Saturday, December 31, 2011

Week 52 - Sis

A weekly theme for 2011 seemed like a much simpler idea than daily postings in 2010, when we started this insanity. In actuality it turned out to be more difficult when we had weeks with a boatload of pictures to pick from and had to edited them down and hopefully keep the blog interesting. This last post of our final week of 2011 was one of those problematic editing of a very full and busy week while in California. So here's a large smattering of that time period. Hope you had a year that wasn't dependent on us filling your time but did get some enjoyment from visiting our contributions here. Get settled this is going to be a long post to finish the last long, week of the old year! Here we go: Christmas Day was different for Lisa and I as we spent the day preparing for the following day's tamale making. This included, boiling, shredding the pork meat and getting husks cleaned and separated by size. Monday, the 26th, had a long productive day filled with some really great laughs with my daughters and nieces. Tuesday I fixed a pasta dinner for my son-in-law and daughter who had to work. We ate bucatini all'amaticiana, with a substitution of shrimp, instead of guanciale. Fortunately it was a success, with Steve taking leftovers for lunch the next day. Wednesday joining Lisa and I were my niece, Monica and her son, he's also Lisa's Godson, as we headed to El Cerrito to a museum, Playland Not at the Beach, filled with objects, pictures and miniature collections of the history of amusement parks on the West Coast of California to Oregon. You could spend hours there, much to enjoy, you can play some boardwalk games along with huge assortment of pinball machines. Left there for Jack London Square for lunch. All four of us were very happy with our orders at Kinkaids, of course mine included some Dungeness crab. Then it was off to an Oakland park with some of the 25 Champions of Humanity statues, dedicated to famous heroes who made huge differences with their work for a better life and rights all over the world. Beautiful work of art. That evening a new group of nine joined us for dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Thursday, a day in SF, joining the party of four from Wednesday, my sister Judy, daughter Kellee and granddaughter Autumn. Two kids, one 11 and the other 6 years old, spent a long day with five adults and were absolutely fun to be with and well behaved. Started the day at AT&T park for a tour, next Union Square where we had lunch at Macy's Burger Bar. Good but really could have bought three burgers for the price of one there. Atmosphere was a bit stuffy for our group. Left there for a one hour bus tour as the evening was approaching. A fun way to end the the tourist outing, cable car ride. Finishing the day with "some" folks having and Irish coffee in a local establishment. Friday, packing and a visit to my cousins, closest to my age all week! The two who joined Lisa and I for this one was, my sister, Madeline and my daughter Yolanda. Are you still with me? It was a jam packed week which meant some relatives didn't get in a visit but we made the best we could to see and enjoy as many as possible. 

Week 52 - Lisa

So long 2011.  Here's to hoping 2012 brings some stability and peace to my and my mom's life.  The last four years have been very hectic and stressful but also sprinkled with many of the best adventures of my life!  We spent the last week of 2011 in California with my sister and some family.  I am very grateful to have gotten to spend so much time with my Godson.  Here's a few picture highlights;

Here's our day touring AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants and being touristy in the City!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Week 51 - Lisa

I was really sick leading up to Christmas.  Story of my life.  I was determined to get well for my trip home but work projects, long hours and other factors were not making it easy.  We flew out to Cali on Christmas Eve morning.  I was pretty tired but excited to get back to familiar sights and sounds.  My dog-niece Maria was so excited to see us, I think more than her human relatives.  ;>  My sister bought us this bottle of wine to enjoy.  I'm not sure whether to be offended or laugh.  Ok, fits like a glove, I laughed.  I was excited to share the aprons I made my cousins the day after Christmas.  As we are training a new Tamale crew.  ;>

Week 51 - Sis

This was the week of preparing before flying home to the Bay Area for our, Christmas Eve to New Year's Eve, holiday. Preparation included holiday food training for the marathon eating while home with tamale making and consuming, being a part of it. Then there was my packing and oneeya's, because she would be boarded and enjoying time with her canine mates during our trip. She would also be enjoying a Christmas dinner that was served and consisted of chicken, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. Yes, she would be suffering so while we were gone, sigh! Christmas Eve started with an early flight, that we almost missed due to a gate change, (36 to 32), that neither Lisa or I heard announced. Twenty minutes before our take-off I noticed there were very few people in the area and a group of passengers boarding not for San Francisco but New York City. I made Lisa aware which made her open her "resting" eyes and immediately tapped her iPhone to see what departure gate was ours. Nothing like a morning sprint, before a five hour flight with an upset stomach. When one person is half groggy from lack of sleep and bronchitis, the other is wondering if she will be using the barf bag or toilet, running the distance of four gates isn't recommended. Panting and praying we beat out the last five passengers boarding for a very, very packed and long plane ride. Mid-afternoon California time we arrived in SF, picked out the gutless rental SUV and got on the road to the first stop, Hayward, at our favorite Chinese restaurant. We had placed our dinner order while on the San Mateo bridge and picked it up to share with our family in Livermore. We were staying at the home of my daughter Yolanda and son-in-law Steve. As we entered the empty house, family was out shopping, first thing I was thrilled to see, a real, fully decorated, beautiful green,Christmas tree, but couldn't smell the pine scent. That was probably due to warmblooded Steve thinking anything over 57 degrees is too warm! I swear they could probably unplug the fridge during winter and still not lose any perishable food. After turning up the thermostat to a toasty 70 our blood started to circulate again and we ate our first meal of the day. So we ended the day full, a pleasant visit with the family, welcoming bedtime with open arms.