Seniors challenge 35-minute lunch period

October 18, 2016 — by Jenny Qian and Eric Sze

Seniors Jenny Qian and Eric Sze travel far distances for lunch during 35-minute lunch period. 

If you have the pleasure of knowing both of us, you are likely aware of our obsession with food. When deciding lunch destinations, we say yes to everything.

In fact, our conversations usually revolve around the new food places that we want to visit next.

When the new rolling block schedule reduced our lunch time by a precious 5 minutes — from 40 to 35 minutes — we were mortified.  But then we thought about it and saw it as a personal challenge to push ourselves to go even farther that our usual destinations.

After many texts and debates, we finally settled on choosing our first target: Pho Hoa in Cupertino. While not a terribly far location, as it’s only a 10-minute drive, it was a rather odd lunch choice. Bringing noodle soup back to school isn’t very common. Who would have known that there was such a thing as pho takeout anyway?

During tutorial, Eric was able to call in our orders, and once the lunch bell rang, the two of us sprinted to his car. Beating traffic and passing through a string of green lights, we arrived at Pho Hoa in under 15 minutes. Our two bowls of hot soup and bag of noodles and sprouts sat in a bag next to the cashier, ready to be picked up as soon as we entered.

Had our friends, senior Ellicia Chiu and Falcon editor Karissa Dong, not been so unrelenting in their demands for us to buy them pearl milk tea, we probably could’ve made it back to campus at least 5 minutes before the first bell rang.

That trip was too easy.

We decided to push ourselves more for our next lunch adventure and chose Noodles and Company, situated near the intersection between Stevens Creek and De Anza Blvd. and 4.3-mile drive away from the school.

On the day of our Noodles and Company run, we raced to the Journalism Room, laptops in hand, our minds dreaming about the pasta that we would be getting. We flipped open our laptops and hastily scrolled through the menu and placed our order for pickup later.

As the lunch bell rang, we dashed out of our classrooms and ran to Eric’s car, the tires hitting Herriman Avenue before 12:02 p.m. The speedometer read a constant 40 mph as we sped down Saratoga-Sunnyvale and De Anza. Tension filled the air, our eyes constantly darting from the road ahead to the clock and back. We didn’t want to relive the days of walking in class 5 minutes late.

As Eric slid the car into a parking spot only a couple feet away from the entrance to Noodles and Co., the clock had just struck 12:15 p.m. Our order was ready to go on the counter and we were back in the car by 12:18 p.m.

However, our anxiety rose again when we waited to get out of the shopping plaza. The red left turn light would not change to green for over 5 minutes. By the time it did, we were only left with 12 minutes to get back to campus. Luckily for us, the traffic on the way back wasn’t that bad, and though we did hit a couple red lights, we were usually the first car ahead of the traffic, and thus were able to race ahead when the light turned green.

The atmosphere began to feel a little more relaxed as we entered the parking lot at 12:30, 5 minutes before the second bell rang. We were surprised to even see that we had beat a few of our friends who had gone to 85°C Bakery Cafe for lunch, which is only an easy 3 miles away.

Though the dry pesto pasta and odd-tasting Pad Thai were not the most appetizing, we were still proud to have traveled to Noodles and Co. with time to spare.

Having completed both of our trips with much success, we are now even more determined to push our limits and see where to go to next. We’re looking at you, In-N-Out.

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