Packing woes

Nearly 12 hours until our flight to New York and so far I’m 2% packed.  Wyn had “packed” her and Joy’s clothes and I’ve still yet to check it.  I spent the last 15 mins. trying to get Joy to sleep in her own bed but gave up,  so I brought her to my bed. She just konked out.

Vacation officially started at 4pm last Friday but I’ve been badly procrastinating this packing business. I downloaded a book, Maude, off amazon on Friday and couldn’t put it down.  I finished the book about 2 hours ago.

Art hadn’t had been around the last 3 days. A bike ride,  a baseball game, and work has him tied up that I haven’t had a good block of time to just focus on packing.  And he has a haircut appt. tomorrow morning, an hour away from here!

Through out the day,  Wyn had been reminding me to pack my clothes. She even said she’d help.  So, I pulled some clothes out and asked her to fold them into the suitcase.  She gave up helping because she couldn’t see how she could make room for Art’s clothes and mines since we’re sharing luggage. I’m not sure myself.

I’m going to make some coffee and hopefully finish this up tonight now that the kids are asleep.


Movie and Dinner

The rain couldn’t dampen our evening.  We started the night with watching Gravity on IMAX 3D.  Great movie that keeps you at the edge of your seat.  We then headed to Boulevard in the city for dinner.   We sat close by the busy kitchen and also had the view of the Bay Bridge. The light display on it was entertaining. My appetizer of scallops with uni and  crab over polenta was exceptional.  Art had the corona bean soup with smoked pork belly. It was equally excellent. My entrée of sole was underseasoned while Art’s pork prime rib was delicious. Our dessert of mocha chocolate mouse was a yummy ending.  I think the thing that surprised me most about this place is that they actually had a baby changing table in the bathroom.  Not that I’d bring my kids here, but I think more highly of restaurants that provide changing tables.  Kudos to Boulevard for thinking of dining parents.  Ha, The Round Table Pizza by my place doesn’t even have a changing table.


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Brunch with the Girls & Preschool

I spent Sunday hanging out with the girls and I must say it was long over due.  Over dim sum at Hong Kong East Ocean Seafood Restaurant we caught each other up with what’s going on with each others lives.  Getting together and sharing your life with your loved ones is so much more filling than reading about it on a social network.  I had such a great time.  I’ve known these girls since high school, middle school, and elementary school and I am lucky to say we are all still very good friends.  We’ve all started our families and life got busy but we’ve all kept in touch in some way or another.

Wynter starts preschool today.  For the past month, I’ve been prepping her about how fun preschool was going to be.  “You’re going to paint, play with baby{dolls}, meet new friends. and play on the playground!”, I told her. And so when we said our goodbyes, she had just just picked her red playdoh, sat on her little chair, and was playing on her own.

Matron of honor duty

I hate public speaking.  As soon as I speak, my voice starts to quiver and goes low and I start to mumble my words together.  I didn’t have to take a speech class in college since I transferred to the UC system which does not require it.  But, I knew I had to say a speech at my sister’s wedding.  So, instead of a speech, I came up with a poem.

The day has arrived for my sister’s dreams to come true, to walk down the aisle and say, I do.

But before I go on, let’s go back, of how I remember Jocelyn,  back in the past,

Braces, big braces, and bangs that were 6 inches high, that one can say, Oh My!

A lover of music she was, owning stacks of single cassette tapes from artist such as envogue, boyzIImen, and Shanice.

A snowboarder she became and I followed suit. For her to help pay for my trip to Vancouver to board at Whistler, made me think I have the best sister ever.

At cycling class she did meet, the man that is by her side today, the man she fell in love with, who went down on one knee, and asked will you marry me? Which she of course said yes with a glee!

And off she went pinteresting and planning a beautiful wedding, wouldn’t you agree?

So now I say, to Jonah, new brother of mine, welcome to the family, to Jocelyn , beautiful in your wedding dress, I love you very much.

My hope for the future is that I’ll hear from the both of you say, I’ll have a new baby niece or baby nephew very soon.

To the bride and groom!

Good eats in Maui

We ate at this truck after spending only half an hour at Big Beach which took us an hour to get to.  The waves were really strong so we just stayed back in the shade and Wynter played in the sand.  On the way back to the hotel, Everly cried the whole car ride.  We decided then that we will NOT be doing the Road to Hana.

Scampi Shrimp at Bubba’s Gourmet Dog Shack

The Gazebo opens at 7:30am.  We got there at 7am making us the 4th party in line.  I played around at the tidepools and saw some sea urchins and anemones while we waited for the restaurant to open.

Banana macadamia nut pancakes with coconut syrup and half order of fried rice at The Gazebo.

We drove around in circles trying to find a place to eat dinner after our sunset photo shoot.  We finally decided on Okazuya & Deli and we were lucky for them to take our order because we got there when they just closed at 8:30pm.

Lemon caper mahimahi at Okazuya & Deli in Honokowai.

Fried Rice Moco at Aloha mixed plate.

Hawaiian sweet bread french toast at Aloha mixed plate.

Kalua pig hash at Aloha Mixed plate.

We asked a local for a good breakfast spot in town but when I yelped it, a reviewer compared it to Applebee’s.  So, we instead found Aloha mixed plate.  The restaurant has a nice view of the harbor.

Maui 2012

After last year’s trip to Hawaii, I was looking forward to our trip to Maui. Last year’s trip to Oahu was fun since it was Wynter’s first time.   We saw my relatives,  took her to the beach, aquarium, and the zoo.  But, there were moments that weren’t so fun like taking my family out to dinner and my dad refusing to eat because he didn’t like anything on the menu or when he got pissed off at the security checkpoint at the airport when they threw away his brylcreem and shaving cream they found in his carry-on.  I forgot to remind him about the 3oz. rule.

The day we flew into Maui, I took a detour from the family and took the next flight to Honolulu with Everly.  I went to surprise my friend, (more like second mother) Sharleen, on her 60th birthday party in Hawaii Kai.  When I saw her last year, we met in Hawaii Kai where her family was jetskiing, so I knew where I was going.    But, when I got there, there were other people at the spot so I called her up.  She was ecstatic when I told her I was in town and gave me directions to a park not too far from the jetski place. She was super surprised.  When I got there, there were tons of food, a jumper, and shave ice.  She literally introduced me to everyone.  There was probably about 30-40 people there.  I showed her video messages from our old Longs Pinole pharmacy crew giving her birthday wishes.  Everly was fussy most of the time so I didn’t get to enjoy my food.  Afterwards, I went back to Honolulu to visit my aunts before I headed back to Maui. Again, Everly was very fussy.  I forgot to bring her swaddling blanket that she usually likes to suck on to soothe her.  At the gate, while waiting for our plane, Everly was wailing like crazy.  I was certain that the other passengers were praying that they wouldn’t have to sit next to me.  But, on the half hour ride, she slept like an angel.

We stayed in the Lahaina area in West Maui.  Maui is beautiful but I thought it looked a little dry compared to the greenery that I’m used to of the Koʻolau Range back in Oahu.

I wish this was our view.  This was the view from Art’s parent’s room.  We had a lovely view of the parking lot and water canal.

For Auntie Evelyn and Brittany’s birthday, we hung out at the beach at night for a bit.  It was pretty fun digging out the crabs from their holes in the beach.

This particular day on the beach was windy.  However, Wynter had fun playing in the sand.

Wynter playing at Honokowai Beach Park

Wynter fell alseep ten minutes into this train ride into Lahaina.  The train ride lasted about 20 minutes.

We celebrated anniversaries and birthdays at the Royal Lahaina Luau.

We spent our last couple hours in Maui at Baby Beach.




Since living back in the east bay, Art and I established our dining destinations.

Nibs in El Cerrito

Nibs is our breakfast spot of choice.  A friend had told me about Nibs when we had our bike ride I blogged about previously and since then we’ve been hooked.  I usually order the bacon, avocado, jack cheese omelette which is super yummy.  I like how I can order my breakfast with rice.  Art as always orders French toast.

Ristorante Due Rose of Pinole

I’ve been to the regular chain “Italian” restaurants but none of them compares to Ristorante Due Rose.  The carpaccio or mozarela alla caprese are yummy starters. The osso bucco is a favorite of Art’s . So far I’ve tried, Chicken cooked under a brick, cioppino, Chilean sea bass, grilled rib eye, and grilled seafood. All are super delicious.  I don’t really care for the arugula salad that come with the rib eye and grilled seafood

Station 10 of El Sobrante

We were craving BBQ and the closest spot was in El Sobrante.  When we get there, it was transformed to a new and better BBQ spot.  I can’t get enough of their beef brisket and corn muffins.

L&L of Hercules

This is Art’s go to spot when I don’t feel like cooking and he doesn’t want to go too far to get food.  We usually stick with Kalbi, BBQ chicken, and spam musubi.

The Noodle House of El Sobrante

This Asian fusion restaurant found in a strip mall which includes Caesar’s pizza and Starbucks was an unexpected delight.  The spicy coconut chicken and their mango beef are super yummy.

Biryani House of Hercules

I became a fan of Indian food a couple of years ago and I was so happy when Biryani House opened up.  The chicken tikka masala and garlic naan are delicious together.