Monday, March 31, 2014

Peter's Spring Break, Day Three

Today, we escaped the rain and planned a morning trip to the CA Academy of Sciences. We arrived when it opened at 9:40, which worked out great. It wasn't too busy early on so we were able to get up to the Living Roof before it rained, and also got passes to the first show (10:30) at the Planetarium.

In the early afternoon, my parents joined us for a late lunch at the Cliff House. We all indulged in the popovers and Bloody/Virgin Marys. :)

After lunch, we came back home to prepare for our trip back to Seattle. Peter will be continuing his Spring Break with us up there.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Peter's Spring Break Visit, Day Two

Today turned out to be a really beautiful day - no rain, and clear skies. A perfect day to spend outside.

We started our day by having our friends, Armistead and Chris, over for breakfast. Armistead is also originally from North Carolina, and it thought it would be fun to have them over for one of our Big Country Breakfasts of scrambled eggs, bacon, grits and homemade biscuits. We had a ball catching up!

After breakfast, Dick, Peter and I drove across town for a walk. We parked our car by the Marina and took off from there. First stop: the Palace of Fine Arts.

The Palace of Fine Arts

We walked around the Palace of Fine Arts for a while, then walked across the street into Crissy Field. The day was perfect for a walk - sunny, a little chilly, and very clear.

Peter and Dick, at Crissy Field, in front of the Golden Gate Bridge

We walked all the way down Crissy Field to one of my favorite spots, The Warming Hut.

in front of the Warming Hut

We went all the way down to Fort Point, where, incredibly, Dick spotted our friend, Philip! Philip and I had tried to find a time during my visit this week to get together, and our schedules never aligned. Randomly, we ran into each other across town at Port Point, where I haven't been in at least a couple of years! What a wonderful coincidence!

Trina & Philip

Dick, Peter and I continued into Fort Point, and walked up to the top. It is such a neat structure, with gorgeous and and unusual perspective of the bridge.

Peter, at the top of Fort Point, underneath the Golden Gate Bridge

We walked back to the Warming Hut, had a quick little lunch, then walked all the way back to our car in the Marina. It was roughly a 6 mile walk in total.

After that, a treat was in order! We drove over to Ghiradelli Square, and had some yummy ice cream sundaes!

Peter, Trina and Ghiradelli Sundaes!

We drove back across town, and decided to drive up to Twin Peaks. We realized it would probably be our lsat chance during Peter's visit to go up there with a clear view of the City.

Enjoying the view from Twin Peaks

We had a nice dinner with Dick's Uncle Edward this evening. Edward hadn't seen Peter in almost 9 years - since our wedding.

I'm grateful that we had a day of sun in SF during Peter's visit. More rain in the forecast tomorrow...

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Peter's Spring Break Visit: Day One!

Our nephew, Peter, is out visiting us during his Spring Break from North Carolina! He flew out Saturday morning on the early flight from RDU to SFO.

His flight arrived around 10:00, so we had a full first day in San Francisco.

Peter, coming down to baggage claim

Peter and his Uncle Dick

The rain was coming down strong for the first few hours, but we didn't let that stop us from going out to enjoy the City.

First things first: the poor kid hadn't eaten all day, so we took him to Orphan Andy's in the Castro for late breakfast/early lunch.

Peter, at Orphan Anndy's - with a tattoo/piercing sign in the background. Dick sent this photo to his Mom telling her that we'd be taking him to that store next.

We spent the afternoon walking around Union Square. For the most part, the rain had subsided by that time, with only occasional sprinkles. We walked into China Town for a couple of blocks, and also went to visit our friends at Adler & Co. Gallery.

In the late afternoon, we drove over to Japan Town, where Peter had never been before. We walked around the mall area for a bit, then brought him to one of our favorite Shabu Shabu restaurants for dinner. Peter had never had Shabu Shabu before, and was a bit intimidated by the fact that it would be his first meal using chopsticks the entire time.

The Shabu Shabu spread

He did a great job - he had to work a little harder for his food during this meal, but he did just fine in the end. :)


Friday, March 28, 2014

Dinners with the Boys

I've had dinners over the past two nights to many of my favorite guys!

Last night, I went out with David, Miguel, Spencer and Blane at Catch in the Castro.

Tonight, Dick and I went out with Pete and Richard to the House of Prime Rib.

Great food, and always great company. I'm so lucky to have all these wonderful men in my life. :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mission Santa Clara Painting Progress

I had my first full painting session with Dean this morning since I moved to Bellevue in early January.

Remember the Sunset over Mission Santa Clara painting that I started in early January? It's been a long time since I had seen it, and this was my first time working on it again.

The painting of Mission Santa Clara was off to a good start after the first session, but has a lot of work to be done. Today, I mainly focused on the sky. I added a lot more color and layers. It has a ways to go still, but at least it is progress. :)

Mission Santa Clara painting second session

The reference photo with the Mission Santa Clara painting

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My BFF of 30(!) Years!!!

Today, I drove down to Milpitas and spent the day with my parents and my Grandma Chan. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo, but I promise, we had a very nice day!

In the late afternoon, I met my BFF, Diana, for dinner. Whenever we meet for dinner, it usually lasts for more than 4 hours, and tonight was no exception. We realized this evening that we've been best of friends for 30 years now! So wonderful!!

Diana and Trina - still smiling and laughing after 30 years!)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Chad, Peonies, Grandma and Dim Sum

I started my day off with a quick breakfast with my friend, Chad! Chad and I met in 1989 in Dayton, OH, and he lived with my family in Milpitas for several years. He only lives a block away from my home in San Francisco. We don't see each other very often, but I'm very glad we were both able to squeeze in a quick visit this morning.

Breakfast with Chad

I also went to Stockton today to visit my Grandma Chow. It was a long-overdue visit, as my last two planned visits had been cancelled at the last-minute. My parents came to Stockton today as well, which was really nice.

My Grandma's Peonies in the front yard were in full bloom today, and looked absolutely gorgeous. I don't think I've ever seen them so abundant and beautiful. Apparently, the flowers only last a few days, so I'm very lucky to have seen them. After my Grandpa Chow passed away a few years ago, I learned that Peonies were his favorite flower. Grandma cut a couple of large ones and brought them inside next to Grandpa's photo.

Grandma's Peonies

Grandma and her peonies

Grandpa's corner

Dad and Mom during our Dim Sum Lunch

On my way back to San Francisco from Stockton, I stopped in Oakland for a visit and dinner with my Sis and Graham. We went to one of our favorite places: Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe. We all ordered the tuna melt, as usual, and it was delicious, as it always is. I forgot to take a photo - too bad! Thanks, Sis and Graham, for the fun visit!!

Monday, March 24, 2014


I'm back in San Francisco for the week! Yay! This time, I'm hoping I manage to stay healthy - I have a jam packed week of family, friends and festivities planned.

My flight landed around 2:45 today, and I was home by 3:00. The weather was just amazing - high 60s, and gorgeous. I came home, got my stuff situated, changed my shoes, and went out for a walk.

I did my normal neighborhood walk: I walked down 24th street in Noe Valley. I popped into to visit with our real estate agent, Pete, and had a nice visit. I then walked down to Dolores Street to Dolores Park.

The park was packed with people, considering it was a Monday at 4:30. The top corner of Dolores Park has always been one of my favorite views of the San Francisco Skyline.

Dolores Park

Around 4:45, I realized that I should go by the neighborhood dog park on my way back home. My friends, Andy and Barry are usually there between 4:00-5:00 each day. I didn't see either of them at first, but did find my friends Armistead and Chris there with their Labradoodle, Philo. Armistead and Chris moved from SF to Santa Fe a couple of years ago, but just decided that they wanted to find a small pied-a-tier in San Francisco. They just got back into town yesterday, and I was delighted to see them. We had a wonderful time catching up, and comparing moving stories. My friend Barry had been at the park, but I didn't see him at first. He came over for a quick hello before having to leave. It was so nice running into so many friends on my first few hours back

Chris, Trina and Armistead at the dog park

Tonight, I had dinner with a bunch of my friends who I walk with for the Immediate Impact Breast Cancer Walk! Amazingly, we were able to pull a pretty large group together! It was SO nice seeing so many of these wonderful women. I've been missing everyone. Thanks to all who were able to come out!!!

Table full of beautiful ladies

After dinner, a few of us went out for frozen yogurt! Yum!!

I've been back in SF for about 8 hours, and already, this visit has is about a gazillion times better than my last one a few weeks ago (when I was sick, and had to cancel all my plans)!

It's going to be a fun week!

Market Street Painting Progress

I worked on my latest oil painting a couple of times last week, and made some progress. I was hoping to get in another session, and hoped to show a little more progress, but alas...

Mainly, I worked on the building on the left side. I darkened it considerably, and worked on putting in the windows. It's not done, by any means, but it's a good start.

I think changing the color to a much darker tone helped to start set the colors throughout the rest of the painting. Everything seems a little more cohesive now.

I probably won't have a chance to work on this again for at least a couple of weeks, so I wanted to be sure to get this part of the process documented.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Old Navy Trina

Apparently, I've been masquerading as a mannequin at Old Navy!! Who knew?

Thanks to Reeves for "recognizing me" and sending me this photo!

Totoro followed me to Bellevue!!

Totoro is here in Bellevue! I found him inconspicuously hanging out in a corner of my bedroom today. (which sounds creepy, but I promise it isn't.)

Okay, so maybe that isn't how it actually happen.... he didn't just appear there. I just like the idea that he did. :)

I found this wall decal on last year, and put it on my wishlist. My parents bought it for me for my Birthday last year. I didn't have the perfect spot for it in San Francisco, so I brought it to Bellevue with me.

After much pondering of where to put it, I decided on a little corner nook in our bedroom. (and yes, this was fine with Dick. Luckily, Totoro amuses Dick as much as he amuses me.) I figured Totoro is a shy guy who likes to be inconspicuous. The other idea was to put him in the 1/2 bathroom, which I figured may be too public of a space for him.

So, I tucked him into the little nook in our bedroom, above my Ikea chair that has leaves and branches on it. He usually lives in a forest, so I thought this would make him feel more at home.

Close-up of Totoro

Totoro in his new setting

The large wall decal came with a couple of smaller ones to "practice" with. I decided to put these in little inconspicuous places in our 1/2 bathroom.

here's a little Totoro walking across the top of the bathroom counter

close-up shot of the little Totoro

and here's a little dust-bunny guy hanging out in the corner, near the floor.

Unfortunately, it seems that the amazon seller who we bought these decals from no longer sells Totoro products. I did a search, and found an ebay seller who has the same design.

Nicole sent me an link with lots of Totoro Wall Decals.

Thanks, Nicole!! :)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Reunion and Welcome from a High School friend

I had a really fun breakfast/tea with my old High School Friend, Christina, this morning!

Christina and I met in our Freshman year of High School, and were pretty close throughout the rest of our high school years. I think we saw each other once, maybe a year after graduation, but I think it's possible that we haven't seen each other in about 26 years.

As it turns out, Christina and her family live in Bellevue, less than 1-1/2 miles from where I'm living! That's pretty amazing. I can easily walk to her house from mine.

We had a GREAT time catching up. We mostly laughed a lot, mostly about the joys of getting older together.

I'm so glad that we live so close to each other, and hope that we'll find many more times to get together. We still have a lot to catch up on!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sweets from my Sweetie :)

My husband is the best! Today, he picked up a cupcake for me on his way home from work. :)

Last night, we had walked to get a cupcake after dinner, but found that store closed at 8:00. We had arrived at 8:03, but the door was locked, and they were already cleaning up inside.

Anyhow, Dick brought me a cupcake today, since I missed out last night. What a sweet treat!!!

Did you know: Black Cod aka Butterfish?!

One of my favorite restaurant entrees is the Butterfish at Roy's. It's something I've loved for years.

Last weekend, Dick and I bought a filet of fresh Black Cod from Whole Foods. We seasoned it with lemon and olive oil, and baked it. It was absolutely delish, and so simple.

I'm at Costco (in Kirkland!) right now, and was perusing the fresh fish.

Looked what I just learned:
Black Cod is also known as Butterfish!!! Who knew! (And how happy am I?!)

Monday, March 17, 2014

New Custom Window Screens! :)

Apparently, I'm the girl who gets super excited about getting new window screens. I wrote another blog post in March, 2010 when I had screens made for our new home in SF.

Well, I'm here to tell you again about the excitement of having custom window screens made! Our apartment here in Bellevue is on the 28th floor. The windows push out, and are only about 2 feet off the ground. We have a cat. Although she's never given me any reason to believe that she'd jump out of an open window, I don't want to ever take the chance.

Plus, I hate bugs.
(granted, I haven't actually seen any bugs way up here on the 28th floor...)

Anyhow, I"ve been wanting to have screens made for our windows here. There are only 5 of them, and frankly I don't think we'll be opening them very often. Between the colder months and Winter, and having air conditioning (a first, for both Dick and me!) during the hotter weeks, the only reason we'd open the windows would be to allow some fresh air and ventilation in - which I suppose is always a good thing. Come to think of it, it'll also be really nice to have a window open while I'm painting to help with the fumes and drying time.

When we moved in, I asked the leasing office if they had any suggestions of where I could have screens made for our windows. The only suggestion they had was to check Home Depot to see if they would make them there.

Since we're still in the rainy/cold season here in the Pacific Northwest, I hadn't made this a priority, and only started looking into this last Thursday. I went to Home Depot, and learned that they do not have that service there. It was then that I realized that I hadn't even checked the web to see if I could find a company who specializes in custom window screens.

So, while in sitting in the parking lot of Home Depot, I found!

We are Washington’s highest rated, most experienced, and largest mobile screening company. We strive to provide only the best quality products and service to our customers.

We come to your house!
Our screen fabrication specialists can complete virtually any job on site, providing superior quality and same day service.

Um... Yes, please!

I called them right there from my car, got a quote, and was able to schedule an appointment today (Monday) for 2:30pm. Fantastic!

Today, I got a call around 1:00 that they were running early, and on their way over. By the time they found parking, and arrived in my apartment, it was 1:30. Two nice guys came in, measured, and discussed my options.

One option that I had (that they were originally planning on) was to building a screen with a box in the center, where one could turn the handle of the window, and then open the window from there.

All I really wanted was a flat, full screen that would fit snugly within the interior frame of the window. I told them that we wouldn't necessarily have the screens out all the time - we'd probably put them in a closet most of the time, and would only take them out when we wanted to use them. Turns out that what I wanted would be much cheaper, and faster to make.

They went back down to their truck (which was parked across the street) and built the screens. They came back about 30-40 minutes later with new screens in hand, and installed them.

The entire job, from the minute they walked through my door, to the time that they had finished the job, was done in under an hour!

The screens fit perfectly, and look fantastic. They are hardly noticeable at all. I'll see what Dick thinks, but I may just leave them up - they virtually disappear. They come off and on very easily and smoothly. They have little springs installed along the top to keep them snug, and small tabs at the bottom to help remove them. They really are exactly what I was looking for.

open window without screen. it's a long way down!

window closed, with new screen installed

window open, with screen installed

the anatomy of the screen

a new screen installed inside the longest window in our apartment

The price?
The was a $65 service call, and each screen was $32. Compared to what I paid 3 years ago for screens in SF, I thought this was very reasonable.

I'm very pleased with the service and quality of the product by Screenman. If you live in the Seattle/Tacoma/Olympia area, and need new screens, this company is GREAT! (as reviewed by webTrina)