May catch-up

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Amazing May!

We’ve moved in proper to our house …and discovered it takes 7 weeks to get a sofa! So we’re enjoying a very romantic month(s!) of sitting on the floor. =) We’re also really, really enjoying gardening. (Our neighbors are amazing! One dropped off a bag of bulbs for us to plant and another one brought us a bird feeder!) Stuart found a frog and a newt while weeding, and I am in love with all of the massive peonies!

IMG_1616Sprained my ankle in the most important basketball game of the season for my women’s basketball team. Worth it! We won. Requisite photo of me at A&E (Emergency room!) with our winner’s medal. =)

Made for an interesting time at the wedding I was to attend the following weekend. So long, high heels! And what a tricky drive home from Glenrothes (basically in 5th gear the whole time so I didn’t have to push the clutch down… uh oh).

Also we explored our city a wee bit – a pal moved to Newhaven so we met for brunch at The Old Chain Pier. Amazing eggs benedict! And a stunning view of the firth of forth from the window seats. We later went to the Newhaven town fair which was super quaint. =)IMG_1530

Ended the month with a wee dinner birthday party for Handsome S, at Wings! followed by Supercube karaoke. With the help of generous sharing from my friends, I managed to hit my Wings-target so keep your eyes peeled for the 30-flavours-of-wings post, to come. Getting closer for karaoke as well with an additional +3 hour stint.

Have totally withered on my Duolingo and CodeAcademy/edX studies. BUT am now looking into doing a CIM qualification (as my work has kindly offered to sponsor me). We shall see! Carpe Diem, right?

With the new house, we’ve also made SERIOUS moves to throw away/recycle/donate SO MUCH STUFF. We traded in board games at Black Lion for an amazingly generous swap, and also donated easily 50 items (mostly books and clothes) in one go to a local charity. We bought a sledgehammer and S destroyed these two coal bins in the back garden as well so we got to clear out the ‘last’ of it on a trip to the local dump. Oh the joys of home ownership! =) Great fun really. I mentioned the sledgehammer, right?

readingKimiko Hahn – Air Pocket (at least the first part of this book is basically the collection/poems I dream of writing..)

Annual re-read of Where Rockets Burn Through. Still amazing!

Also received my special supplementary books and things from the Kickstarter funding of Coin Opera 2!

And enjoyed listening to The Best American Short Stories of the Century on tape on my rides in to work!

soundtrack

Clean Bandits – Rather Be (this video is of dancer, Koharu Sugawara, that I learned about through my pal Yoko’s newsletter Why Aren’t We Dancing?)
Ellie Goulding – Beating Heart
Foxes – Holding onto Heaven
Unicorn Kid – True Love Fantasy
Tove Lo – Stay High (Habits remix) feat Hippie Sabotage
Odesza – Sun models ft madelyn grant
Siren – I Think I Like You

May the force be with you?

Ride in a helicopter: DONE!

IMG_0837What an amazing trip!! Off the back of my Mommy&me trip, we opted to take a helicopter home from Catalina Island.

Just a short 15-minute helicopter ride home, I thought this would be a nice and scenic way to ease myself in (in case I discovered I am terrified or something!).

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Neither my mom, husband or I had ever been flying in a helicopter so such a great adventure to go on together! We hung out at the Island Express launchpad in Catalina for a little while before our trip watching the helicopters take off and land. The machines looks so impressive touching down onto the helipad, making a great and steady show. So I was surprised at just how still and smoothly the actual ride was.

I was lucky enough to sit in the passenger seat up front beside the pilot. Amazing views on all sides! We had been keeping our eyes peeled for whales and dolphins as we had seen some from shore earlier in the trip. We had on cool walkie-talkie headphones and a nice relaxing classical music soundtrack played throughout the flight which felt quite complimentary to the surroundings. It kind of felt like floating.

As we neared the harbor in Long Beach, the pilot tipped the helicopter and we circled over a fishing boat below to get a better look. I think that’s probably one of the main things that’s different from (the sensation of) flying in a plane – it just feels so low to the ground and close to everything. There were windows on all sides, even at my feet, so I could really get a clear view all over. Very much like a bird. Very freeing.

I really enjoyed it! Such a great alternative to the ferry we took over to the island: faster and smoother and it’s not often I get such an amazing bird’s eye view. What an experience!

Mommy&me vacation: DONE!

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Catalina with my mom was amazing!

Off the back of my trip home in April, I planned a mini vacation for my mama & me to go to Santa Catalina island, off the coast of California. Though a Southern Californian born and raised, I had never been to Catalina before; neither had my mom (despite living in OC for almost 40 years!).

Not knowing what to expect, we booked the ferry over and packed our overnight bags.

We stayed at probably the last available hotel on the island, what with it being Easter weekend, everything everywhere was totally full (at the inn!).

Once checked in, we went for a walk around Avalon, the main/only town in Catalina. We stopped for a coffee and then hiked up and down and all around the place. We even climbed a mountain on foot to go to the Wrigley Memorial (Botanical) Garden. My poor mom always ends up having to do a lot of exercising whenever we go anywhere together. =)

We went on an impromptu submarine ride and saw lots of garibaldi fish (the orange ones, apparently the special fish of Catalina!). We had some ice cream and I stocked up on salt-water taffy at the old fashioned candy shop.

As the sun set into the ocean, we stopped for an epic steak dinner on the water at a place called Steve’s. Seriously so delicious. The place was packed and the service was excellent. Glad to treat my mom to something nice. We miss so many birthdays and Christmases and everything with me being abroad, it’s only the tip of the iceberg really on what I owe her. But glad to get to spend time with her and take her out when I can. (I miss my mama so bad!)

Then the next morning bright and early we checked out of the hotel, and stowed our luggage in a locker before hiking around the other side of the island. This time we went all the way up the hill to where the Wrigley mansion is (Inn on Mt Ada). Good Japanese tourist photos taken by all. =)

THEN! To top it off, we ticked off another thing on my list, by catching our very own helicopter back to the mainland. An amazing trip all in all! Love spending time with my mama. She is so cool and the kindest lady I know.

Addendum: List of animals seen (up close!) in Catalina included garibaldi, seals, dolphins, pelicans, epic caterpillars, woodpeckers and deer!