May Fest

This weekend I ventured down to Hanover Park, Pennsylvania with Dave to watch him in his first (grass) volleyball tournament of the summer. Dave played in MayFest with his buddy, Doug, and they absolutely killed it. Not only did I have so much fun learning the different rules of the game (compared to indoor), but I met so many wonderful people in the volleyball community.

Here’s to many more adventures and tournaments this summer. Enjoy the pics!

Post NCAA Bliss

After a night of celebrating the Stevens Duck’s National Championship, Dave and I decided to explore the city on my final day. We had no real plans, but I had some ideas in mind so we started right off the 14th Street Path Station at Chelsea Market. I had taken Dave to the High Line, but he had never been to Chelsea Market before so we walked around before settling on some tacos for lunch. As a self-proclaimed Mexican Food expert (aka Snob), I give these tacos 2 thumbs up (just look at how generous they are with their guacamole servings!

With some food in our bellies to fuel the rest of our adventures, we ventured up to Columbus Circle and then Central Park before heading off to my favorite museum (and the only one I’ve been to), the American Museum of Natural History. As most of you know, I’m not a big art fan, or museums for that matter, but there is something so unique and cool about the Dinosaur and animal exhibits at the AMNH. Personally, I am a huge fan of the T-Rex as you can tell from the selfie below. Between’s Dave’s tired legs and my somewhat broken foot, we decided that we should probably head back, but not before a stop at the one and only Shake Shack! There’s just something about those burgers and custard shakes – what’s the secret?

Unfortunately, my time in New York passed by quicker than you can say “National Championship” and I was back on a plane to San Diego the next day. So many great memories were made that weekend – I’m looking forward to what comes next!

 

NCAA Champions!

On August 30th 2014, I met Dave and that night he told me how he was going to win a national championship. He took my phone and put the NCAA DIII National Championships (April 24-26) in my phone calendar and I promised I’d be there…

Fast forward to January 2015 and I’m sitting at home bored out of my mind, wishing I was back in New York City. I had thought about booking trips to New York to see friends, interview at companies, and pack up my old apartment, but realized that I should just book a surprise visit for the NCAA weekend in April. Despite the fact that it is incredibly difficult to make the NCAA tournament, let alone win it ,in my mind, it was a win-win. I would get to see Dave, be back in the city and get a ton of volleyball in! So I booked my flight for April 23-28, which would later turn out to be a mere 48 hours after my flights for Formal. Truth be told, I wanted this weekend to be a surprise but Dave had an inkling that I’d show up so I told him.

There was electricity flowing through the air when I arrived in Hoboken on the first day of the tournament. Everybody was buzzing about the tournament and looking forward to the Ducks dominating their competition.Stevens faced off against Baruch and won in an easy three set match on Friday afternoon. I stayed for the following quarterfinal to watch the other team, while the boys “scouted” and took notes on their tendencies. On Saturday, the team took on a rambunctious SUNY New Paltz team (and crowd) in 5 sets and advanced to the national championship game against Springfield! I felt like I was holding my breath the entire match and was so relieved to see them pull of the win. Phebe and I woke up early on Sunday morning to make signs for the team (see below) and got the arena early to secure front row seats! I can’t even begin to describe the atmosphere – I felt like I was at a professional sporting event with the jam-packed bleachers and chants flowing back and forth between the opposing sides of the gym. The boys pulled off a three set win against the Springfield Pride – they made winning look so easy!

That weekend Dave was also announced as the 2014-2015 National Player of the Year and First Team All-American among many other academic and athletic accolades. Huge congratulations to Dave and the rest of his team on a fantastic year! I’m excited to see what comes next.

 

White Rose

What a weekend it’s been! I returned to San Diego on Monday for a few days (48 hours to be exact) before I jet set back to the East Coast on Thursday. Call me crazy, but I’ll tell you I’m having the time of my life living bi-coastally.

I am currently recovering from an amazing weekend spent at Dave’s fraternity formal in New Jersey.  In March, I was  invited to Sigma Nu’s White Rose Formal – this formal not only celebrated the chapter and its accomplishments but also the 115th Anniversary of the founding of the fraternity. It was a very big deal and was hosted at a beautiful resort in the mountains.

I flew out of San Diego on Thursday morning and stayed with Phebe for our typical girl’s night in the city. The first thing we did after dropping off my luggage, was grab a slice of dollar pizza. I hadn’t eaten all day and since she had yet to find shoes for formal, I knew that I needed some fuel before embarking on one of our shopping adventures. We rushed to Macy’s and couldn’t find anything, but we ended finding some cute white heels with studs around the ankles at Aldo.

The following morning, I had an interview uptown and was also able to meet up with my old bosses, which was great . I was very fortunate I had the free time to squeeze in the interview and see everybody! Later that day, Phebe and I headed to Hoboken with all of our gear ready for formal weekend. We got to the house before the boys were done with practice, so we dropped off our bags and beelined straight to the store to grab some snacks to fill up the cooler for the weekend. A cooler, you ask? Yes, you read that right. Right after Dave asked me to formal,  I came to learn that it is a fraternity tradition for a girl to decorate and fill a cooler for her date to show her appreciation. Most people know that I have close to ZERO experience or skill with a paintbrush, but I was determined to decorate it to the best of my abilities with some of his favorite things (Volleyball, Beaches, The Chargers and Bills)  and surprise him with it.  Even though I struggled tremendously with the artistic aspect of decorating the cooler, I would like to believe I excelled in filling it with goodies, transporting it 3000 miles across country, and answering a million questions from other curious flight passengers. I’m in the process of making a time-lapse video and  blog of how one should go about making a cooler – I’ll upload that as soon as I finish it!  After the boys were done with practice, Dave and I went out to 1 Republik for dinner and later to Tally Ho to play some Jenga with one of his friends. It is weird to think that it had been nearly two months since we had last seen each other, but we picked things up right where we left off.

On Saturday morning we got up relatively early to head to the resort so we could make our tee time at noon. We carpooled with one of Dave’s fraternity brothers, Chris, and his girlfriend Lexi, who also happened to be our golf partners for the day. We arrived at Mineral Springs about 20 minutes before our tee time so we headed right to the club house instead of check in. To be honest, I was pretty worried about my golf game (or lack thereof), but I was assured that we would be playing best ball and it would be fun. Much to my surprise, we had A BLAST on the golf course playing the first nine holes. By the end of the round, we had a little less than two hours until we had to be on the buses headed to the formal venue. One quick cat nap later, we started to get ready and hopped on the bus. This was my first formal fraternity function, and I was beyond impressed with everything! I loved seeing the guys and their dates dressed up and looking dapper in suits, learning about the tradition, and meeting current and former brothers of the fraternity. In addition, the Gamma Delta chapter (Steven’s)  was awarded the Rock Chapter Award  for excellence in pretty much all that they do. Congrats guys! Overall, the weekend was magical – we had perfect weather and danced the night away – a perfect ending to say the least!

Sunday morning, I returned with Phebe to the city, while the boys practiced. I decided to meet up with my former roommate Erin in the park after grabbing bagels from Tompkins Square Bagels – it had been months since we had caught up. After the boys finished practice, I headed back to Hoboken to meet up with Dave and grab some dinner. As some of you know, I LOVE trying new restaurants, so Dave took me to this great hole in the wall called Tony Baloney’s . I’m not the biggest sandwich fan, but between Vito’s and Tony’s, I think I’ve changed my mind. I ordered the Kaka Sub, while Dave munched on the Revel Boy and split the Shitfaced fries (absolutely delicious). Tony’s is one of my new favorite restaurants and definitely recommend trying it!

I headed back to the airport on Monday afternoon, but unfortunately my flight was delayed nearly four hours and I didn’t get home until past midnight. On a positive note, the flight attendant that I bonded with over the cooler (on the original the trip over), sat next to me before boarding and asked about my weekend!

I had a great weekend at formal and can’t wait for this upcoming weekend, where I’ll be catching Dave and his team, the #1 ranked Steven’s Volleyball team host and compete in the NCAA Championships.

 

 

Phebe Comes to Visit

The saddest thing about graduating, perhaps, is the loss of all the holidays and breaks. I really enjoy planning trips and traveling, so this “lost” time really hit hard. Everything really came “crashing down” (excuse my melodramatic candor) when my Instagram and Facebook feeds quickly transformed into a mecca for bikini-clad girlfriends and #nofilter beach sunsets the first week of March. Luckily for me, I have one of the best friends in the entire world who decided to spend part of her Spring Break in beautiful Southern California for a week of shenanigans. It had a been a little less than a month since I had seen Phebe, but it felt like eternity.

Sushi Paradise

Sushi Paradise

Phebe arrived last Tuesday night after a whole day of traveling (4 airports, 3 flights, 2 layovers, in 1 Day)  and in typical Meg and Phebe fashion, we headed straight to a sushi bar in North Park, but not after wandering around for a bit to stretch out the legs and get some fresh air. After chowing down on some delicious California, Tempura, and Spicy Tuna Rolls at North Park Sushi and Grill, we headed back to Scripps Ranch to say hit to my parents and get ready for bed.

Pheb in La Jolla

Pheb in La Jolla

 

 

 

 

The next day was a pretty lazy day after November Project in the morning, but we headed down to La Jolla to get some shoes for Phebe’s meeting  and went to La Jolla to see the seals at the Children’s Pool and explore the area. We stumbled upon this amazing bakery/café and definitely  recommend it for lunch if you’re in the area – Girard Gourmet. Phebe got the Chicken Curry Sandwich on Eight Grain Bread and I got the Pear Cambozola w/ Glazed Pecans & Strawberries and substituted the dressing  for Balsamic Vinaigrette. That night, my Mom made a delicious Salmon dinner for us and we got to ride in our friend’s Tesla which was pretty cool!

On Thursday, we ventured up to the city of Angels for Pheb’s business meeting. Afterwards, we walked around the shops in Beverly Hills and ate lunch at my favorite restaurant, Urth Caffe. Phebe had this beautiful fruit plate (judge for yourself) and I indulged myself in their Caesar Salad (typical!). We wanted to beat the bad traffic so we headed south to the beaches in Manhattan and decided to get an easy 4 miles in before laying on the beach for a few hours. Heading home, we eventually got stuck in traffic, but it was well worth our boondoggle up to LA. I also decided that if I were to ever move to Los Angeles, I would love to live near the beaches. Meg in Manhattan Beach, anybody?

After a long and exhausting day in LA, we decided to stay in San Diego for the next few days. On Friday we headed to my favorite part of SD, Coronado (also known as Crown Town). We drove down and parked North West of the Del and spent the day on the beach. After braving the elements (we kept getting whipped in the face with sand by the wind), we got hungry and decided to head to my FAVORITE place – Miguels Cocina. Lucky for us, Happy Hour started at 3 so we indulged on some chips, guac and white jalapeño sauce (my absolute favorite thing there) before ordering our margaritas and entrees. That night, we were invited to see an old friend that had recently returned from Memphis, TN for a quick trip. As we made our way up to Bay View Park, we realized that we didn’t have any costumes for St. Patrick’s Day, so we stopped at Buffalo’s Breath, the oldest and COOLEST costume warehouse, where we found tutus and matching gold sequin bras (yes, you read that correctly).

My three favorite holidays (in order) are: The Fourth of July (I LOVE AMERICA), St. Paddy’s Day, and Cinco de Mayo. That being said, I love to celebrate all three holidays to the fullest, which made Saturday a day to remember. After a few miles in the morning by the house, Pheb and I got decked out in all green and gold for a day of partying with our friends from TN. We started at our friend’s house in Pt. Loma for some early morning shenanigans before heading to Balboa Park for the St. Patrick’s Day Festival. We danced, got on stage (fine, that was just me) and made my Irish ancestors proud before heading back to Pt. Loma for some food, then back to the house for some pizza and a movie (Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion).

Sunday was a recovery day for the both of us and we headed back to the beach in Coronado, this time at the Amphibious Base for some more R&R after we bike and lifted for a quick workout. We were planning on going on the boat, but unfortunately, our hot water heater broke so we opted to get out of my parent’s way and head to Nado. Following our beach adventures, we stopped at our favorite coffee spot and grabbed some cool drinks at Coffee Cart (aka Madrid Cafe) before heading up to Del Mar for the sunset. I love watching the sunset at the cliffs in Del Mar and walking the railroad tracks afterwards and knew that Phebe would love it as well!

Phebe’s flight to San Francisco was on Monday afternoon out of Long Beach, so we quickly headed out of the house on Monday morning to Pacific Beach to walk around and catch some more rays!  After a few hours walking the beach, we got in the car and headed up to Long Beach before we said our goodbyes. Thankfully I’ll be seeing Phebe in a month back in New York.

Watching the Sunset in Del Mar

Thank you Phebe for sharing your Spring Break with me down in San Diego, I hope you had as great of a time as I did! Love you.

Wait, I just RAN a half marathon?

The end of my college athletic career was one of the most difficult transitions that I’ve had to go through, and to be honest,  it was really challenging to plan for (along with the transition into the “real world”). I no longer have coaches telling me what to do or where to be;  there are no more teammates to count on in moments of weakness or for congratulatory high fives in times of success; there are no more fitness tests to pass or mandatory conditioning sessions to attend. The biggest change to date, is that now there is nobody holding me accountable for what I do (or choose not to do).

After I returned to San Diego in late December, I quickly thrust myself into as many running and fitness groups as possible, in an effort to regain that lost sense of camaraderie that I had once shared with my 31 other teammates. My week quickly began to fill up: Monday and Wednesday mornings were spent at November Project, Wednesday nights I found myself at Milestone for run club, the weekends kicked off with Friday After Work run group, followed by a combo of yoga and running at bRUNch club on Saturday, while Sundays I alternated between long runs and Glider Port Stairs at Torrey Pines. I threw down #VERBALS for almost all the workouts, which meant that I had to show up or face public social media humiliation (aka getting called out for not showing up). I became part of a bigger fitness movement in San Diego, November Project, and  was no longer just another individual running a route through another neighborhood; It felt good to be part of a “team” again.

In January, I attended every single workout possible and felt stronger than ever. I used to resent running because A) I am not very fast and B) it was commonly used as a punishment for not being fast enough . Now that I was running for myself and had no “times” to meet other than my own personal goals, I finally began to find my stride, both literally and figuratively. Running was FUN, Burpees were celebrated, and I started to “eat hills for breakfast”. Who woulda thought?

As the runs became easier and the mileage began to pick up (meaning I ran over three miles), a couple of people at November Project began talking about the San Diego Half Marathon in March. Before I knew what I was getting myself into, I was signed up and dropped my #VERBAL, even though I had no idea what I was doing. Thankfully I was able to coerce my fitness loving mother and NP superstar into running it with me so I had some sort of guidance throughout the next seven weeks.

My training plan originally called for increasing my mileage from my four mile max to pounding out eight miles the first weekend. I quickly threw that plan away (and all my hopes for running a half) and began to follow my Mom’s more carefully structured plan which included lower mileage until weeks 5-7, in which we would increase slowly to ten miles the week before the race.

Flash forward seven weeks and I’m toeing the start line for the San Diego Half Marathon, a surge of nervous energy fueling my empty, nauseous stomach. I woke up on Sunday at 4:30, sick to my stomach, unable to get anything down; by the start of the race I had been able to eat two orange slices: things were not looking good to start. Nearly two hours later and we’re downtown at Petco Park to check our bags and get ready. We immediately found some fellow NP (November Project) runners and huddled together to keep warm in true NPSD fashion #weatherspoof. At 7:20 the first wave took off and we began on our beautiful journey through San Diego, around the airport and Marine Depot, up Washington (the dreaded hill), through Hill Crest, and finally down Sixth Avenue until we turned towards the finishers chute on Fifth.

Two hours, ten minutes and forty seconds later, I finished. Three seconds later Ang came crashing into me at the finish line.

Three months ago I would of laughed at you if you told I was going to run a half marathon, let alone anything more than five miles. Now I find myself laughing, looking back at the fun I have on runs with my new “team”. Thank you to all those who pushed me both physically and mentally the last two months (including my Mom) – you continue to be a much needed daily source of inspiration.

11021381_10202686871813555_6061683717831884346_o

MY NPSD Team

IMG_8760

Like Mother, Like Daughter

IMG_8761

Meg: Focused; Ang: Fun

IMG_8727

Race Day Prep

Processed with Moldiv

Bib: Check

IMG_8710

Training Partners

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 10.35.28 AM

What’s good San Diego?

A lot of people have been asking me about what I’ve been up to since returning to California in December.  Instead of boring you with a wordy recap of the past three months, here’s a quick gallery with some highlights including new favorite restaurants, bars, workout partners, and fun memories.

Surprise!

If somebody were to ask what the three most important things about me are they’d be (in no order of importance): 1. I love to workout   2. My friends and family are the most important thing in my life and 3. I LOVE surprises, both being surprised and surprising other people.

Long story short, I bought myself a plane ticket to NY to surprise my old roommate, Erin, for her birthday, celebrate Galentines Day with Phebe, and see Dave play some volleyball. It was a whirlwind of trip, but a much-needed trip back to frigid temperatures to see my closest friends.

Here’s some  quick highlights of my long weekend in the city that never sleeps:

Saturday: landed at JFK and headed straight to Phebe’s in the East Village.  After indulging ourselves with See’s Candies, we headed over to my old apartment to surprise Erin. SURPRISE Erin! Cue lots of hugs and “Is this real life?”  a la David After Dentist. Head back to Phebe’s place and get ready to go to Hair of the Dog on the LES.

Sunday: Wake up and engage in our old “habits”. We head to Coles to workout and watch the men’s basketball game, then I head to Hoboken see Dave.

Monday: Brunch with Erin at Cafe Gitane followed by a workout at Coles with Phebe. Cafe Gitane is a cute French Moroccan place that is most known for its Avocado Toast. It is absolutely divine – a must try on my list.

Tuesday: Erin’s Birthday!  Lunch with my former marketing professor, Ted Philipakos, at local Greek restaurant, Ovelia,  in Queens to catch up.

Wednesday: Head to Hoboken to hang with Dave. Grab lunch at my favorite Italian Deli, Vito’s (I ordered the Vito). Watch Dave and the rest of his team destroy SUNY New Paltz in three straight sets with Phebe.

Thursday: Breakfast with Phebe and Etan at Hoboken Gourmet Company. Head back to California. Cue tears and nostalgia.

 

It was a quick trip, but I’m so glad I was able to see my friends and surprise Erin! Hopefully I’ll be back before graduation!

Twenty-Two

Who would have thought that turning 22 would be tough? (Well tougher than I thought it would be anyways.)  Throughout the day, I kept thinking to myself, “I can’t believe I’m actually twenty-freaking-two. What the heck am I doing with my life?” With every “Happy Birthday” hug and text, I kept wishing I could turn back to 21. As an extremely goal oriented and competitive person, I set numerous (and sometimes lofty) goals for myself and when I don’t reach them I tend to get pretty frustrated. Seeing as I didn’t reach my goal of landing my dream job by graduation (then later postponed to my 22nd birthday), I was pretty disappointed with myself.

In retrospect, I have realized that what tends to mess me up the most in life, is the image in my head of how everything is supposed to be. In my head, I thought turning 22 meant I had my life in order (ha!) and I would be celebrating with my friends back in NY. My 22nd birthday, however, was spent with 75 new friends doing a very physically demanding stair workout at November Project, followed by a trip to Donut Bar and then later a run club with some other new acquaintances. It may not have been “perfect” by my consideration, but it did teach me that I can’t keep expecting to have everything worked out – I need to let things go and enjoy the ride while it lasts.

Now that the dust has settled and I’ve found my footing, I’m set on making 22 the best year yet. I literally have the whole world in front of me and not a single thing to tie me down, which is both daunting and incredibly exhilarating at the same time. So here’s to another year of fun, family, friends, fitness, and of course tons of Megventures.

Processed with Moldiv IMG_8297 IMG_8292

Hate to say it, but T-Swift had it right, “We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely in the best way.”