Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I Ran Every Day In July

I ran at least one mile every single day in July.  Sometimes it was very hot, while other times pleasant.  I ran in the morning, I ran after work. I ran at night on the treadmill sometimes, when there was no other time to fit in a mile. Without fail, I ran.

I ended up running 52 miles in July, which is more I’ve run in a month since a couple of years ago, when I trained for and ran the Rock N Roll San Diego Half Marathon. I also walked 12 miles in July. 

I started a group on Facebook and 18 of my friends joined in to exercise daily.  We encouraged each other and cheered each other on.  It was quite fun and we’ve decided to continue with the group after July.

I have to admit that there were a handful of days when I didn’t feel like running, and would not have, had it not for my Mile-A-Day goal in July.  But by the end, I had my routine down and actually looked forward to running in the morning.  I learned that I enjoyed running in the morning the most, followed by the evening after work, but before dinner.  I learned a lot about perseverance, commitment, and consistency.  I also learned that I can indeed run a lot of miles in the month without my right leg IT band hurting.  (It’s a recurring injury for me.)  In fact, my legs haven’t felt this good and this strong in a couple of years.  Running every single day, but not running too much at a time, has strengthened my legs rather than breaking them down. 

This morning I ran the fastest 2 miles I’ve run since 2004.  That, my friends, is something to smile about.  :)

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

33 Years Ago…

I met Kristie.  We had just moved to the United States from Taiwan in August 1979 and my parents enrolled me and my sister into grade school in Albany, California. On the first day of school for 4th grade, I was scared.  I didn’t speak English and was nervous to be in a new classroom with new kids I didn’t know.  My whole world was turned upside down after moving halfway around the world.  Midway through the first day of school, they came into my classroom to take me to my sister Joyce’s kindergarten class so I could comfort her.  She had been crying all morning.  She asked me “Why don’t they speak Chinese here?”  I felt bad for her but couldn’t help but start crying myself.  I was only nine years old myself, thrusted into a new environment in which I couldn’t understand anyone.

That is, anyone but Kristie.  She was in my class and she spoke some Chinese.  She helped me feel not so alone. 

Kristie was my first friend in the United States.  My only friend for a while, until I learned English in a few months. 

We were together in Mrs. Saxton’s class in 5th grade again.

And Mr. Bainbridge’s class at Albany Middle School in 6th grade.  (I can’t find my yearbook, or else I’d scan that class photo as well.) 

After 6th grade, we moved to Walnut Creek, CA, about 30 minutes away, and I never saw Kristie again.  This was in 1982 and nobody had email or internet.  I was too young to get all the contact info to stay in touch, and my parents were too busy to think about that.  We totally lost touch with each other for about 27 years. 

Until we found each other on Facebook one day a couple of years ago.  We got to know each other as adults.  We reminisced about our grade school days.  We talked about kids we used to know.  It’s been a great reconnection to my past that I thought I had lost.

About a month ago, Kristie messaged me and said she and her son were visiting her brother in San Diego.  She wanted to know where I lived, if it would be convenient to get together for dinner.  I looked up her brother’s address and realized he lived about 1.5 miles from me!  What a small, small world!  So on Wednesday night I went over and picked her up for dinner.  It was a reunion 30 years in the making.  On the way there, I was thinking about the moment and have to admit a couple of tears fell from my eyes.  How fantastic that I get to see my childhood friend again after 30 years!  I wondered how many people get to do that?  I wondered what Kristie is like as an adult woman with a 9-year old son?  Then I realized that when we met, we were the same age as her son now! 

I got there and re-introduced myself to her mom again.  I’m pretty sure I met her 33 years ago, but we all looked quite different back then, LOL.  I met Kristie’s son, and her brother and sister-in-law as well.  Then we headed to dinner at Spices Thai.  Todd met us there, because he works close to the restaurant.

We had some amazing Thai food.  There was green curry chicken.

Penang halibut.

And for the first time in my life, I ate some frog legs. (Tasted like chicken but a little bit chewier.)

We had so much fun chatting and reminiscing about the long-ago past, while getting to know each other again as adults.
We talked about how we used to play jacks in school.  We talked about some of our other friends from grade school that Kristie went to high school with.  She saw some of them at their high school reunion a few years ago. 

Kristie has turned out to be someone I could be friends with, even if we hadn’t been friends as kids.  I’m so glad we got to see each other again after such a long time had passed.  Facebook is an amazing tool for finding long-lost friends and reconnecting! 

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

They Left With Sunny Dispositions

This is my final post re-capping my good friend Peppermint’s visit with her family to San Diego.  The five days went by so fast.  We usually started out the day slowly and don’t get out the door until almost lunch time.  We would do stuff all day, then either eat dinner out or cook dinner in.  Then we watched all the episodes of the first season of BBC’s “Sherlock” in the evenings, or played Rock Band on the PS3. 

Sunday (7/22) afternoon, after going to La Jolla, we stopped by the Torrey Pines Gliderport on the way home.  This stop wasn’t on our original itinerary, but it’s a really neat place so I suggested we made a stop and everyone agreed.

The views were wonderful, even if a bit cloudy.  The “tip” at the end was where we were just at, La Jolla.

We sat on a bench and watched people take off and land.

All the chutes with different colors floating around was mesmerizing.


Pretty rainbow one, with tandem riders.


We walked over to the cliffs.  Nobody else wanted to come along with me and Todd, except for Nicholas.



Super cool view of the Scripps Pier too.

It was windy up there.  I’m sure that’s why the gliderport is located up there, ha ha.

They have a really nice sandwich shop right there too.  So you could go there, order your sandwich, and enjoy the views as you have lunch.  Todd and I did this once and we loved it!

We went home to rest for a while.  Then it was dinner time and we headed to Phil’s BBQ in San Marcos.  I believe they had been waiting to go to Phil’s BBQ ever since they started planning the trip!  There’s always a line to get into Phil’s BBQ.  Looks like someone is hungry!

Tom got the 5 Beef Ribs dinner.  The plate was HUGE.


Yummy BBQ is my favorite.  I shared a tri-tip sandwich with Todd, because their portions are really big and we’d been eating a lot already the last few days. 

On Monday 7/23, it was considerably sunnier and cooler.  We went to lunch at Point Loma Seafoods, our favorite seafood place in San Diego.


There was a line to park at the parking lot, and a line to order our food.  But otherwise there were plenty of seats left, which is usually not the case on the weekends!

The restaurant is located next to the beautiful marina.

I managed to cajole everyone to take a group photo.

Sorry I forgot to take photos of our food.  We ate it so fast there was no chance to!  Peppermint and I both got scallop sandwiches.  Tom and Todd both got halibut sandwiches.  Nicholas got french fries, LOL.

After lunch, we dropped Tom & Nicholas off at the USS Midway Museum.  Then Peppermint, Todd, and I went to hang out at a nearby Panera while we waited for them to tour the museum. 


After a couple of hours, we picked up Tom and Nicholas.  Sadly, it was time to drop them off at the airport for their trip home!  The five days went by so fast, and we packed a lot in.  But I believe they left with sunny dispositions and full tummies.  I can’t ask for more.  :)

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Jewel Of The Sea

I’ve been blogging Peppermint’s trip to San Diego after-the-fact.  They left back on Monday.  I wasn’t on the computer much when they were here, plus I thought it was wise to NOT broadcast the fact that they were on a trip away from home.  I don’t blog my own trips until afterwards.  I take lots of photos and notes while on the trips, as to not forget anything.  I think it’s safer this way.

On Saturday 7/21, Todd got up early because he was volunteering at the American Cancer Society’s Bark for Life.  I didn’t go this year because we have guests staying with us.  Here’s the recap from last year’s event, which Todd also volunteered at.  I also got up early on Saturday so that I can run 3 miles before everyone was up.  I ran outside every morning when Peppermint was here.  My Mile-A-Day for July is fully intact and I hope to finish with 50 miles of running.

We had lunch at Rubios.  They liked the fish tacos the last time they were here in 2009, so I thought they’d want to go again.  Look at that, inadvertent Todd Shot!

After lunch, we headed up to Legoland and dropped Tom & Nicholas off.  I believe Legoland is the whole reason why Nicholas wanted to come to San Diego this year, LOL.  He deemed it his favorite out of everything we did.  Then Peppermint and I went over to shop at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets.  We covered almost all the stores.  We went to the Adidas store and I got a pair of running capris with pink stripes down the side of the leg, they're cute.  (Wore it the next day for my run.)  I think neon is really in right now.
I also got a pink Clima Lite running shirt.  Peppermint got Tom two shirts.  When we got up there, they told us it was buy 2 items and get the 3rd free, so we had to go back and pick our third item.  I got a running tank top and I ended up loving that more than my two original items I picked, LOL.  Three Adidas clothing for $60 isn’t half bad.  We also were in the Polo Store, Banana Republic, and the Gap the most. 

Playing with scarves at the Polo store.

Stopped in the Coach store and admired all the purses.  Peppermint got caramel hot chocolate at Harry & David as a gift for Todd.  Around 5pm Tom called and said they were ready to be picked up, so we drove down to pick them up. 

Todd was already home from Bark For Life when we got home.  He made a delicious dinner of Pan Seared Chicken (recipe from America’s Test Kitchen that we love). 

I made the Crunchy Asian Broccoli Slaw.

But I think what everyone was most excited about was the homemade Salted Caramel Ice Cream! We made it for the first time last summer and love it so much.  Homemade ice cream is the best!  Before we came home, Todd had already done the stove part of the recipe.  So after dinner, he took the refrigerated concoction out and poured it into the ice cream maker.  I do believe we were all very enthralled, especially Nicholas.

After 20 minutes, we had ice cream!

It was still quite soft, but we all could not wait to get a taste.  Then we packed it away into a glass container and put it into the freezer to get it more frozen.
The ice cream machine might be our best purchase of last year.  Either that or our Canon T2i.  It’s close!  :)

On to Sunday 7/22.  Todd got up early and did his 35 mile bike ride.  I ran a couple of miles.  Then we got ready to leave for La Jolla.  La Jolla (pronounced “la hoya”) is San Diego’s “Jewel By The Sea”.  We went to lunch at Burger Lounge, by Tom’s request.  They liked it last time they were here.  See a theme here?  If they liked it last time, they probably want to go again.  :)

Todd and I shared a salad and a burger.  We tried to share food while they were visiting us, because boy we ate good. 


A rare instance of smiling for the camera.  I think I broke them down after four days, ha ha!

Coincidentally, Tom’s brother Ed flew into SD for a business trip, so he met up with us at Burger Lounge as well.

After lunch, we walked down to La Jolla Cove.  It was cloudy so the view wasn’t quite as spectacular as it normally is.  But it was nice to not have the sun beat down on us.

I’ve never seen this beach so crowded with people before.


Ah, part of the reason for the visit to La Jolla was to see the seals.

We made up a story in which the big dark male one has a bunch of concubine seals and baby seals.  Here he was, shouting at his clan.


Funny how they all lay on the edge of the rock.

Peppermint took a photo of us on the way to the beach.

And finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for.  Nicholas dipping his feet into the Pacific Ocean.

I think it was colder than expected.  But I’ve come to expect cold water after living here for 13 years, LOL.

A forced smile for the camera.  I was like the substitute “mommarazi”, by the way.

Like a real paparazi, Todd climbed onto a rock to take photos of us.


I enjoyed dipping my feet into the water and cold sand.  Look at my flip flop tan, LOL.  I got that just from the few days they visited us.

Sometimes rogue waves would come smashing into the sand, extra high!


And if you weren’t looking, you just might get wetter than you had planned.  :p

We walked over to the “Children’s Pool” but the seals no longer hang out over there after the spring pupping season.  Although last time they were here in July also and there were a ton of seals over there.  Hmm.

Stay tuned for the 2nd half of the day, plus the last day of touring around town with our guests before they left. 

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