I found the easiest thing to do was to install an instance of wordpress through my host provider (specifically to a subfolder of the site, like "mywebsite.com/export".
Then, you login to the WordPress backend (in this example, "mywebsite.com/export/wp-admin" and login with the credentials for the bs site.
go to Tools>import and modify to your needs:
Port: 3306 (Contact your host provider for more info)
Database (these come from the home/configuration.php file, as mentioned -
var $host = 'localhost';
var $user = 'This_value_is_your_database_username';
var $db = 'This_value_is_your_database';
var $dbprefix = 'This_is_the_Joomla_table_prefix_value';
Also, you will need the DATABASE password (not the one you use to login to the Configuration Panel on your webhost provider's page. I lost the password that I created when I originally created the joomla database (back in 2009?). So I had to go back to my host Cpanel, and create a new Database user (with new username and password) and assign it to the Database for the Joomla install (give this user full rights). I then modified the Joomla import to reflect this new user. Bam. It works.
Finally, went to export, and exported it as a xml file. It works on my local version using MAMP (or XAMPP).
Also, I noticed that my import runs smoother when I import items as pages rather than posts. When I did them as posts, I noticed that it wouldn't import anything past a year ago.