Welcome to Bollywood!

In my quest to continue my journey of “Losing Weight Off the Interstate” I scoured the internet for more unique classes in Manhattan. I came across Bollywood Cardio Dance classes at Beauty and the Beat Dance Company. I couldn’t sign up fast enough, I love the bright colors and the music I associate with Bollywood and wanted to experience a piece of it firsthand.

In all reality my experience with the Indian culture is limited to cuisine and an incredible weekend at a friend’s Sikh wedding. That event was filled with music and dancing but the little dancing I did with my friend’s uncle’s who dominated the room didn’t really prepare me for this class.

I had fallen off the exercise bandwagon a bit and was both excited and nervous. To no surprise my coordination hadn’t improved from the last dance class I took, when the group was going left, I was typically going right, as they moved forward I was at least one step behind. Even with the potential embarrassment of my two left feet I had a blast, I caught my reflection a handful of times and I was smiling my way through the entire class.

The Creative Director, Namrata Bajaj led an entertaining and tough workout class, if you don’t believe me just check out how pink my face is in our picture below. Namrata was originally trained in Africa and then in Indian Classical Dance in Las Vegas, which is where she came up with Cardio Bollywood. In addition to the various classes she teaches she also leads a dance troupe in various event performances across the city.

If given the chance I would definitely go back to this class, though when she offered for me to stay for the class right after mine I quickly declined, I mean, everything in moderation right?

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And she’s back!

I know, I know you haven’t heard from me in quite awhile, for that I apologize. My trip officially ended when I drove into Seattle at the end of June. I was a mix of emotions; nervous, anxious, ecstatic, scared, happy, sad, excited…the list could go on.

The drive across the pass into Seattle highlighted the end of an amazing year, the completion of a huge goal.  I had found success in so many ways; navigated my way across the US, stretched my trip from the original six month plan to a full year, lost weight, met new and old friends, saw parts of the country I had never seen and yet there was still a small cloud of disappointment that it was all over.

When I left for this trip I had very distinct dreams of what this trip was going to mean to me and how it was going to end. I was going to come back refreshed, with a clear idea of who I was and what it was I wanted in life, oh and I was also going to be 80 pounds skinner and tan.

The reality was that my year on the road allowed me to step out of my daily routine, give some time and attention to the emotions I had surrounding the loss of my Mom and the resulting changes to my family. It allowed me to connect with amazing people, revisiting important relationships, moving them beyond the superficial occasional text and Facebook updates to a deeper connection.

I didn’t come back to town knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up but I did come back with the knowledge that what I do for work is just a small part of who I am, it is a tool which provides me a means to the end goal…living.

And since this blog is called “Losing Weight Off the Interstate” I should report that I lost 45 pounds, not the 80 I had dreamed of but 45 stubborn, difficult to lose pounds.  I am maintaining this loss and working towards losing more but for now I am going to stop apologizing that I only lost “45 pounds” and be proud for the huge accomplishment of this past year. Oh and if you were wondering, no, I am not tan either. I guess the next round of “Losing Weight off the Interstate” will be in warmer climates.

Until then, I will update my blog with more frequent posts about life and loss and most importantly…Living.

Up next: A trip back to NYC! (I type this as I am sitting in “my” apartment in Chelsea)




I can’t believe it has been over a year since I set out on my journey. I packed up my home, said my goodbyes, shed a few tears and hit the pavement, scared about the unknown roads (literally) ahead of me. My return home was filled with many of the same emotions, I shed a few tears as Seattle started getting closer on the map, scared to have this trip end, nervous about reconnecting with friends and falling back into a routine. My good friend Alissa was the one who reminded me that I was scared to leave and it made sense for me to be scared to come home, but I had to do that before I could ever be scared to leave again. Wise woman.

My final weekend on the road was spent with a group of good friends wine tasting in Walla Walla, not a bad finale at all! I stopped and saw some friends and family on the way home and then my car was headed West on I-90, this was it!

I am not going to lie, the first two weeks were the least favorite of my entire year but I persevered and I am now excited to be back in the city I love to call home! I am working on a summary blog post with fun stats and I hope to maintain this blog as I continue my journey, finding health, fitness and of course loads of fun.

I hope my blog continues to be an entertaining read even if it is no longer living the Trucker life, a different town every night. Thank you for all of the love and support this past year!

Warning, the following images are Selfie Central, upon my return home.

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Hotel Lautner, Desert Hot Springs

One of the biggest draws to the Palm Springs area was to see my friend and designer Tracy Beckmann who along with her business partner Ryan Trowbridge created a Mid-Century Modern masterpiece, Hotel Lautner.

Tracy and I met about six years ago and became fast friends, and while we don’t get to see each other often I continue to be inspired by her and her creations. We met for a drink to reconnect and the night ended with me running to my hotel throwing all of my things in my car and racing to Hotel Lautner to stay the night.

Hotel Lautner came to life when Tracy and Ryan found the old Desert Hot Springs Hotel, designed by the famous modernist architect John Lautner. You can see before and after pictures of the amazing transformation here.

I have watched from afar (aka Facebook) while the Hotel Lautner has been recognized for its design by magazines such as Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Architectural Digest, Dwell and so many more.

I was ecstatic to spend the night in The Redwood Lounge, sleeping on the luxurious Frette linens, listening to Frank Sinatra records and soaking up the ambiance which in my opinion has been done perfectly. Tracy thought of everything when creating her luxurious suites, from flattering shower lighting to dark washcloths for makeup removal to eye masks to keep out the light shining through the wall of windows. There was only one bad part of my experience and that was when I had to lock the door behind me and say goodbye.

Not only is Tracy a wonderful friend and great designer, she also keeps great company. I had the opportunity to meet her talented artist boyfriend Danny Heller whose photorealism paintings capture Mid-Century Modern architecture, he has captured many LA and Palm Springs scenes and has recently been asked to show in and about New York. If you find yourself in New York you should stop by the George Billis Gallery for his opening reception on September 4th, 2014.

I can’t wait for the opportunity to experience Hotel Lautner again and I highly recommend taking the road less traveled out of Palm Springs and heading to Desert Hot Springs for a weekend retreat in this desert oasis.

All images below were taken from www.hotellautner.com.

Hotel Lautner 1

Hotel Lautner 2

Hotel Lautner 5


Hotel Lautner Courtyard

Hotel Lautner Pool



Hotel Lautner Patio

Hotel Lautner Redwood

Art by Danny Heller

Art by Danny Heller





Hedge, Palm Springs

Having an interest in design, particularly mid-century modern design had me excited to visit Palm Springs. It has long been on my list of places to visit and this trip gave me the opportunity to fulfill this wish.

I spent the day driving around hopping from one boutique to another but it wasn’t until I entered Hedge that I fell in love with the town. I came upon the store on accident having followed my gps directions to a thrift store that refused to be found. Upon entering the store I was quickly greeted by the owners, Charles Pearson and Thomas Sharkey and offered an espresso. I knew I wasn’t able to actually purchase anything in the store due to budget and cargo space so I declined, it seemed rude to accept such a treat when only window shopping. I began chatting with Thomas as he was making his own coffee and I quickly knew I was in this store for a reason. We began talking about my journey, his upcoming birthday travel plans and both of our pasts working in private family services. We chatted for a bit before he invited me to sit with him where he shared their path to owning their store and where I found great inspiration. Both Charles and Thomas encouraged me to search for my passion, to create my own future.

I walked out of that store a few inches taller, happy to have met some new friends and in love with a town that supports such amazing independent businesses.

Thomas later wrote to me  in an e-mail “You are making known the unknown and …… you are doing what most people are afraid to do and never will do.” Regardless of where my upcoming path takes me I am thankful for moments like this where I meet truly amazing people who make me a more confident person, inspire me to live an authentic life and who take the time to chat with a wind blown stranger on what has proven to be an epic journey.

I highly encourage you to add Hedge to your “must visit” list when you next find yourselves in Palm Springs, and don’t make the same mistake I made, accept when they offer to make you an espresso.

Hedge: info@hedgepalmsprings.com


My trip to the Barre

In my last post I told you about all the fun I have been having and how I haven’t been my best when it comes to exercise, so I wouldn’t blame you if you assumed this post was about me actually drinking in a bar. It turns out fun can be had with multiple bars/barres, enter Barre3 in Seattle.

I was home for a quick visit and my good friend Sara asked me to join her at her fitness class, Barre3, a combination of ballet barre, yoga and Pilates. I knew when I accepted the invitation that it was going to be fun, working out with friends typically is, but I didn’t fully know what to expect of the class.

The instructor, Amy Masterson, was very friendly and attentive, aware that it was my first class. We started by doing some warm up stretches which gave me some confidence, I can stretch almost as well as the next person.

The tough part began right after the stretching, let’s say four minutes in to an hour long class. I made the mistake of looking at the clock after what seemed like twenty minutes of calf burning to see that really only a few minutes had passed. In the past I believed that calf strengthening exercises were a piece of cake, this class proved me wrong. I had always had a lot of respect for the pose and strength of ballerinas but this reminded me of their true athleticism.

We moved from standing to the floor to do the pilates and yoga. I have come to realize that I don’t like the “downward dog” pose in yoga. I feel intense pressure in my wrists, the blood rushes to my face threatening to make me pass out and my palms become so sweaty I slide all over my mat. What I do love about yoga is when instructors allow for adaptations to poses for those who struggle like myself. I held the position as long as I could before coming down to my knees with the support and approval of Amy.

The class was great, the company was amazing and I had fun at the barre, though I would be lying if I said it was more fun than the bar. This barre however, worked out my body and soul while the other bar just works out my tolerance and wallet. I think I made the correct choice in bars/barres, plus it was only 10:00 in the morning.

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My instructor: Amy Masterson




Update: Taking the Back Roads

I am sitting in Palm Springs wondering how I have fallen so far behind on my blogging. I feel overwhelmed with all that I have done since my last blog post. Wondering how am I ever going to be able to catch up? The answer is simple, I am not.

Since I last blogged I have been to Atlanta, Memphis, Dallas, Tulsa, Abilene, Seattle, Austin, San Antonio, Santa Fe, Taos, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, Sedona, Phoenix, Seattle, Spokane, Coeur d’ Alene, Scottsdale, Las Vegas and Palm Springs. I have reached out to trainers and nutritionists in some of these areas with little response and in all honesty that has been okay with me. My focus has changed these past few months, with the end of my adventure looming I am trying to soak up all of the fun and experiences that I possibly can before heading back to reality. In a perfect world that would include daily workouts and healthy eating as well but I have to report that those things haven’t been happening on the regular.

In a way I feel like I have failed, that by now I should be down a lot more weight, addicted to the exercise endorphins and have a host of blog posts to tell my story. I think about the word failure and I believe that there is nothing about this trip that can be described as failure so I am going to put an end to those negative feelings.

When I decided to leave my job, my family and my friends I had a project to work on, “Losing Weight Off the Interstate” but the more time that passes and the more miles I put on my car I realize that the real project was to work on me, my personal healing and happiness.

I still value this blog and the path to a healthier me, I am still committed to losing weight and eating nutritiously, its just taking longer than I had anticipated. This journey is like choosing to take the backroads instead of the freeways, the slow road to the fast, my life is going to be a project for the remainder of my days, why rush it?

I am still a bit scared to come home, scared of judgement by people who may not be 100% in my corner, people who can’t physically see my changes but have no idea what the past ten months have done for me mentally and emotionally.

I am returning home with a renewed sense of self, a healthier mindset and a passion for life. I can’t wait to reconnect with my friends and family and shower them with my love and adoration and thankfulness for their love and support.

Rereading this blog post it sounds like a finale, a goodbye, it is definitely not, I have plenty more to say. I appreciate everyone who has been on this journey with me and I hope I can entertain you with stories of my last month on the road.

The following images are a few pictures taken the past few months.

Tyler Davis/Memphis

Tyler Davis/Memphis

Keri Doolittle (HS BF) in Dallas

Keri Doolittle/Dallas (hence my big hair)

Eva Tucker/Seattle

Eva Tucker/Seattle

Chris Bolla/Austin, TX

Chris Bolla/Austin, TX

Erin Searcy & Me in San Antonio

Erin Searcy/San Antonio



Angie Knox/Chandler, AZ

Angie Knox/Chandler, AZ

Devon Knox/Chandler, AZ

Devon Knox/Chandler, AZ

Trey Knox/Chandler, AZ

Trey Knox/Chandler, AZ

Marc Kamaka/Seattle

Marc Kamaka/Seattle

Becky Walton/Jeanette Devy, Shanda Shumpert/Tara Ortiz/Kim Ortiz/Patti Savoy - Woodinville Wine Tasting

Becky Walton/Jeanette Devey, Shanda Shumpert/Tara Ortiz/Kim Ortiz/Patti Savoy – Woodinville Wine Tasting

World's Cutest Nieces/ Seattle

World’s Cutest Nieces/ Seattle

Jeanette Devey/Kim Ortiz - Scottsdale, AZ

Jeanette Devey/Kim Ortiz – Scottsdale, AZ

The Bud Light girls showered me with beer.

The Bud Light girls showered me with free beer for my brand loyalty.