Emma and I flew to El Segundo to visit family. We stayed with my Dad (grandpa). It was very fun but so hot!
One afternoon we visited the Getty museum. It is free and so lovely. We only went in one building but saw paintings, photography and decorative arts.
We sat outside under the big umbrellas and sipped coffee. It was so nice there. I wish it was not so hot so we could have gone through the gardens.
One day we went to the Del Amo mall in Torrance. There was a new Mitsuwa marketplace. The Kinokuniya bookstore is our favorite.
We ate outside in the evenings on the patio at my Dad’s place. It would start to cool off and we would just chill out there.
Our beach day was so refreshing. The breeze off the ocean was cool and it was the first time I wasn’t sweating. Emma enjoyed playing on the shore and watching dolphins play out in the water.
We visited with lots of family. I had so much fun that I forgot to take more pictures. It was so great to hug my siblings after a long time apart.
maiki had been traveling as well and we were super happy to be reunited again.
Emma Clover and I took a flight to visit family. It was an easy plane riding experience and Clover is now a pro at traveling. ^_^
We flew down to L.A. this past weekend and Emma Clover rode in an airplane for the first time. I was anxious for the flight because we had been suffering for the week prior with colds and head congestion but both of us were fine with the change in air pressure. Due to Fleet Week we were stuck on the runway for almost an hour before we actually took off and it was hard for Em to sit in her seat. Eventually we ascended into the air and Clovey fell asleep for the short flight down to Los Angeles.
On the way home we departed out of LAX and that airport is so busy all of the time. We waited in long lines that proved to look worse than they actually were and got through security with ease. The terminals were super crowded but we always found a seat. Our flight left on time and before we knew it we were home again. I will definitely fly again next time because Emma gets so car sick when we drive and it is a very long time to be strapped in a car seat. This method was so much easier!
I love these pictures of Emma from our return flight. She is wearing dress-up clothes and watching Little Bear on the tablet, while eating a lolly. For an almost three-year-old it doesn’t get much better than this.
So we are back from the Big Trip and it was an interesting time indeed. I went into it quite anxious. Emma Clover had not been in a car seat since she was six weeks old (and now she is seven months!) and my parents were bringing up topics of baptism and religion I did not want to spend my vacation arguing with anyone about anything. Neither were as bad as I thought and deep philosophical conversations were not brought up. Emma did get her first tooth and occasionally cried on the drive down. She was a champ otherwise and I sat next to her (in the back seat ^_^) the whole time. We visited one of our favorite secret spots, the Mitsuwa Marketplace in Strawberry Park in San Jose on Saratoga and went to the Clover Bakery, Kinokuniya Bookstore and Mitsuwa Market. Did not get Kahoo Ramen but it is the BEST ramen you will ever eat. We bought manga, ate treats, found amazing Strawberry Vanilla green tea and loved every moment of the the stop that is only an hour away. In Southern California we visited Jason, Kevin, Victoria, my parents and attended a wedding where half of El Segundo was in attendance. We drove over a thousand miles and tried to enjoy ourselves as much as possible. Emma wore two cutie dresses and maiki and I dressed fancy for the wedding. The bride was the most beautiful that I have ever seen and decorated her reception with amazing flowers and artwork. We missed half of the reception because it was so dang loud and Emma (and maiki) were over stimulated by the throngs of people loving on Emma and hungry. Luckily the happy newlyweds live in the Bay Area so we can spend much more time with them in the future. Emma and I attended a mother’s day brunch where I ate the best french toast of my life and sipped the worst coffee. We did a lot of traveling and were so happy to be home. Emma cried much more on the way back. We took I-5 so it went faster I suppose but it sucked. Los Angeles->Berkeley in one day with a baby is insanity. But we made it back. I love home.
When I was going through a box of photos the other day I found pictures from my family trip to Germany from when I was a kid. I was in the third or fourth grade when we went and we stayed for about a month. We drove across the country and spent about a week near the big Oktoberfest (that is where I got the big goofy glasses). We were accompanied by my aunt, her husband—whose family lived in Munich and his relatives. I went on a few rides at Oktoberfest and was amazed at how large in scale everything there seemed. Huge tents packed with people, beer steins larger than I had ever seen, giant roller coasters—one of them even had rings of fire. We danced on the tables and I drank steins of orange Fanta. All of the little towns that we passed also celebrated Oktoberfest and had small carnivals. It was a neat experience staying my uncle’s mom’s house and visiting his with relatives. It was the first time I had ever slept under a down comforter. I will always remember how they served coffee and tea with lots of desserts in the afternoon. And the chocolate was the best I have ever tasted.
During our travels we went to many castles and churches. My favorite of course was the Neuschwanstein castle because it is the castle that Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty castle is styled after. We walked up the big hill to the entrance and the view at the top was amazing. I loved all of the cobblestone roads and thatch covered roofs. Every place we went to felt old and worn but rich with history. While on the road we stayed in guest houses, sometimes on farms, that served wonderful breakfasts with real butter and jam. I remember eating tomato soup that was made with cream and the hot chocolate topped with real whipped cream that wasn’t sweet. It was colder there than I was used to and there were wonderful forests to walk through. I saw an abandoned cabin and told my mom that that’s where the witch from Hansel and Gretel lived. I felt like I really was in where all the fairy tales came from.
Towards the end of the trip we also went to London for a few days and saw the sights. It was nice to hear English being spoken again but I still strained to understand the accents. By then I was ready to eat some different foods. I was not accustomed to eating as much meat as we did in Germany. In London we shopped at Harrod’s and even then at a young age thought it was incredibly exciting. It is such a neat department store!