My visit back to Seattle was full of activities -- things I needed to do while in the states, such as renewing my Washington State driver's license, obtaining an international driver's license at AAA, visiting my dentist twice, going to the doctor for a physical, getting an eye check-up and new eyeglasses, eating food that I craved while in Germany, a little bit of shopping for summer clothes and shoes (they are too expensive over here), and doing some yard work to clean up overgrown hedges and bushes. I always feel a sense of accomplishment coming back home because of all the things I have to do before I return to Germany.
But as always, the highlight of my visit is seeing family and friends. My father was in Seattle for a couple of months before returning to the Philippines; I had not seen him for a year. So it was nice to see him. Seeing all seven of my siblings during the visit always makes me happy. I do not usually express to my brothers and sisters how much I miss them. I always enjoy seeing the younger kids in the family (nephew, nieces, grand-nephews, and grand-nieces) and see how they have grown since I last saw them. I am proud to see that the older nieces and nephews all hang out together; they are a very close-knit group.
I attended a very successful camping event with family and friends at Oregon's Nehalem Bay. It was well attended -- with almost 80 people. I commend the group who planned and coordinated this event. Thanks to Ron for spearheading the planning; to Jay and Ed for doing the blue-collar tasks such as food planning and bringing the necessities; to Mek for being the finance officer; and to Donna, Grace, Mia, and Joyce for planning social activities and games for the kids.
Picture below shows most of the people and furry creatures who attended the event:
It has become a tradition now for me take the younger ones in the family to a special dinner treat to Sea Garden after each visit to Seattle. The food is always good; what makes the dinner special is being in the company of my younger relatives and their friends. It has become a big social and bonding event for everyone. We usually go to bubble tea place after dinner. Being such a big group, it was hard to find an area we have not used before to take the group picture. We managed to find a parking lot to take the picture.
I congratulate Grace & Jason, and Maria & Edward on their recent proposals; Janice on her graduation from Holy Names -- good luck at UW; Jen on her graduation from Holy Family -- good luck at Holy Names; Jay & Alvie on their new baby to come; and Ron & Donna, also, for their baby to come this autumn. Holy sh*t, that's four new additions to the family.
I failed to include Ate Christy on the June birthday greetings on my previous blog -- I hope you had a great birthday. Big thanks to Joyce for organizing the Sea Garden dinner. The two group pictures, above, were taken by Grace.
I would like to write more, but it will have to be next time. It's Thursday afternoon, 5:30PM, and I am waiting for my ride. A co-worker will be picking me up soon. We are on our way to explore the western part of Germany and the neighboring Alsace region of France for the 3-day weekend. We will be visiting Freiburg, Germany, and Mulhouse, Colmar, and Strasbourg -- all in France. Until the next time ... Happy Fourth of July!!!