Traveling Fun (with a grey cloud too, just to be consistent)

Well, I've been on vacation for the past week, so haven't blogged (though I intended to). It was a road trip, and I did all of the driving…turns out you can't blog and drive at the same time. Who knew?


Sadly, I don't have a ton to report on the food front. I'm the only vegan in my family, and didn't prepare well other than having my “snacks” around (fruit, raw cookies, etc). I realized on Monday, that I hadn't had a real meal since the previous Wednesday – before we left home for our trip. All of my “meals” were snacks of a collection of side dishes.

That said, I did have a highlight or two. My mom made a veganized version of her potato salad for the party, specifically so I could have some. My dad made a pasta salad, my cousin brought a fruit plate, and my friend RS brought many GF/vegan/nut free treats for me. I very much appreciated everyone thinking about my dietary habits, and it didn't go unnoticed!

I will say that I'm happy to be back home and in my kitchen. I've gone shopping and replenished my supplies of fresh fruits, veggies, and greens. Last night for dinner, I made a simple Pasta e Fagioli with some gluten-free quinoa elbow noodles. The recipe is from Happy Herbivoire Abroad, and couldn't be simpler!


Today started with a green juice, snacked on some hummus, and have been grazing on grapes, cantalope, watermelon, and strawberries all day.


I got in two runs while I was away. One on the high school track near my sister's house in WI, and I took along all three little ones (my nephew – 5, my niece – 9, and my daughter R – 9). They were my little running buddies – for a lap or three – then they played on the playground while I ran in circles.

The other run was on a treadmill in Ohio. R was my running buddy again, running away on the 'mill next to me!

Today I wanted to run, but my knee is hurting a bit, so I figured low impact would be better. I did a DVD and some yoga at home instead.


Well, certainly the biggest part of life the past week was the road trip.. All 5 of us packed into the van early Thursday morning and hit the road to WI. We traveled from VA, through WV (which was beautiful), KY, and then stopped just north of Indianapolis for the night. It was when we stopped when we realized we didn't have the toiletry bag, so no shampoo, makeup, meds, hair tools, razors, glasses, contacts, etc. Everything for all 5 of us was in the one bag…and we didn't have it. We spent most of the night in Indy hitting up Walgreens. The next day, we called my optomitrist and he sent my prescription to a Sam's Club that was on our route just outside of Chicago, so I ended up being ok. But it was a pain in the butt. I can't travel without some drama or another!

We left Indiana, went through parts of Illinois, and got to my sister's house in Wisconsin around 430. It was a couple hours later than planned, but storms and traffic had us barely moving through Chicago.

Friday night was really nice. D's family from Iowa and Illinois (his Uncle who basically raised him, and his two kids – D's cousins – who are like brother and sister to him) came up too, and my family, my sister's family, Uncle T, E, and TR, plus my parents hung out, drank a bit, and had pizza (I had a nice salad from the grocery store).

Saturday was the big party. We celebrated my daughter A's high school graduation. Family and friend's came, and it was really lovely. It was really fun to watch all the kids play together.

Sunday we went to the Strawberry Festival in a nearby town of my sister's, and then hit the road to Ohio. We didn't arrive until around 1030 (a later than planned start plus bad storms and traffic in OH delayed us a bit), but we checked into the Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, OH, ready to tackle the world's 2nd largest theme park (Cedar Point) the next day!


You guys all know I love theme parks. I go to Busch Garden's a good 10+ times per year. BG is rated the world's most beautiful theme park – for a good reason. Lot's of shade, green spaces, a big focus on conservation, plus awesome rides and food. I'm spoiled, so while Cedar Point may technically have more rides – we were pretty disappointed. Yes, they have 17 roller coasters….and half were down. There were no green spaces or shaded areas, and it was a really hot day. And the food…don't get me started. There wasn't anything that wasn't deep fried meat or cheese, and no good beer….and I ended up not eating for over 7 hours. I almost cried when we saw a Panda Express on our way out and I got some crunchy white rice and over cooked broccoli. I didn't care, I was so hungry.



We got back, the kids played in the indoor waterpark, we ate dinner (I had a portabello sammich they pieced together for me in the restaurant at the hotel), and then bed.

We left Tuesday with no real plans, which felt nice. We toyed with going to Niagra Falls, Philly (I've always wanted to go there), and a few other things. In the end, we had our GPS avoid the toll roads, and took some back roads and highways through Pennsylvania (which was absolutely the most gorgeous country I've ever seen in my life), Maryland, and then back into Virginia again. We got home around midnight, went to bed, and didn't wake up until after 10 the next day!

Oh, and while walking through the house…expecting to find our toiletry bag…there was nothing. So we started thinking we left it on the lawn when we were packing up, and someone walked off with it. And then D remembered….we have a mini van where the seats fold in…and if the seats are up, there's big hidey-hole storage areas. We put it there. So we had it the whole time. Damned travel drama.


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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

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