Friday night, Casey and I packed up the car and headed back to Charlotte. We are becoming road-trip experts! Especially in the food department. As you know, I’m food-obsessed, so I spend way too much time pre-planning and packing for food on the go. I hate stopping for food along the highway. The only healthy option is Subway, and that gets old really fast, especially when the only vegetarian option is bread and basic vegetables – blech.
So for every trip, I pack our big cooler filled with drinks and fruit, and bring a big bag of granola bars and PB&J sandwiches. This time I also pre-made some brown rice with mushrooms and tomatoes, and packed it into tubs for dinner. Easy to eat in the car, and much more filling and delicious than a BK Broiler – eeeeew.
Our strategy for leaving early, and hopefully arriving in Charlotte at a decent hour, was sidelined by a major traffic backup in Kentucky. We got to our second home at 2am, and immediately went to bed to rest up for my orientation the next morning. A few hours of sleep and one free continental breakfast later, we were off to Johnson & Wales to meet the rest of the students in my Garnish Your Degree program.
For just a simple 6 hour orientation session, we spent 14+ hours in the car, and money for hotel, gas, dog kennel, etc. Before we left, I kept saying it just didn’t seem worth it, and that I thought we should skip it, but Casey really thought it was important for me to go.
And he was right (he would add, as usual). I am sooo glad that we went! It was so exciting to meet my other classmates, teachers, and hear more about my program. I had convinced myself that I was going to be the least experienced and oldest person there, and that was definitely not the case. I have been so nervous up until now, and this was exactly the kind of reassurance and confidence-boost I needed. I got fitted for my uniform, and wow… unflattering is an understatement. You can look forward to pictures when I get the final product! Here’s a picture from our last visit in front of the beautiful campus in Uptown Charlotte!
Around 3pm Saturday, we jumped back in the Honda, and headed back to Ohio. Seven looooong hours later we were home. Even though it made for a very long weekend, I’m glad we decided to come back on Saturday, so that we still had Sunday to enjoy at home.
Sunday morning we slept in and recovered from hours and hours of driving. Around 11, I finally hit the pavement for my long run. The weather was nice and cool, and the run was going pretty well. Around mile 10 I started to feel really sore and I could tell I was slowing down. For whatever reason, I did something I never do, and cut down a side street to change routes – thinking a new direction would help me feel a little better. Wrong.
Of all the side streets to pick, I ended up running through a freaking swarm of BEES! It all happened so quickly, and before I realized it, I was swarmed in bees – and also covered in sweat, so the bees were sticking to me. I started doing the bee dance – kicking and flailing and screaming. By the time I broke free, I had been stung three times on my left leg, and once on my back. Even though I don’t have a bee allergy, it’s been a long time since I’ve been stung, and I got really freaked out. I started thinking – what if I do have a reaction? I had no phone or anything, and if I passed out on the sidewalk no one was going to know what had happened to me. Not to mention it really hurt!
So I changed directions again and ran home. My 14 mile run ended up only being 11.5 – damn bees. I spent the next hour sitting on ice bags and feeling sorry for myself. The swelling has since stopped, but now they are itchy and uncomfortable. Ugh. I won’t be running down Grace Avenue anytime soon! All in all, a very busy, but productive and fun weekend. Packing madness starts today!
In closing, a photo – and a lesson learned as an experience road tripper…
rolling the window down is NOT an effective method for gum removal…