I decided to unplug and take it all in, so excuse my absence. My flight got in last night and I had work all day today. This post is highly iPhone photo’d.
Friday, after I last posted, I ventured through Irvine while Claire and Tim were at work. I walked down to The Coffee Bean and had a large iced (it was almost 80 degrees!) while catching up on google reader. Free wifi = win.
After that, I walked around trying to decide what I wanted for lunch. I went with a veggie panini on multi grain from Corner Bakery. It had peppers, zucchini, artichokes and I subbed the provolone cheese for goat cheese. Way better! I also asked to sub the chips for carrots so I could eat them with my hummus when I got home.
I hung out with Elliott while eating, studying, and watching TV.
By the time I ate and watched a few shows, Tim was already home and Claire texted that she was on her way. I ate a quick snack in between though!
Claire had big plans for us to go to Pizzeria Mozza, Mario Batali’s restaurant. I was all for it, being that Joe and I love Otto, which is one of his as well. There was no way a camera was getting anywhere near the wonderfully oily bread that was served with the burrata caprese appetizer we had or the margherita and squash blossom pizzas that we split. It was all washed down with a glass of nebbiolo. Lastly, we ordered the caramel copetta & butterscotch budino dessert. Claire always gets the butterscotch but the waiter suggested that we would love the caramel one. Well, Claire was right! The budino won!
Our date turned into dinner and a movie after deciding to see The Vow. It was really cute. I definitely felt myself tearing up a bit, but I think it may have just been because it made me miss Joe!
Saturday was the first day of the IIN Mega Conference. I got up early to get in an upper body strength training workout and a quick cardio session on the elliptical. Claire drove me up to Long Beach for 10AM. The morning was a little underwhelming, but once the speakers got on their way, it was really interesting. I especially enjoyed Geneen Roth and David Wolfe. I actually got a copy of Geneen’s book Women Food & God because I was VIP for being one of the first 100 people to register for IIN. She had a really compelling story about her struggle of finding a happy place with a lifestyle instead of a diet. At lunch time, the entire city was crowded with IIN people and I could barely get in anywhere to eat. I ended up settling on a place called La Creperie, where I ordered a much needed bloody mary and a greek salad.
Claire showed up at around 4:00 as a guest and was able to listen to the hilarious and energetic David Wolfe speak about superfoods. If chlorella, maca, and chocolate give him all that energy, I want in!
It ended early at around 5:30 and Claire and I headed home before we went to dinner with Tim and his brother at Houston’s. Claire told me we had to get the spinach dip. Definitely a great choice. For dinner, I went with the fish of the day: swordfish. I love it because it’s a meatier fish and doesn’t need much to accompany it. I ordered it simply grilled with a lemon and a side of butternut squash, which was pleasantly served with a dollop of tomato sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan. I enjoyed it with a glass of sauvignon blanc. As a table, we split the hot fudge sundae, which was huge! It was served with large cup of vanilla ice cream and a metal pourer filled with the hot chocolate sauce. So yummy! Because we split it, of course we still wanted more dessert. We went somewhere I had planned on visiting on my trip to California: Yogurtland!
As far as yogurt, I got red velvet cake batter (my favorite), toasted coconut (a close second), green tea (blech), and a squirt of some guava pineapple one, which was pretty good. Toppings included cookie dough bites (amazing with the red velvet), cacao chips, a lychee (yes, I just wanted one), mochi (load those on, LOVE!), sprinkles (duh), and reese’s peanut butter cups (duh). I think that was it. Anyway, polished that off before we even got home.
After Elliott and Ludo (they were babysitting a friends pom) simultaneously licked my feet, it was time for bed!
Sunday, I slept in and Claire, again, drove me up to Long Beach for day 2 of the conference. How nice is she? FYI: she’s my person. Day 2 was not as great as day 1. I met a guy named Gally, who was sitting near me, and expanded on the paleo diet that we had heard about the day before from Mark Sisson. Gally does crossfit and accompanies it with a paleo diet. After hearing more about it, I am really interested in giving it a try for a week or two, just to see how I feel. I’m not sure I could extend it for a long time, and he agreed. He said since we’ve grown up eating grains our whole lives, our bodies aren’t really going to accept a sudden shock to the system like that, so you really have to be careful and make sure you don’t end up giving in and going on a carb binge! I can only imagine! For lunch, I went to a true Greek place and got a way better greek salad with chicken than yesterday’s. I also couldn’t help but eat the pita that came with it, and requested a side of hummus.
Claire and Tim picked me up and Tim drove and gave me a tour of the areas surrounding where they live. He grew up in Huntington Beach, so we drove through there, as well as Newport, Laguna, and down the coast. We got out and walked for a bit too and I was able to get some really pretty pictures of the sun setting.
For my last meal in California, Claire insisted on BJ’s, as they serve pizookies, which I obviously needed to have. I ordered a mediocre burger and was way more excited when the chocolate chip pizookie came out. The three of us split two, but I could have easily polished one off myself.
Before we knew it, it was time for bed and my alarm was set for 5:00AM for my 8:25 flight. Claire, Tim, Elliott, and California: I miss you and thank you for the greatest time! If you’ve left one mark on me, it is…. gnarly, you southern Californians!