Friday, May 22, 2009


Now that I’m in California, I get to meet Liang’s family. I met her husband, Alvaro, at the wedding. But, you know how weddings go, and by the end I knew he looked very nice in his suit, but I didn’t really get much time to chat. Turns out he’s funny and patient and hardworking and adores Liang, which gives him some serious points in my book. They had a kid shortly after they were married and now they have another one on the way. The best part of hanging out with a VERY pregnant woman is that we go at the same speed, we complain about our swollen feet, and we’re always tired :). So Friday consisted of a very laid back day. Even with a toddler, I still got to sleep in. This is my good buddy, Tai. He's 18 months and talks and growls and mutters but hasn't quite learned words yet.
After Alvaro got home from work, we went for a drive through their home town, Modesto. Alvaro works at Blue Diamond, so our first stop was the gift shop to get a few souvenirs for the folks back home with his employee discount. It was awesome! They had a tasting table and just to give you an idea I had to pick souvenirs from loads of different flavors. Almonds like: Smokehouse, Whole Natural, Roasted, Salted, Honey Roasted, Jordan, No Salt, Sea Salt, Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, Vanilla Bean, Jalepeño Smokehouse, Wasabi & Soy Sauce, Maui Onion & Garlic, Lime 'n Chili, Salt & Black Pepper, and my personal favorite, Salt 'n Vinegar. Yes, well, a few of those went into my "Snacks" baggie for the trip home :).

They showed me all their favorite places and their schools and shopping centers and Liang was sure to point out Target :). The running joke was how big Modesto is and how tiny Burley is. And to prove it, here we are at their ginormous mall. It’s not the largest mall I’ve ever been to, but when you compare it to the Snake River Plaza… well, they’ve got a point :).
One of the things that they like to do together is to cook, so every day we did something fun with food. Friday night was dinner at at Tabinyaki, Tebanyacki, grrrr... Wait a minute and I’ll look it up... Teppanyaki. woah. I was WAY off. So, teppanyaki is a style of Japanese cooking where the chef cooks on a grill right in front of you like at Benihana.
Usually the chef will joke with you and they typically have a few tricks during dinner like the flaming onion volcano. We debated if the guy we got was new or had a bad day or having a bad day because he was new, but he didn't joke or do many traditional tricks. It was a bit of a disappointment when you go for a dinner and a show and you just get the dinner, but the dinner… wow!... it was delicious! When Alvaro suggested sushi, I figured I was on vacation so I told him I'd try it. Doesn’t it look beautiful?
He picked out one of his favorites and we mixed some wasabi in with teriyaki to give it some zing for a dipping sauce. It was a little fishy, but not bad. I thought the dipping sauce added a lot of flavor. Afterward, he asked me if I wanted to know what it was. Ok. Eel. Oh... huh. I guess now I can say I’ve had eel. I love vacation!
Stay tuned for more on my California Dreamin’ weekend!


  1. How fun!!!! Tell Liang hello for me. He little guy is so cute! I hope you both have a fun visit and I am looking forward to reading all about it, so keep posting!

  2. It looks like you're having a great time! Enjoy every minute of your vacation. You look wonderful!!!