Got back and G & kids were out cold. K & I walked over to Downtown Disney to look for something for a Christmas prezzie for cousin Miya. The lines for the parks were already pretty long - glad we weren't going there. Made it back to the room around 10am. Kids were up watching tv. G was finishing up packing. Loaded up the car and then checked out.
IHOP for brunch...
Drove from Anaheim to Gardena. Picked up some manju to bring to Auntie Hey's. Had thought to stop by Marukai supermarket - but it was crazy - couldn't even find a parking spot. Oh yeah, everybody's getting ready for New Year's. Oh well.
Getting to Auntie Hey's house is sort of like the blind leading the blind. We didn't mapquest it, but we've been there often enough that we know how to get there. Sort of get on the Artisia freeway, and turn left at supermarket and then right at the school and then left at the second street. Forget street names and all. First thing Auntie wanted to do was feed us. It's sort of like magic - food just appears in her house. Chinese take out, torpedo sandwiches from Giuliano's, fruits, rice, tsukemono and other munchies. Had a nice chat with her and cousin Robert while we waited for cousin Phyllis to show up. Phyllis ended up calling Robert for directions. We ragged her on that all day. She's lived there all her life and she needed directions to get to Auntie Hey's house????? *weg* Auntie's house is the gathering place for the LA folks like ours is for the norcal folk.
We piled into the cars and drove to the SNF where Uncle Mits was recovering from a number of issues (he was released on Saturday). He was looking pretty good and seemed to be in good spirits - walking well too.
Got a chance to talk with cousin Ricky who was visiting too. Rick's had a real hard time these past few years - first pancreatitis and now cancer. He'd had surgery in early November to remove part of his lung and they had thought that they had gotten it all, but recent tests have shown that it's spread to his liver. He's looking pretty gaunt - sort of like how his dad was when he had cancer. He's currently undergoing chemo. Healing wishes sent his way are very appreciated.
After dinner, we went to K's friend Lorie's place in Monterey Park. She was kind enough to host us for Friday & Saturday nights. Yay! I finally got to stay up and read!
Saturday was a very low key day. I read all day. K & Lorie took the kids to the park. G tried out Lorie's eliptical. Lunch was a delicious baked casserole made of rice topped with mock crab, mayo and sour cream and furikake and served with lots of nori. Yum. Sort of like a hot CA roll.
After lunch, Lorie's mom came by and we got to learn how to make mochi (rice cakes). I WANT a mochi maker. Gizmo sort of looks like a bread maker/rice cooker. Sweet rice is steamed and then it kneads the rice into dough. Very cool. Kitchen table had been covered with butcher paper and rice flour. Hot dough was dumped on the table and Lorie rolled it out and cut it into small balls. The rest of us got to pound and roll the balls into the thick flat pancakes. Kyle had flour all over his face by the time he was done. You had make sure the cakes were smooth and esthetically pleasing *weg*. Hot mochi with sugar/shoyu sauce... YUM! Alani & Kyle preferred theirs with just sugar.
I've got a package in the freezer - will have to ozoni or just fry it up with a little kinako (yam flour) and shoyu.
Met up with cousin from hell (Sayoko) and we went to dinner at Shaka's (hawaiian/japanese). I had pork/fish lau lau for the first time. Not sure I like the texture of the steamed spinach. Next time, I think I'll just stick with the Kahlua pork.
Sunday, we left for home right after breakfast. Hit very little traffic. K again made onigiri, so with a couple of potty/run around breaks we made it home in just over 6 hours. As it was K's birthday, somebody would sing to her at least once an hour. =)