Recently I visited California in order to celebrate Mini’s birthday in person with her

Nana chipped in these BEAUTIFUL flowers & various wonderful presents! I got to take a “in front of the fireplace and mantel” prom style picture of Mini with these but we won’t show you cos we be real shy
Here’s her back instead. We drove to Redondo Beach (24 hour parking right by the sand!) so this real true blooded California girl could put her feet in the sand for the countdown to her birthday
one caveat is that the bathrooms are closed from 11p to 6a as we found out rather painfully
I also had the opportunity to pot Mini’s backup 😛 “Graduation Pineapple” that Corinne is graciously helping us raise
In other plant news, Mini suggested we visit a favorite plant nursery of ours in town and it was REALLY hard to part with this beauty but I knew I couldn’t take it home. I still miss you :'(
Mini, however, enjoys PLANTY of room in her spacious abode and snagged this gorgeous milky nephthytis
We also visited Amanda/mom/sis/OG Dr. Wise Money and jointly chose a CA native (Mexican Star) to give away in her name
my mom made us these delicious foods
I also tried my hands at dinner on 3 separate nights, this one being probably the most successful
a close up of my oven baked chawanmushi that ended up overdone so she was a bit dry and salty, oops
my garlicky oven baked eggplants. I ended up baking about half the dishes because I needed everything ready in a relatively short amount of time to make my flight! (Wise Money Grandpa was a STAR being a tireless sous chef that washed and chopped most everything)
this was also the trip we found out that Mini is TALLER than Wise Money Grandpa! (don’t let the hair fool you)
I asked Mini a hilarious question in comic form when she took a birthday nap but weirdly she didn’t find it funny at all
Mini helped me steal dog bestie from my human bestie for a day too
And I met her new kitty friend, who was the catalyst in Heller & Wallace joining our family recently
I got some pictures of dogs sleeping on pillows. This one is of my favorite fur niece.
And bestie is a pro!
California Dreamin’ – a picture essay
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