Category Archives: Reunions

Wine weekend :)

Last weekend, Molly was kind enough to invite us to her family’s house in St. Helena. I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for weeks and it was a wonderful treat.

Friday afternoon, we loaded up the car, and asked ourselves, what critical item will we forget this time? (Baby wipes. Last time it was Diego’s travel bassinet, it’s always something…) Two hours later, we were in PARADISE:

There was so much to love about the weekend, but the best part was being with close friends, reveling and kvetching about this awesome, sometimes chaotic, life chapter. As someone noted, each conversation was about 30% incomplete, stories were told, and re-told, as one of us was always distracted by the next naptime, feeding, or drink refresher. It was definitely good to be in such good company.

Diego has ridiculous fomo and didn’t want to sleep. So, he joined us for dinner on the porch :)


We spent most of Saturday playing in the pool…



And it was gorgeous!

Saturday afternoon, we ventured to Trinchero  enjoyed some white wine on the patio.

The parent paparazzi:

These babies!!!!!


Sunday came wayyyy too soon and it was time to go back to reality. We stopped at Gott’s for burgers and shakes and made our way back home.

Thankful for this wonderful weekend with great friends! Thank you, Molly and Jon!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Reunions, Travel, Weekends

Dillon Beach

During our first summer back in CA, Shaiya organized an amazing surprise 30th birthday weekend for Sachin in Yosemite-and a whole group of us tagged along :) That weekend sparked a happy tradition of a winter/summer weekend trips-in Tahoe, Santa Cruz, Tahoe again, and Point Reyes.

This year, we decided on Dillon Beach for a winter weekend. It was unbelievably gorgeous.


All of these photos are from the deck of the house-the view was unreal!

We all decided take a vacation day on Monday and do a Saturday – Monday weekend. This worked out REALLY well as everyone was able to avoid traffic and start the trip early and relaxed.

We had to be out of our house that whole week (grrrrrrrrr tenting and fumigation for wood beetles-so so so frustrating) so David and I extended the weekend. After work on Friday, we stayed at the Doubltree in Berkeley.


I picked it for the great rate (and the chocolate cookies) but it ended up being a really nice hotel! It rained the whole time, but I imagine the view of the Berkeley Marina is gorgeous when it’s sunny.

The next day, after picking up my favorite kale Caesar salad from our beloved and very missed Market Hall, we drove to my office holiday party.  I love that we do our holiday party after the stress and busyness of the holiday season-everyone is relaxed and it’s something to look forward to in the winter. It was so nice to spend the afternoon together-and the surprise baby celebration was extra special :)

It was a relatively short drive from Oakland to Dillon Beach-much easier than going to Point Reyes-and after winding through some gorgeous pastures and farmland, we pulled up to the house….

 

…and hunkered down right here for the next 48 hours.

With this view, there really wasn’t any need to leave.

img_0739

We’re now a pretty large group, but the house had space for everyone.  And, most importantly, a massive kitchen.

img_0741

Saturday night, Jon made bo ssam and Zac made kimchi and ginger scallion sauce and it was all amazing.

img_0748

img_0750

Sunday was rainy, and I was feeling pregnant and tired. I never made it to the actual Dillon Beach-opted for a game of Scrabble with David and a nap–but I hope to go someday! Later that evening, Super Bowl prep began.  Everyone brought or made their favorite junk food (my favorites: Brian’s Buffalo Chicken Dip, Molly’s Endive Goat Cheese boats, and Yasser’s Jalepeno Dip) and we half-watched the game (or maybe, I just half-watched the game?).  It was so much more fun hanging out with the babies!

img_0768

loved waking up to this scene on Monday.  Breakfast with some of the best people–and again, that view.  Could not get over it.  I hope we continue doing these trips as I always leave so grateful for our supportive friends and the comfort 0f all being together.

img_0785

img_0743

Thank you, Dillon Beach :)

Leave a comment

Filed under Reunions, Travel

Election eve

It’s the Monday before the election. Oh boy. After two weeks of traveling, we took it easy this weekend. This was generally good-I needed some rest-but left ample time for mind wandering and social-media-ing. A perfect recipe for jumpy nerves. Tried to combat it by yoga, long walks, and phone banking. It’s so true-it is much harder to be miserable while being useful. Feeling productive in my PJs, calling people in UT, FL, OH and MI, helped a bit.

Also, just trying to stay focused on deep breaths and gratitude. In that vein…

Feeling grateful for:

Social media:

While this election has certainly brought out the worst side of social media, and I generally hate how much I have to fight myself not to constantly check it, every now and then, there’s a total gem-like this guy-that kind of makes it worth it:


Family time in Irvine and DC:

Feeling pretty lucky that we all got to be together-twice-in the last two weeks. Many happy memories-hoping to recap our Bmore/DC trip soon!


New restaurants moving in Downtown:

David and I returned to Cast Iron Trading Saturday night-it’s just so good. It was energizing to see a restaurant downtown buzzing on a Saturday night. For dessert, we tried their donut brown pudding cupcake and ohhh my word was it good.


Rain and Fall:

It rained a lot the last few weeks of October and now everything feels much more fresh and green. And the leaves are starting to change on our street! So far, fall in Stockton is wayyyyy more enjoyable than summer. Very grateful for the slight seasonal change.


Technology and best friends:

Kelleen is a mom! Merrick Jane joined the world on Halloween! Despite the distance, we all got to hang out last night and meet her. It’s amazing seeing everyone’s lives and families grow. Absolutely beautiful :)


Ooh! Train is arriving. Gotta go!

Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Reunions

First trip to Nashville

Good (super early) morning from the Nashville airport! Heading to Oakland after a great, quick, first trip to TN!

I flew out here Monday for a conference and a meeting Tuesday. The BEST part of the trip was seeing Divya and Ankur! This week is Divya’s fall break and they generously drove the long drive to Nashville Monday night. They picked me up at my hotel and drove to The Pharmacy for yummy burgers and milkshakes.

This was the first time I got to hang out with the Divya and Ankur since they got married (!!!). It  was so nice to have time to really talk and catch up and so generous of them to make the effort to hang out.

The conference was held at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center. This place was bananas. It is huge! Almost as if Disneyland, the Spectrum and….the Rain Forrest Cafe? merged and built a hotel. Basically, totally over the top. Not sure I would say it’s beautiful but it is impresssive. I had to budget a half an hour just to find the room for my presentation. It’s that massive.

After presenting and conferencing, I had a bit of time for lunch before my meeting downtown. Ankur said Nashville is famous for its hot chicken, so we all met up for lunch at Hattie B’s. Holy smokes-it was delicious. The line was crazy long, but Ankur was a genius and ordered ahead.  We were able to walk up to the picnic tables and enjoy our lunch without a wait-I felt like a celebrity! Ever since Asheville, I’ve been craving anything with pimento cheese and Hattie B’s had a decadent pimento mac and cheese-incredible. I wish I didn’t live so far away from Divya and could just meet up for a pimento mac and cheese lunch on any random Tuesday-it was a special treat.

Nashville has some gorgeous historic architecture and I was totally struck by the art decco exterior and lobby (below) of the Frist Center for Visual Arts.

After lunch, I ducked into the Union Station Hotel lobby for some air conditioning and e-mail catch up. This place is just as grand as the Gaylord but much more my style (if my style could afford such grand hotels). The arched, stained glass ceiling over the lobby was stunning.


After my afternoon meeting and delicious dinner at Puckett’s Grocery, I headed back to the Opryland area to do some work and get to bed early before my early flight. Someday, I would love to return wit David and do the whole Music City experience. For now, grateful for the quick peak at the city and the chance to catch up with an amazing friend!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Reunions, Travel

Reunion :)

Happy almost the weekend! And a good rain new year to all! On Monday morning, before Rosh Hashana services, I stopped by Trail downtown for some yummy coffee. It was drizzly, and fall-y, and I was thinking about how excited I was for the new season. Noting the rain, the gentleman behind me in line said, “it’s the beginning of October, it’s officially the start of a new Rain Year.”

So, with the Jewish New Year and the Rain New Year, hoping for a good, sweet, and productive year for all.

Before another weekend begins, want to remember a very happy reunion weekend in Dallas!

One day in June, in a mutual moment of missing each other and our fun times in Baltimore, Kelleen, Katie and I impulsively planned a quick reunion weekend. Knowing Kelleen would be 7+ months pregnant (!!) AND with geography in mind, Dallas made the most sense. I was so excited-I love these two and I love Dallas.

Katie and I flew in Friday night after work. When Kelleen asked us what we wanted to do during the trip, we all felt the same way: just talk and talk and talk and talk.  And that’s what we did!

Saturday morning, we greeted the day with delicious chai lattes and peanut butter sandwiches at Cultivar.


Everywhere we went in Dallas was just so nice. I loved the design of the coffee shops and restaurants-as the guy sitting next to me on the plane said, “Dallas is definitely having a moment.” Not sure what that means, but everywhere we went was bustling and fun.

My favorite part of any friend time is walking and talking. I love talking, and it’s a million times mores enjoyable on a good walk. We walked the Katy Trail, a beautiful loop through Uptown and Highland Park.

After our walk, we grabbed PHENOMENAL tacos at Taco Deli.  And then, it was time to lounge! We just relaxed the rest of the afternoon at Kelleen and Brad’s beautiful home.

Kelleen made reservations at Remedy for dinner in Lower Greenville. The restaurant is a stunning former soda shop, with chandeliers, green accents, art deco mirrors, the whole thing. After a decadent, buttery meal, Katie’s surprised us with an order of incredible ice cream Sundays. I”n still thinking about the one on the left-toasted smore. So good.

Here’s something I’ve been thinking about all week since coming home Sunday. Taking a trip like this is a luxury. It’s doable now, but requires an effort of time and money from everyone.  Soon Kelleen will have a baby, Katie has an amazing one year old, jobs, family and life get demanding, and whenever I leave a friend trip, I always have this slight wonder, like, will we always do this? Be able to just jump on a plane and land in someone’s comfy home, and spend the whole weekend just indulging in that rich conversation you can only have with your dearest friends? In those brief 36 hours, we swapped stories, talked, and unpacked those meddling life questions that you don’t get the opportunity to discuss when you’re just meeting a friend for lunch, or catching up with an acquaintance. It takes time and history, and it’s rare to be together, but so valuable.

I was keenly aware of this all weekend, and it made me treasure our time and these two even more. Katie’s commitment a trip during baby/toddler years inspired me and I hope we continue to make the effort to do these reunion weekends. This sounds dramatic, but it’s true-it’s a luxury, yes, but the time and effort for friend weekends is really an investment for the soul. And I’m just so grateful for these years of friendship!

Leave a comment

Filed under Reunions, Travel