Saturday, May 6, 2017

USA 2015 - Day 20-21: Driving back and saying farewell to San Francisco

after days at the slopes we headed back towards San Francisco for one last look at the outlet shops.
Here we were with my Aunt, Uncle and cousin before we parted ways.

Early morning of Day 20, we almost didn't want to get up because that meant we were leaving the snowy front lawn and powdery slopes. We were just not ready to do so. We received a call at about 8am from my Uncle asking us if we were already driving back! They still wanted to meet us before we fly off the next day. 
I packed most of our stuff the night before so in case the weather was better we could still go for the aerial tram. Unfortunately, luck was not on our side. So we left the village, said goodbye to our comfy "cabin" and wished to see the slopes again sometime in the near future (before our visas expire!). 

We agreed to meet with my relatives at Vacaville Premium Outlet. They live and work near the area and it was also along the way for us so it was the perfect place to grab a bite for lunch and go (window) shopping. I had to inform my best friend, who was also waiting for us that day, that we would have a pit stop before heading to their place.

The short pit stop turned out to be a few hours more than expected! We were supposed to be at my BFF's place for late lunch and it became almost dinner time as we rushed to their place a little after 3pm. I was told that my cousin, another BFF in high school, was supposed to leave at 4pm. So I was constantly messaging and pleading for them to wait a few more minutes.

When we arrived at the address, I immediately checked the garage. When I saw that there was no extra car parked outside my heart sank. I thought I'd missed the chance of seeing my cousin/best friend and would have to wait another decade or so before another chance comes up. But after a few seconds, I saw him come out of the house with arms wide open, welcoming me and my family. 
me and my BFFs since high school
The other BFF, who lives in Canada, was actually waiting for me, too and she was on Facetime.
But she had to go to work before we arrived so I missed Facetime with her :(
Sweet reunion with very close high school friends/best friends. Lorena, Leng to us friends, and Jectoffer, Jec or San (short for insan which means cousin in Tagalog). The moment we sat down it was like high school days all over again. Reminiscing the crushes, the escapades, the craziness, the love stories, the petty fights, the misunderstandings, and everything we could recall with the limited time we had. I missed them so much. 

When we graduated in high school, we (everyone in the class) all promised that we would meet every semestral break from university. We did. At least for the first few semesters after graduation. Then everyone became busy with Uni then with work. Then with family. Then with migration. Some of us were still able to meet with others but not as often and as complete as we would have wanted. So when my best friend Leng moved to the USA with her family and I found out Jec/San lived within California, it definitely called for a mini reunion.

We all said the few hours was not enough that was why the initial plan was to be there by 11am but as what's expected, some plans don't work out the way we want to. So we just made the most of the few hours of "chikahan" (catching up with each other) and bid our farewells with the hope of seeing each other again some time soon.

the boys with the guys - Kelvin, Ira, Mark, Henry (Leng's husband) and Jec/San
Thanks, Leng, Henry and Jec/San for the warm welcome and good food. Till we all meet again.

We left their place past 7pm and headed towards San Francisco where we checked in at our final accommodation. We decided to order pizza (favorite Domino's was just a few blocks away) and had it for takeaway. As we settled in for our final night in San Francisco, I packed (and repacked) our stuff and got almost everything ready for our departure the following day.

DAY 21 - I would like to describe our last day as bittersweet. We're thankful for the opportunity to see wonderful places, experience new, unforgettable adventures and meet up with missed family and friends..... but we were also sad to be leaving because there was still so much more things to see and do and people to meet. There's always the promise of coming back though. And that's something we are all looking forward to.

As what Walter Kronkite said, "Leaving San Francisco is like saying goodbye to an old sweetheart.  You want to linger as long as possible." 

The last time we were in San Francisco some 14 years ago this place was also our last stop before we headed to the airport. The famous Painted Ladies of San Francisco. 

goodbye, car rental....Our train ride to the airport....
While at the airport waiting to check-in, Kelvin and Ira went to one of the shops. Kelvin had planned to buy a specific ear phones in one of our outlet or shopping mart visits. Unfortunately, after having been to several outlet shops and wal-marts and other shops he saw online which should have had the product he was looking for, he didn't find any. This was his last chance of getting one before leaving. Suddenly, we heard an excited scream coming from the shop and then saw Kelvin rushing to us while we were standing outside. 
He was overly happy he couldn't contain himself. He brought us inside the shop to show us that the exact brand and model he was looking for (and saving up for) was there on display. The other good part was that it was also slightly cheaper than what he was prepared to pay.

That made the day for him as we bid good bye to one of our beloved cities. Thank you, Inmotion, for providing the perfect souvenir for Kelvin to buy and bring home. He definitely wouldn't forget about this chance of luck. 

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