Birthday and Holiday parties
Carlitos' 2nd birthday. Tara, Heather, and Cari's holiday potluck. Jen's birthday at Chelsea Pub in Hermosa Beach. Oh yes, plus a stop at Shin Sen Gumi Hakata Ramen for lunch before the parties started!
Shin Sen Gumi Hakata Ramen is awesome as always. Whatever quality dip they had a while back seems to have recovered, and it's the usual NOM NOM NOM.
Carlitos' 2nd birthday was that afternoon. Proud parents and grandparents abound, plus quite a few other cute kids, a fleet of iPads (geek parents keeping their kids entertained?), and an actual Mexican taco lady making tacos. Can you tell this day is full of awesome food? I think we had almost $2000 in iPads with a collection of ~7 year olds playing with them. Crazy. Happy Birthday Carlitos and grandpa!
Holiday potluck at Tara, Heather, and Cari's place next. Delicious chicken, spam mitsubi, jello shots, and tons of other goodies. Most of the usual group of UCLA'ers made it-- even BEJ and Weixian showed up! Heather and Justin, Sophia and Justin, Tara and Eugene, Erik and Mary and new baby Daniel, Mike and Emily and Lana, Chris and Bettina, Grace and Kevin, Cari, myself... and did I miss anyone? Plus white elephant gift exchanges are always fun. Not too much stealing and no Dark Knight disasters like a few years ago *cough*, but some gifts were highly valued and did change hands a lot. *grins*
Baby Daniel is mild-mannered and quiet too. Adorable! Lana's now old enough to walk and try to steal the show back from Daniel, too. (...we're getting old...)
Jen's birthday at Chelsea Pub and Lounge in Hermosa Beach was next. I evidently missed dinner and the truckloads of snow they blew into Hermosa for that night's celebraton, but the rest of the party was pretty fun. Jen kept vanishing to go get more drinks or something (as though a round of tequila wasn't enough!) and she actually had a ton of people there, so my ability to remember names, well, was overtaxed by the night.
Dan, Keisha, Andy, I think maybe a handful of others I knew, everyone else was new to me. Lots of drunking dancing and dipping on dance floor, plus someone unrelated to our group brought in reindeer antlers... add in a few random people crashing into us and it was just crazy enough to be memorable! Almost as memorable was slumming it in the parking lot at 1:45am (absurdly early closing time!) waiting for everyone to get collected. =P Happy Birthday Jen!