Our Home Base in the US of A

All too soon, our four-day stay in Cupertino ended with a three-hour drive (the GPS estimated it to be one hour and five minutes only) to Stockton, our US of A home base—where our second son, daughter-in-law G and grandson Adrian live.

My Manong Ped (with his wife, Manang C) drove us through a freeway that had a monumental traffic jam reminiscent of Manila’s. Tony slept through it all while I had to stay awake to keep the driver’s mind alert.

Our home base is off-white outside, girded with a wide patch of green, and pristine-white inside, including the carpet and cabinets. It is a home out of the pages of an architectural magazine. A dinner spread of American and Greek cuisine was laid out for us and a few other guests who jointly welcomed us.

Just next to Adrian’s bedroom is ours, which has a full view of the gated village. This is where we would be coming back to from all our hops to other cities meeting up with long-time friends and kin.

Second day in Stockton was spent with only G since second son had full clinic hours and Adrian had full school hours. But G drove us to second son’s clinic and toured us in Adrian’s school as highlights of our leisurely, touristy day . . .

A drive along acres and acres of farms and orchards; a wellness massage in a nature spa; a light lunch of American burgers and BLT in a quaint town called Lodi; a slow walk through a book store that carried both pre-owned and new books and where Tony grabbed two volumes of the American Revolution without looking at the price tag (which G insisted on paying for).

We don’t have a daughter, but in Stockton we found in G everything we could ever have wished for. She prepares our meals, around which Adrian regales us with his wit and antics. She more than makes up for the absence of her extremely busy husband by patiently driving us around and documenting our stay with photos.

Left: Adrian picked "patience" for me and "strength" for Tony.  Right: Adrian's version of pancake sandwich.

Most important, in Stockton, infamous for guns and goons, grace followed us to wherever we went.

That made Tony remark, “It is my kind of town.” 


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