Tucson Adventures + early Thanksgiving

Bball game

Hi from Tucson! It’s our last day here before heading back to SD, and it’s been an amazing long weekend with the fam. It was Kyle’s last weekend in Tucson before moving out to Massachusetts for his new job -I will definitely post the details of the new restaurant when I can!- and it was so much fun to hang out with him before the big move. Our weekend was full of the quintessential Tucson must-dos and must-eats, including an early Thanksgiving feast. Thanksgiving is Kyle’s favorite meal, and since he won’t be home for the holiday this year, madre made the full spread for his dinner celebration. Turkey, potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, kale and Brussels sprout salad, corn, green bean casserole, pie… aka it.was.everything.

Here is the beautiful platter of turkey, and Luna, wishing that it would fall onto her face.


(Bella and Luna are definitely related.)

Friday afternoon, after a wonderful lunch at the Little Poca Cosa,

Poca cosa

(tamale, rice, beans, salad and chicken soup)

we stopped at my nana Flores’ house to water her plants. I took a few pictures while I was there, and everything in her house looked, smelled, and felt almost exactly as it did before. While it felt so full of love and vibrant memories, there was an overwhelming emptiness. Half of me wanted to melt to the floor and cry, while the other half was ready to pull up a chair at the kitchen table. I could almost hear her voice telling me to eat another bean burrito before placing another one right in front of me. This table has seen a lot of love and laughter over the decades.

Nanas house2

Waving to the airplane outside nana’s house:

Nanas house3

and with my baby in front of the pine tree. There’s a picture of me on my nana’s fridge from when I was almost a year old, in front of the same tree. It had just been planted, and was about as tall as I was at the time. I’ve loved taking pictures of Liv in front of the same tree over the past couple of years.

At nanas house

Workout-wise, there’s not much to report. I got in a quick base gym workout on Friday (practiced Bodypump and did a little cardio), and took a Barre3 class with my friend Meara on Saturday. 


Since I teach barre classes a couple of times a week, I don’t usually squeeze them into my weekly workout routine. It’s always a fun treat to take a class! My friend Kate, the studio owner, taught the Saturday class, and she destroyed our legs in the best way possible. I also enjoy the mind-body element of Barre3; it’s a very unique format, and I always feel centered after class. 

W kate

 Of course, we had to have dinner at the Flying V on Kyle’s last night. The amaaaazing prickly pear jalapeño margarita:


and just one of the many dishes that we shared at the table. This was the appetizer platter Kyle put together for us: grilled lamb with cherry, seared Ahi tuna with roasted Brussels sprouts and chorizo, BBQ quail atop French toast, and mango ceviche with taro chips. 


I’m really proud of my little bro, and excited for Meg and Kyle’s next adventure. <3 

See ya in the morning!! 



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  1. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on November 10, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Even though I teach a lot of group fitness, I still take a lot of group fitness too because it’s fun to be in the participant’s position to learn a few new things. So I agree, and I love taking barre. Happy Monday!

  2. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on November 10, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Looks like you had a great trip. It makes me miss Tucson! I’ve never tried the Flying V.

  3. Britt@MyOwnBalance on November 10, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    I agree with you that the mind/body connection in barre3 is so unique to that format. I really like it too!

    That is so amazing that got have Thanksgiving with your bro before he leaves. What an awesome family thing to do!

  4. Crystal on November 10, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    It sounds like you have an amazing family Gina! Good luck to Kyle and Meg…and Thanksgiving is one of my favorite meals too 😀

  5. Rebecca@Runningfoodbaby on November 10, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    all that food looks amazing!!!!!

    Good luck to Kyle and Meg!

  6. RachelG on November 10, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    It looks like it was a great weekend. 🙂 We will be driving down to New Jersey to be with my parents for Thanksgiving but if Kyle and Meg want a home cooked family meal they’re more than welcome to travel down to the garden state. 🙂

  7. Alex @ get big, go to work on November 10, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Looks like such a great trip. I love those little memories we have growing up that we get to share with our significant other or kids. Have a safe trip home!

  8. Carrie (This Fit Chick) on November 10, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    that margarita sounds awesome!!!! wow so jealous of your trip- looks like a blast!

  9. Yaara Leve on November 10, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    I loved that you shared memories of your Nana. That is the sweetest! And that pic of your and Liv in front of “your tree” is precious! She is growing into such a pretty lady! It’s so nice you got to spend time with your fam! Congrats to your bro again–that’s such a an exciting new chapter in his life!

  10. Yaara Leve on November 10, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    PS: I took a zumba class tonight–and we did Bailando!! I totally thought of you. I loved it–but your choreography was better–just gotta say 🙂 I really liked it tonight though–the teacher incorporated a lot more salsa which I really enjoyed and it was more low impact–which I really appreciated. So many zumba teachers I’v had do a bit too much plyometrics–it’s nice to have a break sometimes and just dance.

    • Fitnessista on November 11, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      aww so fun! still one of my faves 🙂

  11. Julianna on November 10, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    We went to Tucson in may and this makes me want to go back so bad! We had lunch at little poca cosa and it was heaven.

    • Fitnessista on November 11, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      ahhhh so so good

  12. Jess on November 10, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    What an amazing time it sounds like you have had. So cool you could get pictures of Livi by same pine tree. Livi looks really tall for her age! And really cute! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on November 11, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      thank you! she is TALL: 95th percentile for height 🙂

  13. Laura B @ FitMamaLove on November 10, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    That appetizer plate sounds amazing! Looks like a fun time with your family and sweet that you got a picture out front by the tree with you and Livi.

  14. Lucie@FitSwissChick on November 11, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Good luck to your bro!
    I feel you on missing your nana. Both my grandparents passed away recently and I miss them so much.

    All the food looks amazing!

  15. Courtney Violet Bentley on November 11, 2014 at 5:00 am

    So cute that you can bring your little girl back to where you have photos! Love Barre classes they are so fun! All my love xo C

  16. Christa @ Living Unablanced on November 11, 2014 at 5:21 am

    This makes me so very excited for thanksgiving!!!!

  17. kristin @ W [H] A T C H on November 11, 2014 at 6:28 am

    looks like such a good time with family!

  18. Tracy @ sprinklesandsquats on November 11, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Mmm… this post just made me hungry for all sorts of foods! Your brother looks like an amazing chef! Congrats to him and his new job!

  19. Gina on November 11, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Hi Gina! What a nice post – it sounds like you had a really nice family weekend – AND! it appears that you have a new look??? Did you cut your hair! It looks great ! OX Gina (from Massachusetts)

    • Fitnessista on November 11, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      thank you, name twin! just got a little trim 🙂

  20. Sagan on November 11, 2014 at 11:18 am

    That picture of you two in front of the tree <3

    Barre looks like so much fun!

  21. Melissa on November 11, 2014 at 11:30 am

    I love the pic of your grandmothers home! my grandmother is not living in her home anymore- she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and is in an assisted living home. but I know I would feel the same if I went the house where so many childhood memories of huge Italian dinners, smell of espresso, wine, lasagna , lots of family and a lot of laughter abide. My prayers are with you throughout the holiday season. I love the way you honored her in this post!
    On another note, let me thank you for your recommendations on face wash a few weeks back. I have yet another question, lol! Sorry. Can you tell me what kind of shampoo you use? and /or products? I am trying to grow my hair out but Im noticing lots of split ends and dryness. How often do you long hair trimmed? thanks , Gina. Always blessed to read your blog! So inspiring and refreshing!

    • Fitnessista on November 11, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      yes, that feeling will always be there <3
      i switch up my shampoo every so often to keep it fresh. i tend to rotate between nexxus and pureology the most often. i always use moroccan oil when it's wet, too. that makes a HUGE difference! i get my hair trimmed about every 6 weeks but should do it more often. hope this helps a little! thank you so much, melissa and thanks for being here 🙂 xoxo

  22. Rhiannon @ Bound to be a Buckeye on November 11, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    I love the pic of you girls in front of the pine tree. My grandpa hasn’t changed a thing about the house since my grandma passed away almost nine years ago. Sometimes I still expect her to walk around the corner. We never stop missing them 🙂

    • Fitnessista on November 11, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      so so true. <3

  23. Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine on November 11, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Yay for early Thanksgiving! It’s such an amazing meal, everyone should have it twice. I’m thinking I’m going to do it twice this year with two different sets of friends.

    I’m excited to be back in the States in December and get to go to Barre classes! I love my yoga and pilates here, but I miss the variety of classes we have in the States.

    • Fitnessista on November 11, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      i totally agree. the more thanksgivings, the better 😉

  24. Sarah on November 11, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Thank you for sharing those intimate thoughts and photos about your grandmother with us. I lost my grandfather two months ago and resonated with everything you said. Your words made me tear up, in a good way. When he passed away, I had a one month old and a 21 month old and had just moved. I left my girls for 36 hours to go to the funeral and had to compartmentalize my grief to keep going. Your post reminds me that I still need to unpack some of that and think about it from time to time. Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on November 11, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      so sorry to hear about your loss 🙁 with liv, i didn’t give myself the chance to really grieve because i didn’t want to freak her out. now, i find that just talking about my nana and taking time to remember her helps a lot <3 sending love to you. xo

  25. Ali on November 11, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    It looks like you had a great time! Congrats to your little brother too 🙂 But the most important thing – Livi is seriously the CUTEST little thing ever! <3

    • Fitnessista on November 11, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      thank you!! <3

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