One of the things that make marriage so interesting is that you suddenly have a whole new, second family with all their own traditions, stories, and norms. For some, this can create a whole host of problems and tensions, but for others, it can be a source of joy. I have been fortunate enough to fall into the latter group and have enjoyed becoming a part of Sarah’s family’s culture. One of my favorite Kurisu traditions is the annual Father’s Day trip to Mammoth Lakes. Each year Sarah’s dad, uncle, aunt and their respective immediate families pack up their Toyota Siennas (Siennas seem to be another unspoken Kurisu tradition) with fishing gear and meet in Mammoth for a long weekend. During our marriage, I’ve come to love this trip and look forward to it each year. I’m not an avid fisherman like the rest of their tribe, but I deeply enjoy the quiet peace of the mountains and the way the broad skies seem to lighten one’s burdens.
This year, Sarah and I were intent on getting out and finally hiking some of the nearby trails. Each year we plan on doing this but somehow never quite get up the motivation. This time, we succeeded and enjoyed a couple hikes with outstanding views.
We also enjoyed playing tennis with our niece and nephew, Esther and Micah.
Spam Musubi, another important Kurisu tradition.
Fishing at Twin Lakes.
The view from above Twin Lakes.
Each year we stay in a condo complex that sits right next to a small stream. Sarah was incredibly determined to catch a trout in the stream.
One of the highlights of the Mammoth trips is the annual fish fry. One night each year, everyone gathers together for a trout dinner. This year the fresh trout was prepared in two ways. Some of the trout were wrapped in massive slabs of bacon and BBQ’d. The other half was filleted, coated in panko, and fried. Both dishes were delectable and we happily feasted.
Later, we drove to the Village to watch the 4th of July fireworks display. We weren’t expecting much of a show from the tiny town of Mammoth Lakes. However, being a small town, we were able to get very close to launching area (launch pad? ignition center?…). So close that the fireworks were directly overhead and ash and debris were raining down on us. We watched as a still crackling, burning rocket landed on the sidewalk across from us and people scattered to avoid being burned. It was an exhilarating experience being so close to the action.
On our last morning in Mammoth, we woke early and hiked to Crystal Lake.
The hike is a pretty steep climb, but the views along the way are well worth the effort.
After hiking back down from the lake, we met the rest of the family at The Stove for the traditional family breakfast before beginning the long drive back to San Diego.
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