Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Recap of The Arnold - Thursday through Saturday Morning...

So, you might remember that I made one of my books for the family for while I was gone. It had my itinerary, contact information, and a section for my daughter Shiloh (17). Shiloh was going to do my grocery shopping and Sunday Food prep for me, so there was a grocery list (yes, it was listed by store and department/aisle - yes, I am obsessive, lol!), along with a detailed directive on what to do Sunday (and how). I had also put a recipe in there that I hoped she'd bake for me :-) She did! Shiloh did fabulously with the shopping & prep, and she baked me clean cupcakes!! They were incredible!!! Absolutely crave-worthy and the perfect treat to cap off my Arnold trip! The recipe is from here: http://meganssecretsofafoodie.blogspot.com/2011/02/clean-chocolate-berry-filled-cupcakes.html

Ok, I'll start with Thursday. And it was a very early start. My flight left at 6:15 a.m., which meant I had to be there by 5:15, which meant I had to leave home by 4:45, which meant... well, you get the idea. I managed to get it all into my two carry-0ns (I am a mean master packer!). When it came time to board the flight, I was trying to be an organized traveler.  Emphasis on trying. I wore my backpack (loaded and heavy!) and had my suitcase-carryon by the handle... I think I bapped everyone in an aisle seat in the head with that backpack, and in the shins with my suitcase,  as I made my way to the back of the plane. My constant refrain, "I'm so sorry! Are you ok?" had the crew in hysterics. By the time I settled into my seat, I just wanted to crawl under it. Whaddaya gonna do? Sheesh.

The crew, who is now delightfully amused by my lack of grace, is warm and friendly; chatting with me about where I'm going and what I'll be doing. It was a smooth flight into Chicago Midway and a large part of that was the truly terrific crew of Southwest Airlines. When we landed they invited me to join them at Potbelly's for lunch during my layover, but I was eating clean and had my chicken breast, raw peppers, and sliced cucumber ready to go, so I thanked them and headed on out (after everyone else de-planed - really didn't want to repeat the unfortunate head & shin bapping).

I was facing a 2 1/2 hour layover, so I thought I'd head outside to see what could be seen and eat my lunch... but I couldn't figure out how to get outside. Yes, I am navigationally challenged. After wandering  at great length (while bapping unsuspecting travelers with my overloaded backpack and ankle-biter suitcase), I made my way to a security officer to ask for direction. He graciously directed me outside, then kept me company (I was completely unprepared for how very COLD Chicago is! HOLY COW!) before walking me right to my gate (it is possible he realized that without that assistance I might have missed my flight, lol). He kindly invited my husband and I to visit with him if we ever get to Chicago, and by the time I left Chicago, I felt I'd made a new friend. [** he texted me today to tell me that he and his ex-wife are re-marrying! Congrats Tim & Marilyn!!**]

Refusing to allow the possibility of getting myself misplaced in the airport, I purchased coffee (only my second gallon of the day, lol) and I planted myself at the gate to await my next flight. This leg of the trip also went smoothly, and when I landed, Tracey (Traweaver from the Tosca Forum) was waiting for me and away we went!

(pictured - the only view of Chicago I had, lol!  Also...finally got the whole carry-on situation organized... but man, it was COLD in Chicago! My fingers were numb by the time I finally got the backpack attached to the handle of the suitcase! ROFL!!)
My only view of Chicago My luggage - finally got the carryon stuff organized!

Tra and I headed to the hotel, then out for some shopping. We had a blast! And yes, we are both navigationally challenged, and yes we did get slightly misplaced (I prefer that to lost), but managed to finally get to Easton Town Center. Our last stop of the night was a Trader Joe's where we stocked up on more clean eats. Tracey had brought some hard boiled eggs, greek yogurt, granola (that she made and is absolutely incredible!!!), sliced veggies and a super yummy hummus. We bought more eggs (one can never have too many hard boiled eggs, LOL!), some clean fruit & veggie bars (think fruit leather, but 100% clean!), a couple clean protein bars, and I grabbed a lemon to slice up into my water bottle.

Back in the room, we feasted on the above and enjoyed getting to know each other. Excited and exhausted, we crashed early.

Friday, we headed to the expo to pick up our badges. 

Can you see how excited we are? With our shiny new badges, we headed into the expo to find the Eat Clean Diet Booth. They were ready for us and handed us our uniforms (adorable white tees & yoga pants, with super-comfy black sweatshirts, all emblazoned with "Get Stripped with Tosca Reno"  :-) AWESOME!

We wandered the expo and had so much fun examining the ingredients on various food products (only clean products accepted, lol!), watching the people, shopping for souvenirs, seeing celebrities, actors and athletes, watching the people, watching the people... LOL! Seriously, the things you see! We were on our feet for hours and loved every minute of it!

That evening we we enjoyed a lovely dinner with the Robert Kennedy Publishing staff. Robert is an incredible gentleman, and it was an honor to be seated at his table. We met the other two Ambassadors (Jill Holland and Allison Earnst) who are both incredible, beautiful women; and we chatted with the Eat Clean Diet team members (including two of Robert & Tosca's daughters). It was incredible. Tosca got us all up and taking pictures, including this one... clearly we were having a great time :-)

We headed back to the hotel at 12:30 a.m. (super late for an old lady like me! LOL!). Bright and early the next morning (and bless Tracey for getting us coffee!) we headed to the booth to work.

And with that, I've run out of time :-) I've gotta head out and hit the bank, the grocery store, and then home. I'll post more tomorrow.


  1. fantastic! thanks for sharing.

  2. Wish you could have been there! One of these days we'll meet in "person" :-)