Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving and All It's Meals

Thanksgiving was well spent with my friends and family this year. Of course I had different meals with different people and Thanksgiving almost always becomes a week-long (or more) event. And of course I never mind that. This year was wonderful because I had all my loved ones at home and obviously because I AM HOME. :) It was nice to be with my sister and my mama, the Amaro and Garcia/Trowbridge families, and my dearest friends that I got to see this past week. I haven't even mentioned all the delicious food that filled my belly but here are pictures...

Friendsgiving started way early this year. KBBQ!
On Thanksgiving Day the Amaro and O'Connell families met in Claremont for the annual 5K Turkey Trot tradition. I'm happy I finally got to be a part of this tradition. It was fun and tiring and I realized how much of a runner I am not! haha (Thanks Tare, for jogging with me even though I held you back!) After that Trenton and I drove up to the mountains to Mountain Lakes in Lytle Creek. We spent the day with some of his family and had a yummy lunch followed by fun and games in the most beautiful Autumn setting. So pretty.

Same Turkey as the one in Claremont!
Thanksgiving meal at Abuela's and Thanksgiving meal with my mama and sister. SAME DAY, two hours apart! 
The best homemade Indian food from my second family (aka best friend's parents). 
YUMMY food eaten with our fingers. And yes, we need 4 different types of ice cream.
I love it when I facetime with the best friend! Sorry we're eating and you're not! :( Miss you V and J!
I can't even count the number of meals I've eaten with different people this week. There are some pictures I left out and I know I've seen a lot of my friends recently. It's crazy how much someone can take for granted. I am very thankful for my family and all my friends for the love and support they continue to give me. It has been so real seeing them after being away for two years. I am thankful for Trenton who continues to love me and pushes me to be a better person. I am thankful for change and opportunity. I am thankful for rain and hot showers. I'm thankful for life and love. And of course, warm food in my belly. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Continue to be thankful for the small (and big) things in your life!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Exploring Los Angeles

Yesterday Trenton and I met my sister and her friend, Keila, in Los Angeles for lunch. We ate at a place called Eat.Drink.Americano. It is a cute little corner deli in DTLA. Everything was good.  

 We walked around the area and went into a cool, overpriced (for my budget) store called Poketo and I liked a lot of things in there.

Then, we continued walking down the street to 82, an adult arcade (there's a bar in there) and played some games I haven't played in over 20 years. It was so fun! They had games like TMNT, The Simpsons, Dr. Mario, Tapper, etc. My inner child was ecstatic! The best part of my day was playing TMNT with my sister and Trenton.
^I used to play Tapper on the old Macintosh computers, floppy disk style!
Nice Kelly Kapowski shirt Kev.
After we bid adieu to my sister and Keila, we met up with my good friend Kevin in Whittier to eat at one of the best pizza places ever: Pizzamania

The end.

Friday, November 21, 2014

November 20th - Eight Years

Yesterday Trenton and I celebrated eight years together. Sometimes I still cannot believe he stuck around this long but am grateful for him and glad he did. It's been our first anniversary we've celebrated together since I've been back from Botswana and it was fun and filled with lots of smiles.

Trenton planned something for us and said it'd be a surprise. The thing about me is I have a love/hate relationship with surprises. I really want to know what they are but know I would be really disappointed if I found out. But on the other hand, if I don't know it just makes me really anxious and it's all I can think of even though I know I would really love a true surprise. It's just a lose-lose situation really. I'm the worst. haha Anyway, it eventually comes down to him telling me one part of the surprise the day of and not telling me the other parts and it seems to be the best compromise so far. So we'll probably continue doing that. But I'll end this tangent and say he took me out to an amazing restaurant yesterday followed by some good laughs. 

Since we haven't been exploring Los Angeles together in a long while he decided to take me to a restaurant called The Blvd in Beverly Hills off of Wilshire in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Beverly Hills I said. Watch out fancy. We walked along Rodeo Drive looking at all the things I cannot afford and it was really pretty because they've already decorated the streets with lights and Christmas decorations. There were families and couples walking around and everything just looked so damn...nice! Beverly Hills is definitely not where I'd ever see myself because I can't imagine living that type of lifestyle but I love how clean and pretty everything is there. Usually, when we come to these places I feel like I don't belong but sometimes it's nice getting dressed up, hitting the town, and feeling like we're fancy, even if only for the night. And even if we are the loudest ones there being silly, laughing and having a good time.

So classy

After dinner we went to Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre, or UCB Theatre, to watch some improv. That was such a good choice because it was really funny and we had lots of laughs. This place is pretty cool too because you can look at the pictures on the walls and see that some of today's big names in comedy got their start here! Props to you, Bub, for taking me here! It was so much fun! We ended the night going into a record/book store next door and just taking pictures of random things on our walk back to the car.

Trenton's epic guitar solo on the street^ haha
Yesterday was just another fun day spent with Trenton. I am so glad that we have stuck together. We've watched each other grow and make mistakes. We've supported each other through the most difficult of times. I'm so glad that I can have a best friend in my partner. I can't even express in words how much you mean to me, Bub! But I'm just so glad you've stuck around after dealing with me. After all, a guy who can deal with daily cleaning requests, weird behavior, and a mannequin head that sits atop our bed without freaking out is definitely a keeper! Love you Bub! Happy November 20th! :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Date at Norton Simon and Coolhaus

It's been months since I've posted, I know. I actually didn't know whether to continue with the blog since it was initially started for family and friends here, at home in America, to follow my adventures in Africa. I've decided to keep it going as long as I could, without any promises. haha Because I have reliable internet and better editing tools now, I know it will be easier to update and I hope to make this blog as nice as I know how to for family in different parts of the world and friends who are also in different countries, whom I've met during the past two years. I hope this will be a way to let all of you in on my life, as simple or exciting as you may perceive it. Honestly though, since I've been back, there hasn't been anything too exciting. haha If I posted about what's been going on in my life from when I got back from Botswana two to three weeks ago, the only thing you'd be seeing are different types of food and hot showers. No joke. So I will continue to take pictures of my life but I cannot promise you how exciting they'll be. Especially since I've been back - it's been an overwhelming, emotional, confusing time for me. But it's good to be home.

Today Trent and I made it our day. Just us and nobody else. I've been trying to see everyone I could possibly see these past couple of weeks I've been home and as much as I love all my family and friends, it sometimes gets a little overwhelming because it's like I've been by myself (for the most part) for the past two years in a rural village with unreliable transportation and BAM! Home to traffic, pollution, people, choices, bills, stress, etc. No offense, if I've hung out with you know that I am absolutely grateful and cherish those times. I just need some time for myself, that's all. 

So anyway, today Trent and I got into the car, went to one of our favorite cities in California, Pasadena (we hope to live here one day!), and enjoyed an evening walking in the sculpture gardens of the Norton Simon Museum. I really love the days we used to explore when we both had days off and well, because I've just gotten back and haven't started working yet, I have a lot of those! haha We walked around the museum and saw some cool art and ended the night at Coolhaus, a yummy ice cream place in Old Town. It was simple and perfect and a great reminder of how happy I am when I am home and with Trenton.

*FYI: I did not get the Brown Butter Candied Bacon Ice Cream. I know, I can't believe it either.