My last month in California before the road trip and the big move

There I was, Andrew had taken off for Paris and I still had one more month left.  We had already gotten rid of most of our furniture and only had smaller things left to wrap up.  I still had one more month of work and then I would be departing on my road trip back to Missouri!  But I’m getting a little ahead of myself…

All of our friends that we had made over the past 5 years wanted to hang out before I left and even though I mentioned before that we only had smaller things to wrap up, it still amounted to a lot of time sifting through the piles (plus I was still working at my job and passing on my responsibilities at Newport Bay Conservancy).  I remember telling Andrew how stressed I was trying to see everyone before I left.  His response was “Oh I’m so sorry that everyone wants to hang out with you.” – that really put it in perspective.  I decided that I should be happy and not stress out so much over it.  Plus he had a lot more on his plate than I did on mine.

My first big meet up before I left was with Erica and Gem.  Erica and I had been hiking Crystal Cove for the past year or so (it had kind of became our ritual hike every 3 months).  The hike is 4 miles down to the beach and then 4 miles back up.  That day I decided that I would complete my Landon Plunge in the ocean!  And believe me, it was cold!  So much fun with these girls, going to miss hiking there!

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I had also promised my friend, Mary, that I would join her on one more NBC kayak tour (Andrew and I loved kayaking the Back Bay).  If you’ve never been on a kayak tour, I highly suggest you go.  It is a perfect way to spend a Saturday or Sunday morning and it’s not too expensive (check out details here:  http://newportbay.org/education/weekend-kayak-tours/).  Or better yet, look into becoming a volunteer for Newport Bay Conservancy 🙂  It was a perfect day on the water.

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After kayaking, we went to Taco Mesa for lunch.  Very good food!  I’m sad that I was just discovering Taco Mesa for the first time that day, because I would have definitely made it a regular occurrence if we were staying in the area.

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The following day, my friend Kristin was in town.  So we headed down to the beach for her to complete the Landon Plunge!

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It was so nice on the beach that day, too bad she had to head back up north and I had things to do.  And by things to do, I mean meet Gem, Peter, and Erica at Kéan Coffee for Cards Against Humanity!  We were there for over 2 hours and it was so much fun.  One of the mangers for Kéan actually came out and told us how nice it was to see people sitting in a coffee shop playing a game together and not just on their phones or other electronic devices.  We kept asking ourselves why we hadn’t been doing this regularly.  Oh hindsight…

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Later that night, Gem and I headed to a hockey game!  Go Ducks!  It was my first game ever, and I don’t really have a team that I root for, so I just went with the home team and they WON!  Gem had gotten tickets from her work and they were box seats, so I’m pretty sure that all other games (as far as seating goes) are ruined for me, but I hope to go again someday.  I really enjoyed it!

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That following Wednesday, my fellow NBC volunteers held a going away party for me at Yard House.  Such wonderful people, I enjoyed spending time with them and have learned so much!  Although I must say that I was upset with the waiter because I was the only one who got carded for an alcoholic drink 😉

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Then on Friday (4/18) was the going away party from Toa.  Before we headed out to happy hour, my boss Andrea had a surprise presentation/sing-a-long to Aladdin’s “A Whole New World.”  If you know my boss and you know me then this makes perfect sense.  I was really touched by the presentation and will miss working with the team.  I really learned a lot about myself from working there.  For happy hour we headed to Yard House again, because apparently that’s the place to be 🙂  At the restaurant we proceeded to sing “A Whole New World” again, so maybe we had a few too many drinks 😉

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My last big adventure would be with Erica and Alex.  They were going to WonderCon and had asked if I wanted to tag along.  I still had so much to do, but I definitely wasn’t going to miss out on this!  They both dressed up as Mandalorians – their costumes looked great!  Everyone wanted a picture with them!  It was fun seeing kids so excited to get their picture taken with them.  It was great walking around seeing all of the different costumes, displays, and merchandise they had at the event.  Sadly, we didn’t listen to any panels that day, but I don’t really feel like I missed out.  Maybe I will partake in that the next time I go.

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I did meet up with many others, but if I were to talk about them all I would just begin to bore you 🙂  Now the only thing left to talk about is the ROAD TRIP!  But I will save that for another time 🙂

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A Night at Kéan Coffee – August 29, 2013

A couple weeks ago, we were very fortunate to be able to attend a tour of the Kéan Coffee roastery.  Upon our arrival we were greeted by Denia.  She asked us a few questions and one of them was how did you hear about the event?  I initially saw the event on the website, but my history with Kéan goes back a couple years now.  I was first introduced to the delicious coffee by my friend Nick Burton (we slaved together at Barnes and Noble).  My next encounter with Kéan was with Newport Bay Conservancy and their Earth Day celebration.  I learned that Kéan was and is a strong supporter of Upper Newport Bay.  I really liked seeing how they were involved in the community.  Anyways, I jumped at the opportunity to get to tour the roastery!

Okay, back to the tour.  Once more of the guests showed up, Martin came in and started to talk about his family and how he got involved in the coffee business.  It is a fascinating history and you can read more about that here:  http://keancoffee.com/AboutDiedrichFamily.aspx.  After everyone arrived, we made our way into the roastery.  The first thing Martin showed us was the coffee fruit (I don’t remember what kind).  He had us hold it in our hands and squish it to push out the coffee seeds.

 Below is a picture of Martin showing us the Coffee Family Tree.

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The roaster below on the left is the roaster built by Martin’s father.  He said that they used to keep it in the living room until his mom suggested that it find a new place in their home (guess it was too loud).  That is the roaster that Martin learned to roast on.  The roaster on the right is the one that his brother built.

We continued our tour into the back room where (if my memory serves me correctly) all of the “green” coffee seeds/beans are stored until they are roasted.

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Here are the open bags of “green” coffee seeds that are waiting to be roasted. We were allowed to smell the different seeds – the Sauta Julia with honey smelled amazing!

Kéan’s coffee roaster, Shawn, then began his roasting demonstration.

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This paper shows the different stages of the roasting process.

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Looking good…

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I love this picture of Shawn.

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That man roasts a mighty fine bean.

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After the roasting demo, the next part of our tour included a blind taste test of 3 different coffees.  It was fun trying to pull out the different flavor notes.

The final stop on our tour was the barista demonstration put on by Denia and Garrett.  They went over the different methods of brewing coffee and also walked us through what goes on during a barista competition.  We sampled espresso, cappuccino, and Garrett’s specialty the Amaro “Pie-o” which uses the Ethiopia Amaro Gayo coffee (tastes include passion fruit, honey, blueberry, semi-sweet chocolate, and almond butter).  This is by far my favorite coffee at the moment!  Below are a few pictures from the barista demonstration.

This was such a fun evening (can’t you tell how much fun I had by my reflection in the roaster?)!  I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for something different to do or at the bare minimum get highly caffeinated for the evening!  Oh and before I forget we got to take home a bag of the coffee that Shawn roasted – what a great treat.

Seriously though, check out Kéan Coffee!  They have two locations – one in Newport Beach and the other is in Tustin.  It’s definitely worth the trip! Here is a link to the information about the tour:  http://keancoffee.com/EventCalendar.aspx