Monthly Archives: December 2009

David’s visit from Illinois

Our good friend David (whose wife Erin I met while studying abroad in Nicaragua and she was one of my bridesmaids) came for a weekend visit from Rockford, Illinois and it was so great to see him! He flew into SFO late Friday night so we picked him up and spent some time catching up before hittin’ the hay.

On Saturday we dropped him off at the SF Conservatory of Music…David is a trumpet player and is going to start a Master’s program in the fall and one of the schools he’s applying to is the SF Conservatory; graduate applicants are given the opportunity for one free lesson with a professor so he took advantage of it and was able to visit us at the same time! 🙂 David was at the school pretty much all day so Kevin and I just hung out around the house and then late afternoon we headed over to our friend Maya’s apartment for some holiday cheer. We made holiday cookies (chocolate chip, gingerbread and peanut butter/chocolate cookies) and watched “The Santa Claus”. David joined us later for some Serrano’s pizza and to watch “Sleepaway Camp”, a horror movie (great holiday film, eh? haha)

On Sunday we did some sightseeing…the “poor man’s Lombard Street” , Potrero Hill’s Community Garden, Golden Gate Park, Haight/Ashbury, the Castro, the Presidio, and Golden Gate Bridge (Kevin and I are becoming pros at sightseeing! 🙂 ) We had lunch at Jay’s Cheesesteak in the Mission which has great sandwiches and a ton of vegetarian meat options. Then that evening we went to Cafe Divine in North Beach (delicious mochas!!) to see the SF Conservatory professor that David met with on Saturday perform with his jazz quartet, The Mario Guarneri Jazz Quartet. It was a fantastic show and I think David’s inspired us to become monthly regulars.

We’re keeping our fingers crossed that all goes well with David’s regional auditions in January and that everything falls into place so that they can move out here to the Bay Area! 🙂

Potrero Hill Community Garden, a beautiful, quiet retreat in the middle of the city

The “Poor Man’s Lombard Street”…they say it’s more crooked than Lombard, and it’s nowhere near as crowded so it’s become our go-to when entertaining visitors 🙂

Proof that David was here, haha

The Mario Guarneri Jazz Quartet at Cafe Divine

Visitors, cookies and kitties!

Thursday 12/3

One of my friends from Redlands came up to visit! Megan was my roommate freshman and senior year and is now going to grad school in Kansas City, Missouri. She made a trip up here to visit her friend Cori and they made a day trip to SF so met me after work. We made our way to the Mission to eat at the Pi Bar (Megan was a Math major so when I found out they opened up that bar I sent her an e-mail about it so we planned to go there together when she came to visit. They’re known for their authentic NY-style pizza and although I’m not an expert I have to say that it was damn good! Just be forewarned…the large pizza is a laaaaaarge pizza! 😉 We then decided to make a stop at Anthony’s Cookies across the street for some delicious homemade cookies. The minute the door opens we were overcome with the smell of snicker doodles…delish! The cookies were warm and gooey and definitely hit the spot. Megan & Cori had to hit the road to make the long drive back to Cori’s place near Stanislaus so we said our farewell at the BART station. Their visit was definitely a great mid-week break!

Posing in front of the cable car

Megan in front of the Pi Bar

Saying our farewells at the BART station

Friday 12/4

The Student Government Association at the university I work for hosted a holiday party for students, staff and faculty so my co-worker Maya talked me into going and I’m glad I did! Kevin went as well as Maya’s friend Katie and we thoroughly enjoyed the free food and two free drinks at the 330 Ritch bar (don’t be fooled by the name, the bar is located at 360 Ritch Street…don’t ask). Maya and I were some of the only staff there so we enjoyed blending in with the PhD students. 🙂

Maya and Katie

Me and Kev

Saturday 12/5

Jessie and I set up a play date for Saturday morning since she had to work (she’s a nanny to four adorable boys) so me and Lola met them at Dolores Park for some play time. The boys were smitten with Lola and spent almost the whole time playing with her. I think we all won that morning–the boys got to play with a doggy, Jess got a bit of a break with work, and I got my “kid fix”! 🙂

Sloan being a good boy and eating his bananer

Brandt (L), Sawyer (M) and Colby (R)

Jess and Brandt

Sloan, the future ball player, throwing the ball (while Lola anxiously waits)

Before the train came we took advantage of the cool background…the boys are natural models!

After we dropped the boys off at their house me and Jess went to pick up Kevin and then we went to the SF SPCA to look for a kitty for Jess! She wasn’t really expecting to take one home that night but she fell in love with a little cutie so filled out the paperwork and within a few hours was the proud new mommy of a kitty! He’s a six month old bundle of joy and the name they gave him was Mars and I helped extend the name a bit to Marzipan (so Jess named Lola and I helped name her kitty!) He is a total cutie and has already brought a lot of happiness to Jessie’s life. 🙂

The proud mama bringing her baby home!

What a cutie!

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! 🙂