Before Thanksgiving in Westchester, we spent several nights in Manhattan near Central Park South. Upon our arrival, we went straight to Ellie and Sandor's place, who were kind enough to host dinner for all the cousins and families. The big kids (Sandor and I) showed the little kids how it's done in the play room.
Some of our NYC activities are now starting to feel routine:
- Visit POPSUGAR NY office
- Ride subway
- Eat in Koreatown
- Visit American Girl
- Eat in Koreatown
Grace and her family had dinner one night with Dave's boss, so I got a pass and had dinner with Linda. After Thanksgiving, we came back into Manhattan for a couple nights. We went straight to Jen's where she and my mom had been preparing for a big Ohio State vs. Michigan game party. The food was plentiful and delicious. The football was terrible. All the cousins came over as well as Jon Arney and Linda, Danny and the Kids. Olivia can't get enough of her little baby cousins.
Afterwards, we drove out to NJ to visit Ana and Bobby at their beautiful new home out in Ridgewood. It was great to see the kids and the family in their new suburban lifestyle. The kids enjoyed playing together in their new spaces.
Lucas wasn't feeling well on Sunday, our last day in the city, so he and I stayed home while Dave, Grace and Olivia went to meet Joon and Bianca. Lucas bounced back and was able to rally for one last meal with Dave at Mastro's. It was excellent.
We didn't get to see everyone we wanted to on this trip, but I'm sure we'll be back soon and often. Of course now there's pressure to join all our siblings in NY, but I really don't see that happening. We're always up for a visit, though.
Addy and Charles moved to Rye in Westchester County this past Summer and have been settling into their new home. We no longer have a critical mass in California, as all our siblings now live in NY. They were kind enough to host both the Parks and the Rhees for Thanksgiving last week.
Lucas and Olivia have been especially missing Cameron and Delaney and were so excited to see them. There were many fun things to explore on the property, not the least of which were the trampoline and a pre-historic rock, which I understand took the better part of a year to demolish. The new house is beautiful.
I left the house one time in the several days we were there. We all stayed on California time, so there was a lot of sleeping and napping at odd hours. The one time we did leave, we went to White Plains to see a movie and Mamaroneck to pick up a pizza. Other than that, I didn't get to explore the area much, especially Rye proper. Next time!
We had a great Thanksgiving together with all the families. Thanks, Addy and Charles, for being such great and gracious hosts. There's discussion of a destination Thanksgiving next year.
We spent the first day in NYC with the Crowthers, who were also in town for Thanksgiving with family. Although they see each other every day, it was fun to go on a field trip together. We met in the morning at the Empire State Building. I'm sure I've been up to the top before, but it was likely close to 40 years ago (and possibly traumatic), so it was like the first time for me, too.
It was a little brisk up on the observation deck, so we didn't last too long outside. After a final stop on the 102nd floor, we descended to street level to take in some holiday windows at Macy's nearby. We walked over to Hillstones and had lunch together with Jen and my parents.
It's been a while since our last Vegas trip (i.e., since last year), so the gang met up a couple weeks ago. Now that Ray is back on the team, we finally got to meet his awesome wife, Rakhee. My vote was for adults only, but then realized I don't have a vote. Lucas has actually been asking when we were coming to Vegas, so I might have been taken down a notch if we left him at home.
I don't recall coming this late in the Fall before. The whole point of Vegas for the kids is to hang out at the pool. However, it was barely warm in the sun and cold in the shade, so swimming was more of an endurance event than a leisure activity. I stayed out of the pool, bundled in layers. We basically had the whole thing to ourselves whenever we were out there. Lesson 1: November is too late.
I also don't recall being so tired all the time in Vegas. I booked early golf with Ed so that we could be back in time for lunch and pool in the afternoon. Given the above, this wasn't really necessary. Getting up at 5-something two mornings in a row is the last thing you want to do in Vegas unless you're heading to Drai's. I used to be able to do this no problem. Now, it's a problem and I was in a bit of pain at dinner both nights. On Sunday, I went to bed at 10:45pm with the kids. Lesson 2: I'm too old to do it all and need to schedule an afternoon nap.
I also don't recall not gambling at all in Vegas. I think Ed played for an hour on the trip and he tried to text me on Sunday when he got his second wind, but I was already sawing logs. Lesson 3: If we're going on a family vacation to swim, it needs to be somewhere warm and a time of year when the sun sets after 4:30pm.
Lucas and Olivia will not be returning to Las Vegas until they can: 1. golf and 2. gamble. Or, next year, because Grace says so. Also, Grace was sick and tired on this trip and got lots of R&R, so lessons 1, 2 and 3 did not apply to her.
Palm Springs, anyone?
Lucas turned 7 today. Seven! He wanted to invite both the girls and the boys from school to his party and he has buddies in both classes. So we invited 40 first-graders over ... to our house.
Kate, our old nanny, planned and prepared all the details for Lucas's Star Wars-themed extravaganza. Between the jumpy, crafts, Episode IV and a relay race, there were plenty of activities to keep the 30 or so kids who attended busy. In addition to my parents and Jen, we put all parents who were
foolish kind enough to stick around to work! Thank you!
Despite many sideways glances (like, what were we thinking), Kate and Grace pulled it off and it seems like all the kids had a good time, especially the birthday boy. We haven't told him yet that his party next year will be a sleep over with one friend, and by friend, we mean his sister. Just kidding!
Happy Birthday, Lucas! We love you so much.
Halloween at POPSUGAR SF on Friday, October 30, 2015.
Fun for the kids, teachers and parents.
Grace invited my parents to come visit for a couple weeks to help out during a busy time. Both mom and dad have been working hard for the kids and us. One benefit of the timing was being able to celebrate my mom's 75th birthday together. We wanted to do something special, so I made a reservation at Benu in San Francisco, which I've been wanting to try. On a whim, I invited Jen to join us, too, and she made it happen as a surprise.
Everything came together yesterday as Jen arrived from NYC and we all met in SF for one of the best meals of our lives. My mom enjoys food and cooking, so I think the experience was appreciated by her. I have no idea what compels me to take photos of all the food, except that each course was as beautiful to behold as it was to eat (I think I even missed a course or two). It was a memorable experience indeed and we're so thankful to have been able to celebrate together with Jen.
Happy Birthday, to our wonderful mother who is beautiful inside and out. We're all so fortunate to call you mom, grandma and wife.
We don't often see live music, but when we do, it's Florence + The Machine. By my count, it's 4 of the last 5 shows we've seen together (this is not counting when Grace bailed on Howard Jones).
It's been over a decade since we've been to the Greek Theater. I rode BART and a Berkeley campus bus to get there. We managed to post up to the 2nd row and I'm pretty sure I was the oldest person within 25 yards.
The show was amazing and was a stark contrast to the stripped down LA set we saw in the Spring. I think we'll travel again for the next show.
The team converged on Salt Lake City for a surgical strike to see the inaugural Harbaugh-era Michigan game. Were my expectations too high? Probably. Was I hopeful for a win? Definitely. Was I disappointed in the outcome? Indeed.
However, being with old friends and new took the sting out of the final score. It was a beautiful day and evening in SLC. I went with my college friends, but ran into friends from elementary school and graduate school.
I'm sure we'll be cheering again very soon. Until then, Go Blue!!!