“Road trip!!” (followed by a gaggle of high fives, laughs, and bubbly jumps)…  Except for me, it was more like “Road trip?….ehhh…do we have to?  What if you drive and I fly and meet you there?”  I have never fantasized about the road trip.  The random ball of wax or the world’s largest booger.  Let’s face it – I get car sick, I am an anxious/antsy person, I am allergic to just about everything, and we were going to have two dogs – a pit mix and a shephard (aka BIG dogs), AND whatever didn’t fit in the moving truck – in a Honda Civic.  Oh and I have the worst sense of direction ever.  Wow – I sound fun…

But the dogs and the car had to get from Los Angeles, our home for the last four years, to Washington, D.C. – our new home.  My husband got a new job and he was so excited and ready for the adventure.  Unlike me, he has always wanted to drive cross country.  His enthusiasm was a little contagious…a very little.  So I put on my “road trip hat” (see attached pic) and off we went.  First stop: Flagstaff, AZ.  (We were going to The Grand Canyon the next morning and wanted to get close).  Our stop in Flagstaff was like all of my fears realized – we couldn’t find the hotel, the dog was so excited to be out of the car she was bouncing around the room and went directly into my head almost breaking my nose, and we were starving and couldn’t find anywhere I would agree to eat.  So I left my hubby in the hotel and went on a quest to find a salad.  (Which I eventually did – complete with frozen hummus…yum…maybe I should have just agreed to the damn burger).  But the next morning we woke up super early to beat the heat, made it to the Grand Canyon and WOW!  There were elk in the middle of the road, the view was ridiculous, and the I felt like I could breath deeper than I had been able to in months.  Maybe this road trip wasn’t going to be so bad after all.

I could write a novel (literally) about the road trip: how each state was different and interesting, and how driving during one of the worst heat waves in history was less than ideal, but for our purposes, I would like to tell you about how I stayed fit and fabulous during the road trip (and Tom, my loving husband, if you decide to submit ANY photos to the contrary I will kill you…just kidding…I already erased them…)

Ok, here’s what I learned from my road trip:

1.  A salad (despite the frozen hummus) is available pretty much everywhere if you are willing to look for it.  I was nervous about eating on the trip – I don’t eat fast food, or pork, and I am allergic to nuts, shellfish, and soy intolerant so just grabbing something even moderately healthy at the gas station is always a challenge.  But while McDonald’s and Domino’s are easily found in every town in America, so are local deli’s, mom and pop shops with locally sourced items, and even Subway’s have lettuce, tomatoes, and avocados.  All you need is (a patient husband), a smart phone, and a will to eat healthy.  And planning ahead doesn’t hurt either.  When we were places with better options (like Whole Foods), we stocked up the car and the two coolers to get us through the towns with more limited options. You are sitting for most of the day so eating smart is key to not gaining weight on the trip.  Packing healthy snacks for the car is crucial.  It made getting through places where the healthy eating options were limited easier to just drive through.

2.  If you can’t find a healthy place to eat, odds are they can make you something healthier.  Example:  One morning, I could not find a breakfast item that I would eat (we found lots of cinnamon buns, pie, and muffins, but literally couldn’t even find plain toast).  I finally found a place advertising eggs – I told Tom to pull over.  The advertised eggs turned out to be an egg wrap with bacon, sausage, MASHED POTATOES, and cheddar cheese.  But I saw that they had a wrap, eggs – and another dish on the menu with avocado.  I kindly asked the woman if she could just make an egg wrap and if possible put some avocado in it.  She wasn’t thrilled, but she did it. So look at the menu – do they have something that can be modified?  Ask!

3.  You can DEFINITELY fit in exercise.  At least half of the hotels we stopped in for the night had gyms – limited gyms – but gyms.  And let’s be serious – the gym in Omaha, Nebraska was not a hot commodity.  The lone tread mill was all mine.  Also, Tom did a really good job of mapping out the trip to stop somewhere incredible each day.  We hiked almost every day, we explored different cities and various college campuses (great places for a walk).  We made it a priority.  Even though it was 115 degrees…

4.  Road trips are a great way to expand your mind.  With so many hours in the car we listened to interesting podcasts that I had been putting off, books on tape, and even the radio in different places is different and can give you a great insight into how other people in different places are thinking.

Life is an adventure…so embrace the adventure while sticking to your goals. Continue to follow my blog entries as I explore a new city (DC) and give insight into staying fit while enjoying the good life.




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