Jude with his cousins Zoe and Leo

After Portland, we spent several days in the Bay Area visiting family, Bliss’ in Orinda and mine in Silicon Valley.  These were the most uneventful days of the trip to date, from a site-seeing and activity-doing perspective, but were extremely relaxing and provided a much-needed break in the action ahead of our 14-hour flight to Hong Kong.  Jude especially enjoyed meeting his Aunt Barbara and Uncle Craig and playing with his cousins Leo and Zoe.

With Bliss' Uncle Craig and Aunt Barbara

We had a lot of loose ends to tie up, and final packing to do, so having family around to help with Jude while we prepared for the international leg of the trip worked out well.  We had to convert a full rental-car’s worth of stuff into a reasonable amount of luggage to cart around Asia and Europe on planes and trains.  This took a lot of planning, rolling (see our Packing Tips post), and culling (we sent a very large box of things back home).  I was also in a mad dash to finish my 1,000-page Harry Truman biography (highly recommended) before leaving for Hong Kong, which Bliss had forbade me from bringing abroad as too big.


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