Fourth of July Picnic

This Fourth of July picnic turned out to be a busy one, between grilling everything and being on call. At least I got to meet everyone, have dinner, and take some after-sunset pictures. From our vantage point, we counted at least fifteen different fireworks shows throughout the valley, from east…

Lavender Festival with Bridesmaids

It’s now a little over a month since our lavender-colored wedding. With the Highland Springs Resort putting together a party in celebration of lavender, this is the perfect time to get together with the bridesmaids once again. The day is sweltering, but once under the shade at the Lavender Festival,…

Trip’s End

The last morning in Kauai was also another lazy one. The previous evening at the market, we had seen some sea asparagus and decided to try it. Along with egg muffins, we have sautéed sea asparagus—crunchy but very salty. Our first stop is the nearby Opa‘ekaka Falls. Across the street,…

Reception in China

The flight from LA to Shanghai is uneventful, but this would not be the case for our travels through China. Before the flight, we had downloaded the jetlag conversion app, Entrain. After plugging in the parameters, the app puts out a schedule of when to start light and dark exposure.…

Wedding Day

Of all the previous hectic days leading up to this big day, none can compare in terms of hecticness. After getting engaged, the initial rush was to get the invitations out. That, we thought, would be the biggest milestone to check off. Little did we know that that was only…

The Proposal

This most beautiful Valentine’s Day starts out with all the makings of a perfect day, and as it turns out, the day could not have unfolded in a more perfect way. It’s a bright and warm Sabbath morning. After church, Danny says to Yan, “Just stay in the same outfit…

Family Vacation: Jackson

Having left Yellowstone National Park, we reenter the Grand Tetons from the north, passing by Jackson Lake before reaching Teton Point Turnout for sunset. Far to the east, storm clouds build; there is a faint rainbow amidst the rain spouts. I think there are more angry clouds beyond the western ridges, since the sunset colors are not what I had hoped for.

Family Vacation: Yellowstone

Approaching through the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park, we first visit vast and expansive Yellowstone Lake. Mud Volcano basin is interesting, and Andy is drawn to Dragon’s Mouth Spring, which spews a sulfurous breath to all who approach.

Family Vacation: Grand Tetons

After Boston, I fly directly to Jackson Hole. The plane circles in from the north and tucks in under the blanket of clouds. Below, the valley is beautiful, dotted with golden cottonwoods and aspens in a two-colored mosaic. Upon landing and after getting the car, I rush to the Snake River Overlook for a sunset shot. The color had vanished from the sky, but the valley floor still resonates with the feel of autumn.

Summer BBQ

With just-harvested garden vegetables, it’s the perfect time for a barbeque with friends. On the menu: Salads      Potato salad      Tomato, onion, cucumber salad, feta cheese on the side From the Grill      Herb lemon butter corn on the cob      Garlic thyme artichokes      Lemon garlic asparagus     …

Goodbye, ’Ma

My grandma comfortably passed away four days ago at the age of 90. The guqin piece below, Evening Call of the Raven 烏夜啼, is dedicated in her memory. * * * * * ’Ma was born April 19, 1924, the sixteenth day of the third lunar month, year of the…

Michael’s Farewell

Michael Xu came over from the Children’s Hospital in Hangzhou for fellowship training pediatric cardiothoracic surgery. Having spent a year in Loma Linda, he’s ready to return to China with new skills.

Thanksgiving Lunch

Once again, it’s that time to gather with friends and family, giving thanks for everything. This year, we had friends from Hangzhou—Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital and Zhejiang University Children’s Hospital.

Part 6, Return to Seattle via Victoria

The next morning, cruise director Dave treats us to a backstage tour behind the Princess Theater. We leave the open ocean and curve back into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Suddenly, Andy discovers that we have cell reception! It’s a straight line of sight to Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, and…

Part 5, Alice’s Birthday at Sea

It’s Alice’s birthday! It will be a day-at-sea celebration. Maître d’ Jean Paul Musiu and executive chef Joel Directo demonstrate curing salmon with sugar, salt, cracked pepper, and fresh dill and making Caesar salad from scratch by whisking together chopped garlic, capers, black pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, pasteurized raw…

Part 4, In Juneau and Skagway

The crew makes up time, getting us to Juneau only slightly later than scheduled. A shuttle bus drops us off at the tramway station, and we walk the rest of downtown. The old St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church welcomes tourists like us and worshipers alike. Andy and I make a…

Part 3, First Glimpses of Alaska

Golden morning light bathes the docks and the town of Ketchikan. We decide to do a walking tour of this first stop in Alaska. We’ve escaped—from the contiguous states and the rocky seas. Turning onto Creek Street, the famous historic red light district of old Ketchikan, the stench of dead…

Part 2, From Seattle to Inside Passage

People, all trying to escape onto the cruise liners, jam pack the Smith Cove terminal. The entire hall swirls with excitement of the upcoming vacations. The process takes a long time, but we finally board the Golden Princess, have a late buffet lunch, and go through emergency drills. Soon, the…

Part 1, Sightseeing in Seattle

It’s Friday, and we’re off for vacation to celebrate Alice’s birthday! Dad and Mom went up earlier to do some Seattle touring and shopping while the rest of us worked. After a really busy week, we all meet up. It is going to be an escape of sorts—that’s what the…

Alice’s Early Birthday Party

So, it’s less than two weeks to Alice’s birthday. Today turns out to be the best day for everyone’s schedule. Like back in 2011, we’re celebrating in the courtyard again.

Birthday and Trip

This particular birthday started over a week ago. My family brings me to Mario’s Place for dinner before I head off to LAX. The trip takes me across the Pacific to Hong Kong, into China, and then up to the mountainous region in Yunnan, near the borders with Tibet Autonomous…

Photo Workshop with Jim

Jim Ponder, Publications Editor and Writer for Loma Linda University, ran a photo shoot excursion to Crystal Cove. Despite the cold weather, the clouds, sky, and all the other natural elements gave us so many subject possibilities.

Thanksgiving with Visitors from China

Thanksgiving lunch this year included new friends from China. Here, we stopped by the pond. From right to left: Chenhong Wang, Xiaoming Zhang, Suwen Yang, Zhongwu Jin, Mom, Dad, me, and Jack Tian.