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Last year’s Thanksgiving was especially memorable because it was the last time I got to cook a really nice meal for the people who were like my family during my time in San Diego. (Photo is missing my Frenchie Nao, who had to leave early for a dance practice that day…)

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Also, Ellen reminded me that a snapshot of my food apparently appeared on the homepage of Yahoo Singapore (so said my parents and uncle; coz they saw me in one of the pictures and Ellen was also surprised by the large number of views she got on those photos).

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This year’s Thanksgiving is gonna be sooo different. Probably non-existent. :*-/

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We’re here in Melbourne, as you must have guessed! The day we arrived was supposed to be the first day of spring, but, omg, is it still sooo cold here! Of course, both Bryan and I have come here from SoCal via Singapore, two pretty warm cities, so we deserve some buffer time to get used to the cold(er) weather here.

Seven years ago, on September 11 2001, the day that changed America and the world, I was sitting in my College Square apartment, just about 2 streets away from where I am sitting today in my temporary apartment, watching the news and seeing the fall of the World Trade Center. And today, 7 years later, 3 hours short of September 11 2008, I have gone to the U.S., hung out there for a while, visited the World Trade Center rubbles, and am now back in Melbourne, Australia. Serendipity? Maybe, but I am thinking that there is a reason why God brought me, a Singaporean who was very contented and happy in SoCal and who just got married to an American dude, back to Australia.

Only time can tell, I guess.

I do miss SoCal badly. There’s something about America that has always appealed so strongly to me. I miss the loud and obnoxious dudes; I miss the blond valley girls with coarse voices; I miss having 100 channels of cable tv; I miss my little (ex) Corolla; I miss seeing Spanish street and city names AND hearing Spanish spoken; and, boy, do I miss the wonderful people I met there. I guess the thing I miss most is the familiarity of the place and the predictability of the type of career and life I would have had if we had continued living there.

At least Melbourne is not foreign grounds to me. It’s been really nice to be back in this town, with Bryan. It’s nice to hang out in a more laid back city, dwell with the fellow Commonwealth citizens, and know that there are hundreds and thousands of Singaporeans in this town. I am also excited that Bryan is doing something he truly enjoys, is earning relatively good mondy, and that he has found good co-workers and is enjoying the city. I think I will be more happy and at ease with myself once I find a job and start putting my speech therapy training in practice.

Whatever it is, I am truly thankful and grateful for all of God’s blessings so far.

Anyway, I’ve written too much for now. Will talk more about our last ten days here when I update my blog tomorrow – with juicy tidbits, so don’t forget to keep reading!

Got a Langer’s pastrami sandwich for lunch and am going to have some homecooked Korean meal for dinner. What could’ve been better than having Jewish and Korean food to wrap up my stay in SoCal?

Hmm.

Actually, throwing in a a breakfast burrito would’ve been golden. Oh well, I’ll try to remember that for my next trip back here…

Gonna catch some Z’s, shower, eat, then head out to face the 17 hour direct flight to Singapore.

We’re finally back in Los Angeles. Yep, I say FINALLY because this Michigan trip was kind of rough from start to finish. Bryan’s still making the runs from an upset stomach which started 3 days ago now. We also had to drive about 5 hours from Torch Lake to Detroit to catch our flight out to Los Angeles, and almost got bumped from our flight because it was overbooked. Whew! Oh, but we at least made it to the wedding and stayed there for about 3 hours until Bryan’s stomach forced us out of it.

The highlight of our trip was our run in with Henry Winkler aka “Fonz” from Happy Days aka “Barry Zuckercorn” from Arrested Development on our flight. (My first real Hollywood celebrity sighting!!) Being a big tv star, he naturally got mobbed by people at the waiting area, on the flight, etc. SO we (Bryan) tried a different approach and, instead of taking a camera to take a photo with him or his boarding pass to ask for his signature as the opening line, Bryan gathered up courage and made small talk with him about the Arrested Development movie and cast (which he raved about!), trying to scoop out information. Winkler was really gracious and very indulgent! Super nice!

Bryan’s gotten better healthwise since landing in Los Angeles, much to our relief. We’re not ruling out Michigan but it might be awhile till our next visit there. I did get to take some scenic shots of the Lake where the wedding was held, the wedding couple, and group shots of Bryan and his bunch of friends from High School:

In exactly 1 month, I will be leaving SoCal, and am now really starting to feel it. Not that we won’t be back anytime soon (in fact, we’re probably gonna visit next June) or that I’m not all psyched up about our little Melbourne adventure, but it’s the very sentimental me that likes to hold on to people, to places, to memories, and to things that I worked so hard to be familiar with and acclimatized to.

In addition to the list of foods I’ll miss, I wrote out a list of top 10 things in SoCal I’ll miss:

1. Americano/Asiatico/Latino/Europeo amigos n amigas (of course, y’all know how much I treasure relationships!).

2. Beautiful SoCal beaches and bays – (in LA) Santa Monica, Venice, (in SD) Mission Bay, La Jolla, Pacific Beach.

3. Mega-stores like Costco, Party City, etc., grocery stores like Trader Joe’s, and great American brand stores like Crate and Barrel, Paper Source, Victoria Secrets, and COACH!, to name a few. Oh, and Outlet Malls.

4. Diversity, and oftentimes being only one of two Asians in the group.

5. Valley girls/ SoCal girls with hoarse voices (a la the Ashlee Simpson voice. As a Speech-Language Pathologist, I’m wondering if they have vocal nodules or something similar and if they need voice therapy. But as a girl, I am secretly jealous because I think it’s sexy. Honestly, how do they do it?? And how do so many of them have that kinda voices?).

6. Online shopping.

7. Stores opened till 10pm and 24-hour grocery stores (yeah, I really like shopping for milk at 2am, seriously).

8. Having about 100 television channels and complaining that there’s nothing good to watch on TV.

9. My little Corolla (tears).

10. Drive-through fast food (Who walks in to a McDonald’s anymore???).

Things I will not miss but in some weird way will miss bitching about:

1. TRAFFIC

2. Rising gas prices.