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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Third Weekend in L.A. - part 2

Okay, so where was I with my weekend update? Ah, yes, Saturday. We had lunch at a really good Korean BBQ place called Korean Garden Buffet in Cerritos. It was heaven for my highly carnivorous family. All-you-care-to-eat barbecue (chicken, pork, beef, beef ribs, pork ribs, spicy chicken, and more), plus a host of Korean side dishes (kimchees, pickled veggies, salads, tofu soup, sushi, etc), and also fried rice, noodles, and seafood too. Not to mention soft-serve ice cream for dessert and all for only $12.99 per person. On the upside, the food was really good and the value for money was quite excellent. On the downside, we all ended up smelling like grilled meat for the rest of the day. But that’s a small price to pay for such a good meal :)

After lunch we split up into three groups. Group 1 was dad, mom, Jim, Joy and Marc, who headed off to the Cerritos Performing Arts Center to watch the Broadway production, “Oklahoma”. Group 2 was Atsi and Mark who headed to the South Bay Pavilion to do some shopping. And Group 3 was Jojo, Jules and myself who headed home. Jules had to study for finals, Jojo took a nap (he has been trying to recover from a really bad cold), while I had a book club meeting to attend.

Side note: the book club meeting went very nicely. We talked about Mitch Albom’s “The Five People You Meet In Heaven”. I love this book and had suggested it to the club. But a few days shy of the meeting, I was having second thoughts. Since the book touched on several sensitive issues: death, the after-life, spirituality, love, and disappointment, I had worried that perhaps it would be too “heavy” for a group of ladies who barely knew each other. Admittedly, in the beginning it was a little bit awkward, there were pauses, hesitant looks, and shy smiles. I think everyone was trying to feel their way around the group before talking about their thoughts and feelings. But later on, the group started warming up and the conversation was much less stilted and there was much more sharing. The ladies really started opening up and talking about private, intimate and heartfelt things. It was nice and I really felt very comfortable with the group. Two hours flew by and we ended the session with everyone saying it had gone better than expected. I’m so glad.

The family re-grouped at home around 7 pm and we were trying to decide what to do for dinner. Some wanted something light, others were hungry for a real meal. Some wanted to stay in, others wanted to eat out. We finally decided to compromise and get take–out food. From there on it was easy to decide on getting Panda Express for 3 reasons: it’s quick, everyone loves Chinese food, and my baby sister, Joy, has a cute fascination with eating out of those take-out boxes. And so, it was Panda Express for dinner and a round of Scrabble and Scattergories after that.

Sunday was our adventure into Chinatown and a dim sum lunch at Empress Pavilion.
As always, there was an almost hour-long wait for a table, the servers were their typical rude and abrasive selves, and the place was as noisy and as crowded as ever. But despite that I still say that in L.A, Empress serves the best and the largest variety of dim sum and so in my mind, it’s worth the aggravation. After lunch, we walked around and found the weather had turned quite warm (the sun was out) so that’s my family’s cue to head indoors.

The afternoon was spent shopping in and around Torrance. I am proud to say I bought my dad an attaché case for work. It’s very hard to buy my dad presents. First, because he has a very particular taste. Second, because it’s hard to buy a man who has everything something. And third, cause he never lets us pay for anything! Never. Seriously. Every time we go out, my dad pays. Any time. Any where. He will only let us pay if we absolutely insist and if it’s “small” stuff. That’s how generous he is. Imagine this, the other night we were at Walgreens and he wouldn’t even let Jojo pay for a bag of cough drops! Anyway, back to the attaché case, I was really thrilled that I could finally get something for my dad that I know he likes and will get to use. I am calling the case his “Mission Impossible” case. Picture the attaché cases used in the movie (the one that is handcuffed to some bad guy’s wrist cause it contains deadly nerve gas), that’s kinda how it looks. Very sleek and stylish!

Our last activity for the day was a waterfront picnic at the Redondo Beach pier (complete with hummus, sourdough bread, cheese, and chips from Trader Joe’s, and a bucket of good old KFC). I guess to some of the people strolling the pier, we were a sight to see, we were the only ones picnic-ing in the cold weather, at around 7 pm, in our coats and scarves. Most families were packing their stuff to go home since there was a definite chill in the air and the wind from the water was blowing quite strongly. But then again, I’ve said this before, we are a very heat-wary and sun-averse family. You’ll notice that in my recent posts, I talk about us barbecuing in our backyard at night rather than during the day -- when it’s cold rather than sunny! I know, it is a bit odd but it works for us.

3 comments:

jol said...

I encourage planning to have a successful venture. The book club meeting went well as you prepared some questions to stimulate the discussion. Our family activities were fun as it involve some kind of scheduling to include everyone. Thanks!
Your gift is memorable as it took me sometime to decide but was an item that I like very much. Salamat!

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