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Archive for the ‘Diversions’ Category

As I was checking out what was “new” with WordPress, I came across “Sonific” Songspot. With JP’s assistance, he was able to help me add the music you are hearing now (through Sonific) onto my side bar. When it comes to blogging, I’m quite limited in terms of all the fancy smanchy things that people have on their blogs . . . but I’m getting there. I never really knew what a widget was nor did I ever care to know but I know they’re there for something. Well I’m thrilled as can be now that I have Josh Groban’s “To Where You Are” playing . . . not the real McCoy but a tribute to him. Speaking of the song, this will always remind me of Nanay because I had played it so many times after her passing and of course, the prayer to St. Francis . . . “Make Me A Channel of Your Peace.”

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holidaystroll2007ja.jpgDespite the heavy drizzle of the rain here and there, I was determined to take that “holiday stroll” up at Montclair Village. AC had lots of homework and JP had to work late tonight so it was up to me to “persuade” the hubs to go with me. I told him I wanted to “kick” in the holiday spirit and what better way to partake in the festivities they had to offer. Many of the stores/merchants closed later this evening. Some had free hot cocoa, tea and coffee . . . . . one flower shop gave out free long stem roses . . . . there were carolers (young and old) to entertain the passerby on the streets and even a free motorized cable car (from SF) to take you around the village. We later met up with Baby K (Kit Kat) and “E”. Baby K bought “goodies” as part of her Christmas shopping. I manage to take a few pix here.

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retreat2.jpgYesterday, CE and I headed over to the other side of the “mountain” to attend our parish retreat (to look at our parish’s agenda and to plan for its future), but of course we had to have our java fix that morning so we went to Starbuck’s where I had my Cafe Americano and a pastry to go with it. This year’s retreat was held at San Damiano in Danville. This was my first time at this place and I was in total awe because of its beautiful “woodsy” yet serene surroundings, retreat1.jpgnestled up in the hills with the views of Mt. Diablo and the San Ramon Valley. The retreat was from 9-5 p.m. but since I had to be in South San Francisco around 5, CE and I left at 3’ish. I think overall this “day of reflection” went pretty well and I was glad to be a part of it. For more pics, click here. . .


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All Aboard . . .

(First of all, I know I haven’t been updating my blog for the past week only because for the last two weeks or so, my “life” had revolved on getting the school’s yearbook completed. I’ll post that entry after this one.) img_1409.jpgAnyhoo, getting back to “All Aboard….” Friday was a holiday for me because of Cesar Chavez Day. It wasn’t a holiday for the hubs but he had requested that Friday off early this year. So, what did the hubs and I do while the kids were at school? After dropping both JP and AC off to school, we went to the train station and boarded Amtrak. Because of the “train congestion” (so they said), we were idle on the train “forever” (or so it seems). However, it’s not like sitting in “car” traffic so it was rather “peaceful” despite the ever slow movement of the train. I had brought along some magazines for the ride and even chatted with LadyRam on my cell who was on her way to RiverRock. The hubs and I had decided either Napa, Carmel/Monterey or Old Sacto. If we had chosen Napa or Carmel/Monterey, it would have meant that hubs would be driving and I would just sleep in the car (after 10 minutes of getting into the car…for some reason, car rides no matter how short, seems toimg_1427.jpg “lull” me to sleep.) We finally decided on Old Sacramento so that the hubs can relax and I didn’t mind one bit because I knew the train ride up to Sacto would be very relaxing as well. When we got there it was already past 1:00 p.m. so we went straight to Joe’s Crab Shack. This restaurant sits right on the river in Old Sacramento with a view of the Tower Bridge, a Sacramento Landmark. The hubs and I enjoyed a scrumptious lunch consisting of nothing but SEAFOOD (and of course the veggies, rice & baked potatoes). Luckily I didn’t have to take any meds that morning so I was able to have my mango margarita. 🙂 img_1434.jpgIf we had more room in our stomach, unfortunately we didn’t, we would have ordered their Bananas Foster. Darn! After lunch, we “played” tourist and wandered through the town. This area consist mostly of modern businesses set up in renovated building; if you’re into architecture, this is a great place to visit because here you can see different examples of architecture and building systems of a hundred or so years ago. There’s several knick-knack souvenir shops and we did notice they seem to have lots of “candy” stores selling salt-water taffy. We had several hours toimg_1446.jpg “wander” around so we decided to visit the State Capitol. [Being a state employee and being a state holiday, I had to pay “homage” to the State Capitol 🙂 ] We walked a good 9 blocks to visit the Capitol. As we walked through downtown Sacto, it seemed a little desserted except for the tourists like us. Many of the state buildings were closed so there weren’t a crowd of working folks hustling and bustling. We didn’t see Arnold (yeah, right) so after our own img_1451.jpgself tour of the Capitol, we headed over to the “Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.” This had to be one of the most beautiful churches I’ve yet visited because of the painted murals and high dome ceiling. I was in total “awe.” Like most churches during non “worship” hours, I felt a sense of serenity. I love being inside the church when only a few people are inside (can’t quite explain the feeling). There were signs all around downtown pointing out different tourist attractions so that’s how we found out about the church. We headed back img_1458.jpgto Old Town by taking the short cut through the Westfield’s Downtown Plaza Mall. Of course we had to (or I had to) do the “mall” thing by going inside some of the stores. We had about less than 2 hours before our train ride home so we took another wandering tour of old town. The hubs and I boarded Amtrak and the train departed at 7:40 p.m. Although we did a lot of walking, we had a great time just being able to take a short get-a-way and spending time together. Oh, before I end this post, being absent-minded and forever “forgetful,” I got “lost” finding my way back to the train cab. After an hour on the train, I told the hubs I wanted to check out the “snack bar” (and I also had to go bathroom) . . . off I go and off I ordered, but I could not for the life of me think which direction to return back to the train car we were in. I think I went downstairs and upstairs twice in one car holding the hotdogs, drinks and chips (some of the folks knew I was “lost” because they kept on seeing me walk up and down and all around). I was ready to call the hubs (luckily I had my cell inside my pocket) to come get me, until I somehow managed to find the right car. The hubs knew I must have gotten lost because he said it took a while for me to return. I told him I “got lost” . . . he said all I had to do was remember which car “number” I was on. Duh! I really need to get out more often! One last thing, my co-workers had to even help me the day before our “field-trip” with the reservation because I couldn’t get it right the first two times. Like I said, I REALLY NEED TO GET OUT OFTEN! 🙂 We got to the train station a little after 10:00 p.m.. . . JP had gone out with his friends so he had timed it so we were able to pick him up from BART afterwards and picked up AC who had stayed at her friend’s house after school. For more pictures, click here.

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and a final detour to Fourth Street in Berkeley. That’s img_0851.JPGwhere Bruh (CE) and I went yesterday for a good 4.5 hours. Bruh had an errand to do so I told her I’d go with her before going to Fourth Street. [I had ran out of this stainless steel appliance cleaner spray that I had bought at Restoration Hardware and I wanted to buy this cheap plastic spreader at Sur La Table – – – my two main purpose of going to Fourth Street 🙂 ] Our first stop was at the Farmer’s Market where we had picked up some flowers, a bunch of “quinces” to be exact. Of all the flowers, whenever I start seeing those quinces, it tells me that Spring is just right around the corner. We didn’t really stay too long at img_0841.JPGthe Famer’s Market since Bruh’s “purpose” was to only buy some flowers to give to her friend she was going to quickly visit that morning. Afterwards we headed to Fourth Street. By that time it was nearing lunch so since Bruh had never been to Jayakarta Restaurant, we had lunch there. (The last time I was here was with JP back in September.) I wanted to have their rice plate because I just love their coconut rice but since I gave rice up for Lent, I ordered their “mie goreng” (fried rice noodles and egg noodles with chopped chicken, shrimp, beef balls, egg and vegetables.) img_0839.JPGBruh had their special which was beef wrapped in banana leaves with coconut rice, but outside the banana leaves was wrapped in brown paper. This photo I took doesn’t look too appealing but Bruh had me try it and it was good. The meat was nice and tender. We even had their version of the “halo-halo” but I accidentally deleted the photos before I could upload them. (duh!) After this satisfying lunch, we headed to Fourth Street. I think the last time I was there was with KitKat so there were a few new stores like Napa Style. I had looked at their small Meyer Lemon tree in a clay pot . . . 99 bucks! Heck no! After moseying in and out of the few other stores, our last stop was Sur La Table. . . I take that back, our last stop after Sur La Table was to get gelato ice-cream at Sketch’s. [keep in mind we already had our dessert at Jayakarta 🙂 ] Bruh had their vanilla bean & burnt caramel gelato and I had their vanilla bean & toasted almond. Ummmm….yummy! It was nice spending a couple of hours with Bruh and starting my weekend off this way before the dreaded laundry, cleaning, etc. which were all waiting for me when I got home. 🙂

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