Category Archive: family

Pre-Thanksgiving feast

Jessie joined me and Kevin on Sunday 11/14 for a little pre-Thanksgiving feast!

On the menu:

  • Fancy red wine (courtesy of Jess’ wine bar…we’re getting spoiled with all the amazing wine she’s treating us with)
  • Salad with roasted red pepper vinaigrette
  • Roasted brussel sprouts smothered in gruyere cheese
  • Vegan sausage hoagies
  • Pumpkin pie (from scratch!)
Happy chefs!
Lola hoping and praying for some treats to fall
The beginning of our pumpkin pie
The final product–delicious!

Bridge School benefit concert

For my “official” birthday gift (even with all the great things she treated me to on the day of my birthday!), Jessie took me to the Bridge School benefit concert in Mountain View (home of Google). I wasn’t familiar with this annual concert but everyone I’ve told up here knows about it so it’s kind of a big deal! The concert is put on by Neil Young and his wife every year (it’s been going on for 24 years now) and the ticket sales raise funds for the school which serves youth who have severe speech and physical impairments. This year’s line-up:

Pearl Jam, Modest Mouse, Elton John, Jeff Bridges and Buffalo Springfield

Jess in all her rain gear
In line for beer and pretzels 🙂

We met up with her friend Ryan and a few of his friends. It was pouring rain in San Francisco when I left and so I was decked out with my umbrella, rain coat and rain boots. It rained off and on at the Shoreline Amphitheater but I think it just made the experience richer and more exciting in the end!

The colorful crowd

The Gorton’s fish stick guy decided to show up 😉 (Ryan’s friend Brendan)
Hey man, you gotta do what you gotta do…
Trying to keep dry
Trying to see the stage
Modest Mouse and the pouring rain
Jeff Bridges
The one, the only, Sir Elton John
Keepin’ warm with a Sierra Nevada

Ryan had a friend who works at the amphitheater and mid-show was able to hook us up with box seats!! So we finished the show off in style and so close to the stage you’d swear we could reach out and touch them.

The awesome VIP seats
Showing off our new tickets
Happy campers
We were so VIP they had to lock us into the box

We got the new seats just in time for…Pearl Jam!!

Eddie Vedder is nothing short of amazing.

I had an AMAZING time at the concert. I can’t thank you enough Jessie!!!! You’re the best sister I could ever ask for.

Back in SF in time for my birthday!

Me and Lola drove back up to SF on the 19th, just a day before my 27th birthday.

Kevin rolled out the red carpet for me to celebrate my 27th year…balloons, flowers, a birthday banner and a box of Junior Mints (my absolute FAVORITE candy). He is such a sweetie, thank you so much Kevin!
That weekend we went together to pick out my birthday gift: a food processor! I’ve been wanting one for a while now and I am so so so excited to now have one. I broke it in with a roasted red pepper vinaigrette recipe (found at this link) and I am in LOVE!

Cleaned up the counter space so that I can keep my new toy out on display and easily accessible since I know I’ll be using it at least once a week.
So shiny…
Fresh roasted red peppers, garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt + pepper…yum!
The vinaigrette on top of a bed of fresh romaine lettuce with heirloom tomatoes and fresh grated parmesan with a side of homemade mac ‘n cheese
(courtesy of my lovely sis)…AMAZING!!

Coming up this weekend is homemade pizza dough and pesto sauce to make pesto, crab and tomatoes pizza…can’t wait!

Now onto the birthday festivities…

The day of my birthday Kevin had the day off of work so we hung out at home just lounging around and it felt so good to spend some family time with him and Lola! Jessie also had the day off of work so she joined us for a picnic in the backyard: she provided the homemade portabello and kale pasta (tasted like beef stroganoff, amazing!) and we provided the sauteed brussel sprouts, mushrooms, garlic and red pepper flakes creation. Kevin had to leave for school that afternoon 🙁 so me and Jess spent the rest of the afternoon/evening together. After catching up on “Modern Family” (LOVE that show!) we got all prettied up and went out to meet some of her friends at Bistro St. Germain in the Haight. It’s a cute little French bistro with some great food and wine (I opted for some beer). One of our friends (her name is Lisa too) and I decided to be brave and split an escargot plate. They were drenched in butter and herbs (thank goodness!) so they weren’t half bad. Would I get them again? Probably not. But I can say I’ve had snails now! After a delicious dessert shared with my sis (and the restaurant singing “Happy Birthday” to me 🙂 ) me and Jess headed out to Bottom of the Hill for some live music. One of Jessie’s favorite artists, Scout Niblett, was playing and it was a great show. One of the most amazing things that happened that night: me and Jess found two $100 bills just hanging out on the ground at the bar! So after some stealthy moves, we pocketed the dough and split the profits. Who woulda thought that we’d end up $200 richer that night?? Jessie treated me all night and I can’t thank that girl enough for helping to make my birthday splendid!

Me and Lisa rethinking our food choice…
Here goes nothin’!

My birthday was fantastic and I have two of my favorite people to thank for it. Love you two!!

Spa day treat after the half-marathon

My mom and Steve treated me to a spa day after my half-marathon–it was JUST what the doctor ordered! We went to Glen Ivy Hot Springs in Corona and I could not have asked for a better time to feel refreshed after my race.

The day was gloomy and we weren’t even sure if the spa was going to be open but it seems there were about 50 other crazy people with the same idea as us. 😉 We got there around noon and had four hours to spend in the hot sulfur baths, the sauna, the jacuzzis and, of course, the mud bath!

Love this place. If you live in Southern California and haven’t been here yet, you must get there now!

The weather reminded me of Hawai’i

One of the saltwater jacuzzis. Amazing!

Me and my Mama Jones

My mama, the pro at this whole mud thing

A self-portrait after the mud has baked in the sauna a bit.

Afterwards we spent some required time at Tom’s Farms purchasing some delicious candies, bread, wine and cheese.

Haha, I love that they waved and looked hokey just as I asked them to. 🙂


They have the coolest candies here! Chocolate rocks…awesome.

My idea of heaven.

Such a lovely way to end a great trip down to Long Beach. Thank you both so much!!

Windmills and wine bars

Kevin asked work for Saturdays off (woo hoo!!) and we spent our first Saturday together (on 10/9) in our old stomping grounds: Golden Gate Park. This time we decided to check out the part closest to the ocean since we’re so used to hanging around the same ol’ parts (near the museums and Stow Lake).

Is that really necessary? I doubt anyone will be looking towards a sign in the event of a tsunami. Just run like hell away from the water, duh!
Lola is never happier then when she’s out with us at a park

On one of my long runs the weekend before I ran past this random windmill in the park and we decided to check it out during our visit.

We made Lola jump into this hole in the side of the windmill. She’s such a good girl, she’ll do anything her mama and dad ask her to do! 🙂

Loving the sunshine and the time together

That night we took a drive down to Los Gatos to visit Jessie at her wine bar, Enoteca La Storia, for some dessert and wine. It’s in a little shopping center and it’s a ridiculously cute and comfortable space for getting together and enjoying some wine.

I had a burgundy wine and Kevin had a Malbec…yum!

We then shared some carrot cake bites (delicious) and sflogliatella (an amazing treat!–here’s a random video I found online about them if you’re interested in learning more).

Jessie seemed right at home back in a restaurant and serving–I’m so happy for her!

The check comes in this cute little book

We had such a great time and loved visiting Jess at her new job, can’t wait to visit again!

Jessie’s big move to San Jose!

Jessie decided to shake things up a bit and move from San Jose Avenue in San Francisco to the city of San Jose and Kevin and I helped during her big day. On 9/4 we packed up a Budget rental truck (Kevin was a pro at fitting all her antique furniture, the only thing left over was her kitty Mars and a vacuum cleaner, pretty damn good!) and made our way about 40 minutes down the freeway to her new place.

Jessie’s now-ex-roommate Jessie in her old room saying goodbye to Mars

The apartment Jessie now lives in is a studio in an old historic mansion…so cool!

After the big move Jessie treated us to lunch at Zeni Ethiopian Restaurant–soooo good!

Jessie landed a job at Enoteca La Storia, a wine bar in Los Gatos, and needed to make the physical move down to San Jose to be close to her new gig. Kevin and I visited her at work and I’ll post pictures of that visit soon. I am so so so happy for Jess and so proud of her for taking chances and making such a big change in her life.

Exploring Berkeley

This was our first time exploring Berkeley since we moved up here and we had a great time with Thomas. We first drove through some beautiful neighborhoods with homes that I wish were ours!! Then we ended up at the Berkeley Rose Garden which was such a nice little paradise in the middle of the city.

Gotta remember to stop and smell the roses!

Across the street is Cordonices Park which is an amazing little spot to hike in and explore. We took funny posed photos in trees and climbed up ivy covered hills–needless the say this park is a great spot! We’d love to come back to have a big picnic sometime.

One of our funny posed photos…Kevin had to hightail it to climb the tree and pose in time!

Looks like they’re on the set of “LOST”

This was taken just seconds before Kevin fell in 😉

A little video of Kevin and Thomas…there’s no denying that they’re brothers.

We then spent the rest of the afternoon driving through UC Berkeley campus–such a gorgeous campus for those of you who haven’t visited yet.

Had a great time with Thomas! We miss him a lot and it was great to spend some time with him.

The Edmonds family visit

The second week of August brought us the entire Edmonds family for a visit. Unfortunately the circumstances weren’t the happiest as we were gathering for Kevin’s Grandma Margie’s funeral in Half Moon Bay (see earlier post about her life here).

Dorothy and Thomas flew up Friday morning 8/13 and we spent some time driving through the Presidio. We also spent a bit of time in the lobby and gift shop of the Walt Disney Family Museum. We were going to go into the museum but for $20 a person (!) we decided to just explore the huge lobby and gift store instead.

That night George flew in and we had an amazingly delicious dinner at Zante Pizza. The Edmonds family were pleasantly surprised by how delicious Indian pizza can be and I think we made fans out of them (or was that the huge Taj Mahal beers talking?? 😉 ).

On Saturday morning 8/14 we joined the rest of the Edmonds family (Judith, Sarah, Joshua and Katelyn, Uncle Dave and Aunt Ellen, and Uncle Bob) in Half Moon Bay for Margie’s funeral. It was a foggy day but it seemed fitting for the occasion. It was so peaceful and quiet at the grounds and the only sounds we could hear were the few birds chirping in the area in between those who said words at the grave site.

Margie’s beautiful urn and American flag
The peaceful grave site

Kevin reading a poem

The program that Kevin made

After the funeral we all caravaned back up to Daly City for brunch at the Boulevard Cafe (at the recommendation of Carleigh). We had a really great time spending time together and reminiscing about the amazing life that Grandma Margie lived.

Me and my adorable nephew and niece
Dorothy showing Joshua some family photos from the scrapbook I made
Dorothy saying a few words
Katelyn, Dorothy, Judith, Sarah, Joshua and Thomas

After spending the afternoon at our apartment catching up and soaking up the sun that decided to come out we went out to dinner at Balompie (our favorite Salvadorean pupuseria) and once again the food was a hit!

Some of the creepiest statues ever! These are in front of a house just a block up from Balompie. Creepy!!
So of course Joshua took this as a photo opp 😉

Like father, like son!
Noogie time!
The girls

We then decided to ditch our cars and take the F train from the Castro to Fisherman’s Wharf. We took a quick stop at the Ferry Building and then made our way to Ghirardelli Square for some late night sundaes.

Katelyn, Judith and Josh on the F
The Ferry Building in all its glory 😉
A girl’s bathroom photo opp of course! 🙂 That’s me, Dorothy, Judith and Katelyn in the reflection of the hand dryer.

(Almost the) whole family on the F! It was kind of funny riding this with them as I ride this every day to and from work.

George and Dorothy’s choice: banana split!
Kevin, the anti ice cream guy, chose to enjoy a nice big coke. Sarah and I split a dark chocolate mint sundae. AMAZING!!

The next morning we said our goodbyes to Judith, Sarah, Joshua and Katelyn as they made the drive back down to Long Beach. George, Dorothy, Thomas and us then made our way across the bay to eat some Casper’s Hot Dogs in Albany.

Now THAT’S what I call a hot dog.

I had only had them out of the fridge before and I was excited to experience them straight from the restaurant since I’ve had to hear the family rave about them for years! Although the turkey dog I got was tasty, I still am not a huge fan of the crunchy exterior of the hot dog but all the fixins were great nonetheless! Shortly after that we said our goodbyes to Mom and Dad as they caught a plane back to LB and we spent the rest of the day with Thomas (I’ll update in another post shortly).

All in all, even though the circumstances weren’t happy, we had a wonderful family reunion nonetheless and we really enjoyed hosting the family up in our neck of the woods.

Another trip to Long Beach in July!

Two weeks after Rock the Era I was back in the car to make the drive down to LB–but this time with Jessie and Lola to accompany me!

We again left on a Wednesday night and stayed through Sunday–but this time I decided to take Thursday off as a vacation day so that I wasn’t stuck at home working from the computer!

On Thursday my friend Kim came over and brought over some delicious breakfast–oat pancakes with bananas, peanut butter and nutella spread–amazing!

On Friday me and Jess took Lola and Luke to the Long Beach dog park for some afternoon fun.

That night I went out to dinner with Brianne and Brian and it was great catching up and spending some time with them! We went to eat at The Spaghetti Factory in Fullerton and it was oh-so-delicious. We shared a lot of laughs, especially when I told the waiter that it was Brianne’s birthday (even though her bday is in October) in hopes that we’d score some free dessert and then was surprised when he told me that they come around to sing but won’t bring any dessert, haha!

B and B at The Spaghetti Factory

The main reason I went down to LB for a second time in July was to celebrate the marriage of Janeth and Diego, two friends from Redlands. They got married at the Alumni House on campus and their reception was in downtown Redlands in an old brick warehouse type building that was absolutely gorgeous!

The beautiful bride being escorted by family down the aisle

The moment we’ve been waiting years for!

The happy couple!

Amazing appetizers

Nialta, Heather and Alison

Me and Sara

Waiting outside the Mitten Building where the reception was held

They’ve arrived!

Me butting in for a dance with the groom


Love this shot–Heather and her fiance Steven

The bridesmaid’s bouquets hanging out

WRW girls

WRW girls and RYG boys

Me and Alison

Pretty in pink–Marquitta, Ebony and me

Me and my “brother” Chris

Rock the Era!

The Buddhist organization that I was born-and-raised a part of had the very lofty goal of hosting three youth-led festivals collectively called “Rock the Era” throughout the United States in the month of July and I was lucky to be a part of the movement. The western states were preparing for a youth festival scheduled for July 10th in Long Beach, so I was a part of the San Francisco youth and I decided to help out with the theater group. The theater group was 21 strong and most of the kids in the group are high-school age so it’s been great “practice” for when I am a teacher. They’re a really great group with tons of energy and we have a lot of fun at practices. So in preparation for the July 10 festival, we were practicing twice a month for 4-6 hours at a time and having a great time while doing it. 🙂

Most of the youth from outside of Southern California either went down to LB by bus or plane but because I’m from LB I decided to make a little trip out of it. So on Wed. 7/7 I jumped in my car at 6pm and made the drive down to LB, getting in around midnight.

Before I go into what I did during my time in LB I thought I’d mention that Thurs. 7/8 was actually me and Kevin’s four year anniversary (!) and unfortunately we weren’t able to spend the day together! But we promised to celebrate when I got back to SF. This last year has been one of the happiest for the two of us and I find myself filled with so much appreciation for Kevin. He is a great husband and we’re a great team and I love him so so much! 🙂

Okay, back to the events of the week… 🙂 That Thursday I decided to take as a remote working day, so I was glued to my laptop at my mom’s house during the day which wasn’t super fun. But my friend Kim dropped by and made me some delicious vegetarian Indian food for lunch!

Friday was the all-day rehearsal at the Long Beach Arena getting us prepared for the festival the following day. I was at the Arena at 8am and we didn’t leave until 8pm. That night my sister had a little get together at my mom’s so it was great seeing some old family friends.

After an all-day rehearsal and a late night I think saying that the next morning when I woke at 6am being tired was somewhat of an understatement. The rehearsal that day started at 7am and went straight through to show time at 2pm. There were so many great performance groups: taiko drums, gymnastics, hip hop, spoken word, contemporary dance, rock band, and not to mention the theater group! 🙂 The show lasted 2 hours and there were 20,000 people in attendance and performing/back stage–youth filled the entire LB Arena! It was pretty remarkable and extremely inspiring seeing all of these youth working together for world peace.

After the show I met up with Jessie and our old family friend Molly Scarpine who I hadn’t seen in years–we had some dinner and drinks at Rock Bottom and then met up with the Mitchell family in Naples.

The next morning after a visit with my Aunt Tina I jumped back in my car for the 6.5 hour drive back to SF. It was a really great, inspiring trip and it felt great to see all of our months of hard work worth it in the end with the great performance!

All of the performers on stage for the finale–I’m in there somewhere! 🙂