Jill, Maggie, Laura, Joanna, and Victoria (in order of appearance) sing “Smile” (music by Charlie Chaplin, lyrics by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons). “Smile” was the concluding piece for Dr. Ali’s voice recital at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, CA on Saturday, September 28th, 2019.
Because Josiah is now 13 years old, we didn’t get free passes to the fair via their school/home school education program this year. Although we had to pay to get in, we were able to choose a day nearly perfect weather. It was partly cloudy with a high around 80 F.
Previously we were planning to attend the fair, the previous Friday. However the high that day was predicted to be around 100 F. We opted not to go that day.
Tim and Joanna worked from home in the morning. Then around 1 PM, the five of us (Jeri, Tim, Joanna, Victoria, and Josiah) headed out for the 50 minute drive up to Pomona.
Because we arrived at the fair starving, our first stop was for food. We found a vegan food truck, Govinda’s Veggie Bomb. We bought three of their Atomic Tacos, a Yogi Bowl, and their Bomb Nachos. Joanna also picked up an order of Chipotle fries from another vendor.
Of course the fair has many vendors. One that we seem to visit every year sells women’s dresses. Some are made in Italy; most are from India. Tim liked one that Jeri ended up getting.
The girls did some shopping and found some dessert.
One of the must-sees for Josiah were the steam engines. The train museum is on the fairgrounds and has a number of old trains.
After the girls finished some shopping, they joined Tim and Josiah to see the trains.
After the trains, we wondered around saw and heard some fun stuff. They had some cutout displays.
We took some pictures with the Ferris wheel behind us.
Victoria worked VERY hard to get ready for her voice recital. She would stay at Orange Coast College many afternoons. Lizzie would help her on piano and Joanna would be her coach.
Mai and Victoria opened the evening with a beautiful duet.
Victoria and Mai alternated sets of two or three pieces.
Here is a piece that Mai sang. She, too, sang very well.
The final piece of the recital was trio sang by Mai, Victoria, and Joanna.
As an encore for Mai and Victoria’s voice recital, Sarah, Joanna, Jeffrey, and Lizzie joined to perform Jazz Talkin’. This sophomore voice recital was required as part of Orange Coast College’s Music program.
After the recital, there were snacks and refreshments outside. This was conducive for people to hang around and visit.
Sunday evening, June 23rd, 2019, Lizzie graduated from high school. Grandma Stogdill flew from Iowa to join us for the weekend. It was nice seeing her again. Here’s a selfie taken before the ceremony.
This year Warner Avenue Christian Academy had two graduates: Josh and Lizzie. Here they are playing a piece together with Josh on violin and Lizzie on piano.
As per tradition, each graduate had a slideshow that displayed his or her life from the beginning. Here is Lizzie’s.
Pastor Steve gave an encouraging address to all reminding us to keep learning. This is only the “end of the beginning.” Then he presented the diplomas.
After the ceremony, we had a reception in the church’s fellowship hall where we had food and drinks.
Of course there was also cake and ice cream.
Josiah and his church friends really enjoy playing with Nerf guns. Here he is trying to pop a balloon with a gun that can shoot small balls pretty hard. (The balloon didn’t break.)
Here is Lizzie’s graduation photo.
Here is a video collage of the day.
Sarah and Joanna opted to stay in NYC one extra day after their Carnegie Hall concert. The rest of the choir returned to California on Tuesday.
In the morning (after only a few hours of sleep), Sarah and Joanna joined a few others to see the High Line which is an elevated park that was created from a former train line.
Later in the morning the rain started. They took the subway back to the Westin Hotel in Times Square. And Tim and Jeri took the subway from their Airbnb to meet them at their hotel.
Here we are in the hotel lobby.
By now it is raining with puddles everywhere.
After dropping off their luggage at our Airbnb, we walk to Lombardi’s, a pizza place that came highly recommended from a choir friend.
We enjoyed the pizza and experience very much.
Walking back, we stopped at Teikai NYC, a famous soft-serve ice cream store known for its fish-shaped cones.
Joanna got ice cream at Matcha n’ More. The display reads “love you very matcha” behind Joanna.
We relaxed back at the apartment. We originally planned to take the Staten Island Ferry and see the Statue of Liberty (along with Staten Island) but the wet weather caused us to change our minds.
Later in the evening, we decided to get food delivered from Buddha Bodai, a Chinese vegan restaurant recommended by our Airbnb host. At 9:00 PM, we placed our order and the guy shows up on his bicycle about 20 minutes later. We gave the guy a nice tip.
On Saturday afternoon, June 8th, 2019, Jeri and Tim left Orange County for Moline, Illinois to visit Tim’s mom. However the trip didn’t start off well at all. And it went downhill from there.
Our first plane had mechanical issues so the pilot opted to not fly it. The replacement pilot reviewed the issues and the maintenance log and also decided to not fly it. So we eventually got another plane and had to switch gates…not once, but twice.
Our late start out of John Wayne Airport had us concerned that we would miss our tight connection in Dallas. During our flight, the flight attendant assured everyone that they would make their connections.
When we arrived in Dallas and checked the monitors, we saw that the flight to Moline had indeed been delayed several times. We thought that maybe they are holding the plane for us. However it was scheduled to leave very shortly. We decided to hustle to the next gate (at another terminal) just in case the flight was delayed one more time.
When we arrive at the terminal and at our gate, we see crowds and lines of people. Our flight was initially said to be boarding, then went to delayed, then finally canceled.
Turns out that a GPS software update was grounding a number of aircraft that day. So we now had to find a place to stay in Dallas for the night. We were booked on the next available flight to Moline which was the next day in the evening. (The late morning flight was already full.)
Long story short, we finally found a nearby hotel to stay and were picked up by the hotel shuttle. Here we are waiting for the shuttle.
We get to our room around midnight. We only had our carry-on bags. All of our clothes and toiletries were in our checked bag. Fortunately we each had a toothbrush and toothpaste on us.
In the morning, our hotel served breakfast. After checking out, we spent our time in the hotel lobby. Tim had his laptop so he could work on some stuff. Jeri had some reading material and puzzles with her. For lunch, we ate some snacks that we brought along with us.
When evening approached, we took the shuttle back to the airport. When we get to the gate, we found that we didn’t have seat assignments and were told to check the Standby list. What?!? Does this mean that we might not make the flight to Moline and would have to stay another night in Dallas…without our luggage? (By the way, due to the nature of the cancellation, the American Airlines would not have to reimburse our hotel expenses.)
On top of that, severe weather was in the Dallas area which caused many flights to be delayed and some flights to be canceled.
We stopped at a place for food. Jeri got a grilled veggie panini; Tim got tofu, brown rice, broccoli with Thai chili sauce which was healthy but not as tasty as Jeri’s.
So we wait and wait as our “flight” (for which we don’t have confirmed seats) kept getting delayed. The 8:45 PM scheduled departure turned into 10:45 PM. Then finally a 12:45 AM departure was announced. We were thrilled when we were issued boarding passes and took our seats near the very back of the plane.
Shortly before takeoff, the flight attendant said that the pilot wanted to even out the weight and asked if we would be willing to move to the first class seats in front. Of course we would! So we got nice large seats in the first row. However we slept (or tried) sleeping most of the flight so we didn’t really enjoy the upgrade.
We finally arrive at the Moline airport around 3:20 AM. We wait and wait and wait at baggage claim hoping to get our luggage. After 20 or 30 minutes the last bags were unloaded with ours nowhere in sight. So we get in Grandma’s car and head home.
Everyone, including Grandma, was hungry. So we decided to have breakfast before going to bed.
By the time we get to bed it is nearly 5 AM Monday morning! Remember we left home Saturday afternoon. The eight or nine-hour travel turned into 40 hours!
But we were thankful to make it safely. Later Monday morning, Tim went on line to track the luggage and to provide a delivery address. It looked like our bag (still containing all of our clothes and toiletries) wouldn’t make it until Tuesday morning. However we were pleasantly surprised went it showed up Monday evening around 9 PM.
On Saturday, June 15th, 2019, Jill and Chris were married at an outdoor ceremony in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Tim, Jeri, and Grandma Pau flew from Moline (via Detroit). Mavis and her husband, Greg, drove from Columbus, Ohio. We all stayed at a nice Airbnb house in the country.
The weather was cool and windy on Friday. However we woke up Saturday morning to a bright and sunny day. The property was large and had a creek flowing out back.
Being out in the country, there were no fast-food places near by for lunch. So after a little online research, we drove to Mama’s Boy Burgers in Tannersville. (They had veggie burgers for the non-meat eaters.)
Here we are waiting for our food.
Here we are after lunch.
Back at the house, we get ready to head to the wedding.
A selfie out on the back deck.
They had a creative way of letting people know their table assignments.
The actual ceremony was short and sweet.
Family photo of the Pau side. From left to right, Gerald and Femma Lo, Christina Pai, Shannon Pai , Jonathan Pai (holding their son, Sebastian), Mavis, Betty, Greg Harris, Cyrilla, Vivian Pai, Michael, Jeri, and Tim.
Looking out from the barn while Jill’s side of the family gets their picture taken.
The dinner following the wedding was in the barn and was very nicely done. The tables were beautifully decorated. Each guest had his or her name carved out of wood and placed on the table.
Here is Grandma Pau and Aunt Vivian Pai after dinner.
They had live music after the meal.
We get a selfie with the bride and groom.
Here is a video collage of the day.
Today after church, we had a faith-dish luncheon (a.k.a. pot luck) followed by a wedding shower for Jason and Hannah.
One of the activities was “Guess their ages.” We set out seven photos of Jason and seven of Hannah from baby to recent. Each participant then guessed the age for each photo.
Josiah and some of the other young boys enjoy playing with Nerf guns after church. They have built a “fort” in the corner of the fellowship hall.
The tables were nicely decorated and had various photos of the couple.
Hannah, Jason, Lizzie, and Victoria before the shower.
The special couple had the privilege of going through the lunch line first…with the rest of the family following.
Jason took a group selfie of our table.
Tim and Jeri.
Nicole and Victoria watching the Newlywed Game.
Jeffrey served as the game show host.
Joanna assisted Jeffrey (together they worked on the questions the night before). Lizzie assisted by playing music (from Jeopardy) while the contestants worked on their answers.
Here is Hannah and Jason with matching answers of “necklace” to the question, “What was the guy’s first gift to the girl?”
Each couple had to sit back-to-back so they couldn’t see their partner’s answers.
Here is a nice picture taken using Tim’s new Pixel 3a phone using its Portrait mode.
Another matching picture of the couple.
Here Hannah is opening a card.
Another nice picture using the Pixel 3a phone.
After the shower, they came back to the Pau house and relaxed.
As we have done for many years, we attended our church’s Memorial Day picnic. The weather was cool with temps in the 60’s F. Thus the “wind-tunnel” picnic table area was extra cool with some wearing “winter” jackets.
Here is Lizzie staying warm in the picnic shelter.
Tim played a little two-on-two basketball.
We used Jason’s truck to bring Josiah’s bicycle.
Nicole and Edward sitting in the warm sun.
Joanna, Jeri, and Tim in the picnic shelter area.
Here is a short video compilation.
So on Saturday, we make our one and only stop which is to Ensenada, Mexico. Jeri still isn’t feeling the greatest. The temperature was in the 60’s with off and on light rain.
Although Jason went to the gym early, the rest of us met in the Pride Dining Room for a sit-down breakfast (instead of doing the buffet).
Here are Nicole, Lizzie, and Justin.
After breakfast, we get off of the ship.
We wandered up and down the main tourist street pretty close to the port. We found a mom-and-pop shop and did a little shopping.
Here we are returning to the ship. In town, they were setting up for Mardi Gras celebration that evening.
We head up to the Lido deck for a late lunch. Here is Jeffrey, Joanna, Sarah, Lizzie, and Jason.
Here are Victoria, Nicole, Jeri, and Tim eating lunch near the Blue Iguana grill.
Josiah absolutely loved the pizza! Like all of the food, the pizza was free and unlimited.
Sarah and Josiah played a game of bean bag toss.
Then some got in the hot tub.
In the evening was our last supper of the cruise. So sad.
We did catch another comedy show by Paul Lyons. He was really funny. Tim got a side ache from laughing so hard. Victoria and Tim enjoyed visiting with him after the show.
Here’s a video montage of the day.