Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Favorite Travel Tools

Hello from North East, Maryland!

This week we have an event at the University of Delaware & are staying about 20 miles away in Maryland, fun stuff. This is a small town off of the Chesapeake Bay...the downtown kind of reminds me of South Haven, but then about 10 miles away is more like Portage (for all of you that know my hometown area).

After leaving Delaware/Maryland I'm heading to Indianapolis for a couple Indiana Pacers games & then the Big Ten Basketball Tournament! :) It'll be nice to be closer to home, no doubt I'll run into some Michiganders there!! We'll be in Indy for about three weeks which will also be kind of nice, I'll be able to "settle" in a little at the hotel. Life on the go can be fun, but it's also a bit of a challenge as you can imagine.

This brings me to the topic of my blog, "My Favorite Travel Tools!" I've chosen a few things that make life on the road a little easier & keep me more sane if you will. Here they are in no particular order:

1. GPS: Okay, for reals. I don't think this job would be possible without one! I'm not too young to remember the progression of navigation...in fact, until last year I had never used a GPS before! Most of our vacations as kids involved my dad driving & my mom in the passenger side seat with the Atlas which is how we got from point A to point B & all the stops in between. Then there was MapQuest & we printed out directions & went from there. But with this job...and I cannot even imagine having an Atlas or even following directions from paper. In saying that, I hope our GPS doesn't freak out anytime soon...leaving us to have to use an Atlas or printed directions!

2. Emergen-C: I use Emergen-C once a day to help boost my immune system & keep from getting sick! So far so good, but I love it because sure, you could drink orange juice which is a bit more tasty...but you're also drinking a lot of unnecessary sugar in OJ as well. This way, I get my Vitamin C fix without all the extra calories (and in my case, wasted Points+!)

3. Packing Cubes: Some of you that know me on a personal level will laugh when I say I LOVE ORGANIZATION, because you've probably seen my room in a previous state & think otherwise. However, being on the road can be very annoying without being organized! So, this is where my "packing cubes" come in!! The ones I use are from Target made by Embark & they are the large packing cube which according to the packaging, "organize and protect garments inside luggage" and are 9 3/4 in L x 13 3/4 in W x 3 in H. I started the tour off with one of these for my bras, undies & socks and quickly realized I needed another for my tanks and t's. NOW I've purchased two more recently that will be designated as my "work shirts" and "leisure shirts" leaving only my jeans, other pants, shorts & sweatshirts "loose" in my suitcase. I like knowing I can grab my "cube" & know what is in it...much like a drawer in a dresser at home!

4. Velcro Straps: These are an item I found at Lowe's & I'm fairly obsessed with them now. Because we have a lot of technology...it requires a lot of plugs & cords which get tangled & all out of whack. BUT wih the help of velcro straps I've made my life a little bit more easy!! These are the "VELCRO Black Universal One-Wrap straps" from Lowes & they come in a roll that you tear off & use to wrap cords together for easy organization & use. I not only have started using these on the event site, but also with my personal cords I need to keep straight! LOVE them!

5. Purex 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets: Now, I don't necessarily recommend these for every day use because they tend to possibly leave "oil" spots on clothes (I've only noticed it on one piece & not entirely sure if it was from these) but as far as traveling goes, they are amazing. You basically put the sheet in with your clothes in the washer & it acts as the detergent & then there is a strip at the end of the sheet with fabric softener on it for when you put it in the dryer! It's pretty amazing! And I got it at Target, I believe there are 38 sheets for like $8...and it should last me almost the entire tour!

I have a few other things that have been useful along the way as well...but for those of you who just want to hear about the COOL things I get to do & not the dirty "behind the scenes" I'll spare you all! ;) For now I'm off to pick up my To-Go order from Woody's Crab House...you know I got myself a crab cake, you can't pass them up here. AND they aren't terrible for you if you ask for them to be prepared in a way that doesn't involve a ton of butter! So until next time. MUAH!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Perks of a Nomadic Lifestyle

Hello from Poughkeepsie, NY!

Well, I had a day off so I thought I would post another update...LUCK YOU! :)

Michelle, Kevin & I made a 2 hour drive to Washington, DC on our last day off & had a great day! The weather was a serious gift from God, sunny and mid-upper 50's! We were able to visit most of the "touristy" sites like; Washington Monument, White House, National Museum of Natural History, National Air & Space Museum, war memorials, Lincoln Memorial, National Mall...etc. We were really only there for 3.5 hrs or so, but we walked fast, took quick photos & moved onto the next site! Michelle & Kevin had both been before, so I (again) was the one wanting to see all the sites! After our quick day of sight-seeing, I left Kevin & Michelle to have dinner in DC while I went out to Arlington, VA to have dinner with Beebs & Adie (and Mr. Bebe) at Pie-Tanza (www.pie-tanza.com) which had INCREDIBLE food! Adie was working, so Beebs, Jason & I had dinner while she stopped by the table as often as she could to chat with us! It was SO FUN! It was like catching up with old friends! I feel bad though, I was so excited I don't even know if Beebs, Jason or Adie ever got a word in! Haha! I'm so glad I got a chance to meet up with all of them though, it was SO fun & I can't wait for the day when we can actually spend some time together!

The next day was a drive day for us & my team is so supportive of my love for baseball we detoured a little to go see the Washington Nationals Park!! That's five parks in like three weeks, ahh, makes me so happy! Speaking of baseball...pitchers & catchers have reported to Lakeland & Spring Training is RIGHT around the corner!! I need to figure out how to subscribe to mlbtv or something so I can be sure to catch ALL of the Tigers games possible while on the road! I hope I'm able to visit a couple cities & see some baseball games while I'm traveling instead of JUST visiting the stadiums. :)

So, I had my first weigh in since my initial one...and I gained, BUT I was kind of expecting it because I had also worked out the day before for the first time in a while...and we did a ton of walking in DC...and I may or may not have eaten a whole (fairly small & thin) pizza at dinner with Beebs & Adie! ...and then had an icecream sandwhich! OOPS! Oh well, I stayed within my Points Plus!! And speaking of WW, I've been really trying to adjust to this nomadic lifestyle of mine by making time to visit the hotel gym whenever possible. Most gyms have at least a room with an eliptical or treadmill in them, so I do what I can when I can & my goal is to work out three times a week, but some weeks I physically can't do it & other weeks I'm sure I'll be able to do more! Also, since I know some places we visit are KNOWN for their food I've been making a point to eat a light breakfast, which mostly consists of a yogurt or oatmeal & a piece or two of fruit! Unless we go somewhere special for lunch, I've been sticking to Subway or using my eTools to find healthy options at other places we go. I'm determined to make this work...so, it's gonna work! Haha.

Today has been a low-key, relaxing day off...mostly because there isn't much to do in Poughkeepsie & Boston (the only city we thought we might want to go to around here) is four hours away. So, we turned it into a "pamper" day! I took a long, hot shower & am about to do my nails & Michelle got her hair done...and then in an hour or so we're all going to the salon/spa to get pedis, massages, hair, etc done, I can't wait!

Hope all is well with all my readers, if there is anything you're curious about in my life right now or just want to ask me questions, feel free to email me at any time (collinsm227@gmail.com) or comment on a post! I miss all of my friends & family! Love you all!! Muah!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Hello from Richmond, VA!

I last posted the first night we were in Baltimore...and let me tell you, ever since arriving in Baltimore it's been work - NON STOP! Just to give you an idea, I worked over 50 hrs in four days...wowzas! We worked the Motor Trend International Auto Show, but upstairs in the Shiftr Automotive & Lifestyle Event (aka...where all the "tricked out" cars were). The auto show was very long hours, BUT...a bit of my Michigander-ness sense of pride comes out when awesome American, Detroit made cars are being displayed! Especially with all the hype around Chrysler's Super Bowl commercial with Eminem, filmed in the Motor City...my pride cup was overflowing! We even started every day at the auto show with "Lose Yourself" by Eminem! lol.

Anyway, the COOLEST part of the auto show in my opinion, was all of the awesome Camaros! I somehow have switched from being a Mustang girl to a Camaro girl! I've always loved Mustangs...and still do, but this new Camaro is HOT! And the convertible...I have no words. It is absolutely gorgeous! When I went down to see it for the first time my heart rate went through the roof! It was like going on a first date! Hahaha...how sad is that!? But seriously...such a gorgeous car AND the convertible was in my fav car color...midnight blue! I also got a chance to test drive the Camaro - I was on cloud nine! It drove so smoothly & the pick up was dreamy...if I was able, I would purchase that car right now.

The rest of the car show was pretty cool, many beautiful cars, lots of strange creepers in Baltimore though. Some guy asked if he could book a flight to come see me back in Michigan...and was dead serious. Michelle, Kevin & I all had our fair share of creeper-moments there, so bazaar. On a good notes though, I did get an amazing jumbo lump crab cake at a small bistro in downtown Baltimore, so yum!

As mentioned before, I'm now in Richmond, VA! We worked the VCU vs. George Mason college basketball game tonight! I didn't realize it was such a large event, but the venue was PACKED. George Mason came out ahead...but I have to give it to the VCU fans, they were so into the game...such a supportive crowd!

Tomorrow we have our first day off in over three weeks and I'm SO excited! We are heading to Washington D.C.!! It'll be my first time visiting there & I get to meet up with two of my favorite LTE'ers, Beebs & Adie! I seriously CANNOT wait! <3 Well, I better get to bed...I plan on earning some AP's tomorrow before we head to D.C.!

OH WAIT! I can't remember if I mentioned this in the last post, but I re-joined Weight Watchers officially last week while in Baltimore! Oddly enough I had lost weight since leaving North Carolina dispite all my indulgences in NYC! So far so food this week...I plan to weigh in on Thursday so I can't treat myself too well in D.C. :)

Until next time...MUAH!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Empire State of Mind

Hello from Baltimore! Yeah...I've left NYC already & haven't blogged about it yet! I'm a terrible blogger! BUT, in my defense it was launch week & we were SO busy I didn't really have time to blog. I have time now & that's what I plan to do!

We got into New Jersey (which is where we stayed) on February 1, just beating out the terrible weather that presented problems for our West & South teams! I didn't get to go into Manhattan until THURSDAY! It was killing me to see the city & it was right at my fingertips, but we had so much work to do. Our first event was Thursday, the Lunar New Year in Chinatown. So, I got to go into the city, but straight to Chinatown & straight out. The event was interesting though, quite a language barrier as most of our consumers did not speak English! We were finally able to make it into the city to see Time Square & eat at an amazing Brazilian restaurant, Michelle ensured us it was authentic & it was seriously delicious...and we had 10 different kinds of meat, among other things! We had another event in Chinatown on Sunday that was a much younger crowd, which made communicating a lot easier. Friday we went to Soho & stopped in the Dash boutique, no Kardashian sightings & no souveniers either...$60 for a "Dash" tshirt...I'll pass. But the employees, the "Dash Dolls" had a ton of questions about our phone service & plans, it was pretty comical actually! I think they were more excited to see us than we were to visit the store! But it was a typical boutique, very expensive clothes in small sizes with a very small selection, fully equipt with Kardashian photos & $10 bottles of Kardashian water.

The food in NYC is crazy! There are so many options and so many places that are "special" or "famous" or "unique to New York" that it's really hard to eat well. I know if I haven't gained weight yet...I sure did last week. Although, my jeans still fit...so that's a good sign! I've made a goal though, to work out at least three days a week & I plan to strictly stick to that. Speaking of NYC & crazy, I TOTALLY drove the SUV & trailer THROUGH MANHATTAN! Most people would never imagine even driving in NYC, let alone with a trailer! It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, it was more stressful driving in New Jersey in my opinion! The people were rude & the street sytems are MESSED up. Haha.

Last night Michelle & I were able to visit Yankee Stadium & Citi Field, both which were impressive! Michelle worked her magic & was able to get a security guard to let us in the front offices lobby area to take a quick photo! I'm so not good a flirting to get my way! Also, today on our way to Baltimore we were able to stop in Philly to visit the Citizen Bank Field & get ourselves a Philly Cheesesteak! If you're counting...that's three baseball stadiums in two days, I'm on cloud 9! I'm hoping tomorrow after we set up our event site we can stop by Camden Yards! I also want to stop by Charm City Cakes...which is where the Food Network show Ace of Cakes is filmed!!

All this traveling is fun, but it's hard work, 67 hours & no day off going on 3 weeks! And I miss my family, friends & my Detroit sports! Hockey season in NC was okay because Nick had the Center Ice Package, but roaming the country is rough! I did however find a website where I could listen to the games for free!! I've been "that girl" in the hotel room listening to the Red Wings & cheering loudly for goals! Another thing about being on the road that is difficult is not being able to go to church! We can go if we have the time to go, but like last Sunday we had the Lunar New Year event & left the hotel by 6:45am. Michelle & I are determined to find a church service this week. In the meantime I've been enjoying Lake Center Bible Church podcasts from iTunes! It's a little piece of home on the road!

Well, after Baltimore we head to Richmond, VA for a couple days & then to Poughkeepsie, NY. I'll try to update more often, hopefully it'll get a little less crazy! Fingers crossed. Muah!