Friday, November 25, 2011

Catching up

So much for posting every day. Kind of hard when you're travelling. I'm in the metro Washington DC area (Virginia side) spending time with my Yalong cousins, one of whom I haven't seen since at least 2005.

23 November

After I left work, I went straight to Virginia Beach, where there was a Red Ribbon Bakeshop. Here is a little blurb from their Philippines site:

From its store in Timog, Quezon City what started out as hobby-induced business in 1979, turned out to be a proudly Filipino-owned and professionally-run business network. Red Ribbon has grown to over 200 outlets all over the country and 39 stores in the US with locations in California, Las Vegas, Arizona, New Jersey, Washington, Virginia, and New York.

So it was no surprise that I would be asked to drop by Red Ribbon on the way to my cousin's house. They had specifically requested: Ube Cake (A uniquely Filipino treat, ube chiffon cake covered with delectable white cream frosting and ube crumbs), Cake Sansrival (Tempting layers of crisp meringue wafers with creamy butter cream icing and scrumptious nuts), Classic Mamon (Soft, golden crown-like chiffon made with just the right heavenly sweetness and moisture that delicately melts in your mouth), and Pork Siopao (Steamed mini sweet buns filled with sweet, saucy pork (available in packs of 20)). Unfortunately, I was not able to come away with the sansrival because of its delicate nature and special processing needed. So I made a note to myself: call ahead of time, and bring a cooler equipped with dry ice. The cake would need to be frozen in order to be transported without it falling apart.

Now one would ask, "Lyn, you love cooking and baking. Why don't you try to make the sansrival yourself?" Good question. I've tried. Twice. They were both spectacular failures. Perhaps I'll try again in the future. We'll see.

I didn't get to my cousin's place until midnight. S. returned from work after 10.00 pm, and M. would not return from work until at least 1.00 am. It's just as well I was late, then. We ended up staying up until at least 5.30 - 6.00 am, chatting and doing some genealogy research on the Yalong, Sablan, and Miranda families.

24 November

I opened my eyes this morning, and the first thought that came to my mind was, "But I turned off the lights before I went to sleep at 6.00 am!" I rolled over... and realised that the brightness did not come from the lights overhead but instead came from the light streaming through the bedroom window. I noticed I had slept for about an hour and a half. So much for sleep. The old Alison Moyet song, "Where Hides Sleep" ran through my mind as I realised I would not be able to fall back asleep. I uploaded pictures of my Virginia trip to my Facebook account (which you may access by clicking here) and did a bit of knitting (and yes, I brought projects with me). I finally got around to booking my plane ticket home for late December. Could you believe there was at least a $200.00 price differential between leaving Christmas day and the day after Christmas? There was also a $150.00 price differential between leaving Jan. 3 as opposed to leaving Jan. 4... and it would be an overnight flight anyway (admittedly, my favourite kind... it helps that I can easily sleep on planes). So I'll arrive in San Diego on Christmas afternoon and stay for 12 days, 11 nights. I'm looking forward to it!

I ended up emerging from my room late morning and ascended to the kitchen, where I found my cousin rummaging around for breakfast. We ended up continuing our discussion from hours earlier, but we ended up fading a bit, so we decided on what we were going to do as far as the timing of the afternoon was concerned. T. was busing in from New York City, and her bus, was expected in during the 6.00 pm hour. I also spoke with my mum in the afternoon before finally dropping off for a much-needed nap.

It was great to see T. again, and I met her as she got off the bus at Union Station. After going on a soft drink run, we returned to the house and was greeted by the smells of wonderful food cooking in the kitchen. It was a veritable Filipino feast. (I didn't take pictures, but S2 did take a few pictures, which I'll probably "steal" from her at some point in time...) On the menu: broiled tilapia, ginataang labong (fresh bamboo shoots cookied in coconut oil), laing (spinach or other greens cooked in coconut oil... Bicol style is usually spicy, but this one was relatively mild), chop suey with tofu, roasted chicken, and marinated pork ribs and chops. Ginataang halo-halo (a sweet dessert soup generally consisting of saba bananas, sweet potato, glutinous rice balls, simmered in sweetened coconut milk) was dessert. We also had some sparkling apple cider that I brought with me from NC.

After dinner, we Skyped with the Yalong cousins in San Diego, and we chatted for a couple of hours. We announced that M., T., and I were going to try to track the Yalong, Sta. Maria, Sablan, and Miranda families. It was a happy coincidence that T. was constructing a genogram of the Yalong family as she was on the bus... especially since M. and I stayed up all night, discussing genealogy.

The Yalong cousins in San Diego are looking forward to seeing T. and me again for Christmas. It'll be nice to see them all again.

25 November

I'm starting to fade, so I'd best put this post to bed. Thanks for taking the time to read this little summing up post. I think on the plans for later on today, after S. returns home from work (dealing with Black Friday crowds... wish her luck!), will be more relaxing and spending time with each other, nomming on the ube cake from Red Ribbon, and then to celebrate S.'s birthday, eat out somewhere. T. and I will be visiting until Saturday afternoon, when we'll both return to our respective places.

I think that catches me up. So much for blogging every day. And now for a lovely nap. (I'm doubtful I'll be able to get a full night's rest tonight. :( )

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Cheers, and love to all,
Lyn :)

Well, I'm starting to

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