travel adventures: anaheim, california

Last week I had to go to Anaheim for a trade show. My company had a booth to exhibit our products. It was nice because I didn’t have to get on a flight or change time zones. But there are better places to go than Anaheim, and I didn’t even get a chance to go to Disneyland! It was an hour drive, and traffic was fairly light. It was a beautiful day…

yes, i'm driving!

I stayed at the Sheraton Park Hotel, right near the convention center. I am a Starwood Gold level member and I was crossing my fingers for an upgrade. And I scored! Not just the preferred guest floor, but the…

Score!

There is a Club Lounge on the floor, which had continental breakfast and cocktail hour. I thought that since I was on the Club level, I had access to the lounge. Sadly I did not, but I still squirreled my way into one breakfast. One lady was coming out, as I was putting my key in. At that time I didn’t know I didn’t have access. Apparantly only Platinum level members get access, or I can use my points for access. Oh well, at least I enjoyed one free meal :). I did get some other “free” meals at the conference, there was an opening night reception, which was nice, and then lunches in the exhibit hall on the other days.

The Sheraton did not disappoint. On check-in, they gave us a $25 gift card to use at any of the on-site restaurants or bars. My co-worker and I put those to good use! Then my upgraded room was really nice. It was probably the same size as the other guest rooms, but just positioned a bit differently. They were able to a full size sofa in my room!

club level room with king bed and full sofa!

my tiny balcony

About 3/4 of the rooms have regular balconies, enough room for 2 chairs. Unfortunately, did not get one of those, mine was tiny! Guess it was a good thing I didn’t spend a lot of time in the room. Being on the 14th floor, I had amazing views…

the view

the mountains in the distance

the crystal cathedral is in the middle of this pic

only the hilton stood between the Sheraton and the convention center

overlooking the pool bar, yummy mojitos!

look at that glistening pool, so inviting

the money shot...palm trees and water

full moon

If I had a room on the other side of the hotel, I would have seen this…

California Screamin' Roller Coaster at Cal. Adv.

Tower of Terror (Cal Adv), Space Mountain, and the Matterhorn (Disneyland)

My co-worker had to leave, so I had dinner by myself one night. I went to Overland Stage restaurant, sat at the bar, and had a very yummy halibut dish. It had crispy crab on top, asparagus with hollendaise, the halibut, all on top of mashed potatoes. Oh it was so good. I also had a couple of glasses of wine, a ceasar salad, and some chips and salsa. I so wanted dessert, but I was good and didn’t have it. So, that’s about it for Anaheim.

I made my way to my sister’s to spend some time with her, go to my nephew’s baseball game, and pick up the dog. It was really hot on the drive inland…

wowza!

Little did I know, that my car would register 107 degrees two days later near the coast!

Two final parting shots from the road…

driving

just gorgeous

Anaheim gets 2 thumbs up!

i watch too much teevee!

So that I can pretend that I’m doing something productive while I watch all these shows, here’s my list of hits and misses from the new fall season:

Hits

  • NCIS: Los Angeles: Chris O’Donnell & LL Cool J, need I say more?! Plus a good storyline, and 2 new episodes in one night!
  • Criminal Minds: So good, and tying up from the season finale. That Prince of Darkness was so scary looking! Love the cast ensemble and Shemar Moore.
  • The Middle: It may be that I grew up in Indiana, but I have laughed out loud so many times while watching this show.
  • How I Met Your Mother: Love it! Ted’s my favorite.
  • Castle: Seriously Castle, stop getting into these situations where you’re suspected of murder! Hoping that Castle and Beckett get together this season, although the show would pretty much be over if they did!
  • Life Unexpected: I can’t believe I made this a hit, but it is. I love the characters and the struggles that they are going through.
  • Parenthood: I didn’t originally like this show, but I love it now. So entertaining and real, love the sibling interactions.
  • 30 Rock: love Liz Lemon and her dating life. Matt Damon was hilarious!
  • Hawaii 5-0: Alex O’Laughlin, so nice on the eyes. Loved the premiere, can’t wait to see what the season brings. And the scenery is pretty darn nice. Kind of reminds me of NCIS: LA, definitely action packed
  • Undercovers: I really liked this show. Kind of Chuck meets Alias.
  • Brothers & Sisters: Can’t go wrong with this one! Sarah’s boytoy’s advert in undies, wowza!
  • Desperate Housewives: I thought this premier was much better than year’s past. Vanessa Williams is gonna be fun to watch. And the Paul Young storyline will have me keep on watching.

I’ve always DVR’d them, why stop now?

  • Grey’s Anatomy: I’m glad Sheppard stepped down as Chief, Webber is much better in that role. Sheppard just needed to get back to what he does bes, and not manage the hospital. Meredith still bugs me.
  • Private Practice: Violet really bugs me, but I love that Addison & Sam are together
  • Gossip Girl: 2 episodes in, and well it’s just a guilty pleasure.
  • Cougar Town: Not impressed with the opener, in fact I was rather annoyed. Jen Aniston was a terrible character/ storyline.
  • 90210: Was hooked on the original, so why not this one. Terrible acting and story lines, but I can’t help but watch, it really is mindless tv.
  • Modern Family: I know everyone loves this show and thinks its so funny, well, to me it’s just ok. At least the season premiere was.
  • Chuck: Usually a hit with me, but I didn’t really like the season opener.
  • One Tree Hill: Robert Buckly is just too hot to not watch, but it is some pretty terrible acting and storylines.
  • The Biggest Loser: I’m a bit conflicted, i love the show, but didn’t really like the season premiere. I like seeing the first episode of them already at the ranch. But I also liked how they competed to get to the ranch. We’ll see, I’m sure it will be a great season.

Keep on DVR’ing, but not high priorities:

  • Hellcats: I always wanted to be a cheerleader…
  • The Vampire Diaries: I did not like the season opener, but the 2nd episode was much better, so I’ll keep on recording
  • Glee: Everyone else is watching, so I guess I should to. I don’t really understand the appeal of this show. I’d rather hear the actual singers doing the singing!
  • The Apprentice: I like that they went back to the non-celebrity version, but these are grown adults, bickering like the Real World castmates do!
  • Real Housewives of DC: I cannot stand the Salahi’s! And I don’t like Cat and her fighting with Stacie’s friend. Ugh, I just don’t know why I keep watching this show. I still only like the RH of OC.

Jury’s Still Out

  • The Event: It was hard to follow at first, but by the end of the hour, things got interesting, and I’m so looking forward to next week.
  • Mike & Molly: Sookie from the Gilmore Girls stars, love her! There were some good one-liners, and the lead couple are much more relate able to life than the skinny minnies most have starring. Looking forward to seeing if there are more funny moments!
  • Running Wilde: It was interesting, and I like Keri Russell. it gets a second chance
  • Better With You: Not really sure if I liked it or not, the 2nd episode will be a better gauge
  • My Generation: I had high hopes for this one, but it fell flat, very flat. It will be interesting to see if this pseudo-documentary can continue with a decent storyline.
  • Outsourced: I don’t know about this one.
  • Outlaw: I’m intrigued, 1st episode was good, and I’m halfway through the 2nd, which is just ok. We’ll see how it goes.
  • Undercover Boss: I liked last season, but didn’t really like the season premiere. It may just depend on the company they are profiling if I watch or not.

Such high hopes, but I just had to delete these series from my DVR

  • $h!t My Dad Says: I couldn’t even finish watching this show, it didn’t engage me from the beginning
  • Raising Hope: Just a terrible show
  • Nikita: I just couldn’t keep up with all the flashbacks in the premiere. Definitely not interested!

I still have a ton more season and series premieres to watch, so stay tuned…

travel adventures~ft. wayne/warsaw, indiana

Downtown Warsaw

Downtown Warsaw

I debated posting this as one of my travel adventures, since I was there for only about 24 hours, but…

Right before the 4th of July, I headed to Warsaw, Indiana for a job interview. I know, who in their right mind would want to move from San Diego to Warsaw, Indiana? Me, that’s right. You see, I grew up about an hour from Warsaw, in the booming metropolis of Ft. Wayne, and I was sort of wanting to get back to the Midwest way of living. (Yes, I bought a copy of Midwest Living while I was there!) I like California, but I have been craving a big change, and returning to a place of comfort sounded like a good idea to me. Plus the job paid really well, and was similar to what I was already doing. When I say it paid really well, I mean I could live like a princess, I could pay off my debts, including student loans, with the extra amount that I would make, plus the lower cost of living. I so wanted the job, but after I interviewed, the only real reason why I would take the job was for the money. And while money is nice, I really want to like my job and the company, and the more I thought about it, the more I didn’t think that company was for me. I didn’t get the job, but if I did, I probably would be writing this from Indiana, and would be miserable. I just didn’t get a good feeling after I reflected on the people I interviewed with. I did feel really good about how I did in the interview, so I was proud of that, even though I didn’t get it. I did the best that I could, and I hadn’t felt like that, like I had given it my all, in a long while.

Sorry, I digressed. This is a travel post! So I got to fly into Ft. Wayne International Airport (I always knew it as Baer Field!), which I never realized was so small! There are only 10 gates. And, there is an elderly man waiting outside the boarding area handing out cookies! I’m dead serious. He said, “Hi, welcome to Ft. Wayne!” I felt like I was home again. Gotta love that Midwest hospitality! My trip started out wonderfully!

Thanks to Facebook, I was able to get in touch with some old friends, and we were able to meet up for dinner. JD and SH met me at Smokey Bone’s. Not my first choice, but I let them decide since I had no idea what was in the area, and I didn’t want them to go out of their way. I had to remember that nothing in Ft. Wayne is really out of the way! (Ok, it really isn’t that small, but going from one side of town to the other is like going from Carlsbad to San Marcos!) I hadn’t seen these girls in 8 or 9 years. We’d been friends since Kindergarten and 1st grade respectively, and have kept in touch on and off (hat tip to FB). It was like time stood still. Catching up on life and reminiscing about high school and summer swim teams and talking about old classmates, coaches, and teammates. I regret that I didn’t get any pictures of all of us, but our time is etched in my mind.

I said goodbye to my friends, and they wished me luck at the interview. I made my way an hour west to Warsaw. I forgot how flat and boring northern Indiana can be! I was thinking, if I live in the Fort, can I really make this drive everyday? (Hmmm, don’t think that I could have.) Then I pull into Warsaw. This is quintessential small town America. I was so excited to be there, just to see how the place had changed, which it really hadn’t. (I spent many a Saturday or Sunday in Warsaw at the local high school at swim meets. It was the only competition pool in northeast Indiana while I was growing up.) I cruise Main St., checking out the furniture and hardware stores and ice cream shop and local bar. Everything was so cute. I could see myself buying a little house down the street and walking to these places. There are also several lakes in the area, and I pictured myself owning a lake house with a boat and enjoying summers there, and inviting the whole family to the lake for summer.

I checked into my hotel, which was in downtown Warsaw. It’s owned and operated by the company I was interviewing with. The company pretty much runs the town (actually the industry it is in, runs the town, as 2 of its competitors are based there). I prepped for the interview and went to bed.

I got up the next morning early enough to take a walk down by the lake and the “city beach.” It was just starting to get humid, and I wasn’t so sure if I moved there, if I could handle it! Oh California weather! I won’t detail anything about the interview, but we did go to this fabulous sushi place in Winona Lake (a very cute town right next to Warsaw, I would have tried to live here!). It was called Cerulean, and was such a bright spot in the area. This place had a serene feel, wood floors, lots of blues. (You can read my review here.) There were some other cute places around, and I wish I could have spent more time, browsing the shops.

So my interview finished and I started the very boring drive back to the Fort. (I did stop by the Dairy Queen in Warsaw, it was still the same one from 15+ years ago that I went to after swim meets.) I had some free time, so I took a peek around some of the newer housing developments on the west side of town, dreaming of the day I could buy a house. Maybe I would buy here, but it just wasn’t meant to be.

So, my very short trip to northeast Indiana ended uneventfully. My flights were on-time, and unfortunately I didn’t have any hot guys sitting next to me on the plane. Maybe one of these days!

I must say that I don’t like these short trips. My body clock was all screwed up, but thank goodness I had the next day off, and then retreated to La Jolla!

week 4: ???

Since I’m doing a blog challenge and weighing in on Fridays, I decided that until that contest is over, I will make my weigh-in day be Friday. There’s no use in me getting on the scale twice a week is there? I’m not sure my scale could handle it ;).

So Friday it is, and I’ll get to post an actual picture of what the scale says, oy vey!

Currently watching: MNF~Saints @ 49ers

last night’s dinner~pesto pizza

I’ve been making this pesto pizza for about a week now! It is nothing special, but it is so good. I had the leftover pesto from the stuffed pork chops, and the only thing I could think to use the rest on was pizza. Instead of tomato sauce I used the pesto.

What I used

  • pita bread (the kind I used was very thin)
  • basil pesto
  • red onion
  • shredded mozzarella
  • shredded Parmesan
  • Pine nuts
  • grape tomatoes (I got these at the Farmer’s Market, they are so good!)
  • red pepper (again from the Farmer’s Market!)

That’s it. I really think the pesto goes the best with veggies, so if I had others, I would have loaded them up on it. But I’m pretty much an onion, red pepper, and tomato lover, so I stuck with those.

the ingredients

going in the oven

the finished product

I took a risk, and ate the pizza on the couch, with the dog licking her chomps to get her mouth on this…

"that pizza is mine"

"i can almost taste it!"

"well, at least I get to lick the plate"

And for dessert I had my very first pluot. Got this at the Farmer’s Market as well. It is a little bit sweet and a little bit sour. It’s supposed to be a cross between a plum and an apricot. I don’t really prefer either fruit, but I really liked this. If you can get it in your area, I highly recommend trying it.

the pluot

i didn't realize there was a "pit" to it. i tried to cut right through it, oops!

nice and juicy, what a great late summer treat

That’s all. I won’t be cooking much this week, I’m heading out of town for work. But I can’t wait to dive into Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution cookbook when I get back!

obesity is a mental state, a disease brought on by boredom and disappointment.

I read this quote today on twitter @trainwithcharli and I can’t stop thinking about it. I truly believe this, that obesity is a state of mind. I have become obese because I am bored and the disappointments that I have been dealt. I want to share these two items within this blog, because I think if I write them out, I might feel better and start to change my mental state.

Boredom: Wow, where do I start with this concept? If I had a nickel for every time I have thought “I am bored” while at work, I’d be one rich woman. I am in a position that is not challenging, and definitely not satisfying. I have my MBA, and half the time I feel like a secretary! I spend a lot of time being bored. So this brings up a lot of negative feelings in me. Like I should be doing something to make it more challenging and not so boring. Or I should be asking for more work. Then I start to feel lazy, then I get depressed, and the cycle just continues. It really lowers the self-esteem, and causes me to seek out something, anything, to pull me out of boredom. Which I guess leads me to eat. I raid a co-workers candy jar, I run to the store to buy peanut butter m and m’s or cookies, or I grab a handful of mints from a co-worker. I never used to be this way, but I have boredom to blame.

Disappointment: Gosh, where do I even begin. Disappointment has reigned over my life for many, many years. Disappointment in myself that I couldn’t sustain a 50lb. weight loss, disappointment in myself that I lack self-confidence, and disappointment in myself for not standing up for myself. And I have the superficial disappointments, like disappointment in my family that they weren’t like the perfect family on TV, that my mom wasn’t the cool one, that my dad annoyed the crap out of me, that my sister didn’t tell me she was pregnant and we hardly ever speak, and the real disappointment that we don’t know how to communicate with each other, which I believe has affected so many of my friendships and relationships. Then there is the disappointments I have faced with friends. I don’t know how many times I have high hopes for a friendship, only for those hopes to be crushed, when a friend flakes out. One of my therapists many years ago told me to stop having high expectations of people. So I lower my expectations, and I still feel disappointed. And realize that these so-called friends are just on the periphery, that I will never develop good friendships because I have lowered my expectations. So here I go setting myself up for disappointment no matter what. I just can’t win.

I’m not trying to blame my disease on others, I just believe that I have put myself in situations that have brought about boredom and disappointment. Both of which lead me to eat and eat and eat. Seriously, my boredom is cured when I eat, at least I’m doing something! And food has never disappointed me! It is that comfort, that knowing that boredom has been erased for a few moments while I wolf down a bag of cookies. And no pint of ice cream has ever disappointed me.

There are obviously so many issues that surround how one gets to be obese, not just boredom and disappointment. But I feel like a small weight has been lifted, and that now I have something to address and find things to replace food for when I am bored and when I am disappointed. It is that small step of recognition that I have found. For one, I know that God will never disappoint, and I must remember that and take comfort in it.

Listening to: American Honey by Lady Antebellum