Category Archives: Weekend Recaps

Easter Sunday: Quarantine Style

I can’t believe that Easter has come and gone! I hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter despite being in quarantine. I hope that everyone has had a wonderful day celebrating the resurrection of the Savior. Dale and I had a wonderful Easter Sunday! I don’t remember what we had for breakfast (I totally forgot to take a picture) but we had a lot of yummy food throughout the day.

One of the hardest things about this quarantine has been being away from family and friends. For my birthday, I was supposed to fly out to Utah but obviously that didn’t happen. Thankfully, Zoom, Facetime, and the Marco-Polo app have been a life saver with staying in touch.

We started off the day Facetiming my family. I was able to talk with my mom, step-dad, and siblings, and my dad and his extended family.

After we Facetimed my family, we went on a nature walk around the neighborhood and park. It wasn’t long (30 minutes) but it was so, so beautiful enjoying the flowers, and soaking up some Vitamin D today after spending time with our families. Here’s what we enjoyed on our nature walk around the neighborhood:


I’m grateful that we were able to go on a walk today despite the world still being in a pandemic. I think it’s important to honor your true emotions during this time. For me, I have had moments of anxiety to happiness to tears to excitement to peace. I’ve been an emotional roller coaster to say the least. But as I’ve taken the time to really listen to where my heart is at it has been easier to process what is going on in the world.

We can talk more about Covid-19 in another blog post. I don’t want to focus on that right now. Anyway, back to our Easter celebration!

One of the best things we did on Easter was watch this short Youtube video from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love how the video simplifies what the real meaning of Easter is: The resurrection of Jesus Christ. I’m so grateful for the Savior and for the ultimate sacrifice that He made.

For the rest of the day, we spent time with each other, and with Dale’s family. Dale’s brother and his wife surprised all of us in their car #SociallyDistantFamTime to wish us all a happy Easter! It was so sweet of them to stop by. It was definitely a weird feeling not having everyone together for a Easter dinner. Hopefully this quarantine won’t last much longer.

We had an amazing dinner that Dale and his dad made. It was delicious. These pictures do not give how good it tasted any justice. Once we ate dinner, and cleaned up we finished our wonderful Easter day by watching a few episodes of 24 on Hulu. Don’t judge us because Jack Bauer will come after you.

Anyway, I hope that you had a wonderful Easter day! Leave me a comment and tell me what you did on your Easter! Also, who else is a 24 fan?

XO Sam

We Moved! Plus Our First Christmas & New Years

I’m not entirely sure where to start this post. I have failed at keeping my blog updated like I said I would after we moved. To be very clear, we moved to California three days before Christmas last year (2019). The truth is the past two and a half months have been a total blur. Between moving, getting adjusted to California life, living with my in-laws, and learning how to deal with the traffic (and humidity! Um, hello frizzy hair!) it’s been very crazy.

Looking back, I don’t think I was as prepared for all of the bumps that have happened since we’ve been here. I’ve been very homesick and have missed my family and friends very much. I’d be lying if I said it’s all be rainbows and sunshine because it hasn’t. It’s been hard being far away from my family and friends. I’ve cried a lot more than I’d like to admit. Truthfully, I’m still not sure how I feel about living in California. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really grateful that Dale and I were in a position to even move to California. So many people dream of living here, and we got to do it. It’s just been a much bigger of an adjustment living here than what I anticipated. It’s been a wild ride!

December 22, 2019: Moving Day

Anyway, if I could sum moving and the holidays into one word it would be overwhelmingly exciting, terrifying, and a total blur. Okay, so that’s way more than one word but you get my point. Dale and I were exhausted from moving a few days before Christmas. It was insane. I will never, ever, ever move three days before Christmas ever again. End of story. It was stressful. I’m really grateful that my father-in-law was kind enough to come out and help us move to California.

All packed up! California here we come!

We left super early the morning of December 22. I think we got up at 5:00 and left by 7:30-ish. We finished cleaning the apartment that we lived in, stopped for some gas, and then hit the road. Overall, driving through Utah to Arizona to Nevada on I-15 was really easy. I really enjoy road trips (minus sitting the car). I love jamming out to music and listening to audio books. I listened to a lot of country music and had the Harry Potter books blasted for most of the drive.

We. Are. TIRED.

There’s really nothing exciting to report about our move to California. We saw a lot of road kill on our way to California. While I listened a lot of Harry Potter and found myself even quoting certain parts of the book. I have no shame in admitting that, thank you very much. We did, however, were accidentally separated from each other when we were trying to meet up at the boarder of California. The GPS took me to the wrong gas station that I was supposed to meet Dale at. After he sent me the address again, I ended up getting lost AGAIN. I am so bad with directions (Thanks, Dad. Appreciate the gift you gave me. It was SO thoughtful!)! Eventually, we found each other but it was after we entered into California so we missed the cool picture with the state sign that says, “Welcome to California.” We’ll get it one of these days. We also filled up twice for the van, and once for my car. We were so blessed that the worst thing that happened was the separation. We didn’t have any car problems, flat tires, and good company.

We made it to California around 10:00 pm. It was late. Dale and his dad unloaded the truck really quick (thankfully, we don’t have a ton of stuff) and left everything in the garage. They had to return the moving van first thing in the morning. Once that was done, Dale and I spent the rest of the day unpacking a few things. We are keeping 90% of our stuff in a storage unit right now. We’re waiting on a few things to pan out before we move out of my in-laws.

The Holidays: Christmas & New Years

I was so excited about decorating the Christmas tree!
Dale put the angel on the top of the tree since we couldn’t find our star.
My Nana (grandmother) made Dale a stocking for Christmas! I love it!
He is the reason for the season.

The next couple of days flew by! I am shocked at how fast they went. We finished unpacking, and finally set up our Christmas tree. It really didn’t feel like the holidays because our studio apartment in Utah was full of boxes. We had no holiday decorations up so it was so nice having a little Christmas tree up. I really appreciated the holidays so much more this year because of how unique our circumstances were.

Next thing I knew it was Christmas Eve! We spent Christmas Eve with Dale’s family. We ate amazing food (above). It was also so great to finally really get to know Dale’s side of the family. They are absolutely lovely people. I really enjoyed getting to know them. We also karaoke-ed. It’s a good thing that I don’t know Dale’s family very well. I didn’t karaoke a whole lot because singing in front of people I don’t know well freaks me out. Those of you who have witnessed my karaoke skills know that you have to pry the microphone from my hand ’cause I love karaoke. Throughout the night, I did feel homesick. Besides my mission, I have never missed a Christmas Eve with my family so it was very bittersweet.

Traditional Christmas morning breakfast

The next morning was Christmas! It was so wonderful! Dale and I carried on my family’s tradition of making cinnamon rolls, eggs, and bacon for our breakfast. We got ready for the day, and then went over to Dale’s extended family to celebrate Christmas. It was SO much fun! We opened some nice gifts from each other, and from Dale’s family. There was so much food that was amazing, karaoke, and great company. I really loved getting to know everyone so much better, and learning about all of the new traditions. Side note: Chinese food for Christmas is apparently a thing that I was never aware of.

Merry Christmas! Love, The Quinio Family

After Christmas was over, we took the next two days at the beach and saw some of the really pretty lights around the area. People go all out here. It’s crazy.

Fa la la la la la la la

Then two days after Christmas, we went on our San Francisco trip! IT WAS AMAZING! If you missed my post about the trip, you can click HERE and HERE to read part one and part two. I have never been to San Francisco before. It was so awesome seeing so much of California over the few days that we went. I loved the drive, and spending more time with Dale’s family. I definitely married into a good family.

When we returned, I was exhausted. I was super lucky that my Fibromyaliga didn’t start acting up until the end of the trip. When we got back, I spent the next day or so resting and trying to get my body to bounce back from all of the insane busyness of the holidays and moving.

Then we started off the new year in California! We had another wonderful family party with more karaoke, Chinese food, and great company! I had so much fun at the party. I might sound like a broken record, but I really loved getting to know Dale’s family better. One crappy part of having your in-laws’ family out-of-state is you don’t get to know them in the same way that you do in person. I am so grateful that we’re now in California and look forward to many more family gatherings.

Starting the new year with a bang of some good ol’ Sparkling Cider!

I’m not sure what 2020 is going to bring especially with this Covid-19 stuff going on right now. But I do know this: 2020 is going to be a memorable year. It’s going to be a wild ride! I’m excited to make friends in California, to experience new things, and build a life out here. I can’t wait to see where life will take Dale and I! I’m also really excited to meet my new year goals. I’m so excited to get back in shape, to read more books, and to actually finish a bunch of crafts that I started. I’ll have to write more on my new year goals another time. Until then . . .

Questions for you:

  • What are your goals for the new year?
  • Do you believe in New Year Resolutions?
  • Have you ever traveled to San Francisco?

Leave your answer in the comments below!

XO Sam

Weekend Recap: San Francisco Trip! [Part Two]

And now we finally reached the whole reason for our road trip. We finally made it to San Francisco!

Day Three: San Francisco

Stop #7: The city of San Francisco

Going to San Francisco with a degree in Sociology is the closest I’ll ever get in fulfilling my unrealistic dream to becoming a cool sociologist. I literally was amazed at the sociological dynamics that I saw while we were in the city. Back in college, I took a rural sociology and diverse populations class that had us watch a documentary on the low-income population that lives in a high-populated and expensive place to live cities. San Francisco is definitely not one of those places.

 

According to my quick Google search the average person needs to have a stable income of $12,370 a month to live comfortable. Frankly, I’d never live in a city like that even if I made that much every month. The entire time we were in the city, I felt like I was crowded, and couldn’t see a dang thing. It was one of those “out-of-body” experiences because of how crowded it was. For a city that is so wealthy, I’m shocked at how crowded and stuffy it feels. I couldn’t believe (I mean, don’t get me wrong–I’ve seen pictures of San Francisco before) that it was so over-populated and that people are okay with parking their cars in the strangest ways.

Besides how crowded San Francisco is, it took us a couple more hours before we reached San Francisco. We took the scenic route. It was really beautiful. I’ve never seen that much of the ocean in my life so that was really cool to experience. But for the record, I will never again drive that coastline. Talk about being white-knuckled as a passenger in a 15-passenger van….yikes! Anyway, we drove through the city for a little bit and saw the Infinity Hotel (for the five seconds I saw it, it was pretty cool) so we could reach the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Smiling like I’m five years old because I was so excited!

THAT SKY VIEW! HELLO! The pictures don’t give it any justice. It was breath taking. We missed the rain luckily and were able to take a lot of picture. Seeing the bridge up close was so neat. It’s HUGE, a beautiful rusty red, and worth every minute sitting in that van. While we were taking pictures and just soaking in the moment, I couldn’t help but pinch myself. It was a misty, magical, “Is this even for real?!” kind of moment as I stared at the Golden Gate bridge. I absolutely loved it. 

 

 

With Dale’s family

After we stopped at this viewpoint of the Golden Gate bridge, we went to a closer site that is at the Fort Point view. It was even more beautiful than the first stop we went to. Also, it was much colder because we were so close to the ocean. But seriously, these pictures do not do it justice. It was so misty, cold, wet, and stunning. I can’t think of the right words to describe it all, but it was pretty epic.

The water was so beautiful!

Dale: “Babe, let’s take a kissing picture.”

 

While some of Dale’s family ran to the restroom, I literally gave myself a five minute tour of the fort. I LOVE historical sites. It  was really neat being able to get a quick glance inside. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to tour the fort because it looked like it was going to start raining and we wanted to go see a few other places before we got rained out. 

Info on the fort

Original display of historic artifacts

Original damage to the fort

SUPER huge cannon. These could totally give the elephant seals a run for their money.

Ready. Aim. Fire.

After the Painted Ladies, everyone was ready to go back home. The rain kinda ruined all of the exploring that we could have done. But that didn’t stop us from doing as much as we could. Our very last stop was driving on the Oakland Bay Bridge. It was cool. Epic. And I was freaking out the entire time because we were driving over the ocean. Apparently, I’m not built to stomach driving over the ocean because I was freaking out. Dale kept asking me if I was okay and I was clearly lying every time I told him I was “fine.” 

 

Then we headed back to Long Beach, CA. What a trip! I’m so glad that Dale and I (with his family) were able to go explore San Francisco and some of California. There is so much to do here. I’m so excited to see what our next adventure will be. Before I go, leave me a comment below answering these questions for you:

-Have you ever been to San Francisco?

-Would you also freak out driving over the ocean, knowing that if the bridge collapeses, it’s game over?

-Do you like sea food?

Until next time!

XO Sam

Weekend Recap: San Francisco Trip! [Part One]

Wow. It seems like it has been an eternity since I updated my blog. Dale and I have been so busy ever since we got married in October last year. I’m still in the process of doing all of the monthly recaps and wedding posts from last year so hopefully I’ll get caught back up soon. But in the meantime, I figured that I might as well stay on top of what we are currently doing here in California!

After we moved (I’ll blog about that next!), and somewhat unpacked Dale and I went with his extended family on three day road trip to San Francisco. It was AWESOME! If looking at photos isn’t really your thing, you can always head to my Instagram (@curlyqsfoodblog) and look at the San Francisco highlight on my profile. I took a ton of videos from our trip. It was a blast!

One of the many things I love about Dale (and sometimes it drives me nuts) is how much of a planner he is. Dale took the time while we were getting ready to move, and even during the moving process to plan the entire road trip to San Francisco. He did an excellent job! With all of the stops that we made, I was blown away by how many incredible things we saw. Everything we went to was my first time seeing it in person. Plus Dale’s uncle and his wife from Australia (with Dale’s parents, aunts, and uncle) came with us on the trip which made the trip even more special.

Day One: Lots of Traffic, Beaches, and Danish folk

Stop #1: Hollywood sign driveby, LA Traffic, More Traffic, & Miramar Beach

We got up early (well, early in my book–something about not being in college has made me not a morning person) and went to pick up Dale’s family that lives about 10 minutes away. Once all 9 of us were loaded into the 15 passenger van we were on our way. It was about 8:45 am when we left. We drove by the Hollywood sign (I have yet to hike it), got stuck in LA traffic for two hours, and then stopped for lunch. Afterwards, we got back onto the interstate and we were stuck in Ventura for 4 1/2 hours. It was awful. We made another stop at the Miramar beach for about fifteen minutes to stretch our legs. It was beautiful! Thankfully, we eventually made it to Santa Barbra just in time for the sunset.

Stop #2: Santa Barbra Beach Pier Harbor

At the pier in Santa Barbra, I was shocked at how mesmerizing the sunset was. I’ve seen pictures of sunsets at the beach but this one didn’t compare. The picture certainly doesn’t give it justice.

One of the cool things about this pier is that you’re allowed to drive on it. We were joking about how if the car fell through the pier that it would be game over for all of us…maybe not the best thing to joke about when your car is several feet above water, but we did nonetheless. #twisted We walked around the pier, saw for a brief moment where Dale’s brother got married, and then got back into the car to drive to the Danish village Solvang.

Low quality photo, high quality company @ San Barbra Pier

Stop #3: Solvang [Danish Village]

This village was a out-of-body experience. Everything felt so magical. They had Christmas music blasting everywhere. It really felt so magical. I loved seeing all of the Danish cafe shops and little gift shops. I’m such a tourist in that way. I’m totally obsessed with buying magnets, pressed pennies, and other random stuff as little reminders of an awesome trip. Dale literally had to talk me out of buying a magnet while were here because the next time we come we’ll spend longer than an hour or two in the village. 

By far the coolest part about this village was the Cinderella carriages that were taking people all over the village. They were multi-colored carriages and they looked like they came straight from Cinderella’s castle. It was magical! They also had a cool wine-tasting place called Hamlet Square. Even though Dale and I don’t drink, it was still neat poking our heads in for a second. After we left the village, we headed get a very late dinner and went to the hotel.


Day Two: Mission home, Morro rock, and Seal Lions

Stop #4: Mission San Luis Obispo

Religiously speaking, Utah has a lot of cool places like this Mission home that we stopped at…minus the Gothic religious symbols that were all over the mission home. The mission home was founded back in 1772 and is the only L shaped mission home in the state of California. The mission home was full of religious artifacts and out of respect to their beliefs, I didn’t take many photos of the inside (although I did film for a vlog that I’m attempting to put together of our move and San Fran trip!). It was really neat reading about the black wedding dress that was on display, seeing the original walls of the mission home, and the old alter boy room. A lot of the displays were original from the 1770’s and looked like they were brand new. However, you could definitely tell that the mission home was original due to the musty smell from inside. 

The alter inside the mission home

Everyone but Dale in this photo outside of the Mission home.

Stop #5: Morro Rock, & The Great American Fish Company

After the mission home, we drove to Morro Rock and ate at the Great American Fish company. This rock is one of thirteen volcanic plugs between the Morro Bay and Isayl Hill (thanks Wikipedia!). It’s a GIANT rock that you can’t drive up on but you can get pretty dang close to it. My inner geologist nerd was trying very hard to not explode of how excited I was to see it up close. 

This picture (above) was taken at the pier by the Great American Fish Company before everyone ate (except Dale and I–driving in the car for two days was making me really car sick so I didn’t have a huge appetite on the trip). After everyone ate, we went closer to the rock and walked along the shore.

Dale inside the Great American Fish Company

It was really windy and cold. Even though it’s been in the mid-70’s in California I’m amazed at how much cooler it feels the closer to the ocean you get (I mean, it’s basic geology on why it is and I get that but still, it’s cool to think about!). Where I’m standing in the picture (below) the waves kept crashing up and this was taken seconds before my shoes got soaked.  

Don’t get wet!

Stop #6: San Simeon Elephant Seal Viewpoint & Carmel Beach

Our final stop for the day was driving to the San Simeon Elephant Seal Viewpoint. Guys, if you haven’t been here you need to. It’s so cool!! I’m obsessed with elephants so this was definitely something that I was excited to see. These guys are HUGE. And I mean H-U-G-E!! Since they are considered to be “true” seals (whatever that means) they don’t have ears which is surprising since they are SO LOUD! I couldn’t believe how loud they were. There weren’t as many on the beach as there typically are but we saw so many. Also, according to my quick Google search the average elephant seal male weight 6,600 lbs. Yes, you read that correctly.  They are HUGE! Also, they are known to be very dangerous creatures which is why humans are not allowed on the beach. They are fast and will kill humans…apparently, we taste good to them so that’s why there is a fence. Safety first, kids! You can hear them on my highlight “San Fran Trip” on my Instagram @curlyqsfoodblog #FollowAlong

Hello sun! Yes, please blind me for this super cool picture.

After we left the Elephant Viewpoint, we stopped about an hour or so later to stretch our legs at the Carmel Beach. It was beautiful!

We weren’t there for very long. We still had a few more hours to go before we made it to our final destination: San Francisco! Our trip felt like it was way longer than three days. As I’m looking back at all of the photos I took, I’m amazed we were able to squeeze as much as we did in three days. It was so much fun! Stay tuned for the next post about San Francisco! It’ll be up very soon! 

But before I go . . . drop a comment below and tell me:

  1. Have you ever visited any of the stops I went to?
  2. What’s your favorite animal and why?
  3. What’s your favorite pier to go to? Why?

XO Sam