Archive for February, 2014

The Only Moment We Really Have

Last night a dad at our PEPS group said, “I used to always think about what it would be like when things got better a few months or years from now. Then I decided to just be present and live this moment now.”

Cousin QT in 2011

I always find it remarkable how my cousins and I make time to visit each other several times a year despite being spread across three states. We always seem to make the most of every day we have together, even if it’s just for the weekend. I was reminded of this when my cousin Jenny flew up last weekend for my birthday.

I was going through my old blog posts and found this one unpublished from 2011. That year we made a combined 6 cousin trips, not bad for cousins living in Seattle, Las Vegas, and LA.

In 2011…

Nikki's MoH WeekendWe toured.

Nikki and Neil's Wedding
We celebrated.

We hiked.

We lounged.

We gallivanted.

We sang.

We made this hand sign.

Guevara CousinsWe remembered.

Grand Canyon Trip 2011
We road tripped.

Family Picnic 2012

  1. Sleep in and wake up in Port Orchard.
  2. Eat breakfast of fried eggs, sausage, and pan de sal with my mom.
  3. Pick up ice, oyster bar toppings, and some salmon at Safeway.
  4. Drive to Twanoh State Park in Belfair and remember there are parking fees.
  5. Grill salmon, eat lumpia, and set up chairs.
  6. Eat pancit, fried chicken with gravy, and lettuce wraps.
  7. Watch Ryan and Ezra play and take silly photos.
  8. Discover Ernelyn’s tres leche cake, savor the almond syrup, have another slice.
  9. See teams form for horseshoes and get coffee from Mia.
  10.  Walk with Mia, Lisa, Sam, Ernelyn and Ezra to the beach.
  11. Lay out blanket on the rocks (PNW beach!) and sit in sun next to Tita Espie.
  12. Wade knee deep in the cool waters and watch the kids play.
  13. Walk to the pier and make plans to next year camp and/or bring a boat.
  14. Go back to picnic site and watch Ernelyn shave ice.
  15. Fill cup with sweet beans, coconut, fruit, ube paste, half and half and ice. Halo halo time!
  16. Play cards with the girls, mom, Tita Evelyn and Marky. Pickle!
  17. See Ryan after horseshoes, lounge around picnic site, eating potato chips.
  18. Find comfy chair to lounge in, watch kids run circles around me.
  19. Stop by the oyster bar and have some oysters.
  20. Watch Frankie continue to eat oysters.
  21. Play on the swings.
  22. Eat more oysters.
  23. Sit in a cozy chair with Ezra while he plays Angry Bids
  24. Hit a birdie with badminton rackets with Frankie and then Ryan, have no aim.
  25. Pack up and head back to Port Orchard.
  26. Get asked about when we will have kids approximately 7 times.

Cinque Terre: A Day Trip to the 5 Villages

“Go to Cinque Terre. It is the most romantic place on Earth,” I was told, repeatedly, by friends and colleagues. Even when I went to the bookstore while planning our trip, I picked up an Italy book, flipped it open and said “Cinque Terre – Best Time to Go: April”. All roads were leading to Cinque Terre, so I Googled and told the hubster. The next thing you know we’re on a train from Florence, with a transfer in Pisa, to a quick stop in La Spezia, before boarding a local train to Riomaggiore–the first of the five villages.

What is Cinque Terre? Well literally, it’s the “Five Lands” located on the coast of Italy that is part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is not accessible by cars and was built on top of steep cliffs that overlook the sea. Picturesque for sure. Most stay a night or two, but decided to just make it a day trip and see what all the dreamy-eyed looks were about when people would describe this place.

The ride to Riomaggiore on the train was short. Through the tunnels we caught glimpses of the sea and knew we were in for a treat. But first we had to get past the hordes of high school students. Sadly we disembarked at the same village a few hundred students and their chaperons. Insert loud clambering Italian teenagers. Wait a while for them to a ramble past and then–there was the coast.

Cinque Terre

In Riomaggiore, the one thing I wanted to do was walk on Via dell Amore, the Lover’s Trail, because a friend had told me it was the most romantic hike ever. Yeah, I’ll give her that. It was gorgeous and every square foot of the path was covered in the graffiti of couples’ initials, poems, and declarations of affection. On the guard rail were locks that visitors left (throwing away the key), an expression of their love.

Cinque Terre

Yeah, this path was gushy but it’s Italy and we’re in Cinque Terre and you’re walking by the sea–does it get any better? I finally convince Ryan to put our names in stone and we take our time (mainly avoiding the crowds) walking on the path. A school teacher even offers to take our photo.

At the end of the path was Vernazza. A tiny village again beautifully placed atop cliffs. Here’s where my narrative drops off a bit and I’m going to rely on photos.

Cinque Terre - 19

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre - 51

Cinque Terre

Post a day?

Day 1 being 31. I seem to have abandoned this blog but always have intentions of writing. New decade. New [mom] life. New intentions. New beginnings.