Following my previous post about writing on the blog when there is something to write about, I’d like to share what happened during my only out-of-the country trip of the former year, 2018. I know it’s another majorly delayed entry, so bare with me as I reminisce on this special trip that was just full of irreplaceable memories.
Last May, I was only able to travel to the US for 10 days on the occasion of my brother’s high school graduation (he’s currently living with my aunt and uncle at Fort Worth, Texas, studying and working part-time). After the graduation celebrations, we also spent some time at Bossier City, Louisiana.
2018 was also the year that the airline that I usually take to see them cancelled all direct flights going to the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (ahem, Etihad Airways -_-) which caused me to find a layover flight in another city. Despite the inconvenience, there was a silver lining indeed! I was able to get a layover flight in the city of Chicago. And who lives in Chicago? My cousin, Ate Kimmy and her husband, Kuya Dan (who I haven’t seen since their wedding 4 years ago)! With excitement, I informed them immediately once I booked my tickets and stayed with them during the last few days of my US trip.
Here are some of the highlights from each city that I got to visit:
- Arrived in the late afternoon, Kyle, Tita Neng and Uncle James picked me up from the airport and headed straight to the Fort Worth Stockyards to have a barbecue dinner.
- The next day, I went shopping with my aunt and later in the afternoon cleaned my brother’s room. From finding a bag of wasabi-flavoured Doritos in his sock drawer to endless junk disposal, we were able to achieve our mission.
- On my brother’s graduation day, we couldn’t find him in the sea of purple and white togas – even after the graduation! It took us almost an hour for us to find each other before going for his celebratory lunch.
- Witnessed my brother’s driving for the first time and had breakfast at the Ol’ South Pancake House.
- Went to our Aunt Irene and Uncle Brig’s house to celebrate Memorial Day and Kyle’s graduation.
- Took the passenger’s seat in one of Kyle’s driving sessions with Uncle James and had a good burger and milkshake at the iconic Malt Shop.
- Drove out early in the morning to reach there around noon. Went around the boardwalk and shopped at their famous outlet stores.
- Checked-in the hotel and had a massive lunch at its World Tour Buffet.
- Took a photo-walk around the hotel.
- Had a great breakfast at the IHOP the next morning and visited their local cathedral – made a wish.
- On the way back to Fort Worth, we visited the Tyler Rose Garden – where most of the roses were already dried up but I managed to get a shot of the few good ones left.
- Ended the trip with some halo-halo and last minute shopping before heading out to Chicago.
- Flew out of Fort Worth to Chicago in the morning where I took the metro to get to Ate Kimmy and Kuya Dan’s apartment. It was a pretty fun commute.
- Had a late lunch at a nearby sports pub before getting ready for the best concert ever.
- Ate Kimmy and I took an Uber to Soldier Field where we watched Taylor Swift bring the house down. From the production to the crowd, everything was down to a T, like Queen Tay herself. Being one of my idols in songwriting and the music business itself, I was so happy to have witnessed her perform during my short trip to the US. (Funnily enough, I didn’t know TS was having a concert in Chicago on the two days that I was going to be there until I researched online lol – it was meant to be!).
- Had the best late-night turkey and cheese sandwich made by my cousin, Ate Kimmy, the sandwich chef.
- Woke up the next day pumped to see the city. We had brunch at this really cool restaurant near their apartment and walked around the city afterwards.
- Got to visit the Chicago Theatre, the famous Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Riverwalk, and last but not the least, the Willis Tower – you could say we had a good amount of cardio that day.
- We ended the day drinking some cocktails, eating Chicago’s finest – the deep dish pizza, and listening to some live blues until our eyes started to flutter.
- Ate Kimmy dropped me off the airport the next morning. On the way to the terminal, we were blasting Taylor Swift songs until we had to say goodbye.
Last year’s trip to the US was surely a quick one. Though with all the things we did and places we went to, it felt like a month’s worth of activities. My feet might’ve been sore and I may have been short on sleep most of the time, but that comes to nothing when you’re able to spend some quality time with people you love.
Looking forward to more trips this 2019. 😉
You can check out the trip’s video highlights below: