I arrived back home the day before Christmas Eve, and enjoyed Christmas with the family, all my gifts came from my travels, custom made clothes from Hoi An, Vietnam and various other assorted bits and pieces. It was nice to be back in the bosom of my family again. My mom had been doing really well but she was having some back problems and working with her chiropractor to figure them out. She had made an appointment to go get a scan to check if the cancer had re-occurred but we that wouldn’t happen until early February and we wouldn’t see any results from that until late February.

Also, I purchased a new camera, the Canon G12, hopefully perfect for traveling and I would soon get to test it out. Check out the photos from this trip.

In early January 2011 my mom and I headed off on a road trip to Seattle, her belated birthday gift to me for my 39th birthday. We drove down and checked into a lovely hotel with amazing views as we were on the umpteenth floor.

That afternoon we headed over to the Seattle Public library, I know that doesn’t sound exciting but it’s actually an incredibly interesting building architecturally, if you like that kind of thing and my mom  and I do! We both took tons of pictures and I got vertigo at one point, no straight lines!

After the library we took a quick walk around and then went back to the hotel to clean up for dinner out at Purple Wine Bar. We both had an amazing meal and I drank the Argentinian red wine sampler, yum!

The next morning my mom wasn’t feeling well, her back was hurting her a lot. With her blessing and a plan to meet up later on I went out for a stroll through the Pike Pace market, so many picture taking opportunities and nooks and crannies to explore. It’s so incredibly clean and organized when I compare it to market I have seen in SE Asia! Smells a lot better too.

Mom and I met up for lunch and then headed off to the Seattle Art Museum to tour the Picasso exhibit. I’m not so big on Picasso actually so I didn’t find it that inspiring but some of the other artwork was just incredible.

After the gallery we went back up to the hotel to pack up the car for the ride home but first a quick stop outside architect Frank Gehry’s The Music Experience for some jaw dropping visuals and wonderment, how on earth did he come up with these ideas and more importantly how an earth were they actually executed into reality? Wow.

On the ride home my mom and I discussed the job offer I’d received when I was in Vietnam. She wanted me to do it, but I was nervous about leaving her when it seemed like her health was starting to become a problem again. Finally after eliciting a very solemn promise from her that she would let me know the moment she wanted me home I agreed I would go. Also helping me to make the decision I was able to speak to the owner of the studio in Vietnam and he assured me that if I needed leave before my 2 month contract was up so as to come be with my mom he would have no problem with that at all, very understanding. All these agreements in place I decided I would go for it. I was on a plane before the month was up, a one way ticket into Vietnam.