Monday, January 07, 2013

Tradition, think Fiddler-on-the-Roof

It was supposed to rain the whole time we were in Redlands, but just like our sneaker storm when we left Reno, they had sneaker beautiful weather.
One of my favorite things was watching the kids play together.  Alexia kept asking me, now how am I related to them?  She knows they're her cousins, and so they are - by marriage and sometimes the connection is relative.  No pun intended.
Petey and Ian have been friends since junior college.  The roots of the New Years tradition run deep.
A proud Ian with both his sons.
Ian with Niece Alison and Sister-in-law Rochelle.  Ian has known Rochelle since she was 13.  Deep roots.
We crowded around the table to eat New Years Eve dinner, and then afterwards we cleared everything for a boisterous game of Left Right Center.  It's the perfect game for all ages - even four-year-old McKay played.  And for the uninitiated, the Scotch pronunciation is McEye.  If you watched the movie, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, the headmistress was Mrs. McEye.  If you haven't watched that movie and you're currently watching Downton Abbey, run, do not walk to your nearest copy of that movie to see Maggie Smith in her Oscar-winning role.
After dinner it was hot-tub time, always a hit with Alexia.  
New Years Day we piled into two cars and drove an hour and a half across Orange County to Gardena to celebrate Japanese New Years at the Inouye's house.  Gardena is where Ian and Rochelle went to high school with the five Inouye brothers.  This tradition dates back to then but now the gathering is generational.  Zach with the chopsticks is the son of Minihiro, Ian's brother's college roommate.  The roots run deep.
This is actually the sashimi.   Most of the sushi is on two tables in the living room.  The tuna which is on the corner of the table went really fast and you can see the tako is almost gone.  There was so much to eat, and I did my best.  The sushi there under the foil has spam in the center.  Mini's children are half Hawaiian so his daughter Kikuye always makes spam sushi.  It's an acquired taste but it's tradition and I always eat it.
And the moment we anticipate - the tempura.  Omar and Don get it kicked off.  I've known Omar for 15 years.  He's a friend of Don's son, and is so serious about this role that he had his wife drop him off in the morning so he could get the shrimp deveined in advance.  There is another anticipated tradition - the saki toast to past, present future.  Ian and I ducked out early.  I drove down and he was the return driver but his eyes were tired so I didn't want to drink in case I needed to drive.  I *hate* driving on LA freeways and want to be a sober mind when I do.
All good things come to an end and ultimately it was time for the return drive home.  Alexia entertained herself with her DSI.  We don't make the drive in a day anymore and at the hotel, she was thrilled to have WiFi so she could watch movies on my iPad.  I wonder if we're an anomaly or if other people don't use the hotel TVs either.

Every year I think that this was the best New Years ever, and then it gets upstaged by the next year.  We came home with full hearts.


Marion B. said...

You've had a great time I think. Happy new year to you too.

Cindie said...

what a great tradition and looks like loads of fun!

Laura said...

Wow - a trip full of gustatory treasures, and wonderful company. How can you beat it!

Glad you had safe travels and such fun!

danielle said...

Whoa.... wait a minute....I discovered your blog shortly before my daughter moved from Fallon to TN.....still reading it and now she most recently moved to Redlands....almost like we have some sort of connection! LOL

Benita said...

What a lovely trip! Lots of traditions and they all sound wonderful.

And, for what it's worth, I never turn on the TVs in the hotel rooms, either. I'd much rather knit or read while Scott reads or sketches.