A week of break in Los Angeles
Jun 6, 2008
|After 3 months on the road, we welcome the rest we had in Los Angeles before heading off to Vancouver, Canada.
The first and most urgent matter was washing our clothes and cleaning up our backpacks, shoes and various things we used for the last three months. Jon's mom had to wash Joani's sweater 3 times before the water stop being black. Nathan and Joani's backpacks also looked so different being cleaned.
Also, after Jon having not lived in his mom's house for a long term basis for 20 years, it was time to throw away things and clean out the room. Jon took pictures with some of his trophies, old ids, awards, and certificates before throwing them out. He even took picture with a snake skin he made from the snake he ate after Grandpa Li killed it in the backyard in Boston.
EXCERCISING and EATING
After 3 months of walking, hiking, climbing, we didn't want to stop having good physical fitness. In the morning our whole family would go to Jon's former high school's track to run laps. After being at high altitude above 3000m for 2 months almost continuously, it felt so good to run fast and not be tired. For the first time, Jon ran 1 mile at just over 7 minutes.
In South America, to save budget, we usually ordered 3 meals for 5 of us. So we usually were not able to be very filled. Back in the US, there was plenty of food and we were not used to being feeling filled, making us actually uncomfortable and feeling unhealthy. For someone like Jon that likes eating so much, it was a very strange feeling.
However, we got to catch up on some food we really missed during our 3 month trip, such as tapioca milk tea, tuna sashimi, sichuan peppercorn flavor dishes, etc. Yummy! The price however is something we still need a little time to adjust back.
WATCHING NBA FINALS
Lakers and Celtics, after 20 some years, are back in the NBA final. When Jon was a child, he lived in both LA and Boston. As a Lakers fan, he had to face lots of harsh words while living in Boston during the era when Lakers and Celtics are each other's archrival.
The first game was the final, Jon was on the plane from Miami to Los Angeles. So he made sure he didn't miss the 2nd game on Sunday. We went to George's house together with Sunny and his daughter to watch the game. It was a difficult game for Lakers fan as Lakers trailed most of the time. However, finally, at the last 7 minutes, Lakers came from 24 down to only trailing 2 points. A miracle almost happened....but it didn't.
Now Jon has to hope for another miracle of Lakers winning the series despite being down 0-2.
After 3 months of traveling, we know it is time to buckle down and get serious about catching up their school work. We set up a daily schedule for Olivia of 1 session of Chinese, 1 session of Math, 2 sessions of English, and 1 session of doing homework per day, going from 8:30AM to 8PM.
For break, we went to the Arcadia Library. The children really like it as Kunming does not have nothing that is comparable, with bookshelves after bookshelves of interesting picture and story books. There are even free internet access for children and adults.
Jon taught Olivia how to look up books and finding them on the shelves. Olvia looked up "Magic Tree House" and "Dr. Dolittle". Each child borrowed a book to read for the next 3 days.
VISITING FAMILY & FRIENDS
One of the first thing we did was to visit Jon's grandfather in the convalecent home. We were thankful that despite few minor health incidents, Jon's 94 year-old grandfather's health condition has been stable, although he no longer can hear anymore. We have to use a board to write in order to communicate to him. We told him we miss him and he said he missed us to. We asked him if he misses us and he said yes.
We also had the chance to see Jon's eldest uncle, youngest uncle, and 2nd aunt, while Annie saw her 2nd aunt. The kids had fun going to their favorite uncle, Daniel, who is younger than Olivia, to play water balloon.
Jon's sister & family also just got back from Kyrgyzstan the day before we left for Vancouver. Grandma is quite happy to see all her four grandchildren together again after one year.