Fourth Annual Roadtrip to Los Angeles, In Numbers

"Going off on one of those random end-of-quarter adventures again?" A friend passing by on a bike shouted as he observed the little topsy-turvy mountain of crap spilled around the car.

"Thought it was about time!"

For four years now, Cassandra and I have made a tradition out of skipping town when everyone else begins to hunker down for Dead Week and finals. A mental health break, if you will. Our destination is more often than not sunny Los Angeles and Orange County, and the goal really is to eat, eat, and eat some more. Stress-eating calories never count though, right?

Leah joined us this year, oh what a brave soul. It was such a fun getaway – very mellow, quick, and just the reprieve we needed before all the end-of-year crazy truly begins.

I thought I'd recap this business in numbers, or else the word count of this post might be somewhere in the range of 6,000 to 6,000,000. Ready?
Bags we packed for three nights: enough to survive three months.
Hours it took to get to LA: 8.
Hours it usually takes to get to LA: 6.
Total fast food joints visited: 4? Are we counting Starbucks? 5?
New restaurants tried: 2. Sugarfish, the life-changer, and Sycamore Kitchen, which I've been dying to try since my roommate ran into Tom Felton there last summer. 
Number of times I moaned semi-inappropriately while fighting Leah for bites of the pork belly hash and the warm ricotta blueberry blintzes: Leah'd probably say - enough to have made it uncomfortable.
Minutes I stared at people trying to determine if they were famous: uh. 5 minutes? Each?
Magnolia Bakery's banana pudding was shared between: 3 people animals. 
Couch aka bed was shared between: 3 people, and a crazy dog.
Time it took to find a parking spot: 20 minutes too long.
Hours spent shopping at The Grove: I think 4. I'm also very broke now.
Number of jumping pictures we took: 80.
Celebrities we saw: 1.5 – there was the main actor from Awkward (SO tall, dark, and handsome, and probably the bearer of important Season 6 information that I desperately wanted to ask him about) and his girlfriend who was a SYTYCD winner. OK, and so I miiiiiight have run into Tom Hanks yesterday, but ... wait for that story. 
Temperature: low 70's. Hot in LA, overcast in OC.
Cool new-to-me places discovered via Cassandra and her friends: A handful. The cutest little travel bookstore. Whimsic Alley – Harry Potter, I'll find you wherever I go! It's a must-visit if you are a part of any big fandom. (Thank you Annie for taking me.) Amoeba Records. Groundworks Coffee.
Number of times I asked if we could go to Disneyland: 14.
Time I spent crying: 20 minutes in the car when I requested sentimental music because "I wanted a mental movie montage as we drive by the LA skyline and as I reflect on life." Then Cassandra started crying too and held my hand. And then Leah really wanted to smack us.
Hours spent reuniting with some really awesome people in our lives – from Cassandra's home friends to old coaches to new friends to neighbors, she really knows how to gather a good crowd: not enough. 
Amount of food I ate at our Memorial Day BBQ: I don't wanna say. But there was a lotttttt of chips and dip, bratwurst and mustard, tri tip, and so much more and CLEARLY I WAS HUNGRY.
Days I've waited to have the sweet barbacoa salad at Cafe Rio again: 365. 
Days I've waited to have Bowl of Heaven acai bowls again: 365.
Toes I dipped into the hot tub: 10, but I wish I had more.
Chocolate chips and marshmallows I stuffed into my banana boat: infinite.
Times I opened my computer at all over the weekend: 0.
Times we uttered "but how has it been four years": enough to make your ears bleed.
Volume level of our Pictionary game: likely illegal. 
Hours it took to get back home: 10.
Hours it's supposed to take to get back home: 7 at most.
Pages of a reading assignment we read out loud, audio-book style, because we had to write an essay about it due at midnight which was only two hours away: 24. 
The number of times we were close to killing each other: um, I'd say around nine or ten times total? Which is actually a pretty solid record, so go us.
How many years I think this tradition should continue: does 70 sound good? 


Sugarfish Los Angeles: The Best Sushi Of All

If I had a quarter for every sushi-loving blogger out there, do you think I'd have enough change to fund my first month's rent post-college? For an apartment in San Francisco that's slightly larger than a postage stamp and not smack dab in the center of a seedy neighborhood? Just about?

Confession - I'm absolutely one of those sushi addict #basicgirls out there, and this weekend I've officially found my drug of choice. My sister's been telling me about her favorite sushi place for a couple of years, and on top of that, Sugarfish is all over the blogosphere as well... so obviously, it was a must for the next time I visited LA.

Which was this weekend. (Obnoxious getaway post coming straight up!)
The pained look of a blogger who knows to smile for Instagram, but really just wants to stuff her face.

Life. Changed.

Important PSA: for any self-proclaimed sushi fan out there, PLEASE eat at Sugarfish and then rush-deliver some to me as well. It's nothing but simplified fare: warm, creamy, just-sticky-enough rice and sauces with a slight tang, and fresh-outta-the-water, melt-in-your-mouth fish. Nothin' but that. They recommend picking out of three set menus, all appropriately named "Trust Me" of some sort - and seriously, after our meal, I was straight up most definitely down to trust fall with the sushi chef any ol' day. So good. So, so, soooo good. AND it's only $25 for a Trust Me lunch, which is PENNIES compared to the only sushi that's ever come close – when my sister took me to Nobu for my birthday, which beats this incrementally because Beyonce's a regular, and so I fool myself into thinking that maybe just MAYBE my behind touched the same chair that her behind did. One can hope.
PS. Think I'm a good traveling buddy?

We asked Leah, "hey is there anything you don't like to eat?" before making an itinerary for this trip. She said, "yes. Fish." I eyed her, thought about it, and then asked for a Sugarfish booking anyway.

Think I'm a good traveling buddy? THINK AGAIN.


10 Happy Things

Here I was on Wednesday yammering on and on, waxing poetic about the "happy lists" from the blogger days of yore. They're always so positive and uplifting, so very "I didn't just survive this week, I lived this week" – akin to a Lululemon shopping bag, don't ya think? The only blogger I know who does these consistently now is Cider With Rosie - such a cheerful Friday read every week! 

My Happy Ten of the week ––

// Squatting... okay, "squatting," at a vacant apartment, the three of us squeezing like sardines onto an air mattress, with eight blankets piled up high after our butts got too sore from sitting on nothing but wood floors for too long, eating chips and queso and fries with Date Night playing in the background. "Is this what our future looks like?" we wondered, gazing around the empty, echo-y room.
// Racing from SF to Mountain View to make it to Pitch Perfect 2. Made it with two minutes to spare, and that was after buying an ICEE and sour candy! Was Anna Kendrick worth potentially getting a speeding ticket? Noo...maybe...YES. But of course.

// A lovely dinner with my two awesome internship supervisors at this delightful little French restaurant, where I had a whole friggin' pile of mussels (yum) and a hefty stack of french fries (hahaha because FRENCH GET IT).

// Playing Head's Up for houuuurrrrrrrs with my friends. Way into the early morning hours, with mimosas to help us along. Our favorite decks? Celebrities. Movies. Accents.
// Creating a joint Neopets account with three of my friends and playing our favorite games from our childhood for hoooouuuurrrrs. Our favorites? Meerca Chase, Extreme Herder, Cheat, Pterattack, Bullseye. And you bet your bottom Neopoint we went to the Plateau to get our free omelette. Also, it doesn't sound like it, but sometimes my friends and I get around to doing productive things... or maybe actually we really don't.

// Brunching in the rain.

// Tuscan lunch this week. Our chef prepares us meats and cheeses and quiche and Caprese salad and spinach phyllo pastries and lentil soup and Farewell Felicia I'm going to go dig me up some leftovers.
// "I have a surprise for you," Leah whisper-yelled when I came home the other evening. She dragged me upstairs, opened the door, and my jaw dropped. She and Cassandra deep-cleaned our whole room (made my bed even, those little angels!) (Leah doesn't even live with us. Yet she cleaned our room. Let that marinate for a moment). Pig sty no more!

// As we waited for our food in the Taco Bell Drive Thru, someone yelled our names and thus we realized our friend's car was in line behind us. Turns out midnight Taco Bell runs are the office water cooler stations of college.

// Today marks the day that Cassandra and I leave for our annual roadtrip down to LA for the long weekend. This year, Leah's joining us as well. Please check my Instagram and Twitter periodically to make sure we haven't all killed each other somewhere along the way. Gracias.

Do you know of any bloggers who do happy lists still? Pass 'em along!

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