New Year and Friends

So, it’s the first Monday of the new year, and it will be nice to get back to a regular schedule. The last several weeks have been filled with a lot of activities.

For one, my dad had a major birthday celebration. It started out on the Tuesday before Christmas, and we planned events that lasted until New Year’s Eve. We went out the first night for dinner, and then on Christmas, we took a family road trip along the California coast, first stopping at Andersen’s Pea Soup in Buellton. Then, we toured Solvang, walked along Montana de Oro beach, took pictures at the pier in Morro Bay, and ended the day in San Simeon. The next day, we had a private tour of Hearst Castle in the morning. It was nice not being part of the crowds in the other tours. We then took Tour 3 in the afternoon. That afternoon, we drove to Santa Barbara. On Sunday morning, we toured the old mission and the courthouse. Then, we went to the SB Orchid Estate before the highlight—the outlet stores at Camarillo. I got my exercise walking around the outside of the stores.

On New Year’s Eve, a lot of friends gathered at Uncle Bing and Auntie Irma’s place. We planned to have another surprise for my dad. He was completely non-suspecting. It turned out well, and the 50 regular candles plus 10 trick candles were perfect.

Yesterday, Ben Chen and his parents (Dr. & Mrs. Chen) and Dr. Zheng & Connie, and their son Boming came over for Sunday lunch. I was out in the yard cutting forsythia canes for the centerpiece when everyone arrived. We all had a good time getting acquainted and re-acquainted. Afterwards, we finished by walking through the grove of little citrus trees, eating kishu mandarins off the tree, and touring the pond and bridges.

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