Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas in Seattle

Finals are over, the hectic schedule at work has dwindled down and campus resembled more of a ghost town than an academic institution as students slowly disappeared to venture home for the winter break.

Here we are at our layover in Reno on our way to Seattle for Christmas! We got up at the wee crack of dawn in order to catch our plane. The flight was worth braving in order to see my family--all of them in one place which is a rare occurence.

Seattle is just a different place. Not like L.A. or Las Vegas...it definitely has it's own personality. First of all, it is almost always wet--but that's what makes it so green and not like any other place. I've never lived in Seattle although I've pondered it at one point in my life. I had imagined myself living in a loft near towntown, bundled in a scarf and hanging out at the local coffee joint for kicks. I can't imagine myself doing that at this point in my life.

Like Johnny's dad, I'm solar powered. I need the sun and heat to keep going. Otherwise, I would just get depressed by the gloom and dampness. I don't think I could be happy anywhere geographically unless it was a place with little humidity, and lots of sun. Hawaii or Las Vegas.

So we've been in Seattle for several days now as the family members trickled in. First there was just us with my sister, her husband, and my nephew. Later the next day, my parents arrived with my brother, his wife, sister, and her fiance. We had taken bets on their estimated arrival time as my mom is notorious for being late--and I don't mean minutes late.

Once we had all the family members, then--and only then did it feel like Christmas as my sisters began to cook up a storm. Boy oh boy--the best Laotian food ever!! Pho, spring rolls, and other traditional foods. I ate my heart out and believe me, I'm not done yet. Pho is a strange thing. As simple as it is with noodles and beef stock--it is more than just soup. What's the saying, soup warms the heart and soul (or something like that)? Pho is the same in my family. It's about putting together the ingredients, flavoring the soup, and the conversations that accompany the meal.

As we eat our soup, my sisters and I sample from each bowl around the table, tasting the rainbow of flavor that differs from bowl to bowl. Every bowl is different and like mom says, "all different but all are good" and she's right. No two bowl taste the same because we specialize each bowl which starts out with just the basic beef stock and noodles.

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