Fitbloggin #1: Beagles and Walmarts

My Fitbloggin adventure got off to a slightly grumpy start when my connecting flight was cancelled, my luggage was lost and the US Customs Sniffer Beagle rightfully busted me for attempting to smuggle a tasty salad into the country.

I'd bought the salad at Edinburgh Airport to eat on the plane but never got round to it, so I thought I'd scarf it down by the baggage carousel before I officially entered the country at passport control. But noooooo, Sniffer Beagle had to go be really good at his job and stop me destroying American agriculture!

Beagle Note: sample Sniffer Beagle only.
I did not take photo of actual Sniffer Beagle, that would be illegal.

I eventually got to Baltimore by train, amused that it took 7 hours to get all the way from Edinburgh to Newark but 10 hours to get from Newark to Baltimore. Hehe.


Think I'll need to bust out the bullet points now…

  • I awoke at dawn but luckily there was a CVS and Whole Foods nearby so I could wander around jetlaggedly marvelling at American Goods. You can keep your Statues of Liberty and Yellowstone National Parks, give me your well-stocked drugstores and supermarkets. Swoon! Find of the day: Justins Peanut Butter Cups.
  • I met Carla! My beloved podcasting partner in crime. I opened the hotel room door and there she stood with her Pantene hair and beautiful smile, looking exactly like her Twitter avatar. But then she started moving and talking! It took me a good fifteen minutes to get used to her having three dimensions. After that awkwardness passed we yammered for hours as if we'd known each other for the cliched all our lives!
  • I met Denise! We go way back to the early 00s when we carved blog posts onto rocks with mammoth tusks. It was so good finally meet her. She generously offered to drive me to the shops to buy some workout clothes – I had enough normal clothes in my carry-on for a couple of days but no gear for the fitness activities coming up on Friday. Denise rules!
  • On the way to the car park I held open the door for someone with fabulous hair and it turned out to be Carrie! Another lovely person met from my Meet Or Bust list!
  • The Walmart Mini-Roadtrip was ace. It was peeing down with rain as we zoomed around Baltimore. The sky was black and lightningy, which almost made the Rapture billboards seem credible. BUT NOT QUITE.
  • I scored some great workout clothes at Walmart, saw the most enormous bottle of milk ever, and learned from the checkout lady that Governer Schwarzenegger had been a cheating git (I'd been out of the news loop awhile). Thank you again Denise for a great afternoon!
  • Afterwards I hid in my room for awhile to get psyched for The Room Full Of Stranger-Friends. I know I wasn't alone with the whole sneaking-back-to-your-room-to-recharge thing. It's weird you can be so delirious with anticipation to meet people yet utterly shitscared at the same time!
  • But once in the fray it was all okay. The conference kicked off with a Name Tag Social, in which we decorated our name tags and mingled. It was good fun – being a conference for people who blog about fitness, you could always find something to talk about.
  • Every was so friendly and real with none of the "And who are you?" dismissive glancing at your name tag that I've experienced at some events. It felt like we were all on equal footing… a really cosy, welcoming vibe.
  • At one point I confess… I had a wee Fat Girl Freakout. I said to Carla, "People keep looking at my STOMACH! I know I've stacked on the weight but dude, I think I need a t-shirt that says NOT PREGNANT, JUST FAT". Carla with her usual patient wryness replied, "Are you sure they're not just trying to read your name tag?"
  • By 8pm I had reached that deliciously delirious stage of jetlag where you love the world to bits. Good timing as I was lucky to wind up having a dinner with these extremely groovy folks – Carla, Charlie, Gail, Julie Julie, Kerri, Laurie, Lisa, Sean, Steve and TJ (please forgive me if I missed anyone, it was a big table!). Tasty burgers and hilarious times ahoy!
  • Back to the room… roomie Jennette had arrived! And she had brought an autographed Chocolate & Vicodin book and a jar of my favourite Trader Joe's Almond Butter. What a legend πŸ™‚

There will be another Fitbloggin installment or two but I promise to keep it lean!

27 thoughts on “Fitbloggin #1: Beagles and Walmarts

  1. When you are used to smaller stores you can get over whelmed by massive American style stores. Who needs 20 choices of shampoos to choose from? Shampoo is shampoo. I prefer small and cozy shopping where every one knows your name. I am in the slow lane now and my choices are more simple. Good bye rat race.

  2. A friend of mine used to work in customs, protecting us from European salads and the like. She was jealous of the people who got Beagles. That was her dream, to get paired with a Beagle! Alas, she quit to teach without ever getting a dog, and now foreign radicchio might be sneaking its way into our country.

    Anyway, it was fab seeing you at FitBloggin’!

  3. “We go way back to the early 00s when we carved blog posts onto rocks with mammoth tusks. ”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! I love that. I love your sense of humor! I love you! I hate that I didn’t really try and get to know you before this whole Fitbloggin shindig, but man, I am so glad I am getting to know you now!!

  4. Did you ever see that movie Borat, where he’s in the supermarket and asking “And what is this?” “That’s cheese.” “And what is this?” “That’s cheese.” “And this?” “That’s also cheese.” “And what is this?” “That’s cheese too.”

    Too true!

  5. Ginger I’ve still not seen that, it sounds like a cack though!

    Linda – I like the novelty of a megastore but always nice to get back to the “cigarettes, milk and an apple if you’re lucky” local shop πŸ˜‰

    Jennette – oh the poor woman never getting a beagle! A dream crushed… they are so cute. And crafty.

    Karen – me too… but we got all the time in the world now! Hehe

  6. Was it a good salad? You think the beagle ate it?
    Happiest moment was when you included me at the name tag event. From there, it is history.

  7. You never told me about The Beagle Incident…must have been a jetlagged omission. I LOVE that story! Mummy and I once had our homemade (by my Gran!) cucumber and cheddar sandwiches confiscated by customer officials in Seattle. Well, they tried, anyway, but Mummy and I just sat down on the floor of the customs hall and ate them instead. With the accompanying hard boiled brown eggs. With gusto!

    I love Carla’s comment about people reading your name tag…she is so wise.

  8. Loving the recap so far!

    It’s so awesome to see how everyone experienced FitBloggin!

    Can’t wait to read the post where you meet meeee! πŸ˜‰

  9. I remember being in Washington DC and going to a huuuuuuge supermarket in the city. Swear to God, we spent more time wandering around that store than in any museum or gallery we visited. Loved it.

    PS In the spirit of Fitbloggin’, can I tell you first (as in first blogosphere person) that I’m signed up for the Loch Ness Marathon this year. Freaking out about it but gonna do it. πŸ™‚

  10. Nice one Jack πŸ˜›

    @Laurie – it was a GREAT salad with feta cheese in it. It also cost Β£5! Wahhh!

    @Denise – nice work, you can’t waste homemade sandwiches!

    @Brooke – can’t wait to relive that bit too! hehe!

    @Wendy – COOL! Good on you! I hope that’s not midgie territory!? πŸ˜‰

    @Steve – Yep, BEAGLES. I dunno if you have to be flying international to see them? They are very very cute and lull you into a false sense of security…

  11. Oh my, was it a salad from EAT at Edinburgh airport? I had an amazing salad from there…. though you probably don’t want to know that.

    So glad you had a fab time, I bet everyone was staring at you because you’re Shauna and you’re rather fabulous.

  12. I am so disappointed I didn’t get to FitBloggin so I could meet you and so many other amazing blog friends in the flesh.

    I loved seeing all the pictures and reading about people like you and Carla meeting for the first time.

    I hope we’ll get to meet on your next trip back to the states and hopefully the beagle will let you keep your salad next time.

  13. This is amazing! I could listen to your write for hours! Or “read” rather. haha. Can’t wait for your recap of our fun times at CVS!

  14. Just reading this made me grin and grin. From the salad-sniffing dog (really?! I once smuggled about 8 pounds of chocolate thru US customs… maybe the dogs only find healthy food?) to you and Carla finally getting to meet! Yay for Fitbloggin!

  15. Hi, you most inspirational creature on the face of this mudhole πŸ™‚
    I wanted to tell you, that I found your blog and I really have a crush on it (don’t worry it’s more of an emotional kind of crush, very modest and I’m not planning rape or anything like :-).

    This blog made me start my own little non-sense journal about my stupid little weight loss war and I also wanted mention that I had so many revelations while I was reading it in the past few weeks.

    So I owe you a big but fatfree thanks!

  16. Thank you for the comments everyone!

    LaLa yes it was from EAT! It was probably the same one you ate knowing our Salad Compatability πŸ™‚

    Fat Free Fox – hey thank you very kindly! Hope you are enjoying the wacky world of blogging, welcome aboard!

  17. πŸ™‚ I also like that we are the same height (173) and I think we were probably born around the same time (I’m Nov, 1977). When parallels meet, you know πŸ™‚

  18. Been “lurking” here on your blog for the past couple of months and just caught up now. I’m so sad to be only able to read one entry at a time from now on. You have been the high point in my day (I read your entries in my tub each evening during my “free time” away from my four kids) — thanks to Jennette for sending me to your site after I finished hers.

    Any chance you’d be willing to write four or five entries each day? Seriously, you are amazing and I thank you for the laughs, insights and basic fun you give to all of your readers/friends.

  19. Dear Dietgirl,
    I tried very hard not to scream and faint like a teenybopper who’s just met the Beatles upon meeting you. I think I kept my cool rather well and only bragged a tiny bit on twitter. With picture proof of course. Oh, and maybe again on my blog. Oh yes, and there was that facebook post. And I *may* have shown everyone I know the picture on my Blackberry upon arriving back home… πŸ˜‰
    Your Ever-adoring Fan,

  20. I was once coming back through customs from Buenos Aires, carrying a rather well-used and little-aired pair of tango shoes in my rucksack. The beagle dog at Heathrow definitely thought they were food and the customs officer kept saying “Are you sure you don’t have any cheese in there?” Well, only my natural foot cheese, which is clearly irresistible to beagles.

  21. Oh, please don’t keep the next installment lean – I want it all fatty and juicy with all of your witty details! (See, now that the mammouth tusks are history (hee hee) you can write more and more….yes, I’m a greedy reader)
    Did your clothes ever arrive? I can just hear Carla’s voice saying that about the name tag – too wonderful. So glad you had such a great time – it sounds like it was a wonderful event.

  22. So precious! Love the opener of “I met…” and “I met ….” Seriously, that was so much fun, eh? And yes, we were trying to read your nametag πŸ˜€ xoxo

  23. Ah, my girls together…the MizFit & DietGirl…soo jealous. Well now we’ve got to get all of us in one room…I think the dynamic would be HILARIOUS!!!

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