Spring Break 2017 in Los Angeles

After a lot of skiing this winter, we decided to road trip to Los Angeles for spring break. The main motivation was because Grace was convinced her mom was turning 75 and wanted to have a surprise party for her. Then Addy and Charles changed their plans to meet us in LA, and Dave came down, too.

We drove down on Saturday and stayed in Westwood. We were going to go to Santa Monica, but decided to go to Century City for dinner instead. While there, we decided to see a movie. The nice thing about taking your kids to a 9:30pm movie is that no other parents bring their kids to a 9:30pm movie. I stayed awake for all of Boss Baby. They loved it.

When Grace was planning her mom’s dinner, she mentioned it was going to be on April 9th. Ummm, that’s our anniversary… No matter – it’s her 75th! We celebrated our anniversary at lunch instead with the kids at Bouchon. Lucas was very leery of French food, but found the donuts to his liking. We did some shopping for Grace’s mom in the afternoon.

The kids wanted to visit with Emme and Elsen before dinner even though we didn’t have much time. I took the opportunity to catch up very briefly with my long lost friend from home, Joanne, who also lives in Santa Monica. Our visit was too short, but still long overdue. So great to see her and meet her sons.

Sometime before all the family arrived at the restaurant for Grace’s mom’s surprise, we determined that it was actually her 76th birthday. Surprise! She deserved a big party anyway, so it was all good. Awesome to see all the Park cousins.

On Monday, we met up with the family at République in Los Angeles. It is a beautiful building, which used to be Charlie Chaplin’s estate. When I got there, I looked up and saw someone familiar. My instinct was to say hello and his instinct was to say hello back. It was Henry Winkler. Who is more familiar than the Fonz? That was one of the highlights of my trip year.

Grace went with her mom and sister to the spa, so I took the kids to the Grove to get out of the house (i.e., off their devices). We went to a real book store, which had real books (each kid got 2). We had more donuts, ice cream, and people-watching. Afterwards, we went to Slurpin’ Ramen Bar to celebrate Dave’s birthday a little early.

On Tuesday, we went to Universal Studios, which was the 2nd big reason for our LA spring break: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Ann and Emme joined us (Elsen had no idea what he was missing). The kids have been wanting to do this for a while and were so excited. I had no idea about the rides, but we all (adults) got so wrecked by the Forbidden Journey. I took more than one for the team and rode that one twice (worse the 2nd time because it broke down the first time and I didn’t have to suffer through Quidditch). By the time we got on the Minions ride, I learned to just keep my eyes closed the entire time. I’m still sick.

Everyone enjoyed the studio tour. Seeing animatronic Jaws made the kids feel a little better about sharks after I screened Jaws for them a few weeks ago. We were all traumatized by it when we were kids; I didn’t see why they shouldn’t be, too.

Wednesday was a very routine beach day in Manhattan Beach. By routine, I mean lunch at Rock’n Fish, beach, Starbuck’s, and the Creamery. Every. Single. Time. That evening we had dinner with Ann and Jeremy at Katsuya in Brentwood.

Thursday, we had lunch with Grace’s parents in Westwood after I upgraded them from 0 MB DSL service, which was killing me, but was the only thing instilling grit in the kids on this trip. We walked to the other end of Westwood and back and then loaded up the car to drive home.

My spring break officially started on Friday with the first round of golf in a long while with Charles and Albert in Half Moon Bay. We spend the rest of the weekend with Addy and Charles, who left early on Sunday. Our nice break ended with Easter brunch at the Crowthers’ and dinner with Jeanah and Christine at our house.

Cousins Rylee and Harrison Visit

Our awesome niece (cousin, once-removed), Rylee, just got into Berkeley. Her family changed their Spring Break plans last minute to come to the Bay Area to see the campus. They’ve hosted us so many times during our Michigan Hur reunions that we really wanted to have them over.

It was great seeing Young Joo, Il, Harrison and Rylee during their brief visit. Olivia and Lucas always love seeing their cousins.

Olivia’s 10th Birthday Celebration at Hakkasan in NYC

On Thursday, December 29th, we had one last family gathering in NYC to celebrate Olivia’s 10th birthday. She and the rest of the family had been to Hakkasan before with Dave’s boss and she really enjoyed their macarons, so she requested that restaurant. This was my first time eating at any Hakkasan and the food was great.

What a special occasion to spend our last night in New York before heading home. We can’t believe Olivia is double-digits. Happy Birthday to our beloved Olivia!

NYC with Family and Friends

After Christmas, we decided to spend a few days in NYC. We enjoyed meals with all the Parks and Rhees Bottega and Quality Italian. With met up with Clarence and his kids at the Time Warner Center, which was where we were staying. I had wanted to watch Rogue One, but the kids insisted on seeing Sing and Moana first. My dad joined us for the former on his 80th Birthday.

On the way back from Moana, we looked around Times Square for a bit and decided to take the subway home for fun. We popped out right at Columbus Circle and I saw this dude wearing my coat. Then I notice that this dude is Danny, one of the only people I know who lives in Manhattan. What a small world.

On our last morning in NYC, everyone slept in a bit, so I went out for a walk in Central Park, which we never do. We met up with Ana, Bobby, the boys and my sister and parents for lunch in Koreatown for one last meal before heading out to the airport.

The holidays are always nice in NYC. We’ll be back again soon, I hope.

Dad Park’s 80th Birthday Celebration in NYC

Because all of the family were together for the holidays, Grace’s Mom wanted to celebrate her Dad’s 80th a little early. On Monday, December 26th, several close friends and family met at Gaonnuri. Dave and Charles emceed the event and several people spoke, including Mom and Dad.

It was a beautiful event to celebrate Dad’s 80th and the food was excellent. Everyone had a great time. Happy Birthday, Dad!

Christmas at Addy and Charles’s House in Rye, NY

This was a Park Christmas, and critical mass is now on the East Coast. Addy and Charles invited us to stay at their home in Rye for Christmas. We got in pretty late on Friday from Denver and didn’t anticipate the fiasco of La Guardia as neither of us have flown in there in a decade or two. We’re just thankful we made it safely with all our things.

On Christmas Eve Day, Ellie and Sandor invited all the Haus + Rhees over to their place for lunch. All the cousins had fun playing together (until they didn’t – Lucas!). Olivia’s main objective was to get in some Baby Lily QT – mission accomplished!

Grace’s parents arrived so we all spent Christmas Eve together at home in Rye. The kids opened their Christmas presents and were able to play outdoors on an unseasonably warm Christmas Day. Cousin Nick and his family came down from Maryland and joined us for Christmas dinner.

We had a chill day at home the day after Christmas. Ellie and Sandor popped over from Greenwich to check out the NY suburbs. That evening, we went into NYC to celebrate Grace’s dad’s 80th. Cousin Jea and Minwha came in from Connecticut and stayed the night.

Thanks, Addy and Charles, for hosting us! We had an awesome family holiday together.

 

Thanksgiving with Michigan Grandparents

My mom and dad came out for their first visit this year. They arrived in time to attend their first Carey Generations Day. For Thanksgiving, our oven was busted, so Clara and Mike invited our whole family over to spend it with their whole family. My camera was also busted so you’ll have to trust me that it was awesome.

On Sunday, we all drove out to Half Moon Bay for lunch at the hotel, followed by a short stop at the beach. We picked up our Christmas Tree on the way home and Grace had it decorated by dinner time. She’s a machine.

The kids had a great time spending their week off with their grandparents. Looking forward to seeing them again in a few weeks on the East Coast.

My First Prime Rib

Grace went down to San Diego for a girls weekend with Ann. My parents and Jen were in town and both of our ovens were out of order. I decided to try a prime rib on the Big Green Egg. I had no idea what I was doing, but figured it out along the way. The nice folks at Pape’s helped me choose the right size and seasoned it for me as I was in a hurry. Jen and my mom helped with the sides and all came together beautifully. Dave ended up joining us for dinner and Grace made it home in time to enjoy some, too.

I learned a few things that I’ll remember for next time. That said, it turned out great and I’m happy I tried it.

Lucas’s 8th Birthday

After several days of celebrating, we had a family dinner at Il Fornaio and came home to open a few gifts. Happy Birthday, Lucas! We all love you so much.