21 January 2012

Down the other side of the Pacific: A Christmas trip part two

As we made our way down the coast, we kept seeing wonderful people, having good conversations, and eating good food together. Our next stop was Portland...

We had nostalgic dinners with old friends - Lebanese food piled high!
... played plenty of games...

... went to plenty of bookshops and twice to our favourite four-story book heaven, Powells Books...

... and reveled in the random, artsy, and interesting culture that is Portland.

One day, we took the Max train down to Beaverton to visit my Auntie Nan, just like we had done many times while we were living in Portland

It was just like old times. We caught up with interesting conversations, cooked in her kitchen, and Mark replaced her lightbulbs.

We had a really tasty final lunch at a very Portland vegan bistro- coconut curry, tofu in peanut sauce. Good for not having meat!

When we got back, our friends had gone to another Portland favourite doughnut shop and gotten us an enourmous doughnut with TONGA!! written on it. 

It was just as much of an attraction to visit the supermarkets. The downtown Whole Foods was particularly eye candy.

Our next stop was San Francisco, where we spent the first night doing more of what we love- talking and eating with old friends!

The whole SF crew was ready to hike...

... and of course, ready to have a gourmet picnic mid-hike.

Part of the fun was wandering along streets, window-shopping and talking. No window-shopping in Tonga!

After too-short a time in both Portland and San Francisco, we arrived at our last stop- LA, to visit Mark's grandma and sister.

The hills around LA are beautiful, especially if you imagine that the fog-like haze is fog, and not smog!

Mark's birthday was during our LA stint, so we ate berry pie with his grandma, sister...

... and a large gathering of his "aunties" and "uncles" from Congo.

The day before we left, we played in an ultimate frisbee tournament

Someone brought mustaches, which all the girls promptly put on for "gender confusion" of the other team!
Brother and sister were happy to catch up again. As usual, the time went too fast, but was well spent.

And before we knew it, we were halfway back home to Tonga, catching up on reading and sleep on our layover in Fiji.

Tonga welcomed us with blissfully warm, sunny weather, and the usual long lines at Customs. 

Being home was nice, and our little kitty was especially happy to see us, spending much of the first day we were back sitting or sleeping on us! 
Now we're resuming normal life, after a trip better than we could have expected. We had so much fun  seeing everyone, and even though we could only spend a couple of days in each place, the time was very well-spent. We're hoping to do another trip in the next year and a half or so, to catch the people we weren't able to see this time and so that it's not another 2.5 years until we see friends and family again!

The time we were away was perfect with the Tongan schedule of life- nothing much happens between Christmas and February. It's nice to be back at home again, and we look forward to next time.

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures and wonderful commentary! So glad you enjoyed your time in the states. ;-)



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