Kicking Booty

We are rocking this conference, and having a blast while we’re at it!

 

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We have been going non-stop every since we arrived. Friday night, we walked over to the Ruby Tuesday for a group dinner. It takes a LONG time to get 55 students their dinner, and it was almost 10:00pm by the time we ate.

 

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I was STARVING, so I ordered both the spring rolls appetizer

 

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…stocked up at the salad bar…

 

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…and had a couple of Sam Adams beers.

 

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I also met my two lovely roommates for the weekend! They are so sweet!

 

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Saturday morning we got up bright and early and headed to the Auburn campus, which by the way is gorgeous! It feels so much more traditional than UCF.

 

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Our competitions were all over the school, and I got to see most of it.

 

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My first competition was Transportation, which I was the captain of. It turned out pretty bad, because it wasn’t really what we expected at all. It’s only a tiny portion of the weekend, so I didn’t really let it bother me.

 

After my competition, we watched a few presentations, and headed over to the Balsa Dome competition. Ours is the one on the right hand side that looks like its made with way more wood than all the others. It held alot, but since it was really heavy our ratio was a little low.

 

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Next, we tested our concrete cylinder. It’s really fun to put it in “the crusher”.

 

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Half way through the day, we broke for Lunch on the Lawn.

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When lunch time rolled around, I was STARVING! I had a Clif bar and an apple on the bus but it didn’t really hold me. I was so happy to receive my free Chick-fila sandwich.

 

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After lunch, ten of us headed over for the construction competition. We broke into three teams of three plus an extra person. Each team was designated as:

  • Design
  • Materials
  • Construction

 

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The first team, the Design team, had thirty minutes to design a tower that could be built using only office supplies. They couldn’t touch the materials, they only knew what we would have to work with. They had to leave detailed plans for the materials people to come behind and prep the stuff.

 

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We weren’t allowed to talk to the designers, or the people cutting our materials. I was in the third group, construction, and had to follow the directions that the other two groups had left for us. Luckily, we had a great group and we finished in plenty of time!

 

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The towers are judged on a few things including how closely we came to matching the original design (we were spot on!), structural sound (ours was rock solid!), creativity (maybe lacking), and aesthetics.

 

The other schools had some nice designs, so we’ll see how we place!

 

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We then raced over to catch the steel bridge competition, and we almost missed it! The team works all year for this, and they did an awesome job. Wish I could show you!

 

Try and copy that epic bridge, punks!!

 

 

Friday was a long, draining day, but I still managed to muster up energy for a run! I met up with a blog reader from Auburn, Marianne, for a foot tour of the town.

 

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We ran somewhere between 5.0-6.0 miles (I didn’t have my Garmin) through downtown, campus, and up and down hills.

 

She was so sweet (and speedy!) It was wonderful to meet a new friend! Marianne even brought me goodies!!!!

 

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Oh man, I definitely got my butt kicked by those hills. I have lost so much endurance and speed since running the marathon! (I took about four weeks off running and am just getting back into it.)

 

After our run, and working on some competition stuff, I dragged my friends out to a restaurant recommended by Marianne, Amsterdam Cafe!

 

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I dove straight into the bread. It was warm, flaky, and buttery. I died and went to carb heaven.

 

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I got the worlds’ BEST SALAD! Ok… I was just really hungry.

 

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Seriously, though. Grilled Salmon, warmed mango, pecans, and sweet rum vinaigrette? Can’t go wrong!

 

I sucked down so many glasses of water, I could have been mistaken for a camel.

 

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We LOVED it! Thanks, Marianne! 😀

 

Today was another full day of competition. We are off to the awards banquet! I will be back in the morning to recap the rest of the trip!

 

GO KNIGHTS!

 

❤ MegaNerd

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Ten Hours

I’m baaaaaaack!!

 

Did you miss me? 😉

 

 

Friday morning around 5:30 am, I set out on a road trip. I really just needed to get out of town, leave school and work behind, and clear my head. I figured a mini-vacay to North Carolina to see my mom and little sister was the perfect place to go.

 

I packed one duffel bag and hit the road. The laptop was left behind, with the intention of not feeling pressure to blog, check e-mail, or do school stuff. It worked.

 

I packed food to take with me on my journey. Stopping for fast food or mustering up something decent at gas stations isn’t really my style.

 

I survived the ten hour drive with….

 

– Whole wheat bagel and PB (ate half before I remembered to take a photo)

 

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– Turkey and cheese sammie with mustard, spinach, and banana peppers. (The key is to toast the bread so it doesn’t get soggy!)

 

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– Several handfuls of cheez-its

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– The rest of the grapes from my refrigerator.

 

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Luckily, this stuff kept me occupied and full. I actually enjoyed the drive up. Blaring my ipod (Kesha, anyone?!) and sticking my hand out the sunroof kept me pretty busy.

 

I arrived at my mom’s in the mid-afternoon, and it was plenty daylight outside. We took a quick walk around the lake, chatted, and had a snack.

 

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The view from the patio looks so much different than it did just a couple of months ago. The weather was GORGEOUS!!

 

 

(Last time I visited…)

 

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My sister has been dying to take me to her favorite local Mexican restaurant, La Carretta, for years. Literally, years. I lived with my mom for the summer a few years ago, and I somehow never managed to make it there. Friday night, we changed that!

 

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We started with an order of chips and salsa. Bring me a margarita, and I would have been as happy as a clam.

 

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For my entree, I ordered the Verde Quesadilla. It was stuffed full of mushrooms, spinach, cheese, and spicy chicken. It came with lettuce, tomato, sour cream (which I don’t like), and guacamole on the side.

 

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After my long drive, I really wanted a cold beer. The selections were limited, so I decided on a Bud Light Lime. It actually was very light and refreshing. I really enjoyed it!

 

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I can’t believe that I went all of this time without La Carretta. It was seriously AMAZING food, and very reasonably priced. My quesadilla was only $4.25 and I left feeling stuffed!

 

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We pretty much came home and crashed after dinner. Car trips wear me out!

I have plenty more fun adventures from North Carolina to share, so I plan to post a little about it each day this week. I had more fun than I have had in a while!

 

I’ve been in the car for waaaaay too long. I’m off to bed!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Let it SNOW!

My wish came true!

 

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It’s snowing in North Carolina! 😀

 

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It started snowing around 10:45am yesterday, and it’s STILL snowing! We have about 6-8 inches stuck to the ground right now.

 

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It doesn’t snow much here so Lacey has no idea what to think. By the way, Lacey is a Maltese. She needs a haircut!

 

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Last night, we kept busy wrapping Christmas presents, baking cookies, and drinking Blue Moon’s winter ale.

By the way, snow chills beer really well!

 

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I’ve only seen snow three times in my life, so this is seriously amazing to me! I keep staring out the windows in awe…

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The only downside to this beautiful snow is that I probably won’t be able to get a run in while I’m here. I’m not even sure I can walk normally in snow, and I don’t think that running in the ice/snow is worth the risk of falling. We’ll just have to wait and see, though!

 

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My feet sunk in about 6 inches or so. See why running isn’t an option? 😦

 

I did get in a crunchy breakfast!

 

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I made a bowl of vanilla Oikos, granola, and banana. Don’t worry, I didn’t eat outside, I’m just obsessed with snow.

 

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I’m also drinking some coffeeeee.

 

I have big plans to make a snowman. See you later!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Home for the Holidays

I made it safely to North Carolina!

 

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I flew out of a smaller airport just outside of Orlando, and there was pretty much nobody there.

 

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It was so small, that my only food options were Cinnabon or Cheeburger Cheeburger. I was a bit disappointed, but I never have a problem being flexible.

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I ended up ordering the salad from Cheeburger Cheeburger. I asked for grilled chicken but they ran out (which they didn’t tell me until they had already started making my food) and I didn’t want to be late.

 

I paid $12 for this stupid thing. My flight barely cost more…

 

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It wasn’t too bad! My salad had:

  • spinach/spring mix
  • croutons
  • tomato
  • onion
  • red peppers
  • banana peppers
  • mushrooms
  • honey mustard dressing
  • chicken strips

 

My grandma greeted me at the airport! Grandma was hungry so we headed to a late lunch (it was like 3pm).

 

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Airplanes make me so thirsty! I think it’s the fact that I can’t have a water bottle with me or something.

 

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I wasn’t starving, but I was ready for a snack. I ordered the soup of the day, gouda cheese and broccoli soup. I’m usually not a cream-based soup fan but this tasted great!

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My grandma’s Salmon salad was cheaper (and way more delicious)  than my cheeburgercrap salad. Oh well… maybe next time!

 

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We enjoyed our lunch by the fire. It was warm and cozy feeling!

 

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Grandma and I hung out for a while just chatting and catching up on life. We killed some time Christmas browsing at the mall.

 

Once I got to my mom’s house, I was greeted by Lacey!

 

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I want a dog SO BADLY! I’m glad I get a whole weekend with my mom’s dog.

 

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How can you not love this face?!

 

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I love coming to my mom’s for the holidays. It feels so authentic. Florida is still so hot and I cannot get in the Christmas spirit.

 

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I’m not sure that we are going to have an official dinner. It’s almost nine o’clock and we have just about polished off an entire bag of pita chips and hummus.

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I also had a couple handfuls of pistachios, cashews, and almonds.

 

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No mother-daughter-grandma get together is complete without a glass of red wine! Well, at least my family.

 

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I’m crossing my fingers, I really really really want it to snow! The weather man predicts two to four inches tomorrow. We’ll see!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Packing Light

I’m leaving for North Carolina in thirty minutes… better make this quick.

 

I woke up at 5:30 am to my stomach growling. I don’t think that I properly fueled up before yesterday’s very very long run, which made me really hungry yesterday. I’m predicted today will be similar.

 

Knowing that I have a lunch-time flight, I made sure to get a big breakfast in. I haven’t made oatmeal in forever! (Ok… like a month.)

 

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In the bowl:

  • Oats
  • vanilla soy milk
  • brown sugar
  • ground flax
  • banana
  • almonds

 

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I LOVE OATMEAL!

 

I’ve been on twitter all morning, asking all kinds of weather-related questions. It’s really hard to pack light when there is a chance of snow!

 

I’m trying to cram everything into this suitcase…

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…and this average sized purse.

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Where will my laptop and camera go? 😦

 

I only paid $88 for my plane ticket, because I elected not to choose my seating assignment or check a bag. What can I say, I’m not made of money.

 

My ride to the airport is here… See you in North Carolina! 😉

 

❤ MegaNerd

Night in Princeton

I have yet to figure out why everyone gives NJ such a bad rap.

I’m having a great time, and so far everything I’ve seen (less the Newark airport) have been very nice!

 

Before heading out the door for dinner, Debbie and I each had a Clementine because we got bored of waiting for the family to get ready.

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For dinner, we headed to Triumph Brewing Company in Princeton, NJ.

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It was cold and rainy!!

I’m not used to this weather, but it’s a fun change.

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The restaurant brewed all their own beer right in the restaurant.

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Debbie and I split two beers made:

Honey Wheat Ale:

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Pumpkin Ale:

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Both were DELCIOUS!

 

I had a very difficult time trying to decide what to order for dinner. There were so many great things on the menu.

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I was torn between butternut squash soup, but I ended up going with Pumpkin Ravioli since I’ve never seen it anywhere else.

That was the best food decision of my life.

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The ravioli was stuffed with pumpkin, and topped with a sage and brown butter sauce, and dried cherries.

It was SO good! I wish I had another whole plate of it…

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After dinner, we headed to Thomas Sweet for some ice cream. Debbie told me about their pumpkin ice cream, but unfortunately they didn’t have it. 😦

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I “settled” for chocolate chip cookie ice cream with Reese’s cups on top.

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I wish I could say I didn’t finish it…. but I did.

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Next time I would ask for it blended in (which is what Debbie did) so that you don’t know how much you are eating… Good theory!

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We stayed out pretty late, so as soon as we got home I crashed.

 

It’s now 10:00 am and we are just getting the day started! We made delicious yogurt messes:

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(I promise there is yogurt underneath there!)

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My bowl included:

  • pomegranate CHOBANI
  • Kashi GoLean Crunch
  • Granola
  • Banana

Debbie added a blob of blueberry preserves on top…

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We are off to get the day started! Big plans of visiting the Gardens and baking are on the agenda.

 

See you tonight!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Welcome to New Jersey

I made it to New Jersey!

 

The plane ride was uneventful, other than a few malfunctions with Newarks’ air traffic control that had to be fixed before we could depart. It only delayed my flight for about half an hour.

I drank a seltzer water and worked on homework for most of the flight:

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Once I got off the plane, I was greeted my Debbie, and her fiance, Mike. We immediately headed to get lunch! It was almost noon, and we were starving.

We stopped at a whole in the wall sandwich shop, called Just Subs.

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Debbie and I split a large turkey sandwich with provolone cheese. This is my half only! Debbie had the same amount… HUGE!!

I was only able to finish 3/4 of the sub. I was stuffed!

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My half had:

  • turkey
  • provolone cheese
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • sweet peppers

The bread was SO soft, and one of the best subs I have ever tasted in my life.

 

I also had two dark chocolate hershey’s kisses specially bought for me by Debbie 😀

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After lunch, we headed to the family’s farm.

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It was so fun to pet the animals!

 

There were tons of goats!!

Billy:

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Star:

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…me petting Star… she’s so small!

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There were also tons of sheep, but I can’t remember specific names.

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This goat’s name is Baby, she was bit by a coyote, so she stays inside the barn until she heals.

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The babies also stayed inside with heat lamps to stay warmer. They were SO cute!

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It’s so cold out!!

 

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Back at home, we hung out and played with the cats for a bit.

 Remember Laser?

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He’s doing well! He’s doubled in size since Caitlin found him. 😀

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Debbie and I then set out on our first run together in two months!

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We ran a VERY leisurely and chatty 5 miles. Mostly we took scenic pictures, and caught up on the little things in life.

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Debbie showed me her old elementary school and high school, and her childhood home!

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I’m fascinated with all the pretty colors outside!

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Oh, did I mention we saw a BUNCH of deer? SO FREAKING COOL.

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I miss running with my BFF!!!!

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Make a wish!

“I wish I could run with Debbie every day!!” Don’t think that’s coming true anytime soon…

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Crunch. Crunch!

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Debbie made a big green smoothie for us when we got back.

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Into the blender went:

  • spinach
  • bananas
  • soy milk
  • honey
  • cinnamon
  • peanut butter

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Perfect post-run pick me up!! 😀

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We have some more adventures planned for tonight. Time for me to go get ready!

 

❤ MegaNerd