Vacation-Bound + Back At It

Hi friends – thank you for your kind words about my sprained ankle on Sunday! I’m happy to report that as of Wednesday it felt normal again – whew! I got lucky.

I celebrated on Wednesday night by meeting my friends Kathleen and Karen for a fun new class at Urban Athletic Club via ClassPass: a HIT (high intensity) yoga class!


I wasn’t sure what to expect from the class, but it ended up being AWESOME. I loved the instructor, a nice, upbeat woman named Laura; she also teaches at CorePower Yoga, so it was a lot like a Sculpt class – a mix of yoga and strength training/fun bodyweight cardio.

urban athletic club georgetown HIT yogaThank you to fellow DC blogger Mar for letting me borrow the two pictures above!

The class was definitely more challenging than I thought it would be! Two thumbs up – we’ll definitely be back for more. Apparently starting in September the class will be offered on Monday and Wednesday nights at 5:30 p.m., and if it’s popular they might add additional times. Nice!

Flying high on endorphins, my friend Kathleen and I strolled down to Sweetgreen for a post-yoga dinner. Delicious, as always!


On Thursday morning, I was up early to meet up with my 6:30 a.m. track group! The Washington & Lee track is officially back open after being closed the past couple months due to turf field repairs. Hooray!


On Thursdays we do a group warm up with side shuffling, butt kicks, ankle stretching walks, etc. etc., which I always like. Then, it was time for the main workout! The coaches had me do about 18 minutes of the following: 3 minutes building speed to a nice quick pace, then 2 minutes recovery, repeat, repeat, repeat until the time was up. They alerted us to the time by blowing a whistle. Then, we did four 150’s at as fast a pace as we could manage. Whew!


It felt really good to run again, and thankfully my ankle felt totally fine!

Yesterday was a busy day with lots of AnneTheRD client sessions, so the day flew by. When Matt got home, we whipped up dinner! This was another Blue Apron meal – a Seared Cod & Fregola Sarda with Braised Veggies. It was good, but not my absolute favorite of the Blue Apron meals we’ve had over the past couple years, mostly because I’m not hugely into the tiny, pearl-shaped pasta… maybe it’s the texture? I’d always rather just have normal pasta… or rice!


This morning, I was up super early to meet Kathleen and Chelsea for a 6 a.m. Urban Athlete class at Urban Athletic Club! It makes me sad that it’s starting to be dark again at that hour now… boo! The Georgetown streets were dark and quiet when I arrived shortly before 6.


Today was one of those awesome mornings were I randomly felt really energized and had no problem getting up at 5:15 – that rarely happens, trust me! Especially because I didn’t exactly get to bed super early last night. It must have been because I got a lot of sleep earlier this week? I’ll take it!

The class was great, as always – engaging, fast paced, and a really good, varied workout. It FLEW by!

urban athlete class at urban athletic club georgetown

We knew we had to make it to a class this week because sadly our favorite instructor, Andrew, is moving away! His last class is tomorrow. Wahhh!! We’ll miss you, Andrew! Thank you for all the awesome workouts over the past year and best of luck in Houston. Come back and see us sometime! :)


Post-workout breakfast – cheesy scrambled eggs with microwave-wilted spinach (put spinach on a plate, microwave 1 minute), avocado, and a piece of toast.


And now – time to meet with a few more AnneTheRD clients, wrap up some work, and then start packing because Matt and I leave on our big summer vacation tomorrow night to celebrate his grad school completion!! We will be heading to Malta to go scuba diving with my college BFF Kris and some of her friends! Matt and I are flying there via an overnight layover in Istanbul on each end, which should also be super cool (and it made our flights really cheap, which was a nice bonus). When we get to Malta on Monday, we’ll be spending the first two days on our own at a fancy resort on the beach before meeting up with the rest of the group for scuba diving adventures! We’re renting a huge Air BnB house and it should be a blast. So excited for a little R&R!

I decided that in order to give myself a real break and not spend the whole trip buried in my laptop, I’m going to take these next 2 weeks off from the blog. I will really miss you guys, but look forward to coming back refreshed in September and resuming regularly scheduled programming. I’ll be popping back in tomorrow with a “farewell for now” post, so we don’t have to say goodbye yet, though. :)

For those who have been to Istanbul or Malta – any must-do recommendations for adventures or food? We’ll only have an afternoon/evening/morning in Istanbul on each end of the trip so we’re hoping to just hit a couple of the big sights there, but will be in Malta for quite awhile so recommendations are welcome! In Istanbul, we’re staying in Sultanahmet in the main touristy area. In Malta, with the big group for the diving portion of the trip we’ll be staying in Mellieha, and then a smaller group of us is heading down south to Sliema for a few days, too.


  1. 1

    Ohhhh that trip sounds amazing!! I cant wait to see all the pictures. I would love to travel like that, i’ve never been out of the country (except to Canada and Mexico, and islands in the Caribbean…) and I wish I could make it happen!

  2. 2

    Have a GREAT vacation!

  3. 3

    Yay for your ankle being better! Scrambled eggs avocado and spinach….always a winner, even more so with some bacon or smoked salmon :)

  4. 5

    Long time reader but I don’t post often! I just planned/went on a trip with 10 college friends to Istanbul and stayed in the Galata/Karakoy area. I’ve been twice now and would be happy to help with recommendations (sightseeing, public transportation, restaurants) via email if you are interested but didn’t want to spam your comments!

    One thing that I highly recommend: Cafe Privato for a traditional Turkish breakfast. You could combine that with Galata Tower/walking Istiklal Caddesi. You should also definitely get a doner or durum kebab. Durumzade in Beyoglu is my favorite but there are places everywhere.

    Have a great vacation!


    • 6

      Thank you, Megan! If we only have basically two evenings and two mornings in Istanbul, how should we fill them? :)

      • 7

        Since you are staying in Sultanhamet I would see Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia since they are across from each other (it’s like the National Mall). Basilica Cistern is also close and doesn’t take long. Depending on when you get in you could also fit in the Grand Bazaar (IMO you don’t need to spend much time there). Arasta Bazaar near the Blue Mosque is easier to navigate and is less of a hassle if you really want to shop. Also the best place for towels and robes is Jennifer’s hamaam.

        Topkapi Palace is another place to see but it takes a little longer.

        An awesome experience is to visit a rooftop for one of the afternoon calls to prayer. If you are around Blue Mosque you can go to the Orient Hostel to grab a beer and enjoy the viees. There is an app that tells you when the call to prayer takes place.

        I am not familiar with dinner locations there but you could walk up to the Galata bridge and get a fish sandwich or dinner one night.

        It is also very easy to get to Karakoy (described to me as the Brooklyn of Istanbul) I recommend Lokanta Maya.

        On your other end of your trip you could either do more of Sultanhamet or go into Galata and wander. Another cool neighborhood is Ortakoy it is awesome in the evening and there are lots of cafes and restaurants to pick from.

        Cabs are easy but you can also get a public transport card and load up enough to use the tram and tunel. Also very walkable.

        I could go on and on! It’s a great city.

  5. 8

    Enjoy that vacation, you deserve it! It sounds like it will be quite the experience, can’t wait to see pictures. I had a very similar breakfast this morning. Can’t go wrong with eggs and toast!

  6. 9

    Hi, I love your blog!!
    I have a recommendation for you for Istanbul. My best friend and I went on a food tour and cooking class with Olga who runs “Delicious Istanbul”. We absolutely loved it- my favourite ever food experience abroad. I think her website is You should look it up!
    Glad your ankle is better.
    Have fun on your hol!

  7. 11

    I just had microwave wilted spinach with my lunch! So easy and good. Wahhhhhh so sad about Andrew!! Can’t wait to hear about your trip!

  8. 12

    My husband and I went to Istanbul for our honeymoon last year! It is such an amazing city! If you can only do two things, definitely go to the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar (shopping area with amazing spices).

  9. 13

    Have so much fun on vacation! Good for you for taking the time off!

  10. 14

    Happy and safe travels! We will miss you, too!

  11. 15

    Hi Anne–We were in Istanbul last June and LOVED it! I agree with the person who recommended the Grand Bazaar and Blue Mosque if you only have time to do a couple of things. Also, we stayed in Sultanahmet as well and there was a great place for kebabs and other authentic food right across the street from our hotel–the Park Hyatt. I recommend grabbing dinner there if you want something in the neighborhood. There’s also a super hilly (!) park nearby where you can run but be careful because there are stray dogs wandering around who might try to follow you (the government takes care of them and they are friendly and have all their shots but we were still a little freaked). Have so much fun!

  12. 17

    Istanbul is so beautiful! You should have time to go to the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque and a quick stroll through the Grand Bazaar. The food is amazing too, try some apple tea and as much Turkish food as you can get! Istanbul has so much to see even if you just get to walk through the city you will see some beautiful sights.

  13. 19

    The trip sounds amazing! My husband and I keep talking about our first vacation once I am out of grad school. It seems distant, but it is fun to dream up. I can’t wait to see your photos!

  14. 20

    When in Istanbul I highly recommend going to the Grand Bazaar or Galata!

    I went there three years ago and those where my two favorite parts. I don’t know how much things have changed but here it goes!

    If you go to the Grand Bazaar, try to stray away from the first 5 or so rows of shops and start going deep into the bazaar where there are less knockoffs and stereotypical souvenirs(think of overpriced lamps and plates) and more traditional Turkish goods. I got this beautiful weekender bag there, it was a little pricey(about 250 USD) but I was able to sit down and have apple Turkish tea with the shopkeeper who explained how they made the beautiful design of the bag and crafted the leather. Three years and many trips later and it is still one of my favorite travel bags!

    Galata is also incredible. We went to the Galata Tower and then decided to take one of the roads that feed out of it(I looked on Google Maps and am 95% sure it was Siraselvider Cd) that leads into Taskim Square. If you walk some ways from the tower you should see a lot of alleyways open up, down some of there are some absolutely incredible, hole in the wall places with amazingly fresh seafood and some good, relatively cheap wine. There are also some really cool bars and pubs! It’s all a matter of exploring and realizing you’re bound to get just a little lost, it is like a maze in there.

    Enjoy your trip!

  15. 22

    Wow what a busy few days of early workouts :) when DO you sleep!? haha.
    And that sounds like an amazing vaca!

  16. 24

    great seeing you Wednesday night – loved that class and will definitely be back! Had no idea Andrew was leaving, wahhh!! Enjoy your vacation!

  17. 26

    wow, what an amazing sounding trip! Can’t wait to read all about it. Have fun!

  18. 27

    Sounds like you have an amazing trip planned! I was in Malta’s capital city Valletta for work last year and totally fell in love with all the truly unique old buildings and architecture and the views from the Grand Harbor and the Barrakka Gardens…

    Have a great time!

  19. 29

    I lived in Turkey for over 2 years and spent 8 months of that in Istanbul. If you have time, I would plan to visit Hagia Sofia, Sultanahmet/Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace on the first day, all in Sultanahmet. Make sure you pay the few extra lira for the Harem part of Topkapi Palace – it’s worth it! On the second day, try to visit the Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnici) in Sultanahmet – the underground cistern is one of the coolest places I’ve been anywhere, and definitely my favorite spot in Istanbul. You might recognize it from a Bond movie. Then, unless you’re planning some MAJOR shopping, I would skip the overwhelming Grand Bazaar and head instead to Eminonu (a few stops from the tram in Sultanahmet). In Eminonu, check out the smaller Spice/Egyptian Bazaar and definitely pop into Yeni Camii, my favorite mosque in Istanbul. Then, for dinner, hit up a fish and mezze restaurant under the Galata bridge or Hamdi Restaurant in the main Eminonu square for great and interesting kebabs (make sure you ask for the terrace/top floor, which has lovely views). Whichever you do, it’s nice to stroll the Galata Bridge after dinner. “Iyi yolculuklar” – good travels!

  20. 31

    Drinks at mikla (outdoor bar on top of the marmara hotel) followed by dinner at meze (bottom of the lemon tree hotel)- best food I’ve ever had. Easy to get to from sultanhamet – a few tram stops. Unbelievable views of the city at mikla and the best food I’ve ever had at meze! Romantic too.

  21. 33

    Have such a great time!!

  22. 34
    Roadrunner says

    Impressive week, Anne! Nothing easy about a 5:15 am wakeup call and subsequent speed work! Well done – and safe/enjoyable travels!

  23. 35

    Wow, that sounds like an amazing vacation! I hope it’s really relaxing for you!

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