Yearly Archives: 2009

Brianne & Brian’s visit (Oct. 3rd-5th)

Our really great friends Brian and Brianne came up to visit us Oct. 3rd-Oct. 5th and we had a blast! We gave them the whirlwind tour of the city and I think we did every touristy thing you could think of except for riding the cable car and the tour of Alcatraz. So here’s some photos of their visit!

After picking them up from SFO airport early on Saturday morning, we headed straight for breakfast. We ate at Just for You Cafe in the Dogpatch neighborhood and it definitely earned a thumbs-up from us (especially for their Beignets, a delicious New Orleans inspired fluffy donut covered in powdered sugar…mmm…)
After hanging out at our apartment for a bit and getting them acquainted with Lola, we hit the streets by bus for a true SF experience. We took the 44 bus for about 30 minutes all the way to Golden Gate Park and strolled through the park a bit. Then we jumped back on a bus that took us to the Golden Gate bridge.

Brian was pretty hungry that day!

After that we took the bus to the Fillmore Street Festival which we were pretty excited about but ended up being a bust. 🙁 The festival was only a block long and you had to pay for tickets to do wine tasting which didn’t sound extremely exciting to us at the time. So we hopped on another bus and went down to Union Square.They were a little too excited about the bus trip, haha

Me and Kevin in Union SquareThat weekend ended up being pretty popular in terms of visitors because my friends from Redlands, Sneha and Beka, ended up coming to visit that day as well! Sneha was in town for her mom’s birthday (she’s from San Jose and now lives in NYC) and Beka is now going to school at Stanford so is in the neighborhood. We met Sneha and Beka at the Cheesecake Factory at the top of the Macy’s building in Union Square and had a great lunch/dinner together.

Me, Sneha and Beka at the Cheesecake Factory!

After saying bye to Sne and Beka, we hopped on another bus to head back home. We had a pretty quiet night because of all of our walking that day and we knew we’d have another busybusy day in store for us on Sunday!

Sunday morning we piled into the car (enough buses for the weekend!) and went to Fisherman’s Wharf. Our landlord has a friend who works at a parking lot near Pier 39 so was able to get us in for free!

Brian and Brianne ordering up their lunch

Chow time! We had fried calamari (mmm), crab chowder (mmm), fried shrimp (mmm) and garlic fries (mmm)…talk about a healthy lunch!

After lunch we stumbled upon the Musee Mecanique antique coin-operated arcade at Pier 39. From the outside, it didn’t look like much but it ended up being really entertaining!

Brianne getting her fortune told by granny

One of the many creepy figures they had there

You’ll just have to ask Kevin personally what he saw (or go there and pay a quarter to see for yourself!)

They had some of the funniest little arcade machines and we spent a ton in quarters watching them do their thing. Here’s one, the Thimble Theater, that I couldn’t resist putting my quarter in (watch the video):

And Kevin decided to go up against one of the funniest ones there (it’s a video too, so give it a look!):

The last thing we did at the arcade was take a group photo in the old photo booth they had there:

After spending a roll of quarters (not really) at the arcade, we headed out to Ghirardelli Square.

We were pretty exhausted by then, so we headed back home and relaxed for a bit. Then we decided to go to dinner at Goood Frikin Chicken (one of our favorite spots in SF so far!) and Brianne and Brian were definitely impressed! 🙂 Then we went to meet up with one of my co-workers for a weekly trivia night that she and her friends attend at Noe’s Bar. We celebrated into the late hours of the night as it approached Brianne’s birthday, so we had a few drinks to commemorate her entrance into her 25th year! 🙂

On Monday I took the day off and we did some more sight-seeing. Our first stop was Haight Ashbury and though it was pretty quiet on a Monday mid-morning, there were still some sights to be had!

We were so happy that B&B came up to visit us and we can’t wait until they visit again! 🙂

Taking a pit stop in the Presidio to get a look at the Bay

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!

Sunny Sunday at Crissy Field

Today was a beautiful, hot sunny day in San Francisco so what better way to spend the afternoon than at Crissy Field with Kevin, Jessie and Lola? Crissy Field is in the Presidio and is a great dog beach right near the Golden Gate bridge. Though Lola had experienced the water at Granite Creek where we went camping in August, she hadn’t fully immersed herself in the water because it was so cold there. So this was the first time that Lola went all in and she absolutely loved it! It took her a little while and some prompting from Kevin to go deep into the water where she couldn’t touch the ground, but once she did there wasn’t any stopping her! She had a blast playing fetch and stomping and splashing around and I know that we’ll be back many more times!

Doesn’t look like much of a sunny day, eh?? The fog started coming in pretty strong by the time we got out there, but luckily it was still warm out.

Normally, that’s a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge…

Kevin playing fetch with the Lola-meister
Lola giving Auntie Jessie some kisses

Love this action shot!

Our first family photo

Me and Jess

Cutie pie Lola coming to give her mama a kiss!

Video of Lola swimming at the beach

Gardening with Lola

Yesterday Kevin and I went to Flowercraft Garden Store near our apartment to pick up some more plants and luckily they were having a 75% off sale on a ton of plants, so we got six plants for $7! Sure can’t beat that. So this morning Kevin and I planted them and our garden is finally starting to look full!

I love snapdragons so we’ve got a couple of those in our garden along with a lavender plant (another one of my favorites) and some grasses.

We lined the bed with hanging rosemary plants that we hope will add a nice fragrant touch to the garden and will hang over the side of the wall one day. In the background of this picture is our vegetable garden (behind the chicken wire/wood stakes). It just looks like a patch of dirt now so I didn’t add a picture here. But we’ve got a tomato plant, jalepeno peppers, basil, zucchini, carrots, romaine lettuce and spinach…yum!
Lola loves it when mom and dad are out hanging in the garden with her, especially because of the hose! She is absolutely a water-lovin’ dog, as you can see in the pictures and videos below!

Align Center

New life in SF

Saying that our life in SF is different than our life in Long Beach is an understatement. When we were living in LB, with my job, going to school, and being a co-leader for my niece’s Girl Scout troop my life was crazy. I knew that moving up here would be a great change for me, even just for a new level of sanity, and I’m happy to say that it’s true.

I can’t say that my first two months of work have been easy and stress-free. I was thrown into the thick of things and it hadn’t slowed down until just this week. I’m both the Admissions Counselor and the Registrar for the teacher education program for 300 students on three campuses. So end of summer is crazy time for Admissions and then right when all Admissions offices can begin breathing, it’s the beginning of the school year which means crazy time for Registrar’s offices. Luckily, tomorrow is the Add/Drop deadline for the university so that means that my inbox isn’t full of 100+ e-mails a day anymore, woo hoo!!! 🙂 I can say, though, that the past two months the latest I’ve ever stayed at the office was 5:45pm…no more Girl Scout parent information meetings until 9/10pm anymore!

Okay, so work is good and I finally have free time. Awesome. So as most of you know, Kevin decided to go back to school for aviation mechanics at City College of Alameda. His classes are Monday-Friday, 4:30pm-10:30pm (though on Fridays he gets out at 7:30pm). I have to admit, the first 2-3 weeks of this schedule were extremely rough on me. I’d wake up and leave home by 7:15am while Kevin slept in, then at night I’d go to bed around 10 and Kevin doesn’t get home until 11pm at the earliest. So for four days of the week when we interact, one of us is always half asleep. But just knowing how much Kevin LOVES the program and is learning so much and has finally found his niche in the world, it definitely has helped me in not feeling sad at nights when he’s not around.

I know that having Lola around has helped immensely. Each night after work we take a walk to the dog park and spend 45 mins. to an hour there, running around with the other dogs and playing fetch. The past four weeks on Tuesdays we’ve gone to dog training classes too and we’ve been learning a lot. Tomorrow’s our last class so hopefully Lola will shine amongst the other students! 🙂 I’ve also been involving myself in a few different groups that have kept me busy. I’ve been a part of for a while now but when in LB I never had any time to attend meetings (or if I did, I just wanted to be at home!) So I’ve joined a few different meetups and have really enjoyed myself and have met some new friends. I’m in a Spanish-language meetup (where people of all levels get together to speak Spanish…I’ve been to two so far and it’s all come back to me so easily!). I’m also in a bookclub called “Booze ‘n Books” where people get together to discuss books over cocktails…what a fantastic idea, don’t you think? I’m currently reading “Shadows of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon for my first meeting next week. And lastly, I’ve joined the “Latin Potluck Party” meetup and have actually volunteered to be an Assistant Organizer and have planned our October meetup, so we’ll see how it goes! Once a week I also get together with my sister Jessie and some other friends for a LOST tv show fan group that Jessie created. We’re watching the shows each week starting from season one to get caught up before the last season premiere in December (If you’ve never seen the show, you’ve still got time to Netflix ’em all and get caught up too! Can you tell we’re huge fans?!) Lastly, I’ve been practicing the piano pretty often and can now play “Jingle Bells” and “Oh When the Saints go Marching in” (don’t be jealous!)

So though my nights are a little more lonely without Kevin around, life is still good and it just makes time with him over the weekend so much more special. 🙂

A true SF Foodie

So I think most people who know me know that I love food. One of the most exciting things for me when we were talking about moving up here was all of the great opportunities I’d have to enjoy some of the amazing eateries in the city. I wanted to have some blog posts about some of the great places that we’ve dined at so that we could share what great places to eat there are here for any visitors who are interested in trying out something other than a chain restaurant. If you click on the Label toward the bottom of this post that says “foodie”, it will display all of the posts that have that label. Bon appetit!

Balompie #3
In Bernal Heights
Some of the best pupusas (an El Salvadorian delicacy!) we have EVER had! They’re about $2-3 each and are flat masa filled with cheese, meat, veggies, etc. Right off the grill with their salsa and cabbage…mmmm!! We found out that it’s only 1 1/2 miles from our apartment, so a walk there is definitely in store in the near future!

Goat Hill Pizza
In Portrero Hill
This is one of Jessie’s favorite pizza places and we were not disappointed! The three of us shared a large Mediterranean pizza and it was perfect. On Monday nights they have all-you-can-eat pizza and salad so guess where we’re going next Monday?? 🙂

San Francisco Meats & Delicatessen
In Ingleside
We happened upon this cute little sandwich shop this afternoon and are so happy we did! Kevin had a roast beef sandwich (he’s pretty predictable when we go get a sandwich) and I got a chicken salad sandwich. We loved them so much we got a frequent buyer card and can’t wait for our free 13th sandwich! 🙂 Next time we’re going to go for one of their daily specials: Spicy Maui chicken, Murph’s meatballs, Beef Brisket…how could you resist??


We love our apartment for many reasons, but having a backyard almost completely to ourselves is definitely one of the biggest pluses, hands-down. A few weeks ago I spent an afternoon weeding the overgrown area. Today we went to Home Depot and bought some plants and veggies and got started on our garden! Kevin spent the whole time digging up a huge root and I spent the whole time turning the soil to get ready for us to plant our plants. The dirt is really hard, so it definitely wasn’t an easy task! I only got through half of the area, but hopefully we’ll finish the rest this weekend. While digging, I came across a neat little treasure. I found an old comic book that had been buried underground for who knows how long. We kind of felt like archaeologists sifting through the old torn pieces and trying to figure out what comic it was and from what time. Just makes you wonder whose comic book it used to be!

Kevin getting to work!

Showing off the work I did…it doesn’t look like much but I swear it was!

So after working hard all afternoon and being exhausted, I tried to sit down next to Lola and ended up falling on my butt! So Lola took advantage of the opportunity to lick my face and I’m laughing as a result.

Part of the comic book we discovered, kind of looks like an Archie comic! Click on the photos for better detail, it’s pretty cool to look at up close

A visit with the Susuico family’s newest addition

Aug. 29th
One of our longtime family friends Stacey Mitchell Susuico had a beautiful baby boy, Tasi (“Toss-ee”), on Aug. 19th. Since they live only a short drive away across the Golden Gate Bridge, Jessie, Kevin and I decided to make a visit to the growing family.

Tasi is a sweet little bundle of joy who slept most of the time we were there but is beautiful little guy who we couldn’t take our eyes off of. And it was so great to see Stacey & Jay’s first child, Isabella, who is a gorgeous little girl and such a crack up!

Here are some photos…the first two were taken at the hospital and weren’t taken by us and the last three are from our visit to their home. Warning: Extreme cuteness ahead!

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! 😉 )