Back to the quiet

So Family Reunion Season has come to an end. After three weeks of living in a house with 25 other people, I am now back to… I was going to say reality, but then again I’ve never left reality. Being with family practically 24/7 is as real as it gets. So I guess I’m back to the quiet.

Here’s a quick recap of the our noise:

A failed surf trip to the beach. After a 7-hour car ride, my surfer cousins were ready to surf. I was ready to watch them surf. I looked at the water, saw waves, and told them to go on right ahead and do their thing. They took one look at the water and said it wasn’t surf-able. No big deal, we were staying there for three days. It turned out the water wasn’t surf-able for those three days. No worries. We ended up trekking to this pretty waterfall instead.

Annual New Year’s midnight gathering. Sure, the fireworks have always been a treat, but I think what all of us look forward to is The Gathering. After the fireworks and after the clock strikes 12 to announce the new year, the whole family gathers around in the living room. One by one, we share about the year we had and what our hopes are for the coming year. When everyone’s done sharing, one by one, youngest to oldest, the family prays. This is usually the part where some of the older ones fall asleep until it’s their turn to pray. And when everyone’s done praying, my grandparents bring out The White Envelopes and start calling out our names. We kiss them on the cheek and thank them for making us a $100 richer in the new year.

Beer pong virgins no more. My sister, Karen, celebrated her 20th by inviting her closest friends to have a weekend getaway with us young people of the FamBam. Nothing really happened except that we played beer pong inside our hotel room which is totally wild and rebellious of us because 1) I’m pretty sure the hotel doesn’t allow that and 2) for most of us (me included), it was our first time playing beer pong. I was surprisingly quite good at it actually.

Grandma’s 90th birthday. The dearest and most special person in the family is now 90 years old! We were told to write a simple letter on a piece of card for her which was a good idea, but since it’s this family, it had to be made into a card-making, letter-writing competition. No one won, but everyone felt they did. And then we, the grandkids, “performed” the Pitch Perfect Cup Song thingy but sang Happy Birthday and Amazing Grace instead (we made it happen!).

A sip too many, a trip to the ER. It’s kind of a funny story, except we were all utterly scared and terrified to our very core while it happened. We were eating at a buffet restaurant when my grandmother suddenly got into this sort of catatonic state and wasn’t responding to anything we said and did. Half of us rushed her to the ER while the other half stayed put. A couple of minutes later, my mom called me, telling me my grandmother was now very responsive and aware of her surroundings. When they brought her to the ER, it was revealed that my grandmother had actually just suffered the effects of drinking one too many sips of wine and then exerting so much effort to walk from the car to the restaurant. We laugh about it now, but you should’ve seen our faces then. There were tears.

Escape room adventures. We went four times, we succeeded twice.

Weekend beach getaway with fire dancers on the side. My brother, my two cousins and myself went on a weekend trip out of town. We wanted to have a relaxing few days to ourselves and that’s exactly what it was. The highlight of the trip though was eating seafood by the beach while watching fire dancers.

Konnichiwa, Osaka. The perfect end to the Reunion Season. My family had a 5-day trip to Osaka, Japan last week. It was my first time to go to Japan, and I absolutely loved it. The people were so incredibly nice, even though they spoke very little English. The food was good as well. THEIR TOILETS WERE WARM AND HEATED AND IT WAS AMAZING. I’m definitely going back.

*sigh*

My heart is a little sad, to be honest. Most people would dread the idea of spending so much time with family, but I honestly don’t. Oh for sure there are moments when we’re a hot and crazy mess, but I’d always be willing to go through all that when it comes to them. I love my family.

The one thing I am most proud of in my life has always been something I had absolutely no control or say in whatsoever, and that is being a part of my family.

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