Christmas Week: The Visit Home

My Aer Lingus dinner (top) and breakfast/brunch (bottom)

The Longest Christmas Eve (24/12/13)

Time to go back to California. Calling it home feels like a long stretch now. I feel so comfortable (though cold) in Dublin. I left the house at 10am with my Brazilian friend to catch my 1pm flight. We arrived at the airport around 11:45am after I napped a lot on the ride there. Thank goodness I got there when I did, my boarding ticket said that gates closed at 11:15am. Naturally, being me I flipped out.

I had to go through the normal baggage check thing, THEN US Pre-clearance/TSA clearance, then EU clearance. So I had my stuff (and myself) scanned twice, plus my passport stamped and my US customs statement thing filled out and turned in. I was surprised it actually took an hour. Thus, I made it to my gate right when they were boarding onto the airplane.

The plane right was long, as usual. It was sort of strange the way meals were served this time. After about two hours on the flight, we were served dinner at about 3pm Dublin time. Then, we had breakfast/brunch about 4 hours later. The meals were pretty delicious though, and I got a pretty awesome, normal Irish tea to go with it, as it was Aer Lingus. I watched a bunch of movies and shows during my stay on the plane. I watched Horton Hears a Who for the first time (boy did it get awkward when they did an “anime” scene), Father Ted: A Christmassy Ted, Big Bang Theory: The Santa Simulation, a random episode of Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Glee and a tad of the Game of Thrones.

We landed in Chicago O’Hare 20 min late, as we left Dublin 20 minutes late. It was terrible because I had to run from the international terminal (5) to domestic terminal 1. I literally RAN. Essentially, I had to exit Terminal 5, take the tram from one end of the airport to the other, enter Terminal 1, go through TSA clearance AGAIN. But it was fine, I made it with a little fascination to the sunny, but snow-covered Chicago. From O’Hare, I traveled to LAX with two very pleasant Kuwaitis, a brother and a sister. They were traveling to Hollywood for the holidays, after studying on the East Coast for the past semester. I ended up talking to the brother, who was sitting next to me, for about 2-3 hours. I only slept for 1 hour total. I’d say it was the most pleasant flight I’ve ever had so far.

Upon arriving at LAX, I waited forever for my luggage. It turns out that my luggage didn’t make it onto my flight, instead it came on a flight 1 hr later. Thankfully O’Hare and LAX are rather large airports, so flights are constantly going between the two.

One of my lovely college friends picked me up. My first meal back: pad Thai at Banana Bay @ 10:30pm. This is how I know I truly am Asian.

The lovely place I spent my Christmas day.

Feliz Navidad (25/12/13)

Christmas was interesting, as always. This year, I spent it with my friend’s friend’s family. Essentially, I spent Christmas with a family of strangers who were kind enough to take me and my friend in. They turned on a channel that was running a 24-hour showing of A Christmas Story. So I watched a good portion – if not all of it – for the first time in my life. Then, dinner was delicious, followed by a visit to their home bar located in the garage where the father served us his homemade limoncella. It was DELICIOUS, though I didn’t have much of it. Also, they were drinking Newcastle Werewolf, which I’ve never seen before. It was a pretty darn good Christmas.

Looking for Dublin Comfort (27/12/13)

Three days back in California and I already miss Dublin. Not only is it terribly “hot” but, Southern California sucks. Yes, I’m crazy. The weather never changes, it’s ALWAYS sunny and the sky is ALWAYS blue. Not to mention, I can’t get anywhere without a car. But at least I’m staying with someone who lives across from a park, so I get to get my workout on!

Medieval Times: The battle (top left), the knights (top right), the dinnerware (bottom left) and the ‘squires’ (bottom right).

Medieval Times (28/12/13)

Cravings fulfilled. Sure, Southern California – or California in general – is well-known for the Inn-n-Out Burger chain, at least in that States. But nope, that’s not what I was craving, instead I was craving another burger place called The Habit. Today, I got what I wanted. Perfect!

Later on that night, I revisited my favorite memory from this past year. I went to Medieval Time with my photographer friend. It was great fun with the horse show and eating some delicious food with your hands. The knight we got to cheer for, the yellow knight, was actually sort of cute. I think the strangest thing was that there was an Asian knight and a black knight. But then again, I guess that’s more probable in Southern California than anywhere else due to our high diversity in cultures.

Misc picture:

Pocky truck handing out free Pocky spotted in the shopping plaza next to Downtown Brea. Yumz!

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