My travels to SFO went smoothly yesterday and I was happy with my decision to get there early. It was not at all crowded or difficult to navigate and the flight was on time. Once I arrived at LAX however it was hectic and crowded. Outside the arrivals gate there were so many people that I was very doubtful that my parents would be able to pick me out of the crowd. Luckily I was able to flag them down and we drove safely away from the mass of travelers.
That night after having vegetable stew with my parents, I went over to my sister Barbara’s house where we made a non-dairy apricot stuffing from scratch. It was so much to fun to cook with her. My nephew Roy was also there and we put him to work chopping vegetables. The next day we made a pumpkin pie (with soy milk) while listening to the Garden State soundtrack. I was so happy that I had given the CD to her and it reminded me of my Berkeley home.
Before I left for L.A., Justin and Kimi had made a full Thanksgiving dinner for all of us at Cloud Ninth and it was made without dairy just for me. I was so thankful and appreciative that my friends would go through such great effort to do that. I knew that if I wanted to have something to eat at Thanksgiving dinner with my family I would have to make it myself. It really was fun for Barbara and I and it tasted pretty good considering we had never made the recipes before.
The actual dinner was pretty standard (for my family anyways). All thirty of us crowded around a long table at my sister Joan’s. I had a glass of wine and thought about why I had made the trip. At first my only reason was because Barbara had begged me but I really was enjoying myself and am always happy to see everyone, especially my nieces and nephews. Also my parents are getting older and that always keeps me feeling nostalgic and wanting to be there.
Afterwards boredom set in and I decided to go out exploring. I drove to the Santa Monica Promenade in about ten minutes because there were no cars on the road. There were actually a few stores open (including Famima!) and all of the restaurants and bars. Lots of people were out and performers played music for us. On the way back I drove through Santa Monica, Venice and Marina Del Rey. It was so interesting to zip through areas that usually are congested with so much traffic. I loved it. Last year on Thanksgiving night, maiki and I drove to downtown L.A. and went to Japantown. Starbucks was pretty much the only place that was open and I remember how deserted the city felt. It was neat to be one of the only cars on the road in the middle of a big city. I decided that it was a good tradition to keep.