“First day of school! Wake up! Come on. First day of school.”

Yesterday was the first day of Vietnamese school!  How exciting.  My Mom is the Principal now, my best friend is a teacher aide and all sorts of things going on.

Vietnamese school used to be a big part of my life.  Not so much these past couple of years… but now that my Mom is running the show, she really wants me to somehow be involved again.  I’m done with being a student there.  But now I have a new friend: my 400D.

Now this was the first time I used my new lens, EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, in the real world.  And it really felt different, this being the heaviest lens I’ve ever used.  But so far it’s been dependable when it comes to getting my shots, I’m just not that familiar with it yet.

So anyways.. First day of School!

matching pants!

It’s Truong’s first day of viet school I think..? I wasn’t around much last year, but I think he was too young last year. So it must be really exciting for him. And look, they have matching pants.

Their parents help out at Viet School too.  Both of them are actually behaving for once, which is pretty amazing.  And Lam didn’t totally run away when I tried to take a picture of him.  Aren’t  they such good kids?  They even have backpacks.

lonely kevin

How sad for Kevin, all by himself. Where did all his friends go?  I think most of his friends are in a different class than he is this year.  But that’s ok, that’s what break time is for.

Many of us are involved with Viet School because our parents are. And of course, on the first day, they’re all working hard.  I also noticed that all of our parents dressed up real nicely and looked all official for the first day of Viet School.

bac thieu


Registration is getting busier as more people want their kids to learn Vietnamese. Looks like they have things under control though.  My mom isn’t working here for once.  She used run this department.  Looks like tuition went up this year, but that didn’t stop hundreds of parents.


Of course, our new principal is on the front lines making sure things are going smoothly. I kept losing track of her because she’d disappear to other places so quick.  I’m not even sure what she did all day, but here it looks like she’s figuring out which students belong in which class.  Or helping the parents figure that out. Attendance increased by quite a bit this year, so there are many more classes.

cau trieu

Now remember those hundreds of folders we packed almost a month ago? (I didn’t write a blog, but I posted pictures on my flickr) Well here they are, finally getting distributed to the students. Those kids better appreciate the binders, we worked hard (we referring to us younger folks). That’s my uncle leading the way.

After seeing how silly it was to drag all those folders around on a tiny red wagon, Mr. Sheldon Walker the custodian lends us a hand to speed up the process. My uncle gets to ride shotgun.



That made things so much faster, and within minutes they were done distributing the folders. Next job, pass out all the books.  I’m not sure they did this yet since the roll sheets haven’t been finalized.


Blah, blah, blah… I wasn’t paying attention to what they were saying, just minding my own business.

By now, it’s almost break time. Time sure flies when you’re busy.


candy department


John and I decided the drinks looked too boring, so yeah…

pyramid soda

What a masterpiece. We didn’t even drop a single soda despite the concerns from some of our parents. It’s bound to attract more customers.

We finished setting up for break a little early, so John and I set off to explore a little. Not that there was much to explore. Let’s see who’s enrolled in which class.



And in case we got lost, not that we would have, there’s even a map. All we need now is a compass.

sell sell sell!

And break time just started so we’re all busy doing our things. Looks like they’re trying to sell Popsicles this year too. I wonder how that went, just hope they didn’t melt too quick. Drinks are always popular though, because who wants to drink from rusty drinking fountains. Gross…

food /></a></p> <p>And then after break time was over, our PTA started their usual gig: hardly working... Now that work time is over, it's food time!</p> <p>It's also play time for them. John's Dad is checking out one of the other parent's camera (350D + EFS 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS + 580EX).</p> <p><a href=

350D setup

And then before we knew it, the first day of Viet School was over (for some of us). There’s still the afternoon session. What a fun day. It feels good to be back.

homeward bound

Isn’t this blog being written a little late? I’m very bad at this blog thing. Taking tons of pictures? No problem, but taking the time to write stuff about the pictures.. that takes a little more effort.

So the camping trip was last weekend, Labor Day weekend. Stupid stop and go traffic gave me major headache, but once we got there things started getting better. The location wasn’t quite what I expected. I was ready to get lost in the mountains! But we were on some camping site with lots of other people, a medium distanced walk away from civilization.

Now the first thing to take care of was to put up the tent. I couldn’t get pictures of the tent going up because I was doing it. In our lot, there were two tents in all.

Here’s our tent with my uncle in it. It’s huge! But the air mattresses made it feel cramped (I wouldn’t know I slept in a secret room.

After figuring out how to put up our tent, helping with other tents was a breeze.

The ground was so hard that when I was trying to hammer in these plastic things to hold down the tent, I broke two of them (also broke two more taking them out).

The funny thing about this camping trip is that most of what we did was… eat! This whole thing was like a really long picnic a little further away from home. There was enough food to last us probably a whole week, not just three days.

Yeah.. food, eating, that was pretty much what we did most of the time.

On the first day of the trip, we watched Shrek 2 at some amphitheater place. Shrek 2, great movie by the way. The parents loved it (well, my mom did). I really like it too, but I’ve already seen it. So instead of really watching, I was mostly taking a picture of…

…our beautiful sky!

Did you know all those stars were up there? It’s so beautiful, I couldn’t stop trying to take pictures. There’s still a bit of light pollution, and I found more limits of my camera. I can’t believe I’ve only had it for 8 months and I’m already reaching some of its limits. Oh well, it’s still a really good camera.

Anyways, back to the camping trip.

Now guess what the first thing we did after waking up the next day. That’s right, EAT!

Here are the mothers of the trip, the ones responsible for all the great food. We really did eat more on the trip than we normally do. All the males just sat around doing nothing…

On day two, we decided to go to San Clemente Pier. Parking was terrible! But we eventually got a spot. Had to walk a bit though. The main activity for some people at the pier was fishing.

That not a duck…. it’s a PELICAN!! Yeah, people weren’t the only ones fishing there. This guy looks like he knows what he’s doing.

So other than fishing, we also ATE! Yes, that’s right, more food!

Now that’s my Victorinox in action right there. My mom loves that knife! When she started cutting food with it, the blade just glided through the veggies. I love my knife too. Food was good of course. Even the bees could stay away. You can see one on the juice bottle in the picture.

Once again, the guys sit around doing nothing.

That was a fun day on the pier. And when we got back, we ate some more. And we ate some more. The younger people on the trip went and played ultimate frisbee, and then played mafia in our tent.

The morning of our last day, we had even more food. Good breakfast consisting of quesadilla and scrambled eggs. Last thing was to break down the tents. That was so much easier than putting it up.

So yeah, we’ve already started planning for next year. We’re going for a better camp site.

Well thanks everyone for a fun trip.

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