I just returned from a trip to my hometown.
I was born and raised in Atlanta, and my mom still lives there. I'm not a huge fan of Georgia, but I believe a lot of it has to do with past negative experiences and the suffocating feeling (I gave MYSELF) of not being able to grow freely in a small community.
I went along with the usual rituals of our mother-daughter bonding: shopping at Marshall's, my mom showing me the fruits of her gardening labor, watching animal videos for far too long, eating some home cooked Korean food...she also brushes my hair. I know it's weird, but it's a thing. Like a combination of her preventing my hair from shedding in clumps throughout the day and probably wanting to show physical affection but not being able to (did I mention we're Korean?).
From the garden
Usually, I submit myself to painfully long periods of time in our house while she naps, falls asleep while reading, or falls asleep watching ridiculous Korean shows. There have been way too many instances where I am talking to her and awaiting a response, only to see that my mom has passed out on the couch. Sitting up. Slight narcolepsy? Maybe.
Example of a REALLY bad Korean reenactment show about Robert Downey, Jr. my mom was watching during lunch. Yes, HE is supposed to be Robert Downey, Jr. Authentic accent, right? And the other dude's Jon Favreau.
My stubborn side tried to count that as "quality time". Also, GUILT kept me chained to the house. I was supposed to be visiting her, right? It's also tough because she's not into exploring Atlanta like I am.
This time, I rented a car and got to revisit old sites and discover new places. I also gave myself time to see friends. A small amount of time, but it was something. (Do you know how crazy it is to see friends from elementary school? We were little people with no boobs! Well, I guess now I'm just a big person with no boobs, but you get what I mean. )
It made me so much happier, and it actually made the time spent with my mom even more meaningful and less dramatic. Probably because we both had our alone time and were less wound up.
I got lots of good eating in! Which is what I'm always seeking during my travels. Wrecking Bar Brewery + Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream...yummm.
I also had really awesome stinky Korean food at Well-bean that specialized in Soon Tofu (soon dubu) soup with nato. It's called Chung-gook-jang, and it's not for everyone! But for me, YES.
When we took our magazines with us and ended up chatting the whole time. We made winter plans to keep warm. Dreams!
My First Time Climbing Stone Mountain. This is one of my childhood friends, Carey.
The photo of me didn't come out quite right.
My friend took us to an interesting part of town called Edgewood. One bar we went to was Church. I guess you could say it's a blasphemous bar, but I don't take those things too seriously. My cousin said she felt like vomiting when she was inside because it went against everything she believed. She's so cute.
So, all in all, my mom and I got along much better than past trips and I look forward to the next one being even more relaxing.
When I returned to NY, we took a day trip out to Island Beach State Park in New Jersey. It was a fantastic day of swimming, playing with clams and crabs, and kite flying. It's funny how a day at the beach brings out the carefree, fun loving kiddie side out of adults.