Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Travel sharing experience from our friend from Thailand .
October 29, 2011 was one of the great days for us in coming to the U.S.A. this time. It was the day that we made special visits to several places such as Portage Northern High School , Portage Central High School, the house No. 9211 Austin Lake Drive, Austin Lake, and mom Jean Thomas' grave. The visit to Portage Northern High School and Portage Central High School brought back wonderful memories that I had during my AFS year in 1972-1973. The old buildings are still there and the new ones have been added. The flag pole at Portage Central High School has remained in the same location; however, the public highway in front of the school has been widen and the gymnasium at Portage Northern High School has remained exactly the same. The school signs of both schools have, of course, been replaced by the new ones. The visit to 9211 Austin Lake Drive was also a very remarkable one that made me proud. Dad parked the car beside the road in front of the house and Napi and I walked toward the house taking some pictures. Two trees, one being in front of the house and the other just behind the house, disappeared while the other trees remain the same. The color of the house, the white color, as well as the size of the house remains exactly the same. We were lucky to have been invited by the present owners of the house to enter the house. Surprisingly, the house seems much smaller but actually, the size remains the same. We went through the doors toward the dining room, the kitchen, the living room, the family room, the laundry room, the toilet but not the bed rooms. Much of the carpet looked exactly the same. Austin Lake is still the lake of pride, the lake of beautiful and clean water, and the lake of happiness. I remember running around the lake after school with Brad and very often with our loyal dog Bucky. However, the visit to mom Jean Thomas' grave at Three Rivers Cemetary made me sad and almost made me cry. Rick, Cheli, and Melisa had already been there waiting for us when we arrived at the grave. We laid a wreat over the grave, paid respect and then returned home. If mom Jean Thomas had not had the car accident in 1998, she would be 80 years old this year. Back to Bay City, dad and mom Sharon took us to a Japanese restaurant where food was cooked right at the table in front of our eyes. The style of cooking was so strange and amusing that could attract the customers to come here again.