As of 8/13 I have visited 35 states. I had an amazing vacation in Alaska with my family last week. We visited Denali National Park and it was really beautiful. (Doesn’t that map look great with the giant state of Alaska colored in? I’m so proud.) We saw as much of the park as we could in five days, but I have already decided that I want to go back. Maybe next September. What better place to go during the dog days of summer (especially when you don’t have an air conditioner at home) but a place where the temperature peaks in the low 60’s, if you’re lucky. It was spectacular! My jackets haven’t gotten that much use in six months! As with so many other experiences I’ve had lately, I intend to write a much longer post about my Alaska vacation. I have a feeling that won’t happen anytime soon, though, based on the fact that I still haven’t finished writing about my trip to Hawaii in June. I am a terrible blogger! But I got sick on Wednesday when I flew back from Fairbanks so I’ll be spending a relaxing weekend at home (probably going through a whole box of Kleenex thanks to this miserable head cold) letting my body heal. Maybe I’ll actually get some writing done. Or not. But I digress. Barring a miracle, I probably won’t have a chance to visit any more new states in 2015. Adding two to my list this year isn’t bad, though! I’m happy with that. In the event that I get to go to DC for work sometime next year I have some preliminary plans for side trips. And I’ve also started dreaming up locations for next summer’s family vacation. It’s still going to take me a while for me to get to all 50 states, but now I only have 15 to go!
I’m on a plane headed to DC for the week and this travel day has been quite an experience already. Between checking my bag and getting through security my flight was delayed by an hour and the gate changed. No big deal. I sat down for a leisurely breakfast and then wandered around the terminals to pass the time. (Today is the last day of Boeing on the Move 2015 and I wanted to rack up as many steps on my pedometer as possible before getting on the plane.) By the time I made it back to the second gate assignment it was in the process of changing again. And then as soon as people started lining up at that gate to board the plane, it changed again. I guess United decided to switch our flight to another plane since the original one was running late. I seriously contemplated sneaking on one of the three flights to Hawaii that were leaving from our terminal. In the end the flight to DC took off about two hours late. This kind of ruins my evening plans once we arrive, but I can be flexible. It should be an interesting week.
The purpose of this inflight blogging session wasn’t to share boring travel stories, though. Last night I was looking through all of my draft posts that I have been neglecting lately, and I realized a terrible trend. It’s one thing to have a backlog of fairly inconsequential posts waiting to be polished and published, but I’ve started a few on big and exciting events that I can’t believe I haven’t finished yet. Earlier this year I made a resolution to blog about events in a timely manner, but it’s a struggle for me. Finding the time and the motivation to write at the same time isn’t easy. I will continue to work on that going forward. The funny thing is, this post isn’t going to be about one of those big and exciting topics. Well, I guess it is a little bit, but only barely. I just want to make sure to tell this story before I completely forget about it.
On my way back from Hawaii I wrote about my bikini experience. Well, that was just half of the story. While getting ready for that trip I learned that by mid-June the bathing suit selection at most stores has dwindled down to almost nothing. Not only did this hinder my search for a bikini top that fit properly (as I documented in that post last month), but also for some bikini bottoms that would work with (or at least not clash with) whatever top I ultimately wound up with. Fortunately some of my old bikini bottoms still fit so I wasn’t quite as panicked about having something to wear with the black Rip Curl top that I was lucky enough to find. But on my last desperate trip to Aerie to complete my swimsuit collection for Maui I saw a purple bikini with white polka dots and little lobsters all over it. (See the photo above. Cute, right?) After discovering that Aerie bathing suit tops don’t fit my very well I didn’t even bother trying on the bandeau top, but the bottoms were just too adorable to pass up. And while they didn’t exactly match the black bikini top, it was still an acceptable combination and I loved wearing something whimsical on the beach in Hawaii. I was never one to follow fashion trends so why start now? I know this wasn’t the wrap up post that my amazing trip to Maui deserves, but I will work on that this week while I’m in DC. I promise!
The title of this post says it all. I lost my pedometer in Hawaii. The second day of my trip to Maui I drove the Road to Hana (see obligatory gorgeous photo above) with three other ladies and at some point my dinky little pedometer fell off the waistband of my shorts. I don’t know exactly where or when it happened, but by the time we stopped at Ohe’o Gulch (aka Seven Sacred Pools) to have lunch it was missing. Oops. I had to guess at my step counts for the rest of my trip. I estimated each day’s step count using my travel day as a benchmark. That day I walked all over the Los Angeles and Kahului airports as well as wandering around the rental house (it was a 15,000 square foot house!) and a trip to Costco on Maui. I was surprisingly active for spending about 6 hours on a plane! It was actually refreshing not having to wear that cheesy pedometer for most of my vacation, but I knew I had to find a replacement when I got home. Fortunately I still had last year’s pedometer tucked away in a drawer for just such an occurrence so I’m covered for the rest of Boeing on the Move 2015. I’ve been racking up the step counts since I got back to California too. I ran 5 miles on Monday night and then last night I took a 4 mile walk in the evening. We are already past the halfway point of Boeing on the Move and I want to make the best showing possible before the end!
P.S. I uploaded a whole bunch of photos from my vacation to Flickr and they can be found in my PJJ Maui album.
Thanks to inflight wifi, this post was written while on my flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles!
First of all, I’d like to say that while in Hawaii this past week I successfully completed my New Year’s resolution #3 to wear a bikini! Woohoo! It was a rocky road to get there, though. It’s hard for me to admit, but after I hurt my knee in January I put on a bit of weight while I wasn’t exercising. While I was pretty happy with how I looked at the beginning of the year, being inactive for about a month really damaged my body image. I knew I needed warm weather clothes for my vacation, but I didn’t really want to think about it while I was heavier. I kept hoping that once I started running again in March/April the weight would come off easily. Unfortunately it didn’t. For that reason I kept postponing trying on my old bathing suits to see which ones I wanted to take with me to Maui. Three weeks before my trip I finally felt courageous enough to pull them out of storage and actually put them on, but the results dashed any self esteem I had a tenuous grasp on. None of the bikinis I bought last year fit properly. The tops and the bottoms were all too small for me to even consider wearing out in public. It was so discouraging. But I absolutely needed bathing suits in Hawaii so I began an urgent search to figure out my options. I won’t bore you with all of the steps I took to find swimwear in a hurry, but the results ended up being a mixed bag. Today let’s just focus on the positive outcome of that emergency shopping situation.
The last time I was in Hawaii in 2011 I saw a surfer wearing a bikini top with straps that crossed in the back. I loved it and I decided that I had to have that swim suit! Historically I tend to favor halter bikini tops since they fit me well and seem to be flattering, but I find the ties at the back and neck to be fussy and very uncomfortable. Inevitably the tie in the back is too tight or too loose, and the tie at the top causes me neck pain after a while. So when I saw the cross back bikini top I went on a mission to get one for myself. It took some work (i.e., a lot of weird Google searches), but I discovered that particular style is made by Rip Curl (see the photos above). So last year I went to Endless Summer, a little clothing store in Seal Beach that always has tons of bikinis, and bought the coveted top and a pair of matching bottoms. I loved them! Unfortunately I never found or manufactured a reason to wear a bathing suit in the last year. Fast forward to now and that top is currently too small for me. Yikes. Less than a week before leaving for Maui, and after a largely unsuccessful search for other bikini options, I desperately went to the Rip Curl website and ordered the cross back top in a larger size with two-day rush shipping. And it was perfect! I only ended up swimming two days on my trip, but I wore the Rip Curl top both times. I have another story about the bikini bottoms I wore with them, but I’ll save that for another post. The moral of this story is that bathing suits inevitably cause major frustration, but there can be a happy ending! Thanks to online shopping and rush shipping I was able to be comfortable in a properly fitting bikini in Maui this past week. And I completed a New Year’s resolution too! Incredible.
Remember those new blogging rules I posted at the beginning of the month? Well I didn’t adhere to them for very long, did I? Obviously my last three posts were just photos of me in the new states I visited during my vacation, but before that the worthwhile updates were few and far between. Pretty pathetic. I want to do better. I’m not making any promises, but I’m certainly going to try and post more often in June than I did in May.
Getting back to the subject at hand, I visited three new states while I was on vacation – Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho! It was an amazing trip. I’ve been wanting to visit Yellowstone since 2001 when my dad and I took a more northern route when driving across the country for my Boeing internship, but not nearly northern enough to visit our country’s very first national park. Denver was the farthest north we got. Northwest Wyoming is pretty out of the way, but I managed to talk my family into going there on vacation this year. And it was spectacular. I’ll have to write some more about everything we saw and did in another post (check out some photos here if you’re interested), but I’m going to focus on my New Year’s resolution to visit as many new states as possible in 2014 right now. After adding West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Delaware to my list of states visited when I was on the East Coast for work in March I couldn’t wait to check off more boxes before the end of the year. (I’m still kicking myself for not taking a quick detour into New Jersey in March when I was driving to/from Delaware, but I might be able to remedy that because there’s a chance that I’ll have to DC again in September.) So although the majority of my family’s vacation was spent in Wyoming (in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks), we drove a little bit out of our way so I could set foot in Montana and Idaho. The northern entrance of Yellowstone is actually in Montana so we only had to drive about five extra miles to take my picture next to the state welcome sign (which was much smaller and less ostentatious than I expected). Getting to Idaho required us to drive about twenty miles west from Jackson, WY and through a mountain pass before we could cross the state border. But I’m so glad we did. When else am I going to have a chance to visit that corner of the US? And look how much color is on my states visited map versus how it looked at the beginning of the year! This makes me very happy. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings!
P.S. My family decided that we’re going to Alaska next year. It’s going to be awesome!