Friday, September 11, 2009

Trials and Tribulations of Traveling

So I've been missing for over a week, largely due to the fact that I've been dogsitting in someone else's home, and not near my blog. I dogsat a yellow lab named Cody in his home for 10 days. 10 days in a house with a gourmet kitchen, to make all those dishes from Food Network that I've been dying to make, and I didn't make a thing except macaroni and cheese. I was too afraid to use the 6-burner stainless steel stove... what if I broke it? I can't owe someone a new stove! Plus, upon rummaging thru the kitchen, I didn't find any cookware that I could realistically use to make any of the dishes in my recipe box. So 10 days of no workouts, sitting on a couch watching TV-PG rated programming (the family has 2 kids and blocked all shows over TV-PG, and forgot to leave me the code to watch regular TV). I knew I gained. I felt the pounds crawling on me. Then, the last day I was there, I got my period. More weight!!!

I ended my service there on Monday night and returned to my life, to my dog that now has separation anxiety when I leave the house (who didn't have separation anxiety before I left to dogsit), and to prepare for a 5 day trip to Washington D.C. with my mother.

It's day 1 of my trip - yesterday was my travel day to get here. I decided to bring my pedometer on this trip to see how much walking I do. Yesterday, the process of "getting here" was quite an ordeal.

My flight left LAX at noon, but I didn't have a ride to the airport. My friends all either work or are, for lack of greater explanation, unreliable. I decided since I am financially challenged, that I would take a city bus to the Van Nuys Flyaway. The Van Nuys Flyaway is a bus station in Van Nuys that specifically takes you to LAX. There are no stops along the way and they depart every 30 minutes on the hour and the half hour. Just straight from their bus station to the airport for $7. I mapped out the city bus route to get to the flyaway. Bus #237 took me straight there. I had to catch it outside my apartment at 9:18am, it would drop me there at 9:38am, just in time to buy my ticket and take the 10am bus to LAX and catch my noon flight. So I went outside to the bus stop. Another girl was waiting for the same bus and we started talking. The bus was about 5 minutes late, and we were ready to get on. Then, it drove right past us.

The next bus, #233, came and stopped for us, but it wasn't going where we needed to go. We told the driver what happened and he offered us to get on and he would try to catch up to #237. Well, he didn't catch up to #237. He dropped me off where I could catch another bus that would drop me off 2 blocks from the flyaway. So I caught bus #163 and got off where he said. But it wasn't 2 blocks to the flyaway. It was 8 blocks to the flyaway. Unfortunately, I had packed everything for my trip in my oversized gym bag and my computer in another bag, so I was carrying 2 bags and my purse - nothing had wheels to make my journey easier. Did I mention I'm still on my period and it's really freaking hot outside?

I get to the flyaway at 10:05am, sweat running all down my face and chest into my bra. You can purchase tickets for the flyaway bus two ways - thru an automated kiosk or at the ticket booth. When I got inside, there was a HUGE line. The automated kiosk was out of order, so everyone had to wait in line for the ticket booth. But I noticed the line wasn't moving AT ALL. The woman in the booth wasn't selling tickets. I asked the woman in line next to me to save my place in line and went to investigate. There was a bus outside with people on it, but it was 10:15am. Was this the 10am bus or the 10:30am bus? I asked. Turns out the 10am bus broke down, so all the passengers and luggage had to transfer to the bus that should have been for the 10:30am passengers, a new bus was ordered for the 10:30am passengers, but would take 40 minutes to arrive. To top that off, there was an accident on the freeway and it was taking an hour to get to the airport. By my calculations, I would be arriving right about the time my flight was scheduled to leave. So after all that work to get to the flyaway, I took a cab to LAX for $60.00. I checked in on time and made my 5-hour flight to D.C., ready to collapse.

While I don't have a totaly weight for this trip (no scale in the hotel), I can tell you from my pedometer that yesterday I walked slightly over 8000 steps, or 4 miles. Today we walked to the Smithsonian museums, totaling 16,632 steps, or just over 8.25 miles. I brought gym clothes on this trip so that I can use the gym in the hotel, but I'm wondering if all this walking is exercise enough?

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