Category Archive: Not San Francisco

Alison’s visit & Alemany Farmer’s Market

On Saturday 11/13 we woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and decided to visit the Alemany Farmer’s Market in our neighborhood. It’s one of the best in the city and we had only gone together once before. Now that Kevin has Saturdays off we’ll definitely be visiting more often!

Probably my most favorite part of this farmer’s market are the amazing murals in each stall. They are gorgeous and I can’t get enough of them!

Yummy green beans
A really funny sign in one of the stalls
Kevin picking out some yummy mandarin oranges
And what’s a farmer’s market without fresh-cut flowers?
Our yummy loot! Apples, arugula, almonds, mandarin oranges, garlic, kabocha squash, green beans, heirloom tomatoes, bok choy and bell peppers.

After taking Lola to the park we made our way out to Walnut Creek to visit our good friend Alison who was in town! Last time she visited (check out blog post here from February) we had a grand ol’ time so we were expecting nothing less. 🙂

We met Alison and her friend Laura at Alison’s favorite Indian restaurant Sargam and enjoyed an amazing buffet lunch! Then we spent a few hours exploring Walnut Creek’s downtown area, walking and window shopping and, of course, getting pedicures! It was Kevin’s first time and I’m happy to report he’s a fan. 🙂

Oh-so-relaxing foot soak
The only photographic proof that Kevin got a pedicure!
So I love a good chair massage but the ones at this place were a little weird (check out where the pressure was at this particular moment–weird!)
The happy customers!
Showing off my orange nail color
Alison didn’t have any sandals so wore Kevin’s, haha.

We then went to her family’s home and spent a couple of hours hanging out (and eating Halloween chocolate) with her mom Laurel and her new kitties.

We then spent the evening with Laura and Daniel at Pyramid Brewery for some yummy nachos and beer and Club 1220, the only gay club in Walnut Creek.

We had a great time checking out Alison’s old stomping grounds and can’t wait to see her again!

Foodie reviews

It’s been a while since I wrote a foodie review…here are some of the places we’ve explored to get some grub!

Little Yangon (Burmese food)
in Daly City
What do you get when you cross Indian food and Thai food? Burmese food, apparently! Jessie and I visited Little Yangon after spending the day car shopping for her and it was exactly what we needed after that long day. I had never had Burmese food before and I was so so so impressed. I have to admit, I think about this food occasionally and can’t wait until I go back. 😉 The Rainbow noodle salad and eggplant were my favorite. Amazing food and really great service too!

Holy Grill
YUMMMMMY burgers! Big, juicy, super flavorful. Not the cheapest burgers in the city ($6-9 each) but definitely worth every penny. I got the Yoga Burger (veggie patty with yummy toppings) and it was great. We ordered the garlic fries to share but they were a tad bit too garlicky for our taste (which is a LOT for us) so next time we’ll just go without. We loved this place so much we tried to eat there a second time within the month but were sad to find out they were closed on Sundays. 🙁 Now we know!

La Corneta
in Glen Park, SF
We were so happy to find this great taqueria near our apartment without having to deal with the crowds and the horrible parking situation in the Mission. We’ve only had burritos there but damn are they good. Good prices and great portions and only a one minute walk from the Glen Park BART station.

Jitra Thai
in Lakeside, SF
We went here with Carleigh and we were not disappointed. Really friendly service, good portions, tasty Thai food.

Big Nate’s BBQ
Kevin and I were starving one day and our Yelp app led us to this place. Hole in the wall in every sense of the word. I wasn’t too impressed with their bbq beef burgers–the buns tasted like Safeway-brand buns and the meat, though tender, was just doused in BBQ sauce instead of cooked in it. We’ve heard raving reviews about another BBQ joint in our neighborhood (Johnson’s BBQ on San Bruno) that we’d like to check out for our BBQ fix next time ’round. It wasn’t terrible–but it wasn’t great either.

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.

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!!


On Sunday 10/17 I completed my first half marathon (13.1 miles) and I am so so so proud of myself for doing it! I participated in the Long Beach International City Bank half marathon and had a fantastic experience even though it was a really rough run.

The night before I was up half the night with food poisoning. The day before I didn’t eat much since I wasn’t hungry (probably nerves) and that night went to eat at a local Italian restaurant at the urging of my mom who encouraged me to carbo load for the next day’s race. I knew it’d be good for me so I went even though I wasn’t hungry. After a plate of spaghetti and meatballs I felt overly full (hadn’t felt like that in a long time) and we decided to take a walk in Seal Beach to walk the feeling off. My stomach wasn’t happy with me for eating so much (or so I thought) and after some uncomfortable visits to the bathroom at the Coffee Bean I thought it was all over.

I went to bed at 9:30 so that I could get enough rest for the early morning start time. At 10:30 I woke up shaking violently and feeling nauseous. I ran to the kitchen and proceeded to throw up all of the spaghetti I had eaten hours before. After falling back asleep at 11pm I woke up at 1am sweating profusely and having to run to the kitchen again to throw up what water I had in my system. I woke up again at 3am feeling like crap but luckily didn’t have to get up.

So when my alarm went off at 5am it’s probably pretty obvious that I was not feeling my best. My head was pounding. My body was aching all over. I was dehydrated and had no appetite. To be honest I was about 50% sure that I wasn’t going to be able to go on with the race. But the determined part of me that doesn’t like to give up kept insisting that I didn’t drive 400 miles, I didn’t have tons of people rooting for me, I didn’t pay the $90 entrance fee, and I didn’t make it a goal to run a half marathon before my 27th birthday for nothing!

My mom and Steve drove me there (thank goodness because I don’t think I would’ve been able to handle the traffic and the stress on my own). The traffic was horrendous (when 20,000 people are trying to get to the same place it doesn’t make for easy traffic) but we got lucky and a police officer randomly told us to take a different exit which saved us tons of time. We walked a couple of miles from the parking lot and before I knew it I was at the starting line.

When I started the race, my body was aching so much it felt as though I had already run 13 miles. Not good. But the gun shot off and I started running. The longest run I did in my training was the week before and I ran 10 miles in 1 hour, 50 minutes. Generally I run at least 4-5 miles without stopping and then when I do stop it’s only for a minute or so and then I keep running. This time, I didn’t even make it to the 2 mile mark without walking. I’d start running again for a bit and then have to stop to walk for a mile. It was terrible. At mile 6 I was reunited with my mom and Steve and saw my friends Alison and Seth who drove up from Irvine to see me and they gave me a little boost of energy. But it didn’t last long. I was feeling so incredibly sluggish and I wanted to call my mom and tell her to come pick me up because I didn’t think I could do it. I was on the verge of tears a few times when I’d be jogging so slow people were walking faster than me. It was the most difficult run I have ever done and more than the physical difficulty it was mentally difficult to continue. But I did.

The water and PowerAde breaks every couple of miles helped immensely and I started to feel hydrated. At mile 10 I decided to try one of those Clif Bar energy gel shots (a funky thing I had heard of before but wasn’t interested in trying previously, it’s like the consistency between pudding and jello and I was definitely not excited to try it). It had an immediate effect on me and I felt increasingly stronger and more energetic. The thought of my friends Alison and Seth leaving because she had yoga teacher training at 12noon in Huntington Beach inspired me to get to the finish line as quickly as possible. So at mile 10 I started running. And I didn’t stop the entire time.

At mile 13 I saw my mom and Steve and the tears started welling up. With only .1 miles to go, I just took off and started high-tailing it. I ran as fast as my body could take me. You know, you’d think more people would do that when the finish line was in sight, but no one around me was doing that, so I must have looked like a crazy woman to all of those hundreds of spectators. But I didn’t care, I was going to finish the race strong.

After 3 hours and 19 minutes of an extremely difficult run I crossed the finish line as the tears rolled down my cheeks. I have never felt more proud of myself than I did in that moment. It was an extremely difficult road (not just the run itself by the months leading up to it) but I did it. And I am so excited to call myself an athlete and to continue running for the rest of my life.

Giving my mom a thumbs-up at the start of the race

This was at mile 6–I’m in the teal shirt in the right corner

I’m dead center–this is at mile 13 when I just started to high-tail it to the finish line.

Crossing the finish line with a huge smile on my face! I ordered a copy to come via mail and will hopefully have it soon.

My official race results!

I did it!!

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!

7 mile run, beach walk and bowling

On Saturday 9/11 I started my morning off right–with a 7 mile run! The training for my half-marathon was starting to get intense with a weekly long run and this was my longest ever. I looked up another runner’s route on and really enjoyed my run outside of my neighborhood (which can get boring after a while!) and outside of Kezar Stadium where I’d do some of my shorter runs. I had to take a little printout of the map with me to make sure I didn’t get lost. 😉 All I could think during the run was how amazingly beautiful the park was and how incredibly lucky I was to live in this city and to run in a place like this.

The run was extremely successful, so much so that I agreed to go for a couple mile walk with Carleigh and her dog Bailey along the beach in Pacifica! I mapped the route on so check it out here if you’re interested. 🙂

Carleigh and her adoring fans

The night we got some sandwiches at Phat Philly in the Mission (Cheez Whiz on a philly sandwich? Sure! Waffle-cut fries with a beer cheese sauce? Of course!) and then spent the rest of the evening at Serra Bowl bowling alley.

Proof that I kicked Kevin’s butt! 🙂 Unfortunately we were kicked off the game but you can clearly see that I was in the lead. 🙂

Carleigh wasn’t too impressed with our bowling skills 😉

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.