Category Archive: family

Dorothy & Judy’s visit

Kevin’s mom (Dorothy) and a family friend (Judy) came up for a visit this past weekend and we had a blast! They drove down on Thursday 3/25 and stayed until Sunday 3/28 morning. Thursday night we took them to Goood Frikin Chicken (ummm, can you tell we love that place?) and Friday morning we got out of the city for the day…destination: Point Reyes Lighthouse!

Friday, 3/26

First stop: Muir Beach overlook

They were filming a music video (I think) which was kind of neat to see…except we didn’t get down to the very edge of the cliff! 🙁
Me, Dorothy and Kevin (Judy took this from the other side of the cliff)
Dorothy, Kevin and Judy…and the gorgeous ocean!

The Visitor Center was in an old farm house…gorgeous!
Dorothy keeping the walrus in check, haha
Yum, picnic lunch!

Final stop: Point Reyes Lighthouse

Dorothy and Judy taking a break from the hike to the lighthouse

They were in LOVE with that beach…but can you really blame them??

The fact that there was a Caution sign about the walk back up from the lighthouse should have made us nervous…they weren’t kidding about the strenuous part! But we lived to tell about it.
All 308 steep steps up from the lighthouse…but totally worth it!
Breath-taking view.

On the way home we drove through the town of Inverness (very cute, by the way…we’d love to check out some of the adorable bed and breakfasts there!) There was this cool old boat on the shore that I had to get out and take a photo of.

Overall, a superb day in Marin County!

Saturday, 3/27

On Saturday we stayed local and spent most of the day in Golden Gate Park.

Cherry blossoms outside of the Japanese Gardens (we didn’t feel like paying the fee to get in…)

The main attraction of the day: The California Academy of Sciences! Kevin and I had visited there when Jessie first moved up to SF (about 6 years ago!) and the museum had gone through a major renovation and reopened in 2008 so we hadn’t gotten a chance to check out the new place. It is a FANTASTIC museum and we really enjoyed ourselves.

The indoors rainforest: A 4-story rainforest complete with butterflies, macaws, frogs, and sweat (it was super humid in there!)

Kevin got this shot of this butterfly…beautiful!
Fish ‘n lily pads

Kevin also captured this awesome photo when this gecko was looking right at him and seconds before he jumped straight towards him!

We got tickets to the 3pm Planetarium show (included in admission price, score!) and it was fantastic. The video was narrated by Whoopi Goldberg (who doesn’t love Whoopi??) and it was extremely informational and awe-inspiring. Plus we learned that each of us has about a teaspoon’s worth of star particles in our bodies…oooooh!

The CAS boasts of its “Living Roof” which we really enjoyed checking out…

Another picnic lunch, this time in Golden Gate Park…

Kevin juggling oranges and me goofing around.

Our only group picture from the trip:

We had SO much fun with those two and can’t wait for another adventure in the near future!

Beatles Brunch and Alison/Seth’s visit!

Jessie had a fantastic get together at her apartment last Saturday (2/13) called the Beatles Brunch! She’s got quite a talent for cooking, especially breakfast foods, so she had a bunch of friends over for brunch that she made all on her own!

Two amazing scramble dishes (one with bell peppers, spinach and goat cheese…oh my!), bacon and home style potatoes.

Breakfast “dessert”…sour cream coffee cake (Kevin’s specialty that he brought along) and Jessie’s chocolate croissant banana bread pudding…yum!!

Somebody’s hungry!

She had the super cute idea of leaving out arts & crafts supplies and people making their own valentines…awwww!

The official Valentine’s nerd 😉

Must’ve been a special occasion because Kevin’s not wearing a plain ol’ t-shirt! 🙂 (I’m one to talk though because normally all I wear is jeans but that day I wore a skirt for the special occasion)

When the mimosas ran out, the boys opened up some scotch (which you can see they were very proud of)

Sisterly love!

That night we had a rare night out on the town because my friend Alison and her husband Seth were in town from Irvine! Alison is originally from Walnut Creek (in Contra Costa County) and she and I met at Redlands. Seth is in a PhD program at UC Irvine so they’re living in Orange County for now but are planning on coming back up to the Bay Area when he’s done (3-4 more years). She and some of her friends from home came out to the city for the evening. In the early part of the evening, Alison, Laura, Kevin and I went to dinner at Papalote’s Mexican Grill in the Mission (they have the most unbelievable creamy salsa you’ve ever had!) We then met up with Seth, Daniel and Eric in the Castro and spent a few hours at The Cafe, a really fun gay nightclub.

Laura, Daniel, Eric, Alison and Seth

Kevin had to fight off the boys at the club, haha!

Laura, me, Kev, Alison and Seth

We spent hours dancing away and we had a blast! I can’t wait for Alison and Seth to move back up to the Bay Area so we can get together more often! 🙂

Visiting with the Edmonds family in Turlock

On Saturday 2/6 we were lucky enough to get to spend some time with some of Kevin’s family for the day! His parents, George and Dorothy, were spending some time near Coarse Gold (which is near Yosemite) and on Saturday made a visit to George’s sister’s home in Turlock so we met up with them there. It was really great to be able to see them even if only for a day. We spent a few hours chatting and catching up with each other at Kevin’s Aunt Jayne’s house and then went to lunch at AJ’s Cafe and Grill in town which had some pretty good sandwiches (typical diner style food). We were able to spend over half the day with them which was a great little visit in between the months we go without seeing them! Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos during our visit so you’ll just have to take my word for it. 😉

Thomas and Joshua’s visit

Early in the morning on t he first day of the new year we jumped in our packed car and made the drive back up to SF. Kevin’s brother Thomas and our nephew Joshua followed us in Thomas’ car to spend the weekend in the city with us! The trip hadn’t been planned more than a few days so it was a great way to end our trip.

Kevin and Thomas playing with Lola during a pit stop off the 5

After hanging out at our apartment for a bit we decided to head out to Fisherman’s Wharf (my favorite spot in the city…yeah, not really! haha) for some exploring.

I have to admit, it was nice seeing Fisherman’s Wharf at night
We were entertained for about 3 minutes by “Captain Jack Spareribs Pirate Show” (as you can see, we had to practically tear Thomas away from the show, haha)
We made another visit to the Musee Mecanique (antique penny arcade) and Josh made a little discovery (this photo was aunt/uncle inspired! 😉 )

For dinner we wanted to go to Goood Frikin Chicken or Balompie but unfortunately both were closed because it was New Year’s Day. So we ended up going to a Mexican/Salvadorean restaurant called El Patio in the Mission which had great food but horrible service unfortunately. Guess we should’ve read the reviews first, about half of them had the same complaint as us (click link above)! At least it was good food!

On Sat. 1/2 we headed out for more sight-seeing. We made our first stop at Buena Vista Park in the Haight which Kevin and I had passed many times and always said we’d visit so that day was good as any!

The boys race to the top of the staircase

Thomas, the victor

And of course the most fun the three of them had was in the kiddie playground!

After driving through some neighborhoods and popular spots we decided to get out of the city for a change so across the Golden Gate Bridge we went! We spent the afternoon in Sausalito, a really cute town just across the Bay.

Josh contemplating the meaning of life (or something along those lines, I’m sure…)

After Sausalito, Kevin and Thomas wanted to drive to Point Reyes Lighthouse but met some resistance with me because it was such a long drive and we had already driven 8 hours the day before! So we settled for a visit to Fairfax, a cute little town in Marin County. We spent some time on the major strip on Broadway checking out the cute shops and sipping on some coffee/hot chocolate/tea/coke (whatever our choice drink was 😉 ).

Thomas and Josh left first thing Sunday morning to make the trip back to Long Beach. Their visit was such a great way to start the new year!

Christmas & New Year’s in Long Beach

Kevin and I were fortunate enough to be able to spend a nice chunk of time in Long Beach visiting with family and friends for the holidays. Kevin was out of school early so flew down a week before Christmas. Lola and I held down the fort at home while he was gone and with Jessie drove down at around 2am on Saturday 12/19. That morning we had a delicious breakfast with Kevin at Nick’s Burritos in Seal Beach (haven’t had Nick’s yet? You must!!) And that afternoon we were lucky enough to be in town to celebrate Sophie’s 3rd birthday!

Little miss Fancy Nancy in all her glory!
Me and the birthday girl

After most of the party people left, we decided to introduce Lola to Kevin’s parent’s neighbor’s dogs Tango and Cash, two cute Boxer puppies.

The majority of our time in LB we stayed at my mom’s house. We were a little worried about how Lola and Luke (my family dog) would get along. The first day we took extra precautions when introducing the two of them because we know how territorial Luke can be so we introduced them in the front yard. They immediately were interested in each other and when we took them in the backyard they were sniffing around and sniffing each other and just getting a feel for each other. Luckily, they ended up getting along just fine! They were quite the duo–Luke the small, old fart and Lola the big, rambunctious bundle of energy–but they quickly became close “cousins”. 🙂

The week leading up to Christmas was full of catching up with folks we hadn’t seen in a while. My mom hosted a holiday party on Sun. 12/20 which was a lot of fun. On the 22nd we went out to dinner with our good friends Heather and Gabriel (Heather and I met each other working for the OC Girl Scouts) and we had a delicious meal at Outback Steakhouse and it was even more enjoyable because of the great company we had! My brother Derek and his friend Emily also joined us for some shenanigans that night. 🙂 On the 23rd my mom took me, Jessie and Kevin out for our Christmas gifts…Chinese massages! It was such a nice treat and I wasn’t in quite as much pain afterwards as I was last time we got them! We definitely need to find a place like that here in SF. Christmas Eve we spent with my family–my mom, Jessie, Derek and my Aunt Tina–and we had a really great time making homemade pizzas and sharing gifts. That night intead of staying at my mom’s which we had been doing we stayed the night at Kevin’s parent’s house to be ready for the festivities in the morning!

Christmas Eve (I think I was being forced to watch some weird Japanese movie with Kevin and Thomas, haha…go look it up “Big Man Japan” and you’ll know what I’m talking about)

On Christmas morning Thomas and I drove out to Riverside to go pick up Sophie to celebrate Christmas with the family. It was so great seeing the little munchkin after almost 6 months of not seeing her! The morning and afternoon we spent at Dorothy & George’s house, hanging out, opening gifts, and snacking on holiday treats.

Josh & Sophie showing off their hats

Even Lola got some gifts (thank you Judith, Luke, Joshua and Katelyn)!

Christmas night we went over to our good friend Judy Rotty’s house to celebrate with her and her daughter Lisa. We had a delicious dinner and had a great time playing the Wii.

Sophie distracting Aunt Sarah while playing Rockband
Cowgirl Sophie!
Kevin playing Sophie’s favorite game: Toss up! (though it was more like a workout for Kevin than a game!)
Check out that hair!

One of the best parts of the day was that the Sophienator spent the night at the Edmonds’ house and we did too! It was great being able to see her in her pj’s playing fort with Thomas before bedtime.

The week after Christmas we went to lunch with our good friend Susan (Susan and I also used to work together at the OC Girl Scouts) to Open Sesame in Long Beach. That week we were also reunited with Shige, a student from Japan who lived at my mom’s house a couple of years ago while he was studying English at CSULB. It was SO great to see him after such a long time away! One of the things we had to do while he was in town was make a visit to Island’s Burgers which, when he first came to visit, he called his burger “The #1 burger of my life”. And they sure didn’t disappoint!

Kevin, me, Shige and my mom at Island’s!

For New Year’s we took Shige along with us to hang out with friends at JJ’s Karaoke in Tustin! We spent 4 hours singing the night away with Alison, Seth, Brianne, Brian and Allison. After karaoke we went to Allison’s new apartment in Costa Mesa for the countdown!

Creating an awesome music list takes lots of concentration!
Alison and Shige

Alison & me singing our signature song “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner! (We were “rollin’ down the river” at this point in the song!)

About two minutes after the countdown we rushed home to catch a few hours of sleep before our looooong drive back up to SF the next morning (we left the house at 6am!) Overall it was a GREAT trip to Southern California!!

Thanksgiving weekend

This year, Thanksgiving was filled with a few “firsts” for us–first time we haven’t spent Thanksgiving in Long Beach, first time hosting the gathering, first time talking with family via video chat…but although it was filled with very new experiences, we had a really great time.

Growing up, my family was extremely close with the Julian family (Diane, Dave, Matt & Brandon), so they decided to come to San Francisco and spend the holiday with us. Brandon arrived from Humboldt (where he’s earning his degree in Early Childhood Education, should be done this winter!) earlier than the rest of the gang so he stayed with us Tuesday night. Then on Wed., Dave, Diane and Matt arrived after the long drive from LA around 11:30 so we decided to get a bite to eat. Matt had seen Cali Pho Nia which I’ve blogged about previously and was craving Vietnamese so we all enjoyed a great lunch together. That afternoon we watched a family video of us kids (the two Julian boys and the three Delmar kids) putting on skits, showing off our Halloween candy loot, and dancing the Time Warp from Rocky Horror Picture Show…awesome! The video definitely gave us some laughs, watching ourselves dancing away in our 80’s and 90’s clothes, haha.

Thanksgiving morning Diane woke up not feeling so hot 🙁 but she was a real trooper and came to our apartment early anyways to help cook! We popped open a bottle (or two) of champagne to help us get through the hours of cooking and enjoyed some amazing appetizers that Diane and Jessie provided…

Mid-morning Kevin and I had a nice time chatting with his family via his and his brother’s PlayStation 3 gaming systems (I guess they are good for something! haha) We’ve done it a few times before but it was really special doing it on a holiday when we weren’t able to be with them in person.

Brandon cuttin’ up the sweet potato fries while Jessie and Matt keep him entertained with their story-telling.
Jessie, Matt and me

Early in the afternoon my mom and Kevin surprised us with another video chat session, this time with my mom, my Aunt Tina, my Uncle Joey and Luke the family dog! 🙂 We had a great time talking with them with the video streaming, it felt like they were right in our living room with us!

Jessie and her friend Kimberly who joined us for the holiday
Kevin and Dave (and Lola) anxiously waiting for the food to be done
Entertaining ourselves as the turkey finished cooking, playing a game that Brandon told us about called “Pictionary Telephone” (so much fun!)

So what was on the menu, you ask? Well, let me show you!

Mmm, mmm, mmm! Part one of the amazing meal
I had to put a special picture of Kevin’s homemade dinner rolls (and not just pour-out-the-box-and-mix-with-water kinda homemade, I’m talking yeast-and-rolling-out-the-dough-and-letting-it-rise-overnight kinda homemade!

And to finish off the meal…plenty of desserts! Kevin and I were in charge of the desserts and Jessie’s friend Kimberly brought the berry pie for us to share as well. We made two pumpkin pies, capirotada (Mexican bread pudding) and a tiramisu trifle dessert…delicious!

The day after Thanksgiving, instead of spending our time standing in lines with the rest of the world, we spent a quiet morning at home and then met up with the Julians at the SF Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) which Kevin and I hadn’t made it to yet. We went specifically to see the Richard Avedon photography exhibit but enjoyed the other exhibits as well.

I don’t think Kevin was too impressed, probably thinking “I could’ve done that”, haha
Kevin wanted to call this one “Pucker Up, Buttercup” and I couldn’t agree more! haha
One of my favorite pieces about African-American novelists and literary figures

Now onto the main exhibit!

He had tons of amazing portraits of both famous and not-so-famous characters. Here are my favorites…

One of my favorites, Janis Joplin

Louis Armstrong (I’ve been listening to his music a lot lately)


The Beatles

Malcolm X

The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1963. I had researched this group for my senior thesis on black and white women’s experiences during the Civil Rights Movement (one of my favorite time periods in US History), so this was really exciting to see.

After spending a couple of hours in the museum we made our way to Union Square to get a bite to eat at a small Italian cafe before heading out to see the Christmas tree lighting. After 30 minutes of holiday songs by the boy’s choir, one of the American Idol losers, and some church chorus group they finally lit the tree to everyone’s enjoyment! Then the streets flooded with people wanting to get home and I’ve never seen it so packed. Even though I joke about the annoying show they put on before they lit the tree, it was a great way to get in the holiday spirit!

Diane and Matt
Matt, Brandon and Kevin
The tree

The Julians’ last night in the city we decided to introduce them to the wonderful world of Goood Frickin Chicken which Kevin and I frequent. As expected, the Julians loved the food there and we had a great last night together hanging out like old times.

We had a really great weekend spending time with family friends and now that we’ve got a taste for the holidays, the countdown to Christmas in Long Beach has officially started! We’ll be driving down either the 18th or 19th and can’t wait! 🙂

October trip to Long Beach

Kevin and I had a great time back at home and can’t wait to go back!

Thursday 10/15
We landed in Long Beach early Thurs. AM and Kevin’s mom Dorothy came to pick us up. Kevin went to visit some friends at Yamaha where he used to work so Dorothy and I went to lunch together at Grounds Cafe (they have delicious sandwiches!) That afternoon we hung out with Kevin’s family and then that night we went to spend some time with my mom. We went to dinner at Lola’s Mexican Restaurant (they have the BEST cilantro salsa I have ever had and great molé!) and had a lot of fun just spending time with my mama.

Friday 10/16
We took it easy Friday morning and just hung out around my mom’s house visiting with my family’s dog Luke (who’s an old fart now!)

Then my mom took Kevin and I on an adventure in Little Saigon–Chinese massages! My mom’s a big fan of getting these so for our birthdays last year she said she’d take us so we finally made some time to do it! It was quite the experience. We enjoyed it a lot and felt pretty refreshed (and a little beat up! haha) afterwards. We treated ourselves to some Vietnamese noodles and soup afterwards at a small cafe in the shopping center.

After that adventure (thanks again mama!) we went with Kevin’s parents to our nephew’s high school football game to see him perform in marching band. Josh is a sophomore at Mayfair HS and he just started band this year playing the trombone.

Josh is the one in the middle wearing the glasses

We met Kevin’s sister Judith and our neice Katelyn there and had a fun time just hanging out at the football game!

Dorothy, me, Katelyn and Judith

George, Kevin, Dorothy and me

After the halftime show we went to spend some time with our friends Brianne and Brian (the ones who visited us a few weeks ago). We went to eat at Lucille’s BBQ (one of our favorite restaurants!) and then went to hang out at their apartment. We got to meet their little kitty named Eva (sooo cute!) and we watched “I Love You, Man” which was quite entertaining (yay Jobin! haha) We used to spend a ton of time with them because they lived only a few blocks from our old apartment, so it was great feeling like old times again. 🙂

Saturday 10/17

Saturday morning we went to visit my Aunt Tina and had a great visit with her. She’s looking really great and was in the greatest of spirits when we saw her (it’s been a long while since I updated her blog, but in case you’d like to see it here’s the link!) She’s actually going to get her tracheotomy removed soon and will have a wheelchair that she can maneuver on her own in the next couple of months! She’s making amazing progress and I know that she’s only going to continue to improve by great leaps and bounds. 🙂

That afternoon we spent some time at the Edmonds’ home having a barbecue. Dorothy made my favorite ribs ever and it felt like old times again hanging out in the backyard with Dorothy, George and Thomas.

That night came the long anticipated Oktoberfest! We had gone three years in a row while living in LB so wanted to continue the tradition while we were in town. Kim, Frank, Alison, Seth, Brian and Thomas joined us to drink some beer and do the chicken dance. 🙂

Kevin, Brian and Thomas (pretending they’re too cool for the chicken dance!)

Alison & Seth (good friends from Redlands)

Kim & Frank (Kim’s a really close family friend)

Bet you can’t guess what we’re doing…

We’re such German-wannabe nerds!

Me ‘n Kev

The group

Sunday 10/18

Sunday was our last full day in town and Kevin’s family hosted a joint birthday party for our neice Katelyn (her birthday was Oct. 11th) and mine (my birthday was Oct. 20th). Sarah, Rob, Judy, Lisa, Brian, Brianne and the rest of the “regulars” came to celebrate.

Yummy cookies with funny Katelyn-designed quotes written on them

Kevin, Judith and Thomas

Rob & Judy

Katelyn opening up her gift from me and Kevin. We didn’t have any gift bags so we put it in a Christmas stocking. As you can see, she was pretty excited about the stocking itself…then she opened it up to find a pair of socks (haha, gotcha Katelyn!)…then she was pleasantly surprised to see a real gift inside. 🙂

The birthday girls

That night we went back to my mom’s with Brian, Brianne and Thomas and spent time hanging out with my mom. We had to hit the sack early that night because of our early AM flight the next day.

Overall we had a wonderful time back at home! It was a bit strange having not been back in three months, not having a car to drive ourselves around, and thinking of Long Beach as a vacation spot for us after having lived there all of our lives. Thanks to everyone for chauffering us around town and taking the time to hang out with us! When we’re down for Christmas we want to see more of you!! 🙂

Sarah & Rob’s visit (Sept. 25th-27th)

Kevin’s sister Sarah and her boyfriend Rob came up to visit Fri. 9/25-Sun. 9/27. They drove up Friday night and after hanging out a bit we went out to dinner to Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack (a delicious and fun Italian-inspired restaurant whose menu changes occasionally so you can never get tired of their food and it has a great atmosphere that even includes a DJ on the weekends).

On Saturday I unfortunately had to work from 8:30am-2pm in Oakland so Kevin took them sight-seeing and then I met up with them near Golden Gate Park and we headed out to the Golden Gate Bridge to check out the sights. We made a pit stop to Bi-Rite Ice Cream Shop (a MUST for anyone visiting SF!) and enjoyed some honey lavender, raspberry white chocolate swirl, salted caramel, balsamic strawberry, and mint ‘n chip ice cream (are you hungry yet??). Mostly we just drove around the city and it was nice for Kevin and I to be tourists for a change. 🙂 Saturday night we were fortunate enough to be wined and dined by Sarah and Rob who made us a delicious dinner. And then Kevin and I surprised Sarah with some yummy strawberry cupcakes for her birthday.

On Sunday we went to our trusted brunch spot, Zazie, and I think we made two more fans outta them. 🙂 They had to leave that afternoon to drive back down to Southern California so we didn’t have a ton of time to spend with them that day. Overall it was a really great visit from them and we were so happy that they came up to visit!

Visit from Aunt Kathy

August 23rd
I was so happy to hear that my Aunt Kathy (my dad’s sister) had planned a trip to SF and wanted to spend some time with us! We went to our new favorite brunch place Zazie(yes, the same place we went with Kevin’s parents!) and had a delicious breakfast. Then we went back to our apartment so that she could meet Lola and of course Lola immediately sensed that she was a doggy person. 🙂 Though the visit was only for half a day, it was so great spending some time with Aunt Kathy and having her see our new life up in SF!

Derek visits SF

My brother Derek made a trip up to SF last week and it was so great showing him our new city because he had never been here before! On Fri. 8/14 he and I did some exploring in North Beach, Chinatown and Ghirardelli Square. It was his last day in the city and we didn’t have time to take him back to my apartment before he left so he had to take his stuff with him. So he had this grand idea of taking photos throughout the city standing with his pillow. So that’s why he’s holding his pillow in every photo! We had a good time coming up with ideas of where to take photos. It was so nice having him up to visit and I can’t wait for him to come back soon!

Derek & Pillow in Chinatown
Derek & Pillow looking at the funky styrofoam bird display
Derek & Pillow in red light district
Derek & Pillow in North Beach
Derek & Pillow with cool gypsy wall art
Derek & Pillow in North Beach
Derek & Pillow in Ghirardelli Square
Derek & Pillow on bus
Derek & Pillow and sisters

Can you believe it, a serious photo with the Delmar kids! (If anyone knows Derek and has seen family photos of us, he’s always making a funny face! 😉 )