University of Virginia + Washington DC Fun

Salutations! (Charlotte’s Web anyone?? ūüôā )

I totally wanted to put up a recap post of my visit to UVA yesterday, but I was pooped from another long day of walking and eating yet again. Thus,¬†I’m comin’ atcha today with a huge photo dump from the past couple of days!

{If you haven’t read the¬†other posts from my¬†great college tour finale, you may want to check out what I think of University of Maryland and Charlottesville!}

Monday

Up and at ’em at 7:30 AM!

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Breakfast part 1: banana with coconut peanut butter in the hotel room

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Breakfast part 2: trail mix in the hotel room

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Breakfast part 3: hunk o’ yummy banana bread at the UVA Days on the Lawn Welcome (pear saved for later)

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Super talented a cappella groups entertaining us as we waited for the event to start

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Grand Wahoo welcome!

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Singing one of their famous anthems

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Bavaro Hall

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Kinesiology info session

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Word.

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After all our dining out this past weekend, I was more than ready for these veggies from the dining hall. They had some delicious options!

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And then this. Free froyo, people.

Alright, I’m sure you want to know the verdict on University of Virginia, so here’s the rundown:

Pros:

  • Gorgeous campus
  • Super nice people
  • Charlottesville is a very walkable town
  • Great education
  • Awesome Catholic center
  • Blogger/foodie town
  • Kinesiology program
  • Best campus food I’ve had so far
  • The students seem very serious about their studies
  • School spirit

Cons:

  • Out-of-state tuition is pricey
  • Distance (7 hour drive from home)
  • Not very close to a big city
  • The opportunities did not seem quite as vast as UMD

Conclusion:

I do not think I will attend¬†UVA. As much as I liked my experience at Cville this weekend, UVA just didn’t click with me like UMD did. The price and distance are also major factors. This conclusion took a lot of thinking and pondering!

After the Days on the Lawn finished, mom and I drove to Dulles Airport (near DC) to pick my friend, Victoria, and her mom, who flew in from California! We’ve known each other since we were 5 years old when my family lived in southern California. Victoria is also visiting colleges on the east coast, so I have a buddy for this college decision process!

We went out to dinner with their friends who live in DC, which was fun, delicious, and filling. As if I hadn’t eaten enough this spring break. The restaurant was called Miss Saigon, and the food was absolutely fantastic.

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We shared a ton of dishes family style. We also left with four containers of leftovers.

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But there’s always room for mango with sticky rice!

I feel like I’ve had a food baby after every dinner on this trip. SO MUCH FOOD.

We did make it over 20,000 steps that day though!

Moves: a crapton of walking.

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Champs.

I ended up giving the Polar Loop to my mom so she could track her steps, and we were super excited to see that we made it to 20.6K steps on Monday!

Tuesday

Slept in until 8:30 AM. I basically max out at 8 hours of sleep nowadays.

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Coffee and hot cocoa at Illy with Victoria ūüôā

We walked around American University for a while since that is one of Victoria’s top choices right now. It¬†has a beautiful campus in the midst of DC. Plus, if she goes there and I go to UMD, we would be super close to one another! SoCal girls’ partayyyy.

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I guess I like to get in my veggies at lunchtime. This is¬†the veggie burger in a lettuce wrap from Elevation Burger at the AU dining hall. Very tasty! Especially since it took 10 minutes for them to make…

In the afternoon, Victoria and her mom went to an art museum in DC while my mom and I went back to relax at the hotel. I snacked and got some homework done.

After picking them up and having dinner at the hotel cafe (we ordered a bunch of apps to share), everyone except my mom walked through wind, rain, and suddenly freezing temperatures for one reason and one reason alone.

Cupcakes.

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Baked and Wired Bakery

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After our courageous trek. Hi from Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.

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Our reward!

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Carrot cake cupcake (they call them “cakecups”). It’s supposed to be “enough to share”‚ĶHaha. Nah.

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DEMOLISHED that sucker.

It’s a cycle, really. Snacky breakfast‚ěĒ veggies at lunch‚ěĒ sugar at night. It balances out.

This “cakecup” got me all sugared up¬†for a late night workout at the spiffy hotel fitness center. Moves¬†included a 1 mile run on the treadmill, some bodyweight lunges, pushups, and Julie’s 8 minute ab tabata. It felt good to move! And groove to my music when no one was watching ūüėČ

Unrelated side note: I officially despise‚ÄĒ DESPISE‚ÄĒdriving in DC. Half of the roads are one-way for only certain hours in the day, some roads are two-lane or one-lane for certain hours in the day, there are too many roundabouts, tour buses are everywhere, cars are parked in driving lanes‚Ķ.holy moly. DC makes NYC look like a breeze.

And that’s a wrap! I apologize for the length of this post, but it was another two-days-in-one-post deal.

Hope you all have a happy hump day!

So tell me:

Have you ever been to Washington DC?

Do you like veggie burgers?

What is your favorite cake/cupcake flavor?

Where is the worst place in which you’ve driven?

 

Thursday Things + University of Maryland Pt. 2

Hey everyone! I really enjoyed doing this kind of random thoughts post last week, so I’m thinking of making it a regular weekly post. I’m considering calling it “Loggin’ the Noggin,” but I have a feeling I’m going to regret starting that name a year or two from now. It’s definitely a little Dr. Seuss-y, so I it would probably just do me a disservice in the long run (In college: “I have a new post called Loggin’ the Noggin!”…..What?). Speaking of college, I’m also going to talk a little bit about what I thought of the University of Maryland (spoiler: LOVED it. That’s why I’m taking the time to review it, I guess). At any rate though, here’s what’s going on in the noggin this week:

1. Wacky Wednesday was a success for the whole school! I’ve seen wackier days in years past, but some of the outfits were certainly head-turners. I don’t own any super bright neon clothing, and I’m too lazy to go out of my way to make the clothes I do have more wacky, so I usually just settle for mixing and non-matching. ūüôā

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2. Ever since eating those amazing crispy brussels sprouts from Zaytinya, I have been obsessed with the vegetable I thought I hated. I always knew I enjoyed brussels sprouts roasted, but one incident in which I ate them raw sort of ruined my relationship with them. Zaytinya reconciled all harsh feelings. When we got home, my mom bought some sprouts and sauteed them with avocado oil, a little garlic seasoning, and pepper. I have been poppin’ those like candy.

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3. I am slightly¬† really obsessed with Tori Kelly right now. I found her through someone’s tweet of her “Suit and Tie” cover a while ago. I don’t know how I came across her again, but I have been replaying all her songs on Youtube about 100 times a day. She has the most AMAZING voice, awesome music style, and sweet personality. And her hair– she rocks that ‘do! Some of my favorites of hers include “Dear No One” (I can actually relate to it, unlike so many other songs on the radio), “Fill a Heart,” and “All In My Head.”

4. This morning, we high school seniors are having a “breakfast tailgate” at 7 AM in the school’s senior parking lot. I am all over the fact that we are going to be hanging out while eating my favorite meal of the day, but ugh–getting to school that early? (I’m typing this Wednesday night, which is why I’m regarding to this even as the future.) I guess it should be okay though, because I usually start eating breakfast around 7 anyway. It’s just that I need at least 20 minutes to eat it, causing me to leave at around 7:30. ¬†But I’ll just be using that time to drive to school and eat there. Alright, so it’s not so bad anymore ūüėÄ

Let’s move onto Maryland! The drive to our hotel was about 5 hours with traffic, which isn’t too bad in terms of distance from home. I already talked a bit about our hotel and the fantastic fitness center there, so now I’m going to focus on the real reason we went–to visit the University of Maryland in College Park! UMD has slowly turned into my number one choice ever since I first visited the campus earlier this year. They had an Open House on Monday (which I had off for Columbus Day), so my mom and I excitedly took the opportunity to go again and see if I still really like it.

The event started with “Information Express,” which was basically a setup of booths for all the different schools and programs available at the university. Since it started at 8 AM, they provided lots of mini muffins, juice, and coffee. Nice touch!

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I stopped by the College of Public Health, Campus Recreation, and Dining Services tables. I guess that’s predictable, huh?–fitness and food. I also caught a picture with the Maryland Terp (short for terrapin {turtle})!

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After touring the booths and picking up some brochures, we followed a large group to the Freshmen Admissions session where we were briefed on application specifics. Then we proceeded to a specialized session for the School of Public Health since I’m interested in studying kinesiology. The director of the school and student panel were super informative, and now I’m even more pumped about kinesiology! To be honest, I’ve been telling people that I don’t really¬†know¬†what exactly I want to study (and of course, nothing is set in stone still–it may not be set for a while), but at least my interest in physical therapy has been reinforced!

I was actually really tired that day since I had a little insomnia the night before, so we skipped the campus tour. We also went on a tour the last time we visited. Even so, my mom and I walked over 11,000 steps all over campus (thanks to her pedometer)! It is such a huge, spread out campus that it requires a good walking workout whenever commuting from one class/building to the next. We also got lost a few times, so that added to our step count significantly. Luckily, the weather was perfect and the campus is gorgeous, so walking around certainly was not a chore.

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We visited the Recreation Center first to check out the fitness facilities, and we were so impressed. There are several weight rooms, group class rooms, cardio rooms, swimming pools, a track, and even a room specifically for functional training! My kind of area!

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Those are all the photos I took before one of the staff members told us we couldn’t take pictures of the rooms if people were exercising inside for privacy reasons.

By this point, we were on the verge of being¬†“hangry.”¬†My mom was thinking that we should go off campus for lunch, but the aroma of food spilling from the dining halls was tantalizing. I also wanted to try the campus food while we were there, so we settled for UMD’s “Diner.” I didn’t get anything fancy because I was really just in the mood for a big ol’ wrap. I asked for lettuce, tomato, brown mustard, grilled chicken, and more honey dijon dressing in a whole wheat wrap. The lady went a little honey-mustard-dressing-happy, but it still hit the spot.¬†

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My mom’s lunch looked and tasted delicious! She went to the pasta station and ordered whole wheat pasta with mushrooms, artichokes (!!), broccoli, chicken, and tomato sauce. They give you the option of having the veggies stir fried or steamed, so my mom went with steamed. Thumbs up for healthy options! And the sauce was quite flavorful.

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Also, the portions were HEFTY. I mean, I finished all of my wrap except a few pieces of tortilla (hungry hungry), but they give you a lot of food for a pretty good price¬†(about $7 for each our meals)¬†compared to other colleges we’ve visited. My mom got a lunch and dinner out of her meal as she ate her leftovers that night. That container was FULL!

Once our tummies were satisfied, we went to the last stop of our trip, the Catholic Student Center. My faith is of utmost importance to me, so I wanted to check out the place where I would probably spend a good chuck of my time.

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The center was a little off campus, but it was well-kept and pretty big for a relatively small group on campus. At first there was no one there, so I just walked around and took pictures, but then a couple guys came in and introduced themselves. One of them was actually a kinesiology major, and both of them thought the name of my uncle (a priest) sounded familiar when I talked about him. Small world! Other members of the Catholic group stopped by, and I was happy to meet such kind, passionate people. Another reason I’m loving UMD!

So that’s about it, I believe. I apologize for this being such a long post, and I hope you weren’t bored to tears. Actually you wouldn’t be reading these last remarks if you got that bored. But if you’re still hangin’ tight, I hope you enjoyed my Thursday Things and MD recap!

So tell me: Do you like brussels sprouts? Have any favorite Youtube musicians? Tell me something that you love about your alma mater/favorite college!