Friday, December 11, 2015

October 2015

It was the annual UMM Homecoming the first weekend of October. It was another year that a couple of friends came up to visit, which one of them didn't make it for the first time last year. It was good to see both of them again as we caught up on how each of us have been doing. I would "try" to meet all of them at the Tailgate Party by Big Cat Stadium, but they ended up coming late as I left. However, I would try to keep occupied and do some wall climbing...

..before I left. This year, my friend Shannon brought up his girlfriend, which was the first time for her to visit. We would take her to one of the newest restaurants in town-Mi Mexico...

..., which we decided "last minute" as we walked by the popular crowded "Don's Cafe". Unfortunately, they had to leave early Sunday morning, so they weren't able to attend some other events going on around town on Sunday (4th): I had my monthly worship team service and then I attended the annual "Options for Women" Banquet at the Morris Evangelical Free Church. There was a guest speaker that encouraged us supporters to not just wait for this annual banquet to support this organization, but we should try to support them all year round.

The following day (5th), I would get a chance to catch up with a married couple that I haven't seen for a long time (since their wedding earlier this year). We would meet at Common Cup, which I ended up doing a fundraiser video to encourage friends to come to their "spaghetti feed" (help cover medical expenses for his scoliosis) later this month while I'm at Hawaii. I then went to meet with my pastor to catch-up for a dinner at Old #1 before our weekly "Focus Prayer" (church prayer group).

I would take the day off on Friday (9th) from my ft-job, so I can get on the road to visit family in St. Paul before heading to Waseca for a friend's (former housemate/renter) wedding. Yuu just got back with his wife (coming to America for an American wedding after being married in Japan last year) from Japan a week or so ago. It was nice to explore some new towns I went through along the way as I was thankful to God for a beautiful drive.

I arrived around 1ish in time for the wedding rehearsals, which I would meet friend of both the groom and bride. It was such a great bonding time and I had the most fun with the wedding reception (karaoke party)!...

I ended up leaving right after the reception and would get home a little past midnight.

I woke up early Sunday (11th) morning in St. Paul to ride my bike along the newest open bridge trail (Warner to Shepherd road)...

Biking along the "newest" Warner-Shepherd Road Trail Bridge (Oct. 11th 2015)

...I've been waiting all summer long for this to open. I had a tight schedule, so I wasn't able to ride all the way to downtown like I wanted to. However, I got pretty far, which it was an hour round trip. I ended up meeting this "stranger" who would share about some interesting "sights" (e.g. deer carcass eating up to the bones-possible creature???) and stories of the caves nearby (Mounds Park).

I had about 5 days in Morris before heading back to the Twin Cities in preparation of my trip to Hawaii with family. I was able to visit a friend (Steve) who was somewhat going downhill health wise. I'm glad I took the time to see him as he would pass away 5 days or so later. I've learned to really take advantage of the time you have with family, friends, etc..-love ones period.

I got to St. Paul on the 17th (Saturday), so I can have some day of preparation before heading out of the state early next (Sunday 18th) morning (around 6ish). I was looking forward to a week-plus spending time with family and just enjoying this much to say vacation island destination. When I got to St. Paul, I went to visit my uncle at a senior living center. It seems like my work follows me. While visiting my uncle, I can hear one of his neighbors screaming. My uncle told me to not worry as she does this at times. I would find out later that she was screaming because she fell from her wheel chair. I felt bad as I could've helped her get back on. I could hear the commotion of some staff helping her up on her wheelchair. When I arrived home, I checked my luggage for additional items to pack. I went online to look-up surf videos as I wanted to find the cheapest way possible to learn before paying the expensive rates. The next morning, we got up early and were thankful to Khua's side of the family for taking us to the airport. Yes, my work continued to follow me as I went on the plane. I would meet this interesting lady that would share some of her interesting life story-> Flight Passenger Travel Stories: Round Trip Minneapolis-St. Paul to Seattle-Tacoma to Honolulu (my first blog on my travel adventures!). We had a 12 hour delay in Seattle along our flight to Hawaii from Minnesota. My brother and his wife already scheduled a rental car to drive around Seattle, which was a very beautiful city despite the rainy cloudy afternoon.

“Sleepless in Seattle” Downtown Visit 2015

We still had several hours to "kill", so we drove out of Seattle and looked for a popular attraction. Seattle is surrounded by many high mountain ranges and one of the closest popular one was Mount Rainier. Unfortunately, the cloudy weather prevented us seeing the mountain, but we did see the base.

It was getting close to departure, so we went back to the Seattle-Tacoma Int'l Airport and were anticipating for our 5-hour flight to Hawaii. We arrived in Honululu Int'l Airport around 11ish at night and had to drive an additional hour to our hotel in Laie (North Shore). We were all tired and I remember asking the lady in the front desk about the nearest place to surf. I would sleep pretty good in the room I shared with my parents. I would get up early and was excited to walk the town to see what we couldn't see in the dark last night. I walked to the nearest grocery store in Laie after googling. It was a humid-muggy morning already, which was nice! When I got back to the hotel with some grocery items (e.g. gallon of water since the hotel charged a-lot!), my brother shared about our road trip along the North Shore. It was a beautiful day for a scenic drive along the shore! We stopped by one of the beaches and I would just marvel the scenery..

Hawaii Visit: Oahu’s North Shore Drive Tour

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