Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Experience of a Lifetime

I grew up my whole life with one grandmother. We just didn't know the other. Despite attempts to track her down, we came up empty handed every time and I really did start to think  maybe she had been murdered?? Well, thanks to my maternal Aunt Frances, in February of 2017 we finally tracked down the one key piece of evidence that led us to locating my biological paternal grandmother, living in Portland, Oregon and surrounded by a family that is also my family!

This past weekend, we arranged to go up and meet most everyone. I flew in midday on Saturday, June 24, and my cousin, whom I had never met before but emailed with a lot, offered to pick me up from the airport and drive me to the house. And, I met my grandmother for the first time in my life... along with some aunts and cousins and granduncles and grandaunts!

It was a pretty overwhelming day, and pretty hard to wrap my head around it all (even now), although seeing all the family resemblances was also uncanny. My Aunt Kathy looks exactly like my older sister and I was tripping out hardcore. I also got to see pictures of my grandmother when she was young...

...and her family too. Her biological father died when she was young and so was raised by her stepfather, but the woman is my biological great-grandmother, and they hailed from Baker City in eastern Oregon.

When the events of the day got to be too much, us Californians went across the river to Vancouver, Washington for dinner. It was freaking hot! Literally triple degrees, while I heard back home in So Cal it was a luverly high 70s... and this was triple degrees at 5:30pm!! Apparently weather that far north doesn't peak until then, AND the sun doesn't set until like 9pm!

I checked into my Airbnb that night, which was a charming little studio in the Northeast quadrant of Portland.

I ended up passing out pretty quickly from the travel and the heat and exhaustion of this day, which meant that I was up early and ready to go the next day, where I met up with two cousins from my moms side. We had a great brunch along the river, got to see Adam's awesome new hardware space-turned-loft living space in the Pearl District, Saturday market, and then went out to Multnomah Falls and hiked to the top! Then IKEA and dinner at a German restaurant in the historic Mississippi district followed by ice cream!

Saturday market

VooDoo Donuts! Was too full from
brunch to get any though...

The view straight down the waterfall from the top!

Chipmunk on the trail!

What is the difference between these two beers??

This was also an exhausting day lololol. I got home really late and was in a lot of pain. I wasn't planning on hiking the whole mountain and was in sandals and had blisters on the bottom of my feet, and my calf muscles were sore like crazy (and still are!) from the steep climb.

Monday morning I got up early to go get coffee (and a lavendar donut!) to get change for bus fare, took the bus to the train to the airport (yes kids, you can still get places without Uber) only to have my flight out delayed. I had a layover in San Francisco and then made it back home to my place, where I unpacked, and then collapsed on the couch for a nap and didn't wake up again til late when AJ was making dinner and the pets were being kute on the couch.

Such an eventful weekend that I still have problems being able to accept fully! But what an unexpected amazing treat to meet my blood family, something I never expected to be able to do, ever. Thank you Aunt Frances for making it possible!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Tikka AJ

Yesterday after work I crashed on our couch and didn't wake up until about 7p, at which point, AJ was excitedly cooking up a storm in the kitchen over some secret recipe he was trying out that he wouldn't tell me, only that "it's something we both like".

He let me taste the sauce but I literally couldn't figure out what it was until he set it in front of me... chicken tikka masala!

Only, apparently he couldn't get the specific spice or ingredient that makes it masala, so we called it tikka AJ and it was delish! Garlic naan too!

Anana was drooling at our feet the whole time we ate, but later, this was her on our new (to us) couch!

AJ's mom hooked us up with this couch which we looooove! It includes the chaise longue with storage underneath and a trundle that rolls out from below and turns it into one big bed!

Okay. TGIF.

Monday, June 19, 2017

OC LA OC Weekend

AJ and I had an insanely crazy weekend. And when I say that, I guess it's not so insane, but it's busier than we're used to! And it took a lot of unexpected turns (read: we got way more drunk more often than we had expected). On Friday night we went to the Angel's game with my friends Marisa and Nate, which we had been planning for months. AJ's sister coincidentally had tickets for the same day and were able to come sit with us.

Mah boy Cameron Maybin!

We had a great time. So great, I ran into a fire hydrant on the walk back and bruised my leg. We walked to AJ's mom and ordered food to sober up, but she also had drinks there so we just kept on; played Cock and Bull and ended up crashing on his mom's couch.

Anana's happy anywhere! We were slow moving and got home, took a nap, and then were hustling to get ready and leave to go to Hollywood for the night to visit my friends Shea and Craig. I hate LA so much. I thought we'd get there in an hour, then I looked at my phone for directions and saw red streets everywhere and almost 2 hour drive time. UGH!

Anyways, after the traffic-ridden drive, it was suuuuper fun! We got to their apartment in West Hollywood, they had some of our favorite drinks waiting, we took shots and caught up, then walked to Saddle Ranch. We got insane carafes of cocktails and delicious food and saw... Freddie Mercury??

We even got a free round of drinks when they wanted our table for a bigger party. Score! We walked back to the apartment, busted out our wands from Harry Potter land from the year before, and the karaoke machine, and did a few numbers before we headed out for the Laugh Factory.

It was sooo much fun and we were right at the stage, but I have to say that I really prefer improv because it's sooooo awkward and uncomfortable when people start bombing. Like, it hurts. But it was really fun! We went through WeHo on the way home, had more drinks and put on a Netflix special of one of the guys we saw there, Theo Von. We passed out an an undetermined time.

AJ and I had to be up first thing in the morning to make it back to Orange County for a Father's Day brunch celebrating his dad. I wish I could have gotten my money's worth with that brunch, but I was struggling being hungover and sugar wasn't going to help, so I had all savory dishes and couldn't really take advantage of the chocolate fondue fountain. Sadface!

When we got back we had the most glorious nap ever and then I did some errands in the evening and we went to bed at a decent time. Now it's Monday but I have to say that I'm really enjoying the start of summertime!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Lazy Weekend

We had a really lazy weekend this past weekend. Banana must have had the time of her life, with walks galore and trips to the beach and dog park!

And got to visit my nephew too!

And Khaleesi has an okay life too

I'm excited that summer is coming up. It's just the right time to change seasons.