Epic Adventures: Summer Trip (California Part 4)

Alright, I decided to fold and write this final post today. The corresponding titles just looked too perfect when properly aligned in the “All posts” page. So….

We left the last day of our trip to Cali pretty open. Since we had made a habit of traveling and hiking a lot (and sleeping a little), the final day was modeled after a more traditional vacation. We woke up at a more reasonable time, had a little breakfast, and went over to the local mall complex with Jenny’s parents.

California, being California, seems to insist on doing everything a bit differently, including their malls. Although I don’t always prefer the way things are out there, the mall we went to was outdoors, promoted walking, and was really enjoyable in the warm, dry weather.

After doing a bit of shopping around at the mall, which concluded with Jenny receiving new running shoes and clothing and a new button-up for me (fancy), we went to grab some lunch at In-N-Out. I’ve eaten many a burger in my day. As far as fast food burgers go, that place has got it right. The prices are cheap, the food is fast, and damn is it good. Their food far better than a lot of restaurant burgers I’ve had, actually.

PUMP THIS INTO MY VEINS TOO.

We’ve gone there once on each of my 3 visits to California and now I’m proud to say that I have a “regular” order. Having been told to try ordering off-menu, I decided to try (and have now settled on) getting a Double-Double Animal Style. Two burgers, grilled onions, extra sauce…mmmmmmm. I’m extremely hungry now. It’s a good thing that everyone at work is going to a huge buffett for lunch today.

After eating, we went and got massages (again, fancy). I had personally never had one before, and although it was excruciatingly painful at some points, I was so relaxed afterwards that I walked around with a stupid grin for a while. Immediately following the massage, we went next door for some more KBBQ. Like many of the places we ate on the trip, this place had a special style. The waitress would come around with massive heaps of veggies and meat to add to the grill. Then, a broth was poured over the whole thing to marinade the heaving mound. Not only did it yield a delightfully succulent product, but the broth was excellent over rice as well.

After dinner, we went back home to pack, do laundry, and chill in preparation for our (very) early morning the next day. Jenny’s brother came over for a bit and we discussed our shockingly similar ideas for starting businesses. Finally, after a few final snacks, we went to sleep and prepared to wake up around 4 the following morning.

The flights home went quickly. On the way, we finished the Bourne Identity. We got back, metroed back to our respective homes, and lamented the end of living the high life.

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Fitness vs. Fatness: Cool summer breezes and the National Mall

The weather today was spectacular. I was in a rush this morning to get out the door, but it was a really nice surprise to hop on my bike and not be immediately drenched in sweat. There’s nothing quite like a crisp, sunny morning in the summer; it’s the best way to start a day, hands down.

If I didn’t expect it to be so nice in the morning, then I was totally floored when I left work and found that it hadn’t heated up all that much throughout the day. There was still a really nice breeze and minimal humidity. Since I made that whole post earlier glorifying running, I realized that I didn’t have much of a choice but to run today. This blog thing is really working out I think…it lets me get my thoughts out of my head, where I can analyze them better.

Yeah, I think I'm in pretty company there.

Anyway, I suited up to run in my usual shorts and cut-off, tied my keys into my laces, and headed out with my roommate. We ran up to the Capitol and down the mall, where he met up with his girlfriend and her roommates for a picnic. I kept going up to the Washington Monument, around to the Lincoln Memorial, through the little park, and back to meet up with them on the mall. That little loop is probably my favorite run in DC, or at least one of two. You can check it out here: Lincoln Memorial Run.

The weather really couldn’t have been better either. The combination of the weather, a nap on my train ride home, and a general good mood made the run go really nicely. It’s always nice when your body feels like it’s firing on all cylinders, cranking out each bound.

The other nice thing about running is that it always cuts down on my usually overwhelming desire to eat. Plus, I was pretty much crashing their picnic, so I was a little reluctant to really chow down. This worked out well, because I ended up just having a very light dinner of a single corn on the cob, a couple pickled beans, and some couscous with chicken, cucumber, beans, and dried cranberries.

I was still feeling pretty energetic too, so I climbed a tree a few times, chilled out, and then played two rounds of 2-on-2 ultimate frisbee with everyone. I forgot how much I missed that sport too. I’ll have to have a full blown post on it at some point, but I played it a LOT in high school. It was also a good outlet for my inherent competitiveness. Winning both games felt good.

After that, we ran back. Now I’ve just got a date with a watermelon before bed. Not bad at all.

Sorry friend, your moments are numbered.