All I can say is that my cousin, Theresa, was right when she said last year that these pictures will be a throwback.
It has been more than 1 year since my cousin visited us here in the east coast. She was sent to California for training. I asked her if she can spare one weekend to come visit us here since it was cheaper to fly her from California than from the Philippines.
I took a half day from work to pick up my cousin at Philadelphia airport. From the airport we drove around Philly to show her the city at night not knowing it was NFL draft. Since it was traffic and all, I decided to go home and eat my wife’s home cook dinner and then go out afterwards to grab some drinks at a bar.
My wife suggested to go to Adelphia, but that was not a good choice and going to the city may not be a good idea either since it was NFL draft and bars may be crowded. We just sucked it up and ordered 2 rounds and ended the night.
The next day, we headed to New York but we did an obligatory stop at Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. We were not able to climb the statue anyway since there was a long line and we needed an advanced reservation. We just snapped pictures at both islands. We then took the night tour in NYC. The tour company was not worth mentioning because it was horrible (well the tour was okay but it was a freaking wait), well I guess the reason was we bought the tickets from Groupon. It was a change for us since we usually do day tours, night tour was different. We ate dinner in the city and then drove home.
The last day of my cousin, we grabbed her luggage and before her flight we showed her Philadelphia. We were not able to climb up the art museum steps as well as showed her the Rocky statue due to NFL draft was packing up and we were not allowed to walk through for safety reasons. Well she had to settle for the liberty bell.
We went to Pat’s to have her try the Philly cheese-steak. I prefer Pat’s over Geno’s and I cannot explain why. We dropped her off Philly airport and we said our farewells. Please click the above picture or click here to see the rest of the pictures I took.
Last year, my wife and I went home to the Philippines to celebrate my father’s 70th birthday. My father was not big in celebration and somewhat introvert. I guess I took to my father. Did not like being in a crowd and did not care much for celebrations either. If he had his way, he will just stay home and find something to do. Well, it was not up to him and we ended up in a restaurant with family and friends.
After a few days, we celebrated my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. I regretted not giving them a planned celebration since that was a milestone in their lives as well as ours. They just had a church blessing and had a small reception afterwards.
My wife and I brought our parents to Tagaytay for an overnight stay. I guess they need to get away even just for a day. My mother cannot leave their dog for a long time as well as her orchids. With the help of Ellen we booked at Taal Vista, famous hotel overlooking Taal volcano.
I remembered that day was not a good day to take pictures because it was foggy and the weather was just awful. But I still managed to snap a couple of pictures of my parents overlooking the volcano. We strolled along the mountain side and sat down to relax. That night, we went out to Pamana restaurant, a Filipino celebrity owned restaurant. The decor brings nostalgia and the food reminded me of home cooked meals.
After dinner we brought our parents to visit a casino, but none of us are gamblers, so we just walked around and sat at one of their slot machines and dropped about $20 (this is the most I would like to spend at a casino anyway). The casino was like a mom and pop store compared to casinos here in the states.
I guess it was getting late for my parents and we went back to the hotel. After we dropped our parents back at their room, my wife and I grabbed a few drinks at the hotel’s music lounge.
The next day was a breakfast feast at the hotel, we enjoyed the authentic Filipino breakfast. Mind you Filipinos like to eat a lot. Americans will just have bagels and coffee, Filipinos will go overboard. It is really the only way break your fast. It was a sunny day and an opportunity to take some pictures with the volcano as your background. Being with family is always priceless. Click the picture to see the rest of the pictures or just click here.