We drive 45 minutes down to Irvine quite often. I love taking the kids and Kepler down to UC Irvine to ride bikes. I have friends who live in Irvine. So we are quite familiar with the typical places in Irvine, including Southcoast Plaza, Fashion Island, and Irvine Spectrum. However, our most recent visit to Irvine Spectrum
really surprised us. I guess it's been about four months since we've been. But oh my goodness the changes we saw were amazing! New restaurants and cafes (including the Hello Kitty Cafe) and new stores with fun murals and swings. The most prominent change is that they replaced the old play area which had a traditional slide with this futuristic-potato-chip-looking contraption! The kids had a blast climbing inside it. They could've spent all day there! The cool thing is, the mall is not done transforming! There is still another section being added. We can't wait to go back and see what other fun stores and eateries they're going to put in. If you happen to be in town, go to Irvine Spectrum!
Posted on November 16, 2019
Besides changing Halloween to the last Saturday of October, I would also propose that we get rid of daylight savings time and start practicing winter savings time. What is winter savings time, you ask? Well, since there are less daylight hours in winter, we should also cut our working hours. We should all reduce our working hours and end the day at 3pm so that we can still have a few daylight hours to spend with our kids and dogs outdoors! Do you think I can run for office on that platform? One can dream right? Sigh, I hate the short days of winter. It feels so late picking up the kids after work. So I want to show you pictures of one of our early evening walks back before daylight savings time change a few weeks ago. I'm buckling down until the end of December when we start to gain daylight again.
Posted on November 15, 2019
I am an Angeleno. Yes, I grew up in the heart of LA. I mean, I lived only about three miles from Dodger Stadium for over 15 years, FIFTEEN years! Guess what? To this day I've never been to a Dodger game nor ever been to Dodger Stadium. Crazy, I know. We used to hate it whenever there's a Dodger game because traffic would back up off the 110 freeway and would take us forever going home from visiting my grandmother who lived in Chinatown, about five miles away from us. So my childhood memories are of us going to Chinatown every weekend to see my grandmother and playing with my cousins. So naturally, my parents do much of their normal business in Chinatown, like going to their bank, market, and even their favorite bakery in Chinatown. But, since my grandmother passed awawy in the mid-90's and my parents moving out of the area in the early 2000s, I've never been back to Chinatown. I think the last time I went to Chinatown was when my cousin got married and held their dinner reception there, in the early 2000's.
So when Mr. BAW and I went on a date night to try out a new restaurant, Oriel
, I was surprised to discover the it was right at the end of Chinatown. Even so, it was Mr. BAW who wanted to check out Chinatown after dinner. You see, it used to not be the safest neighborhood around. Back in the days when I was a kid, you didn't go out after dark in Chinatown. It's still kind of like that because most of the shops are closed and the city shuts down. But it's definitely better than I remembered it. In fact, it brought back so much memories for me that I wanted to bring the kids back to visit!
The kids recently learned who Bruce Lee is from watching the "Who Was" show so they were very happy to see a huge statue of Bruce Lee! I also remember and love this old tile wall mural that depicts a classic landscape scene from China, the famous Monkey God battle scene from Journey to the West
, and the famous four beauties of China
. I hope they somehow preserve this mural, even if they demolish the building. Even though there are new development in Chinatown, I was surprised by how many of the restaurants and shops I remember as a child are still there! Enjoy my pictures from Chinatown!
Posted on November 14, 2019
Hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween! For decades, my mother has been advocating changing Halloween from October 31st to the last Saturday of October. This year especially I wish Halloween is on a Saturday. This year, Halloween is on Thursday, the worst traffic day of the week. So to avoid all the traffic hassles I took a few hours off from work to be able to pick up the kids from school and allow them to have time for baths and dinner before we went trick or treating. It all worked out well. We met up with some friends and the kids had a blast. There must have been about 14 kids in our group, they were like a tornado, tearing through the neighborhood sweeping up candy. Several dads kept the group contained and the moms helped look out for the occasional car. Buzz dressed up as Naruto
at the school's Fall Festival but decided to go trick or treating as a storm trooper since his best friend was an Ewok. Ahgoo was Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. Although it turned out well this year, I'm still holding out for the last Saturday of October to be Halloween!
Posted on November 3, 2019
I contemplated whether to take the kids to a pumpkin patch this year. I wondered if they are now "too old" for that kind of stuff. But in the end, I wanted to ensure that Ahgoo still has some childhood experiences. Turns out that even Buzz is not too old to have fun at the pumpkin patch.
This year, we decided to go to Tanaka Farm
, which, unlike other places set up just for Halloween and Thanksgiving, is an acutal working farm. They still had fun things like a petting zoo, a corn maze, and even a pumpkin catapult! To keep crowds down, you have to order tickets online ahead of time and they assign you a time slot to visit. That worked out just fine for us. We skipped the petting zoo since the kids didn't seem to interested. But we had fun in the corn maze and watched them launch pumpkins high up in to the air. The kids each picked out a small pumpkin for carving. Enjoy our pictures from that lovely day.
Posted on November 2, 2019