Doan Chung-Hernandez

The blog about the life of Doan

Archive for the ‘ California ’ Category

Me and My Mom

I got a call from my oldest sister Lien one night that made my heart drop to the floor. I can’t really go too in depth about the issue; just personal family bull shit. Ray booked a ticket for me to get on the earliest morning flight back to the sunshine state.

More of the Chung Family

So glad I got to see my aunt and uncle, even if it was for a bit.  Love them to pieces.

Dim Sum Here I Come

Oh, and you know it wouldn’t be a complete California trip without dim sum.

Dim Sum!

Dim Sum!

Dim Sum!

Sianna

I also got kidnapped by my sister Lien and with that came a long overdue one on one time with my favorite niece, Sianna. Every time I see her she looks so much older and too beautiful for her own good. Just looking at these photos gives me anxiety.

@ Young Frankenstein Musical

Even though it was an emergency trip I did try to make the most of it by spending every minute I could with my family. Living in Texas makes me realize how much they mean to me.  Lien bought 4 tickets to the musical, Young Frankenstein. It was awesome. I love musicals, well, almost all musicals. I hated Rent.

Lunch in So Cal

Had lunch the next day. What a beautiful day. I love southern California.

At the Driving Range

Sianna had golf lessons so Lien and hit the driving range to kill some time.

Comedy Club

One of my favorite things to do is go to a comedy club. Seriously, who doesn’t love a good laugh? I know a more of us could use one.  As soon as Lien saw that we were seated right in front she instantly wanted to move for fear of getting picked on. She says shes prone to it at comedy clubs and sure enough she got picked on. The guy was hilarious though. I laughed my ass off tonight.

me and my big sis

The next day we went to a dumpling house for lunch. I took full advantage of the amazingly retarded good food in Cali. Chinese food’s just not the same in Texas. Oh California, why did I leave you again?

Mahjong

Got to see a lot of Mahjong. I think my mom’s happiest when she’s playing.

Crab!!!!

Ate damn good on this trip.

Seafood tofu clay pot

Tearing up some Asian shaved ice

Well, it started off bad but ended well. Don’t think I’m coming back for the holidays because my mom will be leaving for Asia soon to meet up with my dad so I’m so glad I got to come down and see everyone, well except for Lana and my dad. I didn’t get to see them but I had a blast anyhow. Love my family, love California, and love to eat.

Making a Pit Stop in Arizona

So I come home from work one day and Ray comes up to me and says, “Babe your gonna have to make a decision.” Well to keep me from turning a very short story into a long story as I often do I’m just gonna get to it. Turns out Ray spent the day on Craig’s List looking for my dream car, a vintage VW Bus and came across a good handful of them for me to choose from. Yeah, it’s kinda nice having a husband that actively tries to make all my dreams come true, but at the same time if you know me you’d know that making large purchases like this stresses me the fuck out. We went through the photos and at first I was hesitant but I gotta tell ya, the more I looked at all the buses the more I wanted  one. I couldn’t help but to envision myself being the envy of everyone while driving down the road. Ugh, why does he do this to me. I finally gave in and decided to go with the most expensive one. Well it was the most expensive one for a reason. She was in great condition, with no rust; just a blank canvas ready for me to make her look pretty and it had to be fate because she lives right next to the town I grew up in in California. That’s right, California here I come, right back where I started from. In less than a week Ray and I headed west to the best state ever, you got it, California.

We met up with some of our friends of Wild Line in the city for lunch.

Loving me some Mandy

I finally got to see my girlfriend Mandy. I really miss this girl. Wish I could put her in my pocket and take her back to Texas with me. The soccer tournament was going on so we paid more attention to the television screen than we did to each other.

Watching Soccer

Look Dee even came out to play today.

Dee

The boys of Wild Line.

Boys of Wild Line

After lunch we had lunch again with our favorite Australian, Beau.

Our Favorite Australian

Later that night Lana host a dinner party for me, the guest of honor, definitely don’t get to say that often, which is why I said it. My old childhood BFF and her sister who also happens to be my sister, Lana’s childhood BFF.

BFF's

In my head Karen will always be my best friend. She’s the only person in the world, besides my little sister, Selena who truly knows my childhood.

BFF's

The boys all got along great too.

The Boys

Every time I look at this photo it brings a smile to my face. I’m so glad to see we’re all still such great friends after all these years.

photo by Gabriel Yuen

The next day I went to see Dharma for the very first time. It was love at first sight. She loves me and I her.

It Was Love At First Sight

Seriously, just look at how clean she is.

Dharma

I just wanted to be inside her, so we could be as one the way love was meant to be.

Me Inside Dharma

And then we couldn’t help but to role play. What? It was her idea.

Role Play

Unicorn straight ahead!

More Role Play

Who’s a sexy bitch?

Sexy Bitch

Just take a look at that hot ass.

Hot Ass!

It’s like a blank canvas inside ready for me to give her a new face.

My Blank Canvas

Our visit was much too short. I really didn’t want to leave my baby girl here but we made arrangements with Atlas Auto Transport to ship her to Texas for me. Good-bye Dharma. Don’t you worry your pretty little head, we’ll be together soon enough.

When we got back Lana and I went out for a short hike.

Me & My Big Sis

Oh and I forgot to mention, I met Otto, my sister’s new dog, for the first time on this trip. He’s definitely a solid 2nd for cutest dog, Kola being the first of course.

Lana & Otto

After our hike we went back home and decided the cousins needed to have a photo shoot.

Cousin's

The next day we went back to Dharma. Dealing with Atlas car rental was a lot of drama. You can read the review I gave them here to get a gist of what we had to deal with. As the old adage goes, if you want something done right you have to do it yourself, so we did. Up yours Atlas, we’re going to U-Haul. We had to wait a bit for Jay to get off work so he and his friends could help us load her up.

Loading Up Dharma

Thanks Jay, for making Dharma so pretty. Your one talented dude.

Jay and I

Filling up on gas before we head out. I can’t get this smile off my face.

My Dharma during sunset.

Dharma and sunset

On route 66. It was long.

Route 66

We stopped for breakfast.

Breakfast of Champions!

And then headed back on the road.

On the Road Again

Saw a sign for the Grand Canyon so we decided to take a detour.

Hello Grand Canyon!

Had to wake Kola up just to get out which is why he looks so sleepy.

Ray and Kola at the Grand Canyon

Me and my Kola.

Kola and I at the Grand Canyon!

Kola, seriously wake up. Your embarrassing me!

Sleepy Kola @ the Grand Canyon


More Us and Canyon

Here’s a new one, Dharma and Grand Canyon.

Dharma and Grand Canyon

Man it’s humid out here and we’re stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. Apparently there was a fatal accident up the road and some girl died. RIP.

Fucking Humid

A couple of bugs decided to stop on our windshield and do the dirty.

Dirty Bugs

Had to stop to water the rocks. The sky is so pretty right now.

Pretty Dharma

Walked up to the drive through, yes I said, “walked,” for some dinner. Kinda excited right now because I always wanted to do this.

And denied! Kinda reminds me of the time that Ray ordered food in the drive through with a Mexican wrestler mask on and got denied because the lady was scared shitless that we were going to rob them.

The next morning we finally made it to Hack Shack. Now make my Dharma pretty.

Hack Shack

And denied again. Turns out they can’t do anything until she has an engine so I had to tow her back home. Don’t worry your pretty little face Dharma, we’ll get you an engine soon enough.

Well that was one long spontaneous trip but well worth it.

This is Otto and he’s the newest addition to our extended family. My sister and her hubby adopted him from the shelter.

Boy did Otto luck out. He doesn’t know it but he totally hit the doggy dog lottery.

Can’t wait to meet you Otto. Hope you and Kola get along.

Good morning Christmas. I don’t know if it’s because we’re in California or because it’s Jesus’s birthday but it is a gorgeous morning. I woke up early and finished my book. I’ve been obsessed with reading lately.

We started our Christmas morning off with a family hike.

How pretty is it here!

It was a perfect 3 mile hike around the lake.

My dad was explaining to me that he loves mountains and lakes.

And then my mom chimes in and says she loves cars and money. She’s such a comedian.

We had to stop at least once for a group photo.

And of course I had to get one with my baby.

After our hike we were all so ready for some dim sum.

And tea.

After dim sum we made our way to Ranch 99. Oh how I wish Austin had a Ranch 99.

And then back home we go. I love this photo of my dad that I took.

I also love this photo of my mom checking out my dad be a photo-whore.

Selena and my dad goofing off after dinner.

Lana and Kevin are such a cute couple and this photo describes their relationship perfectly.

So the next morning Ray and I felt guilty for not working out the whole time while we’ve been here so we went out for a morning ride. It was ca-ca-ca-cold.

And when we got back we all went to Star Bucks.

I love my dad.

Afterwords we went out in search of some Uggs for my mom because tonight we are throwing my mom a surprise birthday party. Her American birthday is December 29 and since they are driving back tomorrow we decided to celebrate it tonight. We also got her a couple of Star Bucks gift cards and made the boys make a secret stop by The Cheesecake Factory to get her a cake.

All that shopping built us up an appetite. Pizza is the next stop and Lana knows the perfect place.

Hi dad.

So since we are celebrating my mom’s birthday tonight we decided to do up a special dinner for her, hot pot style. I miss hot pot meals. We use to do them all the time but I don’t ever remember having this grill in the middle of the hot pot. How cool is this.

A total Asian meal. I love love love it.

A special dinner for my beautiful mother.

Ray is tweeting about his first hot pot experience.

Hot pot dinners are fun, interactive, and healthy.

My favorite part of this photo is Kevin’s chopsticks skills in the background.

After dinner we sang happy birthday to my mom.

I haven’t seen her this happy in a long time.

Make a wish.

Look at that, she got Star Bucks gift cards.

And Uggs. Even though she knew we got her Uggs I still wrapped them up because there’s just something magical about unwrapping a gift.

Her hard working hands are filled with blood, sweat and too many tears. I wish I could give my mom more happy days like today.

My mom and dad are leaving today. Boo.

I’m not going to lie, I got my photo-whore gene from my dad.

One more meal before they leave.

My dad stuffed a bunch of quail eggs in his mouth and got scolded my Lana. She’s like, “dad, you better not put those back in the bowl. Now you have to eat them all.”

After lunch my parents and Selena packed up the car and headed south back home and since it was our last night we headed for the city. Ray was determined to get a burger from In and Out but never got a chance since we were so busy all week. Lana heard he wanted a burger so she drove us to Mels Diner for a “real” burger. Ray being too nice didn’t want to say anything and I just thought it was funny.

After Mels we got some drinks.

And after drinks we got some donuts.

And the next day Ray and I packed our bags and headed to the airport. Wow, what a fun and busy week. I miss my family already.

This year for Christmas we are heading west to my state California. I have a T-shirt that reads, “I left my heart in California and that couldn’t be more truel. The rest of my family resides in California and they are definitely a part of my heart. Ray and I flew out on the 21st and we’re coming home on the 28th. That’s a full week with my family. I’m so excited!

We’re staying with my older sister and her husband in Walnut Creek, about 20 minutes from San Francisco. I love Walnut Creek. Did a lot of partying there in my younger days and every time I come back it seems like the town just gets better and better. The first night we went out for some Vietnamese and then headed to a dive for for drinks.

Ray and I have this favorite sushi restaurant called Nara. Every time were back in the bay area we always meet up with a bunch of our friends for sushi there. It’s nothing fancy, just really good and affordable. Also, I have fond memories of that place because when Ray and I first started dating we use to go there often. Tonight Lana and Kevin came out with us and the funniest thing happened. Lana was talking to me in Chinese, thinking that no one could understand her but hello, we’re in San Fransisco, where the Chinese dominate.  and Soo Hoo is sitting right across from her who happens to speak fluent Chinese. It was awesome. After sushi we headed to a nearby bar.

Ray and his best friend Chris. I know Ray misses him. Oh, and tonight we got the news that Marci, Chris’s wife is preggo. I couldn’t be more excited and jealous.

These are the guys that Ray use to work with when we lived here. I totally wishes I would have called my friends to come out to play tonight too but I figured there would be plenty of time, us being here a whole week and all, and let Ray have tonight for his buds, but there wasn’t enough time and now I’m regretting it.

One last photo before we say good-bye.

My parents will be in town later tonight so in order to mentally and physically prepare for them we went out and got massages. I already made it tradition to get massages with my parents every time we visit them in Southern California but I think after today I’m going to extend this traditions to all the Chung’s.

After massages we got pedis.

And then we stopped by the building. I wonder how Mel is doing?

We retired back home where we awaited for my parents and Selena’s arrival. Kola can’t wait to see them too.

My mom and her daughters minus my oldest sister Lien, she was in Vegas with her family.

Dinner time.

My dad brought us back these sexy pj’s from China.

My dad literally flew in from China yesterday and the next day they drove up to Walnut Creek to see us. Talk about jet lag. I was so so excited to see him.

This is my mother. My heart misses her everyday.

We definitely drank a lot of wine on this trip.

Well that concludes the first half of our trip. It was an amazing Christmas Eve. Hope you all are having as much fun as I am.

Rafting Trip

Rafting Trip

Ray was going over some old photos the other day and came across this photo. Awhile back I took my dad and little sister, Selena, on a camping/rafting trip with me and my friends. It was an all day rafting trip and at night we camped and partied. My dad doesn’t speak much English so I didn’t do much partying on that trip, but nonetheless it was still good times.

In March of 2006 Ray and I moved to Oakland California from Vacaville. We had only lived in Vacaville for 3 months before we realized the commute was killing us. I would drop him off at work, drive back home and then drive back to the bay area and pick him up, a total of a 4 hour commute, without traffic each day. Anyhow, while looking for a place to live in the bay area we stumbled upon this building. It was an old warehouse that use to be a French Fry Factory. I would of never, ever, ever, even considered living in here, but Ray, well, lets just say he has more vision than I most do. At first I thought it was asinine, I mean have you guys seen the photo above? But I have always been one to just go with the flow, and Ray is what I like to call a hopeless visionary.

But you got to admit, it totally has potential. Even I could admit that. But again, did you see the photo above? It was taken through a hole in the front door. The building was 8000 sq ft. Uh, no that’s not a misprint, there was not an extra 0 put in by accident. Yes, we lived, worked, renovated, bled, sweat, cried and even threw a few parties in an 8000 sq ft building for an entire year. Crazy kids, I’m sure that’s what everyone was thinking.

The pile of trash we had hauled away almost reached the second floor.

It even had two walk in refrigerators, one of which I was planning on turning into my walk in closet.

We flew dad down because there was no way we could of done all this work without him.

We put a lot of work into this building. In the beginning it was scary, but I got over it and soon it was as though the Universe had answered our dreams, but with a little sacrifice and hard work on our part. Ray had always dreamed of renting out a huge warehouse that had a urinal from a rich old man that gave him a super cheap deal and turning it into his modern urban living dream. Yes, our warehouse even had a urinal. And I had always wanted to have my own massage business, with 4 rooms, one for myself and the other 3 I would hire or rent out to other massage therapist. The front of the building on the second floor had 4 rooms. The more we thought about it the more uncanny and perfect it seemed.

But soon, life just took a toll. Ray detested work and the more he saw his boss the more he loathed him. I was getting burnt out on massage. What once was filled with passion and energy fizzled and soon I felt like a well paid slave. Ray and I decided to call it quits and tackle yet another dream of mine, to live in Hawaii. Somehow, this dream seemed so much less painful and stressful. We had a 3 year lease so we took on the role as property managers and sublet the building for the remainder 2 years of our lease and for over twice what we paid, split the rent with Mel, the nice old man Ray dreamt to life, every month and started a new chapter of our lives in Oahu Hawaii.

Hawaii was a totally awesome experience. Every month we used the money we made from the building to pay off the debt we put into it. I’d like to say it was easy but it wasn’t. I can say it was a huge learning experience. This last trip to California was to find a way to come to an agreement with Kevin, the man we rented the building out to. He ended up subletting the building to Raphael, a total pathetic douche bag that couldn’t pay rent on time to save his life and couldn’t move out when asked to leave. But our main concern for coming out to Cali was to make sure we uphold our contract with Mel and leave on good terms with him. When we got to the building it was in shambles. All the hard work, blood, sweat, tears, and money we put into it seemed wasted. Did I mentioned that Raphael had secretly turned the building into an illegal club/bar he called the Radiance Factory. Just a word of advice for Raphael, it’s not smart to advertise an illegal club. Fucking retard.

Here’s a before us and after us photo.

And after then after we did more work and started to settled in. In the very back behind the glass windows is where where the 4 massage rooms laid.

From the opposite direction. Ray loved his pool table.

A closer look further back. To the left was our bed room, middle was Ray’s desk and to the far right was our closet.

A better view of our closet. I had a lot more shoes back then.

Our living room in it’s earlier stage.

The kitchen area and dining area. Ray and I built that wobbly table one night when we had nothing better to do. He swears one day he’ll redeem himself.

Here’s what the building looked like on our last visit.

Looks like they built a kitchen room.

We turned this room into my workout/yoga room.

This is what it looks like by the time we were done with it.

And this is how it looks now.

This was suppose to eventually be a massage room #4, but in the mean time we just made it a guest room and it was also Chris Miller’s room when he stayed with us.

And this is how it looks now.

A before and after of Massage Room #3.

Same room, present day.

Before and after of Massage Room #2.

Massage Room #2 today.

My Massage Room before.

My beautiful massage room after. I actually worked countless hours in this room. It was the perfect massage room.

And this is how it looks like now.

A few before and afters of the lobby we fixed up. We were planning on getting more furniture to fill it up but I think we did a pretty spectacular job.

And here it is today. Animals.

We took back our blinds.

A before and after of the mens restroom. Behind the wall next to the sink was where the men’s urinal was. I forgot to take an aftermath photo but it’s probably for the best because it was bad.

They badly built what looks like lounge rooms downstairs. But the whole are downstairs area was pretty muck a junk yard.

Oh, our mistletoe was still hanging up. I bet it launched a lot of kisses.

I’ll never forget the day we lifted the super industrial air condition unit up on the rooftop. It was insanely crazy and scary. We had to set it on top of a shit ton of pallets in order for Ray and his dad to reach it. Ray had originally wanted to tie the heavy unit to a rope and pull it up. That made no fucking sense to me so I walked over to the Chinese produce factory and asked if they would help us out with their fork lift. It took some per swaying but my charm won in the end.

There were more pallets than what you see here. Trust me, people came out of their buildings to watch. It was totally wobbly and insanely scary.

Oh course it wasn’t only us that sweat for this building,

we put our loved ones to work too.


Kola did a lot of supervising.

Of course it wasn’t all hard work. I miss our parties


Drinking wine on the rooftop.

Having friends over to play pool. Hell, I miss having friends.

I even miss the skaters.

It was definitely an experience. But I gotta tell ya, I’m so glad it’s over.

The End.

Bar Food in Walnut Creek

Ahhh, I hate it when my eyes are closed? That always seems to happen to me. During our trip to California we stayed with my sister Lana and her husband Kevin. Luckily for us they just moved to Walnut Creek about a month ago. Lucky for them we extended our trip so they got to see us a lot longer than expected. I was telling Ray the other day that if his work ever brings us back to the bay area then we would be looking for a place in Walnut Creek. No more renovations in Oakland or freezing my ass off in San Francisco, or long commutes from Vacaville. Nope we would be going straight to the East Bay. Walnut Creek is a great place, only 20 minutes from the city and it’s always clean, not as cold, and the home town where my boobs magically appeared for $6000 . I’m really happy for Lana and Kevin because they seem to love it too.

Bar Food in Walnut Creek