The Old Dominion, Just As We Remembered It

Picking up from where I left off at the previous post, the three of us woke up early the next day. We had an 8 A.M. flight.  All of us left the hotel as soon as we got ready. We rendezvoused with our friend Daphne at the US Airways Terminal.

Me, Daphne, and Jea

JJ, Daphne, and Me

Everyone was groggy. Who wouldn’t be? It was 6 in the morning. Still, our smiles were as bright as the sun itself.  As usual, we started catching up with each others’ life. There was so much to talk about. An hour was simply not enough. Eventually, we boarded our plane. Next stop: Philadelphia (layover).

Aerial View

After landing at Philadelphia, we had to wait an hour for the next flight. A shopping-free hour. Talk about restraint. There weren’t that many shops anyways.

Our faces were plastered on our phones for the duration of that wait. Wi-fi was sorta hard to connect to, but we tried. An hour passed with us barely noticing it.

I'm coming out.
I’m coming out.
Back at Virginia.
Back at Virginia.

Ah, Virginia. It was hard to believe that we were able to set foot there again. Flashbacks of memories two years ago flooded my head. How lucky were we?

Wait, there’s more. Tita Tina and Tito Will, the kindest couple in America who treated us like we were their children, was outside to pick us up. We were ecstatic! We hugged Tita Tina and Tito Will so tight. What do you expect? We haven’t seen them for almost two years. Our eyes were on the verge of tears.

Jea, Tita Tina, Me, and Daphne

For lunch, we drove to Hibachi Grill and Sushi Buffet. Perfect for our first lunch at Virginia after two years. We were starving. Again, we didn’t have breakfast which is the most important meal of the day. We have got to stop skipping it.

Tito Will, Jea, Me, Daphne, and Tita Tina

By the time we finished lunch, we were bloated. Three more stops to go.

International Housing Village

International Housing Village, or IHV as we call it, is a housing provided for Summer Work and Travel Participants working at Busch Gardens. Some of our schoolmates and friends currently reside here, so we decided to pay them a quick visit. Oh how I missed this place.

Of course, my visit wouldn’t be complete without getting a picture in front of my room where I stayed for three months.

My room! :D
My room! 😀

Most of the people we were supposed to meet were working at that time. We had to postpone our little meet-up next time. Unannounced visits are so unpredictable.

Merchant’s Square

Merchants Square, the shopping and dining district adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg’s renowned Historic Area, is home to more than 40 shops and restaurants. Most of the stores and all of the restaurants are locally owned and operated. Specialty boutiques offer products ranging from ladies, men’s and children’s apparel to fine jewelry, art, specialty foods and gifts. (From History.org)

I remember when we used to ride our bikes here, explored the place, took pictures, and just spent the rest of the afternoon with Lucky 13 (a group we [13 students of Leyte Normal University] formed during our 2011 Summer Work and Travel Program). We share lots of memories of this place.

Now, I get to visit it again with the same people (well, three of ’em) along with JJ. It’s his first time in Virginia, or America, in general. Our task was to show him around to as many places as we could.

Here’s our old friend, still trying to complete his letter.

Prime Outlets

JJ with his Hugo Boss product

When you’re with a bunch of ladies, shopping is always on their to-do list. Shopping is inevitable, and so we decided to revisit Prime Outlets where we did a lot of our shopping back in the days. We only spent less than two hours there which isn’t enough, really, even for  me. We did buy quite a handful of stuff though.

Tita Tina

Of course, after all the exploration and shopping, we settled down at Tita Tina and Tito Will’s house at Newport News. It looked the same as it did two years ago. The dining table, computer room, the PS3, the beds upstairs, everything. I still remembered where everything was. Hardly anything changed. We felt right at home.  We had dinner that Tita Tina prepared shortly after arriving. As expected, she served Filipino food which was really delicious.

Dinner

I had dish duty, while others had different assignments. No one bothered watching  T.V., playing the PS3/Wii, or singing karaoke as we were all beat. I fell asleep the moment my head came into contact with our bed.

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