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Wedding Reception III

Vermont, and the weeks running up to it, were hard. If I haven't said anything about it before, it's because I haven't had any real time to myself to process what happened yet, much less articulate it in a way that would make sense to other people.

My family flew in about a week before the Vermont reception to visit us in San Francisco. Largely because I took four weeks of holidays this year, my work decided to squeeze in the assignments I missed, plus regular work I would have received anyway, into July. I worked every weekend right up to the day my parents were slated to arrive. Seth and I did our best to make the house presentable for our guests in the two days we had for that. By the time my parents landed in SFO, we were exhausted. But I was happy to see my parents, who had travelled far to see us.

I was happy that I got to show my family the city I chose to live in. I liked showing my mom all the nifty places to eat I found. This is, after all, the lady who trained me to eat. My parents seemed to enjoy their forays about town. Mom was excited by the medical halls we passed in Chinatown -- which I admittedly never bothered with, though I'm curious about them, because they're far from where we live, and Chinatown gets very, very touristy. Mom got to try what she called the best fries she'd ever had (from The Crab House at Fisherman's Wharf), the best eggs benedict she'd ever had (Jim's, right around the corner where live) and a creme brulee that was a 'slice of heaven' (Garcon, also relatively right around the corner from where we live). I'd have loved to take her out for nachos or Burmese curried fish noodles, but we had the dietary concerns of my father and brother to consider too. My mom gets these unconscious cravings for things New Orleans whenever she steps into the United States. The last time she was here, about 13 years ago, we wound up at a buffet table in Florida that served mudbugs. This time around, she managed to get awesomely fresh Dunganess crabs (high on my list of stuff to introduce to my mother), seafood gumbo and good red velvet cake. My brother, who's never even been to New Orleans, had the most bizarre cravings for chicken fried steak.

We were worried my parents would look around our neighbourhood and sort of figure we lived in a slum. As it turned out, my parents were initially concerned about the hygiene levels on the street -- to which my brother and father are particularly sensitive -- but mom, again being my mother, went nuts over the local honey store, adored the little neighbourhood organic garden and thought the place colourful. She walked up to fishermen near the Golden Gate Bridge and asked them what sorts of fish they caught. Then she made my father take photos of every flower display at Fisherman's Wharf to practice at home. My mother can just about be dropped off by helicopter anywhere and adapt. Both the husband and myself continue to be impressed.

Mom even liked the cat -- and mind you, I was worried she'd not like the cat -- but Mom loves animals (just usually not cats), and our cat is just about fluffy and round enough you can pretend she isn't a cat with some imagination.

I introduced my father to online electronics shopping, and he got a new scanner for himself within five minutes of learning the basics. My mother is not happy about this. It is, however, essential that he is always able to access the latest electronics if we ever hope to get him retired.

About the first five minutes I had alone with my parents, my mother started suggesting I should quit my freelancing stuff and turn into a housewife. My reaction to this is somewhere between not quite sitting well with the idea to absolutely insulted. Mostly, absolutely insulted. I kind of wish this wasn't my last memory of her visit here.

Vermont was a lot of meeting and trying to remember people from my husband's extended family, amongst many other frantic things, and that was made easier by all my family members -- my blood relatives, the family I now share with my husband and the friends who love us (and whom we love) as family. kn1ghtshade and cr0wgrrl helped keep the home fort strong and the bugs out of our carpet monster on such short notice -- it was very, very kind of them to. (Jack and Linda, if you're reading this, I have maple moose for you.) iamfourninjas and bettyscout flew in with us to Burlington, and proceeded to charm and distract family enough so that we could visit things of Vermont, like go all tourist swag on the Magic Hat Brewery, or stare at Tiffany lamps and motorcycles at Shelburne Farms. Admittedly, the Magic Hat Brewery (apart from having great swag), is so bizarre, it was like we accidentally stepped back into SF once we passed its door.

Meeting the husband's family was an interesting experience. For a start, he is indeed still the tallest man I've ever met, but not unusual in the context of the people he's related to. His parents, my father, isabinda, his cousins and that singular ninja friend of ours (not four -- though we're proud of him) said incredibly kind things about us at the wedding reception. Seth's parents put a lot of effort into making sure stuff worked that day, and really went all out to make my family welcome. I got to wear a very pretty stargazer on my wrist thanks to Seth's mom to the dinner too. I'm not terribly sure I got all the name of Seth's uncles down yet. I think I remembered most of the aunts, some of whom are now challenging me to rounds of online Scrabble as we speak. Did not get quite enough maple syrup fix this time in Vermont. Must improve on that next time.

There will, thankfully, be no next wedding reception.

But it was fast, and it was furious, and we may need to hermit ourselves away for a while to let it settle.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 3rd, 2009 12:44 pm (UTC)
You make me want to visit you just so that we can eat our way around the city. XD

It all sounds very tiring! I'm glad it sounds like you managed to survive.

Now the next time you visit Vermont, swing by Boston! ^_~
Sep. 3rd, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
It was very tiring, and I'm shocked we survived it myself. There's lots of eateries around the city I haven't gotten to yet, especially Chinese ones. It makes me a little sad.

It is very surprising to actually be on the same continent as most of my friends now. I'm still getting used to the concept! :)
Sep. 3rd, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
random question - have you purchased any moon cakes? or are you not into that?
Sep. 5th, 2009 12:48 am (UTC)
I am into moon cakes, though I tend to prefer the fish-shaped biscuits made from just moon cake dough. Was just discussing with the husband this morning what I'd do for Autumn Festival. Crabs are tasty, but messy, and we already have an apartment plagued by ants, so I'd worry about eating 'em here. Tempted to buy a moon cake, but me and him can really only take about a couple of slices before it gets too rich for us. May want to scrounge for the fish-shaped biscuits.

There's also sticky rice balls, which I have handily purchased all the ingredients for, and should probably make!
Sep. 4th, 2009 05:12 am (UTC)
By the way, if Vermont has managed to addict you to maple sugar candy (too sweet to some, just right to others), there is *one* place in SF that sells it in its proper, pure form of maple sugary goodness... Rainbow Foods Grocery on Division Street. They have a small candy section, and god bless'm, it's in there.
Sep. 5th, 2009 12:44 am (UTC)
Oooh! I often have cravings for Vermontese maple syrup, and long to use it in much of my cookery, but have but 3/4ths of a bottle left to my name, resulting in sparing use for pancakes only. :/

I shall remember that about Rainbow Foods, thanks!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )