Man oh man, where do I even begin? Well, Friday night was dinner at Max's, but I've already covered that, so I guess I'll start with Saturday.
I went to work in the morning and got a bunch of paperwork done. Wheeeee! Then after work I met Tom at the Norwalk metro station, and we drove to Aunt Suzanne's house in Santa Ana, where festivities were underway for Aunt Julie's 80th Birthday Party. We got to relax in the nice swimming pool and catch up with family, some of whom I hadn't seen since I was...well, far too young to even remember meeting them originally. So that was neat.
One of the highlights of the event was Yaya's gift to her big sister, which was a life-size cardboard cutout of Aunt Julie's main crush, Brett Favre. It was even autographed!
As is typical for gatherings in my family, there was a veritable smorgasbord of delicious food, from grilled meats to spanakopitas to orzo salad with vegetables straight out of Aunt Suzanne and Uncle Ed's garden. And let's not forget the chocolate-ganache filled cake! As is also typical for such gatherings, there was a spontaneous musical performance when "Hey Hey, We're The Monkees!" came on the stereo. Aunt Teresa and Aunt Jean danced around with paper plate tamborines and entertained us all. ;)
On the way home from the par-tay, we stopped and picked up my good buddy Marcy, who is in town from Tacoma visiting family. We stole her away for the weekend and went to the Huntington Gardens on Sunday. Those are some pretty amazing gardens, I have to say. We saw a wealth of beautiful and very weird plant life, and naturally, I took a slew of photos. (They aren't all uploaded yet, but I'll be putting more up over the next couple of days.)
This was some sort of aloe tree, which was in the Desert Garden. We also saw a Palm Tree "forest", Japanese and Zen Gardens, the sneak preview of the Chinese Garden (which will be open for six months, and then closed down again for two years until the completion of the first phase), and the indoor rainforest and Cloud Garden. We also went through a couple of the galleries and saw some neat paintings and sculptury. I couldn't bring myself to walk down the hall of busts though. All those pupil-less eyes staring at me...no thanks. I just don't get it. These artists can carve all these amazing and intricate details out of marble, but they can't chisel out a couple of pupils? You spend twenty years working on a bust of Caesar or somebody, and you get every curl of his hair and every leaf of his little crown just right, and the overall effect is ZombieCaesar because he's got those blank, expressionless eyeballs. What gives?
Anyway, we had a really nice time and were thoroughly wiped out by the time we got home. After slothing around for a few hours, we went out to dinner at the Tibet/Nepal House, where we ate tasty, tasty lamb served in a variety of ways (noodle soup, mo-mo dumplings, and lamb saag). Also, there was garlic naan and savory daal. It was a fine feast and an excellent way to round out the weekend. :)