Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Oasis of Family

Three weeks into the trip, we met up again with my parents just in time to celebrate Mom's birthday at Heather's house.The boys were more and more impressed with Heather's boyfriend Bob. First he had shown them how to sew bananas as a prank and maintain good dental hygiene, and now he showed up in a convertible and gave them rides (although, to be honest, his best vehicle was yet to come; more on that later).

Mom, feeling ornery and spry at being the birthday girl, played on Heather's suriphobia (fear of mice) and got her a stress relieving mouse that she could throw at things. Heather was not amused. But the rest of us were so I suppose it was worth it.

And so, just like at Christmas time, a fun time was had by pretty much everyone! Pretty much.

Fearing that Kiwi was feeling as bad as he looked in the above picture, Mom spared him the cost of an MRI and utilized an alternative medical technique to closely examine his brain.

Whatever she did must have worked, because he sure perked up when we hit the waters of Virginia Beach!
He had been excited to get back to the beach ever since we has spent a week together with my family last summer at the Outer Banks. Of course, as Heraclitus said, things change and this week was not the best time to be roasting in the 110 degree heat. (The newspaper actually said that it was 111 that day- I think the previous record in over 90 years of keeping track of the temperature for that day had been 106). In any case, we actually had more fun taking a stroll through the shady outstretched arms of trees dangling with Spanish moss. It was quite the romantic setting...
Even Gyu found someone to take out for an early dinner...

Mom had the most surprising find of the hike when she did the unthinkable and found a Geocache without a GPS unit!

When afternoon rolled around and the temperature kept rising, we took refuge in the one place we figured we could beat the heat... the aquarium.

But heat must have been written in our destiny for the day, because the aquarium caught on fire while we were there. Which may have been okay if we had been trapped in with the fire (at least we would have had the AC), but we got trapped instead in the crab-infested swamp with the sun burning down on us until the fire marshall had arrived and let us through. We were hoping for a little consolation stuffed stingray or something, but this was apparently not their policy for fires in the aquarium. Unfortunately, it wasn't even a major fire, or the Korean crew could have had their favorite snack- roasted squid.

With the beach condos packed out, we drove inland to stay at a hotel for the night. Gyu and Dad went swimming in the morning and Dad told Gyu to be careful when he set his digital camera down next to the pool. Too tired to explain in English, Gyu shocked Dad by throwing his camera in the pool (it was a special waterproof digital camera). When we arrived and realized the fun we could have with that, we unleashed a whole series of fun photos...

Not content with being photographed merely on land and in water, Gyu had to go for an aerial shot as we were waiting on our pizza in Richmond, VA.

Having the three boys (I'm including Bob as a boy) added some extra flavor to our family dynamics. Bob added a lot of interesting knowledge and explanations about science, history, well everything really. Since he had explored the area extensively during dental school, he was able to take us around to some historical nooks and crannies like this old church... (see? this is what we had before Bob. Where I would say "old church," he would fill in the blanks with lots of juicy details; unfortunately he's probably asleep right now or I would call him- my apologies). Anyway, the old church-

One of the best parts of the trip for me was seeing how Bob and Heather's relationship was maturing. I mean, take the picture below as proof- I don't think Joo and I made it to the ASCS (armpit smell checking stage) until a few months before I proposed.

I'm serious about the relationship development though (well, I was just joking about the armpit thing although on second look, it appears that there very may well be a grain of truth to that...) and it felt like Bob (and the Korean troupe) all belonged naturally as part of our family. Everyone seemed to feel quite comfortable around each other, and we even shared our talents with each other in an impromptu talent show one night at Heather's...

Stay tuned for the coolest vehicle you've ever seen...


  1. Love the underwater pics!

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