San Diego Fun!

After leaving our overnight cabin stay in Crestline, we made our way down SoCal to La Jolla, San Diego to visit Steve’s cousin, Frances and her family, Jeff and Jacob. We rarely get to see them so we were super excited to spend quality time with them, especially with their 2 yo son, Jacob. Jacob and Emma are the first two cousins in their generation from Steve’s dad’s side of the family living in the states. And it’s extra fun since they are the same age!

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Frances and Jeff welcomed us with open arms to stay with them at their place in downtown La Jolla. I could not believe my eyes when we got there, they literally live on the beach. We woke up to the sound of waves and sea salt aroma every morning. It was heavenly.

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First night, we had a delicious home cooked meal, surf and turf. Jeff dives and catches lobsters in the ocean, so you better believe it when I say the lobster was phenomenal. It cannot be fresher than that! It literally melted in my mouth.

Jacob and Emma hit it off right away, I’m sure Em was super excited to have another little human to play with 24/7. Jacob was such a sweetheart sharing all his toys with Em and always flashing his cheesiest grin! Whenever Em went to the bathroom or to bed, Jacob would call for her. How adorable is that! We had a lot of fun catching up and getting to know each other over our stay. They were the greatest hosts taking us around town to fun places and good eats. We went to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park where we took a tram to see all the animals roaming around the zoo. It was such an awesome experience! The parents also got to enjoy some adult fun visiting different breweries and catching up at night after putting the babies to bed. We ended our SD trip with going on a morning hike at Torrey Pines and grabbing our last meal at Duke’s.

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breakfast @ the Cottage with our goofball ❤

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cuzzo love ❤

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listening to uncle Jeff’s heart!

after dinner fun @ Liberty Public Market
kiddos were super excited to head to the zoo! ❤
watching the bird show at the zoo requires a lot of concentration. 😉

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big cuzzo love ❤

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on the tram ride!

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after zoo adult fun at Stone Brewing while babies nap in the strollers 🙂

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ready for the hike!

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Spending quality time with Frances, Jeff and Jacob was such a pleasure. Because we don’t see much of each other, it’s hard to connect and get to know one another. But I’m so glad to have spent a few days with them as they are such a nice, genuine, and down to earth family! We truly appreciate you guys inviting us into your home to share with us a bit of your life in La Jolla! We cannot wait to see you guys again, hopefully very soon in Raleigh! We love you! ❤ Also, Frances is a blogger mom too – check out her blog here. She shares her story of motherhood with a very demanding job as an anesthesiologist!

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City of Angels (Part One)

The last time we made our way out west was two years ago, right after Em was born for my best friend’s wedding in San Francisco. So we were super excited to head back again for two weddings this time, Steve’s cousin’s in Pasadena and Steve’s best friend’s in Hollywood. Because these weddings were close in dates, we decided to make a family vacation out of it and stay out in California for two weeks.

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On our flight to Cali!

Our first stop was Pasadena where we met Steve’s side of the family for his cousin’s wedding. It was a great weekend spent with his family including almost all of the cousins! The wedding was beautiful and Emma had a blast on the dance floor. I swear she is made for stage because she was the first one there as soon as the music came on and the last one to leave. She was a trooper through it all with the time difference and getting into California super late on Friday night/early Saturday morning. It also helped that we had lots of family members helping out with her so mama and papa had fun too. 🙂 The venue and the couple were absolutely stunning, we wish you a lifetime of happiness, Nicole & John! ❤

First picture in Cali with my mini-me!

We clean up nice, eh? 😉 On our way to Nicole & John’s wedding. 

Girl cousins!

Guy cousins!

All the cousins + Em 🙂

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Hwang Siblings 🙂

Paparazzis! 

After the wedding in Pasadena, we made our way to LA for a few days with Steve’s parents and aunt & uncle. We went to Santa Monica beach, explored Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and ate at really great Korean restaurants in Korea Town. Our goal was to eat as much Korean and Mexican food as possible while on this trip, and I think we definitely accomplished that mission. 😝

Once we said our goodbyes to his family, we headed up to the mountains for a night of cabin stay. Originally, we had planned on going to the Joshua Tree National Park and camping overnight, but it was too wet and chilly to make that happen. But we found the cutest cabin in Crestline, near San Bernardino. It was a neat little cabin we found through Airbnb, had a piano, a guitar and a ukulele. Despite the rain, we drove around sightseeing and admiring mother nature.

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On our way up the mountain!

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Our sky blue trimmed cabin.

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First part of our LA trip came to an end fast, but we were super excited to make our way down SoCal to visit Steve’s cousin and her family in La Jolla, San Diego. Catch us in the next blog post about our time spent in SD! It will be up shortly!

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Surf City Beach Trip

Although temperature is still hitting the high 80’s here in NC, summer is officially over. Long summer months sure flew by too quick for us, and we are already missing going to the pool almost daily and the beach trip from start of the summer. I know, four months have passed since our family beach trip back in May. I am a major slacker on this whole blogging thing, but I promise it’ll get better! :X I have a few upcoming posts lined up, and it is my hope to do one post a week…or two weeks. ;P

But for now, take us back to the beachhhh! Back in May, for Mother’s day weekend, we rented a huge beach house with our friends which accommodated 5 families, each with a toddler, in Topsail Island with a private beach. Even though weather wasn’t the best, we were still able to go to the beach every single day and had a blast! It was a hoot seeing Emma’s reaction when she first saw the ocean and waves! Her reaction alone made the weekend because she was so excited about it all! Once she got over the initial fear, she loved going in the water and playing in the sand! And having four toddler friends under one roof spending 24 hrs together was just TOO adorable! How did we get so lucky with such well behaved babies? They spent the entire weekend playing with one another and keeping themselves occupied with each other. It sure made it easier for us parents, and we were able to relax too. It was a fun Mother’s Day weekend well spent with framily, and you better believe we made a pact to make this an annual trip. 🙂

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ps: my friend, fellow blogger also has amazing pictures from our beach trip – go check them out! -> MADclutter

Chicago Visit

About a month ago, we visited Chicago for the first time since Em was born. Almost all of Steve’s side of the family are in Chicago including his parents, so it made for an exciting trip – Em’s first time visiting her paternal grandparents’ house! Because we were going to be there for a little over a week, we decided to drive. Yes, with a 7 month old (at the time). I was definitely nervous to do a long distance traveling (about 13 hours without stops) in the car with an infant, but we figured we’d have to do it sooner or later so why not sooner? 😉 I’ll do a separate post on our experience and tips for long distance traveling later, but Em was an angel! We could not believe how well she behaved and endured the long car ride!

Needlessly to say, our week in Chicago was packed! The weekend we arrived was filled with family functions. My sister-in-law, Mina’s dental school graduation was on Saturday (congrats, Dr. Hwang!) followed by Mother’s Day celebration with our extended family.

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During the week, we had playdates with baby friends and I got to catch up with my friends. Catching up with my friends was totally a different feel with a baby (phone pictures on my Instagram). We dined at baby friendly restaurants instead of hip/trendy lounge like we used to. Chicago felt a little different to me this time around but in a good way, I promise. 🙂 We had an opportunity to take Emma to the city (we were staying at Steve’s parents’ in the suburbs) for a bit. Steve was taking pictures of Mina in her cap and gown, so we tagged along to snap some shots of Em at Lincoln Park Zoo. Unfortunately the zoo was closed, but we did get some beautiful shots near the zoo.

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The last two days in Chicago, we got to spend it with my best friends and their hubbies and baby Charles. My best friends, Amy & Sabrina, and I tentatively planned on getting together to go on a vacation for our 30th birthday year, but life and babies happened. So we decided to meet in Chicago instead and do a full day of reunion in the city with our hubbies and babies. Amy and her husband, Jeff actually live in SF, and they flew to Chicago just to spend some time with us. I think Amy was more excited to see the babies than me and Sabrina. It’s okay, we forgive you. We spent our day being tourists – taking the CTA, walking downtown, eating at Portillo’s, going on an architecture tour, and ending the day in Chinatown for dinner at Joy Yee. And our sweet, sweet babies did amazing! It was actually Charles’ full day of being out and about, and he was a trooper! Of course, being around other first time parents and baby loving friends made it so much easier! Gahhh, I miss my best friends so much already!! 😦

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There’s never enough time when visiting Chicago, too many things to do and people to see. I’m glad to have met up with most of my lovies while we were there, and sorry to have missed others! But we’ll be back for Thanksgiving! And y’all are welcome to come visit us in NC in the meantime. 🙂

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