Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Gainesville Here We Come!

We thought it would be good to bring the newest addition to our family, Dan, to Gainesville to have a feel of the environment that his wife has grown up in as a kid. At the same time, it too afforded an opportunity for WJ (our elder son) to walk down the memory lane, one where he has spent his formative years, the Corry Village, a student family housing located just next to Lake Alice.

However, it turned out that WJ was busy touching base with his SiHeng, Anthony, whom he has acquainted through SiFu Wong Kiew Kit. Anthony conducts Shaolin Kungfu and Chi Kung classes in Gainesville. He is a self-assured young man and in that respect, WJ is in good company.

For lunch, we decided to try the lunch offering at the Buffet City, which we learned about on a previous trip. It was not a disappointment: the food galore, the reasonable pricing, and the exquisite wall d├ęcor.

A mosaic of framed painting and wall calligraphy complete with 3D floral/light design hung on the wall. The left panel: galloping toward success;
the right panel: a peaceful home leads to flourishing business;
and the bottom panel: Bon voyage.

Corry Village looks about the same, except for the absence of the basketball court that has been converted into a part of a kindergarten. We toured Building 276, one which we stayed for just over four years, and walked along the paved path to the playground, down some steps, and ended at the laundry room.

CY (our elder D) used to roller-skate around with her friends along the sidewalk and also down the slope next to the steps. At times, she would complain of chest discomfort (heart palpitations) at night but my wife ascribed that condition to being the lingering effect of being “over-challenged” by her peers to glide down the slope during the day, a case of physical and mental agitation transforming into physiological disorder, albeit transient.

As events would prove it, CY either mentally tamed the fear of roller-skating down a slope or actualized the adage that practice makes perfect for the complaints just kind of tapered off. So that’s a bit of child psychology for young parents.

Then we swung by the Reitz Union, the hub of the student center, making a brief stop at the Bookstore and the duck pond behind. There was an assortment of parents and would-be freshmen moving around the Reitz Union, to my surprise. Then we found out that it was Preview Week. My wife even showed a parent from Maryland where to buy bottled water.

To each his/her own?

No nostalgic trip would have been complete without a walk by Lake Alice, retracing our usual stroll in the park on the boardwalk. And while there, we were able to witness some fascinating instances of peaceful co-existence in the animal world, putting to shame perhaps the dog-eat-dog world that we inhabit.

By Lake Alice, stopping for a well-deserved shot.

A turtle and a young alligator: a blossoming friendship in the making?

After picking up WJ downtown at the end of his meeting with his SiHeng, we dropped by Mdm Huang’s place (read here for a previous visit), to introduce Dan to our dear friend. Then it was time to hit the road again to return to Tampa, in time for Dan to overcome his awe at the UF campus (presumptious? maybe, but that is one of the privileges of being a father-in-law).

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