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Last Day in Long Beach

by Meghann on April 25, 2009

Today was my last full day in Long Beach and I have to say I am completely exhausted and ready to go home. I learned a very important lesson today, traveling for work is not nearly as fun as traveling for pleasure.

I had a later call time this morning, so I took full advantage and hit the running path along the beach for a 5 mile run. I ran around the harbor and had a perfect view of the Queen Mary, too bad I had decided not to bring my camera this morning!

When I returned I showered and headed to breakfast for the conference. I was very tempted by the Cheese & Ham Crossiants and the various muffins and pasteries but stuck with what was the healthiest choice I could get.


My plate was filled with plenty of Fresh Fruit and in the bowl was Non-Fat Plain Yogurt, Granola, Dried Fruit, and I added the box of Unsweetened Mini Wheats to the bowl as well. It was actually a great breakfast and I was really happy with the choices I made from the buffet.

We had three break out sessions scheduled this morning, with plans of ending the conference with a late lunch. Because of the late lunch we served a great snack between sessions.


I was very excited about the Chocolate Covered Strawberries. My absolute favoritest thing ever!!


I definitely indulged with 2 Chocolate Covered Strawberries, but with all the running around I have been doing I deserved to indulge.


Speaking of running around…. I have been on my feet non-stop for the past three days. I guess my body is used to being at a desk and is loving the extra activity. With all the eating out I have to admit I have been scared about pulling on my size 2 pants everyday, but honestly they still fit fine! All the running around has hopefully burned off the extra calories and no doubt has spiked my metabolism.

THe fruit snack may have been good at the time, but was not filling enough to keep hunger at bay until my 2:00 lunch. I needed a little help so around 1:00 I broke in to the TJ Peanut Butter Pretzels. They definitely hit the spot!


Lunch was not one of my proudest moments at the conference.

It started out great with a Cesear Salad with dressing on the side. (I gave the croutons to a hung over co-worker who ate nothing but bread for lunch)


But then when they went to serve the vegetarian option I was presented with a bowl of Spaghetti. Anyone who knows me personally knows I have a certain grudge against spaghetti... honestly in my head its one of the worst dishes ever invented out there.

I was the one who selected the vegetarian menu and knew I had made a point not to select any pasta dishes because I for one hate that when people say vegetarain they automatically assume pasta. I told the waiter there must have been a mistake. I think he could tell I was tired and was willing to help me out. He requested a special meal from the chef on my behalf that had no pasta involved.

In the mean time I ate 2 rolls that went unpictured… they were really good though.

FInally my lunch was served.


Steamed Veggies and Mashed Potatoes! LOL!!! Oh well, atleast I made up for all the veggies I feel like I have been lacking since I have been here. I ate all the veggies and about half of the taters.

The dessert was also something my supervisor and I did not remember ordering.


It was an apple tart of sorts… or atleast that’s what we all guessed. It was not a popular dessert and the majority of the tables were left untouched or just a couple nibbles. For some reason I ended up eating about half. Maybe I was still depressed about my lunch mess up?

The conference officially ended after lunch. Everyone did a great job pulling together and wrapping it up. My supervisor had a 6:00pm flight to catch out of LAX so she left me in charge of final clean up and making sure out lap top rentals were picked up. I was the last person to leave at 3:45pm when we officially relinquished the rooms and my job was done. Woo hoo!

I declined exploring the LA area with co-workers and instead did a little bit of relaxation.


I have been in Long Beach for four days and this was the first oppurtunity I had to wear my swim suit I spent a good 30 minutes soaking up the luxurious heat in the hot tub. My tired body, definitely needed the extra bubbles.

Tonight was my blogger meet up with some local bloggers and I was super excited for another night out. Chantalle from L.A. Daze was super sweet to pick me up from my hotel and drive to our meeting spot just outside of Newport Beach.

For something fun and different we met at the Avanti Cafe. It was a very cute and quaint Vegetarian resteraunt that had a very interesting online menu.


Chantalle had called ahead of time and there was a little table in the middle with a reserved note just for us. Ashley C from Land of Fruit & Nuts and Monica from Run Eat Repeat met us there as well.


I really enjoyed the hippie atmosphere of Avanti. The girl who assisted us with our drinks and orders was very kind and kowledgable of all the food. She asked if there was a special occasion on why we were all together and Ashley had mentioned I was from Florida and a food blogger. The girl immediately gushed about how they love receiving online reviews and that she would tell the owner there was a special guest.

As we were waiting for our orders a server arrived with a special plate compliments of the chef.


I believe they were some sort of potato pancake topped with a ricotta cheese mixture (?). I had one of the pieces and it was very tasty, but very out there. The pancake base had nuts and what almost tasted like fruit in it.

Though, Avanti does have a menu of the items they serve daily, there was also a deli case with daily specials.


I was tempted by the specials but there were too many great choices on the menu not to try something out of the ordinary. πŸ˜‰


I was dying to try the Polenta Crisps, but they were sadly sold out. Bummer! So instead I was reccomended the Tater Fries. So I placed an order for the table to try.


It was an assortment of Yukon Gold Potatoes and Sweet Potato fries. Paired with the dipping sauces, I enjoyed them. I ordered them to share, but I am pretty sure I ate most of the fries myself. πŸ™‚

For the main meals I ordered the Riviera Pizza.


I asked for light cheese and added the tofu/tempah combo to the pizza for protein.


The personal pizza was a decent size and I actually only finished half of it. I had been craving tofu and really was happy to have the option to add it to my pizza. THe Zhug sauce was something we had been asking about during the ordering process and were told it was a special sauce that they created on site. It was very spicy and green, but also full of wonderful flavors.

Ashley was kind enough to pick up dessert from Sprinkles on her way to meet us.


I guess Sprinkles is a very popular LA Cupcake bakery that I just had to try while I was here. πŸ™‚

She brought a Lemon-Coconut and Chocolate Peanut Butter for us to share.


I happily tried a little piece of each cupcake.


OMG!! THese cupcakes were AMAZING!!! Especially the PB one. So moist and sooo good!! There are about 1/4 of each cupcake left, the perfect sweet treat for my plane ride.

Meeting the girls was of course and awesome experience. Each one was wonderful and we literally talked non-stop about any and everything you could think of. Before we knew it was 9:00 and I had to head back to the hotel. I do hope I get to meet these lovely ladies again when I return to San Diego at the end of May!!

Thank you Chantalle, Ashley and Monica for making the trip, it was too much fun and the perfect way to end my visit!!

I am so ready to go home. I have a 9:00am flight out of LAX and hope to be back in O-town around 4:00pm. It will be another fun day of traveling.

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

1 Pearl April 25, 2009 at 1:15 am

when you come to san diego, i’m going to meet YOU! πŸ˜€

2 Pearl April 25, 2009 at 1:15 am

i hope πŸ™‚

3 runsarah April 25, 2009 at 1:24 am

What a fun blogger meetup! πŸ™‚ That restaurant looks great — I need to try tempeh and tofu on pizza.

4 Sarah April 25, 2009 at 1:37 am

I love these late posts!

Was the green bikini worn? You are going to start to think I’m a total perv. Or else you are going to come to my blog and start begging for pictures of me in the “torn, grey yoga pants.” Purrrrr….

5 Hallie April 25, 2009 at 1:56 am

I’m glad you had a nice time…sorry the weather was kinda crappy (for So Cal standards anyway). I am so impressed with all your healthy eats while traveling for work…I was just at a conference for a day and a half and I tried my best but I def did not make as many good choices as you did. I think you did a great job of enjoying yourself but staying healthy and well fueled as well πŸ™‚

6 Lauren April 25, 2009 at 6:35 am

Those chocolate covered strawberries & cupcakes look AWESOME! Yum yum yum.

7 Mica April 25, 2009 at 7:21 am

The meet-up sounds like a lot of fun, especially since cupcakes were involved!

8 life coach jen April 25, 2009 at 7:23 am

Oh my gosh, I FEEL you on the crappy vegetarian options at conferences! I have eaten pasta SO many times! LOL! And I love that they couldn’t come up with anything else to give you except veggies, ha ha.

9 weight and meditate April 25, 2009 at 7:26 am

That place you went for dinner looks neat, and the pizza with tempeh and tofu sounds yummy! Bet you’re ready to get back to the east coast!

10 Danielle April 25, 2009 at 7:30 am

Oh I’ve heard about Sprinkles I’m glad you got to try them!

11 marafaye April 25, 2009 at 7:49 am

How fun!!! I’m glad you had a blast!

12 ksgoodeats April 25, 2009 at 8:19 am

Purple cauliflower!! My favorite πŸ™‚

Those TJs pretzels are killer! Glad you had fun with the meet up!

13 Christina April 25, 2009 at 8:22 am

I’m dying to try Sprinkles cupcakes! They sell the mix at Williams Sonoma but I’m sure it doesn’t taste the same.

Glad you had a good trip!

14 Andrea April 25, 2009 at 8:36 am

I was so excited to hear your feeling about spaghetti. I am extremely anti as well and when I tell people they are always like how can you not like spaghetti! I went to a conference last week and both days the vegetarian option was spaghetti.

15 Hangry Pants April 25, 2009 at 8:42 am

Bummer on that veggie meal. I love pasta, so I don’t always mind that option, but it gets annoying! At least your Avanti meal and cupcake made up for it!

16 Brandi April 25, 2009 at 9:12 am

glad you had a good trip, a good run, and great blogger meet up!

17 Sharon April 25, 2009 at 9:13 am

Mini mini mini wheats! =D
And strawberries look yumm!

18 Melissa S. April 25, 2009 at 9:21 am

yay for blogger meet up!!! so jealous you got to meet those ladies and i never have, being from OC!

19 melissastefanic April 25, 2009 at 9:49 am

Oh man! I need to visit California just to have a Sprinkles cupcake! I LOVE coconut.

Have a great Saturday!

Melissa @ For the Love of Health

20 helpmeghanrun April 25, 2009 at 10:18 am

Congrats on your first business trip! πŸ™‚ Looks like you did an awesome job.

21 Bec April 25, 2009 at 10:30 am

Hope you have safe trip home!

22 Danica April 25, 2009 at 11:31 am

Great job on the conference – it sounds like it was a complete and total success!! Great eats! I have heard so much about Sprinkles that I absolutely want to try it.

Have a good flight home.

23 Runner April 25, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Hope you made it home without too much trouble!

24 Island Girl Eats April 25, 2009 at 1:36 pm

I have just started reading your blog and I love it. I really enjoyed reading about your adventure to Trader Joe’s and also seeing the pictures of everything that you bought. Makes me so jealous! The peanut butter pretzels looked really good. I will have to try and find some of those at our local supermarket, but I won’t hold my breathe!

Check out my blog when you get a chance

25 Kristi @ Sweet Cheeks April 25, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Wow, what a fun blogger meet up!!

Hope you have a good flight home!

26 Sara April 25, 2009 at 1:45 pm

What a great blogger meet up! Great eats too. Those 2 flavors of Sprinkles Cupcakes are my favorite!! Yum.

27 Kara April 25, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Ugh, I HATE when chefs cannot come up with anything more creative for a vegetarian than a bunch of random steamed vegetables! This is not acceptable! At the very least, you should get some kind of sauce, or something that indicates a modicum of creativity.
Phew, that really annoys me. Rant over :).

28 L.A. Daze April 25, 2009 at 4:19 pm

It was so much fun meeting you! I hope you had a good trip back home. I am trying to convince BF to run the marathon in San Diego instead of the LA marathon the week before. If so, then we can meet up again!

29 Anna April 25, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Being on your feet all day definitely makes your metabolism go up. I’m a teacher and only sit down for my 30 minute lunch everyday. I’m always hungry!

There is also a Sprinkles here in Phoenix and when the Cardinals went to the Super Bowl, they celebrated by giving a free cupcake to anyone that came in with a Cardinals shirt. It was delicious!

30 Heather Eats Almond Butter April 25, 2009 at 5:13 pm

Sounds like the conference was a success – you amaze me with all of your organization. Seriously, I don’t know how you do it all – work, blog, fund-raise, train for races? You inspire me. πŸ™‚

So glad you did make it to Trader Joe’s and that you got to experience those cupcakes. I always hear about Sprinkles, but I’ve never been.

How fun you got to meet up with Caroline and the other CA bloggers. Such an amazing community of girls (and a few guys). πŸ™‚

Last but not least, I didn’t even know they made unfrosted mini-wheats, and I NEVER eat spaghetti either. Glad you were able to get a few veggies.

Wishing you safe travels back home my friend!

31 Erica April 25, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Sounds like the trip was a success! Traveling for work is super tough! My first job out of college required me to travel 5 days/week every single week. Keeping with healthy eating and exercise was VERY difficult. I think you did a fabulous job! I have always wanted to go to sprinkles! Love cupcakes πŸ™‚ Hope you’re back home safe with your puppy

32 Brooke M April 25, 2009 at 7:29 pm

SPRINKLES IS THE BEST! I used to work there for 6 months at the one at Stanford in California and it truly is a great company! All the ingredients are wholesome and no chemicals or anything used. I have to admit.. I always took my free one everyday! The red velvet is amazing too! πŸ™‚

33 amanda April 25, 2009 at 8:04 pm

oooo your a size two! Jealous! I am curious, What size were you before?

34 Sally April 25, 2009 at 10:49 pm

That’s great that you guys had a bloggers meet up. I’m glad you had fun.

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