It was in November last year when my brothers and I planned to celebrate our Mom's birthday. It was not a ordinary party because she turned 80 years old last July. Part of the preps was the US visa application for me and the rest of the family. We were blessed, most specially my 2 piglets... and now the plan became real!
We flew in early August via Seoul, Korea and made it after 20 hours of flying. We arrived in New York City airport and took a 2-hour shuttle to New Jersey. And that was the start of our memory making with the family...
The first itinerary was Mom's 80th birthday celebration in Delaware. Family and friends came to wish her and her sister and brother in law, my Auntie Linda and Uncle Bill, threw dinner party for her. This time, my brother Louie and his wife flew from California to be with us as well.
After that, our first weekend was spent in Rhode Island at the summer homes of my cousins Dionne and Donna. There was another birthday celebration for Mom and a boodle fight dinner for the whole family. Then strolled around the Point Judith Lighthouse and at the shorelines of Narragansett, Rhode Island. The picture of the kids is a forever treasure, its always great to see them all together.
After 3 days in Rhode Island, we went to New York City! I've been dreaming to come back here! Day 1 was a stroll in the busy streets of NYC... we dropped by at the St.Patrick's Cathedral and photo op at Rockefeller Foundation.
Day 2 was a chance to go up again at the Empire State Building! I love this place... I also love the movies shoot there. Then we walked going to the Time Square area. After that, we went to Ground Zero and strolled in the different memorials of the 9/11 Trade Center tragedy.
When we headed back to New Jersey, we stopped at another 9/11 Memorial. Its the Liberty State Park. There were 2 huge walls built with the names of the people from New Jersey who died in the 9/11 tragedy. Beside it was a park overlooking the Statue of Liberty and an old train station called Historic CRRNJ Terminal, New Jersey.
We spent 4 days in New Jersey this time... So Day 1/ August 15 was an hour trip to Hershey's Park, the famous chocolate factory. The the following day August 16, we had an hour train ride to the Atlantic City, the home of Miss America Pageant. We walked around the sea decks and casinos. It was such a different experience!
And there was another get together! This time with the Aningalans of San Pablo City/ New Jersey. They were so family to us, most specially to my brother Jay.
We were back to Delaware in August 19, this time we visited a National Shrine of Padre Pio in Pennsylvania. At the back of the church was a gift shop, and under it was collection of different Saint's relics. I was blessed to touch St. Padre Pio's with a white cloth.
A trip to the East Coast will not be complete without a visit to the Longwood Garden! Finally, I was here in August 21! The first time I went to the States, I was not able to come here, I was adopted for a day by my Auntie's friend and so I missed this. This time, eventhou it was hot, raining and humid I decided to hang out with the family. I saw a room full of cactus, plants and flowers, which of course, bawal mamitas. Then we walked going to the old family mansion of the duPonts.
Our third weekend was a trip to Washington DC. Day 1 was an amazing visit to the Air and Space Museum. The boys enjoyed the airplanes and rockets, and we watched a short 4D documentary about the Earth. After dinner, we had a walk going to the White House. Auntie Ann was with us this time.
Jay, Che and Pia joined us in Day 2, we went museums and memorial hopping! 1st stop were 2 Art Museums - the National Art Gallery. Then, we went to the Abraham Lincoln, the American-Korean and the Franklin Roosevelt Memorials. Uncle Bill and Auntie Ann gave us a good lecture about this place and it was really great to know them all!
The last day in Washington DC was a great discovery. We found the National Shrine of the Immaculate Concepcion. We heard mass in the morning and visited the Arlington Memorial where we watch the changing of the guards.
The last days of the vacation were spent shopping, of course! I was finally able to hangout at Joann's and bought a lot sale papers, page protectors, D ring albums and a few stamps. My auntie also got me some green curtains and tons of food to bring home.
Going home was the hardest part of the vacation... We left my brother and his family, and of course my Auntie Linda and Uncle Bill, in the US. We braved again the 20-hour flight going home and the last was, going back to the world of reality and jetlag!
This was my second time in the US, but I can say that this one was the BEST so far! Why? Because I was with the whole family, most specially my 2 boys were with me (eventhou my hubby did not join us), there were more places and more time spent in New York City and Washington DC, we celebrated my Mom's 80th birthday there and of course, I get to see my family there.
This is a milestone for my boys Luigi and Lorenzo. Money cannot buy these memories and material things and food were just part of the trip. I believe my boys had a great time in the US and would like to come back soon. Well, I gave them the chance, now its time for them to dream more!
Thank you to my Uncle Bill and Auntie Linda for this trip... it was just PERFECT!