Carry on.

The Cruz family invades Alberta – Report

Already a week into school but I realized that I hadn’t written about our trip to Alberta on the last day of the long weekend. Pictures will soon be up on the flickr site so come back here for the link.

The Drive Up

West Edmonton Mall
The kids were so excited to see West Edmonton mall.. the largest mall in North America… “Wow! it’s gonna be so big!” and “Wow! The stores are gonna be so awesome!” “I’m gonna go shopping!”.

Heh… When we got there, they were in for a big shock… All they could see was this huge Zellers! We came 14 hours by car to see an oversized zellers. They were quite crestfallen. I guess compared to SM megamall, an oversized zellers doesn’t cut it for them. They didn’t realize that they were on top of a hill so they couldn’t see the rest of the mall. After an entire day of walking throughout the mall, I think they realized that West Ed was big after all.

Cardston
Before we went to the reunion, Evelyn, Nico, Maisie, Andrel and I made the 5 hour trek from Edmonton t o Cardston. It ended up being six and a half hours, but it was worth it. The Temple was in the middle of the town. It was so beautiful. After leaving the temple, I felt quite refreshed and recharged in spite of the many hours of driving. I hadn’t felt like that in a long time. I hope that Masie and Andrel felt the same way. We spent the night there and Evelyn and went back for a temple session the next moring while the kids had room service. The Spirit is so strong in that small town. I hope that someday, we’ll have a temple in Vancouver.

On the way back from Cardston, I saw a huge sign… “Vulcan, Alberta – 30 km east”. I really, really wanted to go! But I didn’t think Evelyn would appreciate the detour.

The Reunion
It was so nice to see everyone again. We had a big reunion in Calgary the day before Elaine’s wedding. Everyone was there, except for Elaine, Darren and Uncle Boyet. But they had their hands full. It was surreal to see that most of my cousins were actually grown up. Some had kids, others were now supervisors settled in their careers. Some of the kids were OLDER kids who were able to make websites of their own and hack into other people’s M$ Windoze boxes.

We saw Mom and Dad there and they were glad to see us. it was different why is my dad shaking my hand? … I then realized… Oh yeah! We moved out! hee hee. They were happy to see Nico again, that’s for sure!

Almost everyone was there! It was just like our wedding where everyone came. We were together again and everything was right in the world… like we were all there to enjoy our family, in spite of whatever hardships or difficulties we were facing.

As people started to leave, one by one, I had a sad thought, “I don’t think we will be together like this again…” People were getting older, some people were smoking more… others were moving on with their lives. Although I had so much fun that day, I couldn’t help getting that bittersweet feeling at the end.

In between
We stayed at Tita Gi’s house before the wedding weekend. It was nice to be with her. She showed us her pictures of her recent trip to the Philippines. Nico would run all over the place, playing games acting all 3-year old like. Like father like son I suppose, at tita’s house too. For a brief moment, I felt secure in her house… the secure feeling I had when I was Nico’s age.

The wedding
One of the most exciting things about the wedding was that most of the Quilloy/Cruz’s were from out of town. We took an entire floor of the Hotel. It was so much fun calling each room and visiting. David’s room was the designated drinking room, so I spent 5 minutes, picking on all the drunk people there. Hee hee… you gotta have some fin if you don’t drink! 🙂

The wedding was beautiful and I saw some more relatives. Tita Bonex and Tita “cyncha” (Funny… after 30 years I don’t know either of their real names!) Uncle Boyet and his fiancee and Auntie Bebot and her new husband. Watching that beautiful wedding totally reminded me of what a privlege it is to be with someone for life and for eternity.

This reception was the first reception where I felt that the majority of the people attending were friends of the bride and groom , rather than just acquaintences and friends of the parents. It was definitely directed at a younger audience, but It was nice to see that so many people there to support them. Although there were some glitches regarding the invitations, it was a memorable wedding and I know that those two people will be successful together.

On the way home
After six days of travelling, we were on the our home. We talked about Maisie’s and Andrel’s goals. Although it was difficult at times, for the most part, I was so glad that we went with them. I made a promise that if Both Masie and Andrel pass the year, (no D’s) then I will take them to another temple again. If they get no C’s, just a’s and b’s I’ll take them to Salt Lake. I know it will be difficult for them. But the goal will help encourage them to do their very best and to do their homework. With work and sacrifice, I know they can do it.

Thoughts
A holiday is definitely worth the time and expense. The whole time, I didnt’ worry about school or work or the challenges we had. All I thought about was who I was with. I think that Evelyn had a good time too – she got through half the Harry Potter book. Hopefully it will be the start of a new hobby for her.

I hope those kids get the goal. I want to go to Salt Lake next year!

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