A recap of my amazing trip to Baltimore, MD and Expo East conference!
It’s been over a month since I visited Baltimore, but it was so fun I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tell you guys about it! Growing up outside Philly, I am pretty familiar with the area. You just jump on 95 and are there in about 2 hours. But I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I went to Baltimore. I’m thinking it was in elementary school to see the Baltimore Aquarium. Or was that middle school? It was that long ago.
When I found out Expo East was in Baltimore this year and a few of my blogger friends were going, I knew I had to make it work. And I’m so glad I did! Not only was it fun meeting some of my online friends Allie, Leslie, and Dana in real life, the city was so much fun. Let’s break it down by where we stayed, what we ate, how we moved our bodies, and what we did!
Where to Stay
We stayed at the The Kimpton Monaco Baltimore and it was perfect. It was right downtown and only a few blocks away from the convention center, which was where Expo East was held.
The rooms were ginormous, the hotel was beautiful, and everyone at the hotel was so nice and friendly. It made the stay that much more enjoyable.
What to Eat
What’s a trip with a bunch of foodies without some rad food? Well the Baltimore food scene did not disappoint!
We started the trip with a visit to Encantada – a fun spot inside the American Visionary Art Museum focusing on sustainable international eats. The restaurant had a beautiful bar, gorgeous tables, and was decorated with some really fun artwork.
We decided to share a bunch of things and everything we tried as delicious. My favorite was BLT toast and the brussel sprouts. I haven’t had a toast that good in a long time! Thank you Encantada for hosting us!
That night we hit up Whole Foods. So predictable for a bunch of heathy foodies, but it was just what we needed after a good workout (more on that below). Can’t go wrong with the salad bar, kombucha, and some Siete chips right?
The next morning after a fun spin class, The Kimpton Hotel Monaco was nice enough to send us some room service. I think this was the first time I have ever had room service and it definitely won’t be the last. We all filled up on eggs, veggies, and some fruit before heading to the conference.
The day was full of lots of snacks, but we still left room for dinner. Cosima was kind enough to host us and it was my favorite experience and meal of the trip. The are located in the historic mill district and highlight the fresh Mediterranean cuisine and wines of Sicily and southern Italy. The have a wonderful space with outdoor seating and an awesome patio – it feels like you aren’t even in the city anymore.
Chef Donna personally prepared a menu for us, catering to some of our dietary needs, and it was absolutely outstanding. You can tell how much passion she has and how much love she puts into her food. We personally got to meet her and she was the cutest too!
Everything we had there was nothing short of amazing, but some of my favorites were the roasted cauliflower with salsa verde, the pizza special of the night, whole grilled bronzino, and Sfinci (sicilian donuts cinnamon sugar) – to die for. Again, highly recommend if you are in Baltimore.
The final evening we kept it low key and ate dinner at the restaurant inside or hotel – B & O American Brasserie, who were kind enough to host for dinner. It was packed for happy hour so you could tell it is a pretty popular spot with the locals.
We enjoyed fresh salads and I had a plate of rainbow trout that hit the spot after a long day. It was so nice to enjoy a delicious meal and then just take the elevator up to our room after a long day.
Where to Workout
This trip was a little different in that the people I was with all like to workout. Usually I am the only one on vacation that tries to get in some kind of sweat. We were able to try out a few local studios in Baltimore, all offering different kinds of workouts.
Wednesday – Peak Performance – a 55 min HIIT class that incorporates cardio and strength training. I love classes like these and it was a lot of fun! We also wore heart rate monitors in the class and while I don’t think mine was very accurate, it was still cool to see your name on the screen.
Thursday – REV Cycle Studio – pretty much your standard cycling class (no rhythmic cycling or weights). This class was so awesome – the energy was amazing, the instructor (Sean) was great, and the jams were on point. I highly recommend checking it out!
Friday – Charm City Integrative Health
Oh man, I can’t say enough positive things about this place. Tom, the owner, was kind enough to open up the studio for us and let us try a couple different things. This was the first time I ever tried anything like this. I was super excited and nervous at the same time. Tom was extremely knowledgable about everything we asked and made us feel at home.
First we tried out cryotherapy. I was super nervous for this because I don’t like the cold, but it wasn’t that bad. I think I went to -184 F, but only for 3 minutes. From doing CrossFit, I know 3 minutes is a long time. But it was only really bad the last 30 seconds. I didn’t see any immediate benefits, but I think if you did it every week or 2, it would help tremendously. And I have no idea what my facial expression is ha.
Next was cupping, which was my absolute favorite! I was experiencing a lot of digestive issues from eating a bunch of random shit at expo (you can tell with how dark the circles were in my middle back) and within 10 mins after it was done I was already feeling better. It was kinda crazy and I usually don’t buy into these kinds of things, but I’m officially a believer.
And no, it didn’t hurt, it honestly felt good. It was just like a little suction cup on your back. I am hoping to continue this in Austin every so often.
What a crazy conference! It is pretty much a bunch of health and wellness brands/companies promoting themselves – some trying to gain more exposure and business, while others are just trying to get discovered. Brands ranged from supplements, beef jerk, yogurt, protein bars, beauty products, and more.
It was a lot of fun getting to know some of the brands you use on the regular and also people you chat with on social media. I was never a huge fan of social media, but having a blog, you kind of need to be. Well it’s crazy to say, but I have made some great friends though IG and it was awesome to actually meet them in real life!
The expo was a lot of fun, but man was it eating a lot of stuff you don’t normally eat (in excess). I tried to be good, but it’s hard when there are so many samples around you. I actually ate something a little weird that didn’t agree with my stomach. So the second day of expo wasn’t that fun for me, but I learned my lesson haha.
Overall, it was an amazing few days and I definitely want to go back to Baltimore and explore more!