My father picked Sheila and myself up last night from Burbank International Airport at around ten-thirty. My cousin was dropped off at the Sixth Family’s house, and then my dad and I drove home. I took a long shower and woke up late today.
Thanh, Sheila and I went to Point Lobos State Park after we left Hermano’s house. [A word about Hermano: he’s a very nice guy. I certainly appreciate him letting us stay at his house. Three people could be quite an inconvenience. Not only did he let us stay for two nights, but he also took us to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which was a wonderful experience. The guy’s a professional rollerskater. He has many pictures on his livingroom wall of him and his wife at various competitions across the nation. His younger pictures, where he is without a beard, make him look like Guy Pierce.] The park was similar to the gorgeous beaches of Humboldt County and Trinidad Bay. We spent our whole time walking around a part of the park called China Cove. The little cove was very picturesque, like from a travel agency ad: white sand, blue water, tall cliffs and caves that lead to other nearby coves. When I realized that I could swim through those caves and reach another side, I changed into my swimming clothes. It was a frightening experience, but very fulfilling. The waters swelled, but there were no torrent of waves. The thing that frightened me, however, was the kelp. The water was clear blue, I could see the white sand at the bottom, and the dead kelp that floated among the cove waters looked like (I know this sounds silly) sea monsters! I told myself that they were just plants. I swam by them, and the slippery and prickly leaves of the kelp would illicit my fight-or-flight response and I’d start to panic. Well, I controlled my fears for the most part and found the whole swim quite an adventure. When I got out, the ice-cold water had numbed my skin. Turning around to look at the cove one last time, I saw eight or so dog-like heads pop up from the water. They were a pack of seals! I quickly took off my T-shirt again and jumped into that salty pool of ice. The seals would disappear, of course, for a few minutes. But a couple popped up to see who (or what) was swimming towards them. They were curious. At one point, a seal was only six feet away from me. It looked SO adorable. I wish they were a bit more playful, though.
We left for my great uncle’s house at around two in the afternoon. Tony and Kevin grew a little since I last saw them. Tony’s face has cleared up, and he and his brother are as mature and smart as ever. We all went to the Great Mall, had dinner at their home, and played Risk in the evening. Tony won. The next day, everyone slept in late. Thanh, Tony, Kevin and I played two-on-two basketball while Sheila got a tan on her lower legs. Tony and I won. Thanh, being a basketball coach, gave Kevin a few pointers. Kevin, being impressed, asked if Thanh could move to Milipitas and be his personal coach. Thanh found him to be incredibly cute. I did, too. I love those two kids. I’ve always considered them to be my ideal sons.
After a Vietnamese dinner with the rest of T & K’s family, Thanh drove Sheila and I to the Oakland airport. At least a good friendship developed between Thanh and my cousin, I believe. When we said our goodbyes, Sheila gave him her ring for him to wear. That ring means a lot to her. Perhaps that ring will end up meaning a lot to him? I hope so. Thanh’s a good guy and Sheila would be very lucky gal.