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Little Italy in the Summer

August 7, 2011

There’s just so much to love about this little San Diego neighborhood…

The Old Town Trolley rolls past El Camino on India Street

Tomatoes at the Little Italy farmers' market

Some people find it a bit unnerving when they see how close the airplanes landing at Lindbergh Field get to the buildings, but it’s always been one of my favorite things about San Diego. I never get tired of watching them arrive.

Airplane landing over Little Italy

Las Vegas: Part 2

July 17, 2011

Whether you love or hate the complete over-the-topness, you can’t help but gawk at all the elaborate visual displays in Vegas. Here are a few of my favorites:

Dale Chihuly ceiling at the Bellagio Las Vegas

The Dale Chihuly ceiling at the Bellagio


The chocolate fountain at Jean Philippe Patisserie, also at the Bellagio. Have to figure out how to install one of these things in my house.

St. Mark’s Square in the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian. OTTO Pizzeria, where we had my birthday dinner, overlooks this mesmerizingly fake Venice.

The Mirage Hotel’s pool, as shot on my Holga from my lounge chair.

Viva Las…Oh, You Know the Rest

July 10, 2011

Hey, I have a blog? Yes, I know. It’s been quite a while since I posted anything. So how about you get rewarded for your patience with a trip to Las Vegas?

The Flamingo on the Las Vegas strip

Cosmopolitan Hotel Lobby chandelier

The new Cosmopolitan Hotel is worth visiting just to see the ridiculous multi-story chandelier.

Cosmopolitan Hotel chandelier

From the first floor of the lobby, the escalator takes you up through the enormous chandelier. On each level, there’s a bar area in the center of the chandelier. Photos didn’t quite do it justice.

Volcano show at the Mirage Hotel Las Vegas

We stayed at the Mirage, which is famous for their volcano that erupts on the hour nightly. We could actually see it from our room, but the best view was out on the strip. Check out all the people lining the sidewalks to watch.

San Francisco: California Academy of Sciences

January 22, 2011

When my husband and I were up in San Francisco for New Year’s, we decided to check out the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.  It’s part museum, part aquarium, part library, part planetarium…plus, it was one of the few tourist attractions that was actually open on New Year’s Day.

Now, this also meant that it was insanely crowded on New Year’s Day. We didn’t make it to all the different parts of the museum, because some of the lines were just out of control. But in a few hours there, we did see some cool things.

I’m not sure if it was the crowds or the really high admission fee, but I wouldn’t say that this was the greatest museum (or aquarium, or library, etc.) that I’ve ever been to. Maybe I’m just spoiled by the fact that I live so close to the San Diego Zoo that I can see most of the animals alive, actually living and breathing, and the admission is cheaper. But as far as taxidermy goes, it was a pretty impressive display.

New Year’s in San Francisco: 826 Valencia

January 5, 2011

I’ve been forced to take a little break from the internet while my computer has been in the shop, but I’ve been dying to share a few details from New Year’s weekend in San Francisco.  There were lots of high points: dinner at A16, the view of fireworks on the Embarcadero from a hilltop in Chinatown, stocking up on snacks in the Ferry Building.  There were a few low points, too: shops I’d been hoping to visit closed all weekend for the holiday, the hour-long line at Tartine Bakery, the massive crowds at the California Academy of Sciences on New Year’s Day.  Oh yeah, and the 24 hours it took to get home because of the weather.

But back to the high points.  My husband and I stumbled across 826 Valencia on a previous trip to SF years ago, and we were excited to stop by again.  If you’re not familiar with the “826” stores, they are themed gift shops that support a nonprofit organization founded by author Dave Eggers to help students build strong writing skills.  Sure, supporting kids’ education is great and all, but lets be honest – we were there for the theme.  Which is pirates.  826 Valencia a pirate supply shop.

Hidden throughout drawers in the store’s wall are a variety of supplies for your average pirate, from extra peg legs to glass eyes.  We bought one of our friends a glass eye last time we visited.  This time, JT purchased this shirt.

During a previous visit, I also purchased this sign.  I keep it posted at my desk at the office for guidance.

Welcome to Winter

December 21, 2010

On the first official night of Winter, what better than to share a few holiday photos.

I love cooking, and I love my family…so naturally one of my favorite things about the holidays is cooking with and/or for my family.

Thankful

November 30, 2010

This will be my wordiest and most personal post on this blog so far, so bear with me.

I realize that Thanksgiving was nearly a week ago, and that doing a blog post about what I’m thankful for is a little dated. Nonetheless, my Thanksgiving definitely reminded me of what’s important.

One year ago, I spent Thanksgiving with my husband’s family. We had just gotten back from our honeymoon. My sister, on the other hand, spent Thanksgiving in a hospital room, a room that she frequently referred to as “cancer jail.” As my husband and I were winding down our honeymoon, she was checking into the hospital and beginning a final and agonizing round of chemo before getting her own stem cells transplanted into her body in hopes that they would grow into healthy, cancer-free cells. The month that followed involved lots of midnight Skype conversations, she and I chatting while the rest of the hospital was quiet and the few visitors that were allowed access to her quarantine had gone home.

That was one year ago. Last week, healthy and looking like the pre-cancer sister I grew up with, she told me that she wanted to celebrate with a tattoo. So on the Black Friday, we headed to Heroes and Ghosts in Richmond.

Waiting to get started.

So why “courage”?  After her transplant last year, my husband and I were Christmas shopping at the shops in our neighborhood and came across a small, handmade silver bracelet with the word “courage” stamped on it.  Naturally, we knew what we’d be giving my sister that Christmas.  She hasn’t take it off since.

As always, I sit in the sidelines and watch as she proves that nothing is too painful to bear.

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