Monthly Archive: December 2012

How many stops?

Posted by Lauren

Question: How many stops did I take on the way from Mountain View to Yorba Linda?


Stop 1: AMPM for gas 5 miles from my house… 5 minutes and $55 later….

Stop 2: Starbucks in Morgan Hill for breakfast (spinach egg wrap) and coffee


Stop 3: Krizia’s parents’ house to pick her up and take advantage of a Christmas tree photo opp!


Stop 4: Drove to Salinas with Krish and waited for our friends in Monterey to pick us up! Clay, Aubree, and Tyler drove up a few minutes later and we packed up the car. Clay had awesome road trip snacks for all of us (beef jerky, cheez-it’s, wheat thins, and cheez whiz… Try combing them for something magical!)


Stop 5: Bathroom and candy stop in Greenfield (central valley)


Clay is the best for driving! Thanks!!

Stop 6: SAN LUIS OBISPO!!! (you know it was bound to happen)


Lunch at SLO Brewing Co. and 2 quarters of the 49er game!



The veggie and hummus platter called to me. Over the past week I think I went out to breakfast/lunch/dinner 90% of the time. I need to work on that in 2013!


Beer flights split among Krish + Clay and Aubree + Tyler. I chose a full pint of Honey Blonde!

Stop 6: Bathroom and gas stop in Ventura. The freakiest thing happened: while in line, a guy wearing a robber ski mask said “everybody get down!” My stomach flipped and then a millisecond later he started to laugh and took off his mask. Frickin hoodlums.

Stop 7: LA traffic. Ok I guess that isn’t technically a stop, but it seemed like it should be!


Stop 8: the final stop… Kerry and Jacquelyn and Ashley’s new house!! They surprised us with an electronica light saber dance welcome thing and fireball shots! Such a great welcome :) We are at sake/sushi right now…. What a classy New Years Eve Eve!!


Loved my ahi-ahi roll!


Crazy defa vu because last NYEEE we did sushi and sake bombs. I guess it’s same ol’ same ol’ around here.

Question: what’s your most memorable road trip?

I’d say Illinois to California with my cousin Aaron! That was loooong….


Another Hike and Pizza Pies

Posted by Nicole

This morning started a few hours earlier than yesterday. I woke up at about 9 and realized that once again it hadn’t snowed overnight.

pine mountain lake

Such a bummer… but anyways, I got a mug of coffee and threw together a random breakfast of multigrain cheerios, cinnamon toast crunch, and crunchy peanut butter. A bit later, my mom made a big bowl of oatmeal and toasted a few cinnamon raisin bagels for the rest of the family. I kind of wish I waited for the family breakfast… oh well.

IMG_6978 Rather than driving 45 minutes to Yosemite Valley, we decided to hike around our neighborhood by Pine Mountain Lake. It was much warmer hiking today and we didn’t definitely didn’t need to use the showshoes like yesterday.


Our house doesn’t have a direct view of the lake, but we were lucky to get a good look on our hike.

pine mountain lake

The weather was surprisingly warm and there were blue skies all around. Today I didn’t even need gloves, a scarf, or a hat!

pine mountain lake

I’m convinced that my mom bought me a camera so I can take photos of her and her fiance….. (I’m onto you, Mom!!!)


After two miles, we reached a bend in the creek and a horrid skunk smell. We took that as a sign to turn back around and hike home.

pine mountain lake


Back at the cabin, we packed up our bags, locked up the car, and started our trip back to San Jose. Before hitting the road though, we stopped at Two Guys Pizza Pies for lunch. My mom and I each took a trip to the salad bar, but made sure to enjoy some pizza as well. Their veggie lovers pizza is so delicious (MINUS the olives).

two guys pizza pies

Now we are back in San Jose and it’s time for me to do some laundry, run by the mall, and figure out what in the heck I am going to do on New Year’s Eve! It’s one of those annoying holidays where everyone over-thinks their plans, and then everyone ends up doing something they didn’t want to do. Just my friends and me? Oh well.

– Nicole

Question: What’s your favorite type of pizza? Are you a thin crust, thick crust, or deep dish kind of person?

Question: What are your New Year’s Eve plans?!

Reunions Galore

Posted by Lauren

Nicole’s done a fantastic job of recapping our Christmas Eve dinner with our mom’s family and Christmas day happenings with our dad’s family… thanks, sister. Where would this blog be without you?! ;)

The few days before Christmas were a little lazy on my part (I discovered the show Revenge. OMG.) but now that XMAS has come and gone, I’m actually getting out of the house! The great thing about the holidays is that a lot of people return “home” – friends from kindergarten, middle school, high school…. and I’ve seen em’ all! Sort of.

Kindergarten – 8th grade

rba xmas

On Thursday night I met Meredith, Vivian, and Sophia for dinner at the San Pedro Square Market in downtown San Jose. We invited a bunch of other people, but just the four of us could make it. It was my first time at the market and I marveled at the 20+ vendors selling all types of products and food. Did I want a few unique tacos? Wood-fired pizza? Breakfast hot dog? I eventually picked a deliciously salty chicken shawarma salad from Robee’s Falafel. HIT the spot. Can’t wait to go back for something else!

san pedro square market shawarma

The four of us concluded that we need to really get everybody back together. I’m lucky that Sophia and I keep in touch with our monthly dinners, and Meredith is in my fantasy football league (rest easy folks, it’s over and I won’t talk about it anymore (unless you want me to of course)), but I miss everyone else. Our school was exceptionally small and everyone knew each other so well.

san pedro square market robee's falafel

High School


As I left my elementary school friends, I got a text from Natalie asking me to stop by. She promised cookies, wine, a cute puppy to snuggle with, and Vanessa (who I haven’t seen since Thanksgiving). I drove there straight away and we all had a chance to catch up, talk some Real Housewives smack, and then watch the Food Network. I love those girls. We missed Sarah and Katie though!!


Owen was such a fluffy, tired pup by the time I showed up!





On Wednesday and Friday I spent time with two of my favorite girls, Kerry and Krizia, in San Francisco. They’ve popped up a bunch on the blog, but the gist of it is that we all lived together in college (plus Fran!) and we have something to prove it. On Wednesday we went to dinner at the ever fabulous Pizzeria Delfina on 18th Street, then out to Amnesia (loved!) and Beauty Bar (eh.) before our very own sleepover. On Friday we went to bottomless mimosa brunch at Radish on 19th Street. So much to do in the Mission, so little time. I’m keeping those foodie adventures for a separate post.


Right now I’m off to southern California to reunite with more college friends and ring in the New Year mayan masquerade style. I’ve got a loooooong drive ahead of me so please entertain me with a story about a friend you caught up with over break!


Snowshoeing in Rockefeller Grove

Posted by Nicole

I’m not in San Jose anymore! Last night, we arrived in Groveland, unpacked our bags, and ate some burritos with enchilada sauce.


This is my first time at our cabin since last December. Craziness! It’s nice to be back in the middle-of-nowhere and away from busy life for a few days. As for the rest of last night, it was pretty laid back — we played some sudoku and then watched Spellbound. That 2002 documentary is a fave of Lauren, my mom, and me because it is surprisingly funny! I’m glad David and his sons enjoyed it (or at least I think they did…)


This morning, we all slept in until about 11. I guess the cabin atmosphere put us all into hibernation? I was hoping to wake up to fresh snow outside, but instead we had a green and brown backyard with no snow in sight.


Our plan for the day was to get some brunch and then go snowshoeing in Yosemite National Park. We drove to the nearest restaurant, The Grill at the Pine Mountain Lake Golf Course, for some hiking fuel.


My BLT salad (minus the bacon) definitely hit the spot, but the views of the golf course and beyond were better.


It might look like summer, but it sure was chilly outside. The snow in the distance was more what we were looking for today…


… And we sure found it! We started hiking at the Rockefeller Trail at about 1:30.

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It was my first time trying the snowshoeing and I was surprised how much fun it was! It felt just like normal hiking, except a lot colder. We were lucky to find a cross-country skier’s trail, so we weren’t the first people pushing into the deep, fresh powder.

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At about 3/4 of a mile, we hit a beautiful look-out point of the valley.

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After 1.5 miles, I put the camera away because it started to snow. As the temperature dropped, we all stopped talking and taking photos and were determined to get back to the warm car! Our minute/mile pace was ridiculously speedy ;)


On the way home, we stopped at the Vista Point look-out point and snapped a few more photos. Spending so much time in Los Angeles and San Jose really makes me appreciate the wide open land in this part of California.


Now we are back at our cabin and we just finished a yummy dinner. I roasted 10 sweet potatoes with cinnamon and SF maple syrup, my mom made a pesto dish with lemon pepper noodles, zucchini, and mushrooms, and there was also some type of stuffed chicken.


And, despite the mostly empty refrigerator and cabinets, I managed to throw together an awesome dessert of vanilla ice cream and crunchy peanut butter.


Gotta enjoy dessert before the onset of New Year’s Resolutions, right? Alright, time to go join my movie-watching family downstairs. I have 60% cabin fever right now, so hopefully we get out and go on more adventures tomorrow!

– Nicole

Q4U: Would you rather spend the holidays/vacation somewhere secluded and away from technology and citylife, or somewhere more exciting and busy?