Melodic strains of song streamed through the atmosphere, slicing through hardened hearts, the familiar words hitting their mark in a poignant new way. Open up my eyes to the things unseen. Show me how to love like you have loved me. A shiver ran through me as the reality of these words I’d heard countless times before sank into the depths of my spirit, still raw from the brokenness I had witnessed only weeks before. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Everything I am for your kingdom’s cause. I turned to my husband, usually so stoic, and with a shock saw tears endlessly streaming down his face.
At the end of the service, as we walked out hand in hand, I asked him what had caused this uncharacteristic show of uncontrolled emotion. He paused a moment before replying, “I was thinking of my baby, and so many abandoned, unwanted babies in the world.”
Tajima is a well-known Japanese restaurant in San Diego, touting a 4-star rating on Yelp with over 3000 reviews. Tiffany and I have both been there over the years, but it’s been quite a while since we’ve eaten there. The reason we went back this time is because of a special collaboration for the month of June between Tajima and Carnitas Snack Shack, another one of our favorites here in San Diego. Even though it was hot day, not even the heat wave could keep us from our pork belly ramen!
4411 Mercury St, Ste 110
San Diego, CA 92111
It’s a tiny bit embarrassing to admit, but even though I have lived in San Diego my entire life, I have explored very little of my own city. To be fair, I relied on my parents to transport me anywhere for most of that time. 😛 So when I discovered a scenic drive all conveniently mapped out for us, I jumped at the chance to play the tourist and see more of our lovely San Diego.
Map of the scenic drive
FREE! [unless you want souvenirs, food, and such]
Time for another San Diego food post! To mix things up, we decided to review a restaurant that’s good for a casual weeknight dinner.
Pho Ban Mai
8991 Mira Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92126
One could say that we live in the part of town where there is a pho restaurant on every other block. It can sometimes lead to decision paralysis when there is such a plethora of choices. However, ever since I came here for the first time few years ago, Pho Ban Mai has slowly become my go-to for some classic Vietnamese beef noodle soup. It checks all the boxes and I really can’t find much to complain about this place. The food is good and conveniently close by, making it a perfect spot for a quick and inexpensive weeknight dinner.
During the rainy month of April, we ventured out into the lush state of Washington for a quick getaway. Discontent to linger in the busier city of Seattle, we instead made our home base on secluded Whidbey Island, about an hour’s drive from that great city. Surrounded by rolling green hills and towering pine trees, with intermittent showers and a moody landscape, we found ourselves at home among the whispering woods, waking to the cacophony of cheery bird songs in the early mornings. We took our slow, sweet time to explore this charming island, untouched by the frenzied environment that defines our usual daily lives. Here, one could breathe deeply, walk slowly, and absorb the ancient wisdom of the trees into our often unsettled minds.
I can’t believe it’s been three months since we got back from Taiwan. The past couple months have been quite busy for us, making it difficult to process all our photos and write posts about them. But we’ve finally come to the main focus of our Taiwan trips: food!
On this day, I saw a boy become a man. I saw a beautiful picture of love worked through long distance [he in California and she in China], differences in background and lifestyles, misunderstandings and personal failures. I saw this love grow and grow, from the seed of infatuation, then permeating the depths of who two people are, then flourishing beneath the rays of mutual respect and commitment.
Sometimes I think he’s still seven years old, playing silly pranks on people and giggling to himself with that innocent, happy face he makes. Sometimes it’s hard to believe he’s now an adult, far from the days when he once dogged my footsteps, trying to be included in “big sister’s” circle. And then I witness a moment like this, when the sweetest girl sees the many wonderful qualities this boy possesses, and just loves him so dearly. And I think, what a beautiful thing, to be his sister and to have watched him grow through all these years, and to whisper a blessing of many joys on their future life together.
When we travel, we enter into a different dimension—one that peels back the layers veiling our eyes—those layers that tell us our worlds are the only worlds. We bring ourselves—all of our hopes and dreams, disappointments and sorrows—all of our humaneness into a new world. And when we do, we find that though the world is the same, it is we who have changed.
After a busy month, our April date was a chance for us to relax and unwind. For this month’s date, we had brunch and then visited a cat cafe! Even though Tiffany is allergic to cats, she took Benadryl and planned this outing for us anyways because I like them. I’m truly blessed to have such a loving wife.
Money for coffee and another sweet card from Tiffany.
Our March date was another stay-home date. Tiffany had the awesome idea of us working on a jigsaw puzzle together. Neither of us have that much experience with puzzles, so we thought it’d be a fun date to spend a lazy Saturday doing one together.