Woah.  Today was definitely an oh-my-goodness travel day.  By the time it was over and I was FINALLY in Kalamazoo, Michigan, I felt like this:


Here’s how it went down:


  • First flight was at 7 AM. 
  • Sat on plane until 8 AM in the heat because the air conditioning wasn’t working; then, the flight was canceled.
  • Get on second flight in Charlotte.  My carry-on bag is checked because there wasn’t enough room (you know where this story is going…)
  • Arrive in Detroit and discover flight to Grand Rapids (a one-hour drive to Kalamazoo) is canceled due to mechanical issues.
  • Wait three hours in airport.  Next flight gets pushed back an hour, and then canceled due to weather.
  • I start to panic a little bit… I almost cried, but I put on my big girl panties.
  • Realize that I only have three hours before my presentation is suppose to start.  Abandon checked bag, rent a car, and drive two hours in the pouring rain to Kalamazoo.


I arrived at the presentation site with only 15 minutes to spare!  And only the clothes on my back and my laptop.  Whew.


I popped into this cute little grocery store to grab some food:


I had some lovely chilled beets with goat cheese, tomatoes, and pistachios:


And roasted Brussel sprouts and other greens:


Then it was time for my Operation Beautiful presentation.  I was so, so honored to be asked by the Girls on the Run Kalamazoo council to speak at their volunteer appreciation event.  Their 5K is tomorrow (yes, a Thursday!).   Honestly, I was in a really bad mood when I walked in (understandable, right?) but once I heard from local Kalamazoo GOTR participants and volunteers, I felt so much better. GOTR rules.


I also got to meet two readers, Chrissy and Kristin!  They were so sweet.


The event featured speeches by girls, music, giveaways, and a presentation by little old me.  I think it went well!


Plus, some appetizers – I grabbed the veggie spring rolls.


After the presentation, it was time for me to sort of all the travel snafus.


First, I headed to the Kalamazoo airport to confirm my luggage hadn’t arrived.  The Delta representative at the Kalamazoo airport was SO helpful and rerouted my flight tomorrow.  Instead of driving 1-hour away to fly out of Grand Rapids, now I can fly out of Kalamazoo!  Wahoo!


And since I didn’t have any luggage (literally, all I have is my purse and laptop), I headed to Target for some necessities.


In the bag:


  • Something to sleep in (nekkid in a hotel bed?! Ew. No.)
  • Contact solution
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Clean underwear


I also grabbed a Clif Bar, which I ate right away.


And last, but not least, when I checked in my hotel, I asked the front desk for their ‘secret box of leftover cords.’  All hotels have a box behind the front desk of computer cords and USB cords that other people accidentally left behind.  If you ever forget a charger (or your luggage gets lost), you can find almost ANY cord in the secret box.  Just ask!  Now, my iPhone is charging.  And I’m happy. 


Whew, what a day!  It was rough, but I stayed positive, and it ended up being quite wonderful in the end… Let’s just hope my luggage is waiting for me back home in Charlotte!



  • kelly bean May 25, 2011, 10:17 pm

    Are you in the Radisson downtown (looks like it was straight out of the Jetsons?) If you are downtown K’zoo, you have to check out Food Danc.e



    • Caitlin May 26, 2011, 6:25 am

      Everyone said that restaurant was so good. I wish I had time to visit!!

      And no, I’m not at the Rad – can you believe that it was totally booked out TWO MONTHS in advance?! Insanity.

      • kelly bean May 26, 2011, 12:37 pm

        WOW! That’s more than a bit insane!

        Awww, bummer! Food Dance is a longtime favorite of mine, so I try and bestow the gift of it onto everyone possible. They used locally sourced, fresh foods long before that concept was as mainstream as it is now. I <3 Kazoo!

        And yesterday was a HORRIBLE travel day everywhere in the mitten. I hope today gets you home on-time and drama free!

  • Christine May 25, 2011, 10:18 pm

    “Secret box of leftover cords?” Best advice EVER.

    • Allison @ Happy Tales May 26, 2011, 9:59 pm

      omg right?! i had no idea that even existed!!! soo good to know!

  • Mary May 25, 2011, 10:19 pm

    Sorry you had such a tough travel day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better!

  • cathy May 25, 2011, 10:24 pm

    you poor girl – that first photo says it all.
    man, that is one of the most horrendous travel stories…and to add rain in there, to boot!
    so glad you got positive vibes and warm fuzzies from your presentation…and better luck tomorrow!

  • Kelly May 25, 2011, 10:25 pm

    Way to power through Caitlin!!

  • Trish May 25, 2011, 10:26 pm

    So sorry to hear you had a rough time. But you’re a major trooper. I think it’s great that you went ahead and then still drove there. I would still be sitting in the airport having a panic attack. I admire your gusto! 🙂

  • Judy May 25, 2011, 10:29 pm

    Thank God for Target where everything is in the same place. Caitlin you’re a trooper. Way to go!

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) May 25, 2011, 10:32 pm

    What a day from hell! You deserve a free ticket home 🙂

  • Katherine May 25, 2011, 10:34 pm

    I am glad everything worked out!

  • Kristinjane May 25, 2011, 10:35 pm

    It was a pleasure to meet you! I truly enjoy reading your blog!

    • Caitlin May 26, 2011, 6:24 am

      It was SO nice to meet you!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing May 25, 2011, 10:37 pm

    Oh wow… that is seriously one of the worst travel experiences I’ve ever heard!

  • Baking 'n' Books May 25, 2011, 10:41 pm

    Oh God – been there. Done that.

    I feel for you.

    But man – you seriously ROCK. I can’t believe how positive you are! Most people (a.k.a me would commisserate over the whole day wasted, being rushed, not getting stuff done, etc…) but you were a rock – and stopped for good food to boot 🙂

  • Katie @ cooklaughmove May 25, 2011, 10:43 pm

    OMG!!! You won’t hear that travel disaster on the Pure Michigan travel ads! Sorry about a bad memory of Michigan…Thanks Delta 😉

  • Mindy May 25, 2011, 10:50 pm

    So glad you finally made it there!

  • Samantha May 25, 2011, 10:51 pm

    Way to rebound from the challenges…just wanted you to know you’re definitely not alone! In March I found out on Thursday at 5pm (Guam time) that my uncle passed away. I was on a plane to NC at 6am Friday (Guam time) morning to arrive in Greensboro, NC at 6pm Friday night, the same time the visitation started. My bag went to Charlotte instead. My sister picked me up, dealt with the witchy baggage claim assistant, got me in and out of Target with a dress suitable for a funeral viewing, makeup, and a jacket and to the funeral home by 7:15pm. Grace under pressure!

    • Caitlin May 26, 2011, 6:24 am

      Aww you poor thing. To have to deal with that in addition to a funeral is too much!

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday May 25, 2011, 10:52 pm

    Good to know about the box of cords!

    You can usually get a free toothbrush and toothpaste at most hotels (the better hotels anyway) if you forget yours.

  • Meaghan (My Spoonful Of Inspiration) May 25, 2011, 10:56 pm

    Sorry your Grand Rapids plans didn’t work out! That is where I live! 🙂 We had awful, stormy weather today… and our airport is notorious for canceling flights. Too bad you aren’t making a pit stop here tomorrow- although I am glad your travel plans are rebounding!

  • Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) May 25, 2011, 10:57 pm

    Sorry to hear your day had some kinks in it!

    At least some positive stuff happened (like the event) to put it all in perspective! 🙂

  • Maren May 25, 2011, 10:58 pm

    um gross!! You poor thing! Just be glad that you’re safe! 🙂 And I’m sure you nailed your speech!

  • Staci May 25, 2011, 11:05 pm

    So sorry you had such a sucky day! But, really happy that the peeps in MI treated you right! I wish I would have known you were in town. I work in the ‘zoo. Safe travels back tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by. MI is one of the best places in the world. We’re good people. 🙂

  • DadHTP May 25, 2011, 11:07 pm

    secret box of abandoned cords…gotta remembr that!

  • Amanda May 25, 2011, 11:08 pm

    Oh my, what a day! Way to take control and get it done. I feel like moments like that let you prove to yourself that you can handle “adult” issues! So funny, I was JUST in Kalamazoo a few weeks ago for work and flew into that tiny little airport!

  • Kalli May 25, 2011, 11:11 pm

    Oh my gosh you were such a trooper! I must remember your great attitude when I am stressed next time. Where can I get that running shirt?

  • Ericka May 25, 2011, 11:20 pm

    I giggle every time you type “nekkid” in a post. 🙂

    Sorry you had such an awful travel day! Good thing you were able to make it to your presentation on time.

    • Caitlin May 26, 2011, 6:23 am

      Nekkid is such a good word.

  • Mac May 25, 2011, 11:20 pm

    Sounds like a rough day! Glad the presentation went well and perked up the afternoon 🙂

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) May 25, 2011, 11:21 pm

    holy sh*t dear woman…you had a DAY of it. I am soooo sorry!!!

    “‘secret box of leftover cords.’ All hotels have a box behind the front desk of computer cords and USB cords that other people accidentally left behind”–
    THAT IS THE BEST tip! My hubs is probably responsible for making contributions, and plenty of them, to said boxes. He is ALWAYS leaving his chargers behind in hotels..now I know they have a stash. Good to know.

    The chilled beets look great and I brought some Clif bars all the way to Aruba with me. Love me some Clif 🙂

    SAFE and BETTER travels home!

    • JenATX May 26, 2011, 1:58 pm

      haha that’s funny.. I like to think that all of my lost cords are being used by others who have lost theirs as well 🙂

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife May 25, 2011, 11:21 pm

    holy YIKES. that is amazingly awful! I would have died, but it sounds like you handled it like a champ! And I bet you rocked their socks off at the presentation too!

    Have a great night’s rest, you totally deserve it!! p.s. that spring roll looks reaaallly good.

  • Erin May 25, 2011, 11:28 pm

    That IS an OMG travel day. I would have cried for sure. The next time my travel goes wrong I will just think “What would Caitlin do?”

    I was at a conference in a swanky hotel in downtown Chicago this week and needed to charge my iPhone. I asked at the concierge desk if they had an iPhone charger…and they told no! Actually, they told me I had to go across the street to Best Buy and buy one. I wonder if the hotel is getting kick backs…

    • Caitlin May 26, 2011, 6:22 am


  • Courtney Leigh May 25, 2011, 11:32 pm

    Oh my god, you are the second person with a HELLACIOUS Kalamazoo travel story this week. Yours is actually the better one if you can believe it. You can check out the story on Shana’s blog: TheRedSpeechBalloon if you’re interested in feeling a teeny bit better about how yours went down. 🙂

    Also – SECRET BOX OF CORDS! This is stuff I am so excited to know!

    • Caitlin May 26, 2011, 6:22 am

      Aww poor Shana!!!

  • Angela @ MyPinkyToes May 25, 2011, 11:38 pm

    Yes…bad things can turn into good things!
    That is so neat that you spoke at a GOTR event. I’m so in love with GOTR!

  • Jen May 25, 2011, 11:41 pm

    Airports are even worse than the DMV. SO frustrating. I don’t think I would have handled it as well as you did, so I’m pretty impressed with your ability to put your big girl panties on. I’m glad it all worked out! My fingers are crossed for your luggage. 🙂

  • Michelle May 25, 2011, 11:43 pm

    Glad to hear that your visit to Kzoo ended on a positive note! The Zoo is my hometown and though I have not lived there in over 10 years, I still feel somewhat accountable for other’s experiences there. Crazy, huh?

    • Caitlin May 26, 2011, 6:21 am

      haha i feel like that about miami!

  • Anne Marie May 25, 2011, 11:51 pm

    We fly into Kzoo all the time to visit H’s family. I love the small airports! Hope you had some fun in my home state 🙂

  • Rachel @ The Perseverance Diaries May 25, 2011, 11:58 pm

    Wowie your travel woes sound absolutely nuts but it’s great that in the end it worked out and you accomplished what you set out to do! 🙂

  • Jacqueline May 26, 2011, 12:08 am

    great job handling such a crazy day!

  • Julie @ Shining From Within May 26, 2011, 12:10 am

    Glad you got there in time and safely. It is definitely a bad travel day.. my boyfriends flight has been delayed 3 hours -_-. Coming in at 2am instead of 11. Oh well, I just want everyone to have safe travels!

    • Caitlin May 26, 2011, 6:21 am

      hope your bf got home!

  • Khushboo May 26, 2011, 12:15 am

    Great tip about asking hotels about their secret stash of chords- never thought to! Sounds like a nightmare of a travel situation but I’m glad the presentation made up for it!

  • Babs May 26, 2011, 12:56 am

    Love the tip about the secret box. Sorry your trip was so terrible. Hopefully your night ends with some good take-out and a nice sleep 🙂

  • Marina May 26, 2011, 1:23 am

    I really am sorry about your rough trip. It’s amazing how you stayed so positive throught it all! I would probably freak out and go mad 😀

  • Lindsey@Yogi Bear May 26, 2011, 1:31 am

    So glad you were able to make it in time for your presentation! What a rough trip. Hmm, good to know about the secret box of cords!

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) May 26, 2011, 1:31 am

    Rough day indeed! Hope you are sleeping well!

  • Elise May 26, 2011, 1:31 am

    so sorry about your horrible travels to michigan! i had the same troubles many a times when i went to school there! its too bad you couldn’t enjoy kalamazoo, its a pretty cute town! hopefully things go smoother tomorrow!

    • Caitlin May 26, 2011, 6:20 am

      I wish I had time to check it out!

  • Rhonda May 26, 2011, 5:17 am

    Hoping your return trip is better…thanks for the “secret box” tip….good to know!

  • Cait @ Beyond Bananas May 26, 2011, 5:33 am

    Yikes what a rough day of traveling. I would totoally be in a bad mood too. It is awesome that the girls of GOTR were so easily able to break the mood!

  • Orla May 26, 2011, 5:41 am

    I can’t believe that is all you bought in the store. I woudl buy one of everything that I had in my luggage. Just in case. Even for just one night. Hope you get home with much less stress!

  • Kelly May 26, 2011, 6:34 am

    Wow good thing you don’t travel in yoga pants like I do haha!

    In other news, I never knew about the charger thing and I ALWAYS forget chargers and now have a million of them because I always buy new ones. This is going to make me really happy on a future trip!

  • Chrissy May 26, 2011, 6:48 am

    It was so much fun meeting you!! Everyone I talked to after the presentation said how wonderful it was/you were and how excited it was to do Operation Beautiful notes with their girls. Thanks again 🙂

  • Lauren May 26, 2011, 6:53 am

    Ah, what a crazy day of travel but at least it was all worth it in the end.

  • The Teenage Taste May 26, 2011, 7:05 am

    Oh my…that sounds like a nightmare! Glad everything is sorted out now, though! 🙂

  • Sam May 26, 2011, 7:11 am

    Kudos to you for staying so calm despite all the discouraging events! I can’t say I would have handled that situation so nicely. I’m glad everything worked out for you in the end.

  • Sarah@The Flying ONION May 26, 2011, 7:14 am

    I love that t-shirt “Go to your happy pace.” Too cute! 😀

  • Parita May 26, 2011, 7:29 am

    Oh gosh, what a horrible day, but at least the people you met made up for it. I absolutely hate flying and your day is one of example of why. But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. And I think you handled it well, all things considered!

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg May 26, 2011, 7:44 am

    That stinks — I would have been crying the entire time!

  • Amy D May 26, 2011, 7:45 am

    I love the picture you took of yourself to describe the way you are feeling after such a bleh day. That reminds me so much of the way I feel when things are going all wrong. I might feel like I want to cry but I quickly change my attitude and accept that the events occuring are out of my way. I once heard “We make plans & God laughs.” I guess that’s what happened to you this week! Good for you for keeping your composure and going with the flow, however sucky the flow might be!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) May 26, 2011, 7:46 am

    Oh Caitlin, what a crazy day. I’m glad the presentation went well. Sorry for all the crap you had to deal with. I hope the trip home treats you well.

  • Molly @ RDexposed May 26, 2011, 7:48 am

    I think it was too soon for me to read about someone else’s airport adventures. Your story makes my recent experience seem bearable.

  • Allie May 26, 2011, 7:49 am

    What a day! Way to be, making it to the presentation and dealing with the luggage issues 🙂 You go!

  • Lee May 26, 2011, 8:02 am

    I had no idea about the secret box of cords. That’s really helpful! Sorry your day was so crappy, looks like it turned around though.

  • brandi May 26, 2011, 8:15 am

    SO glad they were able to reroute your flight! i’ve had travel days like this – they’re never fun. But it sounds like the event totally made up for it 🙂

  • Janelle May 26, 2011, 8:18 am

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a flight cancelled to Grand Rapids. I think it is the Bermuda Triangle of an airport…avoid at all costs! Glad you made it!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin May 26, 2011, 8:44 am

    That sounds like such a stressful day! I would have been in such a bad mood too. 😛 But I’m glad the event went well!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing May 26, 2011, 8:49 am

    i’d say you stayed pretty positive considering!! what a mess of a day. main thing is you made it safe. hope the rest of your travels go A LOT better!

  • allison @ thesundayflog May 26, 2011, 8:55 am

    holy cow im sorry you had such a rough travel day. that is a nightmare, but im glad GOTR helped turn it around. also – i have that dress!!! old navy?? i just got it on clearance last week for $12 and wore it to a shower. it’s so cute 🙂

  • Charise May 26, 2011, 8:59 am

    Uuuugh, this is why I HATE flying. I have no fear of actual flying, I just get SO. FRUSTRATED. when things go wrong and you have no control over the situation. I’m glad the GOTR girls were able to cheer you back up!

  • kristen May 26, 2011, 9:02 am

    what a day!!But I guess on the upside, at least you made it to the event!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 26, 2011, 9:08 am

    WOW! I’m glad things worked out for you Caitlin – and that’s great that the presentation went well! I’m sure they were honoured to have you. 🙂

  • Joy - HTP Mom May 26, 2011, 9:09 am

    Handling what you went through during this last air travel trip is like wearing “cruel shoes” on a dancing date…ouch! ..and the delays just went on, and on, and on. You’re like water… you go around, over, or through the obstacles but you do get to your goal. It’s all about results. we’ve see that you have arrived at the last few minutes to several presentations due to travel bumps READY to go – how you do it by the seat of your big girl panties I don’t know. Inspiring.

  • meredith May 26, 2011, 9:26 am

    As a Michigander I’m really glad your day turned around! I would have loved to meet you. I was in kalamazoo a few weeks ago and I made it a priority to go to Food Dance Cafe for breakfast, too bad you didn’t have time. You would love it!

  • Lisa May 26, 2011, 9:27 am

    Yuck, dealing with travel delays is no fun! I’m glad you were able to make it to your presentation on time, though. It seems like you handled everything very well. I, on the other hand, would have freaked!

  • Denise May 26, 2011, 9:28 am

    Wow! Awesome tip about the cord stash! That is now tucked away in my mind if ever I travel through the 5th level of pergatory to arrive somewhere cord-less!

    Glad you arrived safely!

  • Steph May 26, 2011, 9:33 am

    You poor girl, what an ordeal that must have been! It’s refreshing to see you take matters into your own hands and get to Kalamazoo on time despite all the delays and cancellations! It really shows your commitment to operation beautiful and girls on the run 🙂

  • Alayna @ Thyme Bombe May 26, 2011, 9:37 am

    I’m impressed, you tackled that day like a true adult! I wouldn’t have even thought to be proactive and drive, I’d have just fretted myself crazy waiting in the airport. Secret cord box? Genius!

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me May 26, 2011, 9:43 am

    oh my goodness! What a day! Good thing things worked out in the end! Love the secret cord box tip!

  • Rachel @ Suburban Yogini May 26, 2011, 9:50 am

    There is nothing more horrible than not having your luggage. I got stranded in Abu Dhabi for two days with nothing except my toothbrus, iPod and a book… *shudder*

  • Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa May 26, 2011, 9:53 am

    ACK! What a terrible travel experience! Glad to hear everything turned out okay though.

    We went to Europe for Christmas this past year and my parents and grandparents had flight changes on the way there and the way back AND they lost their luggage each way. It is funny to laugh at it – now.

  • April May 26, 2011, 9:59 am

    What an amazing attitude to keep through all of this – very impressive!!

  • Jocelyn @ Enthusiastic Runner May 26, 2011, 10:09 am

    Where can I buy that t-shirt???!!

  • Therese May 26, 2011, 10:09 am

    I’m glad all’s well that ends well! I LOVE the “go to your happy pace” t-shirt. Where can I find one?!

  • Jocelyn @ Enthusiastic Runner May 26, 2011, 10:12 am

    Oh just saw you answer that question above 🙂

  • Amanda @ The Beauty Notebooks May 26, 2011, 10:30 am

    So glad you made it in time! Everything seemed to work out ok in the end 🙂

    I would love to get involved with Girls on the Run in my area next year! I wasn’t able to this year because of college-related things and not being able to get home that weekend to volunteer, but next year I hope I can run with some girls! It seems like such an inspiring organization. thanks for all that you do for it!

  • Angela (Oh She Glows) May 26, 2011, 10:40 am

    I can’t believe your bad luck travel day!!! I think I would have lost it. I can imagine how stressed you were with getting to your presentation 15 minutes prior and going through all of that. You must have been SO happy when it was all over! Hope you have some wine on your flight home… 😉

  • Erin May 26, 2011, 10:48 am

    OMG that is my WORST nightmare. Did they lose your makeup? I would die because my makeup is probably worth over $500.

    • Caitlin May 26, 2011, 6:29 pm

      Yes and I have hundreds in makeup, too! I hope it comes back!

  • Amber K May 26, 2011, 10:49 am

    What a rough day! I have never had a flight canceled, that would be so frustrating! Glad you made it through okay.

  • Stacey @ Here's to Life May 26, 2011, 11:56 am

    The secret box of cords is the best travel advice EVER! Thanks for sharing that inside tidbit!

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In May 26, 2011, 12:01 pm

    What a miserable day – glad you made it in time! and AWESOME about the secret cord box! I never knew that!

  • Alaina May 26, 2011, 12:02 pm

    Yep, we have cords at our desk! Guests are always leaving those things behind.

    Glad to hear that the presentation went well. Despite what you went through to get there, you look happy to be there!

  • Lauren @ Sweet and Twisted May 26, 2011, 1:11 pm

    Secret box of cords?! I never would have thought of that – thanks for the tip!

    Sounds like you made the best of the situation! I would have been panicking the whole time!

  • Cryssy May 26, 2011, 2:22 pm

    Your positivity is truly inspiring.

  • Kate May 26, 2011, 3:02 pm

    Secret box of leftover cords?? Genius. I’m going to ask about this now.

    Good for you for having a good attitude!

  • Eric Marcotte, MD May 26, 2011, 4:07 pm

    great post and great rebound in the face of adversity! thanks for the ‘lost cord’ info, I had no idea. Keep on Tipping, you rock

  • Kristy@RunTheLongRoad May 26, 2011, 4:56 pm

    I would have cried. Definitely. And would not have been ashamed!

  • Kelly (meatlesswithaman.blogspot.com) May 26, 2011, 6:59 pm

    Oh man, Caitlin – that is a BAD travel experience!! You certainly pulled it off like a champ. Whew!! And thanks for the tip on the secret box of cords – I am totally gonna use that some day, I’m sure!!

  • MelanieF May 26, 2011, 7:18 pm

    I can also confirm this “secret box of leftover cords”. I work at the front desk of a hotel and the USB cords and chargers are the things are left the most in hotel rooms!

  • Allison @ Happy Tales May 26, 2011, 10:05 pm

    Bah. Talk about stress-overload. It’s times like those that let you know what you’re truly made of..

  • Jolene May 27, 2011, 1:35 pm

    Hmm…welcome to the Mitten? I’m so sorry that you had such a crazy time getting here…I sure hope you felt it was worth it.

  • Jamie May 27, 2011, 8:22 pm

    I went to school in Holland, MI- about 40 minutes from Kzoo! Honestly, I hated Michigan, but it’s awesome that you’re getting to see so much of the country!

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