Tag Archives: family

Como la Flor

On the last day of May, I want to share a little bit about how my sisters & I celebrated our wonderful mom for Mother’s Day this year.

We went out to The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California and gave her the biggest bouquet she’s ever received. The entire place is filled with colorful petals as far as the eye can see. If you haven’t been out to the flower fields yet, I urge you to visit the beautiful scene. It’s the perfect excuse to wear a pretty dress & take lots of pictures. I hope you enjoy mine…

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A Big Weekend Back Home

I was recently home for a weekend visit. As I mentioned before, the plan originated when I got an invite for my friend, Ryan’s, baby shower. I met Ryan in 2008, at new-hire orientation for a bank we worked at. We’ve been friends ever since. She’s a world traveler and always inspired me (and encouraged me) to see the world. She had a huge influence on my decision to become a flight attendant. Now, she’s having twins, a boy and a girl. It’s exciting!
I wanted to make the most of my time in California. I knew that I was going to be reunited with lots of my girl friends at the baby shower and I wanted to make time for family, too.
I have a lot of family in Northern California. Growing up, I was raised with my mom’s side of the family who live about an hour and a half east of San Francisco in the city of Modesto. As for my dad’s side of the family, many of them live about an hour and a half south, in Watsonville – where I was born.
Recently, thanks to social media, I’ve reconnected with some of them. We’ve been making an effort to reach out and to get know each other. So, we planned a gathering for the day after the baby shower. I was looking forward to reuniting with some of them…& meeting some of them for the first time.
Other than a quick stop on my drive down Pacific Coast Highway, back on my 30th birthday, I hadn’t been back to Watsonville in over 20 years.
My trip started with a visit back home to San Diego. That’s when I had the chance to take my mom and my little sister to their first ever hip-hop show
The morning of the baby shower, I catch an early flight to San Francisco. When I land, I discover that Ryan’s having a bit of a busy morning. Something’s aren’t going as planned, but that doesn’t stop her. She’s expecting friends and family from all over to celebrate the joyous occasion.
Ryan’s house is beautiful! It looks like those homes you’d see on the cover of a magazine. The decor is equally as beautiful… our friend, Aimee, is a master of design.
The party plays out in such a lovely way. I’m reunited with friends (who started as co-workers at the bank) and I get to make new ones over yummy drinks and delicious food.

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That evening, a few of us head into the city & grab dinner. Then, a couple of us head to a show.

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The next day, most of us reunite for a delicious Sunday brunch at Bin 38. (I’m reminded of the fun tradition we used to have when we all lived in San Diego…good times). We share recaps of our night and indulge in wonderful conversations…& mimosas.

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After brunch, most of us will leave San Francisco to return home. For me, it’s family time…

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My two (very generous and patient) cousins offer to drive me. They live in Watsonville & make the trip just for me. They’re awesome!
When we get to my family’s ranch, I’m greeted by cousins, aunts, uncles…and amazing food! It’s great seeing everyone again…and it’s nice to finally meet some of them. They’re all warm and welcoming…and they make sure I’m well-fed, as they continue to bring food from the grill to our table. I’m surrounded by cousins, laughter & great stories. I gotta tell you, I have some amazing cousins!
The party moves inside & I share a bottle of Puerto Rican rum from my travels. We continue to bond & catch up…it’s great getting to know them all better. We take some pictures… well, lots of pictures (on lots of cell phones) before everyone heads home.

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A few of us cousins stay up for girl talk with my aunt. Later, we interrupt one cousin’s study session to go on a fun late-night run for coffee & donuts. It’s the perfect way to end the night!
I have to catch a flight back to Philadelphia in the morning. A couple of my guy cousins have offered to pick me up at the ranch & drive to the airport…in San Jose! Again, a very generous offer.
Before we hit the road, my aunt makes sure that we all have breakfast. We take our places at the table as she brings over course after course. It’s quite the spread. I’m humbled by the hospitality & I’m really enjoying this wonderful meal with my family. I feel like a kid again…
In San Jose, we stop to visit my godparents. I haven’t seen them since my age was in the single digits. We visit briefly, chat a bit and play around on their mini motorcycle. It’s great being a kid again!

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As we prepare to head to the airport, I realize that I’m missing something…my uniform! I left it in Watsonville, hanging in my cousin’s closet. Luckily, a couple of my cousins are heading our way. So, after a delicious cup of Phil’z Coffee & lunch at the famous Falafel’s Drive In (& maybe just a little panic attack) I’m off to the airport.
In the end, everything worked out…I had a wonderful visit back home. I got to see so many people that I love, meet so many new ones, and reconnect with distant relatives. Such an amazing trip!

Thanks for reading along, everyone. I really hope you enjoyed this post.

Cousins in Cambridge

A couple weeks ago I had a few days off & planned a visit to see my cousin, Jennifer, in Boston. Jennifer is my younger cousin & she’s someone I look up to – which is funny because she might be one of the few people in the world who’s actually shorter than me. Ha!
Anyway, this young lady is the first person in our entire family to ever move to the East Coast. What took a California girl across the county, you ask? Oh, only grad school…at Harvard! How awesome is that? I know…I’m so proud of her.
Jennifer and I have a special bond. We come from a very large family. After almost ten years of not seeing each other, we reconnected when I moved to Philadelphia. I had a Boston layover & she gave me a tour of Harvard’s beautiful campus.
During that first visit, we had a wonderful conversation about where life has brought us & all that we’ve been up to. It was so great to hear (and to witness first-hand) how intelligent & incredible this young woman is. I couldn’t wait to get back and see her.
On my last Boston layover, a few months ago, we met up for a late dinner & enjoyed another stimulating conversation. Again, I was left looking forward to more visits with her.
It’s almost mid-night when I arrive in Boston. I’ve been flying all day. Jennifer is picking me up from the airport, even though she has to work in the morning. She’s so sweet.
When she pulls up, I meet her passenger, friend & temporary roommate, Clayton. Clayton is from California, as well. They attended the same high school. He’s visiting & exploring the east coast to see if it would be a good fit for him.
It’s such a nice drive through the city, as we make our way to Cambridge (the area where Jennifer lives). The neighborhood is adorable. Each house is unique and looks nothing like the others. They’re all different colors and sizes, they each have different a style gate or fence…some have larger yards…you get the picture. I love areas like this. I’ve never been a big fan of track homes.
I get the grand tour of the house. It’s so cute! I adore the hardwood floors, the fun interior design, and the fact that there’s lots of space.
Since it’s late, we all head to bed. I sleep in ’til noon…I guess I didn’t realize how tired I was. Since Jen had to go to work, Clayton and I are gonna hang out today. After a delicious brunch of eggs, veggies, and gluten-free waffles topped with fresh strawberries & homemade whipped cream, I get ready & we head out.
Our plan is to hit the Freedom Trail & take in all the historic sites. We hop on The T (train) and start our exploration day. It’s a little chilly out & despite the guiding red line in the road, we keep getting lost. We stop for tea & continue our attempt at staying on the trail….

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The Freedom Trail is marked with either red paint or bricks like in the photo above. This red line is what guides you to all the historic sites.

20140330-235437.jpgThe park where the Boston Common Visitor Information Center is located.
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After a while, we make it to the famous Faneuil Hall.
We look around for a bit, then we notice the iconic Cheers Bar up ahead. Of course we have to stop in for a drink. There aren’t many open seats around the bar, so we walk around. I take the first open seat I see, and when I look down, I notice that I snagged the best seat in the house…!
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After drinks, we’ve come to the conclusion that it’s too late to enjoy what the Freedom Trail has to offer; most of the facilities are closing for the day. So, we head back to meet up with Jennifer, grab some dinner & to get ready for the Grouch & Eligh Tortoise and The Crow show. (More on that in my next post).
We have a hearty homemade dinner at the house. Dinner is accompanied by a delicious Irish whiskey that my thoughtful cousin picked up for us. A little pre-partying is always a good idea…

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We have a blast at the show. We dance the night away & get some fun pictures. Then, we make sure to get home responsibly and call Über for a ride.
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The next day is another late start for me. Jen’s at work, Clayton is working from home & I’m just enjoying the down time. My original plan was to leave tonight, but I’ve decided to stay another night.
Clayton and I take a nice walk to have a late lunch at a near-by cafe. He’s gonna finish some work and I’ll attempt to work on the blog. It’s nice to get out on a weekday, & watch all the hustle and bustle in the city.

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We meet up with Jennifer in the evening and plan our night. We’re going to the North End for dinner and drinks. We take a little detour to see the beautiful Boston Public Library. This place is immaculate! I’m glad we stopped by.

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Our next detour takes us to the mall, where we stock up on goodies from Sephora. Then we’re off to dinner. We have a fun, casual dinner and after the big night we had at the show, we’re all pooped. We head back to the house to get a good night’s sleep…then, I’m of to Philly in the morning.
Another great trip to Boston for the books!

Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll share a little more about the show we attended…