1800 Miles Later

Ah, home again. It felt good to sleep in my own bed last night…and felt odd this morning having to make it up myself. After two weeks of hotels, I got a little spoiled.

The trip was great! I met new friends, visited old friends, and worked in some quality pondering time while driving. A perfect combination!

Re-entry will be bittersweet–difficult, but welcome. I enjoyed the break, but I’m looking forward to regaining my routine. I made a “no-chain” rule for selecting restaurants during the latter 2/3 of my trip, and while I had fun trying new (and mostly local) restaurants, I began to yearn for a simple turkey-on-wheat or ‘big salad’ or non-mayonnaise-y tuna salad.

Desserts were plentiful on this trip, which was unusual for me. I didn’t even eat dessert much 100 pounds ago, but on this trip, I did. And they were gooood.

I think this is the point where I’m supposed to be filled with regret and recrimination, but I’m without either. I ate mindfully and for the most part, healthily. I kept my nutritional goals in mind, with regard to fruits and veggies, lean meats, whole grains, and went from there. This was a bit problematic (but enjoyable) on the weekend with friends, but I bounced back on Sunday and regained my focus.

Two unsolicited, unsponsored shout-outs:
1) McDonald’s – A company that gets a bad rap and deserves a lot of it (IMO), but they have clean bathrooms, well-lit parking lots, and apple dippers. I limited most of my on-the-road snacks to almonds or bananas, but McD’s also has tasty chocolate chip cookies. I know this because I had two. One in Illinois and one in Indiana. The clerks tried to push the 3/$1 special on me, but I know me too well. One cookie was all I needed or wanted. Then it was back to the almond bag. :) (Oddly enough, I was never tempted by the brownie melt.)

2) Best Western – I can’t believe I wasted so much money over the years staying at the pricier “business-class” hotels. I stayed in three Best Westerns in three states, and they were all fantastic. Good prices (usually 1/2 of what a Hampton, Holiday Inn, or Courtyard charged), helpful staff, clean rooms, great internet connections, decent workout rooms, and HGTV. A girl traveling solo couldn’t ask for more. Two of them even had “forced fitness” by not having elevators. :) They could use some improvements with their free breakfast (biscuits w/gravy? c’mon!), but other than that, I highly recommend them as a frugal travel option.

I learned a lot from this trip about how to manage my October trip to the western U.S. I’ll pack more efficiently, for one thing, and I’ll also develop a better non-gym strength workout habit. I’ve worked out at home many times before, but I don’t have it “habit-ized” as part of my daily schedule. That change starts TODAY. For August, I’m going to work out at least once a week at home, and then build on that throughout September.

With that, I think I’m caught up. I’ve been to the grocery store and reloaded the pantry and fridge with fresh, good-for-me foods, and in a few moments, I’ll lace up the walking shoes and get out for an hour or so. Life, as normal. Ahhh…