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Monday, November 29, 2021

catching up with the dodgers

so, i have been really bad about posting.  like, during 2020 i kind of had an excuse - we were home for the majority of it and i honestly didn't have much to talk about.  but 2021 has brought a pretty fair level of normalcy back to our lives, what with the vaccine becoming widely available and things opening back up to near pre-pandemic levels.  and in looking back at my camera roll from the last - oh, eight months or so - i have a good number recaps to get caught up on.  eek.  and so the next handful of posts will be from random things we may have done quite awhile ago.  oops.

like the dodger game that we attended with a bunch of my cousins back in august.  we'd attended filipino heritage night in 2019 and said that we'd try to make it an annual thing.  my cousin had even put a deposit down on a block of tickets for the 2020 game, and we all know what happened to that.  and then he found out that there would indeed be a filipino heritage night for 2021 and so we all put in our requests for seats.  he scored a pretty sweet deal for a bunch of us, way down in a section they call the "home run seats."  they included all-you-can-eat grub and soft drinks, and we were all pretty excited to head down to chavez ravine and have a fun evening of cousin bonding and dodger baseball.

once we parked, we made our way towards the entrance where they checked for vaccination or negative covid test results.  i didn't love how close people were packing together and tried to socially distance as much as possible, and luckily the line moved pretty quickly.

people were obviously excited to get back to watching live games in the stadium.

after collecting our filipino-themed jersey, we made our way to our seats.  and we stocked up on snacks along the way - there were bags of popcorn and peanuts plus a healthy option of "clean snax."  there was also a self-service drink cooler with cans of soda and bottles of water.

our view was pretty awesome, i gotta say.

our section had a dedicated server, who brought us whatever we wanted from this menu:

during a run to the restroom, the old lady and i went over to see if we could catch a glimpse of the filipino dancers who were getting ready to perform down on the field.

back at our seats, the dodgers were out on the field practicing before the game started.

it was a good time for a couple of selfies.

not gonna lie, i was a little bummed that we weren't there for hello kitty night.

but hey - if you wanted to get vaccinated, they could hook you up right there in the stadium.  sweet.

this was the michelada sausage with slaw:

the dodgertown grinder - mortadella, prosciutto, oregano, parmesan, lettuce and oil & vinegar on a baguette.

nachos, of course.

and a simple dodger dog with ketchup, just the way i like it.

and the bean was pretty happy with this cup of chocolate malted ice cream.

jo koy, the comedian who is also filipino (and dating chelsea handler) got to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

the bean's cousins and their friend heckled cody bellinger endlessly throughout the game, and it was pretty comical.  but he was a good sport about it, at one point tossing a ball to them.  this was right before i actually caught a piece of it but lost it to one of the kids, which is how it should be anyway.

we had a group of cousins who had opted to buy tickets in a different section, and we coordinated a quick meet-up before the night ended.

the dodgers won the game, of course, and that was that.

it's always a good time when we hang out with my cousins.  i'm so glad that we get to do it face to face again, and not just through zoom like we had to do all last year.  hopefully that will continue, omnicron variant be damned.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

birthday princess day, part 2

well...i guess i lied when i said it wouldn't be a week before i continued the recap of birthday princess day 50.0.  oops. i'm sorry!  it's been a busy week, but better late than never?

so when we got to the langham the entry was jam packed with people.  i could see lots of colorful saris exiting cars in front of us and the hub said "oh yeah, there's a big indian wedding happening here tonight" and i didn't even question why he even knew that.  heh.  and then we finally pulled in, handed the keys to the valet and headed on in towards the restaurant.

here's what happened next:

the hub and the old lady had assembled the greatest group of people from all parts of my life into one place to surprise me with a bash that i wasn't expecting...at all.  i remember him opening the door and the first thing i noticed was my friend jessica's shiny blonde hair and everyone shouting "SURPRISE!" and then i was so completely overwhelmed and shocked and i'm surprised i didn't just pass out cold right then and there.  it was so wonderful and i felt so incredibly loved.

and i was completely bowled over when cousin seven, who lives in seattle now, ran up to give me a big hug.  i couldn't believe she'd flown down just to be there that night, and so not only was i all sweaty, but teary as well.  i was a mess, heh.

and my mom and stepdad were there too.

the entire patio was taken up by so many friends and family, and i still tear up a little when i think of how touched i was by every moment of that evening.  i mean...look at how pretty it was!

and there were not just one, not two, but THREE incredible cakes.  i recognized them immediately as the work of the lady who did our wedding cakes for us (during which there were also three because we couldn't decide on just one), and just look at the details and artistry:

there were cookies too, decorated with vintage disneyland attraction posters.  so adorable.

i realized pretty early into the night that the bean was nowhere to be found, but the old lady was quick to tell me that she was upstairs in a guest suite with a few of the other kids whose parents were downstairs with us.  i missed her, but i figured she was likely having more fun where she was than where we were.  and it allowed a few of the guests to be there without having to figure out a babysitter for the evening, which was awesome.

many photos were taken, although there are still more friends that i now realize i never got to take pictures with.  dang it.

it was funny listening to the hub and the old lady talk about how long they'd been planning this surprise, and i'm still in awe of how perfectly they pulled it off.  i literally had no idea, and not a single person amongst that entire group (most of who i talk to really regularly, too!) spilled it ahead of time.

the evening went by in a big sweaty blur, while i tried my best to hug each and every person who was there and spend time with them all.  i remember thinking that i just wanted to savor every second of the evening, and hoped that everyone was having as much fun as i was.

at one point the hub got up in front of everyone to thank them all for coming and for helping to keep the whole thing a secret from me, and i - well, i just keep thinking of how much love i felt and continue to feel every time i think of this night.

unfortunately all good things must come to an end, and the party eventually started to wind down.  i hugged everyone as they left, and we found that we had two entire cakes left.  the hub and the old lady and the fiance loaded up this cart to take upstairs, and then it was all over.

the bean seemed happy to see us when we got upstairs, and my feet were pretty excited to be released from the heels they were so unaccustomed to being in.  the room was really lovely, as one would expect from the langham, and the kids all headed into a room of their own just down the hall.

it had been a magical day from start to finish, and one to remember forever.  i can't thank everyone enough for how special they made me feel - whether they were there or sent birthday greetings via text and social media - i felt the love all day long.  just so wonderful.

best jonas brothers concert ever

okay, quick rewind to october because the jonas brothers concert was such a good one that it really can't go without a recap. this was &...