Goodbye, Summer 2018!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

I really enjoyed the fresh veggies this summer from my uncle's urban garden 

I am so excited for the fall season! It is always like this for me every single year but more so this year because the weather is cooperating. How you view the summer 2018 in San Francisco depends if you are Team Hot Weather or Team Cold Weather because we did not have a summer in SF this year. Okay, maybe 2 days of summer. As gorgeous as they were, they were not enough!

Just for a point of reference,  summer 2017 was horrendous! It was a record-breaking heat wave! This year, even Indian Summer has not arrived. (SF's summer starts late September, early October but we have yet to see because it  is has been consistently chilly!)

It feels as if I had missed out on this entire summer. I will not focus on what I wished we did like in the summers past such as barbecue, summer weekend getaway with Mr Sweetie, stuffing ourselves with an ice cream sundae, etc. In all reality, the beginning of summer marks the recovery of Mr Sweetie's health from his hospitalization. His recovery period started on the first day of June until honestly, now but the most critical times were the entire June and July.  This life event really determined how we spent our summer moving forward. 

Despite on what I have missed out on, this summer had its own unique fun moments. Here they are:



Kamayan is a Tagalog word that translates to “by hand” and refers to the traditional Filipino style of eating—communally, and without plates or utensils. The dishes are placed on banana leaves. Kamayan is starting to be embraced by Filipinos once again and it is  becoming the favorite theme at Filipino gatherings that always  involve eating!

My siblings and I hosted a Kamayan lunch  to celebrate Father's Day and to celebrate Mr Sweetie's successful recovery. The luncheon was a lively one shared among friends and family. We had two tables and food just overflowed. The picture above is just a preview of what we had -- dungeness crab, huge prawns, fish, barbecue and lots of Filipino food! My mom and dad were happy and everyone ate well. And in the spirit of Filipino tradition, everyone took lots of food home that would last for an entire week! It was a perfect warm day at my brother's lovely backyard. (I hope to post the photos of our family luncheon one of these days.)


After being in the US for 7 months since December, we saw my parents off at the San Francisco International Airport. They left on July 31st. They made our summer was fun and full of activities.  We went out to lunch every Sunday after church then went shopping. We had a couple of backyard parties at my brother and sis-in-law's house.  While we barely had hot days in Oakland, I enjoyed  my summers in San Jose, CA where my siblings live and where my parents stayed. Just an hour away from San Francisco and Oakland, summer was full-on and blasted its heat in San Jose. What a difference just 40 miles away!


If you have not noticed yet, my family loves to eat! More accurately, we love to eat together. My brother's lovely backyard is the perfect venue for each family lunch, al fresco style. This time we had a hot pot party where my brother and brother in law grilled meats and seafood. There was a boiling broth in the middle where we dipped slices of beef, fishballs, pork, mussels, fish, prawns, different kinds of noodles, etc (Hence "hot pot") and ate communal style. This is new to Mr Sweetie who is not Asian but he loved it. My dad ate a lot as well while my mom was just busy making and serving food with my sister in law but it was food coma for everyone! (May 20, 2018) 



My solo trip to New Orleans was the (guilt-laden) highlight of my summer 2018. It was supposed to be a vacation with Mr Sweetie. Everything was planned out where he would meet me in New Orleans after my work is over. We would stay for 5 days for vacation.  Then Mr Sweetie became ill and could not travel. Since flights and hotel were already booked, I stayed for 3 more days. I missed him and felt really bad that he could not come most especially New Orleans is one of the cities that is  on top of his travel list.  I have not traveled by myself in years that I was a little anxious at first. I have to admit, though, that I re-discovered the joys of solo travel. I had a wonderful time. (Stories and photos of my trip one day soon, I hope.)


This summer I really enjoyed gardening. My front and back yard are still not bursting with flowers or will be the envy of my neighbors. However, my yards are noticeably neat and clean. Every day after work, I dedicate 10 minutes or so to putter around. I deadhead the flowers and remove the dry leaves.  I even planted a few bulbs and scatter seeds around (like the sunflower above that I grew from a seed).  And one day, I just chopped off the ugly big bush in my yard that was such an eye sore. It was so satisfying. The gardener caught on and is doing a better job after he saw what I did to the yard. (Plus I gave him a little raise which is long overdue as he has not had one in few years!)


I talked about my summer cleaning project here which is adapting a minimalist lifestyle. I have been getting rid of excess but I really worked hard to get  rid of unnecessary belongings this  entire summer. I donated book that I knew I would never read, clothes, threw out cosmetics, cleared out the pantry, etc. Even Mr Sweetie caught on and painted our barbecue grill and chopped off a mini-tree in the backyard.  He also had a new window installed in the living room and a ceiling fan!


I did it despite great reluctance because I hate going to the doctor's! I got my annual physical exam and praise God for good health. I also finally able to get an eye exam after two years -- only because I have been too busy!



BFF's post-birthday celebration at International Smoke. A delicious Friday afternoon of really delish and indulgent eats at a Michael Mina/Ayesha Curry team-up restaurant. The eats and drinks were yummy! BFF and I have been doing this post-birthday celebrations for 10 years. When we say "post" it's like 3 months later -- pressure is off but we get to enjoy our birthdays the second time around -- on purpose!


Followed by our very first stroll at the new Transbay Terminal. Look at our beautiful photos here to burn off the calories! And of course, coffee at the Ferry building!


BFF and I really enjoyed the Magrite exhibit at SFMOMA. This has been our most fave one so far. Then I returned with Jax for another visit and lovely lunch at the museum.


It was a summer backyard party to celebrate her birthday. It was a lovely chilly afternoon with lots of delicious Laotian food and catching up with my Laotian sister (who is really one of my best and oldest friends) and her family.


I had fun in the kitchen this summer. I got to cook and try new recipes for the first time:

  • Bittermelon (click on the link for the recipe)
  • Teriyaki steak on Labor Day 
  •  Burger on 4th of July
  • Stuffed pasilla peppers
  • Puff pastries with figs and cheese or sundried tomatoes


Nothing really fancy but they are always fun. Most of our date nights are casual which we prefer on Saturdays where things are a little bit more laid back compared to our weekdays of keeping appointments and meetings. (Click on the links for my posts of our date nights at these eateries):

  • Backyard sandwiches at Stay Gold Oakland
  • Hip Korean date night at Azit (Oakland)
  • Hancook Korean (Oakland). I need to return to this one!
  • A cozy sushi and sake dinner at Koryo (Oakland)
  • Cheesesteak sandwiches at Cheesesteak Shoppe (Oakland)
  • Home of Chicken and Waffles at Oakland's Jack London Square
  • Fish and Chips at Fat Fish (Berkeley)
  • Streat Eats Food Truck Park in San Francisco

Goodbye, summer 2018. This summer has been equal parts memorable and equal parts a big blur. This has been an unusual summer in its own way. It did not have our usual summer getaway, summer bbq, ice cream date night, etc. Instead our weekends were dedicated to spending time with my parents, lots of delicious backyard meals with the family, Sunday lunches at mostly Japanese restaurants with my mom and dad, Mr Sweetie's hospitalization and recovery, and my solo trip to New Orleans. In a way, I consider this summer my "me time summer".  I made memories during my trip that were my own alone without Mr Sweetie. In our 10 years of being together, this was a rarity. This summer was chilly and had its challenges.  It was different and a good one as well. 

Now I have said goodbye to summer I can move on to fall. I am so happy that it is already  OFFICIALLY fall -- my favorite season!

Goodbye, summer 2018. Welcome, fall!

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