So I took my spring break a couple days early because my family and I were driving up to visit my dad’s side of the family in Sunnyvale, a small town not too far from San Jose. It was my grandma’s one-year death anniversary – and in my culture, we all get together, pray the novena and eat lots of food to remember and celebrate our lost loved one.
This being my first visit to Sunnyvale without my grandma there, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
We left on Thursday and had to travel in the afternoon because I had class all morning. I purposely didn’t sleep the night before so I could knock out in the car – and it worked – but by the time we hit L.A., the traffic was unbearable and I couldn’t sleep with all the constant stop-and-go movement. What’s worse is that the 1500+ songs on my iPod somehow wiped out completely before we left. TRAGIC. Other than that, the drive wasn’t too bad. Bathroom breaks in the middle of nowhere, lots of french fries and plenty of sleep. We finally arrived in Sunnyvale a little after midnight on Friday morning. My Auntie Dohn had a giant pot of hot arroz caldo waiting for us… Mm-mmm!
On Friday, I woke up early at 6 a.m. to write my weekly weekend post for Energy 103.7’s website. Yup, I voluntarily worked while on vacation. But interning at Energy is so much fun and I was bummed that I missed the Switch Party that Saturday. After work, I had a quick breakfast and got ready for the day. We went to TJ Maxx (Sunnyvale is my FAVORITE location), ate at St. John’s Bar and Grill (a must every time we’re in town), visited my grandma at the cemetery and spent the rest of the day chillin’ at my Auntie Bing’s house.
Saturday was the big day. Everyone got dressed up, we prayed at my cousin’s house and headed to this yummy Asian and seafoood restaurant called Tatami Buffet. Boy, did we grub! After stuffing our faces, my Manang Lita and her family took me, my sister and my parents out for a special afternoon in Santana Row. Later that night, we met up at my auntie’s house for a family dinner with even more yummy food. We hung out, watched basketball games and took lots of pictures. That night, I slept over at my cousin’s house and we watched Pitch Perfect and pretty much stayed up all night.
On Sunday morning, we got ready and packed up to head back to SD. Before we left, my Auntie Bing let me look through some more boxes of my grandma’s clothes to take home, which I thought was very sweet of her. After saying our goodbyes, my family and I visited my grandma at the cemetery one more time then hit the road! We stopped by Gilroy Outlets for one last shopping trip, and it was smooth sailing from there (although, we did stop by Sonic’s and Taco Bell on the way down :P). I seriously need to go to the gym.
All in all, our visit to Sunnyvale was definitely bittersweet. I was missing my grandma very much but was comforted by the fact that I have such a positive and supportive family by my side. I think every visit to Sunnyvale from now on will always feel incomplete, but being there reminds me of the legacy and love my grandma left behind and that, above anything, is what will keep me coming back.