A Two Day Family Adventure
The story that I tell you below, is one hundred percent real. None of it is made up and most of the conversation is what was actually said. After the events of these two days you will read about, my husband said I should write a book about some of the times with my family. I laughed and thought “why would I do that?” He explained that what had happened the last two days was comical and out of a movie. He said it should be documented so everyone can remember it for years to come. I chuckled and at first thought that is just silly but the more I thought about it the more I realized how good of an idea that is. I wrote this the next day.
It is uncommon for many families to get together, out of the blue and with no prior planning. It is uncommon for many families to make plans for other members of that family and no questions are asked. It is uncommon for many families to take up entire areas of restaurants at a moment’s notice. In my family, all of these “uncommon” occurrences are not only common but a way of life it seems.
One day, right as summer break had begun, I was with Becca hiking at North Table Mountain and catching up. Becca is one of my cousins, and in the 12 cousin line up, she is number 4 (I am number 2- we rank ourselves in age order. I also want to say, I have more than 12 cousins but some of my “cousins” are not actually related to me at all). Becca had just graduated from college so we were catching up on time we didn’t see each other as much. We hiked and talked for hours then went back to my house to talk more. As we continued to chat, we both were very hungry. Most people would find something to eat in their house. Or maybe they would order a pizza and have it delivered. Becca and I decided to meet Aunt Pam (her mom) for lunch in Broomfield- about a 20 minute drive from my house in Golden. When we got to the restaurant, Aunt Pam and YiYi Patty (Becca’s grandmother) were already done eating. Becca and I sat down after saying or normal “hello,” hug and “what are you eating?”
“Did you call Hanah?” Aunt Pam asked as she shovled the last bit of food in her mouth.
“Yeah.. She didn’t answer” Becca retorted
“Well, keep calling. She is going to need to have lunch.”
Grumpily but obediently like all of us older children are, Becca continued to call her reluctant younger sibling as she skimmed the menu. I don’t know why my family even looks at the menu. When we go to Pho, we always order the same thing. When I go to Pho down on Federal with my mom, dad, sister (Jin), brother (Davis), Yiyi and Uncle Pete, we order the same large appetizer dish. This appetizer dish is not what you would expect as an appetizer. When we order two of them, it is enough food to feed all eight of us. It is a large platter full of rice noodles, assorted grilled meats, veggies and herbs. A second plate comes with it that has stacks of dried rice paper sheets that must be softened in a large bowl of steaming hot water. First, you soften the rice paper to your desired doneness. Next, you lay your softened rice paper on a small plate then you (and everyone else) use your hands to grab different ingredients from the large platter to create your own wrap. Don’t fill them too much, because wrapping the rice paper gets tricky if it’s too full. With my immediate family, we all eat our Vietnamese burritos and talk about politics or how expensive the Bronco ticksts are this year. With cousins and aunts and uncles, we all go for soup or the vermicceli bowls and talk about family gossip or how much we love Pho and could eat it everyday.Food is a huge part of my family, immediate and extended. We all love food way too much.
“Did you get ahold of her?” Aunt Pam asked Becca as she began to stack the used plates.
“Oh, hey Kayla! How you doing honey?” Yiyi Patty screamed across the table as she got up to go to the restroom.
“Hi Yiyi, how are you?”
Without awnswer she walked away and the three of us looked at eachother for a slight moment, then continued to chat about Aunt Pam’s jury duty and how she needed to get going soon.
“ Jury Duty is actually very intersting. I am learning a lot and eventhough it’s a civil case, you know it’s fun. It’s time consuming and it seems to be dragging but it’s very interesting.” Aunt Pam explained.
Becca and I nodded our heads as we ordered our food. Just then, Hannah finally called.
“Hi Hannah. Are you coming to lunch?…Pho…ok…where are you?…what do you want to eat?… You have to go to Costco?… ok number two no onions…mom is leaving but me and KK are here…Not sure, what are you doing after?…ok see you soon.”
“Was that Hannah? Is she coming to lunch?” Aunt Pam asked as she re applied her chapstick.
“Yes, she is on her way from Hyland Hills and has to go to Costco after.”
Aunt Pam nodded her head as we ordered Hannah’s number two with no onions and Yiyi Patty came wandering back to the table. Aunt Pam began to grab her belongings to get back to jury duty and she told Becca to put lunch on Uncle Phill’s card. She said her goodbyes, and I thanked her for lunch then she hurried out the door. Not long after, Yiyi Patty said she was going back home, headed to the car and drove off. Becca and I both held out breath as she left. Yiyi Patty was having some early stages of dementia at the time and her driving was not as good as it should have been. Becca and I both started to dig into our delicious lunch when Hannah walked in.
“That was the dumbest reason to be at Hyland Hills! I even asked Karla, ‘why are we here?’”
Hannah came slumping in, her food had just gotten to the table and she continued to tell us about her morning at Hyland Hills and how grumpy she was she had to go. The conversation then moved to her having twins one day and that she was going to have 5 kids and then it moved to all the yiyis and who was going to watch them one day and where is Jin and what are you doing tomorrow?
It is again, common for conversations in my family to move at lightning speed and take 100 different twists and turns. Sometimes, different pockets of people can have different convesations sitting at the same table. It is an art form to pick apart differnt conversations, leave one to join another right next to you and still know everything about every conversation.
The next day, Becca called and asked what I was doing. I told her I needed to paint the den in my house because it had been taped off for a year and it needed to get finished.She wanted to come help and said she would be over in 30 minutes. Two hours later, Becca finally showed up to help finish the painting project. She explained that she was so tired and needed to take a nap. I agreed, a nap sounded nice so I didn’t even think about the fact she was two hours past the time she said she would be there. We painted and chatted while “Beauty and the Beast” played in the background. Logan came home from work to a surprise visitor and didn’t even think twice about Becca being there randomly. He said hello, changed out of his work clothes and hung out in the den as we painted. We were nearing the end of our project and I thought, we should see Emily (my cousin who is the eldest, number 1). I had Logan text Emm to see what she was doing that night in hopes of haning out. Becca stated she wasn’t going because her and her friends were going out. As we were waiting on Emm’s response my mom called.
“Hey K, what are you doing?”
“Hey mom. I’m painting with Becca.”
“How come you never invite me to paint? I wanted to paint”
“Mom, I invite you all the time. You live 10 minute away, you could have come whenever.”
“I guess you’re right… Hey, what are you doing for dinner? Daddy and Davis are home, you should meet us for dinner.”
“Ok, well Logan and I might see Emm tonight and Becca is going out so let me-”
“Zach? Mom…Rebecca- your neice”
“Oh! Becca, ok I was confused.I thought you said Zach. Ya, call me and we’ll figure out a plan”
“Ok, call you soon.”
I hung up the phone and began to tell Logan that my mom wanted us to go to dinner with them. I said we should go to dinner then meet Emm after. Becca said she was gonna come to dinner with us then go out with her friends. We all agreed on the plan, then Emily Face Timed us. She asked if we were coming to the Rockies Game and asked why Becca was at my house. I told her we were going to eat dinner with my family then we would meet her at the game. I invited her to dinner but she said she was going to stay in Denver before the Rockies game. Before she hung up she asked if we could all go to Red Rocks for a run later that weekend and we agreed. We all said our goodbyes and see you soon’s then hung up.
Once I hung up the phone, my mom called again. I told her we plan to come for dinner then leave to meet Emm. I told her we were also bringing Becca with us. She said, great, we’re all going to dinner and the Rosenblum’s (Becca’s family) will be there as well. She said Aunt Pam won’t be there because she is tired from jury duty. We agreed to meet at 6:30 and that we would all see each other soon. We had about an hour before dinner, so Becca and I decided to squeeze in a workout. We thought only a 30 minute workout would be best so we could get to the restaurant on time, but in that 30 minutes, my mom called and texted me, my mother in law texted me and Hannah texted Becca. All asking about the dinner plan that we had already made(minus my mother in law. She wanted to know how painting was going. She loves to paint and would help any chance she got). After Becca and I finished our workout, we checked our texts and everyone was asking where we were because they were already at the restaruant. We had all agreed on 6:30 but turns out they had been sitting there since 5:15 and were all annoyed we had been so late. Even Aunt Pam showed up from jury duty because she didn’t want to be left alone.
We finally made our way to dinner (on time I’ll say) and as we all shuffled in, we did the obligatory “hello,” hug, and “what are you eating?” There ended up being ten people (a smaller get together) at dinner but we took up two tables. My family likes to have the adult table and the kid table. We could over hear the adults gossiping about various people in the faimily and us “kids” did the same thing.
Becca told us, “my mom hates my hair. She told Aanya that she doesn’t like it and Aanya told me.”
“Seriously?” I answered
“Yes! I’ll show you” Becca said laughing.
Only in our family would this happen. Becca yelled accross the two tables to get her mom’s attention.
“Mom, I heard you hate my hair!”
“O, Becca I don’t hate it. Why would I say that?”
“Aanya told me you hate it.”
“I never said that- she’s 10, she doesn’t know.”
“OK mom.. If you say so.”
“Becca, it’s just not my favorite but I don’t hate it.”
Toward the end of dinner, I texted Emm and told her dinner was still going and we’d keep her updated on when we’d get to Denver. Becca was antsy to get out with her friends and it seemed as if we’d been sitting at the restaurant forever. When my family goes out, we usually sit and chat at restaurants well after our bill comes then all of a sudden someone will get up and we’ll all just leave. That happened on this night as well. We had been at the restaurant for a long time, then the adults got up and started walking off and like little ducklings we all followed. Half of the group got out the door when Aunt Pam called us all back in to take a picture. We had a waitress take a group picture for us and upon looking at it, Aunt Pam wasn’t a fan of how dark the picture turned out so we took another one in different lighting. The second picture turned out better so I did the normal “I’m so sorry” bit for the waitress and lead everyone out the door.
“Uncle Paul will love to see this!” Aunt Pam exclaimed.
Logan was grabbing his keys to get going and I was about to say thank you for dinner and goodby when I heard my dad and Uncle Phill debating what cars to drive. Cars to drive? For what? Dinner was over, we all had plans. What were they talking about? They explained we were all going to Golden to walk the creek and get ice cream. Of course. Logan and I reminded everyone we were going to meet Emm and Becca said she had plans with friends. Our parents nodded their heads and continued to tell everyone what cars we were going to ride in to carpool to Golden.
We all jumped into various cars and made our way to Golden without anymore questions. We walked the creek, took numerous pictures for Instagram stories, got icecream, sat and chatted some more before we then made our way back to the cars. It was 9:00 p.m. and at that point it was far too late for anything else to happen that night. Logan and I decided, driving to Denver to catch the last hour of the Rockies game just wasn’t worth it. We said our goodbyes, gave hugs to every person and headed home. Thankfully we only live five minutes from Downtown Golden. Logan and I were so tired from the evening that I totally forget to update Emm. I quickly texted her but knew I didn’t need to explain much.
“So dinner went long then the dads wanted a family walk in Golden…hang out tomorrow instead?”
She replied, “Sunday! Hiking!”
I laughed because I knew she had wanted to to go run at Red Rocks that day, not go for a hike. I simply replied,
“Perfect! Let us know details.”
Which, I know surely won’t come because in this family, hang out sessions and family time is usually random and an adventure its self.