Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nathan's quick visit

My cousin's son Nathan came for a quick visit. The last time he was here was when he was 2 years old. He was only in town for 2 days as he was going to meet up with his mother in Kansas and then on to Toronto for his cousin's wedding. While in town, I took him on a quick highlights tour of Los Angeles.
At the Esplanade

Hard Rock Cafe

Universal Studios

Sunday, June 14, 2009

John and Joana's Wedding

John Place finally found his "one"! I wish them the best! It was held at the Universal Hilton at Universal Studios. It was also a reunion of sorts for many who used to go to Cornerstone Church.

:::photo interlude:::
The wait
The Wait

The kiss
The Kiss

The Newlyweds

The guests
Steve and Ruth

the Nguyens

Andrasiks and Louies

Another Cornerstone group shot

With John and Joanna



Packing food for James

Jolie and daughter


Cornerstone group

With the Lins

With the Happy Couple!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Vegas x 2, an Accident and a Wedding

Vegas Twice
My Aunts Luz and Aida from Hawaii were in town for their birthdays. Of course since it was their birthdays, they HAD to try their luck at Vegas! They had planned to go to Vegas twice. The first week was for Aunt Luz's birthday and the following week for Aunt Aida's. They did not want to "dilute" their luck by combining their birthdays in one trip! So My mom and I accompanied them (by accompanied, I mean drive them) to Vegas.
As usual, Aunt Luz started winning as soon as we got there. She has always been very lucky at Vegas. I don't think I know of a time when she did not come out a winner. Some winnings were bigger than others but she always left Vegas a winner.
On an earlier trip a few years back, Aunt Luz saw me checking this bike out which was the grand prize atop a bank of slot machines. She told me that "we" were going to try to win the bike! Before I knew it she chose two machines and slipped a $100 in each on them. She said that we either win the bike or lose it all! We were playing for a good 20 minutes when the lights on my machine started flashing and bells rang. No, we did not win the bike but we came VERY close to it! I had to ask her if we should keep playing until we "won the bike or lost it all" and without batting an eye, she said, "no, I think you should take the money!"
Art bike

I guess either no one won the bike or they just opted for the money. There is another bike on top of a different bank of slot machines now.
Win this Bike!

Here are the slot machine trio!
Mom and the Hawaiian aunts

As it turned out my aunts qualified to be entered in a slot machine tournament.
Aunt Luz at the Slots Tournament

Aunt Aida at Slot Tournament

Unfortunately, they didn't do too well but they had a lot of fun!
We were there from Wednesday and left Friday morning.

Vegas Drop off and accident

Their second trip to Vegas was only a drop off for me. The plan was a turn-around drop off on Tuesday for me and an uncle would bring them back Friday. The trip to Vegas went off without a hitch, we were even ahead of schedule. We got to Las Vegas Hilton just before 6:30pm. I still had time to hit a buffet for dinner before heading back! As long as I left before 8pm, I would be alright.
On the way back to Los Angeles, I pretty much had the freeway all to myself. Around 10:0pm a half hour past Baker, my car hit something big. It happened so fast that I still have no idea what it was that I hit. The water emptied out of my radiator so fast that by the time I pulled over the engine was already conking out.
So there I was 40 miles from Barstow, in the dark, intermittent cell phone reception, and no clue as to what to tell AAA where I was located! I ended up walking 200 feet to the next sign using my cell phone as my only source of light (did I mention it was dark?) in order to get a reference to tell AAA. The tow truck took about an hour to get to me.
Thanks to Berda, Kathy and Stephanie for keeping me company (calls and text) while I waited. Celia, Jim and Wonton then came to the rescue and picked me up at Barstow, by the time they dropped me off at home (with a little detour to Jim the Donut Man for some donuts) it was already 5am.

My car is still at the shop in Barstow being fixed. The insurance company said that it is repairable so they are going to replace the radiator and repair the head cylinder. I don't think that it will be as reliable as it was. The car already had 140,000+ miles on it and was still going strong but now with this I'm afraid that I will not reach the 200,000+ miles I was hoping to get with it. I think I may have to start looking to trade it in soon.

Monday, June 01, 2009

James is out of the hospital

The Release
James was released from the hospital today! He still has a long road ahead of him to recovery but this is still progress! He has regained much control over his left side. He just needs to work on the "fine tuning". He says that the strength is returning as well, though the endurance isn't quite there yet.
James is going to a Rehab House in Orange to help him get the finer control over his left side. David and Andrew (his brothers), Christine (sister on law) and I were at the hospital this morning to see him out. The staff at Mission Hospital were awesome, they had to be, putting up with James and me (a little...). Michaela, his head nurse and Veronica were very nice and if you ever find yourself in their ward/unit, you are in good hands! Michaela processed James' release and wheeled him out to the car.
Nurse Michaela was a great nurse!

James was getting restless and wanted to leave already!
Getting restless

Nurse Veronica
Nurse Veronica

Michaela getting her final shot in! What a big baby!
What a baby!

Wheeling out to the car!
Fresh air!

Finally in the car!

James is now in a rehab facility in Orange. The facility is actually a converted house and is fully equipped to get James well on the road to recovery. His routine there will be just as intense if not more than in the hospital. He will have 6 hours of therapy throughout the day ranging from physical, speech, occupational and some counseling. The staff are very positive and were all set to start his session that same day.
For those who want to visit him leave me a separate comment (I won't publish email addresses) and I will send you the visiting information.

He is anxious to "get back to his routine" and "go for a drive". He knows that he is looking at a lot of hard work in his therapy. He complains that he didn't work out as much when he was healthy!
Here are some pictures from the hospital...
Thank yous go to everyone for their prayers, your visits, words of encouragement and overall good vibes sent.