Dukan – Consolidation Day 108

Monday was Consolidation Day 108 🙂

Today’s Weight: 146
Goal Weight: 155
Still lovin’ that 🙂

Back to work in Hangzhou. Kind of a frustrating day. Went to the bank to make a deposit and they wouldn’t let me because I didn’t have my passport… to make a deposit… sigh. Then I went to the post office to ship off the last 4 boxes to the States and the guy went through all my stuff to make sure it was packed well enough to not break anything and DROPS the package with my Chinese china!!!! Breathe IN, Breathe OUT… I flew off the handle… I couldn’t help it… I am not perfect, I threw a tantrum. They quickly finished me up, I apologized a million times to my driver, Jerry, who is the most patient person in the world (besides Kitty)… he smoothed things over and got me the hell out of there before, well before I got into trouble!

My granddaughter Sadie represents the 3rd generation of epic tantrum throwers 🙂
My daughter Jenni, however, was the Queen of them!

Then back to work where I managed to upset the apple cart by providing a not so glowing audit about hand washing that had the doctors doing better than the nurses. I was on a roll!

Went home and had me some dinner and felt better 🙂 I also am tutoring a Chinese midwife in Medical English and passing the NCLEX-RN exam. So we worked on that last night.

Sunday I got in a 5K run in under 40 minutes after not running for 9 days due to my bout of food poisoning, but I pushed myself and did it… which makes me feel so good 🙂 I then went up to my flat and did 30 minutes of stretching, yoga and exercise bands. I have SO much energy when I’m done running… it’s amazing!

I also got a few pictures from Rose, my personal assistant in Guangzhou from my multiple stays there this past 5 months. Here’s a couple I want to share:

Water birth training in April 2012. Guangzhou.

Grand Opening of the Water Delivery Center in Guangzhou Elizabeth Women’s Hospital – April 2012

I’ve been saying that I haven’t felt like I accomplished much in the past year. Maybe I set my expectations too high for myself… I’m a perfectionist. But when I look at these pictures I do realize that I’ve accomplished quite a bit. The hospitals keep referring to me as their International Water Birth Expert… and I’ve come to realize, I really am! I mean who better to be called that than someone who has delivered hundreds of babies in the water (all over the world, including on 4 continents!) and has taught water birth all over the world? The 5 hospitals here in China that I’ve done the water birth trainings in have collectively performed over 100 water births in the past year! I am proud of their accomplishments and that the midwives and doctors at these 5 hospitals have accepted water birth as a “normal” way for women to deliver their babies. And delighted for the women and babies who have experienced this amazing way of birthing!

Breakfast: 2 slices of bacon and 2 tea eggs
Snack: FF Greek yogurt with Splenda and flaxseed meal
Lunch: 3 ham slices with 3 slices of Pepper Jack cheddar… Mmmm!!
Dinner: Stir-fry pork with onions and asparagus (cooked in coconut oil).
Snack: Beef jerky… eeek that out a couple little pieces at a time to make it stretch (thanks, Suzanne for bringing me the 3 bags!!) ** Kira… Titters LOVES jerky!

I hope everyone is having a great week! I have 23 days until I fly home… for good… or for now… LOL
What type of exercise or movement did you do on Monday??

Ciao!

 

Dukan – Consolidation Day 86 – Sunday Runday

Sunday was an awesome day… food wise, Dukan wise and exercise wise!

Daily weight: 148 lbs/67.2 kgs
Goal weight: 155 lbs/70.5 kgs

I started my morning early with a half hour of yoga and some housework. Then at 0900 out for a walk/run. It was HOT! Here’s how hot…

Feels like 101F… bring it on!

So I did this route… which the GPS is off a bit… I walked along the little river, across the bridge and back… so just move my route (in your head) down a bit… LOL

And these are the scenes along my walk…

The path leaving my complex going towards the river.

The construction site has taken over 1/2 the Buddhist Temple and torn it down… they moved the Big incense burners across the walking path to the river side.

The construction site hasn’t taken the temple half… yet… I sure hope they don’t!

A real working lock!

Guarding the lock.

I could smell a funky smell, like manure, and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from!

This lovely lady was fertilizing the lush greenery along the river walk… Thank you! You make my walk much more beautiful!!!

Continuing on…

 

I then crossed over the river to come back on the other side.

Incoming barge… an old way of transport with all new construction in the background!

Close up of the wake from the barge.

As I crossed over the bridge once more, I got wolf whistled at… LOL. That made me feel good and gave me the energy in the melting heat to finish…

Out of the 1:20 I only ran 35 minutes. It was just too darn hot… but it gave me the chance to slow down and enjoy the scenery!

Food:
Brekkies: 2 tea eggs… good protein fuel to get started!
Snack when back from walk/run: 2 ounces of an amazingly good aged cheddar that crumbles when you bite it… Mmmmmm and some Jerky… thanks, Suzanne for bringing that!
Dinner at 430 p.m. at Surbhi and Andy’s… OH MY GOD!!! My very favorite Indian dish,  Palak Paneer, made just for me! Yummy, authentic Indian food. I am SO grateful for the people I have met on my 4 years of living abroad! I also had a little bit of rice, dal and aloo! Of course this was a celebration meal 😀

When I got home from my 1 hour 20 minute bus ride… standing (now that must have burned some calories) and dancing to my own tune (Rocking out to Rock of Ages soundtrack in the bus… smiling and dancing, sure makes the locals give me a little space) I opened my email to this picture…

Yummy, juicy, delectable Helena… who is almost 5 months! I am SO lucky that I get to be there when these little cutie patooties are born! Can’t wait to make a trip to Boston to cuddle you!

And before bed a pot of 2% Greek Yogurt with Splenda and flax seed meal. Yum!

Awesome day all around… How did your weekend go?

Ciao!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Running, blog stats and random stuff

I’ve had a pretty exciting week from a personal perspective. I set two personal records running in the past 3 days. The first was my fastest run at 8:26 avg. min/km or 13:34 avg. min/mile. This is a full 1 minute per mile LESS than before I had my surgery in May! The second was that I ran more miles in July than any previous month! Below is my RunKeeper stats…

The brick color is walking, the green is running and the purple is hiking.

I’ve either walked, ran or hiked 544 kilometers since March. That’s 338 miles 🙂 Woot!

Another awesome thing that happened this week is that at some point I reached 50,000 hits on my blog! And I’ve logged nearly 3500 comments! It makes me so happy that so many people have stopped by. I started regularly writing this blog in August to share my journey with family and friends and it has become so much more and that makes my heart swell with happiness!

And that leads to the awesomest things that have happened this week. Actually it happened today… 4 people that I personally know, all of us on 4 different continents, contacted me today (yesterday for some of you) to tell me they are starting the Dukan because they want to be healthier and they’ve seen my success. All 4 have read my blog and I only knew that one of them was. I wish all 4 of you luck!!! I know you will succeed because I know all of you put your mind to something and accomplish it! 4 amazing women… starting on this journey… Good luck and remember that I’m here if you need anything!

I’ll finish by saying that August brings in the last month of summer. It also signals that I have 51 days left in China. I can’t believe I’ve been here nearly a year already! I get one more trip to Guangzhou where I get to hang with my Int’l crew down there, Rose, Jenny, Liza and Dianna. And get to mentor a friend from the Middle East, Aisha! And then back to Hangzhou to finish out my contract… I’m going to miss my ViviMokaLaka so much! She’s the one that brought me here in the first place. I’m going to try to take as many photos as possible in the next 7 weeks.

But I miss home and my kids and my grandkids and my mom and my family and my friends and the beautiful sunrise over the Roosevelt Bridge first thing in the morning. And there’s no place like home. I’ve had a fun 4 years living abroad 🙂 But on to new projects and fixing up my AirStream!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday!

Ciao!

Dukan – A Good Day – Dukan Consolidation Day 78

11 weeks and 1 day into Dukan Consolidation Phase and doing great!
Today was my once weekly PP day, since I was unable to do it on Thursday.

Today’s Weight: 147 lb/66.8 kgs
Goal Weight: 155 lb/70.5 kgs

Back to work in Hangzhou after a trip yesterday to Shanghai. Got an early start on fine tuning a PowerPoint presentation on water birth for tomorrow (Sunday). I walked to work, as usual.

Breakfast: 2 tea eggs, 3 slices of lean bacon, coffee
Morning Snack: 1 ounce of Pepper Jack cheese
Lunch: 2 tea eggs, 3 slices of lean bacon
Afternoon Snack: 1 tea egg, 1 ounce of Pepper Jack cheese
Dinner: Lomo Saltaldo… oh MY was it good!
After Dinner Snack: Fat Free greek yogurt with Splenda and flax seed meal… I’m eating that now as I write this blog 🙂

Exercise Today:
Walk to work = 1 mile
Walk home for lunch = 1 mile
Walk back to work = 1 mile
Walk home from work = 1 mile
After dinner walk = 2 mile
Total = 6 miles

Water = 3+ liters of water today.

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Ciao!

Parting shot… Baby Moon-Moon this afternoon… I love my babies!

Dukan – Consolidation Day 60 – Two Months!

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been 2 months since I reached Consolidation Phase! Two months and I’ve actually lost weight, not just maintained. Which says a lot about this amazing lifestyle change… it’s for the long term. It doesn’t abandon you once the weight is gone.

A former colleague, Rachell, is on Dukan and has lost 19 Kgs (nearly 42 pounds). She looks AWESOME! One of the comments under the picture she posted that she was on Dukan and one of the people commented back, ” I must look into it, do you eat anything?”… This is the general mentality we have about diets… that you must not eat… well I’m here to tell you that on Dukan you eat and eat and eat… but you eat GOOD, HEALTHY FOOD. Nourishing food. It’s a lifestyle change and if you stick to it, it continues to keep you fit and healthy… while you eat and eat and eat! 😀

Daily Weight: 144 lbs/65.45 kgs (yes, mother, I know… lol)
Goal Weight: 155 lbs/70.5 kgs.

So, this is something interesting. When I started the Dukan Diet way back in August of last year, Dr. Dukan asks what you think your weight should be. I said 145. He said 165 was my True Weight based on age, # of pregnancies, menopause and other factors. So I agreed to set my goal at 155. Which is what I reached 60 days ago. I am now 11 pounds below that goal and just 1 pound below what I thought my weight should be. I feel good. I’m eating and eating and eating (you get the point)… but my exercise has increased from being a couch potato 10 months ago to running 5K five times a week, yoga 2x a week, mountain hiking on Sunday mornings, walking a mile to and from work every single day, etc. I have increased my calories, as well. Trying to match my motion burning energy 🙂 So, in all actuality, I’ve lost 111 pounds… what a cool number that is!

For a glimpse into my typical Sunday… here we go…

Up at the crack of dawn… no alarm, drives me nuts, as I’d love to sleep in just a little, teeny bit, but nope, my body goes to sleep at 10 pm and wakes up just before 6 am every morning, work or not!

Breakfast: FF Greek yogurt with Splenda and 2 Tbs. Flax seed meal, cup of coffee and 750 mL water with Crystal Light. Strap on my hiking boots and off I go to catch bus #900. Towards Guyuan Park, where I get off to walk to the entrance of the mountain hike.

Along the way to the mountain gate there are many paths to choose from to get there…

And then, as I came out of the park to cross the road to the gate, I encountered this…

No end in sight… but the construction workers waved me over, moved the walls and let me pass through… YAY!

More paths to choose from 🙂

There are 838 steps to get up to here…

West Lake in the background… the view is stunning in person. I drank another 750 mL water while on the hike.

And this is the path I take, thanks to Runkeeper!

838 steps up, 483 ft elevation… nice climb! I paused up at the top for pictures and about a 25 minute guided meditation.

After finishing the hike, I walked down to the first traffic light in front of the University to meet my driver Jerry and found Teresa’s… how in the WORLD had I not found this place in the past 10 months is beyond me!!! I texted Jerry and told him to meet me there and we had brunch… it was Mmmm Mmmm good. The iced coffees were a perfect way to cool off after the long hike!
Brunch: Avocado & Bacon salad. Two tea eggs (smuggled in). 2 Iced cafe lattes with splenda and about 500 mL water.
Groovy restaurant…

Then Jerry took me to the mall to do a little shopping… I was able to find 2 bras that FIT, which is a score here in the land of little women! And after a few hours of shopping, we ended up for a late lunch at The Vineyard… Jerry wanted to know how I could eat so much… YES PEOPLE… YOU GET TO EAT ON DUKAN!! WOOT!
Late lunch: Philly Cheese steak with grilled peppers and extra grilled onions, no bread please and no french fries… side salad instead and several glasses of water. Jerry had french fries… I sniffed them, no appeal, whatsoever!

Then Jerry dropped me off at home. And around 730 p.m. I made the deviled eggs from yesterday’s recipe and while making them, I had salmon shashimi with wasabi & gluten free soy sauce (Tamari). I also ate 6 halves of the deviled eggs… YUM! Drank another 500 mL water and took a 2 mile walk around the complex after dinner and then fell into bed at 10 p.m…. wonderful day. I love being so active!

What do you do on your days off from work???

Ciao!

Dukan – Consolidation Day 56

Thursday was a stressful day 😦

Daily Weight: 147 lbs/66.8 kgs
Goal Weight: 155 lbs/70.5 kgs

I sure don’t like stressful days. Makes me want to nosh around on food… thank goodness I only have healthy choices around me, but even too much of a good thing can be a not so good thing!

My stress centers around changes to my work schedule without consulting with me. They just toss me to the wind sometimes and see where I land. I am about the easiest going, “fly by the seat of your pants” kinda gal, but when it seems to be changes made with the wrong intent, it gets my hackles up.

Then after the schedule change stuff, I went on morning rounds and had to stop due to the stress of dealing with people who give misinformation. Formula (baby poison in MY humble opinion) is passed out like candy here. Women being told that they don’t have any milk in their breasts… it does my head in.

So… two things I’m concentrating on to get me out of my funk…
1. My job ends here in 10 weeks and 5 days and I will go home, for good… maybe, at least for now… and…
2.  I won’t be doing birth work full time when I go home. I will be starting my own diet and fitness business. I am very excited about this.
Oh… and a 3rd thing… because they’ve changed my schedule to go to Guangzhou July 12, I will be near Hong Kong and being near Hong Kong means I can go to a movie theatre and watch ROCK OF AGES… now THAT will make me happy and get me out of this funk… I saw it in the States last month and I want to see it again! I’m listening to the soundtrack to ROA as I am typing this post! 

After work I walked to the grocery store to pick up some veggies for the dinner I made for Vivi and Olivia. Vivi is my new personal assistant, having replaced the amazing Kitty, and Olivia is a translator in our office. I wanted to have them over for dinner for helping out with Tits the Cat while I was at home on vacation. Their request… an American dinner. So I made them steak, carrots with splenda and cinnamon and mashed potatoes with aged cheddar… I didn’t eat the carrots or the potatoes… although they both appeared to be big hits, given the fact there was nothing left over! I also made a nice salad with greens, red cabbage, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers.

Vivi and Olivia

An American dinner for my Chinese friends 🙂

While the carrots and potatoes were boiling, I showed the girls how to use the wii for bowling. Neither had bowled before. They did pretty well for their first game. While I was finishing up supper, they bowled their second game and Vivi scored a 201! She did almost as well on game 3… note to self… stop teaching people how to play, they’ll beat you! LOL

All in all a very nice night. The girls cheered me up. I walked them down to the corner and got Vivi in a taxi home. I then did a walk around the neighborhood.

Food:
Breakfast: 2 tea eggs, coffee
Snack: 10 almonds
Lunch: left over pork from the dinner out with Jerry… when I heated this up in the staff canteen here at work, the chef came over with chop sticks and had a few bites… lol. I’m working REAL hard on the lack of personal space… real hard!
Snack: 1 ounce aged cheddar and 10 almonds
Dinner: Steak w/ onions, salad and a tea cup of wine
Water: 2.5 liters
Exercise:
10 minute morning flow yoga, Walk to work (1 mile) Walk from work to grocery then home (1.9 miles),  walk around neighborhood before bed 1.2 miles)

So… deep breaths, positive outlook, awesome soundtrack, meditation… in and out… 10 weeks, 5 days… ahhhhhh

Ciao!

One last pic… my little baby from Tuesday… his mommy IS exclusively breast feeding… that’s a rare thing here!  🙂

Cute lil thing!

Dukan – Consolidation Day 55

I am really missing my daily blog posts! I still don’t feel like I’ve caught up from my vacation!

Daily weight: 147 lbs/66.8 kgs
Goal weight: 155 lbs/70.5 kgs

Things weight and goal wise are going very well. I have to remind myself often that I am no longer in the Cruise Phase and can add a few things into my diet! Today (Thursday) is a PP day and so far I’ve stuck to that. On the Consolidation Phase (which for me will be 500 days long) you get to add some stuff back in to your diet, you get to have one celebration MEAL (not day) a week and you still have one PP day a week. Dr. Dukan suggests Thursday as that day, and I’m going to stick with that.

On Tuesday morning I got up early and went for a 2 mile run at sunrise. I then came back and did Chaz’s YOGAmazing 10 Minute Morning Flow workout. The combination of the two is a great way to start my day! Chaz has some amazing short yoga workouts that are easy to fit into your day and he also has workouts that focus on specific areas of your body, which I really love!

I then headed to work by walking and within the first hour was told I was being requested for a water birth. All day labor, difficult birth, as the baby was face up instead of face down, but this momma pulled energy from the universe and after nearly 3 hours of pushing had a gorgeous baby boy with a funny looking head… lol (it’s looking much better this morning!)

On Tuesday evening Alice came back for a night stay over. We went out to dinner with her son, Leon. Alice and I had the salmon with horseradish appetizer and we all three ordered mixed grill. The meat was DELICIOUS!

The waitress that took pics for us kept tilting all of our cameras… so none of us have a straight shot, lol!

Alice and I then headed back late to my flat and I was in bed at 1 a.m. (gasp!!! that is SO late for me!). And we were up at 6 a.m. to get a ride to the train station. Alice had a noon flight to Hong Kong.

Wearing Red, White & Blue on the train to Shanghai in honor of America’s birthday!

So off we went to Shanghai on Wednesday morning… the 4th of July. Not only is this America’s Independence Day, but it is also my little sister Nannette’s birthday!

Alice and I were suppose to be on the high speed train to Shanghai, which usually takes about 42 minutes, but we somehow got on the slow one… so between that and the subway ride on Line 2 from one end of Shanghai to the other to get to the airport, it was cutting it close… good Lord I was glad it was Alice traveling and not me, as we all know how bad my travel anxiety and time goes! We, of course, got there with plenty of time and from the pics that Alice posted on her Facebook wall of Hong Kong, she got there in one piece!

Bye Alice!!! It was fun hanging out!

I then got back on the subway and found my way to the grocery store that I shop at in Shanghai and found a restaurant that I hadn’t eaten in before. Sat down at a table with a lovely gentleman named Stern from New Jersey, in China teaching for a year, and had a wonderful conversation over lunch… we’re Facebook friends now 🙂  and then I got a little shopping done… mostly a backpack and sack full of groceries to sustain me through the week. I then took the subway back to the train station for the ride back to Hangzhou. I called Jerry, my driver (I love saying that… he’s a very cool dude!) and asked if he could pick me up… he said yes and told me to keep an eye out for the special way he was going to display my name at the train station…

You see MY driver uses an iPad instead of cheesy paper! 😀 Thank you, Jerry, for making me feel so special and important and for being environmentally friendly!

He then informed me that he was taking me to dinner to thank me for all the referrals that I gave him. He was taking me to the “best Chinese restaurant in town” and inquired about what foods I could and could not eat… the man pays attention! Too bad he’s married with a kid, lol! Just joking, his wife is one lucky lady!

So, he takes me to Nongtangli Restaurant near West Lake and he was not kidding… it was the best Chinese food I’ve had since I’ve been here! I decided right then and there that Wednesday, July 4th, was going to be my Celebration Meal of the week. Not that I ventured too far… I don’t do wheat, rice or potatoes… here’s what we had…

Spicy Black fungi and to die for pork… nommy, nommy pork, melt in your mouth, fall off the bone, better than sex pork 😀

And pumpkin with a creamed coconut sauce… now this was yummy!

And I had juice, which is something I haven’t had since August! It was fresh juiced green apple and grapefruit… cool and refreshing on this hot summer’s eve!

Awesome dinner, awesome dinner companion. Jerry then took me back to my flat and didn’t charge me for the pick up… such a great guy!

So my 4th of July food was:
Breakfast: 2 tea eggs, coffee at train station
Lunch: Salad greens and a poached salmon steak
Snack on the train: about 2 ounces of aged cheddar that was crumbly and sharp!
Dinner: See above… Yum!!
Snack before bed: FF Greek Yogurt with Splenda and flax seed
Water: About 3 liters
Exercise: 1 mile walk after dinner and 20 minutes of meditation

So how was everyone else’s 4th of July??

Ciao!

Results ARE typical – Dukan Diet

Dukan Diet – Consolidation Phase – Day 49

Today’s Weight: 148 lbs/67.27 kg
Goal Weight: 155 lbs/70.5 kg
Weight loss Total: Well… the starting weight was 255 lb/115 kg!

This morning, it’s Friday morning here in Hangzhou, China, I woke up to an email from the Dukan Diet web site. They had posted my success story on their web page. I am honored!  Here’s the link Sandi B. Success Story.

I want people to know that with the Dukan Diet RESULTS ARE TYPICAL. They really are. If you follow the principles outlined by Dr. Dukan in his book you WILL lose weight, meet your goals AND keep it off. I bought my book in Abu Dhabi at the urging of my friend Lucy, thank you Lucy! You can buy the book here iTunes or here Amazon. If you are thinking of following the Dukan Diet I strongly recommend that you read the book from cover to cover. I met Dr. Dukan’s True Weight 3 days after he told me I would… In other words, 8 months after putting my data into the Dukan site, I hit my TW 3 days after he said I would. Dr. Dukan knows what he is talking about!

The other thing that made me successful on this diet were following the blogs of Charlotte and Moonday and Mel and many others who share their ups and downs and their over and outs… LOL. There are many, many other blogs that I follow now (which reminds me I need to update that blog roll!). Constance at Becoming She Hulk has also lost more than 100 pounds and is keeping it off… great advise at her blog about Dukan, body building and more. She has been a true inspiration to me!

So go on over and read my success story… I’m so excited about it! I’ll blog later about the meals I’ve been eating in Consolidation and I promise I’ll get back to daily blogging about Dukan and running. I woke up this morning FINALLY feeling non-jet lagged! 🙂

If this is your first visit to my blog… welcome. Take a seat and stay awhile. For those of you that have been on this ride with me for a while… thank you 🙂

And the proof is in the pictures….

BEFORE PICS:

With mom in Dubai. Jan 2011

August 2011… 2 weeks before I started Dukan.

August 2011

I think you get the picture!

AFTER PICS:

Hiking in April… almost there!

Teaching Emergency Birth skills class – June 2012

With Bernadette – June 2012

And finally… dinner out with great friends a few weeks ago…

Awesome friends 🙂

RESULTS.ARE.TYPICAL… they really can be!

Ciao!

 

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!!!

Ciao!

“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 260 – West Lake Hike

Friday was a PP Day 🙂

Daily Weight Loss: +0.2 lb/0.10 kg
Total Weight Loss: 91.8 lb/41.71 kg
Stubborn last 10 pounds… LOL

I have Friday’s off and typically try to get out of the house early. I got out the door about 845, which is late for me, given that I’m up before 6. The sun is up very early here, around 530 a.m., and I’m a “be awake while the sun is up” kinda girl!

I took the city bus and finally found West Lake (by bus, that is… I’ve been there many times by taxi). My plan was to map out a running track for a guest blog post that I’m doing in July over at A Good Run.

I ended up meandering through some beautiful pathways, not really running safe, though. Which was fine. Because after the week I’ve had, I needed some serenity and I got it! You’ll see that in the pictures below.

After about a one hour walk, I found a Starbucks I didn’t know about, tucked in the trees next to the lake! I wasn’t planning on stopping there, my plan had been to hike about another 1/2 mile to the NE tip of the lake and have a coffee at that Starbucks. But I was drawn by the veranda overhanging the lake, so in I went.

Ordered a Venti Iced Latte w/Skim and headed up the winding stairs to the balcony. As I approached I noticed 3 local people sitting out there. As I opened the door an older man says, with a huge smile on his face, “We’ve been waiting for you all morning!”. At first I was surprised at his English, but managed to say immediately, “Well I’m glad you saved a seat for me!”.

It is challenging, dear readers, to live in a country where you do not know the language and a good deal of the people don’t know yours. I have what I call “China Moments”… not said in a positive light, LOL. But this was a wonderful China Moment. We sat and chatted, the 4 of us, for over an hour. The older man was quite a character, teasing us. What was amazing is that no one knew each other before walking on that balcony!

needed that moment and God and the universe knew that. I really, really needed it. Funny how things work like that 🙂

Here’s a sampling of the beauty I saw along the way…

Sign at the head of the trail.

There are temples and gardens and even huts that you can rent for the night.

View over the “Little” lake. There are 2 lakes with walking causeway between them.

Stone bridge that crosses one of the many brooks that run through the park.

Cute little guy!

Gorgeous sculpture!

In her hands…

Quiet & easy to meditate in these gardens.

Been here 8 months… this is the first squirrel I’ve seen 🙂

Friends

Walking bridge over the connecting between the “little” lake and the “big” lake.

Path along the “big” lake… sorry for the finger in the shot… using my iPhone 🙂

View from the balcony at Starbucks.

One last pond as I exit the West Lake walk.

My route.

After finishing my walk, I took the bus to Kira’s to hang for a while… okay, well for a long time, LOL. But worth it. She’s moving back to the States on Wednesday and I’m going to miss her and Soren and Dan and Helena… a lot. I won’t miss their cat, Brooklyn, AKA “Tits”, because he’s moving in with me. I’ll have a wee piece of them here with me as a remembrance 🙂

Breakfast: 2 egg omelet with onions & garlic (I know, don’t fall off your chairs… ALERT! Sandi didn’t have tea eggs for brekkies!) Thanks for the idea Mel 🙂
Lunch: 2 tea eggs and 2 ounces of Edam
Dinner: 1/2 broiled chicken and grilled onions
Snack: pot of FF yogurt with bran and Splenda

Exercise:
2.76 mile walk along West Lake in morning
3.38 mile walk home from Kira’s in the evening

Ciao!