Category Archive: running

Weekend of parties in Long Beach!

Wednesday, May 25

Kevin and I got on the road on Wednesday evening with the Lola in tow.  The drive down was pretty uneventful (the best kind of trip down the 5 highway, I’d say!) and we got in at midnight.

Pretty cows out to graze!

Lola was quite intrigued by the cows

Our pretty little girl stretching out her legs

Thursday, May 26th

We were fortunate enough to stay at Kevin’s parent’s house for the trip and were treated to a yummy breakfast of eggs and toast.  We just hung out most of the day, running some errands and soaking in the sun (oh, the sun!)  As Dorothy was watering the garden, she quickly learned how much Lola LOVES the garden hose…

Watering her grandpup! Haha

That evening we met up for dinner at Lucille’s BBQ (our go-to place when we’re in town!) with none other but Brianne, Brian and Brianne’s sister Laura.

Oh how I’ve missed you!

Cutie pie

Kevin and Brian, stuffed silly

Kevin and Lola, posing for a photo at home

Friday, May 27th

For the few weeks leading up to our trip down south I was working with Kevin’s mom and sister Judith to plan a surprise graduation party for Kevin on Friday night.  We had a guest list of around 40 people and were anxious to get the party started!  But first, a lot of shopping and preparations to make sure that Kevin didn’t find out until the last possible minute (and since we were staying with his parents it proved to be a little difficult!)

The plan that afternoon was to have his brother Thomas take him out for a few hours while Dorothy, George, Judith and I prepared the food, cleaned the house, and got the backyard all ready to go.  Unfortunately, Thomas had to go to work at 6pm (the same time the party started) so he had to drop Kevin off at 5:30, so the surprise was a little premature.  Nevertheless, Kevin was extremely surprised and had not idea what we had up our sleeves!

The guests started arriving…

Dan, Judith and Kevin

Jessie and her niece Lola (with Valerie, Vanessa and Rose in the background!)

Dan, Chris, Kevin, Brian, Dominic and Jayme

Same as above plus Dorothy, Loren, Shani, Andrea and Ron

Jess and Brianne

Mmm…veggie skewers! Oh yeah, and burgers & hot dogs for the carnivores

Christian (my mom’s boyfriend Steve’s grandson)

Lola and her new best “friend” Christian (he quickly wore her out [which is not an easy thing to do!] and so she got a little annoyed towards the end of the party since he was still full of energy and wanted to play!)

Me and Brianne

Kev and Jessie

Jess and Matt

After chowing down we brought out the cakes and said a little something about the man of the hour–for those of you that don’t know, Kevin just completed a two year Aviation Mechanics program at the College of Alameda.  It was a full-time program in which Kevin went to school from 4:30-10:30 every night for two years.  He ended up at the top of his class (no surprise here!) and just last week, at the recommendation of his instructor, was offered a job at Rolls Royce working on the V-22 Osprey engine!  It was SO great being able to celebrate Kevin and all of his accomplishments with the people that love him and it was even more wonderful that he was able to announce his new job just a week out of school.  We’re all so proud of you, Kev!

Applauding the guest of honor

The ADORABLE airplane cake the Dorothy baked and Shani decorated

It also happened to be Dan’s birthday so we sang a little song for him and gave him a cupcake to celebrate

Christian said he wanted the candle (not the cupcake, surprisingly) and said he was going to save it to put it on *his* birthday cake

A Cookie Monster cupcake will do that to you

I think everyone who attended really enjoyed celebrating Kevin and his accomplishments, thank you to everyone who was able to make it!

Saturday, May 28th

The main reason we made the trip to Long Beach this weekend was to celebrate with my good friends Kim and Frank on the day they got hitched!!

That morning we met up with my mom, Jessie, the Julians and Matt’s girlfriend Alexis at what other place but The Potholder?!

The whole gang

The wedding was scheduled to start at 4:30pm at the Art Theater in Long Beach–such a cool wedding venue!

The marquee said “A Love Story: Kimberly and Frank”…so cute!!

Jess, Steve, me, Kevin and my Auntie Tina in front of the theater

Me and Jess all dolled up

Me and Kev on the red carpet

Inside the theater they were showing silent films

Steve chowing on some popcorn (they had bags of it in the lobby for people to eat!)

Me and my mama

The ceremony was short and sweet, officiated by Kim’s dad Guy (who actually married Kevin and I as well!)

Kim and her mama Terry walking down the aisle.  What a beautiful bride!

The reception was behind the theater under a big tent…

Beautiful flower arrangement centerpieces

Lots and lots of wine for the masses!

Me and my party dress

Guy greeting my Auntie Tina and Jessie

Kim coming by to say hi

Hugs all around!

Matt and Alexis with the bride

Portrait of the bride…

…and the flower girl Bella

Me, mom, Tina, Jess and Kim (LOVE this photo!)

Me and Shan

Kim and Frank cracking up at Stacey (maid-of-honor’s) hilarious toast

The shoes…so perfect!

First dance

And Bella decided it was her time to show off her firefighter pole slide!

Susuico family dance (Stacey, Jay, Bella and Tasi)

Mom and Frank dancing

Kim and Steve dancing

Dancin’ shoes (mom and Jess)

Mom and Steve

Diane and Dave

Jess and Terry

Pretty sister!

Me and Kev (our obligatory shot)

They had an awesome candy bar for people to fill up little popcorn bags with treats…

The kiddos could be found swarming the table most of the evening

I swear she posed that way on her own! Haha

Their cake was AMAZING–made by one of her girlfriends Diana!  And it tasted better than it looks, no joke.

The adorable orange bride and groom to go with the citrus theme.

The ol’ hula gang!  Sayuri, Cat, Kim, mom and me

Finally warm enough weather to wear something that shows off my tattoo!

The evening was perfect and we felt so incredibly fortunate to be able to celebrate with our good friends Kim and Frank as they start a new life together!!

Sunday, May 29th

After a late night we met up with Brianne and Brian at The Coffee Cup Cafe for some good eats.

Me and Bri

We hung out with them for a few hours trying to distract Brian as Brianne went out to prepare for his very own surprise party, this time to celebrate his birthday!  That afternoon we had to pretend we were saying bye for good and that we wouldn’t be seeing him again until our next trip down, but little did he know that we’d be turning right back around to their apartment a few short hours later to celebrate with him and friends/family.

A video of the surprise!

Birthday banner made by Brianne


We got the chance to see our friend Lara and meet her brand-new baby Audrey!  Audrey was a total sweetheart and it was great being able to meet her after only seeing photos all this time.

Lara, Brianne and Audrey

Ted and Lara

Me and the flying baby!

Monday, May 30th

We were treated to a home-cooked breakfast of waffles covered in strawberries and a breakfast veggie stir fry (or bacon if your name is Kevin).  It was nice being able to spend a couple of hours at home with Dorothy and George before making our way back home to SF.

Unfortunately the ride home was nowhere near as smooth as the ride down.  9 1/2 hours later we finally parked in front of our house.  Let that be a warning to anyone who thinks they can avoid the awful traffic on the 5 on a holiday!  🙂

We had SUCH an awesome trip, thanks to everyone who made an effort to see us and we can’t wait to go back!

Bay to Breakers 12k

My brother Derek and I ran in the centennial race of the Bay to Breakers 12k on Sunday 5/15–it was the first time that we ran a race together and I was so excited when he decided to run it with me!

The day before the race Derek, Kevin and I headed over to the B2B Expo to pick up our race bibs.

We saw Dean Karnazes!  He’s the “ultra marathon man” who recently ran 50 marathons in all 50 states in 50 days!!

It was so cool seeing our names right next to each other

We had fun in the historical exhibit, showcasing 100 years of the race…

Me and Derek next to the infamous pink gorilla costume

Posing next to the 1983 shirt (the year I was born)

Derek not so happy about the lavender/pink 1986 shirt (the year he was born)

On the way back to the car we noticed this frightening sight…a random woman’s photo in a drain pipe.  Wtf?!

Race morning!  We were up bright-and-early to jump on the BART downtown to meet with all of the other runners.  It was really cool being on the train full of runners, some even in costume.

Beautiful morning!  Luckily the rain stopped for race day.

Sun breaking through the clouds over the Bay Bridge, minutes before the start of the race

Derek’s race number (out of 55,000 participants…he JUST made it!)

We felt like cows being herded to the starting line.  Some folks decided it would be a good idea to bring bags and bags full of corn tortillas to fling amongst the crowd.  Nothing like flying tortillas to pump up a crowd, I guess.

The aftermath

Starting line!  Only 7.5 miles to go…

There were TONS of characters I saw along the way…

A group of people dressed in tighty whities

Flight attendants along the road directing the traffic


Escaped prisoners from Alcatraz


Salmon (running upstream)

Mahna Mahna muppets

Up the awfully steep Hayes Street hill…

But at the top I was rewarded with the smiling face and the cheers of my co-worker Jayme!  She even made me a sign saying “Go Lisa!”, so sweet!  She and her husband came down from Marin County to visit with a friend who lives off of Alamo Square park so had front row seats to the race.

Me and Jayme

The “Up” characters


Oompa Loompas

As I was nearing Golden Gate Park I finally saw my sister Jessie!  And within a few minutes of our visit we saw my brother pass us by too!  What perfect timing.

Running through Golden Gate Park

Mile 7!!


The ocean, so close to the end!

The finish line!

Derek finished in 1 hour, 6 minutes and I finished in 1 hour, 34 minutes.  Go us!

You can see our finish line photos here (my bib # is 47906 and Derek’s bib # is 54982).

You can also see a video clip of us crossing the finish line here!  For some reason the first video clip shown isn’t of us, but if you just wait it out for a minute or so and let the video refresh on its own you’ll see us cross the finish line about 30 seconds later!  You have to look us up individually by our bib numbers.

Gorilla dad and kids at the finish line

So unfortunately Derek and I hadn’t come up with a meeting place for after the race.  I had my cell phone on me so was able to get in touch with Jessie but we had no way of getting a hold of Derek!  And with 55,000+ people there, it was proving almost impossible to find him.  We searched for at least an hour and Jess and I decided to just sit on a rock on the side of the road in hopes that we see him…and within 10 minutes guess who came walking by!

Proud finishers with our commemorative medals…

We then shuffled our way to breakfast at the Bashful Bull diner.

Derek and Jess

Such a beautiful day!  The view of Bernal Hill from our apartment.

Lola getting some lovin’ from her Auntie Jessie

I was so incredibly sore after the race so after taking showers we all took a nap (in typical Delmar kid style!)  It was so much fun running the B2B race, especially since Derek was there with me and Jess was there to cheer us on!  We’ve got plans to run it (all three of us, and hopefully in costume) next year!  🙂

Mexico City!

I was given an amazing opportunity at work to make a trip down to Mexico City in early May and I had such an incredible time!  I will be taking over Registrar duties for the Teacher Education students that study at our Mexico City campus and so I went with my boss and another administrator to visit the campus, visit some K-12 schools, and work on a plan for the fall semester.  It had been many years since I last visited Mexico and the only places I had ever visited growing up were Tijuana, Rosarito, and Baja California so I was really excited to see other parts of Mexico and to be immersed in a Spanish-speaking country again (the last time I did that was in 2004 when I was studying abroad in Nicaragua).  I have to admit, I was really nervous about how I’d do with my Spanish but I was SO happy to find out that it came back pretty quickly!

A map of Mexico for those of you not familiar with where Mexico City is…

(I may or may not have needed a refresher myself before my trip!)

Monday 5/9

I jumped on a plane from SFO in the afternoon to Benito Juarez airport in Mexico City.  The flight there is 3.5 hours and it was a pretty nice, easy ride in.  Dinner was $7 worth of cheese, crackers and dried fruit…

4 crackers, 4 pieces of cheese, 3 pieces of dried apricot and 2 pecans. Scrumptious.

We landed around 8pm (Central time, Mexico City is 2 hours ahead of CA) and after crawling our way through customs we were finally standing on Mexican soil!  We took a cab to our hotel (more on our hotel later) and after checking in it was around 9:30pm but we were starving so we went to the restaurant on the first floor called Sanborns Génova.  We were given a basket of bread, crackers and tortilla chips (all in the same basket) to hold us over as we waited for our food.  I ordered the most amazing shrimp tacos I have ever eaten in my entire life and I swear I dream about them even now!  Hahah.

The most delicious shrimp tacos ever created.

After dinner we went up to our respective rooms to try to get some sleep before the next day’s activities.

Tues. 5/10

We met for breakfast on the first floor and I was so impressed with the breakfast brunch!  There was such an amazing spread of fresh fruit (including papaya and mango) and some amazing fresh-squeezed orange juice and a huge basket piled high with pan dulce (my favorite).  And to top it off, there were about 6 cages filled with parakeets chirping along in the breakfast lounge.

The beautiful breakfast lounge on the first floor.

Oh how I wish I could eat like this everyday.

Chirp, chirp!

Our university’s campus is within two blocks of the hotel we stayed at and it was such a beautiful day so the quick walk was enjoyable.

El Monumento a La Independencia El Angel (The Angel of Independence monument) just a few blocks away!

Neat outdoor decorations in front of a church

The hotel and university are in the Zona Rosa (Pink Zone) which is known as the gay-friendly part of town

Beautiful statue of Diana La Cazadora

The following are photos of the Alliant International University (the university I work for) campus in Mexico City:

The front of the campus

The front entrance (once you get past the security guards, of course)

Beautiful courtyard in the middle of campus!

I loved these posters, showing our different campuses (San Francisco, San Diego, Hong Kong, Tokyo amongst the others in California)

The library

I would LOVE to have that view from my desk!

We were in a few meetings through mid-day but my boss and I got lucky with having the entire afternoon free to explore the city.  Our tour guide Sarah (who works for the university) led us downtown for lunch, sight-seeing, and some shopping.

We went to lunch at a restaurant called El Mayor which is on the roof of a building that oversees the excavation site of Aztec ruins.  The view was INCREDIBLE if you can imagine and the food was pretty darn good too!

Overlooking the ruins of the Aztec pyramid Tenochtitlán

La Catedral Metropolitana (The Metropolitan Cathedral)

After lunch we made our way to El Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso (a really neat museum) and passed along the way…

A few life-size, plastic Jesuses

Necklaces with the Pope’s face

A beautiful Día de los Muertos statue

A gorgeous street scene

The museum is in an incredibly beautiful building with a gorgeous courtyard in the middle…

Beautiful, intricate details everywhere

Lots of gorgeous stained glass windows

Breathtaking murals

Incredible walkways

Most of the exhibits were closed that day but the one exposition I was able to see was the photography of Flor Garduño.

This was my favorite photo of hers (Google her name and you’ll see some incredible work)

Sarah left us at the museum to go pick up her kids and then met up with us again after about 45 minutes of exploring the museum.  Her kids are Beatríz (10) and Oliver (7) and they were so incredibly adorable!  They have such great, spunky personalities and were fun exploring the city with.  We took a cab to an outdoor market to do some shopping.

A beautiful church we passed on the way

Me, Bea and Oli in the taxi

The outdoor market

Beautiful alebrijes (brightly painted fantasy creatures, so cool!)

Sarah and Oli about to jump on the metro

Trudy on the metro

After parting ways with Sarah and her family, we had an hour or so to relax at the hotel (read: take a nap!) before heading out to dinner.  The concierege recommended Fonda El Refugio for dinner which was just a few blocks away and it was the perfect choice.  The special for the day (manchamanteles) sounded really good but I wanted it without meat (it came with a choice of pork or chicken) so I asked the waiter if that would be possible and it was cracking us up because he and about 3 others waiters stood in a circle and discussed if it would be possible for a few minutes before letting me know that they would be able to make the exception for me.

At the end of the meal we were provided with three lollipops covered in plastic wrap and a small bowl of hot water and were told to dip our lollipops in the water for a few minutes until the plastic fell off and then to suck the lollipop.  I had never experienced anything quite like that before and it was interesting to say the least!

After dinner I decided to explore the hotel a little bit to capture some photos.  We stayed at the Hotel Geneve which was built in 1907 and is an historic hotel and building.  My room was on the third floor and there were so many little corners and hallways to explore, I don’t think I saw even half of it.

View from the street

View looking out on the street from the 3rd floor hallway window

The third floor hallway (kinda spooky!)

The lobby was one of the most beautiful rooms I have ever seen in my life: floor-to-ceiling bookcases filled with old books, chandelier, stained glass windows, gorgeous seats, fresh flowers, art everywhere…


Some neat details found in the lobby…

Vintage telephones

Antique safes

Display with women’s clothing

Display with a bullfighter’s clothes

The bar/lounge (too bad the singer they had performing that night was awful otherwise we would’ve spent some time in there!)

Me sneaking in a photo of myself (proof that I was there! Haha)

Wednesday 5/11

We woke up bright and early to meet at the campus so that we could begin our day visiting two K-12 private schools in different parts of the city to work on partnerships with them.  Both schools are bilingual so all students are fluent in both Spanish and English (and not just speaking but in analyzing literature and philosophy in both languages).  I was so incredibly impressed with the schools and, although I realize they are private schools and are not the typical experience for every Mexican public school student, these schools reminded me of how far we still have to go even with our public schools.

We did a lot of driving that day, from one part of the city to the other.  We passed Los Pinos, which is the residence of the President of Mexico.

And we also drove through Chapultepec Park which is the largest city park in Latin America.  It reminded me a lot of Golden Gate Park in SF and I’d love to explore the park more next time I’m in Mexico City.

After the all-day visits we ended up back at the campus for an evening reception for our recent graduates who earned their Master of Arts in Education: Teaching degrees.

We got back to our hotel around 6:30pm but I wasn’t feeling too hungry so decided to make a visit to the hotel’s gym downstairs to run 4 miles on the treadmill in preparation for the Bay to Breakers 12k race I had signed up for that was only four days away.  I hadn’t run on a treadmill in a long time and I realize how much I thrive running out in the open and not in a cramped room with no fresh air and no pavement/gravel beneath my feet!  I think next time I’m out of town or out of the country I’ll plan it better and go for a run out in the city instead.  But it was nice having the gym to fall back on!

Thursday 5/12

We were up at 5am to pack our bags and get ready for one last school visit (our appointment with the school was at 8am and it was in a hard-to-get-to part of the city, hence the ridiculous wake-up call).  After that final school visit we said our goodbyes to Sarah and the other staff and made our way back to the airport.  The flight back was 4.5 hours and luckily I slept most of the way!

I had such an incredible time and feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to go there for work.  Although I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me to take on the Registrar duties for our Mexico City students I’m really looking forward to it!

¡Adiós, México!

Weekend in Napa for Jessie’s birthday

My sister Jess celebrated her birthday in style in Napa and I was lucky enough to be the one she invited to tag along!  🙂  This was my first trip to Napa (Kevin and I visited Sonoma last year) so I was excited to see what the fuss was all about!

We made our first stop to Chappelet Winery which her friend Daniel works at.  We spent a few wonderful hours there, sipping on some super yummy wines, taking in the amazing scenery, and enjoying each other’s company!  My favorite wine we tasted was the Chenin Blanc and Jessie was in love with the Signature Cabernet.

The entrance to Chappelet

Jess sipping on the first of many wines we tasted

I love being in the dark, cool wineries surrounded by barrels and barrels of wine!

Our private tasting area!

Me and the barrels

We eventually joined in with a group that was tasting and touring the facility (Jessie’s friend Daniel is the one in the middle pouring)

Wine from the 1970’s

Jess on the tour

What a view!

Sister, sister!

After a few hours at Chappelet we were starving so made our way to Rutherford Grill.  The food was super tasty but the company was even greater!  🙂

After stuffing ourselves silly we made our way to the hotel (which Jessie had won through a contest at work)–the Silverado Country Club.  It was so fancy, we had to follow a guy in a golf cart to get to our room, ha!

That night we got out and explored downtown Napa at the Oxbow Public Market.  It reminded us a lot of the Ferry Plaza in San Francisco with a lot of similar stores.  Jess enjoyed a cup of joe from Ritual Coffee and we shared a super yummy tiramisu.

The next morning I woke up bright and early and am happy to report that I went for a 3 mile run while on vacation!  You sure can’t beat the terrain–it was so gorgeous at 8 in the morning and it was such a treat being able to enjoy the views on foot instead of zooming down the road by car.

On the way back home we had some breakfast at Gillwoods Cafe which just hit the spot (yummy granola pancakes!)

Thank you Jessie for inviting me along to enjoy your birthday weekend with you!  We’ve never taken a sisters trip before and we know we have to make this a regular thing!

Golden Gate Park 10k

One month ago I went for a run and, after huffing and puffing up a small hill, I realized something: it had been three months since my last run.  I knew that was not the purpose of the months of training and my completing the half-marathon even while sick as a dog and so I was determined to not let all of that hard work go to the way-side.  I quickly went online and signed up for the Golden Gate Park 10k that was coming up in early March and began my training that day.

With only four weeks to train, I only built back up to running 4 miles so I was a wee bit nervous about completing the 6.2 mile race.  But I knew that even if I had to walk across the finish line, I’d finish.  My goal was to finish in 1 hour, 20 minutes (13 minute/mile average).

The morning of Sunday 3/6 I woke up early to a nice little rain storm.  I wasn’t too nervous since I’ve run in the rain before and I was hoping it’d let up a bit.  I showed up to the starting line to register, get my race tag, and warm-up.

Still smiling despite the rain! 🙂

Because of the rain, for the half hour before the start time there weren’t many people there.  And, since I was running a race that was put on by a local running club that was open to the public, the majority of the people there looked like professional runners.  I was getting more and more nervous by the minute, afraid that I would get left behind in the dust and be the last person by a long shot to cross the finish line.  As the gun went off, all I could think was “Well, here goes nothing”.

Warming up

The rain was coming down steadily throughout the entire race so, needless to say, my shoes and clothes were soaked!  But one advantage of the rain was that I didn’t sweat nearly as much.  🙂

Raindrops on the trees

Drizzle over Spreckels Lake

Towards mile 4 I realized I hadn’t yet taken a walking break so I made a goal to not walk the entire race…and I did it!  I was pretty amazed that I didn’t take a single walking break and I still felt pretty good by the time I crossed the finish line.  My finish time was 1 hour, 12 minutes (8 minutes faster than my goal!) and I got a nice little ribbon for it.  I placed 139 out of the total 158 racers, not too shabby.  And luckily I wasn’t the youngest person in the group of the slowest 20.  😉

Soaked to the bone!  But a happy runner nonetheless

I want to sign up for another race in the next couple of months to help keep my running up–who’s with me??  😉  I might do the Bay to Breakers 12k on May 15th–it’s the centennial for the race so it’ll be quite the show!