Another personal post, no gunpla or resin goodness. I was in Toronto this past weekend for a family gathering and wedding. In a nutshell, we did some sightseeing around Toronto, did a traditional Chinese dinner banquet as the “rehearsal dinner”, the wedding and reception the following day, then a trip out to Niagara Falls to cap the trip. All said, between Thursday night when I landed until Monday afternoon when I got back to LA, I got about 18 hours of sleep total. Hence an update today and not yesterday. Read on if you want the fun little details from the trip…
I actually went to work for a few hours on Thursday before my flight out to Toronto. I usually leave my car at work when I go on trips as the place is gated and there’s 24 hour security, and of course there’s the benefit that it’s free (Hey, I’m Chinese, we love to save a buck). I took the super shuttle out from work to LAX, got through security in 5 minutes from start to finish. Randomly picking out one of the restaurants in the terminal, I sat down to a 10 dollar meal of fried chicken strips and fries. To their credit, the food was fairly decent. I gave my mom a call to tell her I was about on my way, and hit up the duty free shop and picked up a bottle of wine. If I brought a bottle from home or elsewhere this would then require me to check my bags. I hate having to check my bags. This no liquids policy has probably exponentially increased the profits of the airport duty free shops.
I charge up my laptop and phone while I sit and wait at the terminal. Near my boarding time, I notice that the gate printed on my ticket is lined up with Italians for an Italian airline. Blah, they probably changed gates, so I got up and checked out departures screen and sure enough, my gate was now at the start of the terminal instead of the end. My gear all charged up, I pack everything together and head to my gate. As I arrive, my plane is just arriving, perfect timing. I snapped a few pictures. Kinda cool to see how big an aircraft the gate/terminal can handle. Once on the plane, I snap a picture out my window.
Nothing special to discuss about the flight. I started watching Sherk 4, then remembered that I had loaded a bunch of anime onto my laptop the previous night, so I switched off that and went to my anime. I’m on one of the newer planes that has an AC outlet so that I can plug my laptop in keeping it fully charged. So now I’m caught up on Black Lagoon and Gundam Unicorn. I started on Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, but I think the videos compression was a little more than what my old laptop’s video card can handle, so I switched over to Votoms: the Pailsen files, and got about three quarters through them before we started to descend into Toronto and I needed to turn the damn laptop off. So back to watching Shrek 4 until we landed and everyone exited the plane. There was a strong tail wind and the flight was a shy over 4 hours long. Still, leaving around 3:45 PM pst, I get into Toronto a few minutes before 11PM est. My 6th uncle was picking me up, and per his suggestion, I called him after I got through customs. It took about 5 minutes to get through customs. I love getting in late, customs processing is usually easier and much faster. So lets see, 5 minutes to get through security, 5 minutes to get through customs. The start to this trip is awesome.
The last time I was in Toronto, was sometime in the mid 80’s, so it’s been almost 25 years since I was here. My 6th aunt and her family live fairly close to the airport so I called my uncle after getting through customs and was picked up within ten minutes. The house is the same as it was 25 years ago. Crazy. Just as I remembered it too.
My 4th aunt was also staying here and with her is Simon, the youngest of her 5 sons at 28. This is the first time I’m meeting Simon, ever. I’ve heard plenty of stories through the years about his antics, so finally meeting him frames everything just right. Yeah, this will be a fun trip. I settle in and have a late snack and chat with my 6A, 6U, 4A (going shorthand for my 6th aunt her husband, 6th uncle, and my 4th aunt) and Simon. My mom is the 7th and youngest in the bunch. We continue chatting for a little while over the snacks then head downstairs to chat a little more before everyone heads off to bed. I get settled in and try plugging into my 6U’s wireless. We couldn’t figure out the password for the wireless, so I just plugged in with a hardline to the router. I needed to submit my time card for work before the week ended, and while I still remembered. While hardwired into the router, I tried logged into it, and got in; checking the settings, I found that they were using the default encryption, so I pulled up the router and wrote down the encryption and connected to their wireless.
I spent the rest of the time checking emails and chatting with friends. Granted it was 4:30 AM when I finally went to sleep, but I was still on LA time, and it was only 1:30 AM for me. I woke up at 9:30 AM local time, so the limited sleep hours begins. It’s a perfect day and Simon and I go out for a walk and I snap pictures around the neighborhood. Just like I remembered it. 25 years and no changes. Well, there are some new house constructions here and there replacing some of the old houses, but for the most part, the place looks the same. This is the first time I see black squirrels; so I instinctively made sure my wallet was secured. [insert more racial humor of choice here]. The little bugger ran up a tree with a nut in his mouth while I tried to snap a picture. The irony of it thinking that *I* was going to rob it.
Returning to the house, we get ready for lunch. 4A wants to go to a buffet, so we set off to two local spots that are just packed with punjabs. Hitting up two of the spots and running into the great curry wall, we opt out to a different restaurant attached to a mall called Pickle Barrel. Not too bad a place. Afterward 6U took us on a little sightseeing trip around midtown and downtown Toronto. Now, my 6A has always been a bit of a nervous Nelly; to what extent, I didn’t fully understand until riding in the car with 6U driving. Poor Simon’s arm is bruised from the death grip that 6A has each time the car swerves slightly, we merge, a car gets to close from any direction, etc. I chuckle at this, and this cannot be a good thing, at least for those around me. First stop we check out the skyline from some fairly newly developed condos.
Getting back into the car, we drive towards downtown Toronto and check out an old brewery district that has now been transformed to a kitschy gallery and pub area. It’s pretty cool and since its late afternoon, not many people are around. But I can easily imagine the place filled with pretentious artsy folk – well, I immediately think this because places like these in LA are filled with such douchebags. But they are entertaining to say the least. I mean, even a temporary wall that separates the on going construction is set up with an artistic flair.
We have some tea and I snap some more pictures in this quaint little spot. They even have gas lamps. I’m beginning to think that every major city is starting to, or has built up one of their run down sections of town into something like this. Seems a little faddish to me, but still, I enjoyed it. Good to see a different flavor of the same idea in different parts of the world.
We head over to another side for a clear view of the Toronto skyline. It’s a nice little spot, there’s a Korean couple taking wedding pictures here. Avoiding them, I snap a few shots of the skyline and see another one of those black squirrels along the fence. I’m confused, as every time I see one, they’re busy gathering things; not listless or lazy at all.
Back in the car we drive by Toronto’s chinatown. I snap a few pictures from the car as we don’t get out here and just ride around viewing things from the car. At one point, I saw a display of tamiya paints and zoomed in and tried to snap a picture. I could smell bootleg bandai models in the air.
Random Toronto street art that I found cool.
While getting gas, we spotted a sign for one of the local chinese fast food joints. 4A immediately says, “hmm, ‘ho lun chao'” which pretty much means “very fucking stinky” in Cantonese. Something one never hears in polite company, so the entire car erupts in laughter.
We head back home to freshen up and get ready for the night’s rehearsal dinner (Chinese banquet) up in Markham, which is pretty much little Hong Kong. Getting home, Stephen is there, 6A’s middle child at 29. His older sister, Karen is currently volunteering at the Toronto Film Festival which is happening on the same weekend, and his younger brother, Edmond is still in school for his MBA in London ON, several hours away from Toronto. The two of them will join us tomorrow for the wedding. It has been at least 13 years since I last saw Stephen, I was probably about one or two years into my Air Force years, and we were in Vegas. One of the nights, Edmond locked me out of the the hotel room so I ended up gambling through the morning. This story still gets told but that family – I had all but forgotten about it until they brought it up.
We drive to Markham. The restaurant is there as well as my uncle (5th in the family chain), along with his family, lives in Markham. 6A sits next to me in the car as we’ve added Stephen to the mix. Icy cold hands place a death grip on my arm when the car slightly serves, tail gates, cars all around get too close, etc etc. This is hilarious to me. If I bounce the car, 6A freaks shit. Nothing good can come of this. But I space out my little taunts so as to keep her on her toes. We arrive and Simon, Stephen, and I look for a bar to get at least a shot in before the party. There is none to be found, and soon we are told that my uncle’s family is already inside the restaurant. Inside, I come to the realization that aside from my uncle and his family, 4A and 6A’s families, I know no one here. I look over at Stephen, and non verbally, he communicates this exact thought to me. Oh this is gonna be one of those long boring nights; one we have been accustomed to attending when ever we attend a wedding for a family friend, or something else similar. Simon’s making his way and saying hi to everyone he knows, he knows more people here.
I meet Aaron, my cousin from my uncle. He’s 22. The last time I saw him was um, about 21 years ago, so he has no idea who the hell I am. Of the 15 or so cousins I have on my mom’s side of the family, he’s the youngest. I believe the oldest is on my 4A’s side at 46, but then I don’t know the ages of the three cousins from my 2A. Here are some pictures.
Side note, this also starts my game of playing Mr. Picture Ruiner…
The dinner continues, and at our table is 4A, 6A, 6U, Aaron, Aaron’s girlfriend, Stephen, Simon, and me. Also at the table are Jennifer, one of the bridesmaids and her date Alec. Simon and I are causing trouble, getting the entire table to drink, and just getting the table to be loud. I’m doing my usual entertainment with stories and funny quips. We throw Stephen under the bus a few times as he’s the quiet one; marking him out to other tables as our “loud” person. Wine continues to flow. I notice that cousin Lesley, the bride, and Aaron’s older sister, is staring at our table throughout the night. I’m guessing that she’s just concerned that we’re making her little brother drink a little too much than he thought he would be drinking that evening. At one point, I call up my mom and the first words out of my mouth are that I’m very drunk, then I pass the phone around to different people. In my one photo that night with the bride and groom to be, Lesley is actually talking to my mom in the picture. Remember what I said about picture ruiner, Alec has joined in the cause, oh how people around me seem to be so easily influenced….
We end up consuming the rest of the wines from the other tables as the evening progresses. More pictures of the different tables and of Jennifer and Alec. At one point in the night, 6U tells Lesley, “Beware of your American cousin!”. Wait a minute, I’m the single American cousin present.. *sigh*
The evening went by pretty quickly. It was a very fun evening and nothing like Stephen and I had thought it would have progressed. I think we also gave a small preview of what was to happen the next night at the wedding dinner. We were definitely the “loud” table. My cousins had fun, the aunts and uncles got a small little preview of how we’ve grown; and on multiple times through out the night, I was told that I’m just like my mom, personality wise. Hmm.. so I have my mom to thank for being a sarcastic wise ass.
We got home around 11 at night, and I half heartedly suggested we play mahjong. 4A immediately agrees, so it’s Simon, 4A, 6A and me playing 4 rounds of mahjong. I win 6 bucks, and 6A wins 3 or so. Not too bad, and it’s around 2 AM when we finish the last round of mj. Stephen is still awake, so along with Simon, the three of us chat until about 5 AM before crashing out. We have over 20 years of catch up to do within these few precious days that we are together. I have my alarm set for 10:30 but wake up before it goes off. Yep, I get another 5 hours of sleep. 6A forces me to eat a charsiu bun for breakfast which is already 11 AM. Half an hour later, we all go to the local buffet place that we were not able to go to the previous day. So I’m already full from the bloody bun, and I’m expected to eat again, at a buffet. I note this to 6A and make fun of her for it. We return home and wait for the other two siblings, Karen and Edmond to show up so we can all head up to the wedding location.
Since we have nothing better to do, Simon mentions playing mj, and we play two rounds before Karen and Edmond arrive and we all get ready for the wedding. The place is about a 45 minutes from the house and we take two cars. Simon, 4A, 6A, and 6U in one; and Karen, Edmond, Stephen and I in the other. Naturally, we arrive first. We meet up with 5U (for the purpose of following the naming convention I’ve come up with, this is my uncle, father of the bride) and then proceed up to the gazebo area for the ceremony. As funny as it is, it is very clear which side is which.
There are some musicians playing some soft music while everyone sits and awaits for the ceremony to commence. The groomsmen arrive and line up, and the musicians suddenly start playing Danny Boy for which the cousins and I kind of look around awkwardly and at one another wondering why they would suddenly play this song. I mean, this particular Irish song is usually heard at funerals as opposed to weddings. Hell, I don’t think I’ve ever heard this played at a wedding. The groom arrive and under his breath, yet audibly utters, “seriously?” which gets a big chuckle from everyone, because I’m sure that they were all thinking the same thing. Seriously, who the F plays Danny Boy at a wedding for a Dutch and Chinese family? As if insult to injury wasn’t enough, they got through the song, then proceeded to repeat it once more, just in case there was still someone that could possibly be mistaken for being happy at this occasion.
Soon, the ceremony begins, the ring bearer walks down, followed by the bridesmaids, then the bride with her mother and father. They have a fairly long walk, and I have the camera zoomed to the max for the first of the following set of pictures.
The ceremony continues, it’s a bit overcast and there’s a fairly strong breeze, so I cannot imagine how cold the bridesmaids are, everyone else is fine however. And if I didn’t mention it before, the groom is 6’8. Yeah, I guess you can say he’s kinda tall. I didn’t know they grew Dutchmen this tall.
And after a few kind words, the exchanges of vows and promises, the two are married.
And now onto the silly pictures. 6A was cold so I gave her my coat, and as a comparison to how big I am to how small she is in size, the coat just looks massive on her.
Ok, now for some serious pictures with the family, and one with just the cousins. Holy crap Karen’s pale, I think Helen’s less pale than her.
We head down to the lodge and the drinking begins.
Two or three drinks in, the outdoor bar closes and we retire inside and hit up the lodge’s bar and get some white russians. At the very least, we’re priming ourselves for the evening. With our drinks in hand, they start seating everyone. Simon, Stephen, Edmond, and I enter and are immediately cornered by one of the MC’s for the night. She was at the dinner the previous night and wanted to know which table we were sitting at; apparently our antics left an impresion. We settle in and I wander around snapping a few pictures here and there. There is an older couple at our table and no one knows, oh are they in for a little bit of a surprise. Well, so are the other tables of Chinese folks that were not at the previous night’s dinner. Especially since we’re actually up to three or four drinks by now. They were playing some songs sung by Frank Sinatra, and Simon and I loudly sang along, doing our best Sinatra voice impressions. We went from serenading our table to serenading 5U’s table and their guests there. One of the guests at that table asks how I know so many old songs, I quickly respond that she shouldn’t be tricked by my stunning young looks, as I’m already pushing 50 years old; she responds that she knows my mother. I utter an oops, laugh, and sneak away. Hopefully that doesn’t make its way back to my mom…
The typical sequence of events is a little different. The bride and groom do their dance first, then cut the cake, then dinner is started. So here’s the cake, the cake cutting, and all the folks taking pictures of the couple cutting their cake.
Food gets served and we eat while enjoying little games. We run over to the photo booth and snap a few shots. Snapped a picture of the bridesmaids. There are a few cute ones and hell, I’ll never see them again… ever.
The bar was closed during the dinner hours so all we could do was drink wine and champagne. With every toast, there was a loud collective, “HEY!” coming from our table. Yes, once again, we were the loudest table. So long as we entertained the masses, we were all happy. A good amount of the wine was consumed during dinner. I lost count of how much wine we drank because the wait staff had our glasses constantly refilled. Perhaps they too were entertained by us. The bar was scheduled to open back up at 8:30 and we had our watches set and actually counted down at the bar when it reopened and we started back in on the drinks. Where ever we went, there was a loud, “HEY!” as we clinked our glassed and toasted those around us.
To keep folks from clinking on the glass wear with metal utensils as is the typical custom to get the bride and groom to kiss, they replaced that with a kissing wheel. A basic wheel of morality with choices of things for people to do depending on what gets landed. Stephen, Simon, Edmond, and I go up to spin, and they nominate me to actually spin, as I’m the eldest; and we land on moonwalk back to our table. So long as we’re moonwalking, the bride and groom have to kiss. Everyone is yelling at us to do it as slow as possible, and we take the long way around to our table. I think the song ended before we got to our table. Or the DJ just took pity on the couple and ended it.
We then invaded Aaron’s table numerous times to make sure he was keeping up with us.
Sometime into the night, the bride and groom changed into their Chinese outfits. Here’s a shot of the bride and groom and their respective families.
I have a hard time doing serious pictures with the smile and all that good jazz…
And more drinking, more photo booth antics. We hit the dance floor and I proceeded to make a fool of myself. I got my 6A and 6U to dance. 5U danced, hell, even Stephen and Edmond got onto the dance floor. We were nice and buzzed, Edmond was probably decently drunk. Stephen we couldn’t tell if he was drunk or not, but he was probably close. Simon was buzzing a bit. Good times all around.
Karen was our DD and drove us home. Edmond and I chatted and traded insults, racial jokes, ratial epitets, etc, the whole ride home. Well, at least Stephen was entertained. We got home and I said good bye to Karen and Edmond and they were off; they both had commitments that they had escaped from for the wedding. So inside the house, it was back to Simon, Stephen, and I hanging out for a while. Stephen crashed fairly early as did Simon, and I ended up staying up again until the wee hours of the morning chatting with friends online – while rehydrating and flushing the mass quantities of alcohol I had comsumed that evening. I ended up crashing out around 5 AM and woke up around 10. Keeping that 5 hour average going strong.
The morning was slow, 6A offered food, for which I sarcastically said how good an idea it was, especially if we’re planning on going out to lunch soon. She smirks. We talk a little about the previous night. Simon and Stephen are still passed out. 6A tells me that before the previous night, she had never seen, nor knew that her sons could drink that much alcohol. Welp, so much for being a good influence or role model…. We chat a bit in the kitchen, and suddenly, there is a loud bang that suddenly breaks the conversation. 6A is immediately familiar with the sound and exclaims that another bird has just committed suicide. And sure enough, when we get to the window, there’s this poor bird laying on the ground, twitching and in the final death throws. Apparently, the windows are a bit too reflective and birds have a tendency to fly right into them. 6A gives me some gloves so that I can go down and throw the dead carcass into the field behind their yard so that when wandering animals want a snack, they won’t leave a mess of feathers in her yard. I did get a nice picture of a blue jay outside her window while we were watching Tweetie die.
6U is out looking to rent a van so that we can head to Niagara falls, 6A doesn’t trust the 18 year old van we have been using, especially if I keep bouncing up and down while inside it. He comes back with a Cherokee that fits seven people. There was a miscommunication on food, but we are too short on time so a quick breakfast snack of eggs, ham, and toast was whipped up. We ate and got into the Cherokee. The thrid row was definitely not meant for anyone tall. I’m not tall by any standards but still, my legs were bent up for the whole ride. Sitting like a crab sucks, but I got to chat with my 6A about lots of things. I learned a great deal during the drive to and from Niagara. The first stop is Hillebrand winery. We take the tour and do a little wine tasting. The sky is a little overcast when we arrived, but the sun was starting to poke through ever so slightly and slowly.
Our rather effeminate tour guide took us through the vineyard and the holding room.
Uh, heh heh… bunghole…
I picked up a couple of bottle of ice wine here and we headed off to the next location. Niagara by the lake is what I beleive the area is called. It’s a quaint little touristy town much like your Carmel by the Sea, and other similar places. Very nice to walk around. We dropped into the Prince of Wales hotel for some afternoon tea. The adults ordered a pizza and onion rings. I kid you not. We wander around the hotel a bit. A bald white guy comes into the lobby, points and Simon, and exclaims that he saw him at the wedding yesterday. Keep in mind we are now about 80 miles from where the wedding was held.
Walking around town, they have some amazing flowers lining both the streets as well as hanging from troughs. Very nice quaint little town, it was relaxing to wander around here, and across the river was New York, which meant I my phone service kicks back in and I’m not longer considered roaming. So long as I don’t warnder too far away.
The next stop was Fort George which was the location of a several battles during the War of 1812. I guess 6U made it a point for me to see it as I’m the “Yank” and I guess if the British didn’t take this back… technically, this side of the Niagara river would be considered part of New York. Well, I snapped a few pictures.
After the short stop, we headed to Niagara Falls. It was about 6pm in the evening so the sun was starting to drop but there was still some decent lighting. I think the lighting would have been much better earlier in the afternoon, but then again, it was overcast for most of the day. I grabbed a few shots of New York, the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls.
We walked around for a little bit then packed back into the Jeep and headed up to the casinos. 4A likes to gamble. We ate at one of the casino’s buffet. It was a relaxing dinner. 4A finished and ran off to the casino to gamble. The rest of us slowly ate our dinner. I think we were starting to feel the effects of the weekend. We planned to meet up at 11 PM to head home, so after dinner, Stephen and I wandered the casino halls and I spent 20 bucks on a machine, and played a few hands of paigow. Didn’t really gamble much, wasn’t feeling it. Simon won 300 playing roulette; so he bought us beers and we hung out at the bar until close to 11. 6A and 6U took naps in the big charis inside the hotel lobby. They’re clearly exhausted from having to host and deal with entertaining us. Which was one of the main reasons I didn’t want to come to Niagara. Been there seen that, kind of thing. But at least now I have pictures of the falls. We drove back and I chatted with 6A the entire ride home.
Back home I packed up my stuff and hung out with 4A, Simon, and Stephen. I go into 6U’s office and use his computer to check in and print out my boarding pass. His computer is unusually slow, so I suspect that there are a few nasty things running in the background. I download my usual scanner/cleaning tool, install it, update the virus definitions, then run a quick scan. Found 74 infections. Quarantined and removed them, rebooted, and the computer is running much faster. 6U is happy that his email and all his programs open up immediately instead of taking 5 minutes or longer. Time is money, and the fix was fairly quick. What can I say, I’m a software engineer, messing with people’s computers and stuff is just part of the job description. Getting that done I just hang with the cousins and 4A who’s passed out on the couch. Around 1 or so, Simon gets his mom to go to bed and we just chat for the rest of the night. We do some facebook stalking for some folks we met at the wedding *cough*bridesmaids*cough*. I ended up adding Simon’s brother’s that are on fb, and trying to add the other cousins. At the very least, we have some sort of means to communicate, as opposed to learning about things through the parental filters. We end up just not sleeping and chatting until the bloody sun comes up. Simon gives up around 6:45 and crashes. Stephen hangs in and tags along with me to the airport to say good bye.
I checked in the previous night, but had forgotten that I now have two bottle of wine with me, so my bag needs to be check. Not a big deal, I get in line, check in, and move towards the gate. I’m greeted by a HUGE line. The line isn’t security. It’s the US Customs line. Apparently, they take care of the customs before you board the plane. This is something completely foreign to me, and I’m wondering how long they have had this set up. I’m used to dealing with customs when I arrive at the terminals in the US. My flight was at 9:10, and I arrived at the airport at 7:35. I got to the customs line at about 7:50. I was in line for about 45-50 minutes. There were two customs officers checking people. When I get close, with only 2 people ahead of me, one douchebag traveler decides he wants to hold a full on casual conversation with the customs officer. Wow… life does not revolve around your stupid ass; move dummy! Ugh, he was pissing me off. Heh, he was pissing off the folks in front of me as well. How difficult it is to answer the questions, get your stamps, and move the fuck onto the next cluster f, the security line.
Well, I finally got through customs, went and dropped off my bag to have it sent to the planes underbelly, then got into line. It was 8:40, according to my boarding pass, the plane starts boarding at 8:35. No worries, they started to call out flights that were boarding and having people who were on those flights identify themselves so they could cut through the line. Half way through the line, my flight gets called and I cut through. I get through security without much hassle, then onto my gate. Damn, and I had hoped that I had enough time to pick up a few more bottles of ice wine at the Duty Free shop. Hell, I already passed customs, I could easily max out/exceed my limits on alcohol. I mean, seriously, customs was behind me. *sigh* the logic of all this baffles me to this day. Well, I just head straight for my plane which is already boarded. I guess this is he balance from getting such an easy time arriving to Toronto with the 5 minutes security and 5 minute custom. Everything has a way of balancing things out. Very Buddhist mindset.
Well, at the very least, I’m on the plane now and didn’t miss it. I’m a zombie, so I just head to the back where I know my seat is, see a young blond in the seat next to mine and decide to take the row in front of my seat. When I checked in, I changed seats and knew that it wasn’t a full flight. I wanted to be alone in my row so I just moved myself and watched for anyone that’s still boarding to notice that I was in their seat. No one did.
While sitting there in my zombie state, I felt someone looking at me and looked over. A tall white fellow was looking at me and he seemed familiar to my sleep deprived brain. Suddenly, his companion turned around and looked at me, and my brain switched on and realized that it was Lesley and Andrew (the couple for which, was the main purpose of this whole trip) Lesley and I met in the middle and chatted. They were on their way to the honeymoon destination in French Polynesia (Tahiti, Bora Bora, etc); and they had a 4 hour layover in LA, so I asked them if they wanted me to take them to lunch, she responded with some random question, for which I just responded with the same question I asked, if they wanted me to take them to lunch, and smiled. The plane was still boarding so we decided to chat more when we landed. I went back to my seat and I passed out before we even took off. Yeah, I was a little bit exhausted. I was using my shirt as a pillow and it wasn’t working out quite that well. In hindsight, I think I’ll pick up one of those nifty little neck pillows; well for my trip out to NYC, I’ll definitely pick one of those up. I woke up a few times due to my sore neck and horrific sleeping posture. But the flight went by fairly quickly. We landed and I just sat and waited for the majority of the people in front of me, which was almost everyone, to deplane before I even bothered to get up.
Exiting the gangway, I’m greeted by Lesley and Andrew, heh, I had completely forgotten that they were on the same flight. And according to Lesley, Steve Nash was also on our flight. I then saw him at our baggage claim area but was a little too zombie to go up and get a picture with him. I get Lesley’s cell number and we make plans to meet up after they check in at the international terminal and after I get my car. Pete picks me up, takes me back to work, and I grab the car and head right out to pick Lesley and Andrew. We head up to Chateau Edelweiss about a mile north of LAX and have lunch. We chatted a little about the wedding. It’s funny to hear responses from the white folks about their preconceived notions that asians are overly serious and reserve… referencing to the wedding night and the rather loud and rambunctious table 4. There are exceptions to every rule. And that night, we were definitely the exceptions. I drove them back to the airport and bid them farewell, then headed into work. When I finally got home yesterday, I dumped the pictures I took onto my computer, went through them removing the blurry and bad pictures, built the gallery page, and uploaded everything. I ended up going to bed around 1 AM. Long ass day indeed.
It was a damn good trip, and hopefully a good foundation between my cousins was built and hopefully it won’t be anywhere near as long as 10-20 years for the next time I see them. Time to spend the week in recovery so I can recharge some energy for this up coming weekend…
And for all the pictures I took, go here: http://gamerabaenre.com/toronto_9_2010.htm As a side note, hopefully I get the pictures Simon took and I can post those up too.