After family vacations growing up, Jennifer and I would compare notes, and it constantly seemed like we were mismatched with our families. Jennifer’s parents wanted to go all over and take tours and do all kinds of stuff whereas she just wanted to lie around on the beach; my parents were the kind to leave Disneyland in the middle of the day to take a nap whereas I wanted to see as much and do as much as possible.
In preparing for my parents’ visit, I had forgotten this, and I’ve been a little apprehensive about planning places to go and things to see. But given today is Sunday when all of Samoa shuts down, and because yesterday’s village excursion was hectic and exhausting, I figured we could take today to sit by the pool and make dinner at my house. The fact that it rained the whole day (save for about 2 hours we spent taking in an overcast sky on the poolside) only justified the day’s lackadaisical itinerary.
So we did a lot of lazing: lazing on the pool deck, lazing in the hotel room, lazing at my house. Even when I got in the pool, I swam in a lazing manner. At one point I attempted the old water polo warm-up routine from high school, and though I weigh about the same as I did back then, the muscle tone has diminished. I was slow.
With the skies already overcast, not rainy turned into rainy at the blink of an eye, and we were back in my parents’ hotel room pretty quick. And then I had my first hot shower in 110 days. It was awesome. I probably stood there in the warm flowing water for 10 minutes doing absolutely nothing, just feeling warm. It was the perfect day for a hot shower too given the cold rain outside. I talked to a Samoan once about how I loathe the cold showers, and she said she enjoyed the cool water since it’s so hot here. But today was cold. And a hot shower was more than welcome.
I made my famous taro hash browns for my parents tonight. My dad is somewhat legendary in the kitchen, and it’s always a bit risky cooking for him, particularly when I put him in charge of the stir-fry, which meant our two dishes would be plated together.
Shopping at Farmer Joe and the open-air market earlier today, he had thrown in some suggestions for the stir-fry (bok choy and ginger), so I figured it best to put him in charge of that. While it can be stressful being in the kitchen with my dad (Here, why don’t you do this, and by doing it, I mean watch me do it.), he is fun to watch when he’s in his element, and watching him put together stir-fry in my bare-bones kitchen was like my own private episode of Take Home Chef.
My mom was a sport about complimenting both of us on our cooking, and the meal went over well. My dad regretted not bringing wine, but I took the opportunity to introduce my parents to the joys of Sprim.
After dinner over a game of cards, I also introduced them to Niu Vodka (Samoa’s own coconut-infused brand) and Timtams (a chocolaty wafer-type confection).
My mom liked my house a lot, and said it was a good size, and exactly the kind of place she’d like to live if it were right on the beach. She then added that it would need sealed windows and air conditioning to truly meet her needs. True that.
Tomorrow we head to Savaii, but it’s a national holiday so it’s unclear when the boats will be running. So most of the day will be spent figuring out travel and then traveling. But Patty and Joe are low-key vacationers, right? So we’ll see how it goes.
I hope you’re well. Pictures below.
Joe in the pool. My hairy (sexy?) legs.
Patty reading aloud from "Coming of Age in Samoa" by Margaret Mead.
Joe enjoying dinner.
4 weeks ago