MDW ’16 in Review ~ New York Staycation

Ah Memorial Day Weekend.  It’s a relatively jam-packed with activities and of course holds a couple of meanings  The main purpose of the day, one that used to be known as Decoration Day, is to pay tribute to all the men and women who have died in military service for the United States.  To all of you, thank you.

This day and ultimately weekend also serves as the start to summer, the beginning of beach days, and historically in the fashion world – the “ok” to wear white.  Now that last point has sort of gone out the window and you can see women wearing it all points of the year, especially in Southern California where the seasons fluctuate between summer and mild summer with maybe some 50’s thrown in there.

Memorial Day Weekend is one holiday weekend that I never really have had solid plans for.  Growing up we would have a fun run on Monday or possibly go up to Mammoth Mountain.  I have been to the Jersey Shore for a few days and even a trip to go white-water rafting.

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I can look at this last weekend in one of two ways.  One – I didn’t get my act together to plan a trip or full weekend excursion or two – I worked on creating some open ended plans that would allow me to relax a bit and not go into some busy weeks at work completely exhausted.  Let’s go with the latter.

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^^ Remember when I mentioned that I loved Westville’s salad so much?  Yeah well when I was given the ok to leave work on Friday, I decided to go back down to 18th street, have a solo salad and then make my way back to Central Park to meet up with Lindsay and a few of her friends for a bit.  It was amazing to see how many people were out in Sheep’s Meadow.  While the heat did get a bit bothersome at times, if you stayed in the shade it was absolutely lovely.

From the park, Lindsay and I made our way to CitiField where we were able to watch our Los Angeles boys in blue take on the Mets!  It may not have been the best start for the Dodgers as they were down 5-1 by the 8th inning.  Lindsay and I thought they were out for the count and had started to make our way back to the city on the 7 train when I got a text from my mom saying the following “Dad hopes that you are still watching the game since it’s tied 5-5.”  Well if that’s not a guilt trip…Just kidding.

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There were a ton of people on the train and we were all kicking ourselves in the pants.  I just claimed that we were typical LA fans – arrive late and leave early.  The real excitement was Saturday when Chase Utley hit a grand slam for the Dodger win!

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Saturday I decided to give myself the day off from working out and instead Lindsay and I got up early to hit the beach.  We left the apartment around 8:30, picked up some snacks and caffeinated beverages at Starbucks and were on the sand by 11:30.  Now that it’s beach season, the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) has various beach deals including one to Long Beach – $23 round trip fare and access to the beach (normally $15).  I guess they charge at most beaches in order to maintain the classiness or cleanliness.  Either way, it does make for a better experience, especially if you make it a full day.

We may have been overeager on the sun and less than smart on the sunscreen.  I had thought it would be easy to spray myself periodically with the spray bottle but apparently that was not enough.  When I got home it looked like I wore some fancy schmancy suit that had cut-outs on the sides.  Let’s be clear that I did not wear that.  So from 7pm onward I sat and applied aloe, ate Bareburger and watched Disney Channel movies from the 100th episode celebration.  Adulting at its finest.

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^^ Sunday started with my last ClassPass class at KORE.  We worked for about 45 minutes with kettle bells, TRX ropes, and our own body weight.  The music was good, the bathrooms were fancy, and the lighting was a bit too much disco-esque.  I didn’t feel it too much right after the class but boy did I feel the burn the next morning.

Once finished, I hopped back on a Citi bike, prepped breakfast for the week and got ready for day #2 of the beach.  This time we were keeping it cheap and taking the A train out to Rockaways.  Turns out we went to the surfing spot, which doesn’t exactly allow for swimming.  Good to know.

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Once we got past the loud family and two parties playing loud music (really people, is that necessary?  How about listening to the ocean waves), everything was just fine.  I had brought my second book – The Lake House by Kate Morton – and alternated between reading and napping and glaring at our neighbors.  We actually didn’t even make it into the water because an odd fog started to roll in and we took our cue to depart.

To be 100% honest – the beaches are nothing like those in California.  I grew up going to Laguna Beach and there seriously is nothing better – the waves, the color of the ocean – the cleanliness (on most…).  That or Hawaii but we can’t all have Hawaii all the time.  It is sort of hard to trek all the way out with all your goods, but that’s part of growing up and exploring new areas.  Maybe I’ll stumble across a few other beaches this summer and make a list of pros/cons.

I’d like to say we went home and got dressed to go party but that would be a lie.  I sat right down and applied aloe and watched some excellent Disney films.  1) Johnny Tsunami, 2) ZENON and then 3) Teen Beach Movie, which seemed like a mash-up of modern day Johnny Tsunami (mostly for the poor kids who will never watch it) and Grease.  I was actually highly satisfied with all three and then got 8+ hours of sleep.  Now that’s an awesome weekend.

Monday Monday Monday.  After waking up to a cool apartment at 8:15am, it was off to the gym for a spin class and barre class.  I was supposed to go biking to a brewery but with 100% chance of showers, that plan was busted.  Once I set off for the gym a funny thing happened.  IT DIDN’T RAIN ALL DAY.  Get that meteorologists.  Anyways, it was probably for the better because I was able to stock up on some cleaning supplies, work through the apartment and get prepped for the week.

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I did meet up with my two friends that I was supposed to bike with and we tested out a new brunch spot instead.  I had selected this place (Jane) based on the reviews of the burger and bloody mary.  I did not get the burger and was actually not a fan of the bloody mary but did love the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich for what it’s worth.

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And that folks was a New York staycation.  A bit hap-hazard of a write-up as there was no real itinerary but we made do with our resources and it was one to remember.  Oh and for one little teaser of where I wish I could be – Curacao – with this view.  This is what a couple of my friends have seen for the past week.  Sunsets (NO FILTER) like this on the daily with plenty of sun and perfect surf to go around.

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“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you will look back and realize they were the big things” – Robert Brault

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May Highlights ~ 5.27.16

Just as I was about to write my weekly (almost weekly) life of late post, I realized that this was the LAST FRIDAY OF MAY.  But really, how in the world have we already reached a full 5 months of 2016?  Spring has arrived and really before we know it, summer will be here – hot and humid in all of its glory.  You know, with a few days of heat already, I’m wishing I lived closer to a beach (or pool).  Thank goodness I sleep right under the air conditioner and oh spend 90% of my day inside underneath fluorescent lights (sarcasm people. all sarcasm). Hey, I can thank my lucky stars that my office has wonderful air conditioning.  I’m sure there are some that can’t say the same.

But onto what I have been doing the last few weeks.  Oh there is always a bit of running and eating going on, but some other fun things in between.  It may be the same ‘ol same ‘ol stuff that I post about but it’s what brings me joy.  Jordan from Balanced Blonde made an excellent point about the purpose of a blog.  There are many people who start a blog with one theme in mind – food, fashion, travel, etc and some people are able to monetize their content.  To those people I say well done.  Although I’d like to consider my own blog as a lifestyle blog since it pretty much documents my style of life.

It all comes down to what I am passionate about and that’s what I write here and share with you.  So sit tight because this is turning out to be a long one 🙂

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^^ Birthday run to brunch bash.  I organized a fun run around parts of the Brooklyn Half course and it just so happened to be the day after my birthday.  We then made our way to an epic hole in the wall joint that serves some of the best biscuits around.  Now I’m not an expert so we can call them the best biscuits around Prospect Park.

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^^ But really, I’m game to go back for a snack and maybe even a bloody mary.  I’m not usually a boozy bruncher but apparently those too are some of the best around.

Butter & Scotch
818 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225

IMG_6996^^ Still ever so grateful for the friendships I have made here in this city.  As Ali mentioned in her blog (I know I mention her a lot but she speaks words of wisdom and she shares my birthday so obviously I’m biased), finding November Project was a godsend.  I have learned to push myself, learned how to relax, and made genuine friends in this strange city.

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^^ As I always say, running with friends makes things 10x better.  This is me and my friend Annelise at November Project, just waking up the sun.  Now if you are curious to learn more about running, the ins and outs, why it sucks sometimes and how to make it better (LIKE MORE FUN!!!), check out my friend Ali’s new segments on the run section of the Fitness site.  Words upon words of clutch information right at your fingertips.

Oh and you get to know some of my cool friends from November Project 🙂 But really.  Check it out!

IMG_7220^^ When you need a snack and the dynamic duo come to your rescue.  Thank you Starbucks and Pinkberry.  It’s quite funny how my body reacts to sugar now that I don’t eat as much of it.  Sure, sure if you follow me on IG/Snapchat or this blog you may be rolling your eyes but what that really means is I used to eat a WHOLE bunch more.  Anyways, I’ve figured out a little trick where if I drink straight black coffee, I can stop slow some of the nasty side effects.  Ok mostly slowing the sugar crash.

IMG_7229^^ A new watch for my birthday with only the best and brightest blue wristband.  I also discovered that Mile Posts had created a Garmin interface with the runner movement phrase “I Run this Body”.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this, it’s a movement (trending with a hashtag and clothes to match) that celebrates runners of all types – all speeds, all body shapes, and all levels.

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^^ One AMAZING kale salad from Westville.  My first time dining at the east village location and boy was it love at first bite.  The kale was shredded and dressed and mixed with walnuts, blue cheese, and cranberries.

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IMG_8501 (1) ^^ Last weekend Lindsay’s family (at least the girls) came out to visit and I was lucky enough to tag along on Sunday.  We started up at the Boathouse with a truly delicious brunch (frittata for the WIN), some time spent wandering Central Park, and then down along 5th Avenue with a stop inside Tiffany’s.

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^^ Absolutely ADORING my birthday bouquet from my friend Liz.  She ordered some of my favorites – Gerber daisies – from a new company called Bouqs.  What’s great is that they are 1) eco friendly and 2) cut to order.  I swear, those flowers lasted longer than I have ever had a bouquet last.

IMG_7219^^ After my very quick trip to LA for Meghan’s graduation, I saw this at LAX.   Now remind me why I’m living in a concrete jungle and not by the beach? 😉  Thank goodness I’ll get my ocean fix this weekend when Lindsay and I go to check out not one but two seaside escapes.  We both agree that we are spoiled by our proximity to favorite Laguna Beach back in California but since that’s not an option, we must venture out and try new things.  At least for now.

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^^ Some excellent street tacos by Tacombi found in Nolita, Flatiron, and Bleeker Street.  Guacamole is highly recommended a non-negotiable.

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The sun may set on another day but have no fear as there is you have the whole world out there to explore tomorrow.

Brunch Buds at Gotan, Manhattan

I tend to surround myself with people who like to work out and eat, which sounds absolutely wonderful don’t you agree?  Well, being in New York City is the cherry on top since we are basically surrounded by an amazing array of places to dine at.  So many options, so little time (money) it seems.  Most of my weekends do involve some sort of run to eat (or eat to run) and that’s where I’m heading today.

Jump back a few days to the Brooklyn Half where over 27,000 runners made their way from Prospect Park to the Coney Island Boardwalk.  Sure, Coney Island is home to the famous Nathan’s hot dog, but for some reason a frankfurter and beer wasn’t really going to cut it for me that day.  I was craving real food – something warm and something filling.  One of my friends Lauren, blogger at Peanut Butter is My Boyfriend, had finished the race and also happens to be a go-to resource for all things foodie.  Really though, she is one of the top foodies I know and has a stacked list of places to go to.

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We knew our options in Coney Island were slim and wanted to make it back to the main island (sorry Brooklyn).  This was definitely the best plan of action since I would have been one big crank without food.  Although, looking back, I had extreme FOMO of all the people dancing their soreness away at the beer garden.  See what I mean? FOMO issues.  I’ve got a good post coming down the pipeline about that.  But for now back to delicious food.

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A few of the November Project peeps rallied and together we broke away from the chaos and mozied back to the subway to then endure the 90 minute commute home.  Once back in the city, we made our way north to midtown and then to Gotan per Lauren’s recommendation.  She had eaten there twice previously (that week as it happens) and was raving about their options.  I’m going to do my best to review what we ate but I highly recommend reading her thoughts here.

IMG_7336^^ It was practically 12:30 by the time we had arrived so our options were evenly split between breakfast and lunch items.  We all went for savory options and decided to order a couple sweets for the table – one being the PB&J toast with sprinkled coconut.  Here’s a look at the pour-over brew and tuna + avocado salad.  Lauren goes into the making of the coffee and why it’s an emphasis at this restaurant.

IMG_7340^^ I could not pass up the option to order eggs and kale, a combination I am oh to familiar with at home but love so much.  The addition of chorizo, sweet potato and hummus was quite possibly divine.  The yolks were perfectly runny as every brunch egg dish should be.

IMG_7341 ^^ Here is more of an over-head look at our eats, soon to be demolished.  #halfmarathongoals.  And no, these plates were not all for one person (though that would be impressive or maybe slightly nauseating).  Lauren was able to eat with the owners and get the scoop of pretty much each and every dish.  While we couldn’t really order everything on the menu, we did try.  The peanut butter toast was a simply solution to satisfy everyone’s sweet cravings while we all enjoyed our own savory dish.

Dining out with a bunch of millennial foodies meant that we had to pause to take pictures before diving in to take a bite.  We really must look like a strange bunch with cameras and phones coming from all different directions, stretching for the perfect angle to share on Instagram (and the blog…). You’re welcome.

Since Gotan is still relatively new, there wasn’t much of a crowd but I’m sure when word gets out that will all change.  Until then, I’ll try to make it back and maybe, just maybe try something new.

“People who love to eat are always the best people.” — Julia Child

Take Me Down Ocean Avenue: Brooklyn Half Recap

Fun fact: I used to listen to Yellowcard’s “Ocean Avenue” on repeat when I first started running back in the day.  But I’m going to talk about another Ocean Avenue today – the one in the Brooklyn Half Marathon.  Yep, another half in the bag and now I’m forcing myself to take a mini hiatus from racing.  I actually wasn’t even planning to race on Saturday but a few months back when everyone and their mom started talking about it, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and sign up.  Serious FOMO issues here. Good thing I was at my computer that day because the race sold out in 45 minutes!!!  Yes, I paid money to endure 13.1 miles and there’s nothing you can do to stop me from doing it again.

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Overall it went well.  It hurt but that’s something that generally comes with the territory.  The saying goes “don’t do anything new on race day” and well, I may have broken that rule a few times.  First off, I was going in with less training than I would have liked.  Sure, I’ve been working out but not really working out properly – mostly taking classes that leave me sore and then dilly-dallying through my running.  Then my sleep and food routines have been all over the place this week.  Between flying back from home and attending our upfront events and concerts, it was sort of a mess.  Yolo.  On Friday, I was invited to a friend’s dinner party (I guess you could say healthy interest/blogger meet-up hosted by GreenBlender folks) and while the food was absolutely delicious, I maybe shouldn’t have stuck to classics.  I didn’t have coffee the morning of and well, that might have messed up some things too.  I’ll leave it at that.

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^^ White strawberries (actually albino strawberries but that just sounds weird) are a thing.  Check it out!

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Anyways, I do have to thank my friend Sara for letting me sleep on her couch the night before because that meant I was about 800 meters from the start and thus I could avoid waking up at 4am to catch one of the few subways actually traveling to Brooklyn.  WINNING!  I also have to give her a huge shout out for crushing her first half! What a champ 🙂

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So the race.  Because of my time from last year’s Washington Heights 5k, I’ve been placed in some of the front corrals.  Funny since I’ve been getting slower with each race and yet my bib still states otherwise.  I rolled off the couch around 5:20, ate my banana and Honey Stinger waffle, got dressed, and was out the door by 5:45.  Bag check was supposedly going to close around 6:10 but I think that was a ploy to get runners to actually show up on time.  Wave #1 didn’t go off until 7am (wave #2 around 7:45) and that left me with plenty of time to find my NP friends and hang out (and use the porta-potty…duh).

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Weather was definitely working in our favor – slightly overcast with no sight of rain.  Perfect since earlier this week it was about a 100% chance of rain and while voluntarily racing 13.1 miles is crazy, running in the rain is even more so and not so enjoyable.  It may have started to get a bit hot and humid but again, thank goodness no rain.

Consensus is most of us started way too fast.  Typical for me when you get caught up in the heat of the moment, you are pumped with your new playlist (Hello Justin Timberlake and EDM remixes by Spotify), and everyone else is jetting out like a bat out of hell (kudos to my friend Sarah for teaching me that phrase about 10 years ago).  Anyways, I was feeling oh so dandy for the first couple miles and then realized I still had 11 more to go.  Cool.

>> Brooklyn Half Course Map <<

We wrapped in and around Prospect Park, struggled powered up the hills where I saw some November Project folks cheering (we have the best cheer squads out there), and then down counter-clockwise and onto Ocean Parkway.  I happened to be running alongside a couple other of NP people, which kept me focused on pushing forward.  We actually switched off pushing the pace and kept one another accountable.  I rarely race with people that I know, but this prevented me from slowing down too much – something the lazy part of me wanted to do.   But yes, the the course.  Prospect Park was nice but lovely Ocean Parkway – remind me again why I signed up for this?  6 miles of not so attractive open road.  Good times.

About two years ago when I raced this course, I thought the same thing, dying with the endless path in front of me and pretty much crashing at mile 10 because I didn’t fuel properly (aka no gu or chew or dates).  This year I did use fuel (dates at 6.5, 7.5, 9, and 11), but had to stop in the porta-potty for a few minutes at mile 10.  Good times.

So here’s a question – do you stop your watch during a race if you use the bathroom?  I did.  I figured I wanted to know my actually running time and after all, the live tracker would find my total time anyways.  I’m pretty spoiled living in New York City because New York Road Runners has their sh*t together – aid stations and porta-potties pretty much at every mile, relatively seamless bag check, and a much more manageable race start than the one I did in Sweden last year.  Sweden was what we call a sh*t show.  Pardon my French today.

After the pit-stop I had to get my head in the game and power through those last few miles.  It was just me, Bieber, JT, and the home stretch.  I may not practice running fast on a daily basis but I do have a pretty good kick, so with 800 meters to go (thank you to the weekly intervals crew!!), I went for it and landed a time of 1:46 clock time (1:45:59) and 1:43ish by my Garmin but not by Strava so maybe I made up that time in my head (likely to happen to me)

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I found my friends, celebrated their PR’s, picked up my bag, and headed to the baseball field to stretch.  Then it was onto the makeshift beer garden (Steeple Chase) to catch up with all the other November Project folks.  I later left with a few friends for brunch and real food on the main island of Manhattan but more on that later this week.

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^^ Highlight of the morning – seeing Ellie Golden in person again

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Saturday wasn’t about PRs.  It was about finishing with a positive mindset and knowing that I can race under various mental and physical conditions.  I have to have that attitude if I want to run or race double that amount in less than 6 months.  I have to pull myself together and enjoy the moment.  I always enjoy seeing my friends and love how supportive they are to one another.  We have folks running their first halves and half marathon veterans.  We are there through the good and the not-so-great.  They are my family here and I don’t think my experience would be the same without them.

But enough sap for one post.  Here’s to the Brooklyn Half, another day where we voluntarily chose to wake up at the crack of dawn, jaunt (sprint, suffer, slog, fly) through 13.1 miles, and party in all different ways afterwards.

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I LOVE NEW YORK

It’s taken me about 25 years to learn how to bend the rules and have a little fun.  I do like to have fun but typically it’s Type A and by the book.  I never ditched class (ok a couple of times senior year), never skipped a day when I didn’t have to, and followed all of my coach’s directions (except this one time we walked home from hill repeats and were then scolded…no hard feelings).  Anyways, now that I’m 25 and two weeks old, I’ve realized that life doesn’t have a rule book (though some people still tell me I’m a goody two-shoes).  As I’ve said (or written) before, life is what you make of it.  So, I decided that I was going to take a day off for my birthday and take a day off to explore the city with some friends.  The former was actually at the encouragement of my own boss, so that’s that.

But last Wednesday happened to be my good friend Jess’s 5th year anniversary in the city.  A few of us coordinated time off and a schedule to explore this island we now call home.

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The obvious plan was to start at November Project and of course we made it a double (5:30 + 6:30).  I opted in for the running of 5:30, part of 6:30 and then took to strength and stretching.  With Saturday’s impending half, I didn’t want to wear myself out.

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From there, we made our way downtown, picked up some java from a quaint little coffee shop by NYU, and onward to the Greenwich Avenue Equinox.  Oh my goodness so much fun since we actually took our time getting ready, enjoyed a bit of sauna time and didn’t have to battle our way for a shower.  Let it be known that normally around 7:45/8am it’s mad chaos and takes forever to actually get showered.

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Then it was breakfast (more like brunch) time.  We arranged our schedule to be by an avocado toast locale and Bluestone Lane just so happened to be right down the block.  Most of us went with the avocado toast + yogurt mix board – a perfectly portioned plate for sure.  Un-pictured was the banana bread split and devoured by the table.

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^^ Brunch at Bluestone Lane (mmmmm delish)

I definitely forgot to put sunscreen on and with about an hour in the sun at breakfast and additional walking during the day…it was not a pretty tan line.

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Once finished with breakfast, we walked out of the West Village and down towards the tip of the island towards Battery Park. Jessica (the girl of honor) had picked up “I LOVE NY” shirts for us to wear on our touristy adventure.  I swear, the amount of funny looks, pictures, comments, and even some cat calls, were hilarious.  We even got a few people saying “wow you really do must love New York”.  That or “where are you visiting from?”.  Our reply “the East Village”

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^^ Pretty good story behind this picture.  Obviously we would want something that matches our shirts but more about who took the photo.  We saw this man standing on the street writing in a notebook.  We asked him to take our picture and he did, but then asked us for help with his class assignment (to help him learn English).  The topic was art and he had to analyze what differentiated street art from graffiti.  We all gave him our opinions – emphasizing street art such as the one above helps improve the ambiance of the area rather than degrading it.  It was just one of those moments where you think “wow I live in such a unique city that I am surrounded by so many different people and places”.

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^^ what a bunch.  also noticing the tomato red burn on my arm…

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We did attempt to wait in line for burgers and milkshakes from Burger & Barrel but ever since it became the Instagram hot spot, it’s been a zoo.  We arrived around 2:30, thinking we would be able to just jet in.  Well, given that the line was wrapped around the street corner and we weren’t expected to even be seated together for the next hour or so, we ditched that plan and headed east to another bar for cocktails and burgers.  All of us were still full from breakfast and wanted to leave room for dinner (Pauly Gees pizza to come), so divide and conquer we did.  Two burgers split amongst the two of us and a few drinks to go around.

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Ending the day with a delicious round of pies and complimentary limoncello shots by Pauly himself.  Do note that this is a dine in only establishment – no pies to go, even though a picnic in the park would have been divine 🙂

One helluva way to celebrate an anniversary and here’s to many more adventures!

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“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time” – Marthe Troly-Curtin

Whirlwind Weekend in California

With a hop, skip, and a jump, I’m en route back to the good old New York City.  I spent a quick weekend at home, arriving late Friday.  It had been 4.5 months since I was last home but with only 72 hours to spare (if that) I couldn’t really make many plans.  That was fine by me and I instead focused on spending my time with the family and Mr. Bodie.  I did happen to squeeze in a quick coffee date with one of my best girlfriends from home since she too was in town!  She was prepping to go see Beyonce at the Rose Bowl and so we caught up over some Starbucks (obviously it’s my goal to stay hyper-caffeinated).

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^^ don’t we make a good duo?

Anyways, on Saturday afternoon, my sister Meghan graduated top of her class, from Claremont McKenna College.  We had the whole family drive in from their respective locations to celebrate and sat through a few endless speeches (as most graduations do have) 😉 I did enjoy listening to their commencement speaker – David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker.  He had some interesting things to say – somewhat political at times, but I felt that his speech could have been more concise.  Meghan and I later attended the Scripps College commencement where we listened to Madeleine Albright, who I thought did a much better job of getting her words of wisdom across.  Some of the key takeaways were:

  • Truth can be a blunt instrument, which can be helpful as well as dangerous
  • If we aren’t learning, we aren’t living >> there is a great divide between people who are willing to listen versus people who think they know it all
  • Instead of choosing to listen to people you agree with, or spend time with people who are similar to you, try to listen to those you don’t agree with or help expand your horizons >> it’s imperative to continue to learn
  • Make this new life an adventure

Good points right?

Later that evening it was family celebration time at Arroyo Chop House.  Oh.my.goodness.  Quite possibly the best family dinner out that we have had in some time.  Meghan and I were both greeted with little orchid arrangements (so I was totally in a wonderful mood and yes I took both home to hang dry in my room) for her graduation and my birthday.   We then proceeded to snack on their freshly made sourdough (noms) and put our orders in for dinner.  

My dad is a man with a classic order – caesar salad, steak (or split steak + fish) combo – medium, pommes frites and green beans, with a chocolate souffle for dessert.  The man has good taste but Meghan and I decided to go rogue and also order a truffle mac and cheese (which I proceeded to finish) and brussels sprouts w/ bacon. Our options for dessert were between the chocolate souffle and grand mariner.  We went with the former, but then my aunt told me she usually has the table order both.  Ah, now that is a clutch idea for the future!  Anyone care to take me on a date there? 😉

On Sunday morning, Meghan and I set out for my last long run before this weekend’s Brooklyn Half Marathon.  She was kind enough to keep my pace and we had a good time chatting our way down to the Rose Bowl.  The uphill terrain was not nearly as nice (actually struggle city), but landed us with a solid 9.2 miles for the morning.  As corny or weird as it sounds, my favorite feeling is post-run or post-workout where (sure things are a bit achey or sore) you feel invincible, strong, and accomplished. 

Looking forward to Brooklyn, this is one race where I really don’t have a time-goal in mind.  My training hasn’t been consistent and I’m just doing my best to stay healthy prior to NYC Marathon training.  Not going to lie, with less than 6 months to go (about 2 months until training begins), the nerves are starting to kick in.  Buuuuut we’ll keep that for another time.

The rest of the afternoon was spent fixing up the house, sewing up corn-hole bags (call me Martha Stewart), and prepping for the party.  We had most of the family out along with a number of Meghan’s cross country peeps.  All of her friends range in age and even across a couple of the other Claremont schools, so it’s always an eclectic bunch 🙂

IMG_7218^^ Catering by Los Gringos Locos for the win (guac by yours truly)

My favorite parts of the weekend had to be walking with my mom and dog, running with my sister around the Rose Bowl (but not enjoying the uphill on Killer Hill), and getting ready for the graduation party.  I would have liked to play golf with my Dad but time didn’t allow and so I’ll put that off for when I’m hopefully home during the holidays.  To say that leaving home was easy would be a lie.  No matter how many times I make the trip, the last day is always the toughest.  I don’t like goodbyes (it’s always always always see you later) and the day ends up being so damn long.  Trust me, I’m living it up in New York and love it but whenever I’m home, I start to question what I’m doing.  Should I be adventuring more, should I be in Southern California, should I be in a completely different type of job.  Adulting is tough.

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After a nice long chat with my mom, I put things in perspective.  My journey is unfolding just as it needs to.  Things work out in strange ways and with enough perseverance and drive, we make our life as we please.  For now, keep calm and carry on. 

“Everything will change when your desire to move on exceeds your desire to hold on” – Alan H Cohen