Hotel Workout: Abs & Arms

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I used to hate resistance bands. Honstly I did. They were either too loose or too tight, the handles hurt or slipped out of my hand. I just didn’t feel like I got a good workout using them. That is until I got a new band in a class I was taken! Since then, for the last 6 years I have only use Ripcords® Fitness Exercise bands! You can easily get in a great quick workout at home or anywhere you travel!

Why do I love Ripcords so much?

Because of “The Ripcords Advantage”…

Quality: All Ripcords® products are manufactured using the highest quality rubber and latex available. They are the strongest on the market with resistance levels of 3-62 lbs too! You can find the perfect resistance, not too little or too much. And once you get stronger its easy to go up in resistance or steep down for a little brake. I even switch resistance depending on what type of exercise I am doing for max results!

Warranty: Due to the high quality manufacturing materials, Ripcords® offers a lifetime replacement warranty which sets them apart from any other brand of resistance bands. LifeTime??!! Um ok no problem! Who else has that?

The Handles!!: Each Ripcord comes with its own durable handles – no need to clip and unclip between exercises.

Once you start using them you will never go back to any other brand!

Where in the U.S. are the Rit-Fit’s: Mall of America, Minnesota

July 12th

Change of Plans! We checked out of the hotel in Rapid City a day early so we could do Mall of America. We were planing on hitting up the Mall of America on our way out of Minnesota, but our good friends, and Kai’s God parents, whom we were going to stay with invited us to join them at their family’s cabin. Since it was further north, and we wanted to maximize our time with them we decided to go there first!

It was the first time for Keanu to go to the MOA and the first time Kai remembers being there. We had a great time but I was bummed we couldn’t ride the Pepsi Roller Coaster! Not sure if they changed the height requirement but I remember taking Keao on it when we visited and she was 5! Kai is 6, almost 7. Despite that, we had a great time and we were surprised how much had changed since we had been there 6 years ago!

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We ended up walking the entire mall! The boys were sure tired! lol
We stayed right at the Radisson Blue Hotel, which is connected to the Mall! It was great to be able to just walk back to our room when we were done and to do some last minute shopping and walking around before we continued on further north.

We did some shopping while we were there too! My all time favorite workout clothes, Athleta had a supper great sale going on so I was so excited! I found a supper cute winter vest for 60% off!

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You can find some great buys on their website! Free shipping on orders over $50 too!

We found the boys some cute slip on Vans for the boys for like $12! Score! Keanu’s glow in the dark and Kai’s can color his in.

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Update:8/15…I Tried to save Kai’s shoes! Keao decided she would “help” her brother color in his new Vans I got him for school. She came out frustrated the markers were bleeding and it wasn’t working. I calmly😁😁 took them and got to work! Tried to do an ombré ocean to lighten them up. We’re going to say the other sharks are the evil dark ones hiding in the deep blue!

Where in the U.S. are the Rit-Fit’s: Mt. Rushmore & Rapid City

July 10-11th

We left The Grand Canyon on Thursday July 9 and drove to Grand Junction, CO and stayed overnight. It was a long drive but so beautiful!

We arrived in Grand Junction on Friday July 10 in the early evening and got settled into our hotel room. We went to have dinner downtown and found out that Mt. Rushmore was open at night and had a lighting ceremony. We found out the ceremony was a bit latter then we had figured, they had a talk and video first, which we didn’t think the boys would be up for. So we took the long walking path around, The Presidential Trail (0.6 miles long, 422 stairs) which was perfect to help wear them out from being in the car all day!

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When we were done we had to get some Thomas Jefferson Ice Cream!

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We stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, in Rapid City. I booked most of my hotel rooms through Expedia because they have a no cancellation fee policy, I found this great hotel on their sight when I was searching the area! They had a water park attached to the hotel! I specifically book this so we could take the boys, we had two long car days before we got there and were going to do one more before we got to MN to visit family so I wanted them to have some fun!

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I was so surprised I didn’t get any photos of Keanu, but he didn’t stay still long enough for me to snap any of him! lol! He loved the BIG water slides and wore me and Mark out going up the 3 flights of stairs to “go again please, go again!” people in line were surprised at how little he was! He even go to go on the big yellow slide him self, Mark would take him up and I would wait in the pool at the bottom to help him out.

On our way out of the Grand Canyon on Friday I realized they had the Jr Ranger program there too! The boys were so excited! So we went back Saturday afternoon when we were done at the water park. We finished walking through the exhibit downstairs and the boys had to answer questions to earn their badge!

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They begged me for the Ranger vest, Kai had gotten a hat in the Grand Canyon but he really wanted the vest. I told them I would get them but they would need to use it as their Halloween Costume this year. I got some very excited “Yes! Yes! we will Mommy!” out of them!

Where in the U.S. are the Rit-Fit’s: Hoover Dam & Grand Canyon

July 7th-8th.
After we left San Diego we headed North East towards the Grand Canyon for a two night stay. But first, one of my Bucket List stops for this road trip was the Hoover Dam! It is so much bigger then I had expected, and I was so surprised by how low the water levels were. The drought is a serious issue! In the photos the White line on the rock walls should be under the water!

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We didn’t do any tours, I hopped out to snap a few photos but it was way to hot (103!) to be doing that too long! Just driving by was good enough for me!

We continued onto the Grand Canyon and we were blown away by how much wild life was right on the side of the road! We saw dear, elk and bunnies!

We got checked in and walked down to the lookout at sunset. It was absolutely one of the most amazing places I have seen! My husband and I were blown away by the beauty of the area and can’t wait to go back and explore more! The boys were so cute, Kai was scared he was going to fall off the edge and Keanu wanted to jump! Yikes! We held his hand pretty tight! We had a nice dinner at one of the restaurants at the Bright Angel Lodge and headed back to our cabin in the dark! Thank goodness for iphone flash lights!

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The next morning we went down to pick up the kids Discovery Packs from the Park Ranger. They were each given a booklet to complete, a bag full of guides and tools to help them explore. I can’t not tell you how great that was to have! It gave us as parents things to ask the kids about and got them extra excited to go explore and look for things! To top it off they became Jr Ranger’s for completing the booklets and received a Jr Ranger Badge. They had a small crowd gather to watch them receive their badges, They were both so proud!

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We did about 1.5 miles of the Bright Angel trail, we wanted to do part of it so both boys walked the entire way, which they did so me and Mark were both happy! My 2xU compression have been a life saver this summer for me! I’m about 6 months post op and still need to wear compression during the day, those hot medical grade ones are no fun! I am so thankful these do the job and keep me cool, otherwise this trip would not of been possible otherwise! Plus, they are super cute! I pared them with the Sketchers Go Walk shoes in pink to add a pop of color! After we got there I was worried about them having enough support for walking on the trail but they were so comfy and they wick moisture away so they were not hot either! Kai had only asked for one thing- a back pack to go hiking with! Luckily we found a nice light day pack perfect for his size! Its a Jansport Snider 15.

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Later after lunch we hopped on the shuttle bus and took it to the end and back, we just stayed on since the round trip is a total of 90 mins without getting off and Keanu passed out on my lap! We tired him out that morning! He had a nice little nap and was up and awake for dinner which was so good! Especially the desert! The kids had Smore’s Cake and I had a flour less cake. Our waiter told us the staff live right there in the Grand Canyon and the kids have their own school too! How cool is that!

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Kai finally lost one of his wiggley front teeth! He was so excited and hopeful the Grand Canyon Tooth Fairy would come! She sure didn’t disappoint him with a $5 bill!… I told him inflation was higher in the Grand Canyon so he got lucky! But I sent her a nice email letting her know she should carry ones and not $5 bills! 😉 wink!
When I jumped in bed that night I looked at my Fitbit , it clocked us at: 21,529 steps, 8.67 miles, 59 flights of stairs. I think that is pretty impressive since the boys ( 6.5 & almost 4) both walked all day!! They did sleep good!

Where in the U.S. are the Rit-Fits: San Diego, CA

June 30th-July 6th

We will be moving out here in May of 2016 so we figured we could do a bit of house hunting in the area while we visited with our good friends, and Keanu’s God Parents the Veloze’s.

Keao was heading out to Hawaii to visit some family on July 3rd and she was able to fly out with their oldest daughter, who was heading to college at UH, which made letting her go so much easier!

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Kai and their youngest daughter Lili are the same age and grew up together in Hawaii. When we left he had just turned 3 and they have been keeping in touch by sending drawings, cards and now that they can write, actual letters! It’s been so cute to see him so excited to get mail and to send her something! I have them all saved too! The last few months before we left they had started Face Timing each other too! They are like two peas in the pod, they can talk for hours! They were perfectly content playing at the house, but we got them out for some fun as well! We would take walks to the park and we visited the Living Coast Discovery Center, had breakfast at Jamba Juice every morning and hit up a dinner for some 50’s fun! Kai was such a gentleman holding the door for Lili, letting her order first and making sure she had fist dips on crayons! Ladies first he would say! So cute and a proud Mama moment too!

Where in the U.S. are the Rit-Fits: Lafayette, LA

July 28th

Our next stop was Lafayette, LA to see my husbands cousin Jen and her two kids. The first thing I asked him is if there were Vamps around, he looked at me sideways and I reminded him that in True Blood Lafayette was one of the towns it took place in. Luckily there was a Bon Temps Grill, so we had to eat there! It was a great lunch at a local restaurant and for dinner Jen made an amazing dish! I’m still drooling!

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After lunch we went to a nature area with walking trails, lots of gators, and a large Budda! We also hit up the Tabasco tour and gift shop which was on the same property. You have to try the Raspberry Tabasco ice cream!

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Where in the U.S. are the Rit-Fits: Travel tips

A few handy tips when traveling!

If you have spent any time in hotel rooms you know there are never enough power outlets! With all of our phones and ipads I knew this would be a problem! So I made an electronic basket with a power strip and all our cords. I labeled each cord with each kids name and my phone number, so if it was lost, it could get returned and then I knew which kid to yell at! lol Honestly this worked out great and we never lost a cord because they always stayed in the basket! I had the kids carry it to the car and keep it on the seat, when we stopped for the night they would put all the ipad and head phones back into basket and carry into hotel.

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My two boys are 6 and almost 4 and have a hard time reaching the sink. I hate having to lift them up in restrooms so I knew we needed a stool for a 1.5 month long road trip! I found this great folding stool! It light weight, super sturdy and fit into our bathroom bag easily!

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If you know me, you know I love my Young Living Essential Oils and I don’t leave home with out them! Normally I keep a small car diffuser plugged in, but for our longer drive I decided to bring the USB egg diffuser. Its spill prof, fits in a cup holder has a better output and last longer!

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Where in the U.S. are the Rit-Fits: Biloxi, MS

June 26th-27th
I was so excited to see our friends the Coghlins! Me and Erin met on a park bench in Hawaii one afternoon back in 2008. We were both pregnant and had just moved into the neighborhood with in a few weeks of each other. We became fast friends, our kids got along great and both our husbands hit it off! It was a sad day when they left and moved to Florida. Fortunately as great friends do, when you pick right back up where you left off, we had an amazing day, 6 years seams like a blink of an eye … Just with taller kids and more little ones too!

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Where in the U.S. are the Rit-Fits: Jacksonville

June 25th
Our first stop after leaving Charleston is Jacksonville, FL to see our good friends The Chaves’s.

We were able to have an Amazing dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Cantina Laredo. The food was so good, but the company was better!

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We checked into the Aloft for the night which is my daughters favorite hotel ever, so she was supper excited!

After getting settled in the room we hit up the gym as a family!

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Where in the US are the Rit-Fits?

This summer has been full of changes as we get ready to depart Charleston on a month long road trip across the US and back. Its been a life long dream of mine to do this trip, stopping at National Parks and sights along the way. My dream included living out of a RV, but unfortunately I couldn’t talk the hubby into that… at least not yet! Some people think we are crazy taking 3 kids on the road for that long, others wish they could do it too, so its been interesting to hear what others would or wouldn’t do. My brain and body were programed for travel and to explore so its a no brainier for me!

Where to go and what to see?

Our final destination on the opposite side of the US is San Diego, CA. We will be moving there in May 2016 so house hunting is our excuse for this trip. We have been blessed that my husbands job has allowed us to move frequently and we have met some amazing people along the way. Being so far from family, your friends become that to you. You spend countless weekends together, Holidays, Birthdays and you help celebrate and welcome new children into yours/their families. Two of our great friends, both whom we met in Hawaii are along our southern drive across. I’m so excited to see both of these families and see how much the kids have grown! We are planing on visiting more friends, our families, Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore, along with a stop in IN for a 2 day training for me, then we will get our country on in Nashville, before we hit up Atlanta on our way back to Charleston!

Here is our road trip plan:

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Follow our road trip on Instagram with the hashtag #whereintheusaretheritfits

…. and comeback for tips on traveling with kids, packing light for a month and all the amazing places we will be visiting!