Friday, September 16, 2011

Tan Lines Welcome: Redondo for the Summer

As the temperature steadily rose, students were mentally checking out. It was officially summertime. 

We had our closing ceremonies in the sweltering gym before sending them off with Goodbyes and Sayonaras. Most were going to visit grandma and grandpa, play in the pools and eat ice cream. I talked to a few students who had plans to take trips with their families. I knew of one going to Australia, others to Hawaii, and one of the older girls was off to Bangladesh for a few days on an immersion program. But the vast majority were staying put in Japan. 

Some of my elementary students on the day of their closing ceremony

Principal speaking

I on the other hand was off to California. Back to my roots. I had to say a final good-bye to Ian, Maya, Sinapi and Richard as none of them would be here when I returned. That was no fun. 

I have heard from other friends I met here that one of the down sides of living abroad, is that friends are constantly leaving. However, the flip side of that, is that they are generally moving on to a new country which adds a new place to visit, and don`t forget the most important thing, a free place to stay.
After packing my suitcase and a little jog to the train station, I arrived at Narita ready for a pit stop in Taiwan before heading west. After close to 25 hours of travel, I was greeted by Lindsey at LAX who was retrieving me before whisking me away to a much anticipated burrito. 
We exchanged excited hellos, before she paused and goes,

"Well. This is weird."

"Haha! I was thinking the same thing."

We hadn`t seen each other since Japan, when I watched her and Kelly bike away from my middle school in the pouring rain. And here we were in sun dresses, in the town we grew up in, but which neither of us resided. 
She was right, it was weird.

We ate and talked and laughed, before I headed home to see Ma, Pa and Charlie! They were great and so excited to see me, as I was them. I was scheduled to be home for a month, mostly to hang out with my Daddio, which was a-okay with me. 

We had lots of bonding time, Daddio and I, we went on field trips around town. We were regulars at the hardware store, the post office, the bank, Trader Joes, Starbucks (mostly because I was driving) and my personal favorite, Yogurtland. Our regular schedule of errands was set around doctor`s appointments in various parts of the South Bay. We also became "members" if you will, of the Redondo Beach Cancer Support Community, or as I call it, Club Cancer.

One of the oncologists mentioned it to us, and I researched and got us an appointment. The place is amazing. Located on the Redondo Beach Pier, it is a completely free facility that has classes in just about anything and everything. Yoga, writing, various support groups, even reiki, in addition they have a library with what must be every cancer book ever written, all free. My dad and I went for our introduction meeting, which was really just a conversation, and were placed in appropriate support groups. My mom and I were in a family and friends one, and my dad was in with other patients. I was only able to fit in one meeting before heading back to Japan, but it was amazingly helpful. It offered me some comfort knowing I was leaving my parents with this support group prior to my return to Japan.

Just in case anyone reading this, is interested, here is the link...

During my time home, when I wasn`t with my Dad I did other lovely Redondo Beach things. 
Here they are...Enjoy!

[Played "who can get the tin foil from the burrito wrapper into the vase" game]   
@ home                                               

[Played Toy Cars with Charlie]
@ home

[Mini Mom's and Daughter's High School Reunion]
@ Lauren's house 

[Teen Choice Awards]
@ Universal Studios

Any GLEE fans? 

FOX After Party, all the you could ever want

[Watched Home Videos]
@ home

[Beach Walks with a Coffee Pit Stop]
@ The Yellow Vase

[GLEE 3D Concert Movie]
@ AMC 20

Were on a happiness high after the movie so decided to spread the love via chalk to some friends.
Think of it as the more mature, and eco friendly version of TPing.

[Night out to hear Kevin Miso]
@12th and Highland, Manhattan Beach

[My Gardening Project]
@ my backyard

happy helpers

[Dinner with the Salinas']
@ Tori's House

She's a big fan of the Food Network. ;)
hungry patron

[Beach Day]
@ Ave C

@ my backyard

Always a special time when mothers and daughters drink together...
...even more special when we educate them on the ways of drinking games.
[Night on the Town]
@ Hermosa Beach

[Beauty CULTure Photography Exhibit]
@ Downtown LA

naturally beautiful, inside and out

[The Coolest Car Wash in the World]
@ El Segundo

Moooo...I went 3 times while I was home

[Parras Middle School]
@ Redondo Beach

trip down memory lane

[Walk with the Fam Bam]
@ around the block

mi casa
[Performing My Queenly Duties]
@ home

Sold all the extra shirts I had to raise money for the victims of the earthquake/tsunami.
A sincere thanks to all who bought one!
The Irishman himself
The German/Slovenian herself

Life is better in the summer, 

P.S. Since this blog has turned into more a journal than anything else, I have decided to add a little tidbit at the end of each post. I`m calling it, The Latest. So, when I look back on this, I can see what I was in to.

[The Latest]

Must Read: Room   By Emma Donoghue
Google search: California sustainable plants
Tune: I`ll be Waiting By Adele
Accomplishment: Running daily
Obsessions: Yogurtland, Mexican food, Sunset Magazine, and attaining at least one tan line while still using sunscreen.

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