Thursday, September 17, 2009

Last few Summer Vacation Pictures

Last set of my best pictures from my Canada trip.

I like pictures of airport hangars and stuff. This was (I believe) in Tokyo. Or maybe Toronto. Anyway, I like the tinted glass, and the way it makes the sky that much richer.

Liked this sign at the Vancouver bus terminal.
I've told you about my sunglasses curse, right? I've never been able to keep a pair of sunglasses: I always either lose, or break them. Fortunately, hats have worked out better for me so far (knock on wood).

My awesome friend Melissa's son is super-cool. We had a great time chatting about the kinds of things seven-year-olds chat about. . . some of my favorite topics.
My surrogate family lives in my old hometown: when I was back in Canada, taking care of my sick mom, they lived in the same town, and whenever I was down, I'd go over to their place, just show up at the door, and they'd invite me in for a recharge. The two daughters are like my younger sisters, and they're awesome, and growing up to be awesome human beings, both of them. One of them had a birthday party, and I got to attend.
They're wonderful and funny and all that stuff, and here's a video of them being cute and funny and sisterly.

We found some flowers while walking around Harrison Hot Springs. Heres' my youngest surrogate sister. She's as funny as she is beautiful, and smart to boot. I spent a day hanging around with her and her friends (they all graduated high school this year) and we had some good laughs. From having conversations with seven year olds, to conversations with seventeen year-olds, it was a real grab bag this summer.
In Korea, flowers in your hair is a symbol of madness (cf: Ophelia), but in Canada it doesn't mean anythings special except, "I put flowers in my hair."

I drove the rockies and took some videos: most of the "shoot from a moving car" shots didn't work out, but I took some video that turned out OK. Watch for the flocks of birds, the bugs, and FWAM! The flying eagle!


Then off to Ontario for the end of my trip. My dad's house is there, and my extended family. Instead of craggy mountains, you get this:
My dad's house's bathroom had this really really cool looking sink-drain-plug.

My Dad lives in Niagara Falls now. (sweet!) and by happenstance, my cousin was visiting my OTHER cousin not far from there, and they had the time to come out and spend a day hanging out with me and being awesome. Dang, but I miss them! Staying touch isn't always a strong point for me, so I hadn't actually seen one of them since we were practically kids, but Heather lived near my old hometown one summer, and we had some hoppin' good times. She's awesome.

Sucks butt that I missed both their weddings while I was in Korea. Seriously sucks. I want to meet their husbands, though. This is the part where it really stings to be so far away.
My cousin Heather is one of the most beautiful human beings I've ever met.
We went under the falls, where the bass thundered all through your body.

The falls were in fine form.

You've seen lots of pictures of niagara falls already. I won't bore you too much with mine.

At night, I went there again with Mary-anna, my step-mom. She's super cool, and bore with me as I took pictures that she'd taken dozens of times before, all the while regaling me with interesting stories.

Here camera's way better than mine.

Plus, there was a fireworks show.

And the music didn't suck, like other fireworks shows I've been to (second one's Andong mask festival. Sound got muted, but the lady was singing "You Raise Me Up" [cheesetravaganza]. No music is better than crappy music... especially when it'll just get overshadowed by the falls' thunder anyway.

I caught the end of the fireworks show on video, and I've also showed some other cool shots I took on video. It really started raining after the show, and we got totally drenched - so wet that my shoes were still damp when I returned to Korea and unpacked them. It was a fun adventure with Maryanna, though.

This video also includes some footage from behind the falls and at the bottom (I think it's called table rock) -- it's awesome down there, and the falls are so loud, and all the other usual adjectives (majestic, awe-inspiring, blah blah). To get an idea of what it was like being there, connect the youtube video with the biggest speaker you have, lay on your back, turn the volume on high, and lay the speaker down on your chest while you play the video.

The video, then.

The last day before I flew back to Korea, I finally saw my mom's parents, one of the two main reasons I'd decided to go back to Canada this summer (that, and attending the family get-together in Langley). At my grandparents' house, the site of most of my best childhood memories, I got this shot of Dad

and this one of my grandparents. They're awesome. I wrote about my grandfather here.
Here's the house where they live, from the back yard: it's way out in the country, so remote they still use dialup, and only got their road paved in the '90s.
My grandmother loves gardening: she maintains a huge vegetable garden, even in her '70s, and keeps a whole swack of gorgeous flowers, too.
This is my favorite picture of their house from the trip:
and more flowers:

In the woods in FRONT of their house, my grandmother has carved paths all over the place, and each curve of the path represents, for her, a different son, daughter, grand, or great-grandchild. I didn't think to ask her which part was mine, but this little patch here...
was my mothers, before she died. The rock on the bottom right is the rock under which her ashes are buried. This was the first time I had the chance to visit mom's burial place since 2005, the year of her passing.

This is the rock where she's buried.

and i can't think of anything to say after posting that picture.


fred said...

Yes. Nothing more to say: that picture says it all - and so beautifully! My childhood was spent just south across the border from Langley between Sumas and Lynden. Many thanks for all your refreshing posts!

Rebecca said...

Rest in Peace, Mom.
And may the rest of us have peace too.
Thanks for the great pictures, Rob.
If you are almost half Korean by now, does that mean you are half crazy for putting flowers in your hair?