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West Coast Love

by Meghann on April 23, 2009

This morning I was wide awake at 5:00am with no hopes of going back to sleep no matter how much I tossed and turned. Technically it was 8:00am Florida time and I had actually slept in. I gave up trying to sleep and discovered the sun was due to rise at 6:15am. After some e-mail checking I pulled on the running gear then headed out the door.

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I had so many people recommending this the bike path that ran along the beach that I knew I had to give it a try. It felt so great to run along the water, all the anxieties I had about the conference or guilt faded away with each step I took.

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My original intention was to run 5 miles with 2.5 in and back, but before I knew it my Garmin was beeping for 3 miles. I could have and would have gone further if I didn’t have to be showered and ready to meet my co-workers for breakfast at 8:00. I happily completed 6 miles, the run along the beach was in my opinion the perfect way to start the day.

We have become buddy with the concierge the past couple of day, constantly asking for new recommendations for places to eat. This morning she recommended a hole in the wall diner called Long Beach Cafe that was in walking distance of the hotel.

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I was craving lots of fresh fruit with cereal and yogurt, but the menu only had greasy diner offerings. I had my doubts on what to order, I did not want to over do it like the day before. I finally decided to order the Vegetable Omlette. I asked for Egg Whites Only, No Cheese, Fresh Fruit instead of potatoes and Wheat Toast with no Butter.

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I was pleasantly surprised with what I ordered. I ate about 75% of the Omlette which was mostly veggies with little egg white and all of the fruit. I also had one of the slice of Wheat Toast with Strawberry Jam.

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I think my co-workers are starting to find it amusing how I order my food with so many changes. It seriously takes me 5 minutes longer to order then anyone else. lol

My breakfast was very filling and I thought was going to hold me over all day, but after doing plenty of manual labor setting up for our conference my metabolism kicked in high gear and I was in need of a snack around 11:00.

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I had this juicy Pear and it was wonderful.

A lot of our team was arriving today for our registration Welcome Reception this evening, so we had a good crowd for lunch. 8 of us walked around the corner to a fabulous greek restaurant called George’s Greek Cafe.

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It was the cutest restaurant and the owner greeted us all with a great big hug out front.

My supervisor ordered us a plate of Hummus and Olive dip to share. I had one Pita Wedge with a mix of the dips smeared on top.

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I really wanted something as light as possible for lunch. I ordered the Lentil Vegetable Soup combo with a Greek Salad sans Dressing.

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I ate about 75% of this. It was light, refreshing and very tasty! Thankfully I somehow managed to turn down Baklava as well.

The rest of the afternoon was CRAZY with last minute preparations to kick off our conference. Our lap tops arrived late, the hotel had lost reservations for one of our attendees and I had to do a quick minute change before greeting our clients. But once the reception began and our clients started signing in it felt great to see everything fall in place.

Our clients grabbed the nametags I had designed and laid out, took the itenirary I had printed specifically for them, flipped through the packet I had restuffed 3 times to make sure all the correct information was there and were provided with the giveaway bag I had spent months coordinating with a local museum to make sure they went home with a little piece of Long Beach.

It was also nice to finally put a face with a name for alot of clients.

With all the stress I just had to enjoy a glass of wine while monitoring the registration table. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I also managed to snag a couple of appetizers being passed around.

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Unfortunately the reception went much longer then intended and we had not completed our uploads with the lap tops so when I was hoping to be done by 6:00 this evening, it actually ended up being more like 8:00 opppsss. Usually I would not be one to complain, but poor Caroline had arrived to wisk me away for dinner at 6:00 and ended up waiting close to 2 hours on me. SORRY CAROLINE!!! She is such a trooper though and had no complaint when I was finally ready to leave.

We immediately hopped in the car and got to gabbing about life, food and blogs. Technically we had never met before, but it felt like we had known each other for years!

So many people had reccomended Open Sesame while I was in Long Beach so we got a bite to eat there.

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I started with some FABULOUS Hot Morroccan Tea.

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The Mint Leaf really made this drink. I was so fresh and warm. I loved it!!

For my meal I ordered the Vegetarian Combo which included Hummus, Baba Ghannouj, Tabouleh, Grape Leaf and two Faafafel Patties.

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Another great meal. It sounds and looks like a lot, but everything was so light I was able to eat a good amount without feeling stuffed.

Caroline and I had huge plans to explore Trader Joes, which I was really excited about, but they were sadly closed and unwilling to let us inside. Trust me we tried to beg the guy!

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We showed up at 9:03pm. Booo!!! Oh well I am determined to try again later this week. As God as my witness I will explore a Trader’s Joe while I am in So Cal. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We took our sorrows next door and indulged in some Soft Serve at the the Golden Spoon.

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This was another place many had raved about and I was dying to try.

I had a small mix of Cake Batter, Chocolate Mocha, & Peanut Butter with Heath Bar Pieces and Cheesecake Bites on top.

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The small was HUGE!!! Some how I managed to eat close to all of it and I have to stay my belly was full to the point of painful after that. Luckily I digest Ice Cream very quickly and the discomfort didn’t last very long.

We managed to have the girl behind the counter take a picture of us.

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It was so great meeting you Caroline!!!! I can’t wait to meet up again. ๐Ÿ™‚

Even though I didn’t get a full on Trader Joes experience, Caroline had gave me a taste of Trader Joes with a TJ bag full of goodies.

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I am actually listening to the CD as I type, there are some great songs on here. I can’t wait to que up the playlist on my next run.

So yeah I am exhausted now. It has seriously been non-stop since I landed and I know tomorrow is going to be just as crazy! Much love to all my lovelies on the East Coast!

Peace!

1 Pearl April 23, 2009 at 1:29 am

Meghann! Oh my gosh! You visited Golden Spoon – I love their fro yo! ๐Ÿ˜€

and awww Caroline is so sweet! You both looked like you had sooo much fun! I really do hope you get to visit Trader Joe’s!

2 Whitney April 23, 2009 at 1:40 am

UMM…I WORKED AT GOLDEN SPOON! In my hometown, Dana Point, probably 30 miles south of where you are right now. That stuff is good, but don’t even ask what’s in the ingredients…that’s when it starts to get a little scary… Enjoy your time in SoCal (PS If you want to sound like all the cool kids you have to start calling it G-Spoon!!)

3 John April 23, 2009 at 4:56 am

Wait a minute you passed on the Baklava YEA RIGHT ???? And the socks from Trader Joes good one

4 caitlin April 23, 2009 at 5:35 am

yay we miss you too!!

5 Melissa S. April 23, 2009 at 6:03 am

gahhhhh!!! what a day in Long Beach!!!!!

so jealous XO i want to go home now even more!

and yay for golden spoon! BEST PLACE EVER!!!

run at on that beach? i wish i were there i totally would have told you where the secret trails are that freak’n rock. ๐Ÿ˜€

6 Mica April 23, 2009 at 6:09 am

Ahhh, I’m totally jealous of the bike path run! I haven’t seen the ocean in….awhile.

7 diana April 23, 2009 at 6:35 am

I ran along that path during the Long Beach marathon! Looks like you are having a nice time.

8 VeggieGirl April 23, 2009 at 6:37 am

FALAFEL!!

Hooray for meeting dear Caroline!!

9 Victoria April 23, 2009 at 7:26 am

Looks like fun! Ha. Golden Spoon is one thing I definitely miss from SoCal.
http://theidleloaf.wordpress.com

10 rhodeygirl April 23, 2009 at 7:33 am

i don’t know WHERE you find these places with such awesome froyo. lucky lucky lady. i am off to google a fun place like that in philly.

great choices today meghann. you are a great example!

11 Kimberly April 23, 2009 at 7:35 am

I worked at Trader Joe’s for a summer ๐Ÿ˜€ That store is one of the things I miss most about CA!!

Sounds like you are having a BALL out there!

12 Leah April 23, 2009 at 7:46 am

I think it’s great that you got out for a run so early in the morning…

How come you think you over-indulged the other day?
I think you ate just fine imo.

13 inmytummy April 23, 2009 at 7:47 am

Do you have any advice for getting over feeling awkward about making so many requests at a restaurant. I can ask for a substitute side or no cheese or whatever, but for some reason, get really embarrassed to make other requests. Did you find that happened to you when you first started eating healthier?

14 Allison April 23, 2009 at 7:54 am

Sorry you missed TJ’s – but everything else looks like a lot of fun!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

15 meg April 23, 2009 at 8:00 am

A run along the beach is the best way to start the day! Hope you have a good one!

16 megan April 23, 2009 at 8:09 am

i so admire your ability to get up and run even when not at home. I need to get better at that. i tend to dread runs instead of look forward to them, maybe that’s the problem ๐Ÿ™‚

17 brandi April 23, 2009 at 8:24 am

looks like you’re having a good time, even though it’s a work trip ๐Ÿ™‚

hope the conference goes well today!

18 Quinn April 23, 2009 at 8:28 am

Bummer that Trader Joe’s was closed ๐Ÿ™

19 Vani April 23, 2009 at 8:34 am

I’m impressed with your ability to order healthy in front of your coworkers – I always get self-conscious when I try to do that!!

20 Sharon April 23, 2009 at 8:43 am

Oh wow, super yum!!!!!

21 carolinebee April 23, 2009 at 8:44 am

Yay! text me when you’re done today!

22 Sarah April 23, 2009 at 9:07 am

I am so jealous of your meetup with CB. I also can’t believe you ate out 3 times yesterday and got something delish each and every time! You are one lucky chick!

23 Kristin April 23, 2009 at 9:13 am

Oooo I can’t believe you turned down Baklava!! Bust about Trader Joes – I was just in Cali for vacation and hit one up by my hotel every.single.day….love that place!!!!

24 briana April 23, 2009 at 9:19 am

Hi I regularly read your blog and I visit long beach sometimes and there is a really fun place overlooking the water called schooner or later! You should try it it has only breakast and luch but its good!–Briana

25 Jenn (eating bender) April 23, 2009 at 9:38 am

Yay for meeting Caroline! I had the lovely opportunity to do that in March – she is such a sweet and fun person! Too bad you couldn’t get into TJ’s, but I would certainly take Golden Spoon as a consolation prize ๐Ÿ˜‰

26 Sarah April 23, 2009 at 10:03 am

i love golden spoon! yeah their portions are huge but i never seem to have a problem finishing them…
ive never tried pinkberry though.

27 ksgoodeats April 23, 2009 at 10:07 am

Aw you two look cute!! Looks like you’re enjoying your time in CA ๐Ÿ™‚ Sorry about TJs being closed!

28 Matt April 23, 2009 at 10:44 am

Sounds like an awesome trip! Expect for the work part!

29 Hangry Pants April 23, 2009 at 10:47 am

I hope you get to go to Trader Joe’s – it is kind of a fun experience. ๐Ÿ˜€

30 Sara April 23, 2009 at 11:10 am

Wow, great eats!! Looks like you’re having a great trip. ๐Ÿ™‚

31 runsarah April 23, 2009 at 11:22 am

Wow, your meal at Open Sesame looks so good. Glad you had a good day — too bad about TJs.

32 Jordan April 23, 2009 at 11:24 am

every single meal in this whole post looks amazing. i think i need to visit socal.

33 Diana (Soap & Chocolate) April 23, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Open Sesame looks like my dream come true! All my fave. Med. foods on one plate. Glad you had fun in CA!

34 Stephanie April 23, 2009 at 5:55 pm

It has been just hilarious to read about your SoCal adventures – I really identify with the “trials,” particularly taking the longest to order. I drive my family nuts…

But, where you are staying, you are surrounded by fabulous restaurants – enjoy it! My husband and I live on the big hill just north of where you are, and we often “head south” to enjoy a delicious meal. ๐Ÿ™‚

35 lisaheartspizza April 23, 2009 at 6:38 pm

your dining out experiences look amazing! i always get shy about changing my order-but you have inspired me to just ask for what I want. I mean I’m paying for it geez!

36 Graze With Me April 25, 2009 at 9:06 pm

I’ve never been to a Trader Joe’s, I know when I finally go inside one they’ll have to kick me out. I always change my orders in restaurants – every single time. My fiance HATES it!

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