I took a lot of cute photos of the kiddos on Joel (my camera) but I also carried around my phone and snapped a lot of shots so I'll go through those first!
I arrived back in LA on a Thursday afternoon, which was perfect because Thursdays are "family dinner nights" where Gma and Gpa Komae come over and we squeeze 9 adults and 4 kids around the big table at my parents house. That is a good thing to come home to.
My mom told me that my dad and Hunter would be picking me up from the airport...but my sister and Eden (who I call Ofie) came too, as a surprise! The last time I saw Ofie was when she was just a weeee little baby at 2 months...and although she is still small now, shes a lot bigger than when I left!
A huge part of my life is being an auntie...and because my nieces and nephews come to my parents house everyday, I have had the privilege of spending a lot of time with them...changing their diapers, feeding them, going on walks, disciplining them, giving them their bochas (baths) and basically being a super nanny which it the most fun!
It was really special to see my grandparents again. I have spent a lot of time with them as a kid, and I drove them around every week when I lived at home last year..so seeing them again was one thing I was really looking forward to. Also, the purple flowers on the Jacaranda trees were in bloom which was the BEST because they always remind me of home.
My request for my first meal back...my moms grapenut (yes the cereal) coated flank steak. AMAZING. She also made agedashi tofu and my 36 year old brother made a design on my takuan (picked raddish) like a child haha. Boy, did it feel nice to be home!
Friday was a fun filled day. We all walked to the park in the morning and then had a chic-fil-a picnic lunch back at home. Also, I took Hunter to Target which was the best!
Okay...let me just say... America is the land of cereal, and Japan is NOT. In Japan I have to spend $8 on a tiny box of weird chocolate cereal..so when I walked down the cereal aisle in Target I was in breakfast HEAVEN. Who knew there were so many flavors of cheerios!?!?
I have taken it upon myself to be that "fun aunt" that buys the kids things when they go shopping because I don't yet have my own kids so I can do things like that...so when we were walking through Target Hunter saw his favorite Paw Patrol characters on underwear and I bought them for him. Unfortunately, Hunter is growing at a rapid rate and is so big for his age so the undies were too small...we put them on our heads instead.
Friday night I went out to Santa Monica with my R&J and the boys. We went shopping around third street and enjoyed the beautiful weather.
We went to this awesome fancy Taco place my sis-in-law found and I had my first bite of Mexican food in 8months... glory hallelujah!
A day is not complete without icecream. We found a bomb dessert place and I ordered the cookie sandwich with coffee icecream!
Love spending time with this crew!
After Santa Monica...I came home and waited for the arrival of my two besties - Nati and Liana! They drove up from SD after work and I was so so stoked to see them (and Nati's baby belly!!) We had a sleepover and had the best time catching up and sharing stories of what we've been up to lately. Saturday AM we woke up and went straight to the beach.
This is the longest I've been away from the California coast...and when I stepped out of the car for the first time I immediately smelled that salty ocean breeze! It was a weird sensation. I have never noticed how strong the ocean smelled until that moment, and since I had been away from it for so long I almost cried because I was so happy to be back by the sea...especially with my two best friends!
EAT YOUR HEART OUT! We had my fav Uncle Bills for breakfast and I was in corned beef hash/salsa/coffee heaven. Yowzah. We spent the morning walking around the strand and buying baby clothes (Nati is 6 mo preggers) and at around noon we had to head back to my house and part ways because I was heading off to the next big event...
To be continued...