Kevin and I were fortunate enough to be able to spend a nice chunk of time in Long Beach visiting with family and friends for the holidays. Kevin was out of school early so flew down a week before Christmas. Lola and I held down the fort at home while he was gone and with Jessie drove down at around 2am on Saturday 12/19. That morning we had a delicious breakfast with Kevin at Nick’s Burritos in Seal Beach (haven’t had Nick’s yet? You must!!) And that afternoon we were lucky enough to be in town to celebrate Sophie’s 3rd birthday!
Little miss Fancy Nancy in all her glory!
Me and the birthday girl
After most of the party people left, we decided to introduce Lola to Kevin’s parent’s neighbor’s dogs Tango and Cash, two cute Boxer puppies.
The majority of our time in LB we stayed at my mom’s house. We were a little worried about how Lola and Luke (my family dog) would get along. The first day we took extra precautions when introducing the two of them because we know how territorial Luke can be so we introduced them in the front yard. They immediately were interested in each other and when we took them in the backyard they were sniffing around and sniffing each other and just getting a feel for each other. Luckily, they ended up getting along just fine! They were quite the duo–Luke the small, old fart and Lola the big, rambunctious bundle of energy–but they quickly became close “cousins”. 🙂
The week leading up to Christmas was full of catching up with folks we hadn’t seen in a while. My mom hosted a holiday party on Sun. 12/20 which was a lot of fun. On the 22nd we went out to dinner with our good friends Heather and Gabriel (Heather and I met each other working for the OC Girl Scouts) and we had a delicious meal at Outback Steakhouse and it was even more enjoyable because of the great company we had! My brother Derek and his friend Emily also joined us for some shenanigans that night. 🙂 On the 23rd my mom took me, Jessie and Kevin out for our Christmas gifts…Chinese massages! It was such a nice treat and I wasn’t in quite as much pain afterwards as I was last time we got them! We definitely need to find a place like that here in SF. Christmas Eve we spent with my family–my mom, Jessie, Derek and my Aunt Tina–and we had a really great time making homemade pizzas and sharing gifts. That night intead of staying at my mom’s which we had been doing we stayed the night at Kevin’s parent’s house to be ready for the festivities in the morning!
Christmas Eve (I think I was being forced to watch some weird Japanese movie with Kevin and Thomas, haha…go look it up “Big Man Japan” and you’ll know what I’m talking about)
On Christmas morning Thomas and I drove out to Riverside to go pick up Sophie to celebrate Christmas with the family. It was so great seeing the little munchkin after almost 6 months of not seeing her! The morning and afternoon we spent at Dorothy & George’s house, hanging out, opening gifts, and snacking on holiday treats.
Josh & Sophie showing off their hats
Even Lola got some gifts (thank you Judith, Luke, Joshua and Katelyn)!
Christmas night we went over to our good friend Judy Rotty’s house to celebrate with her and her daughter Lisa. We had a delicious dinner and had a great time playing the Wii.
Sophie distracting Aunt Sarah while playing Rockband
Kevin playing Sophie’s favorite game: Toss up! (though it was more like a workout for Kevin than a game!)
Check out that hair!
One of the best parts of the day was that the Sophienator spent the night at the Edmonds’ house and we did too! It was great being able to see her in her pj’s playing fort with Thomas before bedtime.
The week after Christmas we went to lunch with our good friend Susan (Susan and I also used to work together at the OC Girl Scouts) to Open Sesame in Long Beach. That week we were also reunited with Shige, a student from Japan who lived at my mom’s house a couple of years ago while he was studying English at CSULB. It was SO great to see him after such a long time away! One of the things we had to do while he was in town was make a visit to Island’s Burgers which, when he first came to visit, he called his burger “The #1 burger of my life”. And they sure didn’t disappoint!
Kevin, me, Shige and my mom at Island’s!
For New Year’s we took Shige along with us to hang out with friends at JJ’s Karaoke in Tustin! We spent 4 hours singing the night away with Alison, Seth, Brianne, Brian and Allison. After karaoke we went to Allison’s new apartment in Costa Mesa for the countdown!
Creating an awesome music list takes lots of concentration!
Alison and Shige
Alison & me singing our signature song “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner! (We were “rollin’ down the river” at this point in the song!)
About two minutes after the countdown we rushed home to catch a few hours of sleep before our looooong drive back up to SF the next morning (we left the house at 6am!) Overall it was a GREAT trip to Southern California!!