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I had an introspective time with one of my all-time fave reads while on the road today.

Kundera always does that to me though. Throw in some gorgeous scenery and lots of time to think. Recipe for some deep thoughts, right there. As soon as I pulled out my computer to get some work done, though, I started to feel a bit whoozy because of my motion sickness. Ugh. Have I said it before? No? I. Do. Not. Like. Traveling.

Anywho, picking up where my last post left off (read Part I here), it’s time to get into the Wedding Banquet! Somehow, I was able to recover from the totally delicious but copious amounts of dessert I ate the previous night. I actually had pretty decently sized meals the day of the banquet, even knowing that I would have tons of food to try in the evening. I’m sure I was just making sure my stomach was roomy enough for those eats.

As I explained in Part I, one of my dearest childhood friends was having a Chinese Wedding Banquet on the heels of the wedding ceremony last month. The banquet is a gathering of family and friends to celebrate the marriage over the course of a ten-plus course meal of traditional Chinese dishes. The bride had several dress changes, wedding games are played and toasts are made during the nearly three and a half hour event. Here’s a photo sampling of some of the delicious foods we ate. Most of them are traditional Chinese dishes that are typically served at these types of banquets.

Seafood stuffed dumplings

Fried Shrimp Fritters

Shark Fin Soup (this a Chinese delicacy)

Roast Duck with Shrimp Crackers

Whole Steamed Fish Bass with ginger, garlic, scallions (I had a lot of this one! Sooo good!)

Finally some vegetables (with more shark fin!) + Chicken dish behind that

3 Lobsters per table. Cooked with scallion. Again, incredibly fragrant and tasty.

The whole table. We were brought a big plate of noodles, which weren’t consumed at all because we were so stuffed by this point. 

Tapering off the meal – sweet soup.

Sesame balls and not sure what the other dessert was (stacked jello-like squares?) – Nice and light to finish off a heavy meal!

This was how my second plate looked by the end of the night.

However, I couldn’t miss out on the wedding cake!

I was too busy running around, giving a toast, helping with the games and with the bride’s multiple dress changes to snap photos of all the dishes. There were several dishes that my vegetarian self couldn’t eat, including the duck and chicken, but many of the dishes were pescatarian-friendly. Try being vegetarian at one of these banquets, sheesh. Have you ever been to a Chinese Wedding Banquet? If you follow a restrictive diet of any kind (vegetarian, paleo, vegan, etc.), how do you deal with huge food gatherings like this?

I sat right by the beautifully arranged candy bar the couple had set out for guests, which proved to be entertainment enough on its own. Initially, people took small handful amounts of the various candies, but as the night wore on, people became more and more creative in how they could hoard the candy for later. It escalated from teacups to large plates, to tupperware and even takeout boxes. There were some inventive ones out there! It was hilarious to watch!

The weekend was tons of fun. I love seeing my out-of-town friends, family, and exploring new areas but to be honest, after all this indulgence and time away from exercise, I am very ready to get back to normalcy and stability in my routine. Hope everyone’s weekend was equally fun!