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Parent’s Weekend: USC v. Utah

usc parent's weekend 2013

Posted by Nicole and Lauren

N: This past weekend was such a fun one! Staying in on Thursday and Friday nights was a great idea because this weekend sure took a lot out of me. It was BUSY!

L: We all had an eeeearly wake up call on Saturday. Kyle dropped me off at the airport (at 5 am!!) and I met our mom and David in the security line. We waited at the gate and, like, 30 Facebook employees were all on the same flight headed to Disneyland. Talk about a team trip! The flight was uneventful, but we had a real life Trojan Dance Force girl pick us up :)

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N: I woke up at 6 to curl my hair and put on “dance makeup.” I picked them up at LAX at 8 and then headed to my dance performance with the team. We performed a routine at an Alumni Tailgate. Campus always looks extra pretty on gameday.

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N: While I was dancing, the folks went to the Rock ‘n Roll LA Half Marathon expo at the LA Convention Center (conveniently half a mile from USC).

L: The expo was pretty busy and had a lot of solid vendors. Expos are generally hit or miss, so I’d classify this one as a “hit”. After a little shady #twinning impersonation work, I secured both my race bib and Nicole’s. If you are familiar with Rock n Roll races, you know how stringent they can be. I was so nervous… I felt like a 20 year old using my friends’ ID to sneak into a bar.

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L: After the expo we walked all the way to Delta Gamma. I made sure to avert my eyes since the walk was on the race course.

N: We met back up at the sorority house for a pre-football-game lunch.

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N: They’re so cute…

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N: For Family Weekend, DG had an In-N-Out truck and lots of cardinal and gold decorations. We enjoyed our burgers on the porch.

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N: Before we knew it, it was time to head through campus towards The Coliseum.

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L: I love being at USC on game day! SO SO SO SO different from Cal Poly.

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N: The weather was quite hot, but we stuck it out for almoooost the entire game. The parentals sat with other DG families and Lauren sat in the student section with me. At halftime, we moved forward and met up with friends in the fourth row. Only the best view for my sista!

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L: Luckily the weather cooled down and USC made a significant lead by the 4th quarter… 19 – 3! Halftime was awesome, their band did renditions of boy band music. Justin Timberlake, Backstreet Boys, and N’SYNC all made the cut.

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N: After the game, we walked back to the sorority house so I could pack an overnight bag. Then we waited and waited, but eventually got a cab to downtown LA. We dropped our bags off at the hotel and quickly found a restaurant because we were all starving for dinner. It was worth the wait — our food was awesome!

N: We went to Coco Laurent, conveniently located just a couple blocks from the hotel. Each dish was a winner:

  • I’Oignon Soup – carmelized onions, sherry, marsala, gruyere crostini
  • Truffle Fries – grana padano, parsley
  • Kale Caesar Salad – baby kale, almonds, brioche croutons, house made caesar dressing, grana padano
  • Brussels Sprouts – (no) pork belly, chili, parmesan ***these were SO GOOD***

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  • Maine Diver Scallops – yukon potato puree, roasted heirloom carrots, truffle vierge, beurre blanc
  • Quiche Lorraine – confit leeks, gruyere, ham, mesclun, sherry vinaigrette

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  • Market Vegetable Salad – mesclun, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, watermelon radish, baby carrots, red onion, blue cheese, goddess dressing
  • Potato Gnocchi – cherry tomatoes, asparagus, lemon cream, fines herbes

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L: We dined al fresco and the weather was perfect.  We told our waiter that we were reeeeally hungry and he made sure we got all of our food quickly. I felt bad because the table next to us ordered before we did (with a different waiter) and they were still waiting for apps when we were getting out check. The manager had to apologize to them. So, Coco Laurent has tasty food, but inconsistent service.

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N: After dinner we went across the street to grab dessert from Bottega Louie, per Lauren’s suggestion. The display cases only had limited options, but we eventually settled on a few macarons (vanilla, salted caramel, espresso, and pistachio x2) and some beignets (plain, raspberry, and hazelnut).

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L: I was bummed to see a limited selection, but the macarons didn’t disappoint! We all shared tiny bites of them back in our hotel room before falling asleep.

bottega louie macarons

We’ll be back with the race recap soon!

-Lauren and Nicole

Capitola Half Marathon 2013

capitola half marathon

Posted by Lauren and Nicole

N: It would be a shame to not mention the awesome time that we had at the Capitola Half Marathon (website) three weeks ago. Lauren and I had sneaky plans to make this race extra special for our mom and David… Fittingly so because it was on their WEDDING DAY! We created a shirt design for their “love run” using CustomInk.com and ordered one for each family member running. Some of our aunts provided the other half of our running outfit: mini veils. It was fun to dress up as brides, even though the real bride stole the show with her custom made veil!

L: I just have to give a shout out to Custom Ink. Designing the shirt online was amazingly simple and they had a ton of high-quality “clip art” to use and a variety of custom fonts. Dare I say – there were almost too many options! Once I settled on the look and feel of it (click here to see the proofs) I  called the number proudly displayed on their website to finish my order. While you can order online, I was confused how to get the design on both men’s and women’s shirts. I instantly had a real person (Christian) on the phone who was beyond helpful! He made sure that I had everything I needed and explained how the image on the back of the shirt had to be cartoonized because of color limits. The company even reached out to me after I purchased to say: “While reviewing your order, I noticed that your custom apparel are for a wedding. I’m so glad you chose CustomInk to help make the big day a success. I’m sure your apparel will be a hit with everyone at the wedding, and they’ll bring back happy memories for years to come. Please feel free to contact us if we can help with anything else.” Isn’t that nice?! Highly recommend!

capitola half marathon

L: We made it to the start line right in front of the Santa Cruz Boardwalk with a few minutes for photos. All of us ran the half marathon except for our cousin Teal, aunt Patty, and aunt Julie, who ran the full marathon!

Ready….. Set….. Go!

capitola half marathon

capitola half marathon

N: I was really excited for this race and planned to run it without headphones and with the company of family. A couple miles into the race, Lauren moved ahead and I became the designated photographer and snapped pictures of our mom and David with the mile markers…. And the ocean of course!

half start ocean

L: I also ran this race without headphones and without a Garmin. My knee was still acting funky so it was nice to slow down and run with family members. Since our group was so big, there was always someone just around the corner to cheer for! I had a huge grin on my face the entire time!

N: The ocean views were beautiful! It was fun to see surfers catching some early waves.

capitola half marathon

L: Another surprise awaited Shirley and David on the course… custom mile markers! I had 13 posters printed of them running various races. All I had to do was sneak onto David’s computer when he was out of town. I ordered them from PrintKeg.com and couldn’t be happier with their competitive pricing (read: such a good deal, especially compared to FedEx/Kinkos). The only question: how can we get the posters at every mile before the race? Thank goodness Krizia and Kyle were game to wake up at 5:30 AM to drive the course and tape the custom posters up! I’m so grateful for their help!!!!

half 2 thru 5

Shirley & David posing with their posters at Mile 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, and 11

half 6 thru 11

N: I enjoyed running with the love birds… this was my first race running with the pair of them. It was also a nice excuse to slow down and enjoy the race without the stress of keeping pace or hitting a certain finish time. It also kept me from uncontrollably sweating my spray tan off.

L: I LOVED seeing everyone on the course. BTW, our aunt Julie got 6th overall women’s and our aunt Patty got 10th overall women’s for the FULL marathon. For the HALF marathon, our aunt Marilyn got 6th in her division! (Secretly glad I wasn’t “racing” because my aunt’s would have schooled me!) As you can tell, running is definitely a family sport ;)

family running Capitola Half Marathon

N: Lauren was conveniently at the sandy finish line before us so she could snap some pictures of the official finish. The love birds finished hand-in-hand, and then it was time to hurry back to the resort and prepare for the wedding.

capitola half marathon

capitola half marathon

N: The finish line was unlike any race I had ever been to — in the sand! It truly was a beach run!

capitola half marathon finish

L: I’d love to run this race again in the future, it was a stunning course. We ran past the Santa Cruz Harbor, Moran Lake, and Pleasure Point (famous surf spot). The turn around point was a loop through the iconic Capitola Village. You just can’t beat those sites and a finish line on Cowell’s Beach right next to the Santa Cruz Wharf!

Thank you to all family and friends that were a part of this memorable race!

-Lauren and Nicole

So THIS Happened…!!!!!

Shirley David Wedding Seascape Aptos Family

Posted by Lauren and Nicole

Shirley David Wedding Seascape Aptos Family

Our family “officially” grew this weekend when our mom, Shirley, married the. most. amazing. man, David.

There are approximately ~400 photos in Nicole’s Facebook album (want a peek? try to befriend Lauren) and while we won’t share all of them on this blog, we do need to narrow it down significantly!

More detailed posts will come out once we’ve settled down a bit. Nicole just started her internship at LI and I’m one week away from my company’s first annual conference. ##HASHTAG#BUSY!## In the meantime, here’s a little 6 step teaser…

1. Saturday evening barbeque on the bluff at Seascape overlooking the ocean

Shirley David Wedding Seascape Aptos BBQ

2. Saturday night bonfire on the beach

Shirley David Wedding Seascape Aptos Bonfire

3. Sunday morning “Love Run” aka Capitola Half Marathon

Capitola Half Marathon shirts

Capitola Half Marathon Capitola Half Marathon

4. Prep time & assembly of 450 cupcakes. Nicole, David, our mom, Krizia, and Kyle helped tremendously!!

Shirley David Wedding Seascape Aptos Cupcake Prep

Shirley David Wedding Seascape Aptos Cupcakes

5. The Ceremony! Look at that view! We lucked out with the weather in a typically foggy spot.

Shirley David Wedding Seascape Aptos Ceremony

6. Reception :)

Shirley David Wedding Seascape Aptos Reception 1 Shirley David Wedding Seascape Aptos Reception 2

More to come… the weekend was fannnnnntastic.

-Lauren and Nicole

Mini Beers over David’s Birthday

stein's fruit beer flight

Posted by Lauren and Nicole

L: On Friday night, we brought most of the “fam” together to celebrate David’s birthday. I somehow convinced my mom to have everyone drive to Mountain View so we could try Steins Beer Garden. Luckily for me, it’s just one block from work :)

Steins Beer Garden

895 Villa St, Mountain View, CA
WebsiteYelp

L: I’ve been to Steins once before with coworkers and really enjoyed their meatball sandwich. As it was lunchtime on a work-day, I couldn’t necessarily try out the beer selection, so I have been waiting patiently for a return visit. It’s no mystery why I like this place – or the “idea” of it – the people running Steins recently transformed the space into a modern beer house with a sleek bar, huge TVs, and an enormous outdoor beer garden. Plus, their menu is simple with almost everything scratch-made.

Drinks

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Light Flight

  • Urban People’s Common Lager, a California Lager from Linden St
  • Cali Coast, a kolsch from Calicraft Brewing Co
  • Blond, a blond ale from Brouwerij West
  • Das Naturtrube, an unfiltered pilsner from Schwaben Brau

stein's fruit beer flight

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Fruit Flight

  • Floris Apple Ale, from Brouwerij Huyghe
  • Floris Strawberry, from Brouwerij Huyghe **Nicole ordered a pint of this, so refreshing and non-beer like!
  • Wells Banana Bread, from Wells & Young
  • Marionberry Hibiscus Gose, from Widmer Bros

Dark Flight – not sure what came with this!

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Kyle chose the Item 9, a wheat IPA from Brash (their beer labels are funky!)

Appetizers

Fresh baked pretzels with caraway beer mustard

stein's pretzels

Mini bratwurst corn dogs with slaw/pickled mustard seed vinaigrette

Mac & cheese with cheddar and buttery bread crumbs

stein's mac and cheese

Lamb meatballs with parmesan bread crumbs

Entrees

Summer Squash – with roasted corn, cherry tomatoes, and a yogurt herb dressing

stein's summer squash

N: This was just average. It was very fresh, but nothing too special.

The Steins Burger – house ground blend of dry aged short rib, brisket, and sirloin on a brioche bun

French Dip – roast beef, au jus, ciabatta

Slow Cooked Short Rib – with savory bread pudding, rainbow chard, and onion jam

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N: I tried a bite of Lauren’s bread pudding and it was AMAZING. Beer and dinner were the perfect complement to the exciting Warriors game on the large TVs. We left when it started to get a little rowdy in the restaurant.

L: After dinner, we walked over to my building so I could show my mom, David, and Sam the space. My mom busted out a chocolate cake and we sang Happy Birthday to David… that cake was yuuuuummmyyyy.

max's chocolate fudge cake

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N: David turned 6 years old ;) but unfortunately we didn’t have matches to light the candles. Doesn’t mean he didn’t get to make a birthday wish…

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L: Happy Birthday, David!

-Lauren and Nicole