Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tang Family Reunion 2007

The first ever Terry & Amy Tang Family Reunion took place this summer in Edmonton, Alberta Canada, the place where all of us Tang children grew up for a majority of our lives. Although I'm not sure calling it a reunion would be as accurate as calling it a moving party for Clarence and Annie. Heather, Ashlyn and I first got there Wednesday, June 6th around midnight, and our first activity of the so-called reunion was the ever so fun activity called pack up Clarence's stuff and put it in the truck on Thursday morning. Well, we did pretty good at it (but most of that thanks to Andrew who came earlier and worked on it with Clarence till he was literally exhausted) but it was done and that was the important part. After packing the truck we spent the rest day at West Edmonton Mall, the biggest mall in North America. I guess it would be more accurate to say we spent the day at the World Waterpark in West Ed. We'll have pictures and video from the activity later when I have time to scrub though 4 hours of video and try to condense it into 5 minutes or so. Anyways, then that evening after playing, the parental unit treated us to a Chinese dinner and it was delicious. The evenings usually consisted of putting kids to bed and then talking in the night.

On Friday we met up with our cousins, aunts and uncles to travel to Calgary which is 3 hours south of Edmonton. The purpose of the trip: Pay our respects to our Paternal Grandma's grave site. We first stopped at a dim sum restaurant to chow down, because what's a reunion without some good food, and then made our way to the site. I hadn't seen my Grandma since 1996 when we moved from Canada to the U.S. but it was good to see where she is resting now. After paying our respects we went to the Calgary zoo for the rest of the afternoon. Not sure Ashlyn really appreciated it, but she loves to be outside and hey, she was free to get it. On the way back to Edmonton we hit up a drive thru in Calgary called Pete's Drive In. Well after spending 30 minutes in line to get some burgers/shakes and fries I'm not going to lie. We were a little disappointed in the food. Oh well, all in the name of tradition I guess.

Okay, Saturday. Since one can only have so much fun, Clarence wanted to help us know the goodness of fun by allowing us to help him deep clean his entire apartment. "It builds character," he says... Hog wash. It was cheap labor. Luckily since there were so many kids around, someone had to watch them while the others cleaned. That responsibility I gave to myself and played hide and go seek. I did a good job let me tell you what. Anyways, that afternoon we went on a picnic to Hawerlak park and can I just say I don't remember there being that many asians in Edmonton. But there were tons. I guess I'm just ignorant or there was a big migration in the 10 years I was gone. Well after the little picnic we hit up Chinatown to get some baked goods and then went to North Edmonton to have a little engagement dinner for our cousin Tommy. It was great to see everyone and great to let the children just go crazy in the church gymnasium where we gathered. After the party, we drove back home, but not before I gave Heather the little tour of my old stomping grounds. She liked the neighborhood and the houses a lot and even looked at me and said, "I could live here." I was kind of shocked at first, but not more than 2 seconds past when she remembered I told her the winters were 6 months long. Suffice it to say, living there is now out of the question.

Sunday was our last day together and it began with an adventure to Church. Heather and I were in charge of getting ourselves there on time at 9am for baby James's blessing. Well, it takes 10 minutes to get there by car, and we left at 8:52am. You do the math. Luckily, when we walked in the chapel doors, they were announcing that it was time to do the blessing. We had just made it. The bad news, we were in Mom and Dad's car and had their sunday shoes in it. Whoops. Dad was in a full suit and some sandals. Oh well, it worked out for him anyways. What are material things anyways? That's what I was trying to teach him. The rest of the day we spent at Darren and Minn Va's. We had lunch and dinner and a little birthday party for all of us June birthdays. One funny thing we did do was weigh everybody. It's pretty funny to see how wimpy most of us boys are. Well, wimpy may be a little harsh, but come on the 3 Tang brothers average in at 132lbs probably. Enough said. Well, that pretty much ended the reunion, the next day Andrew, Liew and Andersen flew out. Mom, Dad, Clarence and Annie drove off and Michelle, Steve, Nancy, Heather and I stayed but went our separate ways to stay and visit other friends and other sites.

Heather and I stayed with one of my best friends and former BYU roommate Mark Sommerfeldt and his wife Renee. They also have a boy who's 2 weeks older than Ashlyn named Josh. Well after spending sometime with them in the afternoon on Monday we met up with a bunch of my old friends and had a little get together. It's always fun for us to relive the funny times when we were growing up, but I feel kind of bad for the spouses, because they never know what's going on and they're probably bored to tears when we all get together. Oh well, whatta ya do. Oh yeah, back to living in Canada... Heather experienced how big the stinkin' mosquitos are. While taking this picture you could see clouds of them in the air and they were pretty thirsty let me tell you what. It was so fun to see everyone nonetheless.

Our last full day in Canada was on Tuesday and since Heather didn't get a chance to wander around the West Edmonton Mall, that's pretty much what we did. It was like any other mall of course. Just huge. We took the kids into Galaxyland which is the indoor amusement park since they got to ride for free. I tell you what, I got sick on some of the kids rides. So did Mark. And the kids? Well they were pretty much expressionless the whole time. Well that's probably long enough. It was a great trip, it went by too fast, but we had a blast together. Hopefully we'll be back there again sooner instead of later.
Oh yeah, sorry it's been so long since we've posted. Life got real busy and unstable for a bit with my job, but we're back on track I hope. Be sure to stay tuned for video when I get to editing it. And check out the complete albums (the complete condensed version that is, let's be honest, Asians on vacation with cameras.. there were hundreds and hundreds of pictures...) from the reunion in the Friends and Family photos link on the right!