I just came back from a fun-filled time away in Long Beach! Kevin unfortunately wasn’t able to go because of school (he has to clock in and out so he can’t just skip class!) so he and Lola were holding down the fort while I was away.
After a full day of work I left home at 6pm for the drive down to Long Beach! I made it in record time (3 minutes shy of 6 hours) and it was the best drive down the 5 yet! I generally leave in the wee hours of the morning and though it’s beautiful seeing the sunrise, there’s nothing quite like the way the green, rolling hills look when they’re bathed in the golden light of the setting sun (wow, I guess I’m more of a poet than I thought! haha) I was pretty blown away with how beautiful it was and I just wish I stopped for a few minutes to take some photos! I got in right at midnight and went straight to bed after a quick reunion with my family dog Lukey!
I woke up bright and early and went to breakfast with my mama and my second mom Diane! Diane suggested we try Brulee, a fairly new breakfast/brunch/lunch spot off PCH/Loynes Drive in Long Beach and we were definitely not disappointed! The food was absolutely delicious with very reasonable prices and super friendly staff.
After breakfast my mom and I went shopping a bit (I needed to buy a dress for the wedding I was going to that weekend) and I worked from home for a few hours in the afternoon. Then that evening we went to dinner with Allen, a Chinese student who is renting a room from my mom while he attends CSULB. We went to Cho Dang Tofu House restaurant in Cerritos, one of my favorite restaurants ever! The soup comes out boiling and you get an egg that you crack and cook right in your bowl! It comes with a steaming bowl of rice and a ton of little dishes full of yummy treats (kim chee, seaweed, etc.) And to top it all off, they have soft-serve ice cream available at the end of the meal, included in the price! 🙂
Best. Dinner. Ever!
Cracking an egg right into my soup. Mmm mmm MMM!
Me and Allen after a delightful meal
I took it easy Friday morning trying to catch up on some sleep and get rested up for the big Girl Scout camp out weekend! The main reason I went down to LB was because of the Junior Jam GS camp out that my niece’s troop was participating in. I was the co-leader with my sis-in-law Judith for the past two years and as 4th grade Juniors last year we participated in Junior Jam in ’09 so we had to participate as 5th grade Juniors this year as it’s their last year as Junior Girl Scouts! And of course I had to come down to be with them. The girls didn’t know I was coming so it was a big surprise for them. 🙂 Junior Jam is a camping skills competition weekend, so they competed in a ton of skills like putting up a tent, first aid, fire-building, knots, lashing, emergency preparedness, GS know-how, compass and trail signs, etc. I think it is such a great event where 500 Junior Girl Scouts come together to demonstrate their knowledge with these type of skills. And on top of that, a High School GS troop is the one that puts on the event every year! It’s quite amazing.
So Friday night we set up camp, had dinner, and the troop participated in a camp-wide night games which was kind of like “Amazing Race”.
The girls were in love with the doggie door in the tent (okay, I know it’s not really a doggie door but it looks like it!)
We woke up bright and early to eat breakfast (mmm breakfast burritos), decorate our campsite (the weekend’s theme was “Jammin’ Holidays” so our troop’s theme was “birthday”), and get ready for the competition!
The girls were up bright-and-early and wanted to check out the pond
We woke up to a wonderful surprise…squirrels got into our birthday cake! haha
I had a few of the girls pose in front of the huge decorations they had for the camp out, I told them to pretend they were part of the scenes.
The troop named themselves the “Party Bashers” for this camp out (last year it was a music themed camp out so our troop’s theme was the 80’s and the girls named themselves “The Crazy 80’s Ladies”, they sure are creative!)
That’s one good lookin’ donkey! 😉
We created a little birthday scene with the girl’s stuffed animals, too cute!
And now for the skills…
Patiently awaiting their turn
They had to use their lashing skills to make a table
Performing a flag ceremony, good job ladies!
Putting up a tent
The girls did a fantastic job with the skills, I was so proud of them! After eating lunch with the troop I had to leave early so didn’t stick around for the campfire that night or the awards ceremony the next morning. But I found out that the girls placed 5th!! 🙂
Saturday afternoon I tagged along with my mom and her boyfriend Steve and their friends to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale! The Renaissance Faire is one of my absolute favorite things to do so I couldn’t pass up the offer to go with them while I was in LB! We had a fantastic time and it was great spending the afternoon there until they closed…definitely the way to go to beat the crowds and still enjoy yourself!
My mom trying on a ribbon/flower headband, so pretty!
Steve’s grandson Christian…watch out Cap’n Jack!
A young Renaissance man checking himself out in the mirror
Give him a few years and Christian will have the biggest smile on his face 😉
They have the prettiest masks there!
Christian wanted to ride the swing so I got to tag along 🙂 He’s just to the right of me.
Little Robin Hood
My head was too big for that hole, haha
My favorite thing to get at the Ren Faire…fruit ice!!
Christian sizing up the Giant
Christian and Steve showing the mini Giant who’s boss
Christian on the dragon swing (he’s third from the front)
It was Pirate Day at the Ren Faire, can’t you tell?
I absolutely love all of the costumes! And they all play their characters so well too.
Christian climbing a tree
Saturday night I got together with our good friend Brianne and her sister Laura & Laura’s friend Kylie. We had some snacks, had some laughs, and played some fun games (our favorite past-time!) I was so happy we were able to get together, Brianne and Brian are two friends we miss so much being up here!!
I had another early morning because I wanted to squeeze in as my visits to people as possible! The morning I spent a few hours with my in-laws Dorothy and George (with a short-but-sweet visit with my bro-in-law Thomas too!). It was great catching up with them and I really do miss our talks!
Mid-morning I drove out to my friend Kim’s house to visit with her and her three monkeys (I mean sons!) Kim and I are training for the half-marathon together (check out our running blog here!) and we hadn’t seen each other in about SIX YEARS! It was SO GREAT catching up with her in person and seeing her boys (who are a blast!)
Jacob (3) and David (12)
Kim’s dad came by on his motorcycle so Jacob and David got a ride back home while Connor (2) watched them drive off!
After a few hours of hanging out with her clan 😉 I had to rush back home to get ready for Evon’s wedding! Evon and I were in a sistahood at Redlands together (Wadada Wa Rangi Wengi or WRW) and she married her wonderful fiancee Russell! I was so honored to be a part of their special day and it was so great reuniting with so many of my WRW sistas! I carpooled with my good friend Alison and her husband Seth and it was so nice spending some time with them!
The lone lit candle
I love stained-glass windows. Beautiful!
The newlyweds, congrats Evon and Russell!!
Nialta and Linda
The reception was a few miles away at a reception hall and it was gorgeously decorated and we had the most amazing spread waiting for us! The crazy thing is that that was only the first course of over SEVEN courses!!
And each table came adorned with a bottle of whiskey and vodka…
Danica getting us started with the Grey Goose
The reception was so much fun! In the first 10 minutes of the bride and groom showing up, her guests had her up in the air!
The happy couple’s first dance
The cake. Being on a Sunday night we had to leave by 10pm, and they hadn’t even gotten to the cake yet! It sure was gorgeous though…
Me and the BEAUTIFUL bride!
Alison, Caroline (a bridesmaid) and me
Me and Sneha (who flew in from NYC)
Meenal (who flew in from Antigua!), me and Alison
Monday wasn’t too eventful except for the 6 hour drive back up to SF! And yes, even with the LA traffic I hit going up I made it in exactly 6 hours…I guess it pays only having one person and making only one pit-stop during the drive! I had a wonderful reunion with my Lola and after a power nap that evening I stayed up until 11pm so that I could see Kevin when he got home from school! 🙂
I had such a wonderful trip, thank you all for taking the time to see me and spend time with me!