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

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Santa Clara, It’s Been Real

I’d say I’m sorry for so many posts about Santa Clara, but then again, that would be a lie.  Santa Clara was a huge part of my life and I think college is the perfect time to learn about one’s self and grow.  The past few days have certainly been crazy – between packing, graduating, celebrating, driving home, and unpacking.  I’ll be back in action soon with some tips on the best places to explore, tips for making the most of summer, and even some delectable recipes.

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Graduation as a whole was a complete SUCCESS!  There were honors ceremonies scattered throughout the day on Friday, along with one last liturgy.  Remember, we are a Jesuit university.

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The weather was gorgeous, around 75, not too bad for the viewers or those of us decked out in all-black attire.  Apparently last year, the temperature was up to the 100s at 8:30!

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To start the morning off, I met my dad at the local bar, the Hut, along with hundreds of other grads for the annual “Dads & Grads.”  Now, I’m not much of a drinker, especially morning/day drinking, but hey, the experience had to happen and certainly something to put in the books.

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As you can see, people are packed inside.  A few were trying to leave their lasting legacy at the Hut, by placing dollar bills with their names on the ceiling.  Apparently it’s tradition to also put your first business card up there.
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My dollar was quite thematic, don’t you think?

From there, I met the rest of my friends at our cafeteria – Benson.  Sort of neat to start one’s freshman experience in the cafeteria, wondering who to sit with and then finish it off with one final meal there.  I actually skipped out on the food as the line was out the door and my stomach was churning from the nerves and excitement.

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My friends and I (along with most of the senior class) ignored the rule to sit in numerical order and instead decided to sit next to one another.  I’d say it was a smart choice 🙂 Anyways, we had cards with our names printed phonetically so that the reader could announce our name correctly as we crossed the stage.  For all they know, I could have walked with Arts, Engineering, or Arts & Sciences.  Hey, I could have walked with all four schools, given they didn’t catch me walking up multiple times 🙂

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IMG_3325 IMG_3310 IMG_3334Pulling a “Lochte” moment with my business honors medal.
IMG_3340It was only necessary to take an honorary Theta picture with my grandma Nance, who is my Theta sister.  She’s lucky I didn’t make her throw up the Theta kite. 😉IMG_3373IMG_8404IMG_3389

And of course one with the family…the one’s who made this all possible 🙂
I’ll be taking a break for the next couple weeks to celebrate the end of my undergraduate career.  We’ll be exploring the United Kingdom (London + Scotland) and so I’ll have lots to share when I return.  For now, keep it classy and enjoy the summer!
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

WIAW #43 – Graduation Celebration Eats

Today’s edition of WIAW, hosted by the wonderful Jenn at Peas & Crayons will be a tad different.  Instead of showing you one day’s eats, I’m including a wide variety of celebratory foods and happenings from my last few days of college.  Enjoy 🙂 I know I did.
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