It’s time for another travel update on this humble little blog of mine!
Early June, my family and I trekked up the Southern region of North America to upstate New York for our family reunion. When I say trek, I really meant one thing; a road trip! The drive from Atlanta to Albany was a total of 17 hours, not including our refueling stops (food & gas both), so you can safely say we were in the car for an umpteenth number of hours! However, it was a lot of fun! On our way up, we drove past some incredible views along the countryside of numerous states, with Pennsylvania being the furthest we drove through! Man, was that state huge our what? We left Atlanta around 7 AM and reached Albany close to midnight that very same day. My sister’s kids were SO great in the car. The little 2.5 year old actually only started getting cranky 45 miles out to our destination. Who wouldn’t? I was getting cranky myself!
We were in Albany for a total of three nights. Going into the start of our vacation, I knew nothing about my grandma’s side of the family other than the things my grandma would tell me about them. She is really good at keeping tabs and sharing information and pictures to us to make sure we know her side of the family. For those of you who don’t know me, I grew up in Malaysia, where I spent most of my childhood & teenage years with my mother’s family. I am glad to be back in the states which is now my home to finally get to know my American roots. Meeting my extended family for the first time, was definitely eye opening. I met my late father’s aunts, uncles & cousins, and as much as I wished he was there, I know that he is happy that we get to meet and acquaint with his family. I miss you dad, SO much.
After breakfast on the first day, we just mingled and did our own thing during the day. My mom and I were craving for Asian food so badly that we made sure we find a Thai restaurant to offset the fast food we consumed on our crazy long journey. We made our way to downtown Albany and saw some really neat things but most importantly.. the food! After lunch, my immediate family and I met up at a park near the famous Hudson River. The kids played around in the park and the adults just hung around, played with the kids and caught up with one another. We headed back to our hotel late that afternoon as the weather started to get gloomy and helped with setting up our first family dinner together. Our hosts this year were my grandma’s brother’s family, who reside in this beautiful place. They were such amazing hosts; from making sure we had things to do and most importantly..all the food they fed us with! We played a couple rounds of games that evening and after the night was over, we retreated back to our rooms. Just kidding! The younger cousins (me included) went out to a bar next door and hung out even longer.
On our second day, we ventured up to Saratoga to the National State Spa Park. Why is it a “spa” do you ask? Well, this wonderful natural space has many geysers that shoot out carbonic mineral water that is widely used by carbonated drink manufacturers to produce soda in the early 1900s which also include soda water which actually has a lot of health benefits to those of you who didn’t know and just natural spring mineral water that is great for your body. The water was COLD but of course I was the only crazy one that fully dipped in the water. It felt great! After we hiked, swam and played hopscotch & ball, we grilled (homemade) burgers in true American spirit 🙂
I really enjoyed being out there as I have a huge love for the outdoors, although I don’t normally get to go out that much often in Georgia, out of fear of wild animals,well snakes really..but when I do get to be outdoors, I feel truly happy. It was the most unpretentious holiday I’ve had so far; it was perfect. A little side note but, throughout my entire trip, I wore zero makeup. After coming back from the vacation, one of my friends asked me what I did to my face because it cleared up so much. I told her I didn’t do anything but mother nature did all the work. Isn’t that amazing?
The next day, our family broke up into two different groups; one went hiking to a waterfall somewhere (obviously I wasn’t part of that group), and the other went to the pool. Farah, myself and the kids spent the day at the pool and mind you, we went to a public pool in a really nice suburban neighborhood. and we were surprised to see true Stepford Wives all around us. For one, my sister and I were the only ones in a 2 piece bathing suit and we were in the kiddy pool with so many young people with even younger kids only to realize after the whistle was blown, signifying “times-up”, that these were all nannies in the pool with the kids. All the mom’s sat on the edge of the pool or underneath a shade somewhere where their nannies took the kids back to them in simultaneous fashion after they have served enough time. Wow! All you Johns Creek/Alpharetta moms need to step it up.
After the pool, we went back to our hosts’ home and enjoyed our last dinner together and celebrated all the June birthdays that very evening and proceeded to taking group photos..you know.. one for the album! After getting back to the hotel, my dad’s cousin took my cousins and I to a bar in downtown Albany. She was wonderful! I am glad I get to hang out with her and although she is technically my dad’s cousin, she is not much older than me. Loved it.
On our way back the very next day, we stopped by NYC for lunch and then went to our friend’s home in Jersey City. Fuck NYC, why do you keep doing this to me? I love you! We left NYC and traffic was insane but we literally drove the entire night through. By the time we got to Georgia, the sun has risen and I kissed our driveway as we rolled back home. The drive up was fun, the drive down…not so much. SO, the one thing I take away is NO more freaking roadtrips! Lol. It was memorable for sure.. and atleast I get to tell these awesome stories to you guys.
That was my most recent vacation. I am really glad we met the trip up North and I cannot wait for the next time we all get together again in three years. I personally think that my sister and I should host one of these reunions soon in memory of my daddy. I am ever so thankful for him that I have this family. I don’t think I ever talk about my dad here on the blog. To many people, he may be bad..but to me he is my king. He is the best daddy to me in the world because in a way, he has taught me many things about myself; courage, strength,hope & love. I wish I can tell you what I, what we have gone through as a family, but I will save that for next time. I love you daddy and I miss you so much. I miss you. I miss you. I miss you. I hope you are proud of me and I want to tell the world that I am proud to be your daughter. Thank you for everything. I know you loved me.. I never doubted that you didn’t. I love you too..
Sorry for the emo-freak paragraph above. This was supposed to be about travel, but this is how I feel after it all. Count your blessings and show your loved ones how you feel for them (despite their flaws) because I am pretty sure they will like to hear it.. and it’ll make you feel great.
Hope y’all enjoyed this as I much as I enjoyed writing. Happy Labor Day!