Saturday, November 19, 2011

expanding family

This post should have been about day 7 through the rest of the trip. I should do it justice and finish the story - since it was one of the best vacations I've ever had!! Instead, it's more of an "oops, sorry I've been AWOL since September on here" kind of entry!

Life seemed to have caught up with me. So you'd think I'd have PLENTY to write about, right? Of course! I just can't think of a single thing at the
moment except...

....this gal is gonna be a big sister!!

Isn't that nuts? Not too crazy...plenty of siblings are close in age. Robyn and I are only 15 months apart. But Ayla and her new sibling will be 14 months apart. Our full house just got more full!! The little one will make their debut in May of 2012.

Ayla is growing up so fast and it's been a real pleasure getting to know her. She loves Elmo and anything Sesame Street. She doesn't watch much TV but those furry creatures sure get her moving. She also babbles a lot - you can tell she really wants to talk! She'll say "dada" and "yeah yeah yeah yeah". Also, she barely crawls but she attempts to walk all the time! Her favorite thing is if you walk her around. She eats like a champ. Very healthy, too. Opa cooks for her (then again, he cooks for everyone! He just loves to cook). Her appetite is endless (like her cousins hehe.) She's just an all around doll.

And speaking of babies, Jonathan's sister is due to give birth to a girl in three weeks. Ayla will have a new playmate :D. I'm surrounded by kids...and I love it!!

I gotta document the story of how I found out about the new addition though, in case I forget one day. Two days ago, I stopped by my parents' house in the afternoon. My mom happened to be home, thanks to a slow day at work with no appointments, so she beckoned me into her bedroom saying she had something to tell (or show, I forget now) me. I followed her in and she held up a plastic bag of something, which I quickly realized were a bunch of sanitary napkins. She said "I won't be needing these anymore." I immediately assumed menopause, even though she's only in her late 40s. She then held up a long string of sonogram photos. My heart dropped. For a split second I thought, no f'ing way. Another sibling?! Well, before I could fall over, I squinted and realized the name "Alexandra..." was above the photo. I was so confused. Why are they showing me Ayla's old sonogram photos? What kind of joke is this? Then it hit me. ANOTHER one! "Yes!!" they confirmed. We started jumping up and down like a couple of loons.

Gotta love moments like that.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Day 5

August 17

Waking up in Anaheim felt good...because for the first time in 25 years, I got to spend the day in Disneyland!!

I mean, don't get me wrong, I was very happy to be there but I definitely could have slept in a couple of more hours that morning. Took me awhile to perk up. But, once I saw the entrance to the park, I was sold.


First ride of the trip honor goes to....
Space Mountain!

Guess which original ride this was on?

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride! I have always wanted to experience it, especially when I learned they took it down at Disney World, when it was deemed "too scary for children." Which is why I find it highly amusing that as I was waiting on line, a woman got on the ride with her two infant children, one that was not even a year old!

But we survived it! (Although by the look on Chris's face, just barely.)


Scene's from Snow White's Scary Adventure

I can't remember what we were on line for here...Splash Mountain I think...but I looooved the lighting in this! (And the guy is pretty awesome, too)

Lunch was at Carnation Cafe, thanks to reservations Wilfredo had for us. The food was DELICIOUS. I ordered half a soup/sandwich combo so that I wouldn't be too full come dinner. It was the perfect amount to leave room for an iced mocha, which they made quite well :)


Never a dull photo with Robyn in it.

One of my favorite things about Disney: the detail. Check out Walt and his brother Roy's initials on this!

Group shot in front of the castle :-)

Was going to put a cheesy caption about posing with Prince Charming but decided against it...oh wait...too late.

Walt's figure can be seen through the love love it.

See this bench?

Pretty neat, right?

Club 33. (Click the link for more info about what makes this the most sought out place in Disneyland)



The rest of the day was rides rides rides. My brother went back to the hotel when we hopped over to California Adventure because he was understandably tired. We didn't go on much at California Adventure because we would be spending more time there another day. Later that night, the group met up again for dinner.



LOL, look at our fake smiles. We were sooo tired, haha.

As the sun set, everything was illuminated by a pretty glow.


The end of a very satisfying day. :D

Monday, September 5, 2011

Day 4

Day 4
Tuesday, August 16: a day of traveling

A sad sad day it was indeed for it was our final morning in San Diego and we had to get a relatively early (but not too early) start to our day.

So we did it the right way, at Golden Bagel. Seriously...some of the best bagels I've ever had!!

After saying our goodbyes (for now...we'd be seeing Chrissy and Andrew later in the week!), we waited about an hour for our train to Los Angeles at the Santa Fe Depot.





(Palm) tree hugger


And before we knew it, it was time to board the train and bid adieu to San Diego.

This was seriously my view on the way up.

Wish we could have caught a game at Angels Stadium! Next trip, for sure.

Picked up our rental car at LAX. Was missing our other gorgeous red car already, LOL.

So after taking a car to the train to the bus to another bus to the car, some 7 hours later we had finally arrived at our destination: Desert Palm Hotel & Suites.



We were able to hang out in the hotel for a little bit...

Wilfredo, a friend of ours from home, had already been in Anaheim the entire time we were in San Diego. It was nice to catch up for a little bit.


But not for long because it was off to Downtown Disney!



What I liked about Disneyland is that both parks (DL and California Adventure) are adjacent to each other. And the downtown Disney shopping area is right there too. As much as I love World, it is a bit more spaced out.

Of course we stopped at World of Disney. Robyn made fun of us (rightfully so) because she said every time we went there, we looked at the same things as if we hadn't seen it before. LOL! I can't help it. I love that store.

We had dinner at Rainforest Cafe. I highly recommend the guacamole burger!!





After dinner, it was time to call it a night. I don't even think exhausted was a good word to explain how we felt. I was falling asleep at the dinner table!


Day 4, check!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 2 & 3

Day 2
Sunday, August 14th

The jet lag had kicked in but that didn't stop us from getting up somewhat early. We had a loooong day ahead of us - but a fun one!

We parted ways with Robyn and Chris, who went for a jog. Or as Chris put it, "She jogged. I walked." Haha....Chrissy and Andrew had a baptism to attend that morning. My aunt would be the godmother to a friend's daughter :-)

We found a Denny's nearby. Fuel for the road was needed.


A preview for the next day's activity...

On the way out, I saw a pretty sweet looking car. If that were mine, I wouldn't feel safe leaving it in the lot!

And we were back on the road...

There was a heavy fog at one point heading up to L.A

And the usual traffic.

There was a line to get into Staples Center by the time we got there. It looked like it would go on forever but luckily, it moved quickly. Still, that took us by surprise. Thought it would be a little like Madison Square Garden, where you walk right in.

First glimpse of a packed Staples Center for SummerSlam 2011!

Tool's Adam Jones
We were in for a treat: Adam Jones from Tool performs The National Anthem via electric guitar.

The Miz's entrance really is rather awesome.

John Morrison can do no wrong.

Cee-Lo Green performed SummerSlam '11s theme song Bright Lights, Bigger City followed by Forget You. He definitely knew how to work the crowd! He was great live.

Punk did his thing...

...and Cena did his...

But ultimately, Alberto Del Rio came out with his Money in the Bank suitcase and swiped the title. Whoops. Sorry, fellas.

With the lights on and the crowd emptying out, Staples Center looked like a shell of what it was just minutes before!

It's too bad we didn't have more time to check out what the area had to offer but we had a 2 hour drive back to San Diego and we couldn't risk getting home too late.

The drive back was definitely tough, because unfortunately I don't have my license so Jonathan was the only driver at hand. He started to feel sleepy halfway so we stopped at a rest stop to wake up a bit. Despite that stop and then missing our exit right as we entered SD, we still got back before everyone else! They were having a blast at SeaWorld. Next year, I will definitely make time to do that.

The boys passed out early but Robyn, Chrissy and I stayed up late to catch up. We filled each other in on the events of the past few years, including things that had happened right before she got married and left New York. It was a much needed heart-to-heart that I thank God we had the opportunity to have on this trip! Despite the late bed time, we all managed to wake up at a decent time because it was off to the San Diego Zoo for all of us.

Day 3
Monday, August 15
The outside of their place was cute, with the decorations.

It was hard to make this photo less overexposed because I only have the iPhoto editing program not Photoshop. I do love it though :)

We stopped for lunch first but the parking lot was not what we were used to. Each car space got a number and you had to put $5 into whatever # your car was parked in.


We were in for a real treat with this place.

The detail in this place was ridiculous! Sidenote: we have that photograph "American Girl in Italy" at home in the room we share. That was a nice surprise, since I never see that photo anywhere!



What a great nod to all things Yankees!

We were greeted by this tough guy when we entered the zoo. Would you believe he's only a baby? Apparently he has much more growing to do. Yowza.

It was intimidating when he looked right at you!

That day we saw many different animals...


Rob & JD gave us a glimpse of what we were about to see...





This shy koala stole my heart.





Baby giraffe!

Beautiful artwork.

Not sure why I thought this was a face a butterfly makes...


They even had some non animal things to see...



We pretty much spent all afternoon and evening there. I can see why Andrew & Chrissy are members of the much to see & do.

We ended the day with a visit to Claim Jumper and by the end of night, I was in a serious food coma. We crashed pretty hard once we got home, on which would be our final night in San Diego :'(