Kevin, Lola and I were lucky enough to spend 9 full days in Long Beach visiting with family and friends over the holidays. Here’s a recap of our visit!
Christmas Eve with the Delmars
We spent Christmas Eve with my family this year so that Christmas Day wouldn’t be so stressful going back and forth between the two families and I think it worked out great!
Jess and Kevin trying to get Mars and Lola acquainted. I’m sure they’ll be best buds before you know it!
We had a non-traditional Chinese buffet for dinner that filled us up just right and a delicious assortment of See’s candies and brownies for dessert. Some photos from our evening…
Jess and Auntie Tina
Jess, Auntie Tina, and Uncle Joey
Me and Tina
Most of the group: Jess, Tina, Steve and his daughter Lacey and his grandson Christian, Uncle Joey, and Derek
Santas Jessie and Derek
Derek and his new ukulele
One of the highlights of the night was when the Delmar kids presented my mom with the gift of a song. Every year she tells us that all she wants from us is a song, no gifts, so this year we took her up on it. We decided to sing the theme song of the old cartoon “David the Gnome” that used to show on Nickelodeon and that we used to love as kids. After a couple days of rehearsing we were ready for our big debut! Here’s the link to the video of us singing on YouTube!
Christmas Day with the Edmonds
We woke up bright and early to accompany Thomas for a drive up the 91 freeway to pick up our adorable niece Sophie to spend Christmas Day with the family!
The little lady ready to celebrate with the Edmonds!
She loved taking photos with my camera, here’s a self-portrait and a photo of her dad Thomas in the rear view mirror (can you see her?)
Goofy picture of me, thanks to Sophie the photographer
After making it home it was all fun and games until the feast was ready. Lola sure got a workout with Sophie and Katelyn around…
Sophie with Aunt Sarah and Rob
Me and my adopted kiddos, Joshua and Katelyn
We spent a good hour or so opening tons of gifts…
Kevin with his gift card to Best Buy…such a creative way to give a gift card (from our brother-in-law Luke)!
A few last photos outside before Sophie had to go back home…
Me ‘n Sarah with Sophie and Lola
Sophie showing off her Cinderella toy
Last goofy photo of the day!
Hike in Whittier Hills
Brianne, Brian, Brian’s sister Lisa, Kevin, Lola and I went on a nice long hike in the Whittier Hills the day after Christmas to burn off some of that holiday feasting we all took part of.
B & B overlooking the amazing skyline with Palos Verdes at one end (and Catalina even further off, out of frame) and downtown LA at the other end
Big hills and winding trails made for a very fun (and tiring) hike
A beautiful Buddhist temple in the Rose Hills Memorial Park
A quick little detour we took to visit a huge water tower…
…covered in graffiti.
The “slide” Kevin and Brian took down the hill (just kidding)
More fun with the Delmar family
On Tuesday night we made it to our annual Chinese massage with my mom, this time accompanied with Jessie, Derek, and my mom’s boyfriend Steve too. I didn’t get the full treatment this time around, though, because of the little bebe in utero but the masseuse did a mighty fine job of working out the kinks in my shoulders, arms, legs, and feet. Kevin got beyond the full treatment from a little lady who was working on him (NOT what you’re thinking…he was in the massage bed right beside mine of course). Here’s what I’m talking about…
Linda (yes, her name was Linda) walking all over Kevin
Then we went across the parking lot to chow down on some Vietnamese food (which, unfortunately, was not as good as we had had in years past. I ordered a crab soup and the pieces of meat were anything but crab and Kevin actually got food poisoning from it! Blech.)
On Wednesday I spent the entire day with my mom and Jessie. We spent the morning in LA exploring Grand Central Market–a really neat, open market with tons of food stalls.
Jess enjoying the market!
A really neat chalk drawing at MF Gourmet (where I had lunch)
Can you tell we’re related??
That night we met up with Derek, Steve and his grandson Christian at At Last Cafe in Long Beach for some grub.
The Delmar kids: Derek’s beer, Jessie’s wine, and my lemonade (can’t wait to partake in some yummy, non-pregnant drinks in the near-ish future)
Christian goofing off (encouraged by Jessie and Derek, of course)
Me, Derek, and mama (notice Christian’s photo bomb? Haha!)
Piggy back ride!
After dinner we dropped Derek off at his new place and took a quick tour through the house. We then took a gander at his motorcycle (he’s had it for a while but I had yet to see it for myself)…
Jess, Derek, and Vanna White checking out the bike
My mom: “Jesus, I have a big head” (hahaha!)
Fast-forward a few days…we met up with my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Clay (my dad’s sister) on Saturday morning for a nice visit. We always enjoy spending time with them and we were so happy we were able to squeeze in a quick visit with them. We talked lots about teaching (since they’re both teachers) and also about family history (since Kevin’s really interested in genealogy and my Aunt Kathy is a wealth of information). Afterwards we met up with my mom, Tina, Steve, and Derek for lunch down the street.
Kev, mama, Tina and me
Miniature golfing date with Joshua and Katelyn
Part of our Christmas gift for our nephew and niece was to take them out for a morning of getting their butts whooped in miniature golf (or at least that’s what I told them in the beginning). We used to spend a lot of time with those knuckleheads but since we moved up to the Bay Area we don’t get to spend as much one-on-one time with them as before and I miss ’em a bunch so it was a great opportunity to spend some time with them during our visit.
Mini golf courses crack me up
The creepiest metal monkey you will ever see
Pancho’s Fish Tacos, anyone?
Joshua taking his turn, Kevin looking dapper
My beautiful niece…she’s getting so big!
Nerding it up…me and Katelyn pretending to look out at the pirate using our golf clubs (although it looks more like Katelyn is playing the flute, but I’ll forgive her this time)
Working on my form
Me taking an awesome shot
Kevin and Joshua were obviously impressed by Katelyn’s amazing form
Our group’s rainbow assortment of golf balls
Proof that Joshua’s butt didn’t get whooped too bad (at least by me, anyways). Katelyn, on the other hand…
I love that these three always go along with my crazy suggestions
After a round of golf we met up with almost the rest of the Edmonds family at Lucille’s for a lunchtime feast at one of me and Kevin’s favorite places. Dorothy, George, Judith and Luke met us to enjoy each other’s company at the end of our week’s visit.
Ringing in the new year
We spent a fairly quiet evening at Kevin’s parent’s house with the folks and our good friend Alison as well. We enjoyed some dinner then got started on some board games that kept us entertained (and awake!) until midnight. On the game menu for the evening: Bananagrams and Sequence.
About as exciting as our evening got!
Lola, reluctantly waking up for the countdown
Clinking our glasses of Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider as the clock hit midnight (photo taken by Alison)
After a delicious breakfast of homemade waffles and pancakes (care of George), we packed up the car and made our way up Interstate 5 back home to Oakland. Lola sure seemed to enjoy her new ride…
Snoozing all the way back home
Kevin, Lola and I are very excited to begin a new year and we know that 2012 will bring some very exciting changes our way. Can’t wait to celebrate Christmas/New Year’s at the end of this year with the newest addition to our family!