I spent a few days in Carson for Independence Day, and I managed to pack those days with a lot of activities.
- Breakfast with Berenice at Martha’s in Hermosa Beach
- Dinner with Paul at Ma’am Sir
- Quick review: First visit. Food felt too deconstructed and like Filipino-lite. It made me crave more homemade kare-kare and adobo.
- Watched and laughed at my grandpa and Dad bickering over fixing a leaky pipe under the house
- Lunch with my Dad, brother and his family at the Olive Garden
- Dinner with Cristian and Kevin at The Park’s Finest
- Quick review: By far my favorite meal of the trip. Second visit, and it didn’t disappoint. Standouts were the coconut beef and bibingka cornbread. My tummy is rumbling just thinking about it.
- Hiked the Sunset Ridge Trail with Cristian and Kathy
- Got a Selena donut from Donas with Cristian and Kathy
- Family BBQ at my Grandpa’s house
In between scheduled outings, I just hung out at my grandpa’s and watched cable TV, which is a luxury I only indulge in at home in LA or in hotel rooms. Channel surfing, if people still call it that. I confess, I mostly watch cartoons and Frasier reruns, even on cable. I did end up catching a few movies though, like “Forrest Gump” and “Wayne’s World.”
I scheduled more than enough social activities in LA. I could have packed it even more but I’ve learned my lesson. I’m learning to go at my own speed and not have other people’s expectations dictate what I do.
A few lingering thoughts about my trip:
- I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to see my other nieces and nephews. (Can you tell I’m fond of lists? They’re easier.)
- At certain points, I felt a little disconnected from my environment and company, largely because I didn’t think I belonged anymore. I suppose that could happen after being away for six months.
- My brother’s kid, my nephew Devin, fondly remembers his last trip to SF and asked me to take him with me on my way back.
- My dad really enjoys taking care of me. He cleans out his room for me then sleeps in the living room on a fold-out, and he makes me coffee every morning, even mixing it with a different creamer every time.
- I ate more Filipino food in three days than I have in six months here in SF. AND IT WAS AMAZING.
Overall, it was a successful trip. I’m not sure if I’ll be back in LA before the holidays, but it is always nice to revisit old haunts and seek out new ones where I grew up. I feel like I should visit my family more often, but I’m always torn between new places and going home to LA.