Jivamukti is my favorite yoga class I have taken to date! I am planning my next trip to NYC in the next month or so to check out a few other studios – next time I might not come back 😉

united airlines half marathon 2016

Afterwards, I made it back to my hotel and prepped for the race, laying everything out so I could sleep in a little longer in the morning. Fast forward a very sleepless night (who doesn’t get nervous the night before a race??), I hopped on a train and headed to Central Park. Since there were over 20K runners, it was a bit hectic… meaning, I was sprinting to my corral at 7:30 before they closed it…. I ended up being fine, but looked like a crazy person. My hands were full of water, gu, my gloves, an extra shirt… I think next time I am going to bring a friend to run this race with me!

The race has been my favorite to-date – central park was a bit hilly, but I ended up running a negative split & PR’ing by 1.5 minutes. It wasn’t my goal time, but considering I missed 2 months of training due to tendinitis & no speed work… I’ll take it!

nina elise nike half marathon

The last half of the course is pretty much downhill/flat once you get out of Central Park, and running through Times Square was unreal! It’s the only other time it’s closed off besides New Years, so it’s a treat to run through the streets. I wanted to take pictures/run with my go pro, but also didn’t want to slow myself down any more… hence the lack of pictures.

Nina Elise Run

Once I finished the race, I couldn’t believe how organized NYRR was… I immediately had a blanket & my medal handed to me, and was then directed to go pick up a bag full of post-race hydration & snacks. I was on the train back to my hotel within 20 minutes of crossing the finish line!


My body was hurting, so I took a shower and headed to a water spa for the day. I ended up spending the most time in the nap room after sitting in the saunas… much needed! Afterwards, I stopped to grab some food before my massage:

Le Pain

Avocado Toast + Lemon, Ginger & Honey Tea

Yep, I’ll probably move to the city just for the food.

After my massage, I showered & went out with a friend for dinner & drinks. I’ve been wanting to go to Black Tap – I follow their instagram, and the milkshakes look Unreal. The burger was really good, but my stomach was not ready for that milkshake (the amount of gu’s consumed during my race always makes me not want to eat for a week straight). It was sooo sweet & peanut-buttery! But look at it. It looks so.so.good.

Black Tap NYC

Following dinner with more drinks, we ended up not crashing until 2 or 3…or maybe later… drinking celebratory drinks after finishing a half marathon is totally necessary, so no regrets.

4:30 am rolls around, and my airport shuttle was waiting to take me to JFK… family was waiting for me in Florida! 4 hours later, and I’m hanging out with my cousins… ok, I was napping off a hangover, but AFTER I hung out with my cousins!! It was actually too cold & windy to go to the beach, so we stayed in, and my cousin’s fiance cooked us smoked wings on the grill. So.So.Good.

Candy Cigarettes

On the 2nd & 3rd day, we were burnt to a crisp (blisters on my ear :(), but it was so relaxing and nice to not have to worry about work!

Florida Nina Elisa


Alas, all good things must come to an end. Wednesday night, I boarded my (delayed) flight back to Ohio , arriving home around 12:30 am. Note: The entire right side of my body was completely red & sun burnt – I looked like 2-face from batman. Seriously, not a comfortable flight back.

So what’s next for running? Resting up the next few weeks, then training for another half… I am determined to get under 1:50! Any suggestions on great courses? I will definitely be running this half again next year – and seriously recommend anyone who likes to run to do it! It actually went by really quickly, but it was so well organized, and the actual course basically sets you up to PR/negative split.

Upcoming travels: NYC in a month. San Francisco in June (TBD-my bank account kind of hates me right now). Thailand & Ibiza in September/October.

Yep, Thailand AND Ibiza! Flights are booked to Thailand and from Ibiza… All I need to do is buy my connecting flight from Thailand to Ibiza! So Yoga retreat with a friend, taught by 2 famous yogi’s for 1 week in Thailand, then jetting off to Ibiza the week after with a few of my favorite people! More yoga, relaxing, and dancing. I’ll be gone for almost a month! More to come on this…. 🙂

So what’s everyone else up to? Travel plans? Has anyone ever been to Thailand or Ibiza? Tips on running a sub- 1:50 half marathon? Best half marathons to run?

Traveling Yogi: San Francisco, California + Wine Country

As promised, below is a recap of my trip to San Francisco. I didn’t really plan much for this trip except for my yoga conference, so I figured I would drive out to wine country for 1 day, check out a cycle studio, and get some runs in.

As soon as I landed, I caught a shuttle to my friends apt. We spent the next few hours catching up on life before I decided to head out for a nice, 9-mile run. Except, 1) I didn’t realize how hilly SF was, and 2) I got lost, so my 9 miles turned into 10+ miles. No biggie, except my calves were sore for a solid week afterwards! There were people running past me the entire time – people are in serious shape out there!

SF Bridge

Anyways – I had to stop – a LOT – because look – the views are beautiful!!


Which made me seriously question a lot of life decisions – for one, why am I living in Ohio? It was 45-65 degrees the entire time I was visiting (which is actually cold for this time of year), but it felt amazing! I was running around in a long sleeve shirt and was dying by the end of my run! And people were walking around with hats and long fur-lined coats… they obviously have never experienced Ohio weather.


Run Across the San Francisco Bridge = Check off my bucket list!

After getting lost and running over 10 miles, I finally found my way back. My friend and I went out to eat, splitting a bottle of wine and staying out until the wee hours of the night – 1:30 am (4:30 am eastern time!).. Needless to say, I was a little fuzzy the next day, but I survived 😉


Fast forward to Sunday night – the yoga event had come to an end, and I was pretty tired…. So, i caught an Uber and headed over to Roam Burger. Let me tell you – this burger was the size of my head: Bison, bacon, cheese, fried egg, fries, avocado, tomato, lettuce… I mean, just look at it. And a beer & fries on the side, because that is just mandatory with a burger 🙂



I basically ate myself into a food coma – so come Monday morning – I slept in… and of course, finished the reset of my burger for breakfast! I planned out the rest of my trip while waiting for my food to digest (a burger before a run = sometimes I don’t make good decisions), deciding to run & explore + catch up with a friend from high school at dinner…. Tuesday, Wine Country…. and Wednesday, a cycling class!

My Monday run consisted of heading over to Rincon Park, then back to fisherman’s wharf to hang out with some sea lions, then to Ghiardelli square for CHOCOLATE!! I actually found an amazing juice spot, THEN bought some chocolate – because I have to be a little healthy sometimes, right??

Juice Shop

After my run, I stretched & did some yoga before heading out to dinner with a friend. Of course, I stayed out wayyyy too late, and that alarm at 7/8 am was not welcomed! However, I was way too excited to pick up my rental car and drive to Napa that my lack of sleep was quickly forgotten.


A 1 1/2 hour drive later, I ended up just north of Napa Valley at a Winery called The Terraces – highly recommended by a friend, and it didn’t disappoint!


I was greeted like an old friend and did a tasting with the employees, as I was the only customer there (note-you need to make a reservation beforehand). We chatted for over an hour before heading out to take a look at the property… Just absolutely stunning! There were fruit trees, honey hives, rosemary plants…. just gorgeous. And the wine? Let’s just say this is the first and probably not the last time I will spend $60 on 1 bottle of wine!



After the tour, I headed off to Domaine Carneros – a winery that makes champagne & pinot noir – 2 of my favorite wines!


Miles and Miles of delicious grape-bearing vines!

It just so happened that I was the only one in the last tour of the day – so I was able to get a one-on-one tour, with plenty of time to ask questions & hang out! I learned the process of making champagne (it’s actually pretty ridiculous what goes into it!), tasted the different kinds of champagne, and then ended with some Pinot Noir. Wine connoisseurs are seriously dedicated people!



I now know that Brut champagne is the least-fruity champagne (it’s normally made with chardonnay)- so if you want something “sweeter”, go for the dry or extra dry champagne. There is an extra tablespoon or 2 of sugar in there 😉 And Rose is nothing but champagne with a touch of red wine in it!


I grabbed a charcuterie board after the tour and relaxed for about an hour, watching the sun set. Seriously, perfect end to a wine-filled day!

Domaine Carneros

I got back around 7, dropped off the rental car, and hung out with a friend after. Of course, I stayed out too late… and I had already planned to go to Soul Cycle – a high-energy cycling class that I was told (by many people) to try. So of course, rise and shine at 5:15 am…

Soul Cycle

I personally don’t like cycling, as it makes my thighs super muscly… but, I had already run around SF a few times and decided to get my interval run workout in for the day instead. The room was filled with bikes almost on top of each other, and I went in early to get clipped in to the bike (note – I really, really needed help from the staff, my shoes did not want to clip in!) and get settled in. There were weights under the seat, and the last 10 minutes of class we used them for an upper body workout. The class had awesome music, buuuuuttt… Not a fan. Just go and try for yourself – it just wasn’t my cup of tea, but some people go religiously they love it so much. For $30/class (YES – it’s ridiculously overpriced), I’d rather be doing yoga or get yelled at by a personal trainer.

Soul Cycle_2

Besides being pretty motivational & having modern decor, I wasn’t super impressed. Also, I learned that I have absolutely NO rhythm. Like, worse than I originally thought. So there’s that.

Unfortunately, my trip was less than a week long, and I had to eventually head back home to Ohio. There was so much more I wanted to do, more wines to drink, and more relaxing to get done! And although it rained half the time, it was still pretty warm & I had so much fun! Upon landing back in Ohio, I was invited with snow and freezing cold weather. BUT – the good news is, I’ll be back! I am planning another Yoga/Wine trip in June, so I’ll be able to visit many more wineries and get a little zen in 🙂

So who has been to San Francisco? Lives there? Did I miss anything I absolutely needed to do?

10-Day Trip to Europe: Cost Breakdown


I have been asked by quite a few people how much my 10-day trip to Europe cost. I estimated the total to be around $3,000 total, including everything. However, I never really sat down to look at how much I REALLY spent – probably because I was too afraid to see the actual cost, and I know there are things I could have spent more wisely on! With it being my first trip to Europe, alone, I just wanted everything to be easy, so I kind of just handed over my credit card/took out cash whenever I needed something! The actual total ended up being $3,865. I know, I know, not cheap. However, I wasn’t super strict about my spending – almost half was on transportation (flight + train pass), and a LOT of which was spent on chocolate and beer! No regrets. This trip could have definitely been cheaper if I booked earlier than 2-3 months in advance. Anyways, below is the cost breakdown, including information on the credit card I used, and the timeline of booking my trip.

First things first: Credit card. This was definitely a year for spending money, for a couple of reasons:
1) I wanted to travel internationally
2) I wanted to cross a lot off my bucket list
3) I wanted to get my yoga teacher certification

With that being said, I got dinged with international fees when I was in Costa Rica last year & Belize earlier this year, so I needed a card that didn’t charge me fees every time I traveled out of the country. I researched a few cards, and decided to sign up for the Chase Sapphire Card. Since I’m not loyal to a specific airline, and I already bank with Chase, the Sapphire card seemed like the most logical card to get. Below are a few reasons why I chose this card:

  • No foreign transaction fees when traveling internationally
  • While there is a $95/year fee, the first year fee is waived
  • If you spend $4,000 within the first three months of use, you get 50,000 bonus points – which, when booking any traveling through the chase website (super easy and amazing, btw), is $625 towards airfare or hotels. I booked an impromptu trip to Florida, my trip to NYC, AND my upcoming California flights for free with those points!
    • $4,000 may seem like a lot to spend in 3 months, but I put everything on my credit card – bills, groceries, my trip to europe, and every single cost for my yoga teacher training. It’s definitely doable, especially if you add an authorized user to help you spend more money!
  • Add an authorized user within the first 3 months, get another 5,000 points (I didn’t use this because, well, I am single and have no one else to use my credit card ;)). However, you could add a parent or a friend to help you earn points!
  • 20% off travel when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards
    • You book by logging into your chase account, then go into chase ultimate rewards and book there. The last 3 flights I booked through chase with my points was 20% less than if I had booked through an airline or travel site!
    • As a side note – I had issues booking my last-minute flight to Florida back in October, so I called chase to book over the phone – they spent an hour on the phone with me, looking for the cheapest flight that fit my very limited schedule – seriously, the best customer service ever!
  • If you are partial to a specific airline, you can even transfer your points to your frequent flyer travel programs! Ex: Transfer 1,000 points from your chase card to your southwest frequent flyer miles.(Participating programs: British Airways Executive Club, Korean Air SKYPASS, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, United MileagePlus®, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Hyatt Gold Passport®, IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®.)

This was the card that I used, so I am pretty partial to it. It all depends on what you are looking for in a credit card, what your travel frequency, etc is. So, I recommend looking at all your options and picking what works best for you. Nerd Wallet has a tool that you can use to find the most logical travel card for you based on monthly spend, credit score, fees, etc. Check out their comparison tool here.

Now – on to the more detailed part of the trip
Below is a breakdown by transportation, food, activities, accommodations, items bought for traveling, etc. I am going based off of credit card/debit card activity, as well as extra traveling items I purchased for the trip.

I also created a google doc  beginning in June (I left the second week of September)to add misc information for my trip and to plan – I normally do this for any trip to a place I haven’t been before! It might seem a bit scatter-brained, but it was a great way to keep all of my information in one spot. I basically start out with a blank spreadsheet and add stuff as I go along – I think i edited this until the day I left! It took me a few weeks to actually create a solid schedule, and I estimated all of the costs, but that’s the fun of planning ;).You can check out what it looks like here!

Booking Flights:
I booked my flight less than 3 months before I left – so, my flights were definitely not the cheapest. I recommend booking sooner, if possible. I used google flights to find the cheapest flights based on my timeframe & where I wanted to fly into, then went through my Chase credit card rewards account to book the actual flights (it’s cheaper when booking with points!). Super easy, and all of my information is in one place.


Cost Breakdown:

europe trip costs

Transportation: $1,556
Activities: $465

Hostels: $618
Food: $111.07 (on credit card)
Misc (Food, Souveniers, etc): $862.38
Pre-Trip Purchases: $215.57
Total Cost of Trip: $3,865.80

You can find the actual spreadsheet here.

So that’s it! This is what goes on in my brain when traveling and planning my trips! Also, planning versus what actually happens is very different (in a good way!), so always be prepared for the unexpected 🙂


I hope this helps anyone planning a trip to Europe, Oktoberfest, or pretty much anywhere! There are a lot of traveler sites out there with much more information, ways to travel cheap, etc. I recommend taking a look at as many blogs as you can, and taking what you want from them. It’s your trip, so plan the way you want and do what you are comfortable doing! If you have any questions, shoot me an email or leave a comment below!

Yogance & NYC Adventures

I am going to just preface this post by saying I want to move to NYC… actually, more than want – I need to move to NYC. Or at least travel there All.The.Time. I had such a blast this past weekend, and I wish I could have stayed an extra few days. or week. or year. My favorite part? all of the walking! Why can’t it be like that here in Columbus?! Anyways, below is a recap of the shenanigans I got into this weekend – including yogancing with the one and only Cuchira (Tamara Levinson-Campos), solo dinners, broadway shows, and a life-changing massage!

NYC Sunrise

I arrived at Laguardia at 7 am on Friday morning, and it took 3.5 hours until I finally made it to my hotel…. I took a shuttle from the airport, and  was the last one to be dropped off at my hotel. By the time I arrived, it was raining and cold – meaning, my plans to go for a run in central park were shot. So, I decided to head straight to the Spa – The Great Jones Spa, which was recommended by a few friends. I have never been to a water lounge before, and I ended up staying for a solid 2.5 hours! I did a few rounds of sitting in the steam room, then the hot tub… then the sauna, cold plunge water bath, then hot tub… then relaxing and repeating. I almost wish I had gone for a run beforehand, as this would have felt even more better on my muscles! My sinuses & entire body felt amazing after!

Great Jones Spa

Since I had only eaten 2 protein bars the entire day, I decided to continue being a responsible adult and grab something to eat afterwards – ICE CREAM. I looked on yelp and found a place on the way back to my hotel that had some amazing-sounding ice cream cones – Big Gay Ice Cream. I went all out and got a salted caramel cone rolled in crushed pretzels, dipped in chocolate and topped with peanut butter. Yep, my stomach was happy after that 🙂

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop NYC 2

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop NYC

After arriving back at my hotel room – or should I say SHOE BOX?? (my room was 5×7, no Joke) – I got ready to go out with a fellow yoga-teacher-trainee that I met in Belize back in March. After doing a handstand, of course 😉


We met up for a drink and apps (avocado toast + brie!) at my hotel bar, then headed out to her friends apartment. On the way back, we stopped for a nightcap at a bar nearby, and I ended up getting home around 2 am. After such a long day, I ended up sleeping in until 11 am the next morning! I woke up to my back-up alarm, which means I probably could have slept a lot longer.

I hurried up and ran to visit the highline, a park built on an old railroad spur. The views of the city were amazing!

Chelsea Market Highline

NYC Highline

Chelsea Market Highline 2

It was also ridiculously cold, so I scooted my butt into Chelsea Market for something warm and a bite to eat.


I settled on Sarabeth’s Bakery – a latte and pastries for brunch? heck. yes.

Sarabeths Bakery Chelsea Market

Sarabeths Bakery Latte

There were so many places to eat, I couldn’t just stop at an almond croissant and cookie… I also had to get a hot chocolate topped with mascarpone gelato & whipped cream. Because sugar and coffee cures hangovers, right?? I know, I know, I am awesome at being an adult.


Chelsea Market Gelato

I walked over to PMT Dance Studio, the main reason for my NYC visit: taking a Yogance workshop with Tamara Levinson-Campos! I ended up meeting a ton of wonderful people – my favorite being Jo, a lovely yoga teacher from England who runs her own yoga retreats in Ibiza! Another thing to add to my bucket list 😉

Tamara showed up about 15 minutes before the workshop, and sat down to chat with everyone. It was like another student showed up and waited with us – she was super down-to-earth and awesome! The workshop itself was amazing – we learned about engaging the mula bandha, and the proper alignment for every single yoga pose/movement! Something so so simple and surprisingly easy to understand. I will be incorporating this into my classes 🙂


After, we learned a yogance sequence, and I was surprised by how easy it was! There was no pressure, just moving and lots of smiles. Following the sequence, we did partner work – music was turned on, and our partner basically controlled our movements by touching us in different places, and we moved our bodies in whatever directions our partner touched. Different, but the lesson was to pay attention to how it felt in our bodies & be controlled by someone else. The workshop ended with 10-20 minutes of Savasana – much welcomed, since my sugar-coffee hangover headache was in full affect by that point.


I ended up staying for about a half hour to chat with Tamara, got a selfie and of course a handstand picture with her! Hopefully I will get to see more of this lovely, kind woman in the future at the studio I teach at… stay tuned!


Afterwards, I rushed back to my hotel to get ready for broadway – to see Book of Mormon! I took an Uber to Soho to grab dinner, but unfortunately the restaurant didn’t open until 7… No problem – I hopped in another Uber, and found a super close restaurant near times square to eat at: Cielo at the Mayfair, a cute italian restaurant nestled underground.

Cielo NYV

I ordered a glass of wine and a half order of gnocchi – seriously to die for. and their garlic bread? Amaaaazing – dipped in herbs & olive oil and served warm. This was right next to the Eugene O’Neille theatre, so I was able to catch the show in time. If you are ever in the area… another great place to eat 🙂

Cielo Gnocchi

Book of Mormon – pretty much every single one of my friends has told me to go see this on broadway, so I shelled out the money ($280, I am cringing just thinking about it) and bought the ticket. I think I was crying from laughing so hard throughout the entire show, so I would say it was well worth it! Yes, it was crude and vulgur, but I’ve seen worse. Do yourself a favor and see it, you won’t regret it!

Book of Mormon

Afterwards, I headed back to my hotel shoebox and fell asleep by 12:30…. all this walking and yoga and sugar and good food had me beat!

The next morning, I met up with my friend again for brunch, and we grabbed coffee at Kaffe 1668 in Tribeca. This place was decorated with a ton of little sheep, and there was a downstairs area perfect to set up shop if you wanted to do a little work on your laptop.

Kaffe NYC Sheet

Sheep Kaffe

I ended up getting the Mocha Latte and Blueberry Scone – because, why not. I really wanted to try the slow-drip coffee, but didn’t want to be too wired for my massage afterwards!

Kaffe Coffee NYC

NYC Yogi

After saying our goodbyes, I grabbed an uber to grand central, where I had the most amazing massage of my life at Body Mechanics. It had the best reviews on Yelp for what I was looking for, and I am so, so, so, SO happy I went! My masseuse Laura was AMAZING. She was so knowledgable about the anatomy of the body, the fascia, ligaments, etc – since she works on professional athletes and dancers all day, she knew exactly what to work on when I told her about my issues. Deep tissue, trigger point therapy and warm towels were all part of the massage – she even went a little over time to get to everything I needed worked on. We chatted a lot about how to do trigger point/massage on myself at home, and how to massage away from the muscle fibers, going deep into the belly of the muscle to get results (disclaimer: its painful, but oh-s0-good). Afterwards, she gave me tennis balls to use for trigger point therapy while at work, traveling, etc.

Body Mechanics NYC

I also mentioned that I still have numbness on the outside of my left shin where I had my ACL surgery – she massaged deep into that area, and even taped my leg up before I left.

Rock Tape Shin

I wish I could bring this place back to Ohio – seriously so, so amazing. I am already planning my next trip back in March for the United Half Marathon (Starting in Central park, through Times Square, and ending near Wall street), and am scheduling an appointment immediately following the race.

After the massage, I ran to grab a quick lunch with an old highschool friend I hadn’t seen in almost 10 years. It was a nice last-minute get together, and it was so great to chat and catch up!

Le Pain Avocado Toast

We ate at Le Pain Quotidien, and both got a latte and avocado toast (basically my entire weekend in a nutshell).

Afterwards, I stopped at Grand Central for a sec, since my shuttle was running late, and grabbed some food for later (Laguardia seems to lack any good places to eat).

Unfortunately, I arrived at the airport at 3, and my flight was delayed several times. 4 gate changes later (including leaving the terminal to go to another one, then shuttling back to the same gate one 1 hour later), we were finally jetting off around 10 pm, arriving back home to columbus around 11:15.

Columbus Skyline

The following morning, I tried to get up for a 5:30 am workout class (I know, I am crazy), but ended up sleeping in a bit longer. This weekend wore me out, and I am looking forward to having an entire day (CHRISTMAS!) to relax and sleep in!

If you have made it to the end of the post, thank you for sticking it out and reading about my adventures! I love sharing my travels & adventures with everyone in hopes that it helps fellow travelers/athletes/yogis… or simply puts a smile on someones face!

Did I miss eating at any staple restaurants or touristy-type things to do while in NYC?


Weekend Update, Impromptu Travel & 5K Recap

Sooooo where to begin? Things have been absolutely crazy the last month, and I have barely been able to keep up! A few things:

New job – yep, after 2 (LONG) years of working in ecommerce, I quit my job. New job = a new chapter in my life, advance in my career, and less stress. Besides the longer commute to work, I couldn’t have asked for anything better! Well, unless I was traveling for my job, but that might be in the not-too-far-away future 😉

Running – I decided to run a 5k on Thanksgiving – so lately, I’ve been making time to run 2-4 miles a few times a week, as well as signing up for a 5k this past weekend as a preparatory race. The race was called “The Donut 5k” – you get to eat donut holes every mile, then are handed a half a dozen donuts once you cross the finish line. Of course it was a no brainer to sign up! Unfortunately, I didn’t feel so good from going out Thursday and Friday night… but, fortunately, my body magically decided it was fast – and I ended up running the race in under 24 minutes! First place in my age group, 7:41 pace. Considering I had major knee surgery last year, I am incredibly grateful for the progress I have made in running – the body is capable of amazing things!

donut run nina elise

Travel – I took an impromtu trip to the beach in FL on Monday this week – yep, for 1 day. I needed some time to relax before starting my job, and even though I only had 1 day to do it, I did it right! After teaching my Sunday yoga class, I booked a flight 6 hours before take-off – went to a yoga workshop for 2 hours – then hurried to the airport to catch my flight. I arrived in Florida around 1 am, slept, then went to the beach from 11 am to 5:30 pm at night. I read, napped, and swam in the ocean. At night, I hung out with family. It was the most perfect day trip I could have asked for! Tuesday I flew back to Columbus at 4 pm, managing to somehow run errands, go shopping, and meet friends for dinner. Travel is awesome, but sometimes it lacks in the sleep department. But – that’s what the weekends are for, right??

west palm beach yoga

jupiter florida

fit blonde yogi beach

Yoga Teacher training – only 2 more 10-hour Saturday classes before I am DONE! This 200 hour training has taken quite a toll on me mentally – but in a good way! I have been learning so much, and there just are not enough hours in the day to study. Also – I will be putting on my first ever workshop next Friday! Update to come on how this goes/possible future handstand workshops in Columbus!

One More Thing…
body building warehouse protein powder
My friends over at body building warehouse were kind enough to send me some samples of their products – whey protein from happy European, grass-fed cows. I finally was able to give their protein shakes a try – the hot chocolate (YES, a hot chocolate drink that’s good for you!!) and Banana Peanut Butter. I consider myself pretty smart, so I decided to mix the 2 together – banana + chocolate + peanut butter = Gods gift to humankind.. so basically, this was an amazing shake. I recommend mixing with ice/a frozen banana + milk (I used almond). You can find a huge range of products at their site – check them out here, it’s hard to find good quality protein mixes these days! There are also non-dairy flavors too, so there is something for everyone!

protein shake body building warehouse

That’s it… for now! I’ll be posting a recap in the coming weeks of finishing up my yoga teacher training, more races, and moving! Also – where will I be traveling next?? More to come on this 🙂 Hope everyone is having a fabulous week!

Traveling Yogi: What I did in Munich, Germany

What you all have been waiting for… my last post on my travels to Europe! After experiencing 2 straight days/nights at Oktoberfest, I decided to actually explore the city a little bit more. And with one day left, I went on a bike tour in the morning, and a pub crawl at night – best way to end my time in Munich! Below is a summary of my last 2 days in Germany:

Monday, September 21:

After being out until 2 am the night before & coming back to my hostel with someone in my bed, I was not exactly ready for my alarm to go off around 7 am. I scheduled a last-minute bike tour for 8:30 am – 4 hours long – with Mike’s Bike Tours. It was highly recommended by quite a few people I met while traveling, and its an easy way to see the city. I am not much for museum hopping or history, but the tour guide was absolutely hilarious and made the 4 hours pass by so quick.


We toured a few churches, learned about the history of hofbrauhaus, the city, hitler, politics…


Stopped at a nude park….


and stopped at the world’s second largest beer garden for lunch (and some beer!). Yes, we all drank and rode our bikes back to the city. Total norm in Munich.

beer garden munich beer garden

We also got to watch some awesome surfers ride a wave on a river… dangerous, but very cool to watch!

mike bike tours

After returning our bikes, I decided to walk around the open air market a bit – basically a huge market with lots and lots of fresh food. I would go here every day and buy all of my groceries from the vendors if I lived in Munich.. this place was amazing! It’s pretty similar to a farmers market, but way bigger.

open air market

I was meeting up with a friend I met in Geneva/Chamonix for dinner, so I decided to head back and rest a bit beforehand. I barely got any sleep the entire trip, and I finally gave in and took a much-needed nap.

I met up with my friend at Fraunhofer, and it was seriously amazing.


I ordered some sort of dumpling dish – and you never know what you are going to get, because it’s always different at every restaurant you go to in Germany. And beer. Because, when in Germany… Also – Franziskaner Weissbier is now one of my favorite beers ever. Something about banana beer always gets me… Where can I find this in the US?!

german food final night

After dinner, we hopped around a few bars, grabbing a few more drinks before heading in at midnight.

munichbeer1 munichbeer2

Sunday, September 22:

I got up around 7/8 am, checked out of my hostel, and headed to the airport.

adios, hostel

adios, hostel

I wanted to check out the airbrau brewery – a brewery at the Munich airport – before leaving. And no matter how much I travel, I always need to be at the airport 10 hours before my flight leaves, because I have awful anxiety about missing my flight.

Anyways, I was going to check in, but my flight area didn’t open until 12:30. And it was 10:30. Soooo it was time for an early lunch at the brewery… and it didn’t disappoint. I mean, who wouldn’t want beer, cheese, pickles, sausages, and bread for breakfast?? And I am being dead serious. German food forever changed my taste buds… although, I still steer clear of sauerkraut. heck.no.

airport brewery

After finally being able to check in around 1, I find that my flight is delayed for a few hours. I ended up sitting and chatting with a couple from DC, so it wasn’t too bad. Except I had an awful sinus infection, and my nose would not.stop.running. Luckily, I found medicine at the airport, and the 9 hour flight to Canada wasn’t awful. However, I arrived back to the states around 11/11:30, and I hadn’t slept for over 24 hours. So, you could say I was ready to sleep when I finally got to my apartment. And jet leg – you are a real thing. I felt like I was walking around with my brain in the clouds until Friday afternoon!

So that sums up my first trip to Europe – I hope you enjoyed reading about it, and that it might be helpful if you ever decide to travel to Switzerland/Chamonix/Munich! I am thinking my next trip will be Iceland – has anyone ever been? Any other ideas where to go next? 

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