Two of my cousins visited from the west coast this last weekend. We had a blast!!! Despite the fact that they brought the rain with them ;-). The two full days they were here, it rained constantly. On the other hand, their mom says that the time they were here, it cleared up in the West. Hmmm.....
I had to be at the office last Friday. But I went home early. Kel and I picked up some groceries for a really nice but healthy (and easy to prepare since he had something to do) dinner. As soon as I got home, we started talking and eating (that's the theme this weekend). We had a great time preparing dinner which was a big salad, crusty whole grain bread which we dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, quezo de bola, roasted red bell peppers, roasted asparagus, baked stuffed salmon (bought them stuffed), and cooked brocolini. Dessert was mascerated strawberries dipped in whipped cream and espresso.
The next day, the rain was on a constant drizzle. At first, I wanted to go driving around DC but due to the weather and the National Cherry Blossom Festival, we decided to just stay home, watch movies and gab all day.
When we started to brew our morning espresso, there was no milk in the fridge. So, I put on my jacket and jeans and said I'd go out to grab some milk. Yaz wanted to come so she changed. She came out of the room really put together. Her hair was fixed and she had makeup on. Then Zari wanted to tag along as well. Waited a little longer and she came out the same way. Now at this point, Burke wanted to come along as well as my mom.
I only planned to go to the close gocery but I felt so bad that we'd be back faster than it took them to get ready. So we went to Trader Joe's which was further. I even gave them a tour of our area first just so that they'd see more of our area.
This is when I realized that here is a big difference me and my cousins. Because, they were raised in a more feminine household, they take the time to look good. They've been like this as long as I'd known them. I, on the other hand, was raised in a house that was more masculine. I'm a no frills kind of girl. I don't even wear lipstick to work let alone just to go to the grocery. I really do not care how I look. But the girl inside me still could not help asking if I should. There was a time when I was like that. Back in college, I did my hair, makeup and even nails everyday. I was really kikay (girly). Although, it did happen on occasion that my nails had not dried yet and I was late or distracted, I'd go to school with only one hand done. I just felt so high maintenance. And now that I'm married and I have a daughter and a full time job in a very casual office, I don't bother. That girl inside me is more cowgirl than girl.
We got home and crashed on the couch to watch chick flicks (The Parent Trap and Ice Princess). We had nothing but chips and fruit and espresso or tea.
We then went to mass that afternoon and went to a restaurant nearby that served Spanish tapas (appetizers - not meat jerky as we Pinoys think). We were there a good couple hours just talking and enjoying the food. Of note was the marinated chicken that suspiciously seemed like duck. But the waitress insisted it was chicken. Good thing it tasted good. Another good thing was Burke liked the sliced pita with spinach and artichoke dip I introduced to her as chips.
We went home around 9pm. More talking. I really mean more talking. Zari, Yaz and I slept at 6am. Good thing they had a late flight.
Later that morning, Mom and Kel whipped up a spectacular blunch (more lunch than breakfast since we ate at noon). Bacon, Longanisa (sweet Pinoy sausages), fried eggs, tomatoes, green mangoes, salted eggs, rice and an assortment of fruit.
Then, they had to pack and run. But I'm glad they visited. We really had a blast. Just re-connecting and laughing at anything and everything. My favorite story is of our Tita's (aunt) niece who was new to the states at the time of Zari's wedding. She had to be told not to shorten Tita to Tits... I love fresh off the boat straight into a train wreck stories ...
I'm surprised at how close we are as cousins. We don't see each other often. We didn't grow up together. They moved to this country when Zari and I were in the first grade. We did not write to each other often. When we did, it was just small talk. But when I came to visit them when I was college, we just clicked. It's very easy for us to open up to each other. It still felt like we grew up together. I guess it helped that our family is very close knit. Even if we don't hear from each other, we hear of each other and everyone else in the family. Whenever we meet, it's like we never were apart.
And it's not just them, even Kathy and Yvonne who I did not meet until that visit after college. John, B-boy and Peachy who left for this side of the world in the 7th grade. In our family, there is just no holding back any love. It's great to have that...