California Sun 暑假

Well I'm going out west where I belong
Where the days are short and the nights are long

-The Ramones

Well, that’s a wrap! Another great summer in the land of our birth: sunny and hot California. Seven weeks of good eating, family time, and of course, California sun.

To soak up that California sun, we packed up Dumpling and all her accouterments for her very first plane ride for her very first trip to the land of her citizenship. The summer of 2017 hereafter shall be known as summer of firsts for Dumpling: first plane ride, first time to the ocean, first time to Lake Tahoe, first filet mignon, first time meeting an adoring handful of aunties and uncles and a rambunctious bunch of cousins.

This filet mignon is soooo good

Unfortunately, Dumpling didn’t make it to one of California’s hotspots, Disneyland; but who needs Disneyland when there’s Moomoo and Aunty Sunny’s houses? The toys were beyond imagination! Toys that beep, sing, vibrate, glow, roll, collapse, expand, float, and elevate. Soft toys. Hard toys. Animal toys. Food toys. You name it, California’s got it.

That is some toy!
But even better than the toys were the cousins. I must say, the cousins know how to put on a show. While Milan jumped around like a silly kangaroo, Capri shared all her favorite toys. Caden was like a gentle protective big brother, while Zephram’s got zany moves. Keiko and Kenji were all smiles and brought out a selection of stuffed toys. Four-year old Enzo put his nose right up to Dumpling’s, and said with impressive diction, “You’re impressive!” Dumpling couldn’t contain herself waving her hands and giggling with excitement.

Vacation came to an end too soon and we got out of California’s hot sun and into Beijing’s muggy one. Dumpling still hasn’t adjusted to the fourteen hour time change. Every morning Dumpling is ready to party at 4 am and go down for the night at 7 am. In addition to the time change, she's adjusting to only having her two boring parents around. I think she is seriously missing California and all its fun-ness. Well, even a baby must learn the hard truth: we can’t be on vacation all the time!

Time to get into a routine. birdMAN goes back to work in a few weeks and I have got lots of child-rearing and homemaking to do.

California sun, we’ll catch you later!

P.S. Many thanks to our generous friends and family that fed us, held and adored our baby, and showered her with gifts. We love you!

Chinese Word of the Blog: 暑假 Shǔjià
English Translation: summer vacation

My parents' house gets lot of California sun
Thank you Capri for the toy
Cuties Kalea and Caleb pop by for a visit
As you can see, Dumpling is absolutely thrilled to meet Oliver
Elliot entertaining as always
My Meimei loves food just as much as I do
Can I please have a lick?
Syche in the house!
A trip to Santa Cruz is just we needed!
 These Georgians miss the west coast
Happy to catch up with longtime friends and meet their new ones
There are so many avocados here
Look at all these one quarter Chinese kids
Moomoo's house serves up a fancy ladies lunch
All Moomoo's grandkids are under one roof. Poor Roman is outnumbered by the girls.
Dumpling meets her great grandma. They like each other.
Aunty Coco is the best aunty in the world!
These well-behaved children can't wait for turkey dinner (in July!)
Cousin Capri is a good mama
Capri -- too sweet for words
Lake Tahoe: Nice day to lug around a heavyweight
Food: A good reason to go to California
The tradition lives on! Milan and I make peanut butter blossom cookies
We got purdy for family pics
First time in Donner Lake
The ladies plus Roman
Dumpling's first hot dog
Donner Lake
Does this picture show what these cousins future relationship will be like?
Dumpling takes center stage
Aunty Tami meets our little princess
And here is our favorite doula!
Getting some Keiko love.
Cheese plate. 'Nuff said.
The best toys are free

Sometimes we go out...especially if it involves beer
All that fun-ness is exhausting