Like many colleges, Caltech gives students only Thursday and Friday off for Thanksgiving break. Lucky for me, I still got to see my family. My sister, a junior in high school, had a week off of class, and so it worked out that my family drove to visit me instead of flying home. They were here for three nights, and my sister stayed with me in the dorms. She met all my friends and saw our lifestyle here at Caltech. I’m used to everything now, but from a high schooler’s perspective I can see how our routine seems weird. Our sleep schedules are pushed back because classes start later and we like sleeping in. And we communicate with each other more, whether it be what to wear or related to a set; I think that’s because we all live so close.
Our family this year did not have a typical Thanksgiving, but that didn’t keep us from enjoying the holiday. My parents picked my sister and me up from campus for brunch at a local dim sum restaurant, then we spent the rest of the day at the beach. We went to the beach at Santa Monica and it was quite nice.I figure it’ll be better to just show you pictures instead of trying to tell you about the beach.
One thing that I didn’t expect though was that the temperature there was pretty cool; my sweatshirt was on the whole time.
The sun started to set and my mom decided it was time for dinner. We drove to a place where it felt like we were in China. The store signs were even in Chinese. Well, we didn’t drive across the ocean, but to a city named Monterey Park. We first stopped at the grocery store because they don’t sell the same stuff in Colorado. There are a couple Asian marts back home, but it’s nothing in comparison. Monterey Park is considered LA’s real Chinatown, and it’s apparent why.
After a while of walking around we finally sat down for dinner at a restaurant called Boiling Point. The way it works is everyone gets their own hot pot to eat from. A hot pot is a bowl with soup that has fire underneath, so it’s boiling as you eat. Waiters come by every so often to refill the bowl with water since it evaporates.Each comes with vegetables, some sort of meat, and rice or noodles, and you got to choose one of twelve flavors.
An Asian hot pot is no turkey and mashed potatoes, but to me it felt like Thanksgiving. I got to take a break from school and spend time with my family.