How we spent our summer vacation …

With school back in session (except when it isn’t because of H1N1) and every Hong Konger back to work, our summer vacation seems like a distant dream. Thankfully, there are photos to prove what really happened. Here’s what I remember:

Part I.

1. Mat and I parting company in Japan after partaking of awesome free sake and lousy panini in the airport lounge.

2. Landing in SFO where I met my dear friend Cheryl, who flew all the way from NYC to hang out.

3. Mat flying to Portland to attend a wedding at which he would wear pink pants and a pink scarf and perform a song.

4. Having a raucous Senegalese dinner with mom, Cheryl, and some of our SF friends, Buzz, Barbara and Mel.

5. Spending a few hours with Gabe touring the Google campus. Three letters – OMG!

6. Sharing with Cheryl the BEST roast pork sandwich ever at the farmer’s market in SF.

7. Driving to Calistoga on a glorious summer day with Cheryl, mom and Rich (a.k.a evil step-father), and stopping at Bouchon for lunch, Auberge for drinks and Solbar for dinner before retiring to Rich’s cottage for an adult slumber party. We lit a fire and watched All About Eve. Isn’t that what adults do at adult slumber parties?

8. Having an equally fab brunch the next day at Thomas Keller’s newest reso – Ad Hoc.

9. Back in SF, me, mom, Rich and Cheryl having a lovely and delicious dinner at Olea with two of our favorite people – Nina and Gabe.

Note to self: Maybe don’t focus all social interaction around meals. You might not gain 10 Lbs. the next time…

10. Ending the San Fran trip with dinner at another oldie but goodie – Globe (and yes, Rich and I shared the steak for two). Delicious.

Part II.

11. Next it was onto Portland. Mat met me at the airport where we picked up a convertible. Decadent, yes, but the weather was sooo nice and we had a long drive ahead.

12. I proceeded to spend the next 2 days shopping for all of things I can’t find in HK: strong garbage bags,

Twizzlers, Glide dental floss, good towels, affordable curtain rods, etc. All told, we shipped 5 boxes back. Mind you, everything we purchased is made in China!

13. Our friends Robin and Brian, whose wedding we attended last year in Bend, OR invited us over for a Portland style BBQ – good nibbles, good beer, a rousing game of cow balls and sterling conversation. Everyone in Portland rides a bike as their primary mode of transport. Wonderful.

Part III.

14. Our last stop on our summer tour was Bend, OR, a gorgeous 3.5 hour drive from Portland. Mat’s parents live in Bend and when we arrived, they were in full prep mode, as their son, Mat’s bro Mike, was getting married at the house in a few days.

15. My strategy was to consume as much beer as possible and not get in the way.

16. With lots of family in town, there was a very casual rehearsal dinner at the house the night before and then Mat took his little brother over to a friend’s house who was throwing a bachelor party. I don’t know what they got up to and I

don’t wanna know. I will say that Mat was a very diligent best man and got his brother home at a very reasonable hour to the relief of all.

17. The next morning, Saturday, the house was abuzz and I was finally given a purpose. String the outdoor deck railing (of which there is a lot) with flowers and tulle and ribbon. Yep. Ty’s decorating service was in full effect. I think you can tell from the photos that the railing had it going on.

18. Then about 2 hours before the wedding, disaster! Mike falls down the stairs, hurts his back and spills wine on his wedding shirt!!! Well, that sent everyone into overdrive. A new shirt had to be procured, pants had to be cleaned, Mike had to be given painkillers, etc.

19. Ahhhh (sigh of relief). Thankfully, Mike was mostly ok and the wardrobe issue was fixed handily.

20. The wedding took place without a hitch on a sunny blue sky day with about 80 family members and friends pre

sent. Did I mention the beer truck???

21. They rented a refrigerated beer truck with multiple kegs. Now that’s a wedding I can get into! The best part was that there was so much beer and food leftover, Mat and I spent our last day of vacation hanging out with his parents in their front yard, eating and drinking deliciously cold beer.

22. A perfect end to a perfect summer vacation.

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