The Healing Power of Travel - Los Cabos

A few weeks ago Ryan and I went to Los Cabo, Mexico for the sole purpose to chill out.  We’re 6 months into the year and its time to check-in, reflect and soak up the flavors and tequila of Mexico. lol   

 Vacay mode!

Vacay mode!

If you know me you know that I like to stay busy, hence how I got the nickname busy “bee.”  However over the years I’ve learned that downtime and days off are essential for optimal performance not only for athletes but also for business. 

Cabo 2.jpg

While it’s great to know how to hustle and be able to put in the grind, it's equally important to learn how to step away and chill.  

Viceroy 1.jpg

Traveling gets me out of my daily routines and allows me to see things from a different perspective.   I regain clarity and it helps keep that work-life balance.  

If I inspired you to want to book a vacation!   YEAH.  AMAZING!  If you want to go to Los Cabos here are my recommendations.  If you're looking to get Cabo Wabo this post may not be for you but feel free to message me, and I can steer you in the right direction! : )

Where to stay: 

JW Los Cabos - If you’re looking to relax in luxury this place is for you.  If you have little ones not to worry the resort is family friendly and has adult only and kid zones.  They have spacious rooms, great food, and not to mention they have complimentary tequila and mescal tastings during the week!  This is our second time staying at this resort because we loved it so much. 

 JW Resort - Los Cabos

JW Resort - Los Cabos

JW-2.jpg
JW-food.jpg
 JW - Los Cabos

JW - Los Cabos

The Cape Thompson -  The views from this hotel are epic!  All the rooms have direct oceanfront that looks out to the iconic arch.  They also have a killer rooftop to enjoy sunsets,  drinks parried with live music. 

 The Cape - Thompson Resort 

The Cape - Thompson Resort 

Cabo+15.jpg

Viceroy Los Cabos - My favorite part of this hotel was the gym.  You know when you book a hotel online, and it says there’s a gym…which is really a small abandoned hotel room with a broken bike and a few yoga mats. ugh. I hate when that happens.  This gym is definitely not that. The Viceroy delivers fitness! They know that modern day travelers like to get their sweat on.  They have the latest workout equipment and apparently Kim and Kayne’s trainer designed it, maybe that’s why the sound system was so good. 

IMG_4614.jpg
 ViceRoy Gym

ViceRoy Gym

IMG_4867.JPG


Where to eat 

Flora Farms - is a must.  This farm to table restaurant is not only adorable the food is so fresh that you're actually eating in the garden.  Make sure to try the carrot margarita.   

 Carrot Margarita

Carrot Margarita


Acre - tucked in the foothills of San Jose del Cabo this restaurant has great vibes and food.   Its lush tropical setting makes you feel like your taking a stroll through the jungle. 

acre.jpg


Calavera - If you're in the mood for tacos check out this Mexican restaurant located in Vidanta Resort.  On Tuesdays enjoy all you can eat tacos and 2 for 1 margaritas. 

 Walkway to Calavera Mexican Restaurant. 

Walkway to Calavera Mexican Restaurant. 

 

CHEER UP, SLOW DOWN, & CHILL OUT IN BYRON BAY

With sun and sand and plenty of soul, Byron Bay has more to offer than your typical surf town.

If you google Byron Bay or look up the hashtag #byronbay you will see pictures of crystal clear water, white sand beaches, cute cafes,  epic waves, and of course Chris Hemsworth.  hahaha no really Chris Hemsworth does come up.  I was immediately drawn in by the allure of Byron Bay.

Byron Bay-1.jpg

Since Ryan and I were already in Australia for the Moomba Masters Waterski Tournament, we decided to extend our trip and check out a few beach towns on our way home.

The first 24 hours in Byron Bay was not at all that I expected.  Wet, dark, and gloomy skies are not what I envisioned when planning my beach vacation.  And seriously where the heck was Chris Hemsworth. lol.  

Byron Bay 2.jpg

We decided that a little rain was not going to dull our vacation, so we headed out anyway in the rain to check out the waves.   Then we hit up the local surf shop to rent boards.   A little rain wouldn't hurt anyone.  Right? However, blue bottle jellyfish will! OMG.  The first ten minutes in the ocean were awful. Just awful!   There were jellyfish everywhere.  I kept getting stung and even worse some surfer decided to surf into me shooting his board straight into my head. Ugh. 

Byron Bay 3.jpg

Rain, jellyfish, and a minor concussion I thought to myself, "what the hell was I doing in Byron Bay." 

Lucky for me things didn't get any worse.  The next day the sun was shining and I decided to brave it out and get back in the ocean.  I am so thankful I did.  I caught lots of fun waves and there were no jellyfish — just dolphins playing in the surf.  This was the Byron Bay I came for. A truly awe inspiring place.

If you are planning a beach vacation I would definitely add Byron Bay to your list of destinations to check out.

Here are my recommendations on what to do, where to stay, and the great places to eat while in Byron Bay. 

What to do

Surf  - I would recommend checking out the beach before you rent boards.  If you see blue bottle jellyfish washed up on the beach I would recommend going site seeing that day.  

'byron Bay 4.jpg

Cape Byron Lighthouse

Yoga - There are lots of options.   Hatha,  Bikram, Restorative, beach yoga 

Thai Massage - I'm obsessed with Thai massages.  If you like deep tissue massage, you should try it.  Don't freak out when they walk and crawl on your back. It's standard.

Shopping  -  There are so many cute boutiques and surf shops! 

Byron Bay 5.jpg

Beach - because sometimes doing absolutely nothing is exactly what you need. 

Where to stay

Atlantic -    http://atlanticbyronbay.com.au

Byron-Bay 6.jpg

Bay Haven Lodge

Byron Bay 7.jpg

Where to eat

Bay Leaf 

Byron Bay 8.jpg

Byron Beach Cafe 

'byron Bay 9.jpg

Main St. Burger  

Combi - Coffee and Acai bowls 

Byron Bay 10.png

 

 

 

GET LOST AT SEA

Cruising is the perfect family vacation. In my opinion, there is no better way to travel when you have a family of multiple generations.  No matter what you love, there is always something wonderful to be found.  

Lost at Sea 1.jpg

Unfortunately, there is a massive stereotype stamped on cruising that clouds the reality of what the experience is really all about. Who hasn't heard the following? The ship is out of date.  A cruise is just sitting around eating and drinking all day long.  I don't want to be trapped on a boat.  I'll be bored.  To be honest.  The experience is straight up the opposite.  I have cruised a few times : )  200 days at sea!  I have traveled as a child, teenager, student and now as a married couple. 

Lost at Sea 2.jpg

So let me explain and clear the air and tell you the real deal when it comes to cruising. 

Stereotype 1: Cruising is only for old people. 

I love this one.  : )   Some cruise lines have narrowed in on a specific type of traveler. Some cross the spectrum nicely and have something for everyone.  That's why I think they are perfect for multi-generation travel.  For instance — Ryan and I love to wake up and workout.  My grandma loves to go to the cafe and enjoy her coffee.  My brother surfed the flow rider first thing and my parents did their 2-mile walk each morning.  No matter if you are looking for romance, adventure, or relaxation there is something for everyone.  If you're planning a cruise I recommend booking your vacation through a travel agent.  While the deal you see online may be enticing,  it's always best to have expert advice so that you don't end up on a booze cruise when all you really wanted was some rest and relaxation. : ) 

lost at sea 3.jpg

Gym workouts with a view! 

Lost at Sea 4.jpg

Bryce's morning routine 

Lost at Sea 5.jpg

Stereotype 2: I'll be bored.

Right! I hear this one all the time and seriously I have to bite my tongue not to be a smart ass. Waking up to in a new destination is not boring!

Lost at sea 6.jpg

There is so much to do onboard a cruise ship that you may not even want to get off.  During the day you can go surf, rock climb, mini golf, ice skate, enjoy a spin or yoga class, treat yourself to a massage, or relax by the pool.  Napkin folding classes are a thing of the past!  It's 2017, and you can now order a cocktail from a robot at the bionic bar! Seriously that's just insane!

Lost at Sea 7.jpg

There are lots of activities to enjoy after the sun sets as well!  Broadway shows, aqua show, ice skating show, comedy show, live music, dancing at the night club or get risky and try out your luck in the casino.  

Lost at Sea 8.jpg
Lost at Sea 9.jpg

Stereotype 3: All you do is eat. 

Hmmm, well I guess you could if you really wanted too since food is available 24 hours a day. But that is just gross! There are many dining options to fit your families appetite.  From burger joints, Mexican food, Japanese cuisine, a quick bite at the buffet or my personal favorite the beautiful three story dining room.     

Lost at Sea 10.jpg

Stereotype 4: There is no wifi.  

Yes.  Cruise ships have wifi and wifi packages are available for purchase.  Honestly, I never buy the internet package.  What better way to reconnect with yourself than to disconnect from your devices.  You can sit at home and stare at your tiny devices.  While on vacation its time to put down your phone and look up and enjoy the view! 

Lost at Sea 11.jpg

Not all ships are created equal, so again I recommend booking your vacation through a travel agent!  They will help customize the perfect vacation and help you choose the right cruise line and ship that best fits your needs. 

If you have any questions or would like to book a vacation and a chance to WIN a FREE Cruise!!!!!

Follow the link below to my travel agent. 

  surrey.cruiseshipcenters.com

 

SUN, FUN AND EXPLORING KAUAI!

The Dodd's have officially began our off season! For the past 10 days we're been catching waves and living the aloha lifestyle.  Many of you probably have seen us posting on our social channels about how much fun we've been having. 

Kauai 1.jpg

What better way to reflect and unwind then the beautiful garden island of Kauai.

Kauai 2.jpg

My kinda vacation may not be for everyone. I love to stay active on vacations.  I am a busy Bee! Hence, how I got the nickname B.  Jon and Natallia went away with us last year to Costa Rica.  So when we mentioned we were going to Kauai they were in! 

We fit as much fun in our 10 days here as we could.  Surf sessions, mountain biking, hiking, waterfalls, standup paddle boarding, a workout at Fitlab, yoga and a few afternoons lounging by the pool.  

Kauai 3.jpg
Kauai 4.jpg

Kauai is absolutely stunning.  70% of the island is not assessable by land so if your planning to visit Kauai I highly recommend booking a helicopter tour.

Kauai 5.jpg
Kauai 6.jpg

Your 60min helicopter ride will give you a snapshot of how FREAKIN beautiful Kauai is!!!!  You will get a birds eye view of the Jurassic Park waterfalls, Waimea Canyon, and the Napali Coast! 

Kauai 7.jpg
Kauai 8.jpg

If flying in a chopper is not your thing or if its not in your budget you can get some sick views of the island by trail.  You will definitely get sweaty and a bit dirty but it’s totally worth it!  Plus, the best part of hiking is it’s FREE!  No hidden fees your free to roam and take in the million dollar views : )  

We went on three fun hikes while Jon and Natallia were with us in Kauai. 

Kauai 9.jpg

We took a road trip to the Waimea Canyon to Mount Wal’ale’ale which is the second highest point on the island.  Its name literally means rippling waters or over flowing water which is fitting since it’s one of the wettest spots on earth.

Kauai 10.jpg
Kauai 11.jpg

We got extremely lucky when we hiked along the ridge because the sun was shining, but don’t let that fool you.  Rain or shine be prepared to get muddy : )

Kauai 12.jpg
Kauai 13.jpg

My favorite of all the hikes would have to be hiking Hanakapi’ai Trail.  Its the most popular trail, and for good reason, the views from this hike are unreal.  You can hike along the NaPali Coast where there is a 8 mile hike round trip to a waterfall or 4 miles round trip to a beautiful secluded beach.  We chose the 4 mile hike with a nice picnic on the beach. 

Kauai 14.jpg
Kauai 15.jpg

While on the island I would highly recommend visiting the cute town of Hanalei.  

This quiet surf town is nestled on the north shore of Kauai.  No matter what level of surfer you are you can find the perfect wave.  Hanalei’s crescent shape bay has waves for beginners to Pro’s.  For real though from one foot waves to over head at the reef you can always find what your looking for.  I even met Alana Blanchard going out to practice.  WOW!!! crazy she’s surfing the same reef Ryan was surfing. 

Kauai 16.jpg
Kauai 17.jpg

If you love sun, fun and adventure and are planning a vacation to Kauai here are some of my island favorites!

Kauai Juice Co 

Kauai 18.jpg

Aloha Juice Bar - Killer Acai Bowls

Kauai 19.jpg

Drinks at Dukes on the Beach - My fave, Lava Flow Ryan’s Fav Ginger Whiskey

Kauai 20.jpg

Standup Paddle board - We rented in Hanalei and paddle down the river out into the ocean.  We saw massive sea turtles.

Kauai 21.jpg

Beach Bike Ride in Kapaa - 5 miles of paved board walk.  $10 beach bike rentals.  Super chilled and easy.

Kauai 22.jpg

Java Kai - Cute coffee shop with delicious salads

Kauai 23.jpg

Mountain Bike from Kapaa to Anahola - starts off on the paved boardwalk then turns into really cool trails along the ocean!  Round trip its about 22 miles so bring water! 

Kauai 24.jpg

Road Trip to Waimea Canyon 

Kauai 25.jpg

Hike Hanakapi’ai Trail 

Kauai 26.jpg

Surf Hanalei

Kauai 27.jpg
 

BEA - UTAH - FUL

I am always looking for an excuse to visit my bestie, so when I got the opportunity to spend a week in Utah I jumped at the chance! 

Utah is home to Goode Waterskis.  They are designed and built right in Ogden, Utah.  Dave Goode graciously welcomed me into his work and ski life showing me his factory, office, and training facility.  He even walked me through the stages of how to build a ski, from raw materials to the final product that I ride, the Rev 6!   SO COOL! 

BeaUTAHful1.jpg

Utah is such a beautiful state and the people truly live an active lifestyle.  When you asks locals what they do for fun during the summer, it seems like everyone hikes, bikes, and the lucky ones get out on the lake.  

I do love Florida and skiing on my perfect man-made lake, but it is nice switching things up!  While I was in Utah, I skied at Goode's water ski lake.  Check it out... I took this picture from Dave's private jet! 

BeaUTAHful 2.jpg

Yes, you heard me right! Did I forget to mention that!  Dave is a pilot and has his own airplane! 

BeaUTAHful 3.jpg

In between skiing, I got to squeeze in some quality time with my best friend, Carly!  She is pregnant with her first child, due late October.  It was special to be able to make it to her baby shower and see her glowing and rocking her baby bump.  I am so excited and can not wait to meet her little one.  Aunt B will be spoiling baby Driscoll! : )  

BeaUTAHful 4.jpg
BeaUTAHful 5.jpg
 

REUNION ISLAND

I just got back from a Pro Event in Reunion Island.  You're probably wondering where the heck is that? Don't worry I had no idea where Reunion Island was either when I was first heard about it two years ago.

I mean, Reunion Island it sounds like a reality TV show… like where you meet up with long lost friends or maybe your graduating high school class. Ha. Wouldn't that be funny.

When I got my invite, I immediately had to see where in the world this Island was.  And there on the map was a tiny dot right in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Reunion Island!  : ) It's not the easiest place to get to, but definitely worth it.

Reunion Island 1.jpg

I am pretty sure I was made for island living…so any chance I have to visit or even better compete for waterskiing on an Island count me in!   : )

Reunion Island 2.jpg

The laid back lifestyle, no hurries no worries its just what I love about the Island life.  

As soon as you step off the plane your greeted by friendly locals where the pace slows right down.  

When I got my invite to go back this year I knew I had to go!  Dominique, the organizer for Reunion International Cup, is as beautiful as she is sweet.  She makes sure we are all looked after, and even made us her famous chocolate cake! SO GOOD!  To top it off at the end of the tournament she bought all the girls a keepsake bracelet.  I told you, she is the sweetest! 

Reunion Island 3.jpg

The Waterski Club de Saint-Paul host the International Cup.  We ski on a river which has a walking bridge that goes over part of the course.  

It is a wicked spot to watch since you have a birds eye view of the gate and ball one.  I got to watch Nate and Freddie battle it out at 41 looking down on them. Really cool.   Here is a picture of Nate crushing 1 ball at 41off

Reunion Island 4.jpg
Reunion Island 5.jpg

Your first pass you are whipped out on your gate.  Fingers crossed there are no lily pads in your way! haha  And that whip that I was talking about. .. hopefully you rode it out good otherwise your heading towards a massive column that supports the bridge.   Lots of obstacles but thats what makes it so fun in Reunion!  :  )  

Reunion Island 6.png

Here are a few more pic's that gives you a glimpse of how much fun we all had during our time on the Island.

Reunion Island 7.png
Reunion Island 8.jpg
Reunion Island 9.png
Reunion Island 10.jpg
Reunion Island 11.jpg
Reunion Island 12.jpg
 

OUR CABO VACAY

Hola!

We just arrived home after a wonderful week in Cabo. Boo hoo.

Cabo 1.jpg

Every year Ryan and I slice out a week or two from our schedule and plan a vacation to reflect, recharge, and spend time together. 

Cabo2.jpg

Our priorities when booking a vacation have to align with our lifestyle.  Yes, we want to relax but we also need to stay active, and fuel are bodies with healthy food! 

Cabo 3.jpg

As we leave the airport and drive to our hotel, I am drawn to how raw and untouched the land is around us. The rolling desert hills, the tumbleweeds and cactus’ make me feel like I am in a wild wild west movie! lol.  After a 30 min drive, we get to our destination, San Jose del Cabos.

Cabo 4.jpg

As we drive through San Jose del Cabos its hard to believe that there has been such devastation in the area.  In 2014 a massive cyclone hit, destroying and wiping out most of the city.  Now the hotels sit perfectly manicured in this beautiful beach side town. 

Cabo 5.jpg
Cabo6.jpg
Cabo 7.jpg

On our itinerary            ~ Inhale TACO’S Exhale NEGATIVITY  ~

Cabo8.jpg

For real, though.  Fish, carnitas, shrimp, chicken, lobster and beef I tried them all and enjoyed everyone! : )

Thank goodness my hotel had a killer gym, so I could burn some of those tacos off!  

Cabo 9.jpg

My favorite drink while in Mexico was a Carrot Margarita from Flora Farms! I know what your thinking, it  sounds gross, but it is delicious.  Freshly juiced carrots some orange and tequila! Muy Bien!  

Cabo 10.jpg

Flora Farms is a farm to table restaurant where the restaurant is actually located in and around the garden.

Cabo 11.jpg

Every morning I woke up to the sound of waves crashing against the beach and the hotels fresh green juice.  Followed by yoga with Paz.  Paz, meaning peace in Spanish was our yoga instructor.

Cabo 12.jpg

Our trip wouldn't be complete without checking out Cabo San Lucas and the famous Arch.  It is also known as land’s end, because as the crow flies, if you followed a line south from here you would not touch land again until you reach the South Pole.

Cabo 13.jpg

Tony a local tour guy hooked us up with a glass bottom boat and off we went to check out the beautiful landmark.  On our way we were greeted by friendly sea lions, some were sun tanning out on the rocks while others would leap out of the water and onto the back of your boat!  This is for REAL! haha and one of the funniest things ever.  What smart but at the same time lazy sea lions.  They let the fisherman catch them lunch while they play in the wake and wake surf the back of the boat : )

Cabo 14.jpg

The Arch is where the Pacific Ocean becomes the Gulf of California.  The energy of the water where the two oceans meet makes you realize how amazing mother nature is.  As you watch the water rush through the rocks and in and out of the caves, you see how the sea sculpts and makes these beautiful rock formations.  So much chaos but yet feeling so free and at peace.

Cabo 15.jpg

All great vacations must come to an end! 

Thank you, Cabo for the sun and serenity and all the memories! We hope to be back again some day!