Road Trip and Hotel Fitness Centers

Holiday break is over and back to our old routine.  My 5 year old returned to school today and husband is back at work.  Surely, my toddler is happy to have Mama all to herself for part of the day.  And it feels good to sleep in our own beds after 9 days of being away from home.

A couple of months ago, we received an invitation from our friends to visit them in Colorado.  It’s been 3 years since my husband and I went snowboarding and our toddler has never played in snow so the perfect opportunity was for us to take a road trip during the holiday break.  Our girls, a 12 yr old dog, my husband and I in our SUV with approximately 16 hrs of travel time (plus a couple of hours more to include potty/fuel/lunch stops) – not exactly a pretty picture but with all the luggage we have, it was easier more practical to drive than fly.

9 days without any type of exercise  would probably drive me insane so I knew it had to be a part of my schedule during this trip. Fortunately, most of the hotels that were dog friendly also had a fitness center and reasonably priced.  Our first overnight stay was at a Comfort Inn in Cedar City.  We arrived late afternoon and after we were all settled in,  I checked out the fitness center.  To my dismay, the hotel was in the middle of an upgrade as they had boxes of new equipment unopened.




An elliptical and a 25 lb dumbbell was all I had to work with, but it was enough to complete a full-body workout – a HIIT on the elliptical followed by a few hybrid-type exercises with the dumbbell (squat to press, lunge and rotate, renegade rows) + bodyweight exercises (push-ups, burpees, mountain climbers).



The following day, the girls peeked out the window to be greeted by snowflakes.  First sight of snowfall was their excitement for the day as we still had a long road ahead of us before our arrival in Colorado.


We spent 4.5 days in Colorado with a day of snowboarding at Winter Park Resort.  Our friends had a condo in Fraser where we stayed for a few days.   It had a spacious well-equipped fitness center.  I braved the cold (30 deg at 5400ft altitude in Arvada) on New Year’s Day when I ran 5 miles.  However, Fraser at 8500ft and much much colder with snow/ice on the ground, I settled for a treadmill run where it was warm and comfortable.

My view from the treadmill.  BRRRR, looks cold out there.

We all had a blast on the mountain.  The girls spent an afternoon on the bunny slopes, skis on their feet for the first time.  My 5 year old did a really good job, but we couldn’t convince her to take lessons the next day.  Our toddler was a bit unsure but seemed to enjoy it nevertheless.

I was a little anxious to go snowboarding as it’s been a few years.  I guess it’s like riding a bike – once you learn how to balance and pedal, it’s a skill that can be re-learned quickly with practice.  The beauty of snowboarding is I can control the speed and I will admit I was slow and too careful.  Guess I didn’t want to cause an injury that would prevent me from running.  The only pain I experienced was soreness in my legs that felt better by the next day.

Our trip back, we decided to divide our trip into three days with a stop to Moab, UT to view the arches at Arches National Park.  It was only a 5 hour drive from Fraser, a much more tolerant drive than the 8-10hrs we did.  I loved the changes in landscape from the towering snow-covered mountains in Colorado to the magnificent red rock formations in Utah.

Arches National Park


We stayed at a La Quinta  in Moab.  Out of all the hotels we stayed, this one had the best fitness center with plenty of equipment to choose from.  3 miles on the treadmill and a quick full-body workout before dinner.  I’m certainly lucky to have a supportive husband and kids who gave me some free time to get it done.

Fitness Center

After Moab was another 5 hour drive to St. George with a detour to Canyonlands National Park.  Unfortunately the weather prevented us from continuing on with our drive as the visibility was only a few miles and we figured it wouldn’t be worthwhile.

Last night in a hotel room – the Days Inn.  It had a very small fitness center with a treadmill, an elliptical and a recumbent bike, as well as a pulldown machine.  It was late around 7:30pm before I had the chance to run.  I expected to be alone but actually had to share the gym with two other people.  I had to start on the elliptical first as the treadmill was occupied.  The cool thing about the treadmill was it’s IFIT feature with workouts at specific places you can view on the screen.  One was a 5 mile course along the Monterey Coastal trail.  I lived in Monterey for a few years and ran the trail many times so it was awesome to see the familiar views.

Screen a little hard to see…

On the 9th day, we were HOME SWEET HOME.  The drive from St. George to San Diego was the longest but we treated ourselves by stopping at the Wicked Spoon brunch buffet in Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas.  Definitely worth the stop!  The girls liked all the glitz and glamour.  This entire trip was definitely a feast for their eyes – many interesting sights.

7 of the 9 days, I successfully managed to include some type of workout by making it a priority.   Without the support of my family, it would have been a more difficult task.  And I made sure I did my workouts within a reasonable timeframe  that didn’t interfere with our overall schedule.

What’s the longest drive have you done?  Do you specifically pick a hotel with a fitness center when you travel?