Category Archive: Not San Francisco

Mt. Diablo

On 7/17 we decided to take a day trip (since it was a rare Saturday that Kevin actually had off!) and meet up with our friends Terri and Scott who were camping in Mt. Diablo State Park. We had never been there before and thought it’d be a great day full of sun (lots and lots of sun actually) and doggie play time for Lola with Madeira and Ihna.

We took a few walks throughout the day–it was blistering hot (I had almost forgotten what it was like to sweat!) so lots of water and shade breaks were in order.

Madeira and Lola sneaking in some water from Kevin

These pups found shade just about everywhere we went...

…even under the cars in the parking lot!

We then took a drive to Rock City to explore the rock formations and caves.

After a day of exploring we spent the rest of the afternoon at their campsite hanging out and…eating yummy bbq ๐Ÿ™‚

Proof that Ihna likes Kevin! She’s a pup who’s had a rough life (she was adopted from the streets of Taiwan) and so has a hard time trusting new people.

Madeira out for the night!

The moon out at sunset

Kevin took this shot at sunset, so pretty!

Beautiful, beautiful sunset…one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen. A wonderful way to end a great day with friends.

Another trip to Long Beach in July!

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

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

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

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

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

B and B at The Spaghetti Factory

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

The beautiful bride being escorted by family down the aisle

The moment we’ve been waiting years for!

The happy couple!

Amazing appetizers

Nialta, Heather and Alison

Me and Sara

Waiting outside the Mitten Building where the reception was held

They’ve arrived!

Me butting in for a dance with the groom


Love this shot–Heather and her fiance Steven

The bridesmaid’s bouquets hanging out

WRW girls

WRW girls and RYG boys

Me and Alison

Pretty in pink–Marquitta, Ebony and me

Me and my “brother” Chris

Rock the Era!

The Buddhist organization that I was born-and-raised a part of had the very lofty goal of hosting three youth-led festivals collectively called “Rock the Era” throughout the United States in the month of July and I was lucky to be a part of the movement. The western states were preparing for a youth festival scheduled for July 10th in Long Beach, so I was a part of the San Francisco youth and I decided to help out with the theater group. The theater group was 21 strong and most of the kids in the group are high-school age so it’s been great “practice” for when I am a teacher. They’re a really great group with tons of energy and we have a lot of fun at practices. So in preparation for the July 10 festival, we were practicing twice a month for 4-6 hours at a time and having a great time while doing it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Before I go into what I did during my time in LB I thought I’d mention that Thurs. 7/8 was actually me and Kevin’s four year anniversary (!) and unfortunately we weren’t able to spend the day together! But we promised to celebrate when I got back to SF. This last year has been one of the happiest for the two of us and I find myself filled with so much appreciation for Kevin. He is a great husband and we’re a great team and I love him so so much! ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay, back to the events of the week… ๐Ÿ™‚ That Thursday I decided to take as a remote working day, so I was glued to my laptop at my mom’s house during the day which wasn’t super fun. But my friend Kim dropped by and made me some delicious vegetarian Indian food for lunch!

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

After an all-day rehearsal and a late night I think saying that the next morning when I woke at 6am being tired was somewhat of an understatement. The rehearsal that day started at 7am and went straight through to show time at 2pm. There were so many great performance groups: taiko drums, gymnastics, hip hop, spoken word, contemporary dance, rock band, and not to mention the theater group! ๐Ÿ™‚ The show lasted 2 hours and there were 20,000 people in attendance and performing/back stage–youth filled the entire LB Arena! It was pretty remarkable and extremely inspiring seeing all of these youth working together for world peace.

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

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

All of the performers on stage for the finale–I’m in there somewhere! ๐Ÿ™‚

Spanishtown (Half Moon Bay)

Way back in late June we took a day trip to Spanishtown which is just outside of Half Moon Bay. We did an internet search of “things to do in Half Moon Bay” and Spanishtown was one thing that people kept talking about so we couldn’t resist the quick detour!

Our little navigator
Gorgeous rose gardens

The main attraction? Dinosaur sculptures off Highway 92…random!

There was a great garden sculpture/fountain store that we enjoyed exploring as well.

It was a nice little day trip in the southern part of the Bay Area that we don’t frequent often.

Road trip down south

On Friday 6/11 Kevin and I had the rare opportunity to spend an entire 24 hours together uninterrupted by work or school! ๐Ÿ™‚ Kevin not only had the day off from work and wasn’t in school at the time but it was a furlough day for me so we decided to take advantage of the day and take a road trip (just like old times!)

Instead of going north to Marin County like we always seemed to do in the past, this time we set our sights further south: to Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Pescadero and Half Moon Bay.

Lola has grown by leaps and bounds in terms of her comfort level in the car–no more car sickness and scaredy-dog! She’s up and about sniffing out the window like a normal dog now and she’s now discovered how much she loves being right between us on the armrest

Lola, our favorite co-pilot

Beautiful view off the 9 Highway towards Big Basin

The state park was gorgeous–we loved all of the fresh smells and how quiet it was driving through there. We were a little frustrated, however, by the park once we got there though. On their website it said that dogs were allowed on some trails (some trails) but didn’t distinguish which ones. When we got to the park’s HQ we were surprised to find out that dogs are only allowed on one trail and it’s a paved road! ๐Ÿ™ Then we found out that parking was $10 and the trail map was $5 (neither of whose prices were on the website, of course) so since we could only go on one sad little trail with Lola we decided to skip the fees and just drive through and enjoy the sights. We’ll be back though (without Lola in tow of course) because it was so beautiful!

After driving through all of funny small towns (Bonny Doon anyone?) we ended up on Highway 1 and drove up the coast towards home. We stopped off at a small beach to do some exploring.

A little video of our rock-climbin’ pup

Lola, the beach bum

Can you tell it was w-i-n-d-y?

Apparently my chin smelled like food, haha

One of the stops off PCH that we knew we wanted to make was to Pescadero that my mom and her boyfriend Steve had visited on their last trip up to SF.

Arcanegli Grocery is a really cute little supermarket that has some of the most amazing breads and spreads.

There wasn’t a ton to do so we just walked up and down the main drag and I took some random photos…

…like of this rusty fire hydrant.

…and of this person’s garage that I was really into, haha.

Our last stop before home was Half Moon Bay which we actually weren’t super impressed with! Maybe it was because we were tired and starving and the restaurant we ate at (Spanishtown Mexican Restaurant) was less-than-stellar (great service but bland food!) I guess we’ll have to give it another shot in the future. ๐Ÿ™‚

It was so nice spending some daylight hours with Kevin! Can’t wait for another day like this to come along (hopefully it won’t be too long!)

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!

Wine barrel tasting in Sonoma

Our friends Mika and Matt invited us to join them and their friends during the annual Wine Road wine barrel tasting weekend in Sonoma. We only went up for the day on Saturday, March 14th but for $20 a person (pre-sale cost) you can enjoy the amazing wineries that participate in Wine Road all three days–Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Plus you get a cool wine glass. Well worth the money!

Neither of us had ever been to Sonoma and all I can say is that it is G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S! Rolling hills, green everywhere you look, beautiful weather…we were in love!

The above there photos were at Forchini Winery
Matt and Mika
Terri and Scott
Kevin impressing Mika and Matt with his wine-tasting skills ๐Ÿ˜‰
So I didn’t realize that we’d actually be tasting the wine straight from the barrel! Very cool. Obviously I’m not a big wine-aficionado, haha.
Enjoying the river behind Truett-Hurst Winery (the above five photos were taken there)
Apparently, Kevin’s a Dan Fan. Who knew? ๐Ÿ˜‰ At Teldeschi Winery.
Hop Kiln Winery was our favorite because of the amazing historic building and the awesome food they provided! ๐Ÿ˜‰
Did I mention the food? ๐Ÿ˜‰ They had mustards and curry sauces and chocolate to dip pretzels in while you tasted their wine. Delicious!

After the fun-filled day soaking in the sun and enjoying the tasty wines, we had dinner at Mary’s Pizza Shack in Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa is home to the Charles M. Schulz museum so I had to take a photo with my buddy Snoopy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We had such a fantastic time in Sonoma and can’t wait to go back when the grapevines are in full bloom in the fall!

Day trip to the Marin Headlands

I had President’s Day off so Kevin and I decided to get out of the city, take advantage of the sunshine and take a day trip to the Marin Headlands. After checking out some of the views over the cliffs, we got hungry and had a nice little picnic in the car.

Then we headed over to Battery Wallace (a battery is a place in which a group of guns/missile launchers are operated together in one place, there were quite a few out that way).

Kevin put the biggest smile on my face when he willingly took this photo that I begged him to pose for: him pretending to shoot a machine gun in the middle of the battery ๐Ÿ™‚

The fog kept rolling in and out, and at this point it was pretty foggy so I thought it’d be cool to take a photo like this (if you click it you can enlarge the photo to see it more clearly).

I was trying to get all artistic and have Kevin take this photo of me in a small corner filled with graffiti.

Kevin peeking out of some lookout, pretending he was spying on the enemy I’m sure ๐Ÿ˜‰

There were a ton of huge metal doors that had been sealed shut but I thought this one looked pretty cool.

After checking out the old abandoned military bases, we went to make a visit to the Marine Mammal Center which is free and open to the public every day of the year except for a few major holidays. We got lucky because President’s Day wasn’t seen as major enough for them to be closed!

The time we went to visit most of the sea lions were enjoying their naps in the sun.

“Big Daddy” wanted to say hello to our blog followers!

I couldn’t resist! What a cute little pup.

In the tunnel as we exited the Marin Headlands

It was really great getting away for the day, just the two of us. It was a great place to explore and we’ll definitely be back again (possibly to camp overnight…who’s coming with us? ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰