Back to work

… Back to reality. Aside from fighting the nagging feeling that I need a vacation to recover from my vacation, heading back to the grind this afternoon wasn’t too painful.

With snow in the forecast overnight, I might be singing a different tune when I wake up. But I’ll cross that bridge later.

Now, it’s time for a brief recap of my time off. Vacation started with a few days of Boyfriend time — but when he dropped me off at the airport Wednesday, things really took off.

No shell, no rice, no beans ... all yum!

I checked in for my flight in advance. Delta offers the cool feature of having your boarding pass sent to your smartphone. So I gave it a try. (I also printed out my boarding document, just in case — but didn’t need the paper. The phone pass worked like a dream.)

After a quick trip through airport security, I stopped near my gate for lunch. My taco salad (chicken, cheese, guacamole, sour cream and pico de gallo on a bed of lettuce) was exactly what I asked for — low in carbs and delicious. While I ate and downed a big glass of water, I took advantage of the free wifi to catch up on some blog reading.

Yep ... it's the infamous "faux Frappuccino." Again.

Still in writing mode, I made my way to the gate and fired up my laptop. I managed to sneak in a few paragraphs on the WIP before the area got too busy to concentrate. When that happened, I knew it was close to time to board, so I ran to Starbucks for a treat.

The hour and a half flight was basically uneventful, but the air was choppy enough to prevent the flight attendants from serving drinks. Made me extra glad for the Starbucks decision.

I packed everything I needed in a single backpack (something I plan a separate blog post on), so all I had to do when the plane landed was let my brother, Dan, know I was on the ground. He picked me up and we went to campus so he could teach his world history class.

Yep. I got to sit in on a lecture on the late years of the Roman empire (small “e”) and the start of the Roman Empire (Julius/Augustus Caesar and those who followed them). It was really pretty fascinating to hear how the leaders’ infighting and grabs for money/power and/or pursuit of pleasure led to their downfall. (Sound familiar to anyone?)

Then it was time to go to the house for the first glimpse I’ve had of my nephew since he was weeks old — and the first-ever sighting of my almost-1-year-old niece.

Nephew Alex was worth the trip all by himself. He’s already a character: picky about what’s on his plate and what he wears and smart enough to know his colors, letters and numbers. Once he stopped calling me Aunt Julie (Sharon’s sister, who probably visits a lot more often than I do), we got along just fine. He’s crazy about cars — it was funny to see him stop to stare at the TV, mesmerized, when car ads came on.

Little Josie was all smiles most of the time — quieter than Alex (probably because she’s not talking yet).

I had a lot of fun during my visit, which included a trip to the aquarium (post forthcoming). I don’t intend to wait so long between trips next time.

Sticking to Atkins while I was gone was easy, in part because Dan and Sharon have done Atkins themselves. I didn’t have to field any rude questions about “how can you eat that?” And with Alex being picky, I didn’t have to feel self-conscious about what I put on my plate.

Dan even picked me up a half-gallon of the unsweetened coconut/almond milk blend that I haven’t been able to find near me. (It was just as delicious as Tina said, so I managed to polish almost all of it off before I left.)

I made decent low-carb choices while I was gone — and I got a bit more exercise than normal. But now that I’m back home, I’m nervous about getting on the scale. Guess I’ll see what happens in the morning.

Round Two of Romance’s Biggest Winner starts this weekend, so I’ll have to get more serious about counting carbs again.

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