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…