Tuesday, May 24, 2011


This trip I brought my new giant suitcase. My new mini-rolly suitcase (that I’m not 100% convinced actually conforms to the carry-on size limitations. Maybe if the wheels were removable..), my brand new speedo backpack cause the last backack didn’t survive the previous carryon experience, and my super-awesome biknd bikebox/bag. For the most part this all went very well. I avoided paying overweight fees on the suitcase. I never made eye-contact with any of the flight attendants while boarding, and tried to hide my not-so mini rolly-carry-on behind my legs, so no-one would figure out that I was Definitely exceeding the ‘one carryon, one personal item rule’ heck both my carry-ons probably exceeded the size and weight limit. Individually!
The only unfortunate moment, was when I boarded the smaller plane in Frankfurt, and there were hardly any overhead compartments available for the rolly. I finally found a place above a grumpy looking couple, and with the speedo bag shoved into the face of the person across the aisle, I proceeded to take about 10 minutes leaning over the couple on my tipi-toes trying to shove my bag into the too-small spot. I kept repeatedly trying to shut the compartment door, only to have it bounce back off the wheels that were sticking way out.. maybe if I slam it hard enough I thought.. nope.. ‘it conforms to the size limitations I swear …’ I was trying to act as casual as possible while repeatedly slamming the door- I didn’t want the flight attendants to notice me and show me my ticket which clearly said in large block letters: ONE CARRY-ON. Finally with enough re-arranging I got the compartment closed and shuffled awkwardly through the onlookers back to my seat. “you’re in the emergency exit seat ma’am, you’re going to have to find a spot in the overhead compartements for your backpack.”
You have got to be kidding me… Annnnnd the process began again.

Well in the end I arrived in one piece. Spring here is absolutely beautiful. We’ve had wonderful weather, and despite the snow on the mountain peaks we’ve mostly been riding without even arm-warmers.
But the Jetlag.. I vaguely remembered having issues with it last year, but boy did I underestimate it. Wide awake at night, eating full meals at 3 in the morning because I am TOO starving to sleep, dragging my butt all day long. But the napping is amazing. Back home I rarely fall asleep when I nap, I just doze off and wake up feeling a bit more refreshed. Here I can fall deep asleep at noon in a second. The waking up from naps is less enjoyable. For some reason it’s even worse than waking up early in the morning. This feels more like waking up from the dead. As if only a strong enough will to live can bring you back (or a great enough fear of the consequences if you just went back to sleep..), and even then you’re only a shadow of your former self, stumbling around holding your eyelids open with your fingers, and inhaling caffeine, sugar ANYTHING that will help keep your eyes open on their own.
Luckily a long enough exposure to sunlight seems to help, and as your zombie self begins to fade away in the sunshine, you are oh so thankful for that nap for giving you the ability to make it through the next workout.

That feeling is quite similar to the food here really. Let me explain. European countries are often known for having good food.. and I won’t deny that, buuuuuuttt they sure aren’t into the gluten free fad. The boys can tease me all they like but it really does bug my stomach, so as much as the fresh French bread and chocolate croissants taunt me every morning, I try to avoid them as much as possible. Ok there have been a after-swimming mornings, where I come home to the wonderful breakfasts our hosts set out for us, and been like, ‘move aside boys today is a chocolate-bread day!’. But I usually regret that decision later on. Anyways, avoiding bread in this country seems to make finding other food tricky. At least they have not-too moldy yams imported from some South American country this year. But they don’t do nut butters. I mean other than nutella of course. There is a whole wall in the grocery store dedicated to it. A shrine really. With big jars, and little jars, and glass jars, and cans, and the normal type, and fancy-looking healthy types (first ingredient is still sugar..), and smooth types and the nutty-types. So with no other choice- nutella it is! They also don’t do any type of cereals without wheat. Except for chocolate rice crispies. Shoot not more chocolate!
So life is good with my chocolate rice crispies, and my nutella addiction. You know. Other than the sugar crashes.. So in that way I find it similar to loving the napping, but hating the waking up and/or trying to fall asleep again later that night.

Now it recently dawned on me that almost all my troubles would be avoided if I was just an Elite. An Air Canada Elite that is. I don’t know how many carry-ons you’re allowed.. could it be 2?? But even then it wouldn’t matter because when you’re Elite your big giant suitcase is allowed to be over 50 lbs. So that rolly-carryon for all the heavy items isn’t even necessary! Andddd you could bring your very own almond butter, or gluten free cereal, or salad dressing that doesn’t contain mustard (yuck), so you wouldn’t have to depend entirely on Nutella and chocolate cereal for survival. I’m not really sure if being an Air Canada Elite has the ability to overcome jetlag.. but heck the Elite Lounge and the upgrades have got to help.
So a life goal: Become an Elite. Get a Pod.

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