Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Gardens, Angel, Park, Food... FAMILY!!!!!

COUSINS!! Our vacation adventure continues with a few days with the family in the bay area. We said farewell to our dear friends and headed down to San Rafael. We stayed with Auntie Gigi. We got to play all afternoon in her awesome yard. Kaylee, Clark, Grace and I spent our time making "Apple crisp cake" out of, well, dirt, but don't tell us that. I had a clear recipe on that I found on a leaf that we were following very carefully. We got a great lunch brought by Auntie Geralyne and Uncle Mark... dim sum delivered! After lunch we played in the bamboo and made collections of pokers... such a fun afternoon. We headed over to Auntie Ann and Uncle Jason's house for a great grilled dinner... well, given the amount and deliciousness of the food maybe a feast would be a better name.Of course, no Gong family feast would be complete without Auntie Geralyne's striped jello! Seriously, this stuff is addictive! We had a wonderful visit. Grace loved the play-house, the grown-ups enjoyed the evening and company, such a great evening! We got to stay the night with Auntie Gigi and Lola, which was super nice. The next morning we woke up to some great pancakes by Auntie and took off for Angel island with Kaylee, Clark, Jason and Ann. It was pretty great, started with a fun ferry-ride, a bit chilly perhaps, but definitely neat. After we landed, we hiked over to the immigration station, checked out the bunks, saw some amazing old poems that were carved (and spackled and painted over) on the walls (if you squint you can kinda see the characters), so many stories to share moving through those walls. Great-Grandpa Jerry came through Angel island with Tai-goong when he was a boy. To commemorate that passage that really was the foundation for our family here in the states, my great-uncles and great-aunties dedicated a plaque on a memorial wall. It was pretty special to be able to visit, and to know that our great-grandfathers had stayed here, were tested, were released to a new life through here. We headed back, caught the ferry back to Tiburon and ate a great lunch at Sams. We followed with some wandering around and heading into SF for some fun. Spent the afternoon at the children's park. Okay, family friends... if you have kids... take them here! It was awesome. We met up with Auntie Gigi and Derek and started things off with a ride on the merry-go-round. I think the rest of us liked it a lot more than Grace did. My most favorite was the huge rope climbing structure... it went up so high! kaylee and I spent most of our time there. Grace checked out the slides, a cool little kids play area complete with giant fish, giant waves and turtles... a good summary of her favorite things. Clark seemed to really like the huge concrete slide (you slide down on cardboard). There was so much else there as well, most of which defy logical names. ... like this off-kilter spinny cup. I think Grace eventually kinda took a liking to it.That may be the start to a smile underneath that hand. The amazing day was capped off with a great banquet at China First on Clement. The food was great! We all ate extremely well. I ate most everything, Grace did really well with rice, fish and at least three pieces of quail! All in all a most wonderful visit. we had such a great time and hosted so graciously by our SFBA family. We love you guys. Thank you!

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