Travel – Not Quite Back in the Groove

Exhausted. Knackered. Achy.

Weight? Who knows, but the pants still fit… scale is missing in my “delayed” luggage. I did stick to my diet while on my vacation and since I’ve been back in China.
Exercise? Worry? Does that count? I can’t run, since my running shoes are also in my “delayed” luggage… along with clothes and underwear! I did walk all over Shanghai yesterday and to and from work on Saturday morning and to work, home for lunch and back to work so far today racked up 3+ miles.

That about explains the 3 ways I’m feeling right now. Even after having an 8 hour sleep
last night. Jet lag sucks… BIG TIME. So, I’m not quite back in my groove, but feel that an update is overdue, for sure!

I left Florida on Thursday morning at 1145 a.m. for a flight to New York’s JFK. As I blogged before, they actually have Wifi on flights in the States now… how cool is that? Nice 1.5 hour layover there then off to Beijing, except the flight is delayed and they are talking about me not making my flight to Hangzhou, blah, blah, blah… I actually said to the lady at the counter, “seriously, please don’t tell me that… I have travel anxiety related to timeliness!!!” I decided I was going to try not to fret over it… what will be, will be. They made up some of the time, but the transfer time was close in Beijing and I had to go through immigration, collect my bags and then recheck my bags and get on the flight. I had 47 minutes!

I sailed through immigration and went to the baggage carousel… one of my bags was the first one on the carousel!!! What luck! LOL… until after 25 minutes, the bags stopped coming and I realized that A. I had 15 minutes to haul my butt to my connecting flight and B. my 2nd bag was missing… PANIC set in. I ran to the missing baggage office and they put my baggage number in and found that my bag was still in New York… tears were shed, I’m a cry baby when I’m tired, and I ran to check my bag for the Hangzhou flight and actually made it on the plane… because it too was delayed.

I get to Hangzhou at midnight, collect my one bag and head to the lost baggage office to file a claim. It is now officially Saturday morning (I’ve missed all of Friday being in the air) and I have to be at work at 8 a.m. Through more tears I realize that the bag I have is NOT the bag with my clothes and my Brooks Addiction running shoes and MOST importantly MY SCALE… can anyone say MELTDOWN!?! She files the claim with the Air China office in New York and says, as she hands me the paper… it’s just “delayed” baggage, not “lost”… with the sweetest little smile. It’s hard to be angry with her 😦

I get a taxi home and fall into bed after loving all over Tits the Cat, who has apparently missed me immensely. He insisted I carry him around like a baby for half an hour! I got into bed at 3 a.m. and woke up at 558 a.m…. ugh! Made coffee, checked email and got ready for work… at work by 730 a.m. On my way to work I picked up tea eggs… I was so happy to see my favorite tea egg lady…

Those are the tea eggs in that ginormous crockpot!

I think the exhaustion hit me around noon. I felt like someone was sitting on my head! But I made it through most of the day. At 3 I decided to leave and called my friend Alice, a midwife from Florida who is visiting her son here in Hangzhou. They just happened to be at my favorite restaurant in town, The Vineyard, and I took a taxi there to meet them. It was so wonderful to see her. I think it’s been 15 years or so since I’ve seen her in person, but she is the one who inspired me to walk the Camino 2 years ago.

In bed Saturday night before 10 and up at 458… UGH! No problem, got up, made a breakfast of steak and onions and showered and dressed and headed out the door to get the train to Shanghai! A fellow blogger, Mona, was in China for a summer assignment and we were going to meet in person! How awesome is that? I love her photography on her blog and even though I was knackered as all get out, it was worth the trip to meet her!

Mona on the Bund… The Pearl in the background.

Walking to the Bund.

We met at her hotel and walked to the subway. We took that down to the Bund, which is the waterfront walk on the Pearl River. It was an overcast day, but we still had a good time! After walking the Bund we google mapped my favorite restaurant in Shanghai the Blue Frog. Unfortunately the address was incorrect and we ended up walking a heck of a lot more than we intended… no worries… the lunch and company was worth it!

On the walk we saw lots of cool things and some random things like the fresh piece of asparagus on the stairs of a walk over and this beautiful cherry in the gutter…

Cherry in the gutter… streets of Shanghai

After the trip back to Mona’s hotel, I taxied up to the subway and then took Line 2 to the Family Mart… the grocery store that I can get my Fat Free yogurt. Bought 8 containers and a few other items and then took the subway back to the Shanghai train station… it was a wonderful day!

Bye-bye Shanghai

Back to my flat… call to Air China “delayed” baggage office… “good news Ms. Blankenship, your bag is on the flight to Beijing! You should have bag tomorrow noon”… well, my assistant has just called and been told it’s still in New York… I’m trying not to panic. I’d like to have my clothes, my shoes and MY SCALE… my Vivien tells me it will come, “this is China, it’ll happen”… I take a deep breath, come back to my office and pray… yes… this is China… things do happen.

As I finish this post I am listening to the soundtrack of Rock of Ages… the music makes me HAPPY 😀 I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this movie. I know that it got crappy reviews, but they were wrong. It’s a funny, happy inducing movie and thinking of Tom Cruise (lovingly referred to as TC) singing and dancing “Pour Some Sugar on Me” gives this 48 year old giggles and smiles… If I was in the States… I’d probably have seen it 3 times already!

And now… Vivien has just walked into my office and said MY BAGS ARE GOING TO BE HERE, IN OUR OFFICE IN 2 HOURS!!!!!!!!!! OK, trying not to hold my breath, trying not to be too optimistic, but they asked her for directions to the hospital. Dear Lord, I pray it’s MY bag… lol.

With that… I’m outta here… if anyone has a secret to getting rid of jet lag quicker, I’d be ever so grateful!!!


“I’m hot sticky sweet, from my head, my head to my feet”… Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard… redone by the yummy TC 😀

Dukan – Day 177 – Trying to Shake the Blues

Sunday was a PV Day. It was suppose to be Day 3 of 4 of PP days, but I had lunch with friends at a restaurant… More on that later 🙂

Daily Weight Loss: 0.4 lb/0.20 kg
Total Weight Loss: 66.7 lb/30.31 kg

Morning started off better as I slept until 5 a.m. And that made me happy 😀 I had a pot of yogurt with bran and Splenda and a cup of coffee to start my day. Then off to work in this lovely (not) rainy, dreary, cold weather. A stop to pick up my daily allotment of tea eggs. My 1 mile/1.5 km walk is now down to about 12 minutes. When I started walking everyday to work, nearly 5 months ago, it took 17 minutes. I work on the 4th floor of my building and after clocking in I take the stairs up. I realized yesterday that I’m no longer out of breath AT ALL by the time I reach the top… How awesome is that?

After morning rounds I did some lactation consulting (just when I give up on helping women here breastfeed, there always seems to be a couple of women who request it, funny how that works… I’m not a quitter, but so passionate about breastfeeding, that sometimes I must take a step back, throw in the towel and not allow the circumstances here consume me!). Both ladies were very grateful for the help.

I then had a lovely 6 hour prenatal visit with Velina and Robin 😀 Just like the old days when I was a home birth midwife. They came at 10, we lunched from 12 – 2 and they left around 4. It filled my day with some sunshine 🙂 Lunch for me was T-bone steak, broccoli , cucumbers and raw red cabbage.

Then the bad news of the day – Whitney Houston died. She’s MY age, born a few months before me, how does this keep happening? What demons cause these remarkably talented people to head down the path of drugs, alcohols and bad behavior?? I sobbed watching the video of her singing The National Anthem at the Super Bowl in 1991. What a waste of amazing talent.

Dinner: Chicken chunks stir fried in soy sauce with cumin and garlic cloves.

To bed at 9, trying to shake the blues, fighting the urge to pack up and go home, come on sun, I need ya buddy, the grey skies are wearing thin and I need some sunspiration.


Quote of the day: I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. – Whitney Houston

Pic of the day: Robin, Velina & Me


Dukan – Day 176 – Jet Lag and Walking on Thin Ice

Saturday was a PP Day 2 of 4

Daily Weight Loss: 1.1 lb/0.50 kg
Total Weight Loss: 66.2 lb/30.11 kg

Happy to see the scale continuing to drop. I’ve been drinking more than 2 liters of water the past 2 days to help flush out the water I’m retaining from 21+ hours of flying.

I was up at the unGodly hour of 303 a.m., having crashed around 800 p.m. Friday night. This wouldn’t be so bad IF I didn’t have to work and think. It’s nice getting up 4.5 hours before you have to work, I got a lot done 🙂

I had a pot of yogurt with bran and Splenda before I left for work and picked up tea eggs at the vendor downstairs. Before getting dressed in the morning I always check the temp outside to see how layered I’m going to have to dress. This was the forecast this morning…


Shouldn’t there be a rule that you update the weather when the low is actually 5 degrees lower than the forecast?!?

I then picked up my tea eggs and took this picture of the dreary morning…


I then promptly fell on my not so cushioned anymore ass! See the black shiny tile? What a great way to start my morning! 😀 At least is was a graceful fall and I didn’t hurt myself, nor was it witnessed by anyone… LOL

Work was work, bathing babies, seeing prenatal patients and assisting women with breastfeeding.

Lunch at the halal restaurant with some friends was sliced beef with cilantro and a couple of mushrooms and a tea egg.

Afternoon creating a power point, posters and policy for reducing the risk of falls (ironic given my fall this morning!) and at 3 pm I felt like I had hit a brick wall. Jet lag is no fun, seriously! I did some yoga and jumping jacks to infuse some energy and finished the day with a walk home in the cold rain.

Dinner was beef stir-fry with curry and cumin and garlic stems. I have no onions and miss them. I will order food online for delivery on Thursday and be stocked up, once again.

I busied myself with downloading iOS 5 update for my iPad and went for a walk to keep me up until at least 9. Bed at 915, left the update running 🙂 Still working on getting my bearings again. Missing home a lot after this visit for some reason. Trying to reason savings plans for the future vs. being at home with family… I’ll be better when the sun comes out, inshallah 🙂


Quote of the day: Picture Quote…