Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fun weekend

Last weekend, Maylin had a blast. On Saturday, she had her first swim lesson. I was so proud of her as she dipped her head into the water like the other two students. She had been scared of doing that for a long time, but when she saw her cousins doing it while we were at the family pool party in Ohio earlier this month, she did it with them, and did it again at her lesson. She's way ahead of where I was when I was her age. I just about flunked all my swim lessons from age four on.

After the swim lesson we ran into the Berkeley Farmer's Market and the Berkeley Old Time Music Festival with adults and children fiddling, playing on the banjo and guitar, and singing. She was entranced. Right afterward, we went to her school picnic where she played with her friends for hours. Afterward, we got deliciously greasy New York-style pizza at Arinell's. Walked home, but on the way stopped to gnosh on some cannoli (whipped cream-filled pastries).

Sunday was the Solano Stroll, a street fair in our neighboring city, Albany. The kids section was towards Solano Avenue, so we stayed within those three blocks. Maylin got to see a small chamber ensemble of kids performing from the Crowden School, a music school in Berkley, a reggae band made up of fourth grade (?) boys, girls belly-dancing (one girl from her camp this summer), a rather boring magician, and free cartoons at the Albany Twin movie theater. They also had several inflatable kids entertainment -- an obstacle course, a pirate ship, a giant slide, and a basketball hoops game. Maylin was excellent with the obstacle course -- so fast! And the giant slide was really giant. I would have been too scared to do it when I was her age. I took along Stefan and a friend I hadn't seen in five or six years. We bypassed all the BBQs and headed for a sit-down restaurant just around the corner on San Pablo Avenue named Muang Thai (also known as Da Nang). Great, reasonably priced Vietnamese and Thai food. It's a large restaurant but never has many customers. It's definitely due to the location. Most people just drive by that area too quickly. I highly recommend the Pad See Ew (I never know how to spell that) which is pan-fried wide rice noodles with egg, broccoli, and your choice of meat, the Beef Noodle Soup (request the flat rice noodle), and the Egg Noodles with BBQ pork (but you must substitute with the flat rice noodle -- they will gladly do it). Those noodles are the freshest rice noodles I've ever had (except for those super-wide ones they serve at dim sum restaurants). Chinese restaurants rarely have them this fresh (otherwise known as chow fun noodles).

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