I took a quick jaunt down to DC this weekend to meet my new niece Josephine (JoJo) Rei. She is just 3 weeks old right now and pretty much a feeding – pooping – sleeping machine, albeit a cute one in a bear outfit. I was chomping at the bit to see her and cuddle her, so the 4 hour bus ride was worth it. Also, it’s been 6 months since I’ve seen my mom, and she had salted pork jook (congee) waiting for me. Bonus!
As some of you may already know, I spent all of last week on a camping/backpacking trip with my crew. That’s right, 5 whole days with 12 teenagers. Our school is an Expeditionary Learning network school (we are not a charter school, though I think a few others are), and we are also an NYC Outward Bound school. These are two overlapping programs here in NYC that are pretty intertwined, one setting the tone for curriculum and management of the school while the other offers outdoor opportunities to help develop character in our students. This week-long camping trip to Sharpe Reservation (part of the Fresh Air Fund) is taken by all 9th graders with their crews (their homeroom for the next 4 years) and focuses on outdoors skills, leadership, communication and teamwork simultaneously.
New York couldn’t have been any more gorgeous for our trip. In 5 days, my crew and I backpacked for 2 nights (in the rain), completed 2 high ropes elements, 3 low ropes elements and hiked about 6 miles. In between, we sang songs, played games, settled differences, mediated drama (teenage hormones), learned how to properly poop out in the woods, laughed and cried (me – once, out of frustration). We couldn’t have done it all without our two incredibly patient guides, Bill and Julia. I owe them my gratitude for keeping me sane. I love the outdoors/camping and I love my crew. Those are two things that were completely mutually exclusive for me…’til last week. I survived!
New York is finally cooling down to weather I know and am comfortable with: mid 50s and drizzly. San Francisco weather!!!!! It’s an insane switch – within 24 hours, it cooled down by about 20 degrees. I never talked this much about the weather in SF –there was nothing to say. Now I can’t help it but turn into a small talk machine and discuss the weather with everyone.
thermal and jeans: f21 – raincoat: anthropologie (seen here) – boots: boutique 9 (the cooper boot, also seen on this blog, a new favorite/SF girl blog!)- bag: freitag – mom’s coat: h&m – kris’s coat: urban outfitters (seen here)
My mom and sister Kris are in town for the long weekend, so I dressed them in my winter coats, dug out from storage underneath the bed. My mom braided my hair like the old days of being a kid and we toured the
rich nice parts of Manhattan. We walked up 5th Ave, ogled the ridiculously reasonably expensive clothes at Barneys and admired the incredibly creative and mechanical visual displays. After a stroll through Central Park, we played with Kris’s new iPhone 5 panorama feature and tricked it into including us 3 times within the same photo. There was a lot of running in circles around the photog and curious stares from other tourists. By the way, that’s my future niece in that uterus. I’m going to be “cool auntie Erika”. Yup.
2. & 3. The prayer table with gold and silver for her afterlife.
4. My little cousin Sam.
6. Big Aunt and her blonde grandson.
7. Mommy and Second Aunt.
8. Cousin and his family.
9. Life is good when you wake up to a box full of pho being put together for your breakfast.
10. More cousin hang outs.
11. The best boba milk tea I have ever had.
12. & 13. Uncle’s corgi. He’s a special little piggy.
I’m heading back to NYC tonight on the red eye. My family is growing — 3 of my 7 cousins have 2 kids each now, all within the past 3 years. It was great seeing everybody in one place, but sad considering the reason why.
B and I took the bus down to Washington DC (4 hours!) for the weekend to visit my sister Kris and her hubby Dave. We were blindsided by a freak storm friday night, just after we arrived. The storm and it’s 80 mph wind gusts knocked out power to Kris and Dave’s house, felled a tree into their backyard, and freaked
us me all out. They just got their power restored (a full 3 days later). So we were stuck all weekend with no AC, 100˚ plus heat, cancelled plans and a fridge full of slowly rotting food.
All wasn’t lost though, we busted out the camp stove to cook, cuddled with the doggies and played candlelight Scrabble. We also attended the Japan Embassy’s annual BBQ at the Ambassador’s residence where we stuffed our faces, melted in the heat and hobnobbed with various DC peeps.
The weekend snaps: 1) somehow (and it’s happening more often than I’d like lately), B and I managed to dress independently and still end up looking like twins 2) downed tree, hot sad pups, Scrabble by candlelight (I got 4th place!) 3) Embassy of Japan judo and martial arts entertainment, yummy food 4) me and B trying not to look like total sweaty messes in 100˚ heat 5) Kris and Dave, at the Pig 6) feeding my caffeine addiction on the way home to Brooklyn from the Bolt Bus drop off
With our move to the east coast looming, B and I are trying to squeeze in as much Northern Cali as we can. I want to do all my favorite things and see all my favorite people as much as possible before I leave. My list was hella long, but I’ve been working on whittling it down. checked two off this weekend.
Next up was a trip to Great America. Last time I came here it was on a physics class field trip. Rides haven’t progressed much. The biggest change was the names of the rides. Paramount doesn’t own Great America anymore, and they’ve changed the name of my favorite ride from “Top Gun” to “Flight Deck”. meh.
I’ve been here. Quick weekend trip to the big city. Will be my city too in about a month.
B was on a work trip in Napa this week, so I took advantage of my spring break to crash in on him at his work event. Lucky me, he was staying at the Carneros Inn, a suuuper nice place. Our room was pretty insane. There was an outdoor shower!
We left Napa today, but stopped at the Oxbow Public Market on the way home. This place is basically just like the Ferry Building, but with Ritual Roasters instead of Blue Bottle and a Kara’s Cupcakes instead of Miette. I bought 3 cupcakes for myself (2 for later) and B only got one. =) B, being 6’4″ also got stuck sitting at the kids table.
I decided to wear my pizza shirt today, since pizza goes so well with wine. right? And, I seriously love these Forever 21 sunglasses. They were cheap as heck ($6!!) and so darn cheeky. I love cheeky, off beat-ish things.
sunnies: F21 – cardigan: j. crew – tshirt: h&m – jeans: madewell – bag: pour la victore – boots: ZigiNy – nails: Essie Chinchilly
spring break is almost over! Tomorrow: snowboarding. Quite possibly the last time this winter season.
Yesterday we ate three noodle meals. Pho in the morning, ramen for lunch and banh canh gio (other type Viet noodle soup) for dinner. Today, it’s a wrap day. My uncle Richard took us out for nem nuong wraps. second to pho, these wraps are my favorite Viet dish. plus, you end up smelling fish sauce in your hands for the rest of the day. good thing or bad thing?
No joke, LA has the BEST Asian food ever.
Nem noung is garlic and sugar marinated barbecued pork patties. At the table, you wrap the pork up with lettuce, rice noodles and mint. A quick dunk in nouc nam and its ready to be devoured. Seriously delish.
Coming to Los Angeles means two things: hanging out with family and eating noodles.
LA to me = San Gabriel, Alhambra, Rosemead, Monterey Park. LA, the asian part. I’m ok with that though because this part of LA has the best noodles ever, all kinds. The best Pho, the best fun and mein ever, the best ramen ever. I would happily eat only noodles while I’m here in asian LA.
For lunch today we went to a ramen place in Rosemead called Shin Sen Gumi. So yummy, even yummier than Katana-ya in SF which is my favorite in the city.
our ramen: Kris’s (sister’s) with roe and egg, Eddie’s (my cousin) with extra char siu and mine with extra char siu and spicy miso. Holy crap it was yum.
I swear this is the first time ever I’ve been able to eat noodles without geting splashes all over my top. Kris and Eddie helped me snap photos. Kris was sure to remind me to give her photo credit, so here it is. Photo credit to my sister, Kris. and Eddie.
There’s my new bag!!! I was super excited to find this at Nordie’s Rack last week. It’s the perfect size, color and it has a cross-body strap. Not to mention it was a steal.
sunglasses and glasses: bonlook – coat: gap (hella old) – top and jeans: f21 – belt: gap (hella old) – flats: frye – bag: pour la victoire
Family photo time. My mom, sister, Popo and me. Popo doesn’t remember who I am anymore. Popo needs round the clock care now and she talks to herself a lot. But she still mentions how tall I am every time she sees me. ”Wah. hou gouw ahhh.” some things never change.