Leading up to Memorial Day, Ryan Seacrest enjoyed his time off by taking a hike around the mountains in southern California. The beloved TV star opened up about his “nice weekend” celebrating the holiday when he returned to Live! With Kelly and Ryan on Tuesday, May, 26 — just one day after he took time off from the show.

“I finally got outside a little bit and went for a hike,” the 45-year-old marveled to cohost Kelly Ripa. As he recalled his outing in quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic, Ryan explained why he was donning protective face gear in an Instagram photo of him outside on the trails.

“Some people said, ‘Why are you wearing a mask?’ We have to,” he dished. “In L.A. county, we have to wear masks outside … even if we’re hiking, jogging or whatever.”

The American Idol host told Kelly, 49, that sporting face masks limits the “smile contact” you share with others. Ryan said he realized he “was smiling behind” his mask during his hike, but it was bittersweet because he “couldn’t tell if [others] were smiling back.”

“In some places where it was narrow, you’ll have to stop and wait for families to pass by,” the “On Air With Ryan Seacrest” star noted. “What I really miss is the smile that you give and get when you pass somebody. It seems they’re not smiling back [because of the mask] … but maybe they are smiling.”

Ryan appeared to be in happy and healthy spirits as he gushed over his Memorial Day weekend adventure. This is good news because he initially gave fans a health scare when he skipped Live! for the first time this month on May 18, one day after he hosted the season finale of American Idol.

Ryan Seacrest

Shortly after fans noticed his absence from the morning show, his rep assured he was doing just fine. “Like many people right now, Ryan is adjusting to the new normal and finding work-home balance, with the added stress of having to put on live shows from home,” a spokesperson told People at that time.

“Between Live! With Kelly and Ryan, American Idol, ‘On Air with Ryan Seacrest,’ and the Disney Family Singalong specials, he has been juggling three to four on-air jobs over the last few weeks and he’s in need of rest,” the rep added. “So today he took a well-deserved day off.”

Ryan even offered an explanation as he returned to the long-running talk show on May 19. “I’m doing well, thank you. I want to thank Mark [Consuelos] for filling in yesterday,” he said. “He’s so good at it! Also, all the very kind well-wishes for my exhaustion, working around the clock.”

As much as we miss Ryan when he’s off, we hope he takes all the time he needs!

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