Sunday, July 24, 2011

on the rocks please.

yesterday i got the joy of supporting my boy play the drums with his cover band, On the Rocks!

they played at the night club/bar, Time Out Tavern, in aliso viejo.  i honestly didn't even realize there was such a place in our quiet little city until recently!  it seemed like a pretty nice venue.  i even ordered my water on the rocks ;)  thought i'd get in the spirit.

the band played two sets of songs and both sets were great!  On the Rocks plays a nice variety of music, ranging from some older hits to songs that have been recently popular, like Billionaire.  definitely pleasing to a wide age range.  anthony asked me what my favorite song was after the show was over, but i honestly couldn't pick because they were all so good!

sean, cooper, and evan (members of P.S. Denied, antp's other band), as well as christine and some of anthony's other friends, came to watch him play.  i thought it was super sweet that so many people came out to support him <3

i love him <3

Monday, July 18, 2011

the end of an era.

after watching harry potter and the deathly hallows part 2 for the second time today, i realized that this amazing piece of work deserves a blog post.

last week, my friends and i attended the final midnight premiere of harry potter.  although i was excited to see the movie, i also dreaded the strike of midnight because, once the movie was over, so was this over-ten-year-long era that encompassed my childhood.

it sounds silly that i consider this an "end of an era," but it really is.  for many people around my age, we grew up with these books and movies and have always anxiously awaited the next chapter of harry potter's magical journey.  i vividly remember buying the books at midnight on release day and rushing home to stay up for the next few hours, reading.   now that it's over, it kind of feels like a sign that childhood is ending and it's time to start transitioning to the adult world.

despite this, i know that i will always hold onto the enjoyment that these books and movies brought me.  (in fact, i may just have to reread them again to relive such enjoyment!)  i definitely owe a big thanks to j.k. rowling for her creativity and hard work!

here are some pics from the long wait for the big hp finale:

Friday, July 8, 2011

a 4th of july in catalina.

the 4th of july is one of my favorite holidays of the year.  i love seeing people's national spirit and i especially love the fireworks!  this year's 4th of july was extra special for me because i got to spend it on catalina island with anthony's family :)

we (me, melissa, joel, and charlie) went to catalina to watch anthony perform with the USC marching band, but it ended up being an even bigger adventure than just supporting him.

the morning started bright and early.  i woke up at 5:30am to get ready and be at anthony's mom's house by 7am.  we departed for newport beach, where we took the catalina flyer to get to the island.  the boat ride was super relaxing.  charlie and i both slept the whole way there!  luckily we woke up just in time to see the boat nearing the island, which was a beautiful sight.

once there, we dropped off our bags at the hotel and grabbed a decent lunch at el galleon.  the food was decent, but the music was ear piercing.  there was a man singing with his mic volume turned up wayy too loudly!  annoying at the time, but something funny to laugh about now :)

after lunch, we sat down outside to watch the annual catalina 4th of july parade, which the trojan marching band was performing in (for the 20th year in a row).  luckily, we were able to snag great seats... we were able to see anthony perfectly!

not so fortunately, we all ended up with pretty bad sunburns from the sun beating down on our backs for so long.  but it was still totally worth it to see antppny!

after the parade, we watched anthony perform with the band yet again at wrigley plaza.  it was another great performance by the trojan marching band!

finally, we got a few hours of down time.  anthony got to hang out with us (me, melissa, joel, and charlie), so we spent a while enjoying the summer sun, relaxing on the sand down by the water.  we also got some yummy ice cream to cool us off from the heat :)

when it came time for anthony to go get ready to perform again, joel, melissa, charlie, and i went back to the hotel to get ready for the night.  we killed some time before dinner back down at el galleon, where we listened to some good country karaoke!  my country lovin' dad would have appreciated it very much.

we then went to the casino, a very beautiful, old building, to have the 4th of july barbecue dinner.  the casino was absolutely gorgeous and i would love to go back to catalina sometime just to tour it.  the dinner took place in the ballroom of the casino, a large room with a stage up front.  for dinner, we had scrumptious barbecued chicken and ribs, with great baked beans, corn, biscuits, and salad.

(the little building in the picture is the casino)

although the food was great, the performance by the USC marching band was even better!  they performed up on the stage in the front of the ballroom.  of course, melissa and i made sure we had prime seats to see anthony :)  the music was great and a lady even donated $1000 to charity to conduct the band!  it just goes to show how wonderful the trojan marching band is.

after dinner, anthony was able to join us to watch the fireworks from the balcony of the casino, the best firework viewing location on the entire island!  we watched them from directly across the pier, where they were launched.  it was a beautiful show and i'm glad i got to watch it with my antp.

after the firework show ended, we went back to wrigley plaza, where the trojan drumline was having a drum circle.  charlie and i even participated, taking turns playing various percussion instruments.  it was tons of fun!

anthony and i finished the night with some of the best pizza i've ever had, from antonio's pizzeria.  i went to bed with a nice, full stomach, exhausted from the day's events, but excited for the next day's events.

the next day was great.  we (me, melissa, joel, and charlie) had a yummy breakfast, followed by an amazing ride on a semi-submarine!  it was a great idea, suggested by charlie.  we got to see beautiful fish and clear blue waters.  i also developed a newly found love for kelp.  it looks so gross when it washes up to shore, but seeing it from the submarine made me feel like a mermaid living in an underwater world.  it was so beautiful and enchanting!

the super cool part about the semi-submarine ride was that we got to "turbo blast" food from the submarine out into the water, which made the fish swim right up to our window.  it was so cool!

after the ride, i stopped by the boating docks to say goodbye to anthony (his boat was leaving four hours earlier than ours).  joel, melissa, charlie, and i then rented a golf cart for an hour and toured the island's scenic route as we drove around.  it was great fun!

we had a yummy lunch at a mexican restaurant, mi casita.  charlie and joel then swam in the water for a bit, while melissa and i got a place in line for the boat ride home.  the boat ride home was less relaxing than the ride there, but it was still a pleasant end to a great trip!

i'm so glad that i got to spend more quality time with anthony's family and, of course, antp himself :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

a day in balboa.

today (well, yesterday now) was a truly amazing day.  i got to spend the day with anthony's family at balboa in newport beach :)  and boy did we have a grand time!

the day started out a little rough, as we missed our departure time for our whale/dolphin watching boat trip at 3pm due to a severe lack of parking.  we attempted to find parking on the pier side (not a good idea), which ended up costing us a very frustrating hour of our time. 

we were about to give up and just go home, until anthony's mom, melissa, came up with the brilliant idea to find parking on the opposite side of the water.  we got lucky and got a great parking spot there and then took the ferry across the water to the main area of balboa. 

it seems that everything happens for a reason... missing our boat trip ended up making our balboa day even better!  we rescheduled our whale/dolphin watching trip for 6pm in the evening and, instead, enjoyed the other attractions of balboa during the afternoon.

first, melissa treated us to some yummy desserts.  anthony got a balboa bar and i got a chocolate covered banana :)

afterward, we spent some time playing ski ball in the arcade, which is always fun.  i whooped anthony's butt, of course.  (okay, by like 50 points).

then, we took a lovely ride on the ferris wheel :)  no matter how old i get, i always seem to find ferris wheels so much fun!

after the joy ride, we looked in a couple of shops and munched on a hot dog, waiting for joel (anthony's stepdad) to arrive.  once he joined us, we headed to the balboa pavillion, ready to get our whale/dolphin watching on!

as expected, we didn't see any whales, but we saw more than our fair share of dolphins.  it was so amazing!  it was similar to what anthony and i got to see last summer in hawaii.  they were swimming right next to our boat alongside us as we moved.  such an incredible sight!

we also saw sea lions, which i've never seen before.  they were perched up on a buoy and they kept ringing the bell.  so cute!

minus the slight sea sickness i got, it was a fantastic experience.  i'm so glad we got the chance to go!  beautiful sights like these remind me why living in this orange county bubble can be so wonderful.

it was getting late by the time we got off the boat, but we still had time for one last stop on our balboa adventure...

the shore house!  we went there for dinner and it was scrumptious.  it's making me hungry just thinking about it.  and i've never seen such enormous portion sizes for their prices, either.  a side of marinara pasta ($3) could seriously pass for an entire child's meal at some chain restaurants.  it was insane!  and i don't think i've ever seen a bigger fish taco in my life.

simply put, it was a perfect ending to a perfect day.  it's days like these that i'm reminded why i'm so lucky to get to spend time with anthony and his family.  they seriously do so much for me and are so welcoming.  i can't thank them enough!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

graduation 2011.

graduation is such a momentous occasion, as it marks the end of one chapter in our lives and the beginning of the next.  it's crazy to think that, exactly one year ago today, i graduated with the wonderful aliso niguel high school class of 2010.

yesterday, i had the pleasure of supporting several of my good friends as they walked in their own graduation ceremony, with the class of 2011.  although it was quite hot outside and we (me, christine, ina, taylor, zach, matt, jason, and gavin) had to do a lot of walking to get to the ceremony, it was completely worth it to be able to support our friends in such an important milestone in their lives.

and, of course, it was great to be back at the high school football stadium (a.k.a. the marching field), the place that brought us all together in the first place.  it seems perfectly fitting that the field we spent countless hours on together for marching band/drumline/color guard practices should be the last place we all set foot on as high schoolers.

i'm so happy for and proud of all of my friends that graduated yesterday.  they each have so much to offer the world and i can't wait for them to start the next chapter in their lives.  congratulations, class of 2011!  you did it!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

amanda's graduation party.

today was a great day.  i got to spend it with my boy and his fam <3

anthony and i started the morning off with a two hour drive to ventura for amanda's graduation party.  however, it felt more like a two minute drive to me since i slept the whole way there... sorry antp!  i guess i wasn't the best passenger for a long drive.

the party was at a nice steakhouse right on the beach and amanda's family rented out a big room for all of us, with a super great view of the ocean and the pier.  amanda (anthony's cousin) was a wonderful hostess and introduced us to all of her friends and family that we had not met.  the food was fantastic (i had amazing blackened salmon) and the dessert was a good german chocolate cake.  i'm so glad that we were able to make it out there to support amanda's accomplishment :)  it was great seeing anthony's other cousin, jillian, too!  i hadn't seen her since anthony graduated high school three years ago, so it feels like it's been forever.

afterward, we drove back to antp's house, which took two and a half hours.  anthony pulled over after about an hour and a half and made me drive the rest of the way home because he kept drowsing.  summer time sure does seem to mess with our sleeping schedules... we just can't wake up early these days!

after a much needed two and a half hour nap, we went to anthony's dad's house for an early father's day dinner... persian food, of course!  it was soo good.  every time i eat persian food, i remind myself how lucky i am that anthony's got a cultural side to him.  it comes with great cuisine :)

love him!

this was a total fail, blurry picture.  but i tried to make it work... key word: tried.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

an unexpected twist.

i was expecting today to be just another simple, fun day with the friends.  i got coffee with suzie, played mario kart with christine and her little brother, and was ready to play a good game of mao with the group from last week's barbecue at night.  nothing out of the ordinary.  and it seemed that my day was going as expected, as christine and i got into my little green bug and headed for ina's house.

alas, we were within three minutes of ina's house when it happened.  we were sitting at a red light at a major intersection, talking to pass the time.  we didn't notice anything funny, until the light turned green.  before i hit the gas, we felt my car give a rough shake.  it startled us, but we didn't think much of it.  but then, i pressed down on the gas pedal and nothing happened.  no noise, no shaking... nothing.  my car just wouldn't move.  i looked at my dashboard and my battery light was on.  this had happened to me once before (last year), so i didn't totally freak out, but the light had turned on while i was driving that time, so i at least was able to pull my car over to the side of the road.  but this time, i couldn't even move an inch, so we just sat there, turned on my hazards, and blocked traffic.  (some people are idiots and don't realize that they should go around a car that has its hazards on).

everyone else moving, but not us :(

we quickly called my stepdad and AAA.  of course, in the midst of this mini emergency, we had time to take a picture:

my stepdad beat AAA there and helped us out.  we were three full lanes away from the side of the road and my stepdad pushed us all the way there!  i had to manually maneuver the wheel back and forth to steer us over there, as he pushed (and let me tell you, i appreciate power steering a million times more now!).  it was so hard to steer that christine and i both had to pull on the wheel.  i even had to take my jacket off because i was seriously working up a sweat.  i felt like we were in a scene from a movie or something!  some nice man also pulled over to the side of the road and helped my stepdad push my car and ward off traffic so that we didn't get hit.

luckily, we were able to get my car to start again and i drove it to pep boys.  phew.  so much for a simple day.

but the night improved once we got to ina's (my stepdad dropped us off), thank goodness.  we made s'mores on her stove (which actually worked out quite well) and played mao and a few rounds of egyptian rat slap.  i still can't believe how many hours cards can keep us entertained for.  i <3 christine, nili, taylor, ina, gavin, matt and jeff :)