University of Virginia + Washington DC Fun

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

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 🙂

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”…Haha. Nah.

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DEMOLISHED that sucker.

It’s a cycle, really. Snacky breakfast➔ veggies at lunch➔ 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 😉

Unrelated side note: I officially despise— DESPISE—driving 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….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?

 

Weekend in Charlottesville

The second stop of my final college tour is Charlottesville, and this town has been treating us quite wonderfully so far!

Saturday

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We took the 2.5 hour drive down to Cville from Maryland on Saturday morning. UVA con #1: Distance. It’s a total of 7+ hours away from my NY home, and the road from College Park, MD to Charlottesville is basically a two-lane highway with traffic lights. At least the farm lands on the way were pretty??

After we checked into our hotel, Mom and I searched for food around the UVA campus, naturally. We found a place called Marco and Luca Dumplings, and it had a tiny menu that highlighted their specialty fried pork + scallion dumplings.

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Dumplings to share, my order of the sesame peanut noodles, and mom’s order of the sweet and spicy noodles

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A pork bun to share as well

The noodles were my favorite! They were cold and refreshing for the hot day, and they had the perfect texture. Also, peanut sauce=’nough said.

Next up was lots and lots o’ walking around the UVA campus. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here— 80s and sunny! (Today it’s supposed to be rainy and blah though.) However, the heat is literally a warm welcome to BUGS. The bumble bees here are the size of baby birds. I kid you not.

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After soaking up all the preppy-ness and loveliness of the campus and the Cville-ians, we headed over to the UVA Catholic center/church.

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We ended up hanging out there for a while and then attending the evening Mass for Palm Sunday there.

After walking back to our car, we drove to downtown Charlottesville for dinner at Revolutionary Soup. Kath has recommended it on her blog before, so I was excited to try it!

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To share: asparagus shiitake soup, half size local tofu wrap (local tofu, arugula, tomato, red onion, and fig dijon dressing), half Athens spinach salad (spinach, feta, artichokes, roasted peppers)

It was super tasty! My favorite thing on the tray was the salad. Love me some artichokes and cheeeeese.

Then we walked some more around the Downtown Mall.

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Hm. K.

Stopped for dessert of course. More gelato 😀

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Mine on the left: cookies and cream and ‘chi0 (pistachio). Mom’s on the right: coconut and mango.

I nearly licked my cup clean and then I helped mom finish hers. No gelato left behind. I also love how the spoons were like baby paddles, because that means the gelato disappears less quickly 😉 It’s also safe to say that cookies and cream is my favorite ice cream flavor. I always forget how good it is!

As we were walking back to our car, I spotted a cute crepe shop called The Flat… And we got sucked in.

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We only had about half, don’t worry. 😉

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Mom wanted to try a savory crepe, and I told her she would be mostly on her own since I was stuffed with gelato. We ordered the “Greene Eggs” crepe with eggs, feta, and veggies. I had a few bites and it was fantastic! Mom only had a few bites too, so we took the rest back to the hotel for me to have for breakfast yesterday morning 🙂 (We have a fridge and microwave in our hotel room.)

Yeah, I was full that night.

Moves for Saturday: walking and walking and walking. My feet were hurtin’ for sure. I need to whip ’em into shape just to walk around campus. Can someone give me a foot massage first though?

Sunday

Moves for Sunday: this Travel WOD-ish. I say “ish” because I did the whole thing, but I didn’t do the rounds and exercises immediately one after another. I would do a round, take a break, do some burpees, take a break…It was just something to get moving! Plus a little bit of walking to and fro.

Lunch yesterday was at a place called Fig Bistro and Bar.

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My order: Blackened crab cake with a poached egg and cheddar grits

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Mom’s order: Eggs in avocado

We shared half and half with each other, and it was decent. Our items sounded really delicious when we read them on the menu, but the actual taste and texture of everything was meh.

After chilling out in the hotel room and putting a tiny dent into my homework, I left to meet up with two of my favorite bloggers!

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Kath

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Clare

I may or may not have been fan-girling on the inside. We met at Kath’s soccer game to chat for a little bit, and it was lovely. These two ladies have been so inspirational to me in my blogging journey, and they are just as sweet and cool in person as they are on their blogs.

All of my oatmeal? Inspiration from Kath.

My motivation to cut down on exercise and recover from my ED? Inspiration from Clare.

Thanks so much for meeting with me, Kath and Clare!

Following the blogger meet-up, I drove back to the hotel to procrastinate for an hour or so and then actually do homework for a bit. Mom and I weren’t very hungry by 7:30, but we decided to just take the 20 minute walk to the Downtown Mall for dinner. Bizou looked pretty good, so we grabbed a table al fresco. We ordered the two specials of the evening and shared half and half again.

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Mom’s: Panko-crusted trout with cauliflower au gratin and arugula salad

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Mine: Crab cakes (that’s right— I had crab cakes twice yesterday) with cheesy polenta and arugula salad

{I smell like fish right now}

Everything was tasty, but these crab cakes weren’t the best either. Too salty and mayonnaise-y. I’m a picky crab cake eater. My favorite things were the salad and the cheesy polenta! Cheeeeeese.

As fun as eating out can be, I miss my oats, avocado toast, and Greek yogurt. I have had a perpetual food baby on this trip.

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Travesty.

Wow, Charlottesville. I haven’t even gone to the admitted students’ day yet (it’s today), but we’re getting along pretty darn well. I can’t wait to see how I feel about UVA after Days on the Lawn today!

So tell me:

What was the best thing you ate this weekend?

Have you ever met bloggers in person?

What’s on your agenda this Monday?

 

Behind the Scenes #16: Little Italy to Maryland

Hello hello!

I did not mean to abandon you yesterday without notice, but on Wednesday night, I had jazz class, ate dinner, had a deep, teary (but good!) conversation with my dad for no particular reason, and then I went to bed. Thus, I’m here now to tell you what’s been up the past couple of days!

I’ll do this Thinking Out Loud style, even though I missed the linkup yesterday. Meep.

1. As I mentioned on Wednesday, my Italian class went on a field trip to Little Italy, and it was great! We went to the Italian American museum, we ate, and then…..we ate some more. It was also a gorgeous day for walking around. Who could complain about that?

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This isn’t even close to showing all the food. Heh heh.

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Hey, Arman, I can get my hands on some awesome gelato too! Salted caramel and pistachio. So dreamy.

2. I have officially kicked off my final search for the place I will be for the next four years. AKA college. I am currently typing up this post from College Park, Maryland since UMD is the first stop of the trip. Mom and I drove down here yesterday so we could attend the accepted students’ day today.

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 This is my third time visiting UMD, so we’ll see if I love it as much as I did the other two times! I’m just excited to be visiting my top three colleges this spring break so that I can make a decision. Eee!

3. This hotel has great lotion. I appreciate some nice-smelling, quality lotion, ya know?

4. Dinner last night was the bomb. We went to a restaurant super close to campus called Pho D’Lite, and I ordered the pork vermicelli bowl. The flavor of the pork was fantastic, and the crushed peanuts added such a great texture! The appetizer was lame though. “Asian Poppers” were more like greasy mystery meat nuggets.

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Yuck.

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YUM.

5. My butt hurts from sitting in the car all day. Just thought I’d throw that out there. My school friends would understand that completely.

6. We may or may not have brought peanut butter for breakfasts during our trip…

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Which means there is a possibility I’ll have some this morning since I need to eat up those English muffins and bananas we also brought along. So much for my personal nut-butter-less Fridays during Lent rule.

7. We’re headed for Virginia tomorrow so that I can check out UVA’s accepted students’ day on Monday, which they call “Days on the Lawn.” That kinda makes me want to dress up and have a tea party there. Do you think they would like me if I tried to organize that?

8. I’m gonna hit the hay now (typing this at night)— it’s been a long day! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

IT’S SPRING BREAK FINALLY!

So tell me:

What is your favorite gelato flavor?

Do you ever bring nut butter with you on vacation?

What are you doing this weekend?

 

 

Monday Breakfast Date {MIMM #20}

Happy Monday, friends!

I’m obviously just meandering my way through the morning considering this post is coming to you so late. After somehow losing track of time last night, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to just wait until this morning to write up my Monday blog post. I’m actually excited for this because I kind of want to make it like one of those blogger virtual coffee dates! Except I don’t drink coffee (or tea), so this is going to be a breakfast date 🙂

First off— what I’m having for breakfast:

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Hot banana oats in an almost empty cherry butter toffee peanut butter jar (unpictured cereal on the side for added crunch)

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Currently eating it and almost to the treasure at the bottom— the peanut butter!

If we were having breakfast this morning, I would tell you that using greenish bananas for oatmeal is a no-no. They don’t become those sweet, soft pillows of banana that I love! At least the peanut butter makes up for it.

If we were having breakfast this morning, I would tell you that I’m currently watching Tyler’s Ultimate on Food Network. Daytime Food Network is SO much better that some of the weird nighttime shows they’ve got going on nowadays. I just love the classic cooking shows….like Giada and her perpetual grin.

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If we were having breakfast this morning, I would tell you that on Friday evening, I found out that I got accepted into University of Virginia! *groovin’, groovin’*

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Not only is it awesome because it’s in Charlottesville (hey, blogger-town!), but I know it’s also an awesome school. The only thing is that it’s an awkward distance from my house— too close to fly, but too far to come home for a long weekend… It’s an option nevertheless!

If we were having breakfast this morning, I would tell you that my friends and I tried a new Asian fusion restaurant on Friday night, and it was deeeelicious.

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Eel cucumber roll and Fantastic Roll (tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado with marbled seaweed + special dipping sauce)!

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Green tea ice cream

I came in starving and left full and happy. 🙂

If we were having breakfast this morning, I would tell you that I have now finished my oatmeal (actually, you would probably be able to see that I’ve finished), and I’ll say too-da-loo for now. Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day to all the Americans! I hope you have a lovely day off if you indeed have a day off. My day will involve lots of midterm studying, a workout, and more blogging for tomorrow!

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Linking up with Katie‘s marvelous in my monday! Because having breakfast with you all is quite marvelous 🙂

So tell me:

What would you tell me if we were having breakfast?

What did you eat for breakfast?

What is your favorite Food Network show?