Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Back in the Bay Area

Yesterday I had lunch at a Monogolian BBQ place with a Chinese buffet sitting next to a bunch of guys speaking Hindi while American oldies played on the radio and a Spanish talk show was showing on the TV. Yep, I'm back in the Bay Area. :) It's actually one of the things I miss living in the great Northwest... we may have fun quirkiness, but we just don't have quite the same mishmash of people, races, cultures and languages jammed together in close quarters. The nearest grocery store to my parents' house here is a Chinese supermarket (in a shopping center where more of the signs are in Mandarin than in English). Yesterday's Mongolian BBQ place was in a strip mall full of stores advertising Indian and Pakistani fashions and halal groceries. As I made dinner last night I could hear some neighbors blasting mariachi music on the radio while they worked in the yard. There's something fascinating to me about so many different people from such different places and backgrounds living so closely together.

So much has changed since I grew up here and yet so much is the same. I remember my mom driving with us kids through Thousand Oaks on one of our vacations once and getting so sentimental while pointing out, "There is the house I grew up in, complete with the ivy just how it used to be" and "That's where so and so lived." I didn't really get it at the time. But I'm starting to get that way when I come back here and visit. Most of my friends have grown up and moved away, just like I have, but there are so many memories... driving past places I went on dates, taking my kids to the park that I played at growing up, talking to our long-time neighbors and realizing their "little" kids have all grown up and graduated from high school. (I still remember the gargantuan first birthday party they had for their daughter, complete with a whole pig roasted in their backyard.)

Now I'm starting to sound old.... :) I guess it won't help my case if I add, "I remember going to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on Monday and Tuesday "1907 nights" when it was only 25 cents for a ticket. Can you believe that it is $1 per ticket now? That's highway robbery!" It reminds me of my grandpa and his storied about trying to decide whether to use his nickel for a bus ride or a hamburger.

Well enough ramblings... I'm excited to visit with all of my siblings as they filter in through the course of the week-- and for the kids to play with their cousins! Beautiful weather, fun activities planned... Camryn whining from going to bed too late.... I guess it's still real life, even on vacation. :)  


Hilary and Eric said...

Please tell me it was the Hong Kong Buffet.

K kid said...

Of course it was Hong Kong Buffet. Where else would be my mom's first choice to take me out for lunch? :)