Saturday, March 29, 2008

Mission SJC

On Saturday, March 15 we went to Mission San Juan Capristrano for the Return of the Swallows celebration.

This mission was founded in 1776 by Junipero Serra, it's the seventh of 21 missions in California. In 1812 an earthquake destroyed most of the original structure, in the early 1900's restoration began.

Here we see the beautiful "bell wall" from the Sacred Garden.

The beautiful arches dominate the walkways.

Forty people who perished in the 1812 earthquake are buried in the mission's cemetary.

Anna and Sam are admiring the children's lovely traditional outfits before their performances for the celebration.

Sam especially liked this performance by kindergartners dressed as colorful animals, swaying to the tune of the "Chicken Dance". They might have startled the migrating swallows, which we did not see that day.

Flower hats, hurray!
We enjoyed the lovely buildings and lush gardens, it was a memorable day.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Anna's Birthday Party

Getting balloons ready...

Friends starting to arrive...

Party is in full swing. Whoa, the airplane at its maximum capacity!...

And we did have a character party, it was Basketball Bob!...

Uncle Rob leading the games...

Steve doing some teaching with clingy Sam (who caught the flu soon after)...

Anna feeling shy and excited at the same time...

Watching Anna open up presents afterwards.

The academy would like to thank,

Rob, aka Basketball Bob
Mari, the Slurpee Runner
Yumi, the Cake and Dip Lady
Mama, Spanish Rice Maker

and all our friends!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


My Aunt Kanchan visited from Japan, I hadn't seen her since my wedding, so that was more than 11 years ago! To me, she still looked the same, and had the same sweet, easy-going personality.

She came over for dinner and tried out the teeter-totter with Yumi and the kids, while Michi looked on.

Steve cooked up some Korean bbq, marinated short ribs. It was so tasty.

During her 10-day visit, my mom and aunt went to Las Vegas, San Diego and Tijuana, and Los Angeles to visit Mari. Wow, what a whirlwind of events. Next time we see her, hopefully that will be a visit to Japan in a couple of years.

Mark, and the teeter-totter

We were able to spend time with Mark when he visited a few weeks ago. We took him to one of our favorite parks nearby. Afterwards he got to have some Philly's Best cheesesteak sandwiches prior to the drive to the airport.

Here's a cute photo of Anna on the swings...

One of our conversations with Mark (plus cute photos from Kim of their kids on their see-saw) inspired us to purchase this airplane teeter-totter from Costco. We bought it later that day with our rebate check, which gives you an idea of how much we spend there!

Here's another view of the plane, I believe it can seat 7 kids!

Steve enjoys the fruit of his hard labor, after putting this toy together!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Flik, Atta, and Us

After the Cerritos Library, Yumi, Sam and I went to California Adventure for a few rides. The highlight was seeing Flik and Atta. Sam was familiar with these characters as he had just seen the video, A Bug's Life.

Sam was wary of these huge characters but managed a smile and a wave after we took the photos.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Cerritos Library

A couple of Fridays ago, Yumi took the day off, and lucky Sam had two chaperones to take him to the Cerritos Library, what a gem of a place. Outside there is art and sculptures to delight.

Yes, this lighthouse is located in the children's wing of the library. What a magical place to read a book, to escape for a while.

What are Yumi and Sam checking out here?

A movie screen with various backgrounds, here I am with Sam posing with the dinosaurs.

There's a huge sea creature display at the entrance of the children's area.

Outside there is a lovely sculpture garden.

Sam loved it here, he enjoys these quiet new places. I have to research some new locales for us to explore.

The day didn't end there, we also went to California Adventure, those photos I'll post next.

I am waaaay behind on my blogging, got photos from my aunt's visit (from Japan!), as well as Anna's birthday party. But we've been dealing with the flu (Steve's the only one who stayed healthy!) and report cards/conferences coming up... stay tuned.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Walt Disney Concert Hall

On Saturday, February 16, Mari, Mama and I went to the Walt Disney Concert Hall to see the LA Phil play Rimskey-Korsakov's Russian Easter Festival Overture and other songs. These tickets were a Christmas gift from Mari, it was a real treat. Click on the link for a dramatic photo and description of the locale.

Prior to the concert we had a luxurious dinner at Patina.

We had "bench seats" which face the conductor, it was fascinating to see Gennady Rozhdestvensky conduct.

It was a memorable night, thanks Mari!