Monday, January 2, 2017

Best of 2016


I think one of the most awesome things about taking photos and memory-keeping (in all its forms) is the gratitude it instills in us.  I had the perception that 2016 was a tough year.  But looking through my photos and my journal, it became clear that there were a lot of great moments and memories as well. Photos and journaling ensure that none of this gets forgotten when we are down, or when the world wants to beat us down.  I really love that!

Another thing that was curious and strange is… at the time the photos were taken, I disliked a lot of the photos of me.  I felt like I wasn’t looking my best, or that I wasn’t at my best weight.  But when I look back at these photos a few months later, what stands out to me isn’t what I looked like.  It’s the feelings and memories I had of the fun times with friends and family.  Let that be a lesson to both you and I about what’s really important.  And to make sure you are in the photos, not just scenery and things.

Let’s recap the best of 2016!  This is going to be a long post, with concentration on January through May, since Best of June to December were captured on the blog already.


I got together with my friend Sally and her twins.  We had brunch at Richard Walker’s Pancake House in La Jolla.  I hung out with her kids and realized they are little people now, with their own thoughts and ideas.  It was neat.  We’ve been friends since we were 12 years old.  Now we are halfway gray and still friends.  That’s 34 years of friendship.  So precious!

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Todd and I met up with Peppermint and Kami in Orange County when Peppermint came to SoCal for CHA.

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For Todd’s birthday, I pulled off the surprise cake at his work again!  I ordered his favorite Truffe Framboise cake from Extraordinary Desserts and picked it up on the way to his office. 
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I had one of his friends sign me into the building.  And I surprised Todd and his work friends with cake!  It was so great!
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We went to Richard Blais’ Juniper & Ivy restaurant for Todd’s birthday dinner.
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We had dinner with Dejah and Roby at Amaya at the Grand Del Mar.  It was awesome, as always!
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We went to the San Diego Symphony at Copley Symphony Hall.  It was so grand!
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We had lunch at Coasterra.  It has the best coastal view of the entire city of San Diego!
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I ripped out my entire closet and redid it.  Purged a bunch of clothes as well.
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I had my birthday dinner at Urban Solace.  I love the chicken & dumplings there!
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I met my internet scrapbooking friend Mari for the first time in person, when she came to San Diego for vacation!
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Pearl and her little girl took me out to Tofu House for a birthday lunch!
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We met up with my childhood friend William and his wife and kids at PrepKitchen in Del Mar for dinner.  We haven’t seen them in years!  The amazing thing is, William’s dad and my dad went to college together in Taiwan!  When we met in junior high in Northern CA, it was awesome to piece together that our dads were friends in college!
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Todd completed the Ironman 70.3 Oceanside!
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We made a short 4 day trip to Hawaii (Oahu).  We stayed at our favorite North Shore resort, Turtle Bay.
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We ate Leonard’s malasadas!
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We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center.  We’ve been to Hawaii like 11 times and had never been there.
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We hiked to the Makapuu Lighthouse, which had AWESOME views!
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We met up with Todd’s friend Elika for dinner at Marukame Udon!
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Unfortunately Todd got sick from all the eating, and did not get to take advantage and enjoy the upgraded first class seats on the flight home!
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We went to San Francisco with Todd’s sister Amy and her husband Luke.  We planned the trip so that we could run the Bay To Breakers together.  We went to Chinatown.  (By the way, get a selfie stick.  And don’t be afraid to use it when permitted.  It’s the BEST thing for getting everyone in the photos!)
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We rode a boat under the Golden Gate Bridge.
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We ate a ton of good food.  We also had a fire alarm evacuation in the middle of the night at the hotel.  Oh and of course, we ran the Bay To Breakers in costume!

We were our own takes of superheroes.  I was X-tine (a variation of the female Wolverine).  Todd was Mr. FanTODDstic!  Amy was Wonder Amy.  And Luke was Luke America.  The race had a lot of nude racers, so a lot of the photos I can’t show on the blog.  But here we were at the finish line with our medals!


The Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA championship!  (The only photo I had of us was blurry.)
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We went to watch Game 3 of the NBA Finals at AJ & Meera’s house.

We finished a complete makeover of our home office.

We hung out in Anaheim with Todd’s parents and went to the Trumpet Guild Conference to see Big Phat Band in concert.

We went to the Ira Liss Big Band Jazz Machine concert at Bernardo Winery.  One of our summer traditions!

We celebrated our wedding anniversary with dinner at Ortega’s.

We replaced all 22 windows in our house.


Todd’s parents came to visit and we took them to Coasterra for dinner. 
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On the same day, we went to the San Diego Symphony’s Bayside Summer Nights “Star Spangled Pops” concert on July 1st.  Lots of patriotic music and fireworks afterwards!
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Todd’s parents got to hear Todd speak at the annual American Mensa conference, which happened to be in San Diego this year.  Todd gave a talk about how to make friends as adults (because we all know how hard that is!)  They were so proud of him!
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We got a new refrigerator.  Our old one came with the house when we bought it in 2001.  It was time.  Todd was very excited!
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Todd officially joined the San Diego Triathlon Club.  He went on two bike rides with them, plus a couple of ocean swims (but I don’t have pics). 

I painted and redid my craft room.  This was the color before.
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One of these days I’ll get around to taking more photos of the craft room “after”.

We went to a concert at Open Air Theater and we saw Howard Jones, OMD (Orchestral Maneuvers In the Dark), and Barenaked Ladies (our 5th or 6th time!)
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It was like re-living high school and grad school all over again!
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Dad and Shelly came to visit and we celebrated their combined birthdays with lunch at Duke’s La Jolla.
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Went to the Padres game downtown at Petco Park with AJ & Meera.  They ended up beating the Cincinnati Reds 2-1 in 10 innings. 
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We went to the Summerfest in La Jolla, the annual free La Jolla Music Society concert at La Jolla Cove.  Todd’s friend Cecile joined us.
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We took a week off work and staycationed here in San Diego. 

Peppermint and Tom came to visit for a few days during that week. 
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We visited to Old Mission San Luis Rey, which we had never been to.
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Walking the length of the Oceanside Pier, which we had never done before.
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Chef’s Tasting dinner at Veranda at Rancho Bernardo Inn.
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Todd got a new car… a 100% electric car!
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We got to see the Ira Liss Big Band Jazz Machine again at Bernardo Winery.  Magical, as always.
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College football started again!
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We went to La Jolla Shores beach with Sally and her kids.  Hadn’t seen them in a long while and it was fun.
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Todd competed in the San Diego Triathlon Classic – Olympic Distance.
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We went to see Gordon Goodwin’s Little Phat Band downtown.  Todd loved it!
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We went to the September Chef’s Tasting Dinner at Veranda at Rancho Bernardo Inn.
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Todd went to Denver to visit his “little brother” Aaron.  (Todd was in Big Brother Big Sisters for five years and was Aaron’s Big Brother from age 9 to 14.  Aaron is now 30!)
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We flew to Ohio for a four day trip to hang out with Todd’s family.  We watched Buckeyes lose to Penn State (sniff).  We ate Donatos Pizza and Penn Station sandwiches.  We bought Cleveland Indians World Series shirts.  We went to Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland to see Manhattan Transfer and Take 6 in concert.
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Todd helped me sold my 17.5 year old Honda Prelude on Craigslist!


Going to Coronado is always fun and makes me really glad to live in San Diego.
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AJ and Meera invited us to their house to watch the Ohio State vs Michigan annual rivalry game.
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The highlights were related to Christmas.  Pretty much everything Christmas in December!  You can read the rest of Best of December here, freshly written!

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1 comment:

  1. Christine, You and Todd never stop finding new things to do (and some old things, too). Great experiences! It is fun to be a part of some of them.
    Looking forward to the 2017 blog. Hawaii . . . Mom


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