Was it all a dream? #AD3FitnessTakesLA
It took me a full week and more to let it all sink in and get myself to write this post. Wow! L.A. delivered! From beach workouts to boxing classes. From delicious food with amazing views to new friendships. Let me start with day one:
Alex and I arrived LAX on the same flight as our client and close friend Billy Byrne, Tuesday morning. Billy was actually combining our fitness retreat with his favorite hobby: Golf! His adventures could most likely fill a whole other blog post, so let's not get caught up in that.
Lol, sorry, Billy.
We were picked up by Jackie, Alex's sister, who has been helping us with booking all restaurants for this entire retreat. First stop, one of our favorite lunch spots, Gjelina, followed by the ice cream shop I can recommend above all, Salt & Straw, Then we checked in to the always so wonderful Huntley Hotel, Santa Monica Beach. The afternoon was spent doing small preparations for the retreat before the clients would arrive a couple of days later. Then we walked around Santa Monica Pier for awhile. We ended up having dinner at the Penthouse, with a beautiful view of the beach as the sun was setting.
Wednesday morning, Alex and I checked out a couple of spots we had planned for classes. One of them was the Santa Monica Stairs. With its 170 steps it was a great cardio workout to run up and down the stairs twice. It was also great people watching, since these stairs are pretty busy in the morning, and LA is filled with eccentric personalities.
The stairs are about 1,5miles from Huntley, so by the time we ran back to the hotel, and decided to visit Earth Bar to stack up on juices for the week, and have acai bowls for breakfast, we were getting close to 4miles that morning.
By noon we were picked up by Jackie and Billy and were soon on our way to Monarch Beach Resort in Orange County. This is about one hour drive from Santa Monica (depending on traffic), and it is a wonderful resort with cabanas, pools, and jacuzzis with a stunning ocean view. It was a perfect way to rest up before the retreat was beginning the next day.
Thursday afternoon we had booked everyone in for a boxing class at the local, but pretty well-known studio BoxUnion. Some of our clients were sporty enough to attend class, even though they were coming straight from the airport. We all showed up at the 12 pm class " Lunch Box" with BoxUnion Coach Gabby Sansosti. She guided us through 30min intensive basic boxing on the bag to the beat of catchy music. Let's say like this: no one came out of that class without feeling the burn or the desire to start boxing MORE!! Thank you, Gabby and BoxUnion. You were amazing to help us organize the class, and the experience itself was unforgettable!
We did a double class that day and continued on with a running/bootcamp class with Alex. We ran from BoxUnion, by Santa Monica beach, stopped along the way to do a few exercises and ended it with two killer rounds in the Santa Monica Stairs. This was a total kick-start to the retreat!
Finally, back at Huntley, we got ready and met at the Penthouse for a quick drink before happy hour at Malibu Farm. The sun was setting over LA surfers riding the waves of Malibu, and it looked as romantic as you can imagine, so quite a few pictures were taken with this amazing backdrop. Dinner was booked at the famous Nobu, Malibu. We ate, had drinks, caught up with the staff we've been getting to know through the last few years.
It was just as amazing as always!
Friday morning we grabbed a quick breakfast and headed towards Runyon Canyon. Last year we walked up from the bottom, but this year we started further up and did the extra steep and harder trail first. The temperature was perfect for the climb, and we also made sure everyone stayed hydrated at all times. This is so important! The view from the top was amazing! You'll get a good view of the Hollywood sign from there, and when climbing back down, a part of the trail actually leads by one of the famous houses from the series "Entourage". We continued on to the shorter, less steep trail as a cool down, and in the small park by the entrance to Runyon, Alex had us doing a core workout and a full body stretch.
Back in Santa Monica, we brought everyone over to Earth Bar for smoothies, juice and acai bowls. It was great to sit down and refuel with fresh food! We had a few hours before dinner, so some of our clients tried out the cool, electric scooters called "Birds" and used them to go see Muscle Beach, at Venice Beach. If you ever go to L.A., Birds are a simple way to get around (shorter distance that is). You can find them through the bird app, and that is also the way you rent them. Just make sure the scooter is charged, and you're good to go!
That evening we met for happy hour at The Bungalow at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel. This bar is a very convenient location if you stay at Huntley. It's just across the street! It has several rooms, several bars, and it represents everything surf, but in a more "glamorous" way. After a couple of drinks, we were off to dinner at the swanky lounge, The Nice Guy located in West Hollywood. With its dim lighting, incredible food and drinks, and the "you never know what celebrity you're going to see at the bar"feel, it has definitely become one of our favorite spots in LA. Just remember that you can not take pictures in there, so use the fun photo booth, or stop by the sign at the entrance to snap a picture on your way in. It was another night to remember!
Saturday, we all went down to the beach early. Alex was teaching the first class. We warmed up by playing "Tag", then followed up with a pretty hard boot camp class on the sand, which was extra challenging both for core and balance.
We had a few guests that day. Trainer Erin Umphenour was teaching a beach barre class for us. Erin is the owner of Barre Hour, professional dancer and former cheerleader for LA Lakers. We also had a few extra clients joining us. LA Chargers football player Andre Patton with his girlfriend Cassie Yeung (cheerleader for Brooklyn Nets) and also LA Chargers football player Rayshawn Jenkins with his Emily Lillard. They were all introduced to us by Jason Bayuk, and we got to know them as not only good athletes, but also great team players and a lot of fun!
Back to Erin's barre class. It was harder then most people would think. It's a lot of core work, hips, legs, abs, it's most definitely a full body workout! In the blazing sun and the warm sand, it was challenging but fun and new to the most of us, and Erin is a great instructor. She might seem sweet, but YES she kicks your butt in class! Thanks, Erin!
We took a break to have lunch and hydrate, before ending it all with a great game of beach volleyball. It was actually so much fun that we stayed longer than we probably should, and ended up with an hour to get ready for dinner!
A big table was booked for the trendy and also beautiful restaurant Catch. The vibe is very "see and be seen" but the interior is refreshing with its colorful flowers and open ceiling. A nice surprise was seeing the "Ad3Fitness Takes LA" on the top of the menu! Thanks, Jackie! The food was absolutely amazing, and so were the huge bottles of 2017 La Bargemone Cuvée Marina Rosé!
Sunday morning at 10 am everything was ready for the AD3 Fitness Race! We had divided everyone into teams of two, and the only thing they knew was where and when to meet and to make sure they wore matching team shirts, and agreed on a team name.
They were given their first clue at the hotel and from there they had to ride bikes to Muscle Beach, work out and pose like a bodybuilder. Next clue was given to them by Alex, and it brought them with Ubers all the way to Manhattan Beach, where they would have to drink a juice shot from Sunlife Organics, and run a mile out to the pier and back to get the next clue from Jackie. From there they had to get back to Santa Monica Stairs and run them twice to get another clue from Alex, then make it to the last stop, the Irish bar Barney's Beanery to make a toast of Jameson in the memory Stephen Davin. Alex's dad past away this February and we dedicated this race to him. You can see the whole Instagram story as a highlight HERE.
It was a great end to an amazing retreat. We couldn't be more lucky to travel with such a fun, positive group of people! Thank you to everyone who came out.
Special thanks to Jackie. We love you, and we couldn't have done it without you!
#nobu #CatchLA #ThenIceGuy #SaltStraw #MonarchBeachresort #TheHuntley #HuntleyHotel #SantaMonica #SantaMonicaBeach #Celebrities #ad3fitness #ad3fitnessathlete #Ad3fitnessretreat #Gjelina #PacificRim #EarthBar #SantaMonicaStairs #Retreats #BoxUnion #MalibuFarm #LAChargers #NBA #NFL #BrooklynNets #LALAkers #Cheerleader #Barre #BarreHour #Dancer #RunyonCanyon