Category Archive: family

Derek’s visit

My brother Derek came up to visit in early July and we took the opportunity to explore the Sutro Baths which is a place that I had been dying to go for a while. The Sutro Baths are the ruins of an old bathhouse right off the beach in SF (check out some great photos of the bathhouse when it was in full swing in the early 1900’s on the web link above). It was an absolutely gorgeous, clear, sunny, warm day and it was the perfect opportunity for the Delmar kids + Lola to go exploring.

Derek, Jess and Lola
View of the old bathhouse from the top of the trail

Can you spot the four of us??

A view from within the caves.

So Lola, in her typical nerdy ways, rolled in some dog poop (or possibly coyote poop??) and so we had to go down to the beach to wash her off (gross!) So me and Derek had some fun running around with her on the beach.

Derek, Jess and Lola

I absolutely LOVED going to the Sutro Baths and it was especially fun spending it with my two siblings and Lola!

A couple other shots from D’s visit…

On our way to eat…can you tell this was posed?? Haha.
Cheers! Lunch at El Majahual Restaurant in the Mission–great Salvadorean food!

Can’t wait for your next visit Derdo! 🙂

In loving memory: Margie

On Wednesday June 23 we lost an amazing woman who I was lucky enough to call my gramma-in-law, Margie.

She leaves quite the legacy: Born in 1918, she was educated at the University of West Virginia, served during WWII at the Pentagon and was a career secretary serving the education system. She leaves behind two children, four grandchildren (and a granddaughter-in-law!), and three great grandchildren.

I met Margie around 2001 when my husband and I started dating. The most amazing thing, though, was that she and my own grandma were friends before Kevin and I got together! They happened to live in the same rest home facility and would play bridge together! Margie was the resident journalist and actually interviewed my grandma for one of their monthly newsletters before I had even met her.

She was so incredibly welcoming to me and I will never forget that about her. I also will never forget all of the visits me and Kevin made to her apartment where we’d sit around and look through her old photo albums (which she put together and wrote captions for beautifully) and I’d write down notes as she told stories about the photos. Kevin’s been working on saving all of the hundreds of photos digitally and transferring the originals to an archival photo album for posterity. Now that she’s passed, we’re going to make a huge effort to get them done before the funeral.

She and her husband Neal made a home up here in Northern California so he is buried in Half Moon Bay and she’ll be buried right alongside him. Today Kevin and I decided to spend this extremely rare Saturday that Kevin didn’t have to work visiting the cemetery and paying our respects.

The grounds are absolutely beautiful, including this huge waterfall

And as we were driving along we happened to see a deer running through the grounds!

I think she sticks around because of the “free food” that people leave for her 😉

Kevin’s grandpa Neal and his great-grandparents (Margie’s parents Gladys and Dale) are all buried in the Veteran’s yard.

A beautiful statue that overlooks all who have passed and are laid to rest there

Kevin’s great-grandparent’s headstone

A carnation (his favorite flower) for Kevin’s grandpa Neal

The two headstones beneath a lone tree

The family will be heading up here in the next few weeks to lay Margie to rest. It is a beautiful cemetery that we will definitely be making trips down to more often to always keep Margie and her family in our thoughts because she was such a big part of Kevin’s life and had quickly become a big part of mine as well.

Margie–you are loved dearly and will be sorely missed.

One of my favorite photos–the three of us at our wedding in July ’06

A day with the girls

A few weeks ago me, Lola and Jessie had some fun girl time. We started out at the dog park (one of Lola’s favorites: McKinley Square Park) and as we were leaving the neighborhood me and Jess spotted something off the side of the road and decided to take a closer look. Turns out it was an art installation by one of the local high schools.

We then hung out at our place that night, just goofin’ around and spending some quality time together 🙂

Lola sure loves her Auntie Jessie!

Our latest family portrait: the dog pile edition

Things we’ve been up to…

On Sat. 5/22 Jessie and I were invited to brunch at our friends Carleigh & Scott’s place. It was Lola’s lucky day because she was invited along as well! She and Bailey spent no time getting reacquainted and ran through their apartment the entire time we were there! Thanks so much Carleigh for the amazing brunch!

The next day, Sun. 6/23, was a very sad day indeed…it was the series finale of the tv show LOST! Kevin and I have been watching the show religiously since season 2 (we used to watch it at my mom’s house every week with my mom and our friend Kim and we even got two of my mom’s exchange students hooked on it!) Since living in SF we’ve joined Jessie’s LOST fan group and have really enjoyed our weekly get togethers. Last year we had a dress-up day where everyone came dressed up as their favorite LOST character. I would’ve loved to have come dressed as Desmond as he’s my absolute favorite character, but I didn’t have enough time/money to make it look good. So for that party I dressed up as Ana Lucia who I think I most resemble. So for the series finale Jessie wanted to host another themed dress-up party but didn’t want to repeat the same character theme–so this time it was funeral-themed! Everyone came dressed in their best funeral get-up to mourn the loss of our favorite show. Jessie was extremely cute in her outfit (as always!) and since I didn’t have any cute black clothes, I just wore a simple black top and smeared my mascara and eye liner to make it look like I had been crying!

A photo shoot with Jessie’s cat Mars before the show…

Me and Jess mourning the loss of LOST (that’s mascara around my eyes, no I didn’t get two black eyes!)

Almost the whole group, there were a ton of people there! 11 people total

With Kevin’s new work/school schedule, we don’t get to see each other too often 🙁 He works 5 days a week, generally 6:30-3:30 (including every Saturday and Sunday). Then when he’s in school, he has class from 4:30-10:30 each night Monday through Friday! For a few weeks he’s got a break before his summer class begins, so it’s been really nice having him home at night so we can actually enjoy dinner together. But even with that, it feels like we never have any actual daylight hours to hang out and go places like we used to basically every weekend. Last Mon. 5/24 I went to work in the afternoon so we had an entire morning together, so we took full advantage of it and had a little day trip! We drove out to Mount Davidson which is the highest point in the city of SF and it’s a gorgeous hike.

Lola’s become quite the passenger in the car these days (she’s improved by leaps and bounds since we first got her when she would get carsick every time we got in the car!)

A fallen tree on the hike

On the top of Mt. Davidson there is a HUGE white cross which is on property not owned by the city. I had always figured it was just a religious group’s doing, but the plaque next to it stated that it is there in memory of the 1.5 million people killed during the Armenian genocide.

Kevin’s standing at the bottom of the cross, you can just barely see his head and shoulders…now you see how freaking HUGE it is??

It was a great, easy hike on a beautiful crisp morning

Family portrait

Jessie’s graduation from SF State University!

The moment had finally come for Jessie’s graduation from SF State! She graduated with a BA in Political Science and my mom & her boyfriend Steve, her roommate Jessie and her boss Deanna were all there to show our support and cheer her on (as she went on stage three times!) The ceremony was specific for the PS Department, so lucky for us we didn’t have to sit through 7,000 names being called. 😉

I know it hasn’t been easy for Jess to get to this moment but I know that she worked her rear off to make it a reality and I honestly could not be more proud of her. Tears were shed and her name was hollered as loud as I could and it was not only a big moment in Jessie’s life, it was a big moment in mine too. I love you Jess and am so so so so very proud of you! YOU DID IT!!!!!

A short video of Jessie going up on stage to receive her “Student Leader of the Year” award…well-deserved!!!

Anxious to finally get her degree!

She did it!!

College graduate sisters!

(Part of) her cheering squad!

After her graduation we all went out to dinner at You See Sushi (one of Jessie’s favorite sushi restaurants) and on the walk there we spotted a cute Vespa that we encouraged Jess to jump on for an impromptu photo shoot (with that cute outfit she was wearing we couldn’t resist!)

I Photo Shop’d that! 😉

At the restaurant we presented Jessie with some cards, one being from me and my mom. It was a card that you could record a message in so we recorded a really goofy message and I had to videotape Jessie’s reaction while she opened it…enjoy!

Girl Scout weekend

The time had finally come for my niece’s 5th grade Girl Scout Junior troop to come up and visit San Francisco! We have been looking forward to this trip for over a year when I was still their troop leader and we all had a fantastic time together!

Judith (my sis-in-law), Dorothy (my mama-in-law), Katelyn (my niece) and 8 other Girl Scouts and their moms arrived to San Francisco Airport on the morning of Friday 5/7. I met them at the airport and we then BARTed our way to their hostel (a super cute place if anyone’s interested in staying in a hostel in the city) to drop off luggage.

The girls in front of their hostel

We then rushed off to eat some lunch at Mel’s Diner (a well-known diner in SF that had so-so food) and then made our way to Golden Gate Park

Milkshakes at 10am? Sure!

The group really wanted to go to the California Academy of Sciences so that’s where we spent the afternoon.

Golden Gate Park
K. and the frog having a face-off
My favorite part of the CAS: the 4-story rain forest

These frogs cracked me up! They seemed to be such characters, kind of reminded me of little Buddhas 😉

V. and the beautiful jellyfish
This sea star seemed to be laying out on a beach sunbathing
The awesome albino alligator!
V., K. and Katelyn messing around (it’s what they do best!) This beast of a display was for their “Extreme Mammals” exhibit

I have to admit, I was a little worried about being their tour guide since Kevin’s usually the tour guide when visitors come out and we generally don’t take public transportation with visitors–so though I’m super confident when it comes to the route I take everyday for work (2 buses + BART) it was a little worrisome to make sure we got on the right bus (and made sure all 18 of us got on/off at the same time!) But the first day went super smoooooth and I was pretty proud of myself. 🙂 Some funny moments riding the bus with the group–the girls absolutely LOVED riding the bus and were sad when we told them to sit down because the bus was getting full (they loved hanging onto the poles and swinging around); some young guys decided to sit down amongst the 9 girls and after they figured out who they were sitting next to (a bunch of giggling girls) it was funny to watch their facial expressions change.

They even enjoyed waiting for the buses at the bus stops…

A bunch of little monkeys!
Good friends V. and A.
This photo shows their level of excitement really well…bunch of nerds! 😉

For dinner we went to a real local treat…Chevy’s Mexican restaurant (can you hear the sarcasm in my typing voice? 😉 ) We called it an early night because we had a loooong day ahead of us!

On Saturday morning I made my way to the hostel to meet the group so we could make our way to the Golden Gate Bridge for the Girl Scouts’ annual Bridging event! When girls in GS graduate from one level to the next they call it “bridging” so the Northern California GS organize a huge event so that girls from all over can “bridge” across the Golden Gate Bridge. Our girls graduated from GS Juniors to GS Cadettes (6th-8th grade). This event attracts over 4,000 girl members (that’s just girls we’re talking about!) and is put together really well. The GS hired shuttle buses to take troops across the bridge into Marin County and then we all hiked our way back across the bridge back into SF.

Excited for yet another bus ride (driving across the Golden Gate Bridge)
The gorgeous ladies of Troop 3933!
It sure makes you think when you’re crossing that bridge and only have the water below and the huge metal structures surrounding you and the wind is blowing like crazy!
It sure doesn’t look like 4,000 Girl Scouts were crossing the bridge but believe me they were!
My beautiful niece, happy to be bridging to Cadettes!

I made an announcement as we approached the end of the bridge, that once they crossed the line they would no longer be Girl Scout Juniors but instead become Girl Scout Cadettes, so I took a few photos of them as they crossed:

B., Katelyn and K. running across the “finish line”!
V. & A. crossing in style
J., S. and M. crossing as a unit
Say hello to the newest Girl Scout Cadette troop in Long Beach!

After our trek across the bridge we were greeted with a festival for the girls–tons of booths with activities for the girls to participate in.

B. & K. with a vintage GS uniform

Katelyn & Judith taking a break
A GS tradition is making “swaps” that represent your troop and “swapping” them with other troop’s to create a collection. This is Katelyn’s hat decorated with her swaps (that was probably on 1/3 of them!)

After the event it seemed my luck with being the tour guide started to run down–I didn’t know how the heck to get us back to the hostel! Our misadventure included–walking up a huge staircase and then finding out that we had to go back down the stairs (oops!), stalking a park ranger and waiting for him outside the restroom so that we could ask for directions (awkward!), then walking a mile and a half to get to the darn bus. My excuse was that I never come to this part of town! Oh well, at least we eventually made it back safe and sound.

That night we met up with Kevin and ate at the Cheesecake Factory on top of the Macy’s building in Union Square. The group was so huge we had to get split up but it ended up being really nice spending time with Kevin and his mom Dorothy for an evening.

Overlooking Union Square: Judith, J., M., S. and B.

Sunday morning Dorothy and I made our way to the hostel to meet up with the group for their last day in the city. We went downtown to wait in a 20 minute line to take the famous trolley (I hadn’t done that since living here so it was nice to do).

The girls and the trolley
The blue skies in downtown
A group of men from Dockers pants were walking through the area with roses for all the moms out there in celebration of Mother’s Day (how cute!) So here’s a photo of all the moms with their roses.
Dorothy and me on the trolley (proof that I was there that weekend! 😉 )
Some of the girls got to ride on the outside, this is M. en route to Ghirardelli Square

The trolley took us right to Ghirardelli Square where the group split up for a bit and our little group enjoyed some delicious Ghirardelli ice cream treats (yes even at 10 in the morning!)

Katelyn getting ready to enjoy their sundae
Dorothy and my sundae (amazing!!)
The happy tourists 😉

We then walked to Fisherman’s Wharf (have I told you how much I love that place? 😉 ) and I am happy to announce that I finally saw the bushman!

The troop spent their last afternoon on a bay cruise and since I didn’t see the point in forking over $25 for me to do something I could day any ol’ time, I said my goodbyes at Fisherman’s Wharf.

It was so so so so nice spending a weekend with my family and with those crazy 5th grade Girl Scouts…I really miss spending time with them every other week at our troop meetings. Those girls mean a lot to me after being their troop leader for two years and it was so great to feel connected to them with this trip.

Lisa’s visit to Long Beach

I just came back from a fun-filled time away in Long Beach! Kevin unfortunately wasn’t able to go because of school (he has to clock in and out so he can’t just skip class!) so he and Lola were holding down the fort while I was away.

Wed. 4/21
After a full day of work I left home at 6pm for the drive down to Long Beach! I made it in record time (3 minutes shy of 6 hours) and it was the best drive down the 5 yet! I generally leave in the wee hours of the morning and though it’s beautiful seeing the sunrise, there’s nothing quite like the way the green, rolling hills look when they’re bathed in the golden light of the setting sun (wow, I guess I’m more of a poet than I thought! haha) I was pretty blown away with how beautiful it was and I just wish I stopped for a few minutes to take some photos! I got in right at midnight and went straight to bed after a quick reunion with my family dog Lukey!

Thurs. 4/22
I woke up bright and early and went to breakfast with my mama and my second mom Diane! Diane suggested we try Brulee, a fairly new breakfast/brunch/lunch spot off PCH/Loynes Drive in Long Beach and we were definitely not disappointed! The food was absolutely delicious with very reasonable prices and super friendly staff.

After breakfast my mom and I went shopping a bit (I needed to buy a dress for the wedding I was going to that weekend) and I worked from home for a few hours in the afternoon. Then that evening we went to dinner with Allen, a Chinese student who is renting a room from my mom while he attends CSULB. We went to Cho Dang Tofu House restaurant in Cerritos, one of my favorite restaurants ever! The soup comes out boiling and you get an egg that you crack and cook right in your bowl! It comes with a steaming bowl of rice and a ton of little dishes full of yummy treats (kim chee, seaweed, etc.) And to top it all off, they have soft-serve ice cream available at the end of the meal, included in the price! 🙂

Best. Dinner. Ever!

Cracking an egg right into my soup. Mmm mmm MMM!
Me and Allen after a delightful meal

Fri. 4/23
I took it easy Friday morning trying to catch up on some sleep and get rested up for the big Girl Scout camp out weekend! The main reason I went down to LB was because of the Junior Jam GS camp out that my niece’s troop was participating in. I was the co-leader with my sis-in-law Judith for the past two years and as 4th grade Juniors last year we participated in Junior Jam in ’09 so we had to participate as 5th grade Juniors this year as it’s their last year as Junior Girl Scouts! And of course I had to come down to be with them. The girls didn’t know I was coming so it was a big surprise for them. 🙂 Junior Jam is a camping skills competition weekend, so they competed in a ton of skills like putting up a tent, first aid, fire-building, knots, lashing, emergency preparedness, GS know-how, compass and trail signs, etc. I think it is such a great event where 500 Junior Girl Scouts come together to demonstrate their knowledge with these type of skills. And on top of that, a High School GS troop is the one that puts on the event every year! It’s quite amazing.

So Friday night we set up camp, had dinner, and the troop participated in a camp-wide night games which was kind of like “Amazing Race”.

The girls were in love with the doggie door in the tent (okay, I know it’s not really a doggie door but it looks like it!)

Sat. 4/24
We woke up bright and early to eat breakfast (mmm breakfast burritos), decorate our campsite (the weekend’s theme was “Jammin’ Holidays” so our troop’s theme was “birthday”), and get ready for the competition!

The girls were up bright-and-early and wanted to check out the pond
We woke up to a wonderful surprise…squirrels got into our birthday cake! haha
I had a few of the girls pose in front of the huge decorations they had for the camp out, I told them to pretend they were part of the scenes.

The troop named themselves the “Party Bashers” for this camp out (last year it was a music themed camp out so our troop’s theme was the 80’s and the girls named themselves “The Crazy 80’s Ladies”, they sure are creative!)

That’s one good lookin’ donkey! 😉
We created a little birthday scene with the girl’s stuffed animals, too cute!

And now for the skills…

Patiently awaiting their turn
They had to use their lashing skills to make a table
Performing a flag ceremony, good job ladies!
Putting up a tent
Tying knots

The girls did a fantastic job with the skills, I was so proud of them! After eating lunch with the troop I had to leave early so didn’t stick around for the campfire that night or the awards ceremony the next morning. But I found out that the girls placed 5th!! 🙂

Saturday afternoon I tagged along with my mom and her boyfriend Steve and their friends to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale! The Renaissance Faire is one of my absolute favorite things to do so I couldn’t pass up the offer to go with them while I was in LB! We had a fantastic time and it was great spending the afternoon there until they closed…definitely the way to go to beat the crowds and still enjoy yourself!

My mom trying on a ribbon/flower headband, so pretty!
Steve’s grandson Christian…watch out Cap’n Jack!
A young Renaissance man checking himself out in the mirror
Give him a few years and Christian will have the biggest smile on his face 😉
Pirate mama

They have the prettiest masks there!
Christian wanted to ride the swing so I got to tag along 🙂 He’s just to the right of me.
Little Robin Hood
My head was too big for that hole, haha
My favorite thing to get at the Ren Faire…fruit ice!!
Christian sizing up the Giant
Christian and Steve showing the mini Giant who’s boss
Christian on the dragon swing (he’s third from the front)
It was Pirate Day at the Ren Faire, can’t you tell?
Beautiful horse!
I absolutely love all of the costumes! And they all play their characters so well too.

Christian climbing a tree

Saturday night I got together with our good friend Brianne and her sister Laura & Laura’s friend Kylie. We had some snacks, had some laughs, and played some fun games (our favorite past-time!) I was so happy we were able to get together, Brianne and Brian are two friends we miss so much being up here!!

Sun. 4/25
I had another early morning because I wanted to squeeze in as my visits to people as possible! The morning I spent a few hours with my in-laws Dorothy and George (with a short-but-sweet visit with my bro-in-law Thomas too!). It was great catching up with them and I really do miss our talks!

Mid-morning I drove out to my friend Kim’s house to visit with her and her three monkeys (I mean sons!) Kim and I are training for the half-marathon together (check out our running blog here!) and we hadn’t seen each other in about SIX YEARS! It was SO GREAT catching up with her in person and seeing her boys (who are a blast!)

Jacob (3) and David (12)
Kim’s dad came by on his motorcycle so Jacob and David got a ride back home while Connor (2) watched them drive off!

After a few hours of hanging out with her clan 😉 I had to rush back home to get ready for Evon’s wedding! Evon and I were in a sistahood at Redlands together (Wadada Wa Rangi Wengi or WRW) and she married her wonderful fiancee Russell! I was so honored to be a part of their special day and it was so great reuniting with so many of my WRW sistas! I carpooled with my good friend Alison and her husband Seth and it was so nice spending some time with them!

They got married at the most beautiful Catholic church I’ve ever been in!
The lone lit candle
I love stained-glass windows. Beautiful!
The newlyweds, congrats Evon and Russell!!
Nialta and Linda

The reception was a few miles away at a reception hall and it was gorgeously decorated and we had the most amazing spread waiting for us! The crazy thing is that that was only the first course of over SEVEN courses!!

And each table came adorned with a bottle of whiskey and vodka…

Danica getting us started with the Grey Goose
The reception was so much fun! In the first 10 minutes of the bride and groom showing up, her guests had her up in the air!
The happy couple’s first dance
The cake. Being on a Sunday night we had to leave by 10pm, and they hadn’t even gotten to the cake yet! It sure was gorgeous though…
Me and the BEAUTIFUL bride!

Alison, Caroline (a bridesmaid) and me
Me and Sneha (who flew in from NYC)
Meenal (who flew in from Antigua!), me and Alison

Mon. 4/26
Monday wasn’t too eventful except for the 6 hour drive back up to SF! And yes, even with the LA traffic I hit going up I made it in exactly 6 hours…I guess it pays only having one person and making only one pit-stop during the drive! I had a wonderful reunion with my Lola and after a power nap that evening I stayed up until 11pm so that I could see Kevin when he got home from school! 🙂

I had such a wonderful trip, thank you all for taking the time to see me and spend time with me!

Jessie’s 28th birthday

On Thursday 4/15 for Jessie’s 28th birthday we celebrated in style at Morac, a delicious Middle Eastern restaurant + hookah bar.

She was thoroughly enjoying herself, if you can’t already tell 😉

Jessie’s roommate, Jessie P.

Jessie and Susan (friends since high school)

The birthday girl even provided her own cupcakes! And boy were they delish!

After dinner a few of us decided to keep the fun evening going and went to The Mint karaoke bar.

Jessie and her roommate Jessie P. dancin’

Lisa R. singing Sean Paul’s “Shake that thing”

Ryan and Charlotte singing No Doubt’s “Spiderwebs”

Jessie and I decided to sing a duet–“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. When we got on stage and the lyrics popped up and the music started to play we noticed that the music was a lot slower than we imagined…then realized that instead of the Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell duet version, we chose Diana Ross & The Supremes much slower version (click the links to hear the difference between the two)! Luckily we were brought up on oldies so quickly figured out our mistake and I think we pulled it off. 🙂

Ain’t no mountain high enough, baby!

And we ended the evening with a Sister, Sister! photo shoot 😉

Feliz cumpleanos mi hermana tan linda!

Spring is here!

We have been thoroughly enjoying the delightful spring weather (well, up until yesterday that is!)

Last week we took care of some gardening. The weeds were overgrown and taking over! We showed them who’s boss…

And we even found a cute little critter (we think it was a salamander!)

On Friday 4/9 we made the most of my furlough day and took a trip to Fort Funston, which is basically dog heaven.

Lola enjoying the views off the cliff

Let’s just say we kept our eyes on the sky

The extremely steep climb down the cliff to the beach! It was kind of comical watching the dog walkers trying to walk 5+ dogs on leash down this hill (or back up the hill).

Lola is a huge fan of the water, even the cold SF ocean water!

Lola’s one happy pup!

And then we had to climb back UP the hill…

A very satisfied Lola (she rarely sleeps in the car, so we knew we did a job well done)

On Saturday 4/10 Jessie hosted her first-ever Game Night (right up our alley!)

It was a potluck and we feasted that night!

We brought just a few of our many games–Balderdash, Taboo and Apples to Apples.

Cathy trying to get Team Intuition to guess her word, and Josh ready to “zap” her if she said one of the off-limits words.

Kevin, Jessie P. and Lisa R.

Jessie working hard to get her team to guess her word! And can you tell I loved being the “zapper”? 😉

A reenactment of some fun Taboo moments

Jessie’s game night was a total success! Good games, good food and good company. 🙂

Mom’s visit

My mom and her boyfriend Steve came up to visit Thursday 4/1 – Monday 4/5 and we had a really great time. It was the first time my mom had come up to see our new place in SF and it was a great chance to get to know Steve better as well. They drove up on Thursday and that afternoon after hanging out with Kevin and me for a little bit, Kevin had to go to school so the three of us went out exploring the city.

We drove through Bernal Heights (a really cute neighborhood near our apartment) then drove through Diamond Heights and stopped to get a gorgeous view of downtown.

Kevin’s usually the tour guide for our visitors, so it was interesting being put in the driver’s seat and when I asked them “So what do you want to see?” they replied “Whatever you want to show us!” I know one of my favorite places in the city is Golden Gate Park, so that’s where we went!

We took a stroll around Stow Lake (one of my favorite spots in GG Park)…

The local sun-bathin’ turtles
Me and mom near the waterfall on Strawberry Hill
Mom and Steve in the Golden Gate Pavillion, a Chinese pagoda on Stow Lake

After our romp through the park, we decided to indulge in some delicious Peruvian food in the Mission at Mi Lindo Peru. My mom and I had actually been to this same restaurant years before when we came up to visit Jessie (long before Kevin and I had even considered moving to SF!)

This is a fantastic restaurant with extremely good food. My good friend Claudia (who visited me last summer) inspired in me a great love for Peruvian food. Our visit to this restaurant reminded me that I need to ask her for some of her recipes to make some at home! 🙂

My mom got Inca Kola (kind of like cream soda)
I got Aji de Gallina (chili chicken in a cream sauce)…I really need to learn to make this at home so I can have it whenever I please! 🙂

Friday through Sunday Steve was out visiting his niece’s family in San Ramon, so my mom stayed with me and Kevin those nights. On Friday I was able to get out of work early to spend some time with mom and Jess that evening. We hung out and talked for a couple of hours then vegged out and watched about 5 episodes of “Modern Family” (have you seen that show?? It’s HILARIOUS!) It was just like old times, the three of us cracking up so hard we could barely breathe kind of moments. That night when Kevin got home from class we went out to dinner to one of our favorite restaurants, CaliPhoNia (Vietnamese)…sooooo good!!

On Saturday afternoon, the four of us ventured out of the city and drove down to Santa Cruz. Jessie’s the only one who had been there before, and it was such a cute little beach town (definitely reminded us of Long Beach and Seal Beach).

Jess and mom doing the tango in our backyard

We had a little photo shoot on one of the cliffs overlooking the beach…

America’s Next Top Model, Jessie

We then drove down to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

My mom treated us to a ride on the Giant Dipper (the 6th oldest roller coaster in the US, by the way!)…

We had an AWESOME time on the roller coaster (can’t you tell by the photo? haha).

After braving the roller coaster we treated ourselves to some typical carnival food–Jessie got garlic fries, Kevin got cotton candy, mom got funnel cake and I got a chocolate-dipped ice cream cone…YUM!!

Those are some satisfied carnies! haha
My childhood favorite: chocolate-dipped ice cream cone

Kevin ate so much cotton candy his tongue turned into sugar!
The cone says it all…

On Easter Sunday we drove out to San Ramon to meet Steve and his niece Michelle’s family (her husband Steve and their kids Morgan and Melissa).

Spring is here!
Morgan (6 yrs. old) showing off his magic tricks (he was good too!)
Melissa came out in her princess gown and quickly got tangled up in some balloons and her tiara, in true princess fashion 😉
And then she proceeded to tattoo herself up with Easter stickers

To celebrate in true Easter-style we ended our evening at The Mint, a karaoke bar in SF, and the sushi bar next door, Sushi Delight. The Delmar girls all love karaoke, so Kevin and Steve just cheered us on. 😉

A few of the songs that were sung that evening…

Apparently, I really get into it. Me singing John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Hurt So Good” (my signature karaoke song, haha)
Mom singing “Can’t Take my Eyes off of You”

Jess singing “Angel Baby”

Jess and Mom dancing along to Dean Martin’s “Luna Mezzo Mare”

My mom will be back in town for my sister’s graduation from SF State so we’re looking forward to some more adventures next month!