Wednesday Updates 5.29.19: The Joys of Quitting

Happy Hump Day

Hey Wednesday! It’s been a busy week so let’s get into it.

Know When to Fold ‘Em

I quit Whole 30 at 5pm on Day 21. It was no longer about wellness, but about control, which felt wrong. I was spending way too much time thinking about food and worrying about whether or not I was going to accidentally eat something on the banned list.

I repeatedly asked myself “why am I doing this?” When I couldn’t come up with a justification I knew it was over for me and the Whole 30. At best, I felt the same as before I started; at worst, hungry and irritable, preoccupied by thoughts of my next meal. Perhaps the last nine days would have made all the difference but I didn’t care to find out.

We quit in spectacular fashion: I ate four slices of pizza, drank a vodka soda, and split a pint of chocolate fudge ice cream. I didn’t feel great the next day, but I didn’t regret my decisions either.

Since then, my eating habits have mostly reverted to normal: lots of veggies, more water and less La Croix, very little meat, and the freedom of not being constrained by arbitrary food restrictions. I feel a bit mentally battered by the whole thing, but I have noticed that I snack less. On the flip side, I’ve developed a weird anxiety about eating gluten so I’m still waiting for that to dissipate.

Checking Out Colorado Springs

Pikes Peak as seen from Garden of the Gods

The day after breaking Whole30 we drove to Colorado Springs for a hike in the Red Rock Canyon Open Space. The weather was spectacular, giving us stunning views of Pikes Peak, one of the state’s most famous 14ers. We decided against driving up to the top as it would have added over two hours to our journey, and instead ducked into the Garden of the Gods, a scenic park known for its pointy rock formations.

On the way home, we stopped at a Mexican restaurant in Denver and absolutely demolished a burrito smothered in green chile sauce and a plate of chilaquiles—I never knew quitting could taste so good.

Seeking Travel Credit Card Advice

I’m looking for a good travel credit card—I know, it’s kind of shocking that I’ve never had one. As usual, I’ve been holding off on the decision in the hopes that it will increase my chances of making the best possible choice.

I’m deciding between a card with flexibility, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, or an airline card with perks like free bags and lounge passes. The problem is that I’m not loyal to one airline, as indicated by the fact that I’m a member of about 27 frequent flier programs with absolutely no status in any of them.

We have the Capital One Savor card for everyday purchases, which is a cashback card that I’ve been really happy with. You earn 4% back on dining and entertainment, 2% back on groceries, and 1% back on everything else.

So basically, I’m a bit torn between getting a card that offers similar perks with points instead of cash back, or one that has tangible benefits but may force me into being loyal to one airline. I’m very tempted by the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the AmEx Platinum but I cannot cop a $450+ annual fee.

As always, your input is valued!

The Great License Plate Debacle

Affixing the cursed front license plate.

Last week I learned two things about license plates that I didn’t know before: 1) some states require you to have a license plate on the front and the back, and 2) some states require you to return your license plate.

Colorado requires a plate on both sides; fine, except that our car didn’t have screws on the front, only two holes of indiscriminate size. We spent way too much time at Lowe’s buying the wrong size fasteners—twice—before stopping in at an auto store, where we finally found ones that fit.

That’s when we discovered that the holes in the car did not match the holes in the license plate. Jared eventually bored two new holes in the plate (is that even legal? I DON’T CARE), completing an hours-long ordeal for something that should have taken minutes.

And if you guessed that Florida is one of those states where you have to return your license plate, you’re right! I look forward to visiting the post office and paying to mail our plate back to the state of Florida for no apparent reason.

At least I only have to pay for postage on one plate.

Gallery Wall: Complete

Photos are all from our trip around Australia—also note the FL license plate on the desk.

The gallery wall is up! I’m super pleased with the quality of photos from Nations Photo Lab. In retrospect I probably would have chosen different photos, but that’s on me. It wasn’t until the photos were blown up that I realized I’d picked a picture of Uluru with a bunch of random people in it.

They blended right in with the scrub, so I didn’t notice when I looked on the computer screen. It’s ironic because I have about 6,000 pictures of Uluru and this is the one I chose, the one with the guy wearing a white beanie that says ‘BOSTON’ on it.

But! The frames are up and I’m happy with the overall effect.

And last, but not least: one of our tomato plants has sprouted a tiny tomato!! Dreams do come true.

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  1. I’m a huge fan of the United Explorer Card, I put eeeeverything on it for the miles (and it’s double miles on food & airbnbs, which obviously I spend…a lot on) plus 2x lounge passes a year and free checked bags. I’ve heard great things about the Chase Reserve, apparently a lot of that fee comes back to you in the form of travel credit (including airbnbs?) so if I were to get another card, that’d be next. I recently got the Delta Amex too but am probably not going to stick with it. But lemme know if you wanna talk United Cards!

    1. OK so the United is the one we were considering for an airline credit card – I am inclined to just get it as the fee is waived for the first year anyway, so no real harm done if I don’t use it as much as I’m thinking. I am still very tempted by the Chase Reserve but I feel like I need to ease into it (which probably means I will wait another two years and continue to miss out on points-earning opportunities).

  2. I just opted for the Chase Ink for Business (not a travel card) because I use it primarily for cell service, office supplies, gas etc. My minimum is 2% on EVERYTHING.
    My husband opted for the AMEX Hilton Honors card and he gets 12x points at hilton, 6x on gas, wireless, shipping, us restaurants, air travel booked directly with the airline, and rental cars and 3x on everything else.

    Also, my hubby gets 20k points if you sign up using this link

    1. Thanks for the advice – I was just looking at the Chase Ink yesterday bc I’ve also been thinking about getting a separate card specifically for business expenses. It sounds like one to consider. I used to stay at the Hilton for work years ago, but I’m not sure I’d get as much value out of a hotel card though the perks do sound really nice on those.

  3. We have both of those cards you mention with the high fee attached. You can get your money out of the fees plus some. Justin handles all that and reads “the points guy” blog or newsletter or whatever it is. We’ve flown free and upgraded countless times from these cards. Anyway, if you want to talk to him, he’d love to! Travel credit cards is one of his favorite topics of conversations. I’m fact, it must’ve come up when you guys were visiting?

    I laughed about the random ppl, especially Boston guy, in your pic. But I didn’t see it when I tried to zoom in. Still funny and would drive me nuts too.

    1. I have been looking at The Points Guy obsessively! Ha ha “travel credit cards is one of his favorite topics,” maybe we did talk about it and I incorporated the positive feedback into my inclination towards the Chase Reserve. My cousin also ran a spreadsheet on a bunch of different travel cards and went with the Chase—she said it was the clear front runner.

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