Wednesday, May 30, 2007 ;
5:46 AM
29 May

Parents arrive at LA from Singapore on 25 May actually but they spent some time there first, before arriving at SLC airport at 4.30pm on Tues.

Dh went to pick them up after school. I cooked dinner and when they reached, we enjoyed an extended family sit-down meal. Long time did not have chance to do that!

After that we unpacked luggage together. My parents brought so many things for me. At my dad's age of 70, that is really difficult.

Many people also passed things to me through them, thank you so much! Pictures will follow in the next post. I just want to give a summary of their visit in one post.

Over the next 2+ weeks they are here, I had a great time. Not only could I go out with dh alone to catch a movie at the cinema (haven't done so for a year?), I could also get to taste my mom's cooking again. She brought local spices and stuff from home, so I got to eat very merrily, all the Spore flavours once again.

My kids also had a great time. They had so much attention showered on them, something they cannot receive from me, because of all the daily chores I need to perform. In fact, ds1 cried twice since my mom left, and said many times that he missed her. They left on Sat and on Sun morn, at 5.30am, he actually walked to the room she slept while she was here, called Waipo Waipo! then realised she wasn't here anymore, and cried very very badly. I had to console him for a long time.

Now he's ok, mainly cos there's still skype and also he can be distracted by other things. But that means I have to work extra hard!

Myself? I also suffered from withdrawal symptoms! When parents were here, I had the chance to go out with dh alone for a movie, and then could talk to other adults during the day. Usually I only have that chance at night when dh returns. I also had the chance to eat my mom's cooking again. :-) Because she brought a lot of local spices and ingredients, the food was very local, very authentic. Yummy.

Oh yes! I also had the opportunity to go for my driving theory test! It was very easy, 25Qs and I finished within 20min. Reminds us of the hc Bio MCQ papers? I always tell my students, "in reality, you have less than 1 min to answer each Q!" Thanks to those MCQ exam training, these are a breeze. When I entered the test area there were 5 pple doing the tests and when I was done, they were still doing the test.

Furthermore, the officer had asked me if I was able to take the English version of the test b4 I started. Dh sniggered at the side and gave me a "haha-got-insulted-again" look. A guy who handed up his test just b4 me (he emerged from another test aisle) failed it, and the officer kind of didn't expect me to pass either. Well, good that I "showed-em". topple both gender and language-discriminations.

However, the practical test slots are all fully booked till late July, so my slot will be end July. Parents won't be here already, and the kids will hv to be dragged down to the test ctr to watch me take test then. Ok this one will the one i am worried abt, cos I hv v lil practice and it's driving on the other side. I can't get used to gear shifting with my right hand, and signalling with my left. scared scared.

ok, on to photos next..

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 ;
3:39 AM
28 May
Memorial Day

Dinner at Ely above.

Journey home:
Deserts of Nevada
Never-ending roads that seem to lead to nowhere. Hours on end, we are the only car on the road. Very alone, very minute, feel very small...

Saw some "mini whirlwinds" of flying sandstorms. Saw many sand dunes and anthills also. And lots of wild horses and cows. There were so many cow and cattle crossing signs, like the numerous elk-crossing signs in California. There was even one cow crossing for next 55 miles!

Mono lake

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

Monday, May 28, 2007 ;
5:45 AM
27 May


Arch Rock Entrance -

Bye bye yosemite valley (El Capitan, World's largest granite monolith, waterfalls)

Tioga Rd - (The Tioga Road is a 39-mile (63km) scenic drive through forests and past meadows, lakes, and granite domes from Crane Flat, past Olmsted Point and Tenaya Lake, through Tuolumne Meadows, and on to Tioga Pass, which at 9945 feet (3031m) above sea level is the highest automobile pass in California. There are many turnouts with broad and beautiful vistas.)

red fir forest -

sierran lakes - still with ice on it

roads and meadows - still with snow patches

Olmsted Point - stopped here very long (kids loved climbing the steep rocks). hiked around here for about 1h.

(caught some teens posing funny at the edge of the cliffs too: they kept acting like they wanna jump)

Tenaya Lake - stopped for picnic lunch (dh and ds1 waded in the icy cold waters)

(water so clear and shimmering, we can see everything at the bottom of the lake)

Tuolumne Meadows - so beautiful already (left), even more so with wildflowers in summer (right)

Tioga Pass - farewell to Yosemite NP! we will be back!

Area just out of NP - still very beautiful, cold (see ice on lake) and pristine.

some parts of road going down in steep decline already.

Hit Nevada - endless desert and bumpy roads with huge dips. we felt like we were riding in a rollercoaster!

Road conditions cause slower speed, hence it was already getting dark and we were only at Ely, Nevada, with 4 more hours to go, at least. Hence we decided to stop there for the night.

Turned out there was a nice Chinese restaurant beside the motel we checked into, and we had a great dinner! Our server was a Chinese girl from KL, Malaysia and the restaurant is owned by Chinese from Guangzhou. As always, in areas with few Chinese, we were treated "like family". And so we felt very at home.

Like in Utah, whenever we go to the Chinese restaurant near our house for meals, the boss and his wife always smile and talk to us, paying us extra attention, talking to my kids and so on, in Mandarin. They also ask a lot about us, our family and so on, feeling very intimate with us like that. :-)

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

Sunday, May 27, 2007 ;
7:43 AM
(Continued) 26 May

After Mariposa Grove, we took the shuttle back to the car and set off for a high point. AS it was afternoon time, it was getting very sunny and warm, so going up to higher altitude would make sense. We headed for Glacier Point. My ears were popping and I almost got car sick again as we ascended to the Point (7274ft, 2220m above sea level).

Breathtaking beauty yet again. The view from there somehow makes me feel very tiny and small in the midst of the vast world. Yosemite Valley lay 3200ft below and I could make out the Lodge and cabins being so microscopic down beneath. Looking around, Half Dome can be seen, and with binos, climbers using cables to scale the vertical face of the granite dome, can be observed.

In the past, people used to hang glide off this point!

Below: after all the hiking at MG, ds2 conked out and missed seeing the panoramic views from Glacier Point.

After Glacier Point, we drove down and headed towards Yosemite Valley again. We went through a tunnel and stopped at the Tunnel View Overlook. Again, great views from this vista.

At the Valley again, we hiked trails in meadows and was pleasantly surprised to spot a deer. Deer's different from elk, so I was very excited to see another large mammal. Dh jokingly remarked that maybe we would spot a cougar or bear soon. Cos it was getting late and the trail we were on seemed to have no one in sight again. :-)

Other pics taken along the trails:

We headed back at around 8pm, so that it would not be dark along the way. Nightfall here seems similar to home in Utah, around 9+pm.

Near the motel, there was a jam, and it turned out that the police were checking for drink driving. A shot of the loving brothers in the motel (they chose to sit under my laundry that I hung up to dry).

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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