Sunny Birthday Getaway

A quick little getaway always does the mind and body good.  This is especially true when it means heading home to sunny Southern California.

The trip was somewhat impromptu and oh so wonderful.  I forgot how much I enjoy my hometown in the spring, or really just enjoy spring in general.  There wasn’t much time to fit in a run around town but I did get to pick up a Horchata latte from Porto’s with my mom as well as wander one of my favorite grocery stores – Sprouts.

IMG_4735The afternoon was spent by my friend’s pool, taking a way around town, and capped off with a birthday dinner.  Today’s the actual day, so in a sense, it was a nice birthday gift to fly home for some time.  I practically hadn’t seen any family since Christmas, so it was quite overdue.

Dinner was at Roy’s, which is my own little version of Hawaii in Pasadena.  I adore the preparation of the mahi-mahi (macadamia nut crusted of course) and they always know how to welcome you into their ohana.

Roy's Birthday Dinner

From there, it was down to Claremont where I spent the rest of the weekend jogging around town (attempting to be like the track team 😉 … slight fail/definitely would be left in the dust on their runs), soaking up free meals in the dining halls, pondering the purpose of campus parties (or just curious how they expected to manage the heat + day drinking), and then watching my sister and her team race at SCIAACs, their league meet.

IMG_4174_Fotor_CollageExploring the best parts of the Claremont Village…I spy CBTL 🙂

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LET’S GO ATHENAS!

Ok, so I have heard through the grapevine (aka my sister) that a quick dining hall review would be nice. First off, for a girl who went to a school with only one dining hall, having over 5 places to choose from is mindblowing.  The kids can seriously plan their meals based on which dining hall has better variety of granolas or soups or the types of paninis they can get pre-practice or pre-race.

I thoroughly enjoyed Frary, which looks like a mini-Hogwarts dining hall, for breakfast, and one of the Pomona halls for lunch.  Unlike most cafeterias, they served actual Greek yogurt, delicious granola, and endless bowls of fresh fruit.  None of that wilted watermelon sort.  Meghan pointed out that the Ponoma hall has a panini press, which enables one to press any type of sandwich, even a pita sandwich.  Take that Santa Clara Benson.

Claremont 1Funny enough, this is the first time I’ve picked up a New York Times in ages (ever?)  Got to love those liberal arts schools. 

Going back to Meghan’s college, I realized I had a lot of “what if” questions.  What if I considered other schools?  What if I had not been afraid to have a dining hall that was unlimited food?  What if I decided to explore other schools in order to participate in team athletics?  Well, these are all great questions, to which I will never know the answer.  Life is too short to keep ruminating over the past and it’s time to move on.

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There happened to be some free time over the two days, something I didn’t really plan for, but made the most out of.  Luckily I had a car to transport myself to and from the meet (thank goodness there was no traffic) and managed to schedule even more time to hang out with my friend Lindsay.

I took her to my favorite joint in Pasadena – Lemonade.  Known for it’s fresh and innovative dishes, Lemonade is one of the budding hotspots in Los Angeles.  It operates somewhat like a cafeteria where customers order from a variety of salad combinations, entrees from the land or the sea, or classic dishes like stew, brisket, and mac & cheese.

IMG_4185Butternut squash salad w/ grapes & brussels sprouts + Arugula w/ strawberries and feta (maybe?) + split brisket/mac & cheese + Guava lemonade (mmmmmmmmm)

A race is never complete without a trip to frozen yogurt.  When Meghan and I ran together back in high school, we would celebrate or socialize post-race with self-serve frozen yogurt.  Those were the days when we really didn’t speak to one another, mainly because I was so competitive and afraid she would beat me.  We’ve moved past that and she has begun to run circles around me, but such is life.  We still like to indulge in our favorite treat of 21 Choices every now and then.

IMG_4198This photo does not do it justice but I swear the Animal Cookies + Almond Roca w/ coconut was scrumptious. If you haven’t experienced a 21 Choices in California, I do declare you go.

IMG_4184And of course we have the aTRACKtive athlete.  It was neat to see her interact with her team and I loved finally being able to meet everyone.  Leaving on Sunday was a bit tough, not to mention about 12 hours of travel ahead of me.  But, it’s good to be back in the city and I’m looking forward to the next adventure.

“We must live as we think, otherwise we shall end up by thinking as we have lived.” – Paul Bourget

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5 thoughts on “Sunny Birthday Getaway

  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY FAVORITE CALIFORNIA GIRL! I’m really glad you got to go home and surprise your family. It’s the perfect way to spend your birthday (a few days early). Going home is always a strange experience but it does seem like you made the most of it which is the most important part. I have those what ifs every time I go on a college visit with my brother, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what could have been. We just have to focus on what is 🙂 So live in the moment today, it’s your day to celebrate!

  2. happy happy happy bday!!!!! it is always such a wonderful thing to be able to spend time at home with your family!! i definitely know what you mean about things causing you to think so many what if scenarios. i can’t say it’s ever forced me to have regret, but it just causes me to think about how different my life could be had i taken another path. hope you have a wonderful day! 🙂

  3. Love this post and you!! You hit up all the tasty places, I can’t wait to check them all out when I go home 🙂 And of course, a birthday is never complete unless I wish you happy birthday an absurd amount of times, so here we are! Happy Birthday sweet thing!!

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