Friday morning, I rolled out of a bed at 6:15am, showered, dressed, grabbed back pack and picked up K. G decided not to go. Oh well. Drove to San Ramon and picked up Auntie Oscar, her daughter Claudia, Auntie Clara and her daughter Patty and we loaded up the van and drove to Los Angeles. Long breakfast stop at Anderson's in Santa Nella. Ice cream break at Iron Skillet. Skip & Auntie Nobu were just leaving Iron Skillet when we arrived. It took almost two hours to get from Magic Mountain to Gardena and our hotel. I just *love* LA traffic. NOT!!!
One of the main topics on the trip down was the birth order - and I was the lone first born in the car. Everybody else was a member of the "poor misunderstood middle child".
Quick snack at Marukai market in Pacific Square. K & I snagged the last Giuliano's torpedo sandwiches =). Patty was not amused. We all ordered a bento box snack - mine had grilled salmon, hot rice topped with an umeboshi, a couple of pieces of tempura, some gobo, and a scoop of potato salad. Did a bit of shopping. Went back to the hotel and chilled a bit before getting ready for Rick's Memorial Service.
Rick's service was held at the Torrance Baptist Church. Minister got a little carried away with the gospel - but not too bad. Actually, those of the Ike family to attend - I think we were mostly all Buddhist =). Oh well. One of the speakers was a friend since 7th grade - she spoke from the heart of how we all would miss his making us laugh. I didn't know that he liked to cook - I always thought his favorite way to cook was to go out =)
Bruce got stuck in traffic and didn't arrive until after the service. There had been some sort of police chase on the freeway which snarled up traffic horribly.
The reception was actually held at the restaurant in our hotel. Sat at a table with Darrin, Satomi, Jesse, Gordon, Heidi, Claudia, Marie, Marcia and K. Much more yakking - especially about the whole birth order controversy - fueled by an article which claimed first borns were smarter. Boy did that get lots of boos. Marcia and I were definitely out numbered.
Did not recognize most of Marie's family. Kevin is now 17 and Justin is 2 or 3 years younger. I only remember them as 8 and 5? 6?. Oh, and Marie's husband Ken - his hair is all white and he's gotten rounder. One of my last memories of Justin was when he decided to jump into the deep end of the pool (and he couldn't swim) at G's wedding shower. G ended up going in after him.
Rachel and Kelsy are 16 years old now!!!! EEEEK!
Auntie Hey told us all to come to her house afterwards. So, we did. More yakking, MORE FOOD and stuff until midnight.
Back to the hotel and in bed by 1am. I had to make a command decision that we would go back to Auntie Hey's at 10am. This whole group mentality of analysis paralysis - gads somebody make a decision!!!! "what ever everybody wants to do..."
K & I were up before 8am so we decided to do some more shopping at Marukai plus find coffee for K. Life is much easier when K gets her coffee first thing in the morning. Met up with Auntie Oscar and Claudia in the lobby. Claudia decided to join in us in going shopping. Auntie was just going to go back up to room and chill.
Bought more curry, nori, wasabi, sukiyaki canned veggies and shishitou. K picked up lots of individual packets of nori and a large cutting board. Claudia spent more money than K & I combined I think.
Loaded up the van and we drove back over to Auntie Hey's. Uncle Mits was doing much better than the last time I'd seem him - (December - while recovering at snf). More food magically appeared and we were told that anything that didn't get eaten would be going home with us as bento. More eating and yakking. Heidi and Jesse were back to chat plus Heidi's two boys - Jason & Brian - haven't seem them in a number of years. Marcia came back with her husband Wayne and daughter Julie (she's going into 9th grade!!!!).
We didn't make it out of the house until close to 2pm (we had planned to leave by noon. uh huh). It took us two hours to get from Gardena to the Magic Mountain. Traffic was a mess as usual. Had to make a quick stop because the weather stripping on the passenger side of the front windshield decided to undo itself. Wedges made from a diet pepsi box plus lots of duct tape and we were back on the freeway.
A potty stop, one fill up and dinner at Anderson's and we were in San Ramon by 10pm. K & I left by 10:30 and were home by 11. Kyle sleepily came out to greet us and give us big hugs to welcome us home. Silly boy =) Sweetie!
HOME! Family togetherness is wonderful, but I sure need a time out.