Vegas Thanksgiving '03

24-29 Nov 2003, Las Vegas: Holiday mini-reunion with Brenda Martinez, Ann Arellano, and Maisa Enriquez with hubby Francis Yuvienco and daughter, Katrina,

(Photo courtesy of Maisa. Recap to follow. Thanks!)

Vegas Thanksgiving '02

24-30 Nov 2002, Las Vegas: Week-long Thanksgiving Reunion with Maisa Enriquez, Brenda Martinez, Erika Miranda, Mae Cendana, Maddy Zamora, and host Ann Arellano!

For an animated version of this recap, check out Maisa's storybook slide-show.(1.5Mb PPS file.)

Las Vegas' Ann Arellano, UK's Brenda Martinez, San Fran's Erika Miranda, CT's Maisa Enriquez.

Ann Arellano-Madrid's Reunion Recap:

Hello girls!

We had such a great time...words aren't enough to describe our reunion. A year in the making made it more exciting to look forward to. One week was short, the 1-day of Tksgiving Dinner even shorter...kung puede nga lang i-time warp, eh ginawa na namin 'to. So here goes.


Brenda arrived evening, Sat/23Nov. We connected Sun. night & I was to pick her up 615am for the next 3days so we could do our morning workouts at the Gym. She hasn't changed much in appearance except for her shortened hair, vedy-vedy British accent as well as her fluent French twang w/c she can switch to at ease. It's her accent that will catch you more than anything else, an attraction that caught Erika's attention as I'll tell you later. Brenda is quite an organized lady & will carry as much as 3 different bags to put in her stuff -- di puede ang mini cooper for her kase too small so Range Rover ang car nya. One thing w/ Lady B, you know where you are w/ her coz she doesn't mince words & sorry ka na lang if u don't get it. But among friends, she's helpful, gracious & is a good me! (hahaha). As usual, she & Maddy had time together and heaven knows more juicy secretos surfaced, but my lips are sealed. At curfew? wat's dat mean? Brenda stayed w/ friends near Ann's house & would be dropped off at odd hours till it came to a point na grounded muna sya for 2days dahil "good girl" muna sya sa host nya.


With San Francisco BABE Maddy Zamora.

Tu/26Nov, Ann & Brenda pick up Maddy, Tony (her Beau) & Randall (her son). Maddy is slim as ever. She was promoted to Capt earlier in the fall. Quite precise in her speech and able to cram so much in 3 days: means parang si Tazmanian Devil gumalaw si Maddy. Her days are always filled & ito ata yung tao na di mauubusan ng things to do coz she likes things moving muy rapido. Randall told me (when I drove him to the airport) "I'm proud of my Mom; she's in the Air Force!" w/ such gusto & sincerity that it made me realize that all her pagod, efforts, hirap, ekekek, labs sya ng bunso nya. Mads, I know it's not easy being a single parent, but I gotta hand it to you, you've got some great pluck, Captain. And tho kids may not always do as Moms want them to do lalo na yung chores, we just have to do our best. Girls, Maddy helped me super clear Nikolai's room to make it ready for Maisa, minutes before we were to pick her up sa airport. Pigil na pigil yung crispy pata kong Tagalog w/c I revert to when I'm displeased w/ anything or anyone. Anyway, Nikko came to me later in the day saying in a contrite voice that he felt bad we'd to clear his room as he was gonna do it once we'd left. Good boy naman my bunso so I said "It's ok, Tita Maddy helped me fix it." Pala, we all had late nite dinner: $2.99 Steak & Eggs w/c was an unbelievable deal but really, this is normal for LV.


Lunch special of the day (We/27Nov) was Maisa who's plane arrived on time. So far so good as everyone was flying in on sked. Screams & tili at the curbside when Maisa was picked up: Brenda went down to search for her while Maddy stayed w/ me in the van. When she saw da 2 of them, sabay baba at iniwan ako mag-isa at nag-titilian to death ang mga walanghiya samantalang dakilang tsuper ako! Muntik ko na nang layasan bigla ang mga 'to at kung di pa nag-senyas ang airport sikyo to move, eh magtatagal pang magtatalon ang 3 bonsai na Maisa, Brenda at Maddy. Maisa has grown more attractive from the HS gel that I remembered. Very classy & has that typical East Coast glam. Ultra slim as ever, Erika & I just wondered how she stayed slender! Kakainis ... hmmmp. Also, may usapan palang mag-shopping ang Brenda at Maisa so whip out agad ang credit card sa curbside pa lang! Eh bokia coz I'd to drag them all to finish my grocery shopping w/ da list Erika gave for our dinner. Note: Erika was arriving 5hours after Maisa so we had that time to get it all done! Mission accomplished naman & w/ much creativity, we were all able to bring ourselves to the Strip where the rest of us waited habang Jes (my dakilang hubby) picked up Erika, Tony & Louie.

We all had buffet dinner sa Excalibur & kodakan ulit. Actually, ako lang ang may Kodak, mga 'day dahil Maisa, Erika, Maddy all had Di-jai-tal cameras! Left behind aki dahil retarded kodak lang yung sa 'kin. Siempre, long table dahil dami namin sa party at buffet fitted us right dahil lahat gutom & eat all u can lang ang puede mag-satisfy. Gluttons that we are, we'd jog to the city after da pagka-porky pig eating. Labas-pasok sa mga casino sabay collecta ng mga tabo coz they make such good souvenirs. After watching da Bellagio fountains dance to "Titanic" w/c is the best so far (dramatic effect), we walked across to the Aladdin where Erika's Tony won $75 from the $1 he dropped sa slots at the very 1st hit! This happened while Erika did her "thing" of marking territory sa Strip by hitting their Restrooms & doing #1! She treated everyone w/ a round of Starbucks coffee & then we all headed home na. So my "cast" was almost complete: I'd a "Royal" visitor; homeland security from USAF; Exec Chef & Sous Chef from West & East Coast; Showgirl Hostess (ako yun); paningit Escareal rep, Chiqui & our entertainer, Mae na lang ang missing coz THu/28Nov pa ang dating.


Bagsak si Maisa, our Sous Chef when we got home coz she was running on Eastern Time but not Erika, who was bursting still w/ energy that she started to prep 1/3 of our dinner before calling it a day! I'm amazed at her culinary skills, half of which I can't even master kaya nga like I told my Mom:

Mom: "But, Darling, you invited all these girls, you can't even cook?"

Ann: "Ma, kaya so sila i-ninvite coz da deal was I'll host, they'll cook kaya I imported my chefs from da East (Maisa) & West (Erika) coast.


Bilib si Mader & Pader ko coz they were wondering how I'll pull off Tksgiving Dinner eh last year silang gumawa! Anyway, all day long was spent leisurely chatting, prepping, cooking: Erika/Maisa moved easily sa kitchen & na-memorize na nila ang laman ng cabinets/drawers/pantry ko more than me. I made last minute trips to the store to buy stuff pati 2doz Krispy Kreme w/c Maisa was curious about -- she finished 1doz daw accgg to Erika! At 200 calories apiece, no wonder sugar-high sya at nabihisan ng garlic gown yung Broiled Salmon at Mushroom Chicken. The whole house reeked of garlic, no aswang would dare enter. The Boyz went to the Casino to place their Sports Bets for the Football game leaving us girls alone w/c was fine.

Finally, time to pick up Chiqui-tita Banana sa MGM. Muntik ko nang i-laglag sa 215 Freeway coz di ako dinalhan ng Tong na Pastillas de Leche!Ms Batch '79, may utang ka pa 'kin, okay? It was easy to spot her coz tandaan ko lang ang mukha ni Sunny so off we went to the airport na to pick up Mae & her kids. Last arrival na 'to & I was praying na wag ma-delay coz everyone else came on time & we weren't eating till Mae was w/ us. God is good & we made it so tawag sa bahay si Mae to Erika:

Mae: "Oy Inday, parating na kami ni M'am Ann. Initin mo na yung pagkain."

Erika: "Mga bwisit...tapos na kaming kumain....#*$!!!@!"

With Mae Cendana and special guest Chiqui Escareal-Go, SPCM HS'79 Batch Chair. She was in town to witness her hubby receive an international marketing award.

We all had fun: Maisa decorated the food so well. Erika outdid herself cooking, broiling. Both of them would make Ms Aguila so proud of herself at how much she taught them well, di ba gehls? Naaah! ang sabay nilang reply dahil after Ms Aguila daw sila talagang natuto. Ungrateful talaga. If not for the 2 of you, Pollo Loco ang dinner natin! Eto ang menu: Misua Soup, Embutido, Tony Diestro Ribs (laglag sa bones, man), Shrimp Linguini Creamy Pasta, Broiled Salmon w/ Garlic, Baked Mushroom Chicken, Lumpia Shanghai, Fabulous Potato Salad, Tossed Green Salad, Ambrosia Salad, Steamed Rice. What a great feast this was. NOtice no turkey? Well, concession was it was TUrkey Embutido. Sa mga di nakakaalam, Ann & TUrkey are not prens! That birdie forced me to stop my van when it decided to cross back n forth several times, undecided w/c way to go since sa gitna sya. In frustration I honked while contemplating running him over while his cowl of a neckline was shaking. Eh si birdie went to da driver's front tire & started to make tuka-tuka da gulong! Omaygad...scared naman ako bumaba at hahabulin ako for sure at wat if magtawag pa sya ng tropa! So soon as coast was clear, I made like crazy sabay sigaw back to him (rolled down my window), "Humanda ka, nanganganib ka next Tksgiving!"


Apart from being da dishwasher (nagdala ng 2pairs kitchen gloves), dahil yung lang daw ang laging pinagagawa ni Ms Aguila sa kanya, Mae sang for us after dinner. As usual, the boys left for the Strip so all da girls were left behind & this was when we opened the wine bottles that Brenda & Maisa brought. Mae sang songs by Pink & J. Lo w/ mini-choreography pa, possibly her songs for the San Beda Xmas Party this December. Pink's song stuck to my head until now & I've a hard time getting it out, "I'm coming down coz we gotta get this party started...!" Bwiset. At least yung "Waiting for Tonite" eh I can block out but, man, still in my head pa din si Pink. Took a mini-film footage of the food, dinner & Mae's singing for us, copies of which I'll mail later to those who came to the reunion for the memories.


Friday after Tksgiving, Maisa, Mae & Ann had Spa Day appointments. Sleep in late si Erika naman w/c she deserved. As usual, tinawagan ni Mae ulit si Erika to tell her we were on da way home and for her to make Sinangag, heat the Ribs, ekekek dahil mga gutom na sina M'am Ann, Maisa at Mae! Warning: graphic words next. "Eh, M'am, tapos na kami... $#@% na lang ang pakakain sa inyo!!!"

With Ann's hubby Jes, Erika's Tony and their son Louie.

After gorging ourselves w/ leftovers, I set up my massage table once more for Erika. I'd previously worked on Brenda's spine for 1 hour as she had a back injury. Kunwari "shy" pa kuno si Erika dahil hiya daw sya maghubad coz I'll see all her taba. Haay, nako, kadaming objections w/c I overuled & finally had her on da table. So eto, I did a hot stone massage on her w/c had her drooling later to da point na naghubad din ang aking Exec Chef sa sarap! Later worked on Tony's back, Maisa's Hand/Feet for awhile. Mae had her turn just before she left. When Jes saw the Hot Stones were used again, sabi nya, "Hmmmmp, nag-Rock Concert na naman kayo!"


Ann's Jam and Nikko, Erika's Louie, Mae's JR and Dae David.

Hirit ng prime rib at seafood buffet dinner si Mae. So last evening namin, we did this & she managed to eat 3platefuls of crablegs, 1 plate of primerib atbp, 1plate of diff ulam & finally desert. How she devoured this sa liit nya, ewan ko but I was done w/ 2plates & desert. We had our late evening get-together w/ Brenda 1 last time as they were both flying out Monday morning na. We all kissed, hugged each other for the longest time, everytime someone would leave. Took lotsa pictures of each other, 1 w/ the girls & their kids sa stairs w/c I hope will turn out well. Our children all get along well, having strong musical inclinations as a bond apart from their mothers who of course were HS classmates. Sabi nga ni Jes I should write a book about this & I'm inclined to agree w/ him, the subject of which I've brought up w/ the girls so they know that this may be in the making. Something to look forward to in our coming twilight years, di ba? Dearest girlfriends, I'm so humbled by all of you: your talents, your goodness, your wonderful golden hearts that so willingly share. Already & still I miss all of you & there's an ache in my heart at the same time a great joy at seeing all of you. I just love you all & thank you for coming to share this holiday with us. See you all same time next year!

Love always,

Ann, Jes, Jam & Nikolai

(Photos courtesy of Ann Arellano. Thanks!)

Las Vegas Thanksgiving 2001

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