I was in Orange County this past weekend to visit one of my close friends from UCLA. She was one of the first people I met in my freshman year- my dorm roomie! We shared a “triple” with one other roommate. A triple is basically a normal-sized room shared between three people. There’ s a bunk bed pushed against one wall, and a loft bed pushed against the other. Next to each of the beds, there is a desk. Under the loft bed, there is another desk. That makes 3 beds and 3 desks for 3 closely packed people!
Besides sharing our triple, we also shared a lot of memories. Late night walks to Pinkberry to satisfy our fro yo cravings, stomach-clutching laughter over silly YouTube videos, chugging energy drinks at midnight to pull all-nighters, being privvy to each other’s dreams and nightmares, and dancing to Justin Timberlake songs.
I am usually not one for doing spur of the moment kind of things, but when I heard that she was starting a teaching program at USC (and realized that she would probably be extremely busy from here on out), I decided to book a flight to Orange County. I could have driven, yes, but it’s about a 6.5 hour drive from where I live in the Bay, and man I would have been bored out of my mind driving alone for that long! I got a good deal on a flight anyway, so that saved me a big headache.
Some highlights from my trip are below.
After she picked me up from the airport, we ate lunch at Soup Plantation, and then immediately drove over to Peter’s Canyon Regional Park for a grueling 6 mile hike through some steep mountain terrain. You can see in the photo above that the trail extends over several mountains and far into the horizon.
I cannot take credit for this photo above (I Googled it), but I just wanted to show you guys what a roadrunner looks like. We spotted one while we were hiking, but it darted into the bushes before we could snap a pick. It looks nothing like the cartoon version (it would be kind of scary to have large creatures running around), and yet it has a funny way of running that is somewhat reminiscent of the cartoon. It came up to a few inches below my knee.
To the left is my friend Steph and to the right, her friend Angelique who came along to get some cardio in for her upcoming ”Tough Mudder” run. We later went to Angelique’s house to watch Harry Potter 6 and talk about horcruxes and cool stuff like that. Yes, we are HP nerds and darn proud of it!!
It was so amazingly picturesque!
I am thankful that we did not have the pleasure of coming across any rattlesnakes. Although, there was a lady who was walking three dogs, and there was one who was unleashed and the poor thing got bit by a snake. The little dog was carried back to the parking lot by a cyclist, with the lady and her dogs running closely behind. We later found out that the dog was doing okay, so it looks like the snake wasn’t poisonous. Got to be careful of poking around in the bushes!
The next morning, Steph and I went to Huntington Beach, which is basically known as surf city. We had an awesome time watching these surfers cut through the waves. I almost felt motivated to learn surfing myself! Who knows, maybe I will give it a shot this summer.
We had a delicious breakfast at Sugar Shack in Huntington Beach. Above is what is known as a ”Keppler’s.” It’s an english muffin topped with bacon, tomato, avocado, scrambed eggs, and hollandaise sauce. Served with crisp hashbrowns. And I just had to order a pancake on the side. YUM!
And it just keeps getting better! We went kayaking in Newport Beach. I have not stepped into a kayak since I was 11 years old. Steph is a little better, she last went kayaking in high school. We rented a kayak from the Newport Aquatic Center for $20/hour. After the initial confusion on how to get into the kayak, we got the hang of it pretty quickly and cruised around the bay. It was quite a sight! We saw tons of these little birds that were chilling on the muddy banks of the shore. There were 2 kinds: white body with black heads, and black body with white heads. Both had orange-ish colored beaks and chirped like mad. There was a man who paddled by us and explained that the black bodied birds were the youngsters, whose bodies later turned white as they matured. I wonder why their heads turn black…or maybe I am confused and their heads were already black. (Didn’t want to bring the camera and risk getting it wet.) Angelique is the Avian Sciences major here, I should ask her!
On Monday, we had a delicious brunch at Plum Cafe. Above are the spinach and feta cheese omelette and the berry waffle topped with fresh whipped cream. We split both dishes so we could satisfy both our sweet and savory cravings! The food is a little on the pricey side (above $10) but it was pretty much worth it. The omelette was okay, but the waffle was TO DIE FOR!
After some shopping and gallivanting around the OC, we ended the night at The Boiling Crab. Now THIS was a culinary experience to remember! We ordered 1 pound of shrimp each with “shabang” seasoning (cajun + other stuff) and had it served to us in plastic bags. The table was covered with a sheet of white paper while we made a mess of our meal. But that’s the whole concept- eating like animals almost and not caring about the mess you are creating. We only ordered shrimp because we became full very fast, but there is a whole offering of seafood including blue crab, crawfish, and lobster.
I was kind of freaked out that we were served full shrimp with their heads on. Talk about authentic!
I thought I’d end on a sweet note, with an array of cupcakes from Susie Cakes in Newport Beach.
I know I look like a total pig now… but hey, this is a food blog! I had an amazing time in the OC and was glad to catch up with a dear old friend and also meet a new one. Best of luck Steph with your upcoming grad school adventure!