March 29 – April 4

Yet another crazy week here. I started off Sunday morning by running my first ever 10K. I had signed up last fall with the intent of training for it, but between a cold winter and a lot of travel the whole training thing didn’t go so well. Basically, that meant my goal was to run the whole thing… and I succeeded in doing that! I was far from fast, but it gives me a benchmark to improve on for next time. Which I’ll train for.

There was A LOT of visa-related stress this week. I had just gotten my passport back from getting my Russian visa at the end of last week, and was originally planning to go down to Chicago for my Chinese visa and pay for 1-day processing at the end of this week, but Amtrak black-out dates thwarted that plan. My initial next thought was to drive down for a day, but that would have been a lot more tiring… I tried to rally a friend or two for a day-trip to Chicago with a [hopefully] brief stop at the Consulate, but it wasn’t in the cards this time. I  ended up finding an agency with pretty reasonable fees [more on them in a later post], and shipped it off on Saturday… only I missed the Fedex Saturday pick-up so it didn’t actually leave until Monday. Needless to say, with my visa arriving in Chicago on Tuesday, and me leaving for my trip to China on Saturday, there was not much room for error. The visa service did a fantastic job both getting my passport to me on time and easing my stress along the way.

Now, the points/miles negative news of the week was definitely the Club Carlson devaluation. That wasn’t something I had been planning on dealing with this week, though I’m not surprised that they finally made that call. I burned almost all of my Club Carlson points, but I’m still planning to keep the credit cards, at least for now. I will most likely do two cheap stays in order to get the 30,000 points from each card, and probably soon. I also plan on calling US Bank to see if there is anything they can do in terms of chipping a few extra points my way.

All-in-all, not a bad week, and I’m looking forward to my mileage run/mini-trip to Beijing next week!