Beautiful Weekend in Stowe, Vermont

I feel like I went to Narnia this weekend.

I was only gone with my family for 36 hours, but I feel like I was away for a week! After finals ended on Thursday night, I stayed with my parents at their hotel, since Friday required an early morning wake-up call for my brother’s graduation.

I went to bed past midnight and somehow got myself to roll out of bed at 5:35 AM (mostly because I needed to pee), so I hit up the hotel gym for a super quick workout. My hair was still in nightmare world and my eye bags were fluffier than my pillow.

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2 minute warmup + 16 minute HIIT (24 rounds of 30 seconds work, 10 seconds rest) + stretching:

  • burpees
  • side jump lunges
  • DB clean and jerks (20# DBs)
  • tricep dips/spiderman planks
  • tuck jumps
  • split jack lunges/alternating reverse lunges (20#)

The ‘rents and I got dressed up and headed to TD Garden (home of the Boston Bruins and Celtics!) for the graduation. The arena doesn’t allow outside food or drink, so we made sure to eat a good meal before being in there for 6+ hours. Subway looked like the best option at 7 AM.

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egg white, cheese, veggie on honey oat

But since we got to the arena two hours early to get good seats, I was hungry by the time commencement started, so I bit the bullet and bought FIVE DOLLAR in-shell peanuts to tide me over. It was either those or hot dogs for $4. Hot dogs in the morning. Need I explain my decision?

Anyway, the commencement was just peachy. Their speaker was US Secretary of State, John Kerry! His best line that made the crowd go wild was: “You are Donald Trump’s worst nightmare.”

Congratulations, Ben + Northeastern Class of 2016!

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Afterwards, we were so ready for lunch. I got a Thai chicken salad with some sort of sweet dressing that was delicious.

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We filled our bellies and then promptly hit the road for Stowe, VT for a little family weekend getaway.

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We stayed at the Stowe Mountain Lodge, which was just gorgeous. The skies were a bit gloomy, but there are some awesome mountains behind those clouds.

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The resort itself was huge and beautiful as well. It was such a labyrinth to walk through. We felt like we we walked at least a quarter of a mile just to get to our room!

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Since we arrived pretty late, we bolted for the hotel restaurant for dinner before it closed. ‘Twas a convenient but pricey decision.

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mason jars ♥︎ 

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salad with pistachios, cranberries, and grilled chicken

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apple crisp a la mode

The room had a kitchen and some artsy, rustic cutlery. A blogger’s dream.

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Ben: “Should I model it?”

Saturday was a near perfect day in my book. I slept in and then started the day with a banana and some nuts and a workout at the {amazing} hotel gym.

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dynamic warmup + 3 rounds of:

  • 15 close-grip DB chest press
  • 30 double unders
  • 10 clean and jerks

+ playing around on the Pilates ladder barrel

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Then we brunched at a local place called McCarthy’s. Super Irish, which is perfect as I prepare to study abroad in Dublin this fall 🙂

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I ordered the French toast special with two sunny eggs + bacon. Everything breakfast should be. {Side note: I decided not to bring my peanut butter on this vacation because I thought I should try to detach myself, haha.}

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I also shared a very decent portion of my mom’s Irish home fries and corned beef. KILLER.

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Ben and I dropped off our parents back at the resort and then headed out on an expedition to Stowe Pinnacle!

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I would say I built this, but that would be a lie

It was about 1.65 miles going up, and the incline wasn’t crazy steep, but it was, as Ben put it, persistent. ‘Twas a fab idea to have such a hearty, fatty meal an hour before this. We made it to the summit in pretty good time though— approximately 50 minutes.

Boy, was this view worth it.

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It was pretty comparable to the glorious view from Bear Peak in Colorado a year ago, except this time I could breathe because we weren’t at high altitude.

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There were these two golden retrievers up at the summit that were old, fat, and adorable. We couldn’t tell if they belonged to anyone in particular, but all they wanted was to be loved by all the people who made it to the summit.

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freakin’ regal

We trekked back down the mountain, which is less physically challenging but definitely more technically challenging in terms of not falling off the face of the mountain. I only slipped and fell on my butt once going downhill, which is on par for me. I really need to wear the hiking shoes I have.

When we got back to the road, Ben and I went on a quest for a maple “creemee” per my friend Courtney’s suggestion. A creemee is special Vermont soft serve ice cream. Unfortunately, we could not find a place that was open and selling maple creemees. Unlike other cities we’re used to, Stowe actually closes shops seasonally *gasp*.

Instead, Ben stopped for a craft beer and we took a Ben & Jerry’s factory tour. Not a bad detour!

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I got their banana peanut butter frozen Greek yogurt because that epitomizes my food choices // Ben got strawberry cheesecake and Spectacular Speculoos (so good!)

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Ben and… Allie’s?

What a great post-hike snack 🙂

We went back to the hotel, showered, and then headed to dinner with our parents at the Trapp Family Lodge (yes, the von Trapps from Sound of Music!).

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spring vegetable salad with an amazing yogurt sauce + some of my mom’s pancetta-wrapped chicken thigh and quinoa + a bite of Ben’s wiener schnitzel

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roasted carrots for the table to share

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cheese plate

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the BEST apple strudel a la mode! 

Full and oh so content.

Sunday (Mother’s Day!) started with Mass and breakfast at Cafe on Main. I was in the mood for a good sandwich instead of breakfast food, so I went for the turkey club. Tasty!

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Then we walked downstairs to the quaint Stowe Mercantile store, where I freaked out over their local peanut/almond butters.

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May or may not have bought three jars.

Four hours later, we were back in Boston, where Ben and I unloaded/loaded some things from our places. We ended our family time with a late lunch at Super 88! All I wanted was crunchy, fresh vegetables, so I ordered the tofu and vegetable rice noodle soup. Hit the spot so good!

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And then the fam parted ways. I’m back in Boston for one more week, which means lots of oatmeal for meals, which is perfectly fine with me!

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THIS WAS SO LONG. But hey, thanks for reading! If you’ve made it this far, consider yourself bear-hugged.

Hope you all have a magnificent Monday! I am grateful for YOU.

So tell me:

Have you ever been to Vermont?

What was the best thing you did this weekend?

What was the best thing you ate this weekend?

Favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor!

Have you ever fallen on a hike?

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My Random Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend is over. School should also be over. Memorial day weekend always makes me feel like we’re on summer break, but here we are with two weeks of school left. There isn’t much to complain about though— all but one of my final exams are over, it’s senior year, and I like my schoolmates…most of the time.

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day, remembering our troops and spending time with family and friends! Mine started off pretty late since I decided to go to bed unreasonably late on Sunday night. Once I was up, I realized my mom was already starting the grill prep for our Memorial Day BBQ!

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Summer bounty in the raw

I felt so under-accomplished when I saw that she had already gone shopping, prepped some of the vegetables, started cooking the pork, and was dressed so nicely. My dad was also up and ready to do a load of yard work. Meanwhile, I rolled out of bed in my pajamas at 11 AM.

I helped her season the veggies if that counts for anything. I also tried to fix our wi-fi connection to no avail (I’m connected directly to our modem right now via cord).

Well, daughter of the year here snacked on mom’s amazing grilled feast throughout the afternoon:

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Evidently, we like the char.

Everything was incredible. Tip: Season your vegetables with sesame oil and black pepper before grilling— simple yet so flavorful! My mom grilled enough to feed an army, so we have leftovers for DAYS. Thanks, ma! And thanks, pa, for making our yard look pretty 🙂

After I digested, I took my moves outdoors because…it was Memorial Day! Outdoor fun is practically a necessity. I did some jump roping, handstands, and then a short circuit workout from Purely Twins. It was a hot one out there yesterday!

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I’m growing a mane apparently. Also, I feel like I’m wearing that shirt whenever I take a workout selfie. I promise I wash it.

Then I walked over to see my friend Daliza who was working. I also got ice cream because that’s the perfect post-workout snack, right?

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Cookies and cream + cherries jubilee

I’ve had ice cream for the past three days, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m getting sick of it. I’ll fall for it again soon enough though, I’m sure. Ice cream and I are tight like that.

I hung out with Daliza for a couple hours (apparently I like to watch her scoop ice cream and sweep floors for that long) before coming home to do some homework, read blogs, and eat dinner.

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More grilled goodies + quinoa/rice + more unpictured grilled mackerel and tofu

Now I’m sitting here, smelling of sweat and sunscreen because I still haven’t showered yet. TMI?

Have a terrific Tuesday, friends!

So tell me:

What is a highlight of your Memorial Day?

What is your favorite grilled food? 

University of Maryland Through iPhone

I’m slack-a-lackin’ on my posts aren’t I? I guess I have an excuse since I’m visiting colleges, but I still miss talking to you all!

Something I have ZERO excuses for? Accidentally eating meat yesterday (Friday during Lent). *Sigh* I realized it several hours after I ate it too. In addition to that, I ate peanut butter yesterday morning, which had been my other Friday sacrifice for Lent. Father, forgive me… #LentFailure

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Hotel breakfast: English muffin with coconut peanut butter and banana. 

I also ate some pistachios and half a mini blueberry bagel at the welcome of the UMD Admitted Students’ Day.

As I said in my last post, yesterday was the University of Maryland Admitted Students’ Open House. I have not decided to go there yet, but I can tell you that I still love it!

Reasons why I love it:

  • Cheapest out of my top three colleges
  • Fairly close to home
  • Huge, beautiful, clean campus
  • Huge campus=lots of walking=automatic exercise opportunity 😉
  • Diverse students
  • Energetic school spirit
  • Kinesiology program (I’m currently interested in becoming a physical therapist)
  • Awesome recreation/fitness center
  • Active and supportive Catholic center
  • I would be a part of the Honors college
  • Research and study abroad opportunities (I can fulfill all my Kinesiology credits if I study abroad in Australia, Arman!!)
  • I feel comfortable here

Cue the iPhone photos of our visit!

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The Welcome.

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I should wear these for college gear day at school.

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Testudo the mascot!

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Lunch at a food court on campus. Chicken (*facepalm*) platter from a kabob place. It was very tasty! But I feel guilty.

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Hot day called for fro yo, even though I didn’t deserve it. (I know— so dramatic and scrupulous I am.) For the flavors, I got peanut butter (just slap me now), strawberry banana, and blueberry muffin (<— ehhh) with mango, blueberries, and Cap’n Crunch. 

Moves

  • walking around UMD’s huge campus
  • random stuff at the hotel fitness center: 5 minute run, push up variations, triceps dips, low rows, 8 minute ab tabata (weighted Russian twists, cross knee tuck planks, ankle taps, spiderman planks)

Dinner was at a vegan place though! It’s called OVO Simply Veggie, and it was awesome.

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Refreshing and crunchy daikon salad that came with mom’s meal

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Vegan wonton soup that came with my meal (it tasted just like meat wontons!)

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Mom’s entree: mushroom protein with coconut green curry sauce and brown rice. The mushroom protein was actually the BOMB.

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My entree: Tofu with eggplant basil sauce and brown rice. Delicious as well!

This was my first time to a vegan restaurant and I was a fan, as you can tell. All thanks to Yelp! I even wrote a raving review for this place— that’s how you know it was good. I brought leftovers back to the hotel, and I’m thinking of having them as breakfast this morning. That’s right— I’m going to eat savory dinner food for breakfast (as if I can make up for my Lenten failures).

Today we’re driving down about 2.5 hours to Charlottesville, because the next open house is at University of Virginia! I honestly have no good or bad expectations from the school since I visited it over a year ago, so I don’t have many distinct perceptions of it yet. I do know that it’s an awesome school and it’s in a foodie/blogger town, which is pretty cool if you ask me 😉 A lot of people have told me that they see me at UVA and that my personality fits there. We shall see what happens!

So tell me:

Have you ever accidentally eaten meat on Friday (if you observe Lent)?

What is your favorite vegan protein? Have you ever tried mushroom protein before?

How do you find good restaurants in unfamiliar places?