So my trip to California :D Bear with me, this post might be quite long, but at least, there's pictures :D
The purpose of this trip was primarily to attend my cousin's - Katie - wedding. My father has 6 siblings and over the years, many have moved from Vietnam to California. However, Katie's family is the one that has been in the States for the longest and the one we're the closest to. She's the 2nd kid out of 4 (2 girls, 2 boys) and the 3rd to get married... but you have to know her... She's outgoing, very sociable and bigger than life... and her wedding mirrored her personality :)
We left on Thursday's afternoon. We wanted to leave earlier, but my sister had school, so we had to work around her schedule. Unfortunately, it was not a direct flight ^_^; Seriously, if I can help it, I'll never have connections ever anymore! It's not just the waiting time, but the possible delays :( The worst was that the seats from Chicago to Los Angeles were very uncomfortable :( Ugh, my poor butt. We arrived late to Los Angeles where our oldest cousin picked us up. She then drove us out to eat... where we were picked up by Katie and Chap (the groom) and drove home in Westminster.
Friday was spent running last minute errands - buying decorations, tulle, garter... and decorating the house. A little shopping and oh, we got new haircuts :)
That day, I crashed early because I was exhausted. Let just say, I've been running on very little sleep. I had a headache and didn't want it to get worst. Also, we had to wake up extremely early on Saturday to prepare hors-d'oeuvres.
See, in some Asian cultures, instead of a church ceremony, there's the "groom goes to pick up the bride" ceremony that takes place in the morning. In this case, the "good" time that day turned out to be 9.30am!!! So that meant, guests on the bride side had to be present at 8.30-9am!! That's quite early... so we had to wake up even earlier to get the house and hors-d'oeuvres ready ^_^; We were running behind too, you should have seen the rush!
LOL and instead of a little ring boy, we need two little boys to open the limo door :) It was quite funny because 1) the driver was going to open the door and everyone was like: "No! No! Don't open the door!!" and 2) the boys were just so shy!! LOL, they didn't want to do it... I guess because everyone were looking at them. On the bride side, our nephew, Alexander, had to open the door. His father had to help LOL and afterwards, he hugged his father's leg so tight that my cousin-in-law couldn't walk :P In Alexander's defense, the doorboy on the groom side was as shy and his mother had to help... He was on the verge of crying ^_^;
The groom and bride received all the gifts from the bride's side of the family and then, hop, the groom drove his new bride to his house where his parents awaited. That's when the fun for us started - because now, it was their turn to run around and we could relax and enjoy the food. Not so much the bride, though, who had to kneel and pray for 10 minutes LOL :P The next day, we asked Katie what she prayed for... "For the 10 minutes to go by fast!" LOL. Then, the groom and bride received all the gifts from the groom side. And that was it, the end of the morning ceremony... Time to get ready for the reception :D
BIG? That she was expecting 550 guests?!? Yes, 550... In her defense, she couldn't help it... See, Chinese weddings - we usually count tables... 10 persons per table. 22 tables went to the groom's dad guests, 16 to the bride's dad guests and the rest for the groom and bride. Oh and she likes to go all out too :D
Gorgeous, isn't it? Also, as it is common tradition in Chinese weddings, the bride had three dresses: wedding dress, Chinese dress and cake-cutting dress.
By the way, if you want to see what I look in the dress, you can see below :)
All in all, we had a great time at the wedding :D It's been ages since I've seen my parents dance (1st pic) !! My dad says 30 years LOL :) My cousins brought their kids on the dance floor as well :D and LOL, father of the bride and my father were quite happy :D
Everything went smoothly and on time and so, the wedding actually wrapped up quite early - around 11.30pm. We were home by 12pm... and you'd think we would call it a night... but of course not LOL. Not my uncle and dad. Guess what? They started drinking cognac! Yes, cognac!!! They were 4 of them, my dad, uncle, cousin and a family friend. Women sat around, keeping an eye on them. It was quite hilarious!! and you could have seen them... They were determined to drink through a bottle of Cordon Bleu and they almost did!! My sister and I had to sneak the bottle away and empty it so they would finally go to sleep LMAO. It's been a while since I laughed as much LOL :) You know my uncle and dad are tipsy when they start talking in English... the funniest moment was when my uncle said: "I want to go to sleep!" It was 1.30am already, so we were all happy... and my mom stood up. My uncle then went: "Auntie, why did you stand up so quickly? Why are you so eager? Let sit down and keep drinking then!" LOL :P and so, they did... till 2.30am ^_^;
The next day, I woke up quite early and and very excited... because it was the SoCal bloggers meet!! Wendy was coming to pick me up and we were meeting at 11.30am at Costa Mesa Borders. We were early, but not as early as Tracy who was already browsing the aisle. Then, Lori and Renee showed up, followed by Rosie and a copy of Indiscreet by Carolyn Jewel :D Daphne, Holly and MM were last to join. It was funny, because I immediately recognized Holly and MM, but not Carmina - she cut her hair. When I saw them, I was like: "Oh, Holly brought her daughter... Wait a minute, The Girl doesn't have black hair!" and then, I recognized Daphne LOL :P Poor Holly, she had to rush to the restroom before greeting us ^_^;
So we browsed and bought books :D Borders customers and employees were probably wondering who were all those women, laughing and talking loudly LOL :P Then, we went to Yard House to get lunch where we talked even more... and ate of course LOL :) I wrapped it up by taking pictures with everyone :D
In the bottom picture, from left to right: Renee, Lori, Wendy, Holly, Daphne, Rosie and Tracy... and I'm standing in front. I didn't realize I was standing in front of Wendy and didn't have to flex my knees, LOL :) And then, the SoCal bloggers meet came to an end :( Booo! Way to quick! Lucky though, some of us were meeting the next day for an outing to the UBS :D
That evening, another one of my cousins took us out (my family and some family's friends) out for dinner. He has a baby, 3 months old, and she is the most adorable baby!!! She looks like a doll!!
The next day, Wendy, Renee, Tracy and I met again to go to a UBS - New and Recycled Romance. If you're in the neighborhood of Costa Mesa, you have to make it to that UBS!! All romance and simply heaven!! Imagine Kristie's book room x 2.5... Floor to ceiling romance novels!! It was simply wow!!! Great place! I'll be sure to go back the next time I visit my relatives :D
Then, my sister and I went to an outlet mall and did some quick shopping... before going home where we were invited for another dinner... That was Monday... and we were flying on Tuesday morning, at 8.35am... which meant we had to be at the airport in the neighborhood of 6am and had to leave home at 5.30am. So guess till what time we stayed there? Yep, 1am and we were not done packing ^_^; Everytime someone told my dad to go home to pack, he would say: "I have a good wife and two daughters to take care of it" and so, we stayed LOL :) At the end, we cleared the table and fold the chairs - even the one on which my dad was sitting. Not subtle, LOL. I missed most of that dinner though, because I crashed on the couch... Simply too tired.
So that's pretty much it, my trip to California! I had a great time with family and friends... It's unfortunate it went by so fast :(
But LOL, that's not what you want to know right? What you want to know is what books I got? Well that's another post :D