A Trip to Baltimore: Family Reunion

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

It had been since Thanksgiving 2014 since we had been up to Baltimore. My mother's side of the family lives there and I grew up there until I was 12. I love going back to see my family and drive along the streets that bring back so many great memories.
most of my family (only missing a few!)
 We left for Baltimore the Sunday after Christmas and this was going to be our first big trip as a family of four (also Elena's first trip to Baltimore and first time meeting a lot of my extended family).
The car ride up was easy because Ty went up with my sister a day early to go to the National Aquarium, so we only had Elena with us.  After we arrived and checked in to our hotel, we headed to my grandmother's house-- the same house my mom and all her brothers and sisters grew up in.  This house has so much history with my family so I just LOVE to go visit.  It's especially awesome to watch my kids play in her basement because it's exactly what I did every Sunday after church when we lived there.

As soon as we got there my grandmother and grandfather had a huge spread of Filipino food, so we ate and relaxed with my aunts and uncles.  

The following morning, I met my oldest friend (we've been friends since the 3rd grade) for lunch at First Watch (LOVE THAT PLACE!).  It was so great to catch up with her.  In the meantime, Justin was holding down the fort with the kids at my grandmother's house.  That night my grandmother ordered bushels of blue crabs for my mom's birthday! This is one of my most favorite things to do... pick crabs and drink an ice cold beer around the kitchen table with my family.  This time did not disappoint! We were all stuffed by the end of the crab feast.
In lieu of everyone exchanging Christmas gifts this year, we did a white elephant gift exchange. It was so much fun to have the whole family stealing presents from each other and laughing at gifts that people brought. We had such a blast playing this game together!

Tuesday was my mom's and cousin's birthday. My uncle took us all bowling for Jenna's 10th birthday. It was Ty's first time at the bowling alley and he loved everything- from the shoes, to holding the bowling balls, to running around the arcade.  We had a great time.  Once we got back to my grandmother's, all the guys were outside around the grill getting everything ready for a big steak dinner.  It's also a Filipino tradition that you eat noodles on your birthday for long life, so my grandmother made pancit-- a Filipino noodle dish. Everything was delicious. 

With two kids, traveling and being around this much family was no small feat! It was such a blessing to have time with my whole family, but we were EXHAUSTED by the time we headed home on Wednesday! I anticipate that our next trip may be a little easier with the kids a bit older, but we shall see! The memories that they are making with the time that my extended family has with them make it all worth it!  

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