Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Utah During Chinese New Year

Since I had about two weeks off during Chinese New Year, I took the opportunity to go back home to Utah to visit my family. It had been over one year since my last trip home, so it was definitely overdue. Despite that trip finishing over a month ago (as you can see I'm a little behind on the blog), I am going to post a few pictures.

Since all the family was together at one time, my mom organized a family photo session. Everyone was able to come: my parents; my brother and his wife and kids; my sister and her husband and son; even me and my solo act, which ruined the trend of multi-generational nuclear families. We went to an old train station, where they have a bunch of old trains and cool things to take pictures with. The pictures turned out pretty great.

The Original Five

The Whole Family

The Whole Family in Black and White

Emily, Sawyer, and Jeremy

Kyle, Parker, Amy, and Gage

Wes, Parker, and Kyle

Parker, Gage, and Sawyer

For me the whole trip was about seeing family and friends who I hadn't seen for a long time. Well, that and eating lots of food that I had been missing in China. I definitely gained a bit of weight after eating so many big meals, but it was worth it.

My brother and his family stayed over at my parents' house for a weekend, so I was able to spend some in depth time with them. I was great to spend time with Gage and have Parker serve me burgers and chocolate milk in the play kitchen.  Since my sister lives close to my parents, I was also able to see her and Sawyer a lot throughout my visit and saw how much energy that little man has. Besides that, we had a big lunch with the Allred side of the family, visited grandparents, and went to a cousin's wedding on the Roylance side of the family, so I pretty much covered everyone on both sides of the family.

As much as I could, I also met up with friends from the old days, although lots of them are married now and are starting to have their own families, which makes it a bit harder to meet up.

Sawyer Wanting My Camera

Grandma and Grandpa Roylance

Amazing Painting of My Grandpa Roylance by My Brother

A Bearded Grizzly Matt


Mole at the Red Iguana

Chipotle Burrito

Besides family and friends, the nicest part about being home was having blue skies nearly every day, unblocked and fast internet, and no crowds of people. Taking a leisurely drive with no traffic and mountains in the distance was definitely a nice change of pace.

Ben Lomond Peak Under Clouds

Historic 25th Street in Ogden

Ogden Union Station

Mount Ogden

I was lucky that the time I was back in the US coincided with the winter olympics. Since I had a lot of free time, I was able to watch most of the main events. It was great to watch the snowboard and ski events. I especially liked the snowboard cross.

Towards the end of the trip, my parents and I went to a Utah Jazz basketball game, which I haven't done in a long time. Unfortunately, the Jazz lost and their best player Deron Williams didn't play, but it was great to see a live game.

Unfortunately, like all good things, my time in Utah came quickly to an end. The two weeks seemed to fly by. It was really great to see all my family and to see how fast all my nephews are growing up. There's even one more nephew on the way in Kyle and Amy's family, so they're going to have three boys soon! Hopefully in the future I'll be able to see them more often than once a year. Thanks everyone for making my trip special.

Before I knew it, I had to fly back to China. I had another quick stop in San Francisco, so I squeezed in another short visit with Chris and Dara and grabbed some breakfast, then I headed from San Francisco to Shanghai. I always enjoy flying from the US back to China because you fly in an arc high to the north, over Alaska and the northern parts of Russia. Probably it is the same route going to the US from China, but normally it's at night time on that flight so you can't see. While lots of people are sleeping, I spend the time looking out the window at the huge ice sheets and pure white landscape as far as the eye can see.

Ice Sheets Floating on the Ocean

Snow Covered Landscape Over Russia


Myron said...

Cool pictures. Reminded me to eat a Chipotle burrito for dinner.