Nicole

Hikes, Dance, the Usual

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Posted by Nicole

Not much has been going on lately. Since I last blogged, I’ve mostly been hanging out with friends and enjoying LA moments. Last weekend, I danced at some bball games and watched the disappointing 49ers vs. Seahawks game with some buddies. The loss was such a bummer, but at least there was a pretty sunset that night?

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On Monday, I went on a hike at Will Rogers National Park with some friends. Though I didn’t have school, it was nice for my friends to have the day off in celebration of MLK Jr. Day so we could get outside and be active. The weather was perfect and the views of Malibu and the ocean were amazing.

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The coolest part of the hike was the patch of trees lined up along the trail. I got a little camera-happy.

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We had dance practice on Tuesday and finished learning another new routine to Britney Spears’ “Work.” We performed the routine at Wednesday’s game and it was quite the crowd pleaser.

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Our men’s teamĀ finally won a conference game… it was awesome to upset #2 Cal.

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My friend Jamie also texted me this picture during halftime because I was on TV! Very exciting… and I’m happy that I was smiling when the camera was on me.

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Yesterday, I braved rush hour on 110 to pick up a friend’s friend from the airport. We saw a beautiful sunset on the way back to USC.

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Back at school, we quickly got ready for a special fraternity trip to Newport Harbor. The boat went out on the water for a couple hours and then we took buses back to SC.

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I woke up to a motivating text from my friend Ashley. She suggested we go to the Silver Lake stairs and have an intense workout. These “Music Box Stairs” have some history: “these famous steps were named for the 1932 Academy Award winning Laurel and Hardy film where they tried to push a piano up the stairs between Vendome St. and Descanso Drive. The Three Stooges also filmed some shenanigans on another section of steps.”

Holy cow, stairs are no joke! There were three sets of stairs and we went up/down all the sets four times. Next time we are going to do 6 rounds. That is, if my calves don’t die before then.

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The views from the stairs were very unique… it kind of felt like we were in a different country.

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Luckily, we had dance practice in the afternoon so we were able to shake out our legs a bit and finish preparing routines for Sunday’s men’s game vs. Stanford. Tomorrow we are celebrating Ashley’s 22nd birthday with a party bus to Hollywood’s Bootsybellows club and it is sure to be a great time. Life is awesome right now and how is January almost over?!

– Nicole

Lately

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Posted by Nicole

You would think that now that I don’t have school, I would find time to blog. Anyways, here’s what I’ve been up to… because I know that Lauren and my mom are curious slash the only ones who read this ;)

1. Basketball games and dance practice have been taking up the bulk of my time and it’s awesome. We finally got to wear our new gold jersey dresses!

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Our men’s team played No. 1 University of Arizona last week and it was a packed game. I don’t think I have ever seen our court so full!

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There were even some special people in attendance. NBA pros “SwaggyP” Nick Young, Jordan Hill, and Luke Walton were all at the game and Matt Leinart was sitting courtside right behind us. I was a littleĀ too excited to get a picture with Nick Young.

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Post-game froyo has become a great tradition too.

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2. We finally got our poster! It seems like forever ago that we were shooting for the poster.

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3. Even though I’m not in school, I still spent a little bit of time on campus this week.

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I work so well in the business school library and it sure helps that not many students hit the library during the first week of school.

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4. I watched my cousin play volleyball versus the USC team. I was rooting for UC Irvine, but USC ended up winning the fifth match.

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5. I puppysat the cutest little dog on Wednesday and let it socialize with my favorite frathound Rex.

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Nika and I took the dog for a walk onto campus and sure got a lot of attention from passing students in the quad. I mean, look at this thing:

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So stinkin’ cute.

6. The weather has been sooooo hot lately. I worked/tanned on the roof of DG and again today at one of the apartment complexes near USC. The pool was awesome.

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7. Although our men’s bball team hasn’t been having the best PAC-12 games, our women’s team is doing great! They won last night and are now 5-1.

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8. We celebrated after last night’s game for Kelsey’s 21st birthday. I’ll never get over how cool it is to see the Downtown skyline while hanging out with some of my favorite people.

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It was a good time.

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That’s about all that has been going on. Hope your weekend is going well.

– Nicole

 

The Best Daycation

dance force lake arrowhead

Posted by Nicole

The past day and a half have been very relaxing and super fun. Our dance team decided to celebrate the end of “practice hell week” and the start of spring semester with a trip to Lake Arrowhead. Emily, one of our teammates, was nice enough to offer her beautiful cabin for our special daycation. We got to the cabin at noon on Friday and cozied up in the comfy couches.

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Then we all went down to the dock to enjoy the beautiful lakefront views.

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A couple of girls tried paddle-boarding while I finished up some work. I still want to try paddle-boarding, but am going to be smart and wait until summer when the water is warmer… just in case ;)

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dance force lake arrowhead

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This was my first time at Lake Arrowhead and it reminded me so much of our house/dock at Pine Mountain Lake. It definitely felt like a home away from home.

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When the weather cooled down, we went inside for a late lunch and watched How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days. I had forgotten how funny that movie was and how Kate Hudson is literally perfect. Part way through the movie we looked behind us and saw the most beautiful sunset. Of course I had to run outside and play photographer for a while…

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I mean, seriously. This place is amazing!

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We played a few rounds of Kingdom [a phrase guessing game] and then went out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Lake Arrowhead Village. I was so full from snacking all day so I had chips & salsa, and then split a banana ice cream sundae with Erin. It was the best dinner ever.

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On the way back to the cabin, we stopped by the grocery store for more ice cream and s’more supplies. Feeling silly, we started dancing in the candy aisle and majorly embarrassed ourselves when the checkout guy made an announcement for “no dancing and videotaping in the store.” I hope he was kidding HA.

We got home, watched basketball (poor Lakers), ate more sugar, and danced around before settling down to play Taboo. Things sure got competitive.

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We went to bed early and I woke up extremely rested, thanks in large part to this beautiful king-sized bed…

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Inspired by our beautiful window view, we decided to head out on a hike.

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After breakfast and coffee of course…

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When everyone was awake and fueled up, we drove about 20 minutes to the start of a hiking trail.

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The views were amazing – no surprise there.

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After a couple photo ops, we decided to hike up the HUGE hill and pose for a bit on the rocks.

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Some of us were more adventurous than others… Jackie is amazing!

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We got back to the house and were all starving for lunch. I made a random salad with my teammate’s yummy salad dressing (balsamic, olive oil, honey, and dijon mustard).

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We spent the rest of the afternoon on the dock, cleaning the house, and packing up. On the way home, we stopped by the Arrowhead Village again and browsed a few of the shops. There was actually a clothing store called “Just Browsing” – doesn’t really seem like a smart name for a business, right?

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The village didn’t get the memo that Christmas is over…

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Our drive down into the San Bernardino Valley was at the perfect time because the sun had just set.

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dance force lake arrowhead

An hour and a half later, we were back into the city. It’s crazy how a short drive is such a change of scenery.

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It was such a great weekend and I can’t wait for our next trip to Lake Arrowhead. We made so many memories and I can’t wait to make more in our short time left together.

– Nicole

Good Thing I Love Them

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Posted by Nicole

Since moving back to LA, I’ve spent 70% of my time with dance team (the other 30% has been spent with Netflix… I’m on season 5 of Breaking Bad and cherishing the last couple episodes). It’s a good thing I love my team SO much.

It’s been fun having friends over to break in my new apartment. We watched Clueless one night with some yummy hot chocolate/french pressed coffee mix.

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Then another night we met up after the basketball game for snack night. We watched 13 Going on 30 and about 50 dance videos on YouTube. Typical dancer fun :)

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After three hour practice on Monday, we had a team get together in celebration of our teammate and my personal BFF, Nika’s, bday. We danced around to crazy music…. I really can’t explain how fun these girls are. I can’t imagine having a different team.

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Of course that wasn’t enough time for all of us together. We met up in the morning for celebration brunch at Urth Caffe.

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My egg sandwich could not have been better. After the late night, I was more than ready for food by noon!

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On Tuesday and Wednesday, I spent the days relaxing and working and the nights at practice. We learned and prepared three new routines for tonight and Sunday’s basketball games. Despite the sore muscles, Nika and Aliyah (friend from dance team last year) convinced me to get out of bed at 8 AM for a hike.

We drove to Escondido Falls Trail in Malibu and attempted to find the waterfalls. The first mini waterfall (below) had no water, so we kept trekking up in search of the second waterfall.

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We accidentally went the wrong way and got to a No Trespassing sign. That’s when we turned around. Good thing because I was starting to get a little scared of falling.. ha.

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At least the views were awesome!

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After turning around, we quickly reached the second waterfall. There wasn’t much water, but there were a couple little streams so I could at least get the dirt off of my hands.

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We were desperate for water at the end of our 4 mile hike so we eagerly stopped by a gas station on the way back to Downtown LA. And of course… the beach!

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California winter really can’t be beat!

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Time to quickly get ready for the basketball game tonight! Hopefully my arms/legs won’t be too sore until after the game!

– Nicole