visiting Mom’s family, Amherst, training at old gym, Baby party, narrowly avoided disaster

I had an amazing trip!

I left early Wednesday April 6th and flew in to Newark, NJ, landing at 1:30 PM. I got my luggage with no issues and went to go pick up my rental car. I had reserved the cheapest one, but the compact car looked so small! I was like, uhhhhh do you have the next size up after all? He offered me a Camery and another midsized car, but they were so big. Then he offered me a Volkswagen beetle. It was bright yellow. I thought, “Oh my god…OKAY THAT ONE.” No one will miss seeing me coming. Maybe it’s safe? XD I felt kind of hesitant to drive one…but then I thought, “Well Emma Swan from Once Upon A Time drives a bug. It is good enough for me!” So I got it. HAha! The steering was too sensitive and every time I breathed on the wheel, I felt like it took me a few inches to the side, so I felt like I was constantly making adjustments back and forth, which was annoying and aggravating.
roxy yellow buggy
However, when I stepped on the gas, it SHOT FORWARD like Oliver Queen’s arrow! And I screamed, “Whoohooo!” each time. Hah. I tried to find an excuse to step on it, but it mostly came when changing lanes or passing someone or pulling out into traffic from a stopped position. One must not simple accelerate for no reason. XD

It took me an hour and a half to drive to my Aunt and Uncle’s place. The roads and vegetation ALL LOOKED THE SAME, as it usually does when driving in New England, especially in the winter or spring when all the trees are just brown, spindly figures, still hibernating in the cold weather.

I checked into my hotel and met my Aunt Mary and Uncle Steve at Crackerbarrel restaurant and had a really nice dinner.

We agreed to meet at either 11 or 12 for “breakfast” and then visit Franklin D Roosevelt’s house, which was turned into a historical sight. yay. So I woke up at 5:30 (which is actually 2:30 PT time? WHY??!? ;_;) , had breakfast at the hotel restaurant, and exercised! I exercised pretty hard. yoga, walk/jog/sprints outside, weight room with jumping rope, push ups and weight lifting. I did hill springs for the first time since HIGH SCHOOl. I was sore the next day! haha go me.

I still hadn’t heard from my family at 11 AM, so decided to drive into Beacon, which turned out to be a tiny little quaint town. I walked up and down for a while, and then came to a library. I noticed the manga section! ANGEL SANCTUARY VOLUME ONE was there!
angel sanctuary cover
I have been meaning to re-read the series, so I read it! It took me an hour! Then I had a nice meal with my aunt and uncle and went to the museum, although later than we had intended.
I really enjoyed the museum! I learned some history and how Roosevelt influenced American history. I didn’t know he got polio BEFORE he became president and then hid it from the public!
We all want to go back and I want to visit again!
roosevelt's wheelchair

Friday morning, I woke up, exercised a bit, and drove to Amherst! It’s been 11 years since I visited Umass when I graduated! I timed it perfectly so I had 15 minutes to drive around UMass campus before meeting my old coach and friend Kirik for lunch at the Far East Cafe in the town center. Yummy and he treated me. ^^
pics comparison:
In 2005, IFC Utah!
Now, 2016 Amherst. 🙂

kirik roxy at amherst
Then he ditched a podcast appointment for his website and went with me to the student campus store in the center building, I forget what it’s called, and I got an Alumni T shirt and window sticker. hahaha Then I went to the new building New England Submission Fighting club and my other instructor, Dave Roy, met me for special training!
dave roy at nesf
We just rolled. I thought I was doing great and then he said, “Can I turn it up?” and started dominating. Man, I wish he didn’t ask. LOL He didn’t really really beat me up. I wish he did! Rather than make me wonder just how high above me he is. But upon stalking his Facebook page, I found that he’s a black belt with one stripe, so still pretty damn good. He never stopped training after I left, so even though I got better, he did, too. He taught me a few things and gave me some advice. It was great! I got so excited to learn the stuff and train with him again! So much fun! haha he taunted me a bit while rolling. And it was so nostalgic! I miss him already and keep thinking when I can go back to train. The grappling-based MMA style is kind of what I’m evolving away from, but I miss it. And I miss him taunting me and making me unable to fight because I’m laughing so hard. 😀 Dave, I tried Purgatory on someone, and mostly got it applied! but they escaped somehow. x_x I’ll get it someday!

We did a little bit of MMA but I was nervous to go too hard since I didn’t have puffy MMA gloves or shin guards, but it was super fun!

I drove to the Boston area from there, and made it to my dad’s and my step mother’s home by 9:30 PM. Once there, I packed my big suitcase full of some old board games and school books that they are keeping for me in the basement. Then sleep.

Saturday morning, we dropped my rental car off at Enterprise in the area, I hopped into their car, and dad drove us 4.5 hours to New Jersey. 😀 Back to New Jersey! LOL I have completed a triangle. We got there on time for the party, which started at noon. OMG the whole family was there!!! My whole extended family that I never see much lately.

ANYWAY it was glorious! I didn’t see Alison TOO much (who’s baby Pia Rose is the occasion for the get together).

After the cake, we checked into the hotel and while my dad and step mom rested, I went to the exercise room, did some rounds of jump rope and heavy squats. I’ve been eating a lot and gaining weight, so MIGHT AS WELL gain some muscle while I’m at it, right? ;D Despite exercising every day, I still gained about 2 pounds. Actually not bad considering I’ve been eating SO much and it’s hard to find vegetables on the road.

Then we went to my Aunt Connie’s and I enjoyed chatting with family! I love them so much!
adele luis tino roxy
That hotel had the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in.

Okay here comes the fun part.
I had booked my airplane ticket for 2:40 PM, not knowing what anyone’s schedule would be. Dad said they could drop me off at the airport early, and I figured if my cousins were free, I might even be able to hang out with them in the morning and then they could take me. Turns out Dad and Marion had to drop me off at 8 AM and my cousins were busy. Dang.

When I went to check in, I tried to get an earlier flight. The attendant told me that I had to go through the phone service because I had got the tickets on points, and there was ONE SEAT LEFT on the direct flight to Las Vegas! 😀 😀 wee. So I called them and I COULD NOT BOOK IT because it was for preferred customers with that dang United Airlines credit card! ;_; All other flights were booked. DANG. So after thinking hard for 10 minutes, I decided that there was nothing I could do and nobody I could call to “quick, come hang out at 8 AM on a Sunday for a few hours” so I checked in. And the attendant said, “So you’re going to Las Vegas, but you transfer in washington DC. You realize this is two airports, so you’ll have to pick up your luggage, go to the other airport and recheck.”
whaaa minion

I was like, “………….WHAT? What do you mean two airports? Aren’t they connected or something?”
“No,” he replied, indicating I should hand him the print out of my itinerary. “Look, this one is ‘Washington DC, DCA National’ and this one is ‘Washington DC – IAD Dulles.’ You have to pay attention when you book the ticket.”

“How far is it?” I asked. He replied, “It’s like 90 miles or something.” I asked, “How will I get there?” He said, “We don’t provide a shuttle service. Most people take a taxi.”
vegeta wtf
A TAXI?! 90 miles?! What? wait. My heart rate started increasing. Hold on just a second. I had a three hour transfer time. So this guy is telling me that I’m supposed to wait and pick up my luggage, take a taxi at RUSH HOUR IN A DOWNTOWN METROPOLIS AREA, to this airport like half an hour away on a good day? I DON’T THINK SO. I Googled the route and it said 35 minutes now ( at 9 AM) and 30 miles. omg

I was kind of numb as I paid for my checked bag, and he was like “yeah yeah just give your bag to that guy over there.”

I took a step back and thought hard. This plan has “disaster” written all over it. “I want a different flight. But I can’t because all of United’s flights are booked.” I looked around. To the left of me was the counter for American Airlines, so I thought…..
fuck this shit i'm outta here

I went over there and stood in that line. I searched online as I waited and found a one way ticket to Las Vegas for $200! I had used points to get here, so I only paid $80 for a ticket that would probably have been like $500-$600. So when I got to the front, I asked the lady and she said yes, they had flights available! For $230! FINE! BOOK ME, BABY! So She booked me!!!! To transfer in Dallas Fort Worth, Texas. Leaving at 11 Am and arriving in Vegas at 4:40 PM. My original flight would have me arriving at 10 PM Pacific coast time. HELL yes. So I took the United luggage tag right off my suitcase and put the new one on and said “Screw you!” to the united flight. Didn’t even tell them I canceled. I dunno, was I supposed to? :/ I didn’t want to talk to that guy again.

The flight home was mercifully uneventful!!

bam success
I wondered if I could have made the other route but after reading horror stories from friends and websites about how it took them hours to try and get to that airport, I think I just narrowly avoided a disaster with my change of plans. GO ME. And money. Money doesn’t buy happiness but this was totally worth it. I could imagine myself missing my flight at TEN PM and being stuck in Washington DC airport all night?! And wishing I had spent the 200 bucks. Who knows how much a taxi would have cost.

Mom picked me up at the airport! She usually has me take a cab, if it’s around her dinner time, but she probably is missing me. ^^…