Maybe spending many hours in the car with your parents isn't such a brilliant idea. Translation: hindsight is 20/20.
I took my parents to Monterey to visit the world famous aquarium. I was determined to drive at least part of the way on Rt. 1 (aka the PCH.) Saturday was the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin festival, aka clusterscrew traffic-wise - so we headed down Woodside/84. I last drove that road as a summer associate, i.e. over 2 years ago. Weird.
Lunch was hilarious. We had Chinese (my mom's favorite.) I ordered a tofu dish and the waitress explained that Chinese tofu is different from Indian tofu - jigga wha? She meant paneer. Oddly, she kept explaining things to me about Chinese food for the rest of the meal. I turned to my mother and said "Of the three of us, I look like I'm fresh off the boat??" As she cleared the table, my dad said a few sentences in Cantonese (one of the benefits of being Malaysian, I guess.) I managed to say "thank you" in Mandarin and she fawned all over me "Oh! You know CHINESE! That's so good!!" My dad, of course, wondering if he was chopped liver, asked if she knew Cantonese. Apparently, she does - she just straight dissed him.
The aquarium was superfantastic. Watching the sea creatures - fish, anemones, jellyfish - was utterly relaxing. The jellyfish, lit from underneath in fantastical colors, were a modern art exhibit. What was *not* relaxing was the crowd. I'd like to take a mental health day during the week and check it out. (My mom commented on how many Indian people there were - totally true. A lot of them were South Indian. And assumed that no one else could understand them.)
A long day, but worth it. I can still see the school of silverygold anchovies swimming in synch, the kelp moving slowly like underwater tai-chi.