Thursday, October 20, 2016

fall weather possibly


I went to Chicago again at the end of September because the flights were really cheap and my Boston family was visiting too. I hadn't seen them in a while, so I was looking forward to it. The weather was still pretty hot and summery when I first got there, but by the time I had left it had shifted to cooler days. And it was so, so perfect in the 60s and still sunny. And it was crisp and brisk and I came back to 90 degree weather in LA. And that sucked.

My cousins were still playing pokemon, so we were able to catch things at the Garfield Park Conservatory and Lincoln Park Zoo. They took my grandma everywhere - to the museum, conservatory, zoo, brunch, etc. She was thoroughly pooped by the end of every day, but I think also happy to be going along. I think she really does like the Boston family the most, her eldest daughter, my aunt is there. But it's also awesome how big an effort they make to take her to do all the cool stuff. I think I should do that more often.

My dad is really good at being retired. My mom is not even retired, and I think she is doing a terrible job at having only one job. She laments of her boredom and lack of activity, and then seeks other weekend jobs. My dad is really happy with his garden and sewing room and old Chinese war movies and naps. And he maintains an exercise regimen of jogging around the neighborhood in the mornings and walks at night. My mom will often use the too late/dark excuse to abstain, though I really think it would be good for her to go with him, especially since she then complains of boredom. My dad came to me so pleased with himself for finding this big jug in the alley that he was planning to convert for rainwater collection for his plants. He's super crafty, which I'm sure is something I got from him, because my mom would be happier to throw money at the problem. It is so interesting the things I notice about my folks now. Also, no one has graffitied our garage since we put Batman on there. I think it really adds character to the neighborhood.

Gotham is watching,

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

the capitol!


We had booked a trip to DC months and months ago to visit one of A's best friends. He had the unfortunate circumstance of getting stationed in Paris, France for work after we had already planned the trip, which was not awesome. But he so graciously still let us stay at his place, which was awesome! It was mid-September so I was hopeful to be in some semi-fall weather. Disappointingly, the weather was probably deep summer - 90s and humid. I was so, so displeased, in addition, I had a cold. The one time every 3 years I get sick - and it had to be in 90 degree weather. But I brought my insulated water bottle, and the RRS thought it was a silly purchase until we had ice cold water in the middle of a hot, hot day.

We played so much pokemon! We went in the American History Museum, Natural History Museum, Air and Space Museum, Botanic Garden, White House Museum, probably some more. One of the days, we got a bikeshare day pass and rode bikes all around to the monuments and other neighborhoods. It was so fun and convenient! We got these amazing lobster and crab rolls in Georgetown. And pizza near the Capitol. And a milkshake and drinks on 14th St. It was a really great trip. Hopefully next time we go, his friend will also be at home and it won't be summer.

hackingly fried,

Thursday, October 13, 2016

more happenings


There was another weekend we spent in the bay in August to visit his family. We spend a lot of time eating and sitting around the eating places. This time we were also able to see his good friend from when they were kids, and we bugged him a lot probably. But we didn't make it to Berkeley Bowl, which is always disappointing for me.

Straight into September, O & H from Seattle came to visit. I think they may be our favorite guests. The first evening was spent at happy hour. Seattle had apparently just started to get rainy, so they were so happy to be outside in the sun. I'm glad the weather can contribute to a good vacation for them. The following day we went on a train adventure to Santa Monica, and I probably spent too long playing pokemon. We capped off the evening with dipping ramen and ice cream which always is so filling I can't ever finish my bowl.

For their last full day, we started at this awesome brunch place that is not all hype. And then we probably went back home to get groceries to barbecue later. A quick climbing session before getting the grill going with a beautiful evening on the patio. The weather was so perfect. Despite the weather being perfect all the time in LA, I'm really glad it was that way for O & H to enjoy before returning to a less desirable situation. But nonetheless, I would be so happy if it were rainy here for months.

frantically askew,

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

another wedding


In August, we spent another weekend in Chicago for a wedding in the suburbs of one of my best childhood friends. It was a beautifully done and simple wedding in a far away place. Growing up in the city, I have gotten terribly accustomed to places being close and the suburbs being far. A revelation that the RRS has to contend with every time we drive anywhere. Good luck, mister. It didn't rain, and the weather was really quite perfect once the sun went down a little. It was apparently pouring in Chicago. And they had catered from this bbq place, so no complaints from my escort. Although he remembers it being a lot hotter than I did, but for someone that brought a full suit - I think he can take the blame on this one. If there is something he will stubbornly stand for - he will never sacrifice style for weather - a lesson he is slowly succumbing to as Chicago winters grip his psyche. Californians can't possibly understand seasons; they must think it is fictional concept.

We spent a day playing pokemon go despite the rain. We went out with umbrellas and continued into the evening along the lakefront and Navy Pier. It was quite the expedition.

deliberately soaked,

Thursday, October 6, 2016

let's recap


The end of summer was a whirlwind of activities that very much had me feeling like we had overbooked.

We finally made use of our San Diego Zoo membership and visited our friends there. We spent the day catching pokemon and observing real animals. It was a lot of fun and we saw a lot of activity once the day cooled down. We saw pandas out and about, and bears play-fighting, koalas snoozing, elephants, tigers, etc. It was a good zoo day.

I participated in a bachelorette party that was probably the most girls I had ever been with for the longest amount of time ever. It was probably the coolest bachelorette party I'll ever get invited to. We went to Wii Spa, which I think I still am suffering from PTSD over. One of the rooms looks like an actual pizza oven. Much to the RRS's chagrin, I told him I would not be volunteering myself to go with him ever. We ate a lot of food, and went climbing - no surpise. The final surprise was an evening at Magic Castle, which I nearly spoiled. The bride to be had a great time and I was really happy we were able to cater a weekend filled with so much joy and happiness for her. We were all probably relieved to have foregone the male strippers.

We also went down to La Jolla for the actual wedding, which was at this venue that was uber appropriate for the couple. I like to think I gambled and won on our accommodations for the weekend on hotwire. For those of you that don't know how it works, you select a neighborhood and price, but you don't know what the hotel is until after you purchase. I got exactly the hotel we wanted because it is a stone's throw from the wedding venue, fully precipitating the benefits of an open bar.

We left the following morning under an overcast sky, which I was more than happy for. We made it back in time to watch the climbing competition and cheer on our friends.

blisteringly grappled,

Thursday, July 28, 2016

bachelor lifestyle


Just came back from unicamp. It's always funny to come back to the RRS's bachelor lifestyle. He has a sink full of dishes, dirty clothes still out, clean clothes still out, beer bottles piled up... He never seems to remember when I'm coming back so he always says, "I thought you were coming back tomorrow! I was going to do the dishes tomorrow..." He was prepared for a night of climbing at the gym, cooking a steak for 1, and tucking into a night of anime. What a life!

gratefully descended,

Thursday, July 21, 2016

the wilderness


We went camping in Washington at Mt. Rainier National Park! For those of you that read these entries - you were there, so you know what happened. We went to visit O & H in Seattle, among our favorite people to visit! They are so incredibly well equipped for camping. H makes a fire like a boss!

We arrived in Seattle on a Thursday night and got some super scrumptious thai food. We departed late Friday afternoon after running around for provisions. We made it to Rainier in what seemed like longer than it should have been because we ran into traffic. But that was okay, because we made it! We had some time for a short hike to Madcap Falls. We went beyond the falls looking for another waterfall and we might or might not have found it. We turned around after what seemed like we had gone too far away from the water. Somebody estimated we might have doubled our estimated distance for that hike.

The rivers and waterways are so cool in Rainier. There is just so much of it! The forest is so lush and green and vibrant. It is just so different from the dusty and hot and dry places in CA. I loved it! It was mostly overcast and rained on us overnight. We waited with a view of Mt. Rainier in clouds for a little bit and the peak never revealed herself to us until the last day on our way out.

Our full day began a little late and a with a big breakfast. It was as close to gourmet camping as I could think of. I'm not a big breakfast person, so when we go camping just me and A, we don't usually spend too much effort on breakfast. But we had pancakes this time around. Nuts! We went on a hike to Comet Falls and beyond to a meadow with fields of white avalanche lily flowers. That waterfall was huge! There is so much water melting off that mountain, it's amazing! We had been miscalculating off the maps, and it is probably not to scale and there was no scale on the map. We ended up probably with a 6 mile hike, anticipating only 4 at the outset, but it was so nice to hike in the forest and not in the sun on a dusty trail in CA. What a change!

Again we found ourselves among the last groups to tuck in. The RRS was snug as a bug in a rug wrapped in a 0 degree sleeping bag within a 30 degree bag. That kid is a weenie for sure. It was in the upper 40s at night and probably low 60s during the day. We awoke to some glimmers of sunshine our last day. After making it to the Grove of the Patriarchs over a suspicious suspension bridge, we zipped out of the park and pulled aside when we noticed the peak of the mountain making an appearance. The ever elusive Mt. Rainier; we were so lucky to have caught a glimpse.

Back in Seattle we spent the rest of the afternoon lolling about and general clean-up after camping. Weather was awfully perfect for Seattle. It seems it always is awfully nice when we visit.

magnificently tiny,

Thursday, July 14, 2016

camping once more


Camping again! I was really excited and also anxious to go camping again in Sequoia. I just feel like the RRS hasn't had the best record for not getting sick on trips. And it would be really nice if he were to just not get sick every time we go somewhere fun. Also, H came on this trip with us. I was thinking she was going to bail right up until the morning we left. But I was so happy she came. The weather was absolutely perfect. The skies were clear and sunny, it wasn't too hot during the day, and then the evening temperatures were just so very, very perfect. I loved it.

We entered from the northern end of the park driving though King's Canyon first to see General Grant and the forest by there. Our campsite was at Upper Stony Creek, which is in between King's Canyon & Sequoia. We were also able to squeeze in General Sherman before starting up the fire for dinner. The RRS got a stone cold, rock solid frozen cut of pork from the main market in the park. He sous-vied it in a way by boiling water to bathe it and thaw it for a bit, before putting it in the fire. And, ladies and gentlemen, it was THE best pork of my and H's life. All other porks will hereby be compared to the camping frozen to sous-vied pork he cooked that night.

I hung up the hammock on these perfect trees for hammocking and stared up at the stars. Surprisingly, we were probably the last in the campsite to go to bed. I can usually still hear adults and children screaming well beyond midnight at other places in the past. Also, surprisingly, the toilet seat and cover were ripped off the toilet in the outhouse.

We called the trip short because the RRS had a work trip to leave for on Sunday. We cleared out of there Saturday morning to embark on a full day's worth of activities. Glad to have arrived early at the visitor center to secure a parking spot, we started off with a waterfall hike that followed the river and gave opportunities to dip our toes in the ice cold water. It was really refreshing because the day had started to heat up in the sun. After a sleepy lunch at the visitor center, we rode the shuttle to the Giants' Forest and museum. We saw a juvenile bear and a ton of marmots. The bear crossed the paved hiking path right in front of the people ahead of us. A was oblivious and wondering why we were all stopped. He continued to linger, as H and I beelined out of there.

After one last potty break, we began the drive down the mountain into the desert and back to LA. We stopped for some terrible Italian food in the Valley and got home right around 10. Another stellar Sequoia trip in the bag. And A didn't even get sick this time!

voraciously looming,

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

theme park weekend


A's family came down to visit for a weekend. We all went to Universal Studios to check out the new Harry Potter World. The weather stayed gloomy all day, which was a huge shock to me. It usually clears up, but it rained/ drizzled for most of the day. Just the day before I had heard on the radio that California declared El Nino a wash, kaput for the year. We all tried to make the best of it nonetheless. The first ride we went on was probably the most intense of 3d motion simulator rides. Everybody walked out of there, and you could tell that they just got destroyed.

The lines were crazy. We waited 85 minutes for that first ride. And even the gift shops was wait times for the lines. If you're waiting 50 minutes to go into the wand shop, you better be buying a wand. Nuts! Nonetheless, there is a nice spirit of magic in the air, and I think the weather probably added to it. UK is like that most of the year.

We ate at a Japanese place at Universal Citywalk, zipped to Glendale for doughnuts and called it a day. We cleared out their green Teagan and Sara flavour.

The following day we made it out to Palos Verdes to go to a park that the RRS claimed to be one of his favorites despite only having been once. And the one we ended up going to was not the one he was thinking of.

Vietnamese was on the docket for dinner, surprisingly having a menu so expansive and diverse that it was able to please everyone at the table. We topped it off with quite possibly one of the best boba places any of us had ever been to. Everyone cried tears of remorse as we stepped out because we were likely never to return because it is so far, far away.

despondently deprived,

Thursday, July 7, 2016

new house


We were so excited to see O & H's new house. It is truly such an adult step in the way of life to have a house and not be able to just call the landlord about something that needs fixing. The color theme is a bluish teal shade, so go ahead and send anything that color their way. It's funny I say that because O is probably amongst the only readers of what I'm writing.

Upon arrival we got a grand tour of O's work and burgers for dinner. We had mistakenly been there before, probably it was one of the first times we met H. After driving through their old neighborhood and past their old apartment, I was happy to find the peace and quiet of their new accommodations. It seems like Capitol Hill gets crazier and crazier every time.

Their house is so cool, and so climate controlled. I remember those hot nights in their old place. Unfortunately, we only spent a night there before heading off to Vancouver. We spent a night there. And when we weren't sleeping, O & H quite willingly submitted to the whims of my mom dictating from afar. Bless their good-natured souls for following along.

We are going to see them again soon. It's going to be so fun!

wildly prepped,