Sunny’s Spring Sojourn ‘03

3 Apr – 3 May 2003: The Velascos –- Sunny Escareal, hubby Kiko, and sons Enzo and Mikey (3rd Honors and Loyalty Awardee, DLS-Zobel High School Class of 2003 /incoming DLSU-Taft freshman) -– flew in from Manila for a US coast-coast tour and reunion with batchmates. Updated photos: FL, NY, CA.

Sunny’s outbrief:

To: <>

Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2003 8:48 AM

Here's my report on our US trip…

* Arrived in SF on April 3 and stayed with Erika for one night. It was drizzling. Told Erika, I brought that with me from the Phils.  Bad weather.   Chika, chika until wee hours of the morning.  Tony was kind enough to bring us to the airport the next day for 9 am flight to Boston.  Turns out, it was snowing in Boston and our flight was cancelled because nag-freeze daw ang eroplano. So we had to go via St. Louis.  Wow! Mahilo-hilo kami when we got there.  As in duling sa gutom and the ride was so uncomfortable.  But on the flight to Boston, I guess, nakakain na kami and we were so tired, we just slept through it.  Guess what, it was freezing cold in Boston.  (Dala ko na naman?)  That night, it started snowing. (Snow in April?) It’s supposed to be spring time, diba?  Well, I got what i wished for.  I wanted to see snow and we got it.  Two days later, more snow. So the kids and I had a snow ball fight in the park.  Even saw reindeers running around in one of the houses of Wally's friend.  Maski, nanginginig na kami sa lamig, OK pa rin.

’75 PEACHES – Paulinian EAst Coast HottiES! -- party at the Yuvienco Home in Woodbury CT: clockwise -- Lilibeth “Liz” Levy, Annabelle Isaac, host Maisa Enriquez-Yuvienco and daughter Katrina, Sunny Escareal, Ching Llagas, Mitzi Ambion, Shella Navarro and our HS Phys Ed teacher, Ms Julie Rombawa.

* April 12 reunion at Yuvienco residence.  In attendance - Maisa, Ching, Shella, Mitzi, Lilibeth, Annabelle, Moi and Ms. Rombawa.  We (the Velascos) arrived in Conn. by Amtrak the day before while the rest of the group (except for Annabelle) drove from NY with Mitzi at the wheel.  Annabelle drove from Amherst, Mass.  As usual, food galore na naman.  Had fun exploring Maisa's house which she decorated herself.  Ganda the basement which she did in red, black and white.  She was also featured in a newspaper in Iowa for her interior design of their basement in their Iowa home.  Ika nga ni Shella, iiimport daw niya si Maisa to help her re-design her house.  Si Liz naman iiimport si Shella to tutor her kids.  Found out that Mitzi is scared of ghosts.  Was telling them about the multo in our house in Binan and we had to drop the subject cuz tumataas na ang kaniyang mga balahibo.  Ms. Rombawa is a Special Education Teacher in New York (or is it NJ) and she told us of her experiences with some children with special needs.  Joked Annabelle that if she ever decided to go back to the Philippines,  sampu ang maid and driver niya doon.  (IYon nga lang - mainit)  We ended up as soon as it became dark cuz Mitzi had the unenviable task of driving all the way to NY.  Annabelle stayed for an hour longer and then drove back to Mass.

The next day, we heard Mass in their cute church and loved the way they presented Palm Sunday. Very solemn. After that, Maisa brought us to see the USS Nautilus and then we went to Mystic Seaport.  Iyon nga lang we arrived late cuz it was already after lunch.  WE only had 15 minutes on board the submarine but we really enjoyed just walking around Mystic which was so quaint. 

Francis was so nice to even buy pancakes for Enzo when he heard that Enzo really loved Tita Erika's pancakes.  So he bought these instant pancakes and without telling Enzo about it asked him if his pancakes are just as good as Tita Erika's.  Enzo said both taste good.  On our last night their, biglang nag-bonding si Trapper, Enzo and MIkey.  Sabi ni Maisa,  sus, tagal naman mag-init noong tatlo.  Kung kailan paalis na.  Katrina was always after Kiko.  I can still hear her calling him everytime he is out of her sight.  She's such a sweet child.  Maisa by the way cooks so well (as do most of our classmates who live in the States.  Patay ako when I get home.  Kiko will look for the same cooking expertise). 

Francis drove all of us (except Trapper) to Rhode Island where we visited the other Yuvienco Mansion.  Unfortunately, he told Enzo, he forgot to bring the keys so we couldn't go in.  Well, we made a tour of the huge houses and then walked around Newport, had lunch there.walked again before going back to Boston.  We had dinner at the newly-built Marina Bay in Boston before they headed back to Conn.  Mabilisang laundry and plantsa for our trip the next day. 

* Next day, we (along with my sister Wally/Maria/Rosario HS’71) flew to Florida.  Good thing, Kiko's brother, Joe, works for Horizons-Marriott and we were able to enjoy a lot of perks.  Don;t have to say anything about Disneyworld and Universal that you guys don't know about.  Basta we had fun.  Especially with the newest rides - Spiderman, MIB and the Aerosmith ride, where I heard my sister mag-mura ng katakot-takot sa sobrang bilis ng ride.  Ako,  I just closed my eyes and listened to the music. So I guess, I really don't know what I missed. 

Then had dinner with Joyce Tioseco, Dave and Patty –- The Froelichs -- on our last night in Orlando.  Told Dave I really enjoyed Universal and it really was a pity we only allocated one day for both Universal and Islands of Adventure.  Well, all the more reason to come back.  Mikey said it looks like one huge resort.

Orlando:  The Velascos and Froelichs.

Eto na,  during dinner, there was this very eloquent, bibo and good-looking waiter (is that what they are called in the US?) who at first I felt was just being cautious when he asked Patty for an I.D. cuz she ordered a ladies' drink.  Aba, balik na balik.  Sabi ko kay Joyce,  me masamang intention ata ito.  Susuntukin ko na ba?  Soon, he was engaging Dave in a conversation (especially when he found out that Dave was the Architect for the Citywalk in Hollywood and head of the Architectural Department for Orlando and Japan) and even wants to join Dave's fan club which I told him I headed (second lang si Joyce) and then they were into discussing golf and handicap etc.  Hmmmm! Daming pa-ikot-ikot, si Patty lang naman ang gusto.  Well,  we just had fun and laughed about it. (Joyce, update mo ako ha?) We ended past midnight and tiredly went back to the hotel.  Three days of non-stop walking?  We never did that in the Phils.  Ayan,  bagsak kaming lahat (even Wally).  Kulang talaga ang 5 days in Orlando.

*  Easter Sunday - quietly spent in Boston and we just drove around and looked at the rest of the historic sites like Paul Revere's house (did you know he was small? His house and bed were small.) Faneuil Hall, the Old NOrth Church and Bunker Hill.  Found out about the Boston accent - walang R.  Gahden, Chowdah, Chals Ive Pahk (Charles River Park).  So how do they say Paul Revere and Larry Bird? Paul Ive and Lai Bihd?

* Next day, Mitzi and Bob drive to Boston to pick us up and then back to NY.  Turns out that Bob and Kiko have a common Aunt - Dra. Dory Zalamea or Tita Dory.  Both are from Laguna.  So sabi ni Bob -"Pare, baka magkamaganak pa tayo."  The three nights we were there, we stayed up till way past midnight just swapping stories while MIkey and Enzo had such great fun playing on their computers (tatlo kasi). 

The Velascos at West Point.

Tuesday, Mitzi and the Velascos went to West Point.  So this is what it's all about.  Kodakan and Mitzi had fun with her digital camera, click ng click.  Bob printed out some of the pictures she took at home and it was so nice that Kiko was prevailed upon to buy me a digital camera. 

Went to Woodbury Commons - an outlet for some shopping.  Would you believe, inulan kami.  Ako ba talaga ang may dala ng ulan at snow?

Next day, Mitzi took us to the train station and we met with Ching at the Grand Central Station.  Went to Ground Zero where we were met by Shella.  And then the Amazing Race began.  We went to all the known spots in NY except Central Park (which we saw from a distance), Empire State and Madison (which btw, we saw on our way home to Boston).  Sabi nga ni Kiko, parang hinahapo siya just trying to keep up with Shella and Ching.  Tapos, sa kakadaldal namin,  we rode the wrong train.  We were on our way to Brooklyn when we should have been going the other way.  Kaso when we got down, the train we were supposed to take was not operational, so we had to get on another train which did not get us to Grand Central. But what was really fun was the kwentuhan during lunch and merienda. 

New York City: Sunny and children with locals, Shella and Ching.

When we got back to Grand Central, we wanted to take our sweet time before we went back to Newburgh.  Turned out we only had 10 minutes to catch our trip. Otherwise, late na kami makakauwi. So rush na naman kami to the train.  Felt bad I wasn't able to stay with them longer and as in mabilisan talaga ang pag-board namin.  And then, Kiko and Mikey ended up standing up in the train for a good 40minutes cuz ganoon pala doon.  Most of the people were rude and they put their bags in the middle seat so no one can seat there. Ako I asked to seat and this lady looked at me as if ako pa iyong istorbo.  I fell asleep and when I woke up,  Kiko and Mikey were already seated.  Nga pala, Bob was on the same train and we got to ride with him instead of Mitzi driving pa to pick us up.  Kwentuhan na naman till past midnight, had to wake up at 530 to go with Bob to NY.  Ayaw kasi ni Mitzi na mag-train na naman kami, get off at Central, ride the subway to Penn Station to get our Amtrak tickets to go back to Boston.  We were so sleepy on the ride to NY, we fell asleep. HIndi ko tuloy nakita and scenery.  Pauwi na lang sa Boston, kodakan pa sa Madison Square. 4 hours to Boston - slept most of the time.

* Boston - rest, peace and quiet and rested our aching feet.  Was supposed to fly to SF Monday but I had what I thought was an asthma attack.  Until I heard on TV that they had a high pollen count.  Allergy pala so we postponed our trip to SF while I changed my medication to Tylenol anti-allergy.  Ayun,  we were still able to squeeze in Cape Cod.  The walk near the beach was really good for me.  It was so relaxing just sitting there near the JFK memorial.  Got to taste Clam Chowdah at Spanky's.  The boys fed the seagulls with food.  Iyon lang. 

* SF - arrived in Erika's house gabi na.  Stupid me read while on the plane with these reading glasses which we bought in Boston.  Mali.  Still felt bad the next day when we went to Marlou's house for lunch.  Cecile was also there.  They couldn't make it to Mae's house kasi the next day, so they decided to treat us for lunch na lang.  Sarap the food.  Favorite topic pa rin ang SARS.  And of course, we talked of our kids and how fast they were growing up and how they move out as soon as they get to college and the difference of how kids are brought up in the States and in the Phils.  The boys naman watched the baseball game on TV. We said goodbye to Marlou and Cecile at around 330. I had to go back home to sleep off the nausea while the rest went shopping.  When they got back, felt well enough that by night time, nag-karaoke na kami nina Erika, Louie and Kiko.  Hala bira.  We even got Louie to sing.  Galing pala ni Erika. And to top it all, she even plays the guitar well.  She even reads Tabs.  So play sila ng kaunti ni Mikey.

San Francisco (l-r): Marlou Huibonhua, Erika Miranda, Cecile Lozada, and the Velascos.

* Next day, May 2, Erika, Mae and I (along with Kiko) celebrated our birthdays in Mae's house in San Leandro, CA.  First we picked up Mae and then had lunch in Emeryville.  Walked around the UC Berkeley campus where Dae studies.  Would you believe, inulan kami.  Masaya naman except we missed seeing all the students on campus.  I heard there are some students who are really radical in that campus.  (Mae told me that tne next day, ganda the weather and there were mga Hare Krishnas on campus.)  WE then proceeded to Mae's house. First time for me to visit Mae's new house.  Our kids were there - Louie, Dae, Mikey and Enzo along with Mae's friend Tom Torlakson, who just happens to be a California Senator and was kind enough to do barbeque our steaks. (as requested by Erika).  After dinner, Mae kicked off our karaoke singing with the song "Butsiki."  Sus, kaibigan pala niya si Yoyoy Villame. Non-stop singing na after that.  Mae is such a powerful belter!  Sabi nga ni Kiko, para daw kaming nanood ng concert.  Then we all took our turns.  Kiko and Mae sang Endless Love.  Ganda.  Then ang mga malalakas ang loob, tried singing Bohemian Rhapsody, complete with head-banging courtesy of Mae, Dae and moi.  WE had to leave at around 1030 pm.  It was really a fun day.

* Flight back to Manila - gabi.  So shopping pa sa umaga.  :o)

End of trip.

Good night.


(Photos and text courtesy of Sunny. Thanks!)

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