Ever since the last weekend in June, I’ve been traveling every single weekend. First things first, I’ve moved apartments!
Dustin, Libby and I still live in the same area, just a smidge closer to Manhattan. But man, it was quite a trip getting us from point A to point B. After working a crazy week, we moved boxes and furniture on the last Friday of June until 2:00 a.m. We grabbed a quick cat nap for three hours, got up and cleaned our old apartment until 8:30, then hightailed it over to Enterprise so we could exchange cars. Swapping the moving van for a car was a breeze because of Dustin’s job, thankfully, and we were on the road by 9:00 a.m. to drive upstate six hours for a wedding.
The wedding was TONS of fun – I loved watching Dustin’s entire family boogie down on the dance floor after his cousin tied the knot. Everyone was super sweet, and I really feel like I’m becoming part of the family. I love them all!
After staying up entirely too late (we made it to 2:00 a.m. again!), we crashed in the hotel, then hit the road by 11:00 a.m. on Sunday to make the trek back. Whirlwind weekend, that’s for sure!
Fourth of July came and went, and Dustin and I kept things simple – we unpacked more, bought an AC and hit the movie theater because it was 1,000 degrees outside. Then last week, we packed up again and headed to Boston!
As a devoted Sox fan, I’ve been dying to go to Fenway for a game this season. Since Dustin is a Yankees fan (boo!), obviously we decided to nab tickets for a game with both our teams. People may think we’re crazy, but I love that our teams are huge rivals. Provides some friendly competition and keeps things interesting, if you ask me!
So that brings us to the present. I have this weekend off (phew!) and then I’m busy for every weekend through the end of August. Yes, my summer is quite packed. I’m not sure what I was thinking when planning it all. I guess the words “no” and “relax” decided to disappear from my vocabulary. Oh well, I’m young! Now’s the time to make some badass memories, right?
Anyway, with all of this traveling, it’s been crucial for me to plan ahead to a.) keep my sanity b.) keep my workouts in check and c.) not go crazy on food when it often feels like “vacation mode.” I don’t know what it is, but when I’m gone for the weekend, I always feel the urge to just let all my healthy-eating tendencies go out the window. Luckily, I’ve mastered a few tricks to help keep my waistline in check:
- Packing snacks. It sounds simple, but it can be easily forgotten. And when you’re spending so much time in a car, the fast-food stops start to look extremely convincing. Don’t fall for it. Case in point: The one time I didn’t pack a snack, we desperately stopped for McDonald’s. It was my first time eating the stuff in nearly three years. I was sick for the rest of the night. Lesson learned: easily packed snacks like string cheese, pop chips, granola bars, cereal and veggie sticks are the way to go. I love bringing carrot sticks.
- Eat off smaller plates. For me, portions are a huge struggle. I live with a boy who eats a ton and doesn’t gain an ounce. For a while, I fell into the trap of eating the same amount as him. NOT GOOD. Now he eats off big plates, while I find a small one – usually a dessert plate – to eat my meals off of. I see a full plate and feel satisfied when it’s finished. If I ate the same amount on a big plate, I’d feel deprived.
- Drink water. Having at least two bottles in the car keeps us from picking up sodas (him) or chai lattes (me) during the travel portions of our trips. And at long events, like the wedding, I alternated a glass of wine with a glass of water. Drinking less booze = no hangover = happy Sam. Plus it always allowed me to have a drink in my hand, so I didn’t feel weird when everyone else was sipping on something.
- Get active. You don’t necessarily have to do a planned workout. Incorporate exercise into your day! At the wedding, I busted a groove and danced the night away for at least four hours, if not more. Did I feel like I was working out? Not a chance. In Boston, we opted out of a cab and explored a big portion of the city on foot. Way more interesting. And for long road trips, stop every two to three hours and stretch! I have to do this because of my blood disorder (can’t stay seated for more than two hours because it increases my risk of developing a blood clot), and I like looking for scenic overlooks or grass-y rest stops to stroll around for just a few minutes.
- Indulge a little. Because seriously, life is way better when Fenway Franks, wedding cake and ice cream from a baseball helmet are involved
And there ya have it! These may not be genius, innovative tips, but a friendly reminder every once in a while never hurt anyone.
Now you share your secrets: what are your go-to’s for busy travel days?
Remember how I said all you need is love on Valentine’s Day, and that Dustin and I never really celebrate? Well, that’s true…for the most part. We usually don’t pull out a ton of fancy stops. Instead, we acknowledge that it is in fact Valentine’s Day and make sure that we keep our calendars as clear as possible so that we can simply spend the evening together.
This year, Dustin kicked it up a notch. Kicked it up so much that he managed to surprise me, which he is never able to pull off. He can’t keep a secret – he gets too excited and then blows his cover. The reason he pulled this one off? He later admitted to me that he pulled it all together that day, so as long as he didn’t text me (which he actually avoided my texts), then he was safe.
I still smile every time I think about it, so I figure it’s worth sharing. When I got home, I was greeted with this on the front door of our apartment:
The note says, “Samantha, follow the roses.”
I opened the door and found another taped to the side of the fridge.
Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted another one hanging on our bedroom door.
This one reads, “I told you I love you.” Silly boy.
By this point, I’m looking around waiting for Dustin to pop out and scare me. With him nowhere in sight, I opened the door and saw this fun little trail:
Conversation hearts! Yes, I read them all.
That sugary path led straight to the TV, where one more rose was resting.
The final note reads, “Samantha, turn me on…the TV.” I giggled at that.
So I flipped on the TV, and this was awaiting me!
Wahoo! We have a tradition: he buys me all of the Twilight movies, and I buy him all of the Saw films. Both series seem to be ending soon, so it’s worked out well for us.
Dustin came up behind me, greeting me with a kiss and dinner of spaghetti and meatballs. Yum! We ate it as we watched the film and enjoyed a quiet evening together. It got me excited all over again for the next film! I don’t think these are any major works of art, but I enjoy the mindless entertainment. Why not, right?
I also had mail from my mom, which included these treats:
Can’t get enough of the Reese’s. Dustin’s mom also got me a giant Reese’s heart. Sugar coma = commence. Luckily, I’ve managed to space it all out and only indulged on a nibble here and there throughout the week. Talk about control.
So that was my Valentine’s Day, where I was definitely feeling the love. It was still quiet, but Dustin took that extra special step and I couldn’t have been happier. The most important part is that we all tell each other how we feel every single day.
Have you been feeling the love lately? Tell me your stories.