It goes without saying that I left Manila with a heavy heart. The last few days leading to my departure to the United States were absolutely the hardest; my separation anxiety was at an all-time high. It’s ironic that we all knew moving overseas was going to happen eventually, but none of us was ever ready for it. I’ve lived with family my entire life, so just imagine how difficult it was to clear my room with all my stuff, pack my belongings, and leave for good.
Occasional sobbing made me feel exhausted that I slept during the 18-hour flight (3-hour layover at Incheon included) and momentarily forgot about my overwhelming distress. As it turns out, Roan was so beat as well that we didn’t even watch a single movie in-flight (although we saw a few Just for Laughs episodes during mealtimes).
Arriving at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on the same day I left Manila was nothing but mind-blowing. I mean, did I really just travel across the globe to get another shot at making the most of my day? One more thing that sort of caught me off guard was the chilly weather that welcomed me at the airport. I wanted to scream, This must be America!, at the top of my lungs, but I didn’t to save my life and my husband’s.
It took a little over two hours for us to go through immigration and border control because of my new immigrant status, but Roan and I were equally grateful that my brother-in-law, Patrick, was already waiting at the arrival area for us when we got out. The sun was already setting by the time we reached the freeway, bracing ourselves for another 2- to 3-hour drive back to San Diego.
On our way home, Patrick decided to stop over at Miguel’s Cocina in Carlsbad for dinner. I don’t know what I was thinking when I ordered chicken fajitas all to myself because it sure could feed all three of us, and may even have some leftover to take home. During dinner, I had the opportunity to call my family back in Manila to let them know that we’ve arrived safely. It was already dark when we got home, and both Roan and I were so tired that we almost passed out without taking a shower (but we certainly did, no worries).
I woke up the next day slightly confused because I was no longer in my own room, and my body clock was still synced with Philippine time. It was Sunday, so Roan and I got ready for church, then had lunch at Chipotle immediately after. By mid-afternoon, we both received a text from Ate Kim, inviting us over at her husband’s surprise birthday dinner at The Headquarters at Seaport District.
Lo and behold, we had Mexican again at Puesto, then went for less than a mile walk from there to Gaslamp Quarter. We capped the night off by going to Ghirardelli Chocolate for some sweet treats, then decided to head back home to recuperate.
So that’s what transpired during my first 24 hours in San Diego, and it’s amazing how everyone’s looking forward to taking me to places as if I’m only staying here for a few days. It was a little overwhelming, but definitely a good diversion from feeling homesick. Though most of the time, I still wish my family were here, too.
Now’s your time to fill me in. What did I miss in blogland?