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!

DSC_7916

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

DSC_7917

Breakfast part 2: trail mix in the hotel room

IMG_4012

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

IMG_4013

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

IMG_4016

Grand Wahoo welcome!

IMG_4017

Singing one of their famous anthems

IMG_4018

Bavaro Hall

IMG_4021 IMG_4022

Kinesiology info session

IMG_4023

Word.

IMG_4024

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!

IMG_4025

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.

DSC_7918

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

DSC_7922

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.

DSC_7923

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.

IMG_4038

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.

IMG_4040

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.

IMG_4041

Baked and Wired Bakery

IMG_4042

DSC_7927

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

DSC_7928

Our reward!

DSC_7926

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

DSC_7929

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

DSC_7856

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.

DSC_7852

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

DSC_7854

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.

DSC_7857 DSC_7858 DSC_7872 DSC_7877

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.

DSC_7882 DSC_7886

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!

DSC_7888 DSC_7889

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.

DSC_7890 DSC_7891

Hm. K.

Stopped for dessert of course. More gelato :D

DSC_7892 DSC_7894

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.

DSC_7899

We only had about half, don’t worry. ;)

DSC_7903

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.

DSC_7906 DSC_7907

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

DSC_7909

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!

DSC_7911

Kath

photo 2 copy 2

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.

DSC_7914

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

DSC_7915

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.

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 10.42.00 PM

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?

 

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

DSC_7842

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!

photo 1 copy photo 2 copy

The Welcome.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 copy

I should wear these for college gear day at school.

photo 4

Testudo the mascot!

photo 4 copy

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

photo 3

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.

10253928_10152237503956749_633111349294587802_n

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

10154111_10152237504006749_6105467243533933809_n

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

1560572_10152237504151749_8825673214790229878_n

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

1554483_10152237504356749_5828981589549651003_n

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?

 

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?

photo 1 photo 1

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

photo 2 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

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.

DSC_7840

 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.

DSC_7838

Yuck.

DSC_7839

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…

DSC_7841

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?

 

 

WIAW: Friday During Lent

Ciao!

As you are reading this, I am either sleeping in or meandering around Little Italy, hopefully eating some gelato or pasta. My Italian class has a field trip there today, and we don’t have to go into school since we’re just meeting at the train station at 9 AM. Booyahhhh!

Well Lent is coming to a close in a little over a week, but before the Hallelujah’s emerge and the lambs start leaping, there are still a couple of Fridays that involve abstinence from meat. I’ve mentioned this before, but going meatless is not much of a sacrifice for me since I love fish and eggs and Greek yogurt so much (maybe too much). Thus, I’ve made it a personal thing to also give up nut butter on Fridays, because THAT is a sacrifice for me. As you may know. So for this WIAW, I’m showing you all what I ate last Friday!

WIAWbutton

Jenn‘s blog is where the party’s at!

Breakfast

DSC_7824

Fantastic green smoothie with milk, ½ frozen banana, ~1 c. frozen tropical fruit, ¼ c. oats, a big handful of spinach, chia seeds, half a scoop of vanilla protein powder, and coconut oil! Greek yogurt for spoon dipping. 

I got the idea of adding coconut oil to my smoothie from Robyn, and I thought it would be a great way to add some healthy fats in place of my usual nut butter. MAN was it delicious. The hint of coconut aroma and added creaminess…Just do it.

Snack

IMG_3928 IMG_3929

‘Chios (pistachios).

Kristi and I decided to write messages and draw dinosaurs on the shells because business calc is all about food, right?

Lunch

IMG_3931

Hodgepodge: white cheddar popcorn, soft boiled egg, veggies and hummus

IMG_3932

Cashews a couple hours later

I’m actually a fan of this snacky lunch! A little bit o’ this, a little bit o’ that. Badda bing, badda boom. Fuggedaboudit.

I’m in Little Italy— just let me say that this one time.

Snack

Apparently, I’m not civilized enough to put things into bowls or cups…

DSC_7827

Greek yogurt with pineapple, banana, and cereal

 DSC_7826

Pineapple juice. Keepin’ it classy with a straw straight into the container. :D

Dinner

DSC_7829

Avocado toast with a soft boiled egg, s+p, and sriracha. I had to eat this on the go to pick up my friends for Legally Blonde!

Dessert

dried figs and greek yogurt

You definitely guessed it. 3 dried figs with Greek yogurt. {recycled photo}

And even though I didn’t eat these on Friday, can we just admire the dark, sweet juiciness of these strawberries my mom bought from Sam’s Club a couple days ago?

DSC_7835

Like a jewel. 

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

So tell me:

What do you eat on meatless days? 

Which food do you usually eat every day without fail?

Have you ever added coconut oil to your smoothies?

What is the best in-season fruit you’ve eaten so far?