i showered this morning like normal, but afterwards i dried the tiled wall along the bathtub and the bathtub edge so water wouldn't remain on the newly applied caulk, giving it another day to properly cure. it's been 24 hours so theoretically the caulk should be good to go, but i figured more curing time wouldn't hurt, especially given that it's old caulk.

with my parents needing to do a supply run tomorrow (monday), today (sunday) was the only free day we could take my visiting taiwanese aunt out somewhere. we decided to take her to the middlesex fells in winchester. my father went to go pick up my aunts around 11am and i got to belmont around that same time. once my sister arrived by 11:15am it was time to go. we were taking two cars because we had too many people (plus dog). i rode with my sister and hailey, my parents drove my aunts who were following behind us.

we arrived at the winchester entrance to the fells by noontime. afraid it'd be crowded, we parked at the first empty spots we saw, even though afterwards we found out there was plent of parking further ahead. i'd just been to the fells on thursday (though a different part of the fells, southern quarry), so it was my second trip this week. i had my 18-200mm lens along with the macro and wide-angle lens in my bag just in case. there were a lot of people initially, but once we were off the main trail, it was pretty secluded, with the occasionally passing hikers every once in a while.

the winchester part of the fells is far enough away from "civilization" that i had trouble getting phone service. google's location tracking didn't even work, so there's no digital record of me actually being in the fells.

it was hailey's first time being the fells in over 6 months according to my sister. she stopped taking her dog - they used to come here at least a few times a week - after hailey started getting old and couldn't see or hear well anymore. my sister was afraid of her dog getting lost in the woods, or running off and not obeying commands. hailey seemed fine though, even perked up in the car as we got closer to the fells, as if she could sense where we were going. on the trails she seemed to be back to her old self, walking ahead, turning back to make sure everyone was accounted for. when she ran into the pond she wouldn't come back when called (couldn't hear), but after she saw we'd left, she quickly came to join us, afraid to be left behind (she was shivering for a few minutes afterwards, not realizing how cold it was in the water). a few times she followed passing strangers thinking there were us. she couldn't hear us when we called her, so on one occasion i had to chase after her to get her attention before she realized she was following the wrong group. but otherwise she seemed fine. my sister said the vet told her hailey could only be 20 minutes of hiking, but she seemed full of energy, didn't want to be put back on the leash when we were about to leave.

autumn in the fells is nice, with a soft carpet of dead leaves and pine needles, but it's also treacherous, especially close to the entrance, where the trail is dotted with hidden dog droppings. my mother had the misfortune of stepping on my dog poop, and was obsessed with cleaning her shoe until we finally got to the pond.

we left the fells by 1:15pm. my sister took hailey back home while i joined my parents and aunts in the other car as we made our way to the burlington michael's. we could've shopped there longer - there was also a total wine & more - but my taiwanese aunt wanted to have some dim sum for lunch and we needed to get back to watertown by 3pm, which is when dim sum service stops. the crafts store turned out to be not as close to the fells as i originally though, and it took us nearly 20 minutes to drive there. my mother and aunts were at michael's for 15 minutes (picking up some yarn) before we finally started making it back home by nearly 2pm. we stopped at the house briefly to use the bathroom before driving down to joyful garden, arriving there by 2:30pm.

i've had joyful garden's dim sum a few times, but always as takeout that my sister had bought, never ate there for dim sum in person. i remember thinking it was passable dim sum, especially for the suburbs. with the restaurant slated to be displaced when the watertown mall is demolished to make way for more lab spaces, it's more important than ever to enjoy the food while it's still here. the place was surprisingly crowded, i wasn't expecting that. most were chinese (a good sign of authenticity), with a few adventurous non-asians. after a few minutes of waiting, we got a large table (big enough to seat 8-10 people for our party of 6). the dim sum cart ladies saw that we were a new table and all came congregating to our area, so we didn't have to wait, had all the foods we wanted shortly after we sat down.

so my dim-sum go-to's are the tripes and the chicken feet. eating it fresh at the restaurant, i must admit, it wasn't bad at all, very close to the chinatown dim sum quality. i also had the charsiu pork buns, which tasted good, but the pork filling wasn't dyed red, which i guess is healthy, but i like my buns with artificial coloring, makes it look more natural. overall it wasn't bad, but dim sum is slimy and oily, and afterwards i felt a little queasy.

we finished eating by 3:30pm and returned to the house (my sister went back to her house to be with her dog).

back at the house, my father went to go take a nap while my mother and taiwanese aunt were busy knitting. my 2nd aunt didn't bring her knitting stuff so could only sit and watch and chat. there was some things that needed doing (mow the lawn, treat the houseplants, check the broken dryer), but i didn't have the energy, put it off until tomorrow. i did however ride the motorcycle to the nearby mt.auburn star market to look for shaved steaks on sale (they had none).

my good earth cinnamon tea arrived today, two cases of it ($17/case), 6 boxes per case, 18 packets per box. my cousin said she wanted some, so one case for her, one case for me. i was excited to try the tea. it seemed a little weak at first, but the longer you steep it, the stronger the taste, and it's exactly the same as the old tea, just in a different packaging. my taiwanese aunt was lamenting over how many boxes i got, but i told her let my cousin decided how many she wanted, who knows, maybe she wants to give some away to friends. i'm just happy i can get this tea again, i really thought they stopped making it, and was saving up my one last box like it was the most precious tea in the world.

because we late lunch so late, nobody was hungry. my mother decided to order some domino's around 7:30pm. i noticed they no longer have the large 3-topping pizza for $7.99; now the closest thing is a medium 2-topping pizza for $6.99. we got a hawaiian and an extravaganza everything pizza for $3 more. my mother also kept pushing for a white sauce pizza, but two pies were more than enough. my father and i left to go pick up our order.

after pizza everyone was debating when my 2nd aunt would return from new york city. she planned on traveling with my taiwanese aunt on wednesday morning, since my taiwanese aunt doesn't speak any english, and we didn't want her to get lost. but my 2nd aunt hadn't decided yet when she'd come back. at one point she was thinking she'd leave NYC thursday afternoon, which meant only a day in new york city. finally we decided on friday evening: the ticket was a bit more expensive ($60), but it meant leaving at 6:45pm and getting back to boston by 11pm, with enough time to take the red line home via south station.

i finally left by around 8:45pm, getting home by 9pm. i took a shower, wiping the tub area dry afterwards with towels to allow the caulk to continue curing.