30 girls + healthy food + intense workouts + 2Pac + wine + an inflatable swan = the weekend of a lifetime.  

I've had the pleasure of being able to attend last year's Tone It Up Retreat, but this year, it wasn't in the cards for me financially. I was so bummed until a few girls decided to plan a weekend getaway just for us Bay Area ladies.  For those of you who live here, you know that the term "Bay Area" encompasses a vast number of cities and counties.  I've connected with a lot of TIU Bay Area girls on Instagram, but haven't made time to actually hang out with most of them.  This weekend gave us the chance to form friendships that go beyond social media. It was so fun to listen to others' stories, laugh until my stomach hurt, and dance the night away with 29 other like-minded women.

A beautiful setting among the mountains of Marin

A beautiful setting among the mountains of Marin

Starting our day with a shot of Bombshell-D...a.k.a an apple cider vinegar concoction that's way easier to down when it's served in a cute miniature mason jar

Starting our day with a shot of Bombshell-D...a.k.a an apple cider vinegar concoction that's way easier to down when it's served in a cute miniature mason jar

We started our first morning off with a Bootycall (that's code for a morning workout!) led by Lauren!

We started our first morning off with a Bootycall (that's code for a morning workout!) led by Lauren!

This gorgeous work of art was painted by Ama - my talented TIU sister!

This gorgeous work of art was painted by Ama - my talented TIU sister!

A tofu scramble breakfast made by Kara.  All of the food was AMAZING thanks to our getaway sponsors and Costco!

A tofu scramble breakfast made by Kara.  All of the food was AMAZING thanks to our getaway sponsors and Costco!

Chillin' by the chilly pool

Chillin' by the chilly pool

Leila, our guest yoga instructor, led us in a 90 (!) minute yoga session. It was incredible! We started with chanting, which was really hard for me to get into at first.  I am a Christian, and I wasn't sure what she was saying and what it meant, so I just listened.  But I appreciated her sincerity.  I understand the way people practice yoga can be very different.  So for me, when I practiced yoga that day, I focused on God, having a grateful heart, and being in tune with my beautiful surroundings.  At one point, during the savasana, we looked up and just awed at the hawks circling overhead; how breathtaking it all was!  

That night, we dressed up, but stayed in! It was so fun dancing the night away with these beauties!

We spent the majority of our trip in sweaty workout clothes, so it was time to get dolled up! We dressed up in coral and teal and danced the night away to N*Sync, the Biebs, Mariah, Queen Bey, and E-40. Yeah. It was amazing.

Surprisingly, we got up for another Bootycall the next day: a 5K hike/jog! I opted for the hiking group (no surprise there).  Our 5K shirts were sponsored by Charity Miles, so we all made sure to log in those miles for our charity of choice! 

After that, we packed up and said our good byes.  It was so hard to say good bye (cue Boyz II Men), but knowing that we're all a BART ride or $6 bridge-toll fee away made it easier.  :) In fact, I get to see my #TIUBayBaes again this weekend...and the week after that. Whoa, how amazing is that?!

The #TIUBayBaes 

The #TIUBayBaes 

These women. Gosh, what can I say. I'm so glad I decided to go on this trip so that I could meet all of these beautiful ladies. We're all so vastly different, but we all connected so well because of our common goal of being our healthiest selves.  I couldn't help but leave feeling incredibly blessed and fulfilled.

Thank you so much to Raisa, Lauren, and Kara for putting together this trip for us.  All of your hard work resulted in something truly meaningful.  We are all so grateful for you!