Our Staycation

The Jury is in.

Our family’s first attempt at a staycation (a vacation in your own area) is probably the last.  Though it had some great moments, it felt more like an extra long weekend than a real vacation.  Lawrence and I still worked at night after we put the kids down for bed, but the only difference than a regular week is that we were even more exhausted.  My verdict is that you really need to get away for your vacation to feel like a getaway!

That doesn’t mean that we didn’t enjoy ourselves because we did!  And our little monkeys had a blast.

Here are some photos to share with y’all…

Santa Cruz

It’s not a real vacation if it doesn’t involve a beach somehow! 🙂

We hung out at the Boardwalk, played at the beach, and ate fresh ice cream in Capitola.



On another day, we went to San Francisco.

There, we visited the Aquarium where marine life swam all around you as you walked in an underwater glass tunnel.  We then ate seafood on the Wharf, which sounds gross after appreciating marine life at the aquarium, but it was mmmm-mmmm good.  I had a crab salad sandwich, which I had been craving for months, and a delicious clam chowder.  We walked around Pier 39 and enjoyed mini doughnuts that came hot out of the oven.

I’m starting to think our trips revolve around food!





When you have kids under 5, amusement parks are a big hit!  So we took our family and our family from Hawaii who were visiting us for 5 days to Fairyland in Oakland.  The kids had so much fun, and by the end of it all, I was exhausted.  Momma needed a nap!


I find it so funny to take a photo of someone else taking a photo or, in this case, videotaping.  Baby Luke didn’t look like he wanted to be videotaped, which only makes this photo more humorous to me!

The other photo is a headshot of Darrin, my brother-in-law.  You can meet this modelesque man (or have already) on The Big Island of Hawaii.  Darrin is the founder of The Spirit of Golf Academy in Hawaii and is a National Bestselling Author of The Seven Principles of Golf and The Seven Personalities of Golf.

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Melia and Ian with their cousins, Maya (almost 9) and Eric (3).  Gosh, they definitely look related!



My sister-in-law warned me repeatedly about her second child, Eric.  She said he is a charmer, but he can misbehave.  Okay, she actually cited many specifics, and in a nutshell said that it takes 3 adults to watch over him.

Oh c’mon!  Eric was soooo cute.  And admittedly, he knew how to “work” me!  He’d say, “Auntie Annie” really really sweetly and held my hand all the time.  And he was so well-behaved around me.  Okay, so once in awhile, he’d poke Ian’s back just to annoy him, take something away from Melia, or pull Maya’s hair.  But oh-how easy it is to forgive him when you just look at his precious face!  Look at him!  Awww.  (Ian has this effect on me too.)

Darien (Eric’s mom) kept saying to me:  SUCKAHHH! (I think she’s right!)

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My Baby Turned Two!

It is hard to believe, but my baby Ian turned 2 last week!  We threw him a family party this past weekend.  Nothing fancy.  It was at a local park and 3 families were invited:  my brother and his family, my sister-in-law and her family, and Ian’s Godmother and her kids.

At one point, I gave the girls fairy wings and the boys pirate costumes.  Then they had a treasure hunt.


They also painted pots and got to plant Sweet Pea seeds in them.


All the girls gathered around Lawrence who was preparing the Thomas The Train birthday cake.  Ya gotta love the hovering!

If this was a cartoon, you’d see a big thought-bubble over their heads that reads:  Mmmmm… cake!


The Hsu family in front of the cake.  Poor Ian was so tired and overstimulated by this point, but that’s okay – birthdays are only once a year!


The Clan

My brother, Peter, pointed out that ALL of Melia and Ian’s cousins were at this party!  I hadn’t thought of it that way.

Since my sister-in-law’s family lives in Hawaii and don’t come on to the mainland very often, it is a rarity to have them at one of our children’s birthdays.  It really made for an extra special event.


FYI: If you look closely, you’ll see that even Henrydog joined us at this party!  Hee hee.

Happy birthday to my darling boy!

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  1. amy nguyen

    ok, so did ian take the group shot?! LOL. ok, i think i see his cute little foot! he must have been passed out?

  2. Ha ha! He’s sitting on Lawrence’s lap (his left side) and wearing a hat. You can barely see his face. He’s looking up at Lawrence. I was The Runner for the self-timer since that was my camera. It was shocking to me how all the kids actually looked at the camera for this self-timer shot because there wasn’t anything to look at… just a camera situated very very very far away with one tiny blinking light.

  3. amy nguyen

    OMG!! i feel so lame!! i thought his profile was a teeny foot!! i didn’t make out his light-colored hat! gawd, that is too fun (me, that is)!!!…but do you see how i thought ian’s hat was lawrence’s shirt. omg. i’m still laughing. it’s still a fantastic shot (…almost as good as your “swing” shot!)