Monday, November 15, 2010

$41.40, RT LGB to PDX for 35 Hours

I had to skip out early on cousin A's bridal shower because I was going up to Portland again.

For $41.40 round-trip!

After taxes!

$41.40, RT LGB to PDX for 35 Hours 1

JetBlueCheeps LGB to PDX, $10 each way, plus taxes.

Sure I was only going to be home for 35 hours. But did you not see that my round-trip plane ticket was only $41.40?!

Even though my parents were coming down a few days later for cousin A's wedding, it was too good of a deal to pass up. The minute I saw the price, I started furiously typing so I could book it before the deal disappeared, while simultaneously text messaging oldest nephew and dad's friend's daughter to tell them about it. They were too late though.

Surely you'd pay that for two of your momma's homecooked meals?

Especially when my momma made Bun Thit Nai Nuong (Vietnamese Noodles with Grilled Venison) for dinner. She even had this cute little portable grill on the table so we could saute the meat and eat right away.

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The next day, I went over to cousin T's house for lunch and to meet baby M3. Since I was already making tiered cupcake stands and cake stands, I figured I might as well make a cake stand for cousin T. Unfortunately, the candlestick wasn't quite flat on top and the cake stand ended up a little lopsided.

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Lesson learned. Make sure the candlestick is flat.

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Aww. So cute!

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She played by herself while we ate lunch.

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Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Yum!

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By then, baby M3 warmed up to me a little.

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I caught up with my cousin and her husband while the baby napped. She didn't sleep for long and was all smiles when she woke up.

My favorite shot is this one of her in the crib.

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I went home before dark because my mom's car has a tendency to shut off its engine without warning and I didn't want to be stuck on the freeway at night. Luckily, nothing happened, but I had to curtail any going out for fear of something going wrong.

No worries. Mom made banh xeo (Vietnamese sizzling crepes).

$41.40, RT LGB to PDX for 35 Hours 10

I still won't give you her recipe, but you can see the precision in which she makes each banh xeo with my YouTube video.


It used to weird me out in college when each time I came home, my parents would make changes to the house. Even in the new house, that didn't go away. My dad converted the area below the deck into an enclosed green house for my mom. Then they moved the basement stove and sink into the space too so my mom could cook without fearing it would stink up the house. Second-youngest uncle helped with the electrical and plumbing hook-ups when he was in Portland this summer. My dad did the walls and windows.

She took in for the winter her more delicate plants like the Michelia Alba trees. That begonia was a cutting I got from a friend in New Orleans, who got it from her friend in Portland who lives near my parents. So basically, the begonia made a round-trip too. :P

$41.40, RT LGB to PDX for 35 Hours 12

If you look closely, you'll see that the chili pepper plant is growing out of the bottom. My mom liked the success of growing tomatoes upside-down so much, she did that with the chili pepper too.

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Time to eat!

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Oldest aunt was visiting so she stayed for dinner. Of course she did. Wouldn't you?

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We like to eat banh xeo with other dipping sauces like this mam ca thu (Vietnamese tuna fish dipping sauce) that my mom brought back from Vietnam. She gave me a jar, but I haven't opened it yet to make my own sauce.

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And this other fish sauce that was too salty for me.

$41.40, RT LGB to PDX for 35 Hours 17

Finished off with my mom's homemade soy milk for dessert. She makes her own tofu too.

$41.40, RT LGB to PDX for 35 Hours 18

She gave my aunt some dried bamboo shoots from the Central Highlands of Vietnam.

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They smelled so good. So I got a bag too.

$41.40, RT LGB to PDX for 35 Hours 20

Then I checked up on poor Penny, who just isn't the same after Sebastien died. :( She was sobbing in her cage. All alone. Poor thing. Not doggy whimpers, they sounded like genuine sobs to me. And the fur below her eyes was matted with tears. She normally wags her tail like crazy and turns over so I can rub her belly. She did none of that. Just walked out of her cage with her head down, anxious to get back to it. I wonder if it's because she can smell his scent in there? It was the saddest thing in the world.

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Later, second-youngest aunt and her husband stopped by for a late dinner.

My dad showed them the matsutake pine mushrooms he had foraged in the forest that day.

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They were huge!

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How big? That's a normal-sized cup for comparison.

$41.40, RT LGB to PDX for 35 Hours 24

He wrapped them all up in newspaper so I could take them back to SoCal and share with my aunts and uncles.

And that's it. My brief day-and-a-half visit home. I had an early morning flight to catch back to SoCal before heading into work.

Other Oregon posts can be found in Series: Oregon.

*****
1 year ago today, Hwang Hae Do Korean BBQ - Artesia.
2 years ago today, let's talk turkey!
3 years ago todayPunjab Indian Grocery Store - Alhambra.

8 comments:

  1. What a fantastic deal! PDX is on my list of places to check out, but I doubt I'll have the spontaneity to take advantage of such a plane ticket deal, given my lack of any fam or close friends to crash with--though I guess I can always wing spending 36 hours awake around town...

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  2. I'd definitely take more than one trip if it was that sort of a price! And those mushrooms look GORGEOUS. So glad you had a chance to go home to be with your parents! (And home-cooked food.Mmmm.)

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  3. Hi WC,

    My most favorite Vietnamese food is Banh Xeo. My, I am so envious at you :) Your mom is such a talented woman, great cook, and green thumb to add to it. How do you grow tomatoe and chili plants upside down? That's strange. But if it works like it does for your mom, I would love to try it, but I don't know if my thumb is green or not :(

    Wow, what a great deal you got for airplane ticket. I will look into it too. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Hey my daughter has the same einstein activity center! :D

    Your mom's banh xeo looks so crispy and delicious. Bummer. It would be nice to be able to taste your mom's cooking. (I know it's not going to happen. Just a thought. So don't freak out. lol) Maybe you can fedex me some? teehee :P

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  5. What a lovely concentrated visit you had, full of good food with Mom's TLC :-) I'm so sorry to hear about poor Penny, still grieving her beloved buddy.

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  6. HC,
    You could always get a hotel room for a night or two. It's still a bargain!

    Shuku,
    I have to come up with some good recipes for the mushrooms. So far, I've just been sauteing them with olive oil and a pinch of salt.

    Co Toan,
    If you click on the link to my previous post about my parents' garden, you can see the upsidedown tomato picture. My mom got the idea from the Topsy Turvy tomato ads. She plants them through the bottom of the pot. She likes it a lot because the pot doesn't dry out as much and there are less bugs.

    Diana,
    Everyone wants to taste my mom's cooking. :P

    Nikki,
    Thanks for your concern about poor little Penny. :(

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