July 20, 2013 by tvo320
My final stop of my winter world wind is in Fort Smith, Arkansas where my parents live. Ever since leaving for uni after high school, I have not really “come home.” I ended up studying abroad every summer in uni and then once I graduated, I moved to Japan for my first international job. I have learned to cherish the short spans of time that I am able to spend with my parents because those opportunities are very far and few. I love my Mom and Dad so much! They are always there for me and have supported me no matter how many zillion of miles I am from them.
My Mom is the best cook in the entire world and I can only hope that I can replicate a small percentage of her ability one day. She can make the most amazing meal out of nothing. We’d have the infamous pho (beef noodle soup), spring rolls, sticky rice, stuffed bitter cucumber, or papaya salad on any given day. My Mom made sure that we were in touch with our culture by cooking Vietnamese food for us and I could not be more thankful. I will never forget the first time we went back to Vietnam as a family. One of the best trips of my life that really opened my eyes to just how big this world is. I wasn’t apprehensive about many of the foods we ate because they were ‘normal’ to me. I think that being exposed to as many foods as possible is the best thing you could do for a young person.
Coming home meant that I was able to eat home cooked meals by the best chefs in Arkansas! My oldest sister, Cindi and her husband, Anh Hai, are amazing cooks as well!! Everyone was so sweet and made me a few of my favorite dishes like bun rieu. I wasn’t home along enough to eat all my favs. Cindi and Anh Hai are doing the same thing by exposing my nieces and nephew, Kaitlyn, Bailey, and Andrew to all types of food, especially Vietnamese cuisine. Food is a very important aspect of our culture and I am so happy to know that we are passing is down in our family. Many of us in the family love to bake as well! The kids and I went on a baking rampage since I was in town. We baked cookies and cakes which turned out amazing!! We also attempted cake pops but they ended up tasting more like cake bites. Oh well! The key is that they were edible.
This trip home was extra special because I was lucky enough to see everyone in the family. My little brother and sister, Thomas and Tiffany, came into town for brunch which was nice. Thomas was heading off to South America for a few weeks before moving to Boston for his new job. Tiffany has entered the adult world and is doing an amazing job as an Occupational Therapist. I spent quality time with Cindi, Hai, and the kids as well as my parents. Yes, I have a pretty big family and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Before I knew it, it was time for me to pack my bags and hop on an airplane back to Brisbane. I would have to say that I wasn’t quite ready. I had been helping my parents with a few projects and needed two more weeks. Time flies when you’re having fun and that’s exactly what happened on my trip home. I love my family so much and I cannot wait for them to visit me in Brisbane! Next time I post, I will have lost a day (Sunday, July 21st) and be back in Brissie.