Wait . . . what?

So it’s been a long while since you’ve heard from me (in case you didn’t notice).  It’s true the holidays really just keep you so busy you don’t know when to stop and take a breathe!

I guess if I want to continue in chronological order I will have to go back to my birthday trip to Disneyland which was at the beginning of December.  I went with my sister and my two nephews and let me tell you it was SOOO much fun!  But wouldn’t you know it, California is in the middle of a terrible drought not a drop of rain in months and the day I decide to take a day off from work to go to the happiest place on earth it RAINS! Boooo!  I’m just sorry the pictures aren’t that great because of the grey dark skies.  But it was still so much fun not even rain could damper my birthday and Christmas spirit!! Thank you Dad for getting me a ticket and thank you sister for taking me to celebrate my birthday with my favorite people!!

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{The Castle at night in the rain}

IMG_7490{It’s a Small World lit up for Christmas}

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{My favorite Cars Land was so cute and fun!!}

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{Spooky Haunted Mansion as the Nightmare Before Christmas}

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(Toy Story ride and Mr. Potato Head}

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{Happy Birthday to Me!!}

My dad bought me sequined Minnie ears!! Love!!(Love you Dad!)

I had such a great time I wanted to break down and buy an annual pass so I can call in sick (oops!) and go all the time!! =)

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Another Happy Birthday

I celebrated another year of getting wiser, at least that’s how I’m looking at it now.  It was so perfect that I had a four day weekend in order to get the most of the celebrations with family and friends by celebrating Thanksgiving and my youngest nephews birthday on Thursday and the rest of the weekend it was all about ME!! HAHAHA
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{Spent Thanksgiving with family and also celebrated my youngest nephews birthday}
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IMG_7370{Friday we went to lunch in Del Mar and start the birthday weekend with a sangria}
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{After a quick lunch we headed to the racetrack to win some money, or at least I won some money!! =) }
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{As you can see from the looks on faces! LOL}
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{On Saturday we headed to Orange County to continue the birthday fun with our friends}
My hubs surprised me by renting a Mercedes limo and we headed off to dinner at the Mexican restaurant ‘South of Nicks” and I had a fabulous Mexican Mojito made with tequila and rum! Afterwards we went to the Ritz Carlton in Dana Point for a drink or two.  Christmas decorations were up and beautiful.
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{Instead of a Gingerbread House they have Gingerbread Wave and beach scene. Love the shark with atlers and the surfing doggies!!}
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{Kind of a spooky shot I took from inside the limo. Not sure if the windows gave it that red tint but I like it}
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{My love and I }

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Sunday was my actual birthday so my Dad drove in to see me and take us out for lunch at one of our favorite wineries Leoness.  I was enjoying my family (and not to mention their Holiday Sangria!)  so much  we didnt really take pictures but here is my dessert.  YUM!!
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{peanut butter mousse covered in chocolate with with sugared bananas and banana gelato. They also made cotton candy especially for my nephews for dessert. That’s the big cotton ball looking thing at the top of photo!}
It was such a great birthday weekend that I will not forget!!  Thanks to my family and friends who made it so special!! Love you all!!
I hope you all had a great weekend too!

Paradise – Final Chapter

I’m wrapping up this 3 part post about our family’s trip to Oahu.  Our last full day was spent with my Dad going to Honolulu to see Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona memorial.  I remember going there when I was a little kid and seeing the older veterans dressed in their uniforms that would volunteer at the memorial center so you ask them questions, listen to their stories or just to say “thank you” but it made me really sad to see they’re not there anymore because they have either passed away or just can’t get there. They truly are the greatest generation in my opinion.

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It was such an emotional place to be and experience and see actual footage of what happened there so many years ago. This was my 3rd time there it gets me every time.

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We then went to Waikiki Beach for lunch on the beach. We ended up at Duke’s which was ok but I did have a nice tropical drink to go along with the beautiful weather.

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Then out of nowhere it got dark and started pouring as we were walking around  but just as fast as it started it stoppedIMG_7079

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*****Extra nice touches from Aulani ****

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{The Adult Infinity Pool overlooking the beach}

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{the architecture of the lobby at Aulani is beautiful. Very Hawaiian and many of the structures were shaped like old canoes}

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{Strawberry Velvet pancakes with Cream Cheese syrup! YUM at the Restaurant Ama’ ama’  at Aulani}

IMG_7101Since we were at Aulani during Halloween they had some activities for the kids. My nephews dressed up as Star Wars characters and were able to trick or treat around the hotel grounds. (Unfortunately we were stuck in major traffic coming home from Honolulu and did not get to see them.)  There was also a pumpkin carving contest at the hotel and the above was the winning pumpkin. It was an amazing looking pumpkin “hamburger with cheese and fries on the side”

It was such a great time to spend time with my family and it was so special for all of us. Thanks to my Dad for treating and spoiling us as always. The only thing missing was my Mom but I know she is happy and she is always with us.

I’m working on putting a photo album of our trip to Oahu and I came across this quote that pretty much sums it up.

The Love of a Family is Life’s Greatest Blessings

Have a great week my friends!!

Paradise . . . Part 2

We were only going to be in Hawaii for 4 days so we had to make the most of our stay.  Our 2nd day on Oahu was busy and went by so fast.  We drove to the North Shore and took my oldest nephew with us. We were heading to a beach where sea turtles come up to beach themselves but the waves were bigger and more turbulent than usual so once we got to that beach there were no turtles to be seen.  =(   But at least we did get to see and experience the beautiful North Shore!

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{on our way to the North Shore}IMG_6845

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We then drove to the Dole Pineapple Plantation and Farm and there is actually a lot to do there. They have a pineapple maze and a guided tour and huge store with everything you can imagine. We opted for the train ride through the fields of all different fruits and flowers they have planted there. Oh yes and they have the most amazing Pineapple Ice Cream!! YUM!!

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{the Pineapple Express}

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{I never realized how many different kinds and sizes of pineapples there are! Some were so cute and tiny!}

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{Tons of banana trees)

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{such silliness}IMG_6876

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{we stopped to have lunch at a little road side stand- Hula dogs and Fresh Pineapple Juice}

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{crazy Koi waiting to be fed}

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{AHH which way to go????}

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That night we went to a Luau down the street from Aulani.  It was a lot of fun and the Mai-Tai’s were strong! =)

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{Beautiful ceremony at the Luau}

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{This was the beautiful sunset the night of my husband’s birthday dinner at a fantastic restaurant at Aulani}

AHHH I miss Hawaii!!

Come back for the final post!

Paradise on Earth

A week ago I was on the sands of Oahu . . . . OH how I wish I could go back.  My wonderful Dad has always wanted to go a family vacation and now that both me and my sister are married and there are little ones in our family .  We ended up booking our stay at Disney’s Aulani in Oahu.  Yes its a Disney resort but its so subtle you don’t feel you’re at one of their parks.  It was absolutely beautiful but then again when is Hawaii NOT beautiful??!!

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{ALLOOOHAAAA beautiful water}

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{view from our room}

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{ a little Mickey surprise in the room}

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{View  of Aulani from a little cove down the way}

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{wedding chapel on the grounds}

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{ a little pina colada while relaxing}

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{Lucky hubby got to celebrate his birthday while in Hawaii!}

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{Can you believe these are the grills for public use by the marina in Ko’ Olina? Stainless and tools all included and kept very clean!}

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{the marina}

Our full first day there we stayed  near the property and walked to 3 lagoons down the way and to the marina, hubby snorkeled and I relaxed on the beach. It was so nice but we knew we were not going to be staying very long on the island so the next few days were going to be busy and packed!

I’m going to leave it that for now because I want you to come back for Part 2!!!

MAHALO FOR READING!!

HAPPY WEEKEND!!

The One at The Pumpkin Patch

So far my husband and I have not been blessed with children but we love our nephews like our own and we are their godparents so spending time with them is always fun and special.

We met my sister and her family at the local pumpkin patch nestled in wine country.  Originally we were going to meet later in the afternoon so I thought i would have time to go home to change into more appropriate shoes but we moved it up so of course I showed up at a pumpkin patch farm with rocks, dirt and hay wearing wedges. Totally appropriate right? ??  It was cute because my youngest nephew was holding my hand while I walking on the rocks to make sure I was ok! =)

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 {Pony Rides}

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{taking a train ride with Uncle B}

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 { a pretty sad corn maze – the drought here in California has shrunk the usual size of the stalks of corn}  😦

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{one of my most favorite flowers – so happy and bright}IMG_6526

{One of these days I hope to have a cute lit’ ol’ truck like this – (no I’m serious!) but it would be all cherried out}

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After the pumpkin patch, me and the hubby drove around the area and then stopped by one of the wineries to pick up our shipment but they were already closed for a wedding.  So instead we went to their restaurant for a glass of watermelon sangria (its the best!!!) for me. The nice host took us to an lounge area we had never been to before and it had the BEST view!!  He actually said it was the first time he has seen it open for people to have a drink.  And even the waitress said she was surprised it was open and said we must be getting  the VIP treatment! LOL !! Obviously it had been a really long time that anyone had sat out there because the tables and cushions were super dusty but they were so great to quickly clean it up for us.  I will definitely be going back and it did not disappoint as you can see in these pictures!

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Hope you have a great week!

Weekend Wanderings

 

I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend to reflect on those special people we remember and miss and also give thanks to the veterans who sacrifice so much for us.

I had a nice weekend spending time with sister and her family aka as my awesome and adorable nephews on Saturday. We went to San Diego stopped at Old Town for some lunch and then headed to the San Diego Padres game.  They played against the Chicago Cubs, which are my husband’s hometown team so there was a little bit of rivalry but all in fun.  My youngest nephew “B” was brainwashed into rooting for the Cubs and booing the Padres but the oldest “N” stayed true and loyal to the Padres which also happened to his T-ball team name!!

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Old Town in San Diego

 So many restaurants and shops and museums to visit. It’ll take you a whole day to do it all.

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{Stage area with dancing in beautiful traditional Mexican dresses(didn’t get a picture of that! oops)}

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{Don’t touch the CACTUS!!}

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{Colorful vases and decorations everywhere}

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PETCO PARK

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{a beautiful stadium with so much to do before the game}

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{Nephew taking a few swings and hitting two balls way in the outfield in the kids park}

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(Lil’ one and me by the Padre “piggy?”}

{We all got retro replica jerseys as we came in the stadium. pretty cool!}

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{An emotional and lovely tribute to the First Responders at the fires in San Diego County a couple weeks ago. There was also an awesome fly over by Cal-Fire helicopter}

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{Kiddos and Mickey the Padre}

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SUNDAY FUNDAY WITH A GOOD FRIEND

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{The view as we drink our grapes}

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{Yummy Sangria for me and “C” and red for my husband}

Have a great week! At least its a short one!!