Category Archive: Golden Gate Park

B & B’s visit

The first weekend of August we were visited by our favorite couple ever, Brianne & Brian! They stayed with us Thursday through Sunday so it was a great chunk of time to spend with those kiddos. ๐Ÿ™‚

The first day I had to work so Kevin and B & B went to the Exploratorium to act like kids for a day. That night after work we met up with Carleigh in Union Square and had drinks and dinner at an Irish pub (can’t remember the name of it). We then treated ourselves to some Mitchell’s Ice Cream since they hadn’t tried it yet. We’ve got ourselves a couple new fans! ๐Ÿ™‚

On Friday while Kevin and I were at work, B & B did some exploring in the East Bay on their own. We then met up that afternoon to do some exploring in North Beach/Chinatown.

Yes it is August and yes we’re bundled up like we’re going to the North Pole ๐Ÿ™‚

Our first stop in Chinatown: House of Nanking! We had heard rave reviews about it and were not disappointed. Soooo tasty! Just don’t be fooled by the name of their scallop dish “Tower of Scallops”…it was only three freakin’ scallops! Other than that, we were super impressed (just not with the service, but what can you expect?)

We then walked a mile or two to North Beach and hung out at our regular spot Mara’s Italian Pastries.

Our lovely posed photo (check out the tripod our camera is on, haha!)
Here’s our goofy shot…guess Kevin and Brian didn’t get the memo!
Being goofs in front of some window display in Union Square
They look like they could be locals! ๐Ÿ™‚

On Saturday we went to visit Kevin on his lunch break since he had to work ๐Ÿ™ We went to eat at La Boulange Bakery.

Delicious tuna melt!!

Then B & B and I were off to explore the Sutro Baths.

Brian rock climbing

Then we did some exploring (by car mostly) through Golden Gate Park.

And where do you think we went to dinner? Goood Frikin Chicken of course! It’s where we take all of our lucky visitors.

After dinner we made the trip out to Concord for Terri and Scott’s poker night. The newbies (B & B) got beginner’s luck and walked away with the pot!!

We had such a fantastic time with those two and we miss ’em already! Can’t wait for their next visit ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

For dinner we went to a real local treat…Chevy’s Mexican restaurant (can you hear the sarcasm in my typing voice? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) 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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

We then walked to Fisherman’s Wharf (have I told you how much I love that place? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) 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.

Momโ€™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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰
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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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!

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! ๐Ÿ™
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!

Sunny days in SF!

We have been thoroughly enjoying the past two weeks of sunshine in the city. Some mornings when I get up and the sky is blue and clear of any clouds and the wind is nice and warm, I honestly feel as though I’m back in Long Beach! It’s been so great to be able to spend so many sunny days outdoors (and I’ve regained some of my tan back, woohoo! ๐Ÿ™‚ ) Here are some of the fun things we’ve been doing with our beautiful days…

Nothing says “warm weather” quite like a BBQ!

Lola and I spent one afternoon with Jessie and the boys she nannies for (McKinley Square Park)

Brandt showing off his static-y hair
Jess and Colby

Lola is a huge fan of the warm weather and she’s been spending a lot of time outdoors. She’s had her way with her basketball and it’s not much of a ball anymore!

We’ve been frequenting Golden Gate Park lately and have been taking our time exploring Stow Lake and Strawberry Hill and the surrounding areas with all of the great trails.

Kevin, Lola and Stow Lake

A waterfall in the middle of Golden Gate Park

Thomas and Joshuaโ€™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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

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!

A thank you to our visitors, anxious puppies, and Golden Gate Park

Howdy folks!

I just had the best surprise a few minutes ago and that prompted me to get my butt on here and write another post…a few weeks ago I added a map to my blog to show where people are logging into our blog (you can see it on the right column) and lo and behold we’ve had quite a few hits from all over the world! Of course, Southern California has the most hits but I believe I can make a shout out to a few people outside of CA that I think have been visiting: Erin in Illinois, Sneha in NYC and our farthest visitor ever…Shige in Japan!! It’s so amazing to know that people are actually interested in what we’re up to and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for continuing to read our blog! Also, there’s someone who logged in from it looks to be Nebraska or Kansas though I’m not sure who it is…so post a comment if it’s you so we’ll know who you are and can thank you properly! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll update about Thanksgiving in another post later this week but a few things that we’ve been up to since my last post…

Lola’s been acting up a lot lately and it started to really get to me and put a damper on things. Kevin leaves for school between 2-3pm every afternoon and I get home between 5-6pm so Lola is left outside for a few hours a day. Each night when I’d get home, I could expect to be greeted by an excited Lola but also a nice pile of crap that she tore up while she was alone. I’ve come home to a bag of charcoal torn up and strewn across the yard, the hose pulled off the stand with a few holes added to it, her water and food bowls torn up to shreds, and the best yet…her doggy bed torn up and the stuffing all over the yard. It was getting extremely difficult being happy with her in the evenings after having to clean up her crap and knowing that money was just being chewed up and spit out each day.

So one night last week when I came home to a bag of wood chips torn up I decided to Google the issue and see if I could find any solutions. Come to find out…she has anxiety problems! (Go figure…) Each time we would leave her, she’d get separation anxiety and would act out as a result. The most eye-opening part of my research was that us humans were the ones causing the problem in the first place. Something I found extremely interesting and also quite sad is that separation anxiety is the #2 reason why dogs are put up for adoption and euthanized…the dogs seem unruly and just plain ol’ “bad” and so are given up…but in reality the humans are the ones that need to be trained to fix this behavior. I found two great articles on this topic (links here and here) and Kevin and I have been working really hard this past week to help Lola with her anxiety problems. It really seems to be working…she’s getting more used to being by herself even when we’re home (so that when we do leave it’s not such a shock to her) and she’s starting to calm down before and after we leave so that our leaving is not such a big deal anymore. Tonight we were actually gone from 1-7:30pm and when we got home not a thing was torn up! ๐Ÿ™‚ So far, so good!

Last weekend on Saturday we decided to take a trip to Golden Gate Park and have a picnic lunch. We went to a part of the park that’s pretty quiet and off-the-beaten-path (on this map, we were near number 25 in the key) and spent a great few hours in the sunshine, enjoying our sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies, and playing fetch with Lola. We’re trying to take advantage of the sunny days because we won’t see many of those for a while come December!

Lola anxiously awaiting Kevin to throw the ball for her

A very tired and happy Lola
Hanging out with mom

Our pretty little girl (who thinks she’s a model with that pose, haha)

Our first "guest" at Hotel Lisa & Kevin

One of my brother’s best friends who has become a great friend of ours as well came to visit this past weekend. Emily drove up on Friday to see a friend’s play up in Oakland on Sunday, so all day Saturday we hung out together exploring the city. Saturday morning we went to the Alemany Farmer’s Market just a short distance from our apartment. We had heard that this was one of the best farmer’s markets in the city, so we were excited to visit. We got some delicious peaches, strawberries, bok choy, green beans and dates (don’t be jealous!)

Mid-day we decided to do some touristy things and made a visit to Lombard Street and then over to the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park (mostly because it was the cheapest admission we could find! Only $5 admission versus $20-50!) The garden was absolutely gorgeous and I just wish there had been more to see to make spending more time there worth it.

Then we met up with my sister and her friend Meredith who was in town from Long Beach as well and Jessie’s boyfriend Kindrid and his friend Justin to see a movie in the park at Union Square! We saw Woody Allen’s “Manhattan” and it was such a neat experience, putting down blankets and enjoying some drinks and snacks right in the middle of Union Square.

It started raining before the movie started (can you see the raindrops on my shoulder?)
Luckily it stopped 20 mins. before the movie started!

Me, Emily and Kevin all bundled up

Justin, Kindrid, Jessie and Meredith

Beautiful sunset in SF!

Lying down, all bundled up (and yes, I did end up falling asleep! I guess I’m not a
big Woody Allen fan after all ๐Ÿ˜‰ )