It’s been another week of travel. This time, I got to go to one of my favorite places on earth: Southern California. Specifically, Orange County.
My new company that I work for has an area HQ in Southern California, so it’s often the place we travel for trainings and large meetings. This week, I had a chance to go to my first big meeting! And, it was FULL of trainings as well. I’m pretty proud of myself for passing several assessments that I took on advanced network topics.
Go ahead, ask me questions about cloud technology and multi-protocol label switching… I dare you!
I also got to meet lots of the folks I’ve only talked to over the phone. That’s where my best learning came in. I’m a people person… relating is sort of what I do best. It was nice to put a face with the many names I’d become familiar with over the first few months.
There were a few standout items from this trip…
California Menus have calorie counts on them!!! I’ve read about this in some of my favorite blogs, but to see the numbers on the menu… it’s BRILLIANT! We only ate out and from a menu on one night, but my boss and the team choose a pizza place. Which can be a scary scary thing for a girl who likes to stay under 1200 calories a day.
When we sat down at the table, the majority of the team decided to go for BIG pizzas topped with bacon, tons of cheese, and sausage. For this girl, I KNEW I would overindulge, so I went for what I considered a better choice on the BJ’s Enlightened Entrees menu. (LOVE THAT NAME!) How about a Mini Vegetarian Pizza for 410 calories? Sold! It was on multi-grain crust and was frankly delicious!
After our dinner, we walked down to the pier at Balboa Beach. I love a nice pier and that fresh ocean air. Even if it was nighttime, it was still phenomenal to be that close to the ocean. I tried to take pictures, but we both know that those didn’t come out at night. I firmly believe that if I had my fancy cam I could have captured it… but with the point and click it just looked like night.
I’ve told you before, but I’m sort of obsessed with the beach. It literally broke my heart to only be able to spend about 10-15 minutes out on the pier. And, it was SO SAD that I didn’t get to see it by day (gasp!)
Just the same, I have to tell myself that 10 minutes is better than NO minutes. It also gives me reason to get my butt back there again soon. Seriously.
I did see the ocean one more time before I left California… but unfortunately, I couldn’t smell it this time or feel the ocean breeze. Soon, I’ll be back.
I hit the gym one night during the trip: Now I’d feel prouder if I said I hit the gym TWO nights, but I went on Monday night after the group dinner. And, I skipped the bar to go there! Woo hoo! I really needed something to counteract the Macaroons I ate in between sessions. I tried to pick a cookie I’d never had that I didn’t think I’d love…. Holy crap! Have you ever had a macaroon??? That’s coconutty goodness right there!!!
We stayed at the Hyatt in Irvine, and I seriously believe they had one of the nicest workout rooms I’ve been into in a while. Lots of machines, weight machines, and free weights.
They also had a view of palm trees (which is always a plus). My FAVORITE part of the whole place though was a wine cooler that they had in the gym that had (wait for it…) cold towels inside! How awesome is that??? Keep in mind, they barely had the A/C running in this joint, so you definitely needed the towels… and they were crazy-refreshing!
John Wayne Airport got a Makeover: I’ve always thought that the Orange County airport was the worst for food choices, but they’ve done a SIGNIFICANT upgrade since I’ve been there last. They have a SUBWAY now and a PEI WEI!!! And… the very best part… they have a PINKBERRY!
When we got to the airport to head home, we scooted over to Pinkberry to get a sweet treat pre-flight. Being obsessed with Salted Caramel flavored treats, you can only imagine my excitement when I heard they had a Salted Caramel yogurt. HOLY HANNAH!
I’m going to tell you that this was the best froyo I’ve ever had. Next, I’m going to tell you to click here to locate a Pinkberry and get there ASAP to try this limited time only flavor. Seriously. It’s that good. I topped mine with some of those dark chocolate crisps and a few chocolate covered pretzels. Dangerous, but justified somehow in my head. DELICIOUS, folks. I wouldn’t lie to you. Seriously.
Now, you know I love Colorado… but I honestly think the energy in Southern California suits me SO well. I just feel so at home there (even though I’ve never lived there.) I always get a tiny bit sad when I have to leave. It might just be the ocean I’m leaving behind. However, I truly believe in my heart of hearts that one day I’ll have a one-way ticket to the OC. I can’t wait until that dream manifests… I’ll keep you posted.