Who Are These People?
My name is Elais and I am a mixture of British, Scottish, Irish, and French ancestry. I was born in Alberta, Canada and moved to Los Angeles with my family at a young age. My Dad’s occupation not only took us to Southern California but to El Paso, Texas after living outside Los Angeles for ten years. My university years found me in Vancouver, British Columbia, where I met Gary, who would become my husband eleven years later. I’ve had the opportunity to travel a little, read a lot, and became a home health nurse during the course of my education in Canada.
My husband Gary was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba to Vietnamese parents who traveled to Canada as refugee boat people at the end of the Vietnam war. After surviving several of the infamously harsh winters in Manitoba, his parents sought new work and milder climes in British Columbia. Gary grew up in the largely agricultural township of Langley, his family finding a few ex-pat Vietnamese friends amongst the farmland of southwestern British Columbia.
Just Like The Comics, Our Origin Story
Gary and I met while attending the University of British Columbia. As second years, we roomed in student residence next door to each other; I thought he and his friends were too loud and rambunctious. We did not know it, but he and I had briefly met in first year, when my friend threw him and his rambunctious friends out of a common room so we could play foosball. It was not until the second semester of second year that we actually had a real conversation when we ended up taking the same psychology statistics course.
Our first date was at the Rugby Club in Vancouver. Feeling very posh, we shared the typically awkward first-date conversations over seafood and steak in a plush leather lined circular booth. The Rugby Club had the most amazing sautéed mushrooms that I will always remember and forever try to reproduce (several times I have come close, but never quite got them right). From our first date at a restaurant that no longer exists, we had many more fantastic meals in a variety of settings that made for some memorable dates.
Only a month into our relationship, Gary took me to a traditional Vietnamese wedding – his friend’s sister was getting married, and as per tradition, had invited everyone they knew. The guest list was tremendous, the hall enormous, and the courses numerous. The most memorable dish brought out was jellyfish – something I had never tried. I consider myself quite open to all food and am willing to try anything, but cannot say that I like everything. I have a difficult time with texture, and jellyfish (as I discovered) fell into that category. After the first bite, I knew this was not going to be my favorite food, but (trying to fall in line with my British ancestry), swallowed it whole and gave a polite nod to Gary. Unbeknownst to him, I was trying not to gag, and he took my empty plate as a sign I wanted more…as per our little comedy of errors, my plate was filled several more times with jellyfish before the next course came out!
Elais and Gary Sitting In A Tree, and The Rest Is History!
Gary and I have tried many new foods over the years of our relationship, but the jellyfish escapade was one of my favorites. Sufficed to say, we did not have jellyfish at our wedding when we married six years later, but we did have a lovely British Columbian meal of cedar planked salmon.
Eleven years later finds Gary and I living in the Southwest, having relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico. We opened a home health care company, Nurses With Heart Home Care, and I began blogging as Your Nurse Friday. Gary continued on with his entrepreneurial spirit and is always looking for the latest and greatest project to get involved in. While it did not happen overnight, we adapted to the hot summers and dry air, and now know the difference between Mexican and New Mexican food. Our passion for food persists and we continue to find new ways to explore cuisine in every way possible.