Fall and NWM

Well, my absolute favorite season is here – FALL! The delicious comfort food (mostly desserts), the beautiful colors outdoors, and the crisp air without it being too cold… OHH YEAH!! I am currently sitting here with a Maple Pecan Frappuccino from Starbucks. For the record, I usually get the fall flavors once or twice during the season, and then go back to my classics. Sometimes, though, I get obsessed and order it five times in a row. 😉 I am also watching some post-season baseball! My team is not in it this year, but it’s always exciting to watch no matter what. I just love baseball! Football is back, too, and what a downer that has been for our household. Our team just can’t get it together! Next week, we are going to our basketball team’s home opener! Go Kings! See? Lots of good things this time of the year.

In case you are wondering why I am posting in the middle of the day on a Monday, well… it’s an observed holiday for our company. NWM = No Work Monday! But even if it weren’t, I think they might have sent us home early today anyway. You see, I work in the Napa Valley, and what is going on over there right now? A massive fire! It has gone rapidly through other counties as well, and some of my coworkers have either evacuated or are on alert. They have also been without electricity since about two this morning. Please keep the residents, visitors, animals, and businesses who are affected in your thoughts and prayers. Last time I checked, two hospitals have already been evacuated. This really hurts me because many of my favorite people and sceneries are in that immediate area.

Other than that… I am looking forward to next week! Other than the Kings game, my nephew and his parents (my brother and sister-in-law) are coming back from their vacation in the Philippines! I miss him so much. Haha! I also get to see my optometrist for my annual check-up, and hopefully, she has good news for me.

Have a great Monday, y’all!

Karen’s US Visit

When family come to visit us in California, we try our best to make it as fun and as memorable as we can! We forego hours of sleep just to maximize our time with one another, and we will go the distance to make sure everyone has a great time. The past week was no exception.

In a week’s notice, my family and I found ourselves laughing our butts off while spending time with my cousin, Karen. She lives in Qatar, but has been on an extended holiday from work. After her stays in London and the Philippines, she booked a ticket to LAX. Mike and I set out to meet her and her friends at Disneyland, and then took her back to the Bay Area with us that evening. Her time was limited and planned out, so over her weekend with us, we took her to Napa Valley and Monterey. She also went to San Francisco and other local places for a quick shopping. I felt horrible that we couldn’t accompany her to Las Vegas and Arizona, but the brave girl in her, she made the trip alone.

When I found out that I could get Saturday (9/2) off, I got in touch with her friend in LA. I knew she was going to be picking her up from the bus station and then taking her to the airport for her flight back to the Philippines. Mike and I set out late in the evening and met Karen and her friends on Melrose Avenue. As predicted, she was overcome with so much joy that she started crying. Ah! We had limited time, so we took her “LA Wall” pictures and had breakfast at The Griddle Cafe. After a quick stop at Party City, it was time to finally take her to the airport.

It was full of tears and at the same time, so much promises of seeing one another soon again – whether in the US, the Philippines, or elsewhere in the world. Gosh! I love visitors, but I love it even more when it’s super close family. Also, today happens to be Karen’s birthday… HBD, Citizen of the World!

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Paul Smith’s Pink Wall
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The Birthday Girl!

Engagement’s 2nd Anniversary

At the beginning of June, I booked a round-trip plane tickets to Burbank for Mike and myself, not knowing if the trip would actually happen. However, just in case, I also booked a hotel room for a four-night stay a few days later. I was confident in my booking because Southwest Airlines has an amazing cancellation policy and DoubleTree By Hilton allows for a 24-hour cancellation. What’s great is that I booked my hotel at the right time, because I checked again a week later, and the prices was almost doubled! Phew!

Anyway, the mini vacation happened! We arrived in Burbank on a Saturday morning, and had breakfast at Grits Fullerton. I got Pork Belly & Grits and Mike ordered Bone Marrow & Waffles. Both were delicious! Then, on a whim, we drove to San Diego while monitoring StubHub. We watched our SF Giants play the Padres. Who knew that finding Giants shirt would be so hard in So Cal? LOL. We eventually found a Sports Fever store, where I got a nice shirt for 50% off! We made our way to Petco Park, and their parking price of $15 still amaze us because that is so much cheaper than what we are used to, especially with the garage being across the street from the ballpark! We had Phil’s BBQ right before the game, and we were happy to have set next to a pair of Giants fans. Our team lost, making us 0-2 when in attendance at Petco Park. On the bright side, it was fireworks night! We watched the fireworks show before heading back to Anaheim.

We spent Sunday, most of Monday, and Tuesday at Disneyland & California Adventure. We dined at Carthay Circle and Carnation Cafe, and we also did the on-the-go dining package for Fantasmic. This was mainly because we wanted to celebrate our engagement’s second anniversary. Silly, but it makes us nostalgic thinking about the day of! While waiting for Fantasmic, we sat in a circle talking with a family from Georgia and a local lady (of So Cal). They were really nice people, and made the wait bearable. One thing that we got a laugh out of was when the lady mentioned how folks from the East Coast or anywhere but the West Coast say “Disney” when referring to Walt Disney World, while West Coasters actually say “Land” or “World.” That is so interesting, but I also found some truth to it when I look at my Disney forums! Haha.

We flew back home on Wednesday, and of course, we had to bring back some pastries from Porto’s! Our families love it and they appreciate whenever we bring those boxes of happiness back. Now, I am gearing back to go to work… tomorrow… on a Saturday! But only for four hours. Ha!

If there is anything different from this past vacation, it’s the fact that we were more budget-conscious than we have ever been on a vacation. We also ate a whole bunch of popcorn because we remembered to bring the AP popcorn bucket we bought during our last visit to Disneyland. What was cool is that we were able to get refills for just $1! We must have refilled it 4 or 5 time during the trip. 😛

What’s new everyone?!

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Breakfast at Grits Fullerton
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Petco Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sleeping Beauty’s Castle! & a bunch of people

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Summer is Here

Whoa… hello out there! And hello SUMMER! While it’s not exactly my favorite season, it is my birth season, so yeah, go summer! Since my last update…, TWO MONTHS AGO, I still have not yet found my creative outlet, have gained a lot of weight, and have purposely ignored anything that I didn’t care for or want to care for but cannot really afford to care for. Did that make any sense at all?

Anyway, I failed to mention that between April 1st and May 31st, we have taken three separate trips to Disneyland. The first one trip was with the hubby (of course), my brothers, sisters in law, niece, and nephew. It was planned in less than one week. The conversation went something like:

Me: Hey, we’re driving down to Disneyland for the weekend.
SIL: Oh, maybe we can go too.
Me: Ok! Let me know.
Bro: Let me see if (his wife) can get the weekend off. We’ll go too!

The following day, everyone was able to get the weekend off…and we booked our hotel, they bought their tickets, and off we were to Disneyland!

The second trip was a one day trip. Mike and I took a 6AM flight, spent the morning at California Adventure, ate all we that our stomachs would allow at the Food & Wine Festival, spent the afternoon at Disneyland, drove around Orange County for a little bit, then took the last flight home. Lastly, the third trip was during Memorial Day weekend. We spent that entire Sunday at California Adventure, and rode Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout three times! Luckily for us, we never waited more than one hour for the ride! We loved it so much! (TIP: Get your FastPass as soon as you get there, wait in line while the wait time is still short, go back during your designated time, watch the early showing of World of Color, get in line to the ride as soon as you leave the show and others watch the second showing (or vice-versa), and voila… guarantee three times the fun!)

Anyway, I guess I didn’t really have much substance in this post. I just needed to kill time while I uploaded my iPhone photos onto my MacBook. However, it has failed three times already. Help?

Next time, I’ll try a little more on writing about something that matters.

 

New Last Name

Alright everyone, the day has finally come in my life. The day that I begin the process of taking on my husband’s last name. Some might say, “It’s about time!” While others may ask, “Why on Earth would you do that?” We have been married five months. I should have changed it sooner, but I’m sort of attached to my maiden name which consisted of my first name, my mom’s maiden name, and of course, my (dad’s) surname. My last name has got some deep roots back in the Philippines, and I’ve been told, that it’s important. But now, my last name is different. It’s short, common, and everyone mistakes me for Hispanic. But hey, it’s my husband’s last name. I mean, it’s okay to take your time assuming your spouse’s last name, right? Because I see a lot of my friends changing their names immediately, yet here I am, barely going through the process five months later. I did change it on Facebook so that it’s legit. 😉

By the way, I only spent about twenty minutes and without an appointment at the Social Security Administration. I got my new SS card about three days later. I spent probably around forty minutes at the DMV, with an appointment. It also costed me $27 to get a new license, and that came in one week later. Now, I’ve started to call my bank and creditors to submit a name change. Whew, almost there.

Currently, we are at a “stay-cation” about forty miles away from our home. It’s comped, comfortable, and a quick wannabe getaway. We like when we get these kind of perks. Now, can I get free vacation to say, Paris? Please? 😛

Family from UAE

If I could relive last weekend again, I would. My cousin and his family came to visit all the way from the UAE. I hadn’t seen my cousin in about ten years, and it was my first time meeting his daughters. Their USA agenda was so packed, but I am so thankful for the three days I got to spend with them.

Because it was their first time and we had very limited time, we took them to San Francisco, Napa, and Lake Tahoe. I mean who doesn’t want to see the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Union Square, wineries, and snow? Each day, we were home for dinner, which made for more wonderful family memories. Their youngest daughters took it upon herself to make me her honorary “mommy” for the weekend. It was super sweet.

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Miss you guys already! ❤