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a weekend in santa cruz.

24 Jun

Last weekend, I headed up north to Santa Cruz for the weekend for my brother Reid’s college graduation.

Getting there was a feat in and of itself. From my office in DTLA, I took the metro one stop to Union Station.  There, I picked up the LAX Fly-away shuttle, which took me to LAX for $7! It was easy and efficient, except for the fact it was 15 minutes late.  I allowed plenty of time, though, so I would recommend it, as long as you leave plenty of time.  I had about and hour to kill at LAX before I hopped on the Virgin America flight to San Jose.  I landed around 10 pm, and a shuttle came (also about 15 minutes late) to drive me to Sant Cruz.  Normally, at 10:30 on a Friday night, this drive would take 40 minutes or so. But on this particular Friday, it took 90.  A power line had fallen on the freeway, seven hours earlier, and they still hadn’t fixed the problem.  Luckily the driver and other passanger in the shuttle were friendly.  Finally, at around 11:45, I arrived in downtown Santa Cruz where I met my brother and parents at a bar called 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall where the band my brother manages, Dewey and the Peoples, were performing. (Pictured below with a random fan).

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My parents had an IPA waiting for me, and we hung out and listened to the music til a little after 12.  I headed back with my parents to a beach-adjacent apartment they rented through VRBO.  It couldn’t have been nicer or more quaint! If you’re looking for a place to stay in Santa Cruz, try the West Cliff Hideaway.  On Saturday morning, we got up bright and early for my brother’s 9 am graduation ceremony.  Beforehand, we stopped by my brother’s house (one block from the ocean!) for an impromptu photo shoot…with his band fam and actual fam.

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IMG_3998The graduation ceremony itself was a little bit boring – the speeches were sort of ho hum.  One associate professor who spoke actually sounded EXACTLY like the “infomercial girls” on SNL.  You know, the girls who sell “Moet Chandon” champagne and are super dumb? As soon as my mom pointed that out I kept repeating it incessantly throughout the day. It was great seeing my brother walk, though, and I enjoyed seeing more of the UCSC campus.

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IMG_4005There are deer errywhere:

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IMG_4014After the ceremony, we had a delicious brunch (the scones alone were incredible) at Hoffman’s in DT Santa Cruz.  My parents had gone their the previous night (after my Dad realized the restaurant had received a make-over on one of his favorite shows, Restaurant Impossible). They enjoyed their dinner so we went back for a boozy brunch.

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IMG_4015Later that day, I shopped with my mom and relaxed. I even took a nap! “Naps are for suckers” is one of my mantras, and this one was no different.  Although I felt super refreshed after, in the hour I slept the Dodgers gave up two runs to the Pirates and Kimye had their baby. After my nap (God, who am I?) I went out for a short, untimed run.  I did a slow 3.5 miles (approx.) from the beach house down to the pier and back.  This was my first outdoor run after 26.2 and it felt great.

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We had a very nice celebratory dinner at a nice placed called Aquarius, with great views overlooking the water.  My brother had kept his lei on so people kept congratulating him which was awesome, and he was definitely happy.

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It was a quick trip but fun – and it left me wanting more beach time!

an epic weekend.

6 May

This was an amazing weekend.

As you probably know from my Instagram or Twitter…I spent a lot of last week studying for my Evidence final. Buttt since it’s not until May 13, I could afford to take this weekend off from studying completely.

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On Thursday night, I joined my running group for a 7 miler downtown. It was pretty hilly, but also gorgeous.

new fav LA spot. (on my run)

new fav LA spot. (on my run)

piece of BCN in DTLA.

piece of BCN in DTLA.

On Friday, my college friend/sorority “sister”/study abroader/fellow crazy person Michelle was in town from SF. We met up for a fun afternoon in Santa Monica. I finally put a Lululemon gift card to good use and walked out with something I never would have considered buying in the past…a running skirt! Just call me SR.

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Michelle and I took a class at Soul Cycle from my fav instructor – Laura Crago. Michelle had never taken a class at Soul Cycle before and naturally fell in love. She’s counting down until their SF location opens. We showered and then grabbed a bite to eat at Barney’s Beanery. It was so great to catch up!

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Later that evening, I grabbed drinks with my parents at Más Malo before they headed home. The recent southern CA fires are near our hometown, so they wanted to wait out traffic.

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After I said bye to my parents, I headed out to the valley to meet up with Whitney and our good friend from HS, Hayley, for a drink at the Blue Dog Tavern. I enjoyed an IPA (duh). Hayley lives and works in Fresno, so we don’t get to see her all that often, but she is always so fun to be around when we do get to see her. We were all chatting about how our other friend, Kelsey, had just gotten engaged on Tuesday (!!). And what do you know . . . in walks Kelsey with her fiancé, Drew. Kelsey had seen Hayley’s “check-in” on Facebook, and stopped by to surprise us. It was so nice to see her and Drew and to get the first person account of the proposal. Put that story in the “i love social media” column.

kelsey, me, whitney, and hayley. just realized i'm the odd one out without an "ey" last name.

kelsey, me, whitney, and hayley. just realized i’m the odd one out without an “ey” last name.

taps on taps on taps.

taps on taps on taps.

On Saturday morning, Whitney and I left our respective apartments and met up in Costa Mesa for packet pick up for the OC Half Marathon. I will do a full re-cap of the race, but the trip itself was a lot of fun. After packet pick-up, we checked in at the Marriott Newport Beach. Whitney had fallen into this room  – someone she knew who was running it had booked a room, but after a pulled hamstring forced him to bow out of the race, he offered his room up to her before surrendering it back to the hotel. Well, it turns out we had inherited the “romance package”…meaning champagne for the room…which was on the 15th floor and had a panoramic view of the ocean.

life = joke.

life = joke.

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We spent some time lounging in the room. The view was so incredible I felt guilty if I took my eyes off of it for more than 0.4 seconds. We met up with Whitney’s family and walked around Fashion Island, and did a little shopping. I met up with another friend from high school, Sam, for a coffee. It was so great catching up with her as well. We did dinner with Whitney’s family + our friend Riley at Irvine Spectrum’s Wood Ranch (because #paleochallenge).

The race itself was great – and after we celebrated with a little Cinco Day Drinko action. Overall, this was a fantastic weekend. I was so lucky to blend so many different groups of friends throughout the weekend – law school, high school, college. I’ll be back soon with a full race recap.

2012 remixed.

31 Dec

If you haven’t been able to tell by reading this blog, I love traditions. One thing I have done on this blog for awhile now is to recap my year via songs. [Check out 2010 and 2011 here!] I love music and I think it’s a great way to reminisce on the past year – plus I like re-reading these posts to remember everything that happened in that year! Before you check out my 2012 song selections, you should listen to DJ Earworm’s 2012 mash-up. Here’s mine:

January – Calvin Harris Feel So Close

I picked this song because it reminds me of the best winter break ever – where I checked out a ton of new restaurants, went on a bunch of LA hikes, went out, and explored LA. In January I also started second semester and reunited with some of my favorite AXOs,  celebrated my birthday with a dinner + drinks, and ran a half-marathon with one of my best law school friends, Blake, at the Rose Bowl, and battled running injuries off and on.

loving LA.

loving LA.

i'm not that old but i'm not that young.

i’m not that old but i’m not that young.

February  – Big Sean f/ Nicki Minaj – Dance

In February, I met my first real blog friend in person (Katherine of Left Coast Contessa). I also became re-obsessed with spin (indoor cycling) after almost a YEAR away and spent more time in the gym. Other than that, February was a pretty low-key month. I was briefly obsessed with this song due to the part when Nicki Minaj says “Islands of Waikikiiiiiiiiii.” I annoyed everyone repeating that for a few weeks.

view from my gym's parking lot.

view from my gym’s parking lot.

March – Flo Rida f/ Sia – Wild Ones

In March, I took a torts midterm, headed to Palm Springs with Whitney, Matt, and Jenn, and was able to fight off a knee injury to run three miles with my Dad during his marathon. During March I also went to my first Kings game, headed home to celebrate my brother’s 21st birthday, and studied a good amount.

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palm springs bound.

palm springs bound.

April – Gotye – Somebody That I Used to Know (FatRat remix)

April was a pretty intense school month – I had a lot of assignments due and geared up for finals. I had a beach day with my law school bests, went to a couple of comedy shows, had an oral argument, and lived vicariously through my parents’ trip to Vegas. I also did the She Runs LA 10k, tried Pure Barre, and did  The Color Run with my friend Riley. At the end of the month I went to a  Bruce Springsteen concert!

blake, armita, me, and taylor all pretending we like each other. (aviva was our photographer.)

blake, armita, me, and taylor all pretending we like each other. (aviva was our photographer.)

post she runs la 10k.

post she runs la 10k.

post color run.

post color run.

baby we were born to run.

baby we were born to run.

May – The Naked & Famous – Young Blood (Tiësto & Hardwell Remix)

Like any month where finals occur, the majority of it is spent studying. I spent the first 2+ weeks studying for and taking my finals, punctuated by small study breaks with my law school budz – like the time we celebrated Cinco Day Drinko instead of studying for Torts. In May I officially FINISHED 1L buttttt then immediately spent a week on the write-on competition to join a law review or a journal.  I finally kick-started summer with kayaking with my mom, a hike with Taylor, and some solid vedge-time. I also discovered my love for SoulCycle in May.

Cinco Day Drinko

Cinco Day Drinko

law school bests celebrating the end of the year.

law school bests celebrating the end of the year.

kayaking in Ventura.

kayaking in Ventura.

it was love.

it was love.

June – Carly Rae Jepsen Call Me Maybe Mash-ups (Call Me Greyhound – Swedish House Mafia + Call Me Maybe v. 99 Problems)

June was officially summer. I kicked it off with a short trip to SD  with Jenn where I PR’d in the half-marathon (1:38:55), began my externship at the criminal courts building, did a little paddle boarding  (I still have a bruise on my hip),went to Dodger games, hiked, and spent a weekend in SF where Whitney, Kathleen, and I created the “cerveza cycle.”

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paddle-boarding!

paddle-boarding!

my buddy/co-extern aaron and me.

my buddy/co-extern aaron and me.

cycling...

cycling…

...and drinking.

…and drinking.

July – Kirko Bangz “Drink in my Cup”

July started off with a bang with a Fourth of July 10k in the Palisades, followed up with a little rage-fest with my section budz. I also discovered electronic musician Sahy Uhns, celebrated my blog’s third birthday, and saw The Producers at The Hollywood Bowl.

fireworks.

fireworks.

sahy uhns.

sahy uhns.

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August – Kanye West f/ Big Sean, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz “Mercy” 

In August, I saw The Hood Internet perform live, was inspired by various Olympic endeavors + caught up with friends from home, wrapped up my externship, went through On Campus Interviewing at Loyola, and traveled to Orange County with my mom for a few days where we saw Pageant of the Masters, paddle-boarded, and soaked up the sun. I also missed a one-night stint in Vegas due to a sudden onslaught of an illness, serving as a reminder that sometimes I need to listen to my body. I also celebrated Aviva’s birthday on the Sunset Strip and went back to school as a 2L.

The Hood Internet!

The Hood Internet!

paddle-boarding in Newport.

paddle-boarding in Newport.

September – Psy “Gangam Style”

In September, I ran my high school’s annual pancake breakfast race, hit up the SC/Cal game, and went to Monterey for my friend Angela’s wedding. I also started going to Trivia night at Barney’s Beanery in WeHO. When I wasn’t gallivanting around, I was busy with my course-load (Con Law, Law of Sales, Torts II, and Ethical Lawyering) as well as my extra-curricular activities of the Entertainment Law Review and the Wilhelm C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration team. #phew

OPXC alumni.

OPXC alumni.

in real life, we're friends.

in real life, we’re friends.

angela + adrian.

angela + adrian.

October – Adrian Lux “Teenage Crime” 

In October, I continued the trivia night tradition, played tourist in Hollywood, spent a weekend in San Francisco for the Nike Women’s 13.1, celebrated my friend Blake’s birthday in Manhattan Beach, and saw Adrian Lux perform live at the Exchange in DTLA. All in all, a fantastic month.

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blake's b-day.

blake’s b-day.

we don't waste no precious time.

we don’t waste no precious time.

November – Zedd “Clarity” oh…and Morgan Page f/ Greg Laswell – Addicted 

I hit up another SC game (this time v. Oregon), saw Book of Mormon, and visited my parents at the newsroom of the Los Angeles Times on election night! I also ran two 5ks – the ‘Stache Dash in Costa Mesa with my roommate and her boyfriend, and the Conejo Valley Turkey Day Trot at Cal Lutheran University with my running buddy Hannes on Thanksgiving morning. I also enjoyed a long weekend at home for Thanksgiving that was punctuated by our annual “Blackout Wednesday” tradition.

jenn and me post-race.

jenn and me post-race.

thankful.

thankful.

happy Blackout Wednesday!

happy Blackout Wednesday!

December – I couldn’t pick just one: Will.i.am f/ Britney Spears “Scream & Shout” AND Bingo Players + Flo Rida “I Cry

I spent the overwhelming majority of December studying and taking finals. I finished on December 14th and then celebrated in Manhattan Beach. Celebrations continued with Loyola Bar Review, the Santa Monica Pub Crawl, and my friend’s Hawaiian Christmas party. My family and I spent Christmas Day in Las Vegas (#VegasChristmas) and the very last week of December has been soul(cycle)-filled.

christmas in the library.

christmas in the library.

loyola bar review.

loyola bar review.

SANTA Monica Pub Crawl.

SANTA Monica Pub Crawl.

#VegasChristmas

#VegasChristmas

I hope everyone has an exciting and fun NYE celebration and an even better jump-start to 2013! I’ll be posting my goals and resolutions for the new year tomorrow.

What was YOUR favorite song from 2012?

#VegasChristmas

26 Dec

This was definitely one of the most memorable Christmases my family has ever had. I headed home on the 22nd and spent a few days catching up with old friends and spending quality time with the fam.

On the 21st, I headed to one of my law school friend’s parties in Santa Monica. The theme was “Hawaiian Christmas” so I trekked to the local Goodwill and picked up a shirt for $5 and a Santa hat at CVS (also for $5). I loved the theme – and brought Christmas and Hawaiian beer – and had fun catching up with some of my law school favs. We ended the night with a 1 am trip to Norm’s. My hamburger craving was duly satisfied.

Mele Kalikimaka!

Mele Kalikimaka!

one of the rare instances where I am not trying to choke Taylor and he is not pushing me into strangers and spilling their beer.

one of the rare instances where I am not trying to choke Taylor and he is not pushing me into strangers and spilling their beer.

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Before I headed the the ‘burbs, my roommate Jenn surprised me with my Christmas gift. I had earlier given her a Garmin 10 (birthday + Christmas combined). She gave me this GORGEOUS dress (I have been ogling this style since Emily Maynard wore something similar on her season of The Bachelorette) and a book on eating Paleo. I have been interested in learning more about Paleo and trying to eat more cleanly. Perfect. Gift.

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I headed home and went on a run, hung out with my family, etc. That evening, my mom and I headed to my good friend Angela’s parents’ home for a holiday party/post-Wedding get together. I was able to attend Angela’s wedding in September and it was so fun to catch up with her and see her parents. Her mom is QUITE the hostess – they had an amazing spread of Mexican fare and a whole table devoted to desserts (blogger FAIL – I didn’t nab a single photo of the night). Friends from high school and Angela’s family were all there, which was so nice. Angela and I were extremely close all through high school, and while we don’t get to see each other that often, I am always so amazed by how we quickly slip into conversations as if no time has passed. Such a fun night!

my family's tree.

my family’s tree.

The next day, I spent a little bit of time at a memorial service for the Grandma of my good friends Garrett and Jeff. It was a very sweet service. Grandma Dorothy was a HUGE Dodger fan so everyone was encouraged to wear Dodger gear. One of her favorite players, Andre Ethier, sent a personalized e-mail that was read aloud which was very touching. I got to speak with Grandma Dorothy a little bit over the years and she was always incredibly sweet and funny. I will always remember that she told me I looked beautiful at my senior prom. 🙂

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I was also able to catch up with my good girlfriends – the night of the 23rd featured drinks at my FAVORITE local place – Ladyface Alehouse and Brasserie – for drinks with Hayley and Whitney. Love the vibe there. and the beer. I was also able to spend a couple of hours on Christmas Eve with my friend Lauren who is now in Texas for grad school. We don’t get to see each other that often, but it is always so nice spending some time with her when she’s in town. I was also able to run with my friend Hannes – he’s a beast though and my pace was embarrassing throughout our 5-miler.

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the tree + beer at Ladyface.

My family and I had a low-key Christmas Eve dinner of tamales (our Christmas Eve tradition), homemade rice, and a delicious salad. My brother announced he had a “Christmas Eve gift” for everyone – and he handed us all a couple of scratchers. We all thought it was a great idea – and my Dad won $20!

$20 richer.

$20 richer.

After he won, he goes: “I want to go to Pechanga tomorrow…Or Vegas!” He said both of these things half-jokingly…but then we thought about it…and everyone was really up for the idea of spending Christmas Day in Las Vegas! So we booked a discounted room last minute at The Palazzo and I found tickets for a show. We decided to wake up early on Christmas Day and drive to Vegas. That meant we’d open our presents on Christmas Eve! So we took a little break and did our stockings – I got a lot of great things.

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In lieu of our usual cinnamon bun interlude between stockings and presents, we just took a small break. Everyone gave and received some really thoughtful gifts – I got two amazing coffee table books, a really nice wallet and Longchamp purse, and a few other fun things. My parents know me scarily well.

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We enjoyed our new presents and then prepared for our last-minute decision to have a #VegasChristmas. My brother and I were SO excited. I love Las Vegas – and so does basically everyone in my family. Sure, it’s a little tacky and glitzy, but that’s the charm in it. I love Vegas for it’s ironic fun. Such a fun Christmas surprise.

We got up and were out the door by 8 am, drove to Vegas sans traffic and checked in around 1 at The Palazzo.

mother and son, you know in Vegas for Christmas.

mother and son, you know… in Vegas for Christmas.

On our way to the hotel, I saw lots of ads for all of the DJs that will be in Vegas for NYE. After hearing about one of my friend’s recent experience onstage with Diplo this week, it was all I could do not to squeal at the thought of seeing Kaskade, Afrojack, Steve Angello, deadMau5…or basically anyone in the EDM world from the 28th to the 31st. Not a whole lot of DJs are in town for Christmas…but it was fun to have a more family-centered time in Vegas.

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So while I’d have to keep the DJing to another trip, we did Vegas right. We started with a late-ish lunch at Grand Lux.

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And then set off to explore the strip. My brother has a HUGE obsession with Sublime, so we trekked to the Hard Rock Hotel to check out the Sublime display there. He was in fandom heaven.

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I spotted one of my favorite musicians…well, not really…but I had to take a photo with this cut-out of one of my favorite MTV personalities…DJ PAULY D!

my main man,

my main man. 

I posted this photo to Twitter and tagged @DJPaulyD in it, just for kicks. He ended up re-tweeting it to all 4.2 million of his followers. Immediately, I’ve gotten a whole slew of random followers and tweets. The internet is so awesome – but I love that I sort of had an interaction with Pauly D. #BeatThatBeatUp #FistPumpPushUpChapstick #YAHBUDDY.

We got another set of drinks at that hotel, and then headed to the Bellagio for the fountain show. No trip to Vegas is complete without it!

#VegasChristmas

#VegasChristmas

We had a very nice Christmas dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s place at The Venetian, called Postrio. It was situated in the part of The Venetian designed to feel like it is in St. Mark’s Square. SUCH a fun Christmas dinner.

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Very memorable.

After dinner, we headed to the theater at The Palazzo to see Mannheim Steamroller‘s show. I’ve been a fan of Mannheim Steamroller for as long as I can remember. My mom has one of their CDs and would always used to play it for us at Christmas. I love their electro/synth-y takes on Christmas classics. It was cool to hear their versions of “Deck the Halls” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” live.

That being said, the rest of the show was lackluster at best. It felt like an extremely low-rent production. Video clips from the mid-80s, disjointed circus routines set to slow Christmas songs, and dancers and performers who seemed disinterested. The music was cool, for the most part, but the terrible production values left all of us feeling like the show was pretty bad. I’m still glad we saw a show, though, and I’ve always like Mannheim Steamroller – it just felt like I was seeing an 8th grade production.

We were all pretty exhausted so we headed to bed shortly after (my brother took my usual place as the family booze-hound and indulged in one last beer before calling it a night). We got up this morning and headed home.

I had a delightfully unique Christmas and I hope everyone out there did as well!

What’s your favorite holiday tradition? 

xo

G

the real orange county.

13 Aug

So I go back to school in precisely one week. In order to celebrate the end of summer, my mom and I decided to spend two nights away. We wrestled with where to go – our requirements were being near a body of water, ability to do some sort of fun exercise, and somewhere sunny. We landed on Newport Beach. I’ve spent a tiny amount of time in Orange County over the years but have never really felt like I “know” it, so we planned a fun itinerary and drove on Saturday afternoon out to the Fairmont Newport.

You can read my not so lovey-dovey Yelp review, but basically this place was super nice looking, and all of the facilities were top-notch, but the service ranged from really bad to lackluster at best. I think it is really annoying that we had to pay for parking, and that the parking was valet-only. Valet parking is nice in theory, but when you can see your car in the parking lot and can’t go get it yourself, it is super obnoxious. We made the less than stellar hotel work, though. When we checked in, we were told our room wasn’t ready, so we hit the 3rd floor deck pool area for some lounging and booze.

pool lounging.

Once we were finally able to get to our room, we got ready and headed back out to Laguna Beach. I have been a little bit obsessed with Laguna Beach since the MTV show by the same name made a name for the coastal community going on 10 years ago. I was always team LC…and let’s just say, some obsessions die hard.

so the LC obsession is still a thing.

We were in Laguna to see the Pageant of the Masters – a live “tableau viviant.” We struggled to find parking big-time, but ended parking at the high school (hence this photo). We hustled to find a quick dinner and ended up at Hennessey’s – a local bar with decent bar fare. I had a beer and enjoyed a burger topped with BBQ sauce and an onion ring. Not exactly award winning, but delicious.

merlot + pacifico.

When we got to the Pageant, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have heard about this for years, and my interest was re-invigorated when I read that SR was there last week. It sounded dorky at first but ended up being awesome.

The whole show was narrated and there was a live orchestra which kept it interesting since it wasn’t like there were actors or singers. My favorite piece was Velazquez’ “Las Meninas” – a painting I fell in love with in Madrid, and fell harder when I saw Picasso’s renditions in Barcelona. LOVE when the Spain obsession pops up unexpectedly :).

There was a whole range of paintings – from Vermeer and Seurat, to sculptural works, and some by Norman Rockwell. The theme was “Genius” which was cool – and they featured a segment of astronomy and the Griffith Observatory. They also featured a statue that was a Titanic Memorial. They introduced the segment with photos and newspaper headlines from the Titanic, leading me to lean over to my mom and whisper “not sure this fits in the ‘Genius’ category.” Critiques aside, it was a really cool show and experience and I’d go back for sure (as long as the couple directly next to me who were drunkenly making out the entire first act decide to stay home).

 

Seurat at Pageant of the Masters

(source)

We headed back to Newport that night to get up bright and early for a stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) lesson at the Newport Aquatic Center. I’d tried it once before in Malibu, but heavy winds left me pretty banged up.  My mom arranged for us to take a lesson, and our instructor, Maya, couldn’t have been nicer. The water was super calm so it was relatively easy. The tips Maya gave us though were helpful (keep both arms SUPER straight the whole time, how to turn, etc).

I loved it and need to get back out on a board ASAP.

After our boarding experience, we figured out how to avoid dealing with valet at the hotel by utilizing street parking a block or so away. Next up was lunch and shopping at Fashion Island. We dined at True Food Kitchen – an eclectic blend of multi-cultural cuisine and real foods. I sipped on a honey lemonade (my mom opted for a watermelon soda but didn’t love it). We split a carmelized onion tart (with black fig + gorgonzola) and I had a chicken chopped salad.

I loved the place and the outdoor seating – so happy to see they have a Santa Monica location!

We shopped a bit (I scored two shirts at a boutique), we walked through Corona del Mar (our cross-country arch-rivals), and then we headed back to the hotel. Our room was yet to be made up (a little before 5) so we hung out in the lobby and to our surprise the Men’s Olympic marathon was on. So bummed to hear about Ryan Hall (representing the CA Southern Section!) but Meb (and the three leaders) ran amazing races.

My mom and I headed to Sol Cocina in Newport for dinner and margs, and then returned to the hotel to catch the closing ceremonies. I didn’t love them. Not sure why half of the people were there, there was no uniformity or theme, the athletes looked tired (rightfully so) and bored (less okay). The coolest part was the transition to Rio – 2016 will be epic. I’m sort of sad the Olympics are over, but hoping to carry that athletic spirit with me for longer than the Olympics lasted 🙂

This morning, we headed to Crystal Cove for brunch. Crystal Cove is actually a State Park – and an obsession of my parents’. I was happy to get to see it – but definitely need to come back sometime for happy hour when they raise the martini flag, a tradition that extends back to the 1930s!

After brunch at the Beachcomber, we took a leisurely drive back home up PCH. It took forever but we loved seeing the ocean and getting better acquainted with some of the beach cities. All in all, it was an excellent mini-vacation!

Favorite thing to do in Orange County?

olympic (and other) inspiration.

6 Aug

I love the Olympics. But what I really love is the running events. These are the moments I remember, the athletes I follow during non-Olympic times, and the sport(s) I can relate to. There have already been some amazing and inspiring races.

I spent 2.5 hours on Saturday watching the women’s marathon. As I typed that, I realized that 2.5 hours is closer to my half-marathon time than what I could ever dream of running 26.2 in, but that’s okay. I was disappointed to see the Americans struggle (Shalane Flanagan was HURTING, and I think the tough course and conditions didn’t make things easy for Kara Goucher). Desiree Davila had to drop out before mile 3 due to a hip flexor injury. I LOVE Monica‘s reflections on what that must feel like in this post.  Watching the finish between the leading four women, though, was awesome. I ended my viewing session feeling empowered and with my game-face on to run a marathon.

(source)

The men’s 10,000 was pretty awesome as well, seeing Mo Farah and Galen Rupp go 1-2 at the finish. They’re friends and training partners, and Rupp HAULED at the end.

(source)

My FAVORITE moment of London 2012 so far, though, was the finish of the men’s 400 m semi-final, where the winner (James) asked Oscar Pistorius (who is a double amputee) for his name bib. Pistorius finished last, and this gesture was incredible. Pistorius will undoubtedly remain one of the heros and inspirations of these games. So touching.

(soure)

I’m excited to watch more track events – particularly the 400m men’s final, the decathlon, the women’s 100m hurdles, and obviously all of the distance events. Running is the best.

In other random news – here are so me tidbits from the last week or so:

Last Thursday was National IPA Day. Thank goodness Katherine alerted me about it on Twitter – I HAD to celebrate. Luckily, Jenn and I ended up in the Conejo Valley to run an errand (more on that later) so she suggested we hit up my very favorite micro-brewery in LA: Ladyface Alehouse and Brasserie. I sipped on a Ladyface Ale.

Ladyface IPA.

And we shared the Panzanella Salad (which they recently changed – it used to be a little better) and the mac n cheese.

That errand we were running? To pick up my new favorite piece of furniture I bought off Craigslist from someone out in Simi Valley! For months Jenn and I have wanted a bar cart or something to fill out our apartment. I even reached out to Twitter I was so frustrated with the high prices I was seeing everywhere:

On Thursday morning, my mom emailed me a link to a bar she had found – it was in my price range, originally from Pottery Barn and rarely (if ever) used, matched my other furniture, and was still available! It was meant to be.

Here it is with our “collection” before we put it away….

…and after:

Best. Purchase. Ever.

I already recapped the Hood Internet show I went to on Friday. On Saturday, I high-tailed it back out to the Conejo Valley for a dentist appointment at home. I ran some errands out that way (including buying a new suit for OCI interviews).

That evening, my mom and I headed to my friend Garrett’s home for his wedding reception. I wasn’t able to make it to his wedding in June, so it was so nice to see him and his wife, Elizabeth, and his family. I even spotted old prom photos that I may or may not be in on the wall. Those crack me up every time. Maybe one day they will make it on the blog. I was also stoked to be able to see some of my old friends from my cross-country days. In particular, Garrett and I were both friends with a group of guys two grades below us. 8 years later and I can still make fun of them. It’s mildly weird now that they can drink legally, though.

evan, doug, me, garrison, and garrett.

So fun. When my mom and I left, we noticed someone had egged my car (?!) so that was a minor nuisance.

On Sunday, I “slept in” til after 8 and set out for a 9 mile run. I had left my Garmin at my apartment, so settled for an estimate my Dad suggested. I think it was a little short (maybe 8.5) but it was nice to run on some familiar territory. I am in “Olympics mode” and running long felt great. I spent the rest of the day watching the Olympics and preparing for OCI. (A separate post on OCI and my 2L plans to come!)

This weekend was fun – and reminded me of two things I cherish: running and old friends.

Last week’s workouts were admittedly uninspired. I think finishing work sort of left me a little bit lazy. Game on this week. (I say that now…)

  • Monday: Yoga (Core Power Yoga)
  • Tuesday: OFF
  • Wednesday: 4 mi. run
  • Thursday: 3 mi. run + Yoga (Runyon Canyon)
  • Friday: 1 mi. run and LIGHT weights at the gym (I decided I did not want to be there, at all)
  • Saturday: OFF
  • Sunday: 8.5-9 mile run in Agoura

What is your favorite Olympic moment from 2012 so far? Favorite Olympic moment ever? 

lucky number 13.

14 Jul

I had an unexpectedly eventful Friday the 13th – and not in a creepy way that one might expect. The day started with my typical morning at the Criminal Courts Building. For lunch, our judge and all of his courtroom staff (bailiff, clerk, court reporter, Deputy DA, and the public defender assigned to his room, plus the externs) all went out to lunch at the local (delicious) pizza place, Pitfire Artisan Pizza. I’d been there a few times before, and this time I chose a pizza off their list of specials.

You can literally never go wrong with heirloom tomatos.

heirlooms errywhere.

After work, I hopped over to the gym for a low-key 3 mile run on the T-mill and then another (low-key) swim workout (800 m total).

A few side-notes related to exercise:

  • Pool etiquette: I am relatively inexperienced and new at this whole swimming for exercise thing, but I am pretty sure lap pools are meant for swimming laps and not for monkey in the middle games played by pre-teens, or as a wading pool for middle-aged men. Does anyone else experience this at their gym? I am totally fine sharing a lane with someone, but I feel like the other person should be swimming. If not, get outta the pool.
  • Heel stomping?  I’ve had some weird knee, shin, and top-of-foot pain this week, and I am fairly certain it is from stomping around downtown LA all week (summer?) in heels. Any remedies for this?
 Anyway, I left the gym and met my mom for dinner. We walked over to Café Pinot, a lovely little outdoor spot at 5th and Grand. I felt like we were eating in NYC’s Bryant Park, except for that whole still being in LA thing. This place was super nice – what you’d call “bougie” even. I was not up to snuff in my cut-off shorts, post-pool hair, and lack of make-up. Living in LA for the win! Love that casual style rules all. #yessss. My mom had a few hours to kill before carpooling home with my Dad (he worked the late shift) so we relaxed over a nice dinner.

My mom ordered a Spanish wine (love that she’s a converted Spain-o-phile). Her wine was Monte Oton, Grenache, Borja, Spain. I didn’t know much about Borja (or even where it was). Kaley over at Y Mucho Más is the Spanish wine expert. My mom’s (super colorful and tasty) meal was actually an appetizer. She ordered the house cured citrus salmon [rainbow carrot confit, red onion, juniper berry gastrique, fingerling potatoes, crème fraîche]. One day I will know what a “gastrique” is. Today is not that day.

I stuck to tradition and went with a Green Flash West Coast IPA. The waiter asked if I’d tried this one before, to which I replied “hah. I’m an IPA fanatic.” I had a heavy lunch (see pizza, above) so I noshed on the asparagus salad. My mom and I eyed our neighbors’ desert and knew we had to have it, so we split the lemon cake at the end of our meal. We’re both suckers for ANYTHING lemon, and the addition of mango and passion fruit flavors were clutch.

Overall, I really liked Café Pinot. The flavors were super inventive and seasonally appropriate. The restaurant itself was a little more uppity than I like – especially for downtown, but the food and service lived up to the refined, high-class air.

After dinner, I headed to meet up with Aviva and Armita for a random but fun night.

crazy, monsoon-like weather produces this.

First, we headed to the Culver Hotel in Culver City. Downtown Culver City is adorable. Aviva had recently been to this place and noted their live jazz – each night they have something different going on. We need to go back for the 30’s Jazz night, as well as the contemporary stuff. This place was awesome – really great vibe, music, and delicious drinks.

I indulged with the waitress’ rec, the “red slipper” which was comprised of Absolut wild tea vodka, Beefeater gin, sweet and sour, Agave nectar & strawberry puree. Living dangerously pays off, this thing was incredible.

possibly better than the dorothy of oz version.

Aviva sipped an original mojito, and Armita went with a “flirtini.” Despite the girly name, this thing packs a punch – vodka, champagne, and a little cranberry juice.

Definitely worth a stop anytime you’re in Culver City!

After our drink at the hotel, we headed further west to a live music venue in Santa Monica called Central: A Social Aid and Pleasure Club. One of Aviva’s childhood friends is now an electronic music artist (!) so I was stoked to check it out.

The venue looked sketch from the outside but was truly awesome. It reminded me of some of the smaller bars in Madrid’s Malasaña district – with its quirky, indie vibe. We caught up with some of Aviva’s friends – including Charlie, aka the artist known as sahy uhns. (apparently pronounced “science,” which I think is pretty cool). His technique is also uniquely cool as well (love this article).

I really enjoyed his set! It was described to me as “intelligent dance music.” Definitely worth a listen (here) if you’re into this stuff. I definitely want to go to more shows (possibly his next show on Monday at The Echo). I was also stoked to learn that The Hood Internet is coming to Central in August! Boom!

By the time the night was over, we were all hungry so a stop at Swingers for some mac n cheese and sweet potato fries was key.

I went to bed super sleepy, but from a fun-filled Friday. I have also been listening to say uhns and The Hood Internet all day, too. #sorryimnotsorry  You should too.

Have you discovered any new venues or artists lately? 

Favorite late-night snack?