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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Jolla Village in San Diego

Aloha Everyone,

San Diego is the eighth largest city in the United States and second largest city in California. It has approximately 1,325,000 people. San Diego is located about 120 miles south of Los Angeles and borders Mexico in the south. This part of California is known for its mild climate year around, extensive beaches, great hiking trails offering residents chance to enjoy many outdoor sports and recreation.

UCSD (University of California, San Diego) and the affiliated UCSD Medical Center has made the region a center for biotechnology research. Many biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies are located in La Jolla that are within an easy walking distance from our son's home.

Here are photos taken during our walk this morning.

Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Lessons From Our Granddaughter

Aloha Everyone,

I enjoy just "hanging around" with our granddaughter. For her, helping me fold laundry is a fun activity that she truly enjoys. We sing and dance and incorporate yoga asana practice in between our otherwise mundane task.

During school days, her off class hours are filled with what she calls "fun" extra-curricular activities. She has her chess club, advanced band and jazz band practices. She also has Tang Soo Doo practice twice a week.

An active little girl of 7 also creates many projects on her own to keep herself occupied.

Ribbon stars made of colorful luminescent strips of paper is one that was introduced to her by her grandma. For differentiation, her maternal grandparents are called Grandma and Grandpa. She calls J.J. and me FarFar and FarMor which in Danish mean Father's Father and Father's Mother.

Today my granddaughter showed me how to make these colorful and beautiful paper ribbon stars.

She is also a voracious reader and she is currently reading several books simultaneously. I caught her reading "The Land Of Stories" trilogy.

Watching her paying total attention and focused on whatever she is engaged in at the time is a great lesson and reminder for me. In meditation, we practice teachings of mindfulness and concentration. The idea is to live for the moment. Don't think of what was in the past. Don 't worry about what may happen in the future. All we have and all we can live is for this moment. Live it fully, joyfully with love and compassion.

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, November 28, 2014

Wicked - The Musical

Aloha Everyone,

This afternoon my son's family and I went to watch the musical, Wicked at the San Diego Civic Theater.

In order to get to the theater early enough to get good parking spot, we rushed to the location. From the parking stall, the 4 of us ran down 6 flights of stairs. San Diego Civic Theater is located in downtown San Diego. The theater has nearly 3,000 seating capacity and for a day after Thanksgiving holiday weekend matinee showing, the place was packed with families with little girls.

Wicked is a story of two friends and their friendship and how their relationship impact fate of one another. I truly enjoyed myself watching reactions of  my granddaughter seated next to me. She was enthralled with the setting, the song, acting, costumes, dancing and special effects. At times she laughed out and other times she giggled and yet on other scenes she looked pensive but her eyes did not leave the stage. She told me the best part was when Elphaba, the Emerald-skin witch flew away on a broom.

I liked the special effect of the dragon at the parquet which swayed its head and glared and flashed eyes with smoke coming out of its mouth.

Wicked has many good music selections but it is not one of those where audience walk out humming their favorite tunes.  The Phantom of the Opera is still my favorite musical.

After the last curtain calls, this time the 4 of us rushed up the 6 flights of stairs to get to the car so we can get ahead of the line of cars leaving the parking lot.

Back at home, J.J. was waiting for us with baked Wild Alaskan salmon dinner. It was another very good special day with our son's family.

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Fantastic Thanksgiving Dinner

Aloha Everyone

Here are the main features of our Thanksgiving  dinner: Turkey roasted to perfection.

Delicious stuffing made from scratch by our daughter-in-law.

Healthy servings of large tossed green salad with avocado and blue cheese toppings.

Home-made yam by one of our family friends.

Harvest Pie from Coco's Bakery

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What I am Thankful For

Aloha Everyone,

As we celebrate our first thanksgiving on the road, actually with our son's family in La Jolla, I am sitting down to write the things I am thankful about.

1.  I am thankful for our health.
2.  I am thankful for our ability to travel in Honu and see our beautiful country.
3,  I am thankful for having my Mother who is an inspiration to us all.
4.  I am thankful for our two sons, their wives and our granddaughter for their love, affection and support on our new found lifestyle.
5.  I am thankful to our extended families and relatives.
6.  I am thankful for our old friends who will always have special places in our hearts..
7.  I am thankful for our new friends who came into our lives to help us learn and grow..
8.  I am thankful for all the people who helped me practice my yoga and meditation on the road.
9,  But most of all, I am thankful for J.J. who shares this amazing adventure with me.

Our travels in Honu has far exceeded our expectation. Thinking of all of you who have helped me shape my life and extend my Happy Thanksgiving wishes.

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Clash of Clans

Aloha Everyone,

Clash of Clans is one of the most popular games for the iPhone and Android. It is a tower defense game. You build a castle out of blocks such as walls, archer towers, cannons and so on. You then try to build an army of warriors and try to knock down the other players' castles online and they try to knock down yours.

I was introduced to Clash of Clans just three days ago by my son and granddaughter.

My village is still small and my defense is weak. However J.J. who is a non-player has been showing me photos of Carcassonne Castle and Mount St Michel fortress to remind me of the strongholds we had visited and for me to consider building mine following their examples. Very ambitious.

The game is quite consuming that I set my iPhone alarm to warn me when my builder has completed a task so I can start him on the next task without losing any minutes. Last night I woke up midnight and the first thing I did was to turn on my iPhone go to Clash of Clan site to see if my village has been raided. I am not a happy person when this little animation figure appears with a message: "Chief some one raided your village and stole your resources." The game even gives instant replays of the raids.

Once J.J. and I are back on the road, my Clash of Clan playing time would be limited as it is preferable to play using a strong wifi connection.

In the meantime, it's exciting and definitely good exercise for my brain to learn something new and something which I can learn from our son and our granddaughter.

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, November 24, 2014

Seafood Paella and Fun Family Activities

Aloha Everyone,

J.J. is an excellent cook and he enjoys cooking. Since we've been visiting our son's family, he prepared several wonderful meals including paella.

Paella is a rice dish and comes in many varieties and cooking styles. It originated on the east coast of Spain, paella is widely regarded as the national dish of the country.

One branch of J.J.'s family traces it's root to Barcelona. I remember Lola Neba, his maternal grandmother was an excellent cook and used to prepare her signature dish of Albert Paella. The three best known types of paella are Valencia, seafood paella  and mixed paella. Olive oil is used in preparation of all types of Paellas.

Here is a salad I made:

Ocarina is an ancient wind musical instrument which i am trying to learn to play. The one I purchased seems to be too large for my hand.  The small one is my daughter- in-law's which is easier to play. I received my first tutorial from my granddaughter.

J.J. and I purchased a geode from Carlsbad Caverns for our granddaughter. I think she had as much fun planning how to crack it as the end result itself.

Finally, Honu has a permit to park 3 consecutive days at a time. So happy to be reunited.

Aloha -- Cathi

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Aloha Everyone

Persimmon is a fall fruit and one of my favorites.

Its color is a golden orange and it's shape is either round or squarish with flat top. Some variety is even oblong shaped. The fruit is smooth textured, firm to bite, sweet, delicious and flavorful. It is native to China, but it is widely cultivated in Korea and Japan.

It's interesting to note that J.J. and I found the fruits being also called kaki, by its Japanese name, in the coastal cities of Italy, i.e. in Venice and Amalfi Coast.

During our recent travels, we saw persimmons being sold in specialty stores such as Whole Foods and Bristol Farms.

In Japan, persimmon is revered as "the king of fruits" because of its multiple health benefits.

I prefer to eat my persimmon with skin like an apple. However generally, the fruits is peeled, cut into quarters and served on a plate with fruits fork.

Dried persimmons fruits can be used for baking cookies, muffins, cakes, puddings, or as topping in breakfast cereal and salads.

I will be writing about more details of persimmons nutritional benefits in my blog at:

Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Honu's Adventure Without Us

Aloha Everyone,

On Friday morning, J.J. found a parking ticket on Honu. It indicated that Honu was illegally parked on a public street. After researching on-line, we found out that there is a new ordinance in San Diego where all RVs and large trucks are not permitted to park on public street any day between 2 - 6 AM. The citation we received is a $112.50 fine.

Personally, we believe that there should be a warning sign posted with this information, as we had no idea that the law had changed. Furthermore, the first time citation should be a written warning with no monetary penalty. We will contest this as there is no warning signs on the street and this is our first offense.

One option is to apply for a parking pass which would allow us to park a maximum of 3 days at one site. While our application is being reviewed, Honu has decided to have an adventure and stay by itself at Campland on the Bay in Mission Bay. This site offers both RV park for guests as well as RV storage.

We hope that Honu has a fun stay at Mission Bay, and we will reunite in a few days.

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, November 21, 2014

University Town Center

Aloha Everyone

An overnight rain brought a clear, crisp day break. My daughter-in-law and I caught a glimpse of a double rainbow after we dropped off my granddaughter at her school.

The first order of the day for my son and I was to go to TDAmeritrade. We then proceeded to University Town Center (UTC) La Jolla. It was easy and fun getting there as both of us enjoy walking. Even though Thanksgiving is still almost a week away, stores were already displaying Christmas decorations. Live entertainment for shoppers and out-door diners make this upscale shopping center an attractive and interesting venue to do people watching.

The main objective for me was to stop by at the Apple store to seek for technical help. I first received assistance from an in-store technician who passed me onto an on-line tech support. There was no resolution after spending at least 1/2 hour with each of them. When we went back to the store to seek help for the 3rd time, a tech and his trainee were able to resolve my problem. It took over two hours but the end result was successful and I am happy.

For lunch, our son and I met J.J. and our daughter-in-law at the food court in UTC. J.J. chose Thai food while the 3 of us had salads from Stone Oven. We were joined by two of our son's colleague from work. Over the lunch, we enjoyed lively conversations on various topics ranging from British class system to Douglas Adams' Hitch Hiker's Guide to The Galaxy to Terry Pratchett's work and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musicals.

We also spent a significant portion of our time passionately discussing how J.K. Rowling let her readers know that Harry comes from a British upper class. Even though Harry grew up under the stairs in a working class, through his speech and mannerism, Harry does not belong to the Dursley's household.

On our walk home, we passed by my granddaughter and my favorite "bench" tree.

Aloha -- Cathi