Monday, July 01, 2013

Something pretty awesome happened yesterday.

We always look forward to summer and try to get in as much fun as we can. But this year we have not been good the summer season that has always been so good to us.  There's a good reason for our lack of summer frolicking, but we still felt like we were slacking off big time. Seriously, we had not set foot in Knott's since Easter! Never mind that we were all itching to get back to Soak City. There were just more important things for us to do first.

But yesterday was it, there was no way P was going to let June go without a visit to our parks. The plan was to spend the afternoon at Soak, then move on to Knott's to catch the 7:00 p.m. (last of the day) Snoopy Unleashed ice skating performance. From there we were going to catch the night lights show, then cap our evening with the goodness that is Mrs. Knott's fried chicken dinner.

When we left the temperature at home was 106, but by the time we arrived at Buena Park it was only 81. Then the sun decided that it was not going to grace us with its presence.  That is significant because at that temperature the sun is a must. It was not to be, and SS did not last two hours in the water. We never made it to the lazy river, and even with her wetsuit SS was done in about two hours.  There will be more blistering hot days, so we made our way to Knott's to catch the 5:00 p.m. show.

We usually either take our dinner home, have it in the car, or eat outside.  I was surprised when P walked in the direction of the restaurant. We had time, and he wanted to have a sit down meal before returning to the park. I was really done for the evening, and would have loved to get take out and skip the return to the park. It was a good thing I was too tired to protest, because our plans being completely derailed lead to the most awesome thing shortly after.

We had barely started on our dinners when we heard a man say "I know who you are. I have seen you somewhere before." Neither of us recognized the voice, and turned around to see what the nut was up to, and were greeted by a smiling B.  Last time we saw him, his wife J, and their daughter, Baby J, was August 17, 2008, in Guangzhou, at our travel group's goodbye brunch.

P and I have always lamented that we had never been able to get together with the other families. Some lived in the Bay area, one in Florida (in Colorado as of last year), and the rest in Southern California. We still exchange Christmas cards and it has been a thrill to watch SS's sisters and brothers grow and thrive. We were stunned to see B, and in a very uncharacteristic move for me, I had no qualms about letting a man who is not my husband hug me. SS was a bit lost about what was going on, but realized that she had not seen us this excited over seeing anyone ever before.

Mama J, Big Girl J, and her Baby Sister J (home from China about a year ago) were on the other side of the restaurant.  We gladly abandoned our meals and walked over for a long overdue reunion. I had asked P to bring our camera inside because I did not feel comfortable leaving it in the stroller. I'm glad that he listened, because we were able to capture the girls' reunion. I'm sure we made fools out of ourselves, four grown adults hugging and teary eyed in such a crowded place. But we did not care, it was so good to have that moment.

Now to the unexpected part, Big Girl J (BGJ) and SS hit it off instantly. SS is a friendly person, but we have never seen another child just click with her at first sight with such intensity.  And if our encounter wasn't enough of an OMG moment, both girls are beautiful, long haired, brown skinned tomboys.  BGJ was wearing a Ninjago shirt, and SS was wearing her Avengers shirt. They gave P the opportunity to take one look at us after five years picture, then went into full ham mode. Poor Baby J did not know what to make out of her crazy sister, and the other equally crazy tomboy causing a scene.  It was such a beautiful sight to behold. And just like that we were thankful that our day did not go as planned.

We didn't get to talk much but exchanged information. BGJ went through a major change about a year ago. The family had just arrived from China with two year old Baby J, then their son was born six weeks later via surrogate. You got it, an International adoption and surrogate birth within six weeks.   Mama J was honest that it has been a very difficult transition, it's hard work, but they are making it happen. Their exhaustion was obvious, and once again that quality of life thing was right in front of us to ponder.  We almost lost our dinners last night because the waitress thought we had skipped and started clearing our table and uneaten food. The couple at the table next to us explained that we ran into someone we knew, and that is how our dinner was saved. Both of our families departed for China on July 4th, and at this time of the year tend to do a lot of reminiscing about that time. Who knew we were going to run into each other? B & J and us, we just clicked in China, they were our favorite couple hands down, And they both had an immediate soft spot for SS. It was good to see them again.

Cutest tomboys there, hands down. BGJ is eight months younger than SS, and as you can tell, taller. It was weird to see SS place her arm around her. It's usually other kids placing their arms on SS. That is Baby J (3) behind them.  Their younger brother was at home with his grandma.

Then all heck broke loose.

And here they are, our girls, such a long time ago, on the Pearl River dinner cruise. B and then Baby J are on the right. The guy on the left is our guide, Martin. Crazy dude grabbed the baby he was holding (they were doing I'm holding a baby shots) from the very unamused mother behind our table (she was part of our travel group, just humorless).

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