Travel to Edmonton
Traveling to Edmonton was horrible this year! Our Fresno flight was delayed three times, and as a result, we had to run from one side of the San Francisco airport to get to the other side to catch our Edmonton flight. They had already closed the gate by the time we arrived, out of breath and exhausted. "Luckily" for us, the Edmonton plane had to be delayed as the crew checked the plane's tire, so we were allowed to board. When we finally arrived in Edmonton, we found out that our luggage was no where to be found (despite us talking to the luggage handlers in SFO who said they were putting our luggage on the plane). It would take 30 hours before we'd see our luggage. By the time we arrived at my sister's place, it was 1am. What a start...
Taste of Edmonton
Despite feeling icky and gross due to not having our luggage (we did get some basic hygiene items to hold us over), we still went out the next day. I know that some might say it's overpriced, and yes, it's crowded... But I still look forward to a Taste of Edmonton whenever we visit. Most unique dish I tried was quail- tastes like chicken, lol. I could only take one bite because I kept thinking of how cute they are.
Our kids have never been mini-golfing, so when my brother and sis-in-law flew up from Calgary to visit for the day, we took our kids for their first experience. I just want it noted that Jason beat me by only one stroke! HAHA! The kids had so much fun that my sister took them again later in the week.
Since my brother and I don't live in Edmonton, it is rare when my whole family can have dinner together. It is always a Chinese feast!
Since childhood and for always... These girls have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I am so deeply grateful for them and the bond that we have despite the distance. We had such a great time together- we laughed so hard (we could barely take this picture without cracking up!)
the Tong and Tran sisters- clockwise: me, Thao, Binh, Linda, Sarah
Here I am with Taylor (Thao and Peter's daughter)
Here I am with Zachary (Binh and Neil's son)
Here's Jeremy with Ethan, who is four (and not a baby anymore! This is Linda and Ethan's son)
West Edmonton Mall's World WaterparkEvery year, we seek out something new to do in Edmonton as a family. Our kids have both proven themselves to be fish, so this year, we took them to the World Waterpark. It is the world's largest indoor waterpark with 17 slides and play features.
I took the kids to Sea Life Caverns in West Edmonton Mall. I've always wondered about it, and at least now I can say that we visited it. There wasn't a whole lot there- penguins, stingrays, a sea turtle, sharks, fish... It's a cute area, but definitely not worth what we paid to visit.
I took a walk down memory lane and took our kids with me.
Here's my elementary school! We walked around it and peeked in the windows.
Here's my childhood home!
My sister always has an Auntie Date with our kids. She lets them choose how they want to spend their special time with her. Jeremy may be 5, but he still loves stuffed animals. He chose to go to Build A Bear and got "Thunder."
Grace chose to go paint ceramics at Crankpots.
Grace tried the ropes course at West Edmonton Mall last year and couldn't wait to do it again this year. Jeremy was tall enough to try this year, so we let both of them do the course.
For years now, Jason has wanted to take a beer tour of an Edmonton brewery. We finally did it this year! We got to have a tour of Alley Kat and then beer-tasted afterwards. My favorites were the fruity ones, of course- ApriKat (hint of apricot), and Summer Squeeze (hint of grapefruit). Jason enjoyed the Alley Kat Amber Ale and Charlie Flint's Lager.
So I spend a lot of time visiting my favorite places when we're in Edmonton...
This is my fave Vietnamese dish called, Bun Bo Hue (spicy noodle soup). I haven't found a good place to get it in Fresno, so it's truly savored when I get to have it in Edmonton.
I have a new favorite to add to my "must-do" list for next summer: Duchess Bake Shop. I got to have breakfast there with my college friends, Suzan and Minna (I haven't seen her since our wedding!)
Had my first macarons!
On our way back, we woke up at 3am to make sure we gave ourselves enough time to get through customs. As a result, we were reeeaally tired. When we got to Phoenix, we found out that our flight had been overbooked and the airline was looking for 4 volunteers to go on a different flight. We inquired about it, and they assured us that they'd book us on the next flight, leaving at 1:45pm (instead of 10:15am). We decided to just go for it- in exchange, they gave us four $275 flight vouchers with no restrictions/blackout dates. It just meant waiting around when we were already so tired. Our kids did great during the wait- they each have a backpack full of things to keep them entertained. Before boarding, we discovered that the flight actually didn't have enough seats for us. The airline asked if it'd be ok if we sat in first class. Um, heck ya!
I am thankful that our family is able to visit every year, and I'm so grateful for the life I have in Fresno. BUT, after all these years, I can honestly say that I still leave a part of me in Edmonton every time I leave... Until next year, Edmonton!