Friday, August 14, 2015

Taking it SLO.

NO... I did not spell "slow" wrong.

I spent about 9 days in California.  That's right — that Golden State with beautiful weather, breathtaking sites, expensive estates, and no money.  (Think twice before you complain about paying property taxes, friends.)

Our main destinations were Cupertino, San Jose, and my favorite, San Luis Obispo (SLO).  We visited, what I call, the Asian family — grandparents, cousins, second cousins, and others.  I dined with distant relatives that I don't even know and quickly realized that they are quick to speak their minds.  I am convinced that I am not Asian because my relatives look super Asian, and...well, I don't.

Perhaps most exciting was seeing my little nephew, Theo.  (His parents are great, too).  It is thrilling and almost sad to see him grow up so fast.  That chubster is a little boy now, and holy stars, he can squawk.  He's smart and knows what pleases his audience.  His parents can no longer eat ice-cream in peace, as he's realized that Heavenly Father has sanctioned ice-cream as celestial, delicious, and holy food.  He is the cutest thing that has ever graced this planet, and I am most proud to be his (cool) aunt.

Whenever we visit SLO, we go to the beaches.  Morro Bay is about 10 minutes away, and it's a favorite spot.  The salt water taffy tastes like magic salt water taffy, and the beach, while brisk and windy, is beautiful and open.  Morro Bay is most famous for its rock.  If you think you read wrong, you didn't.  I did indeed write "rock" — a big rock in the middle of the beach with a whole bunch of seagull poop on top.  It's pretty and more majestic than it sounds.  Trust me!

Then there's Cambria.  My family has gone to this beach ever since I was a little girl.  There is this particularly rocky area where, if the tide is right, the water will crash onto the rocks and splash everybody.  That morning was cool and foggy, and there was no splashing, but I loved the views!

It would have been funny if that bird pooped on him.

I can't describe the details of the whole trip.  That would take ages.  I can, however, summarize with some highlights.

1.  Obviously, seeing my Gung-Gung and Nai-Nai was wonderful.  They're funny, generous, and unique.  My Gung-Gung advised me to quit grad school as my health was paramount, and he remarked that the recent typhoon that struck Taiwan contributes to its greenness and beauty.  His logic is beautiful.

2.  The Madonna Inn is so gaudy, it's mesmerizing.  Their black forest cake is even more mesmerizing.  It's the BEST cake I have ever had IN MY LIFE.  Food porn? This is it.
3.  Downtown San Luis is so much fun.  There are plenty of shops, live music, and quirky little spots that you won't even believe are real.  Bubblegum Alley, for instance.  Imagine years upon years of saliva-filled gum stuck on a smelly wall.  Disgusting? Absolutely.  Pretty cool? Darn right.  But hey, you take one, you leave one. (Just kidding.)

4.  My grandparents' house is home to the relics of my mom's past.  I found her senior pictures, her childhood pictures, and one family picture where she looks (sorry, Mom) smoking.  My oldest sister's baby pictures are organized neatly in a large photo album in the house.  I found my baby pictures in a dusty and bug-infested box in the garage.  Feeling the love.

5.  Evening walks were pleasant, and the weather was perfect.  The neighbors' flowers were blooming and beautiful, so I borrowed some flowers and assembled a bouquet.  I just didn't give the flowers back.

6.  I liked spending time with my family.  12 hours in a minivan with them got a little...challenging, but I am glad that I could feel so close to them before I start a new chapter in my life.

Perfect vacation.  That being said, I am thrilled to sleep in my own bed, shower in my own shower, drink my own delicious tap water, and use my own toilet.  (Some of those rest stop toilets? I might have contracted AIDS.)

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