Published: February 19th 2012February 19th 2012
We all have places we knew by heart, and like a charmed lover, makes us keep coming back for more. And everytime we revisit that place, we fall in love over and over again. Sometimes we even get lucky that every visit enriches us and make us connect more with ourselves as an outcome. San Francisco is that place for me. Every visit is a memorable one, the recent ones always more fulfilling than the last one, and more self enrching and memorable, 6 visits in 4 years, damn right, I kept leaving my heart in San Francisco.
Our blog has been in hiatus since August of last year. You need to travel to maintain a travelblog and sadly we haven't been doing that. This year marked our 6th year as a married couple. Our memories when we said our "I dos" in the New York City Hall still remains vivid and fresh in our minds. Not because it was romantic, but rather because it was a sad and strange place to get married at. We have all seen movies about lovers deeply in awe of each other happily walking out as a married couple in the steps of downtowm
Manhattan city hall. Well, I dont know how they can be happy when their wedding lasted 3 minutes max and the judge would not even look at you, as she reads some lines from a legal wedding handbook. This, after sitting in a corridor filled with couples waiting to get married in a cramp corridor, like it was a line to get welfare stamp.
We were awestruck how something so special was trivialize by New York city hall civil wedding. To make matters worst it rained so heavily on our way to the restaurant. We ended up laughing at the day's ordeal and just promise to save the best for our honeymoon, which we did 3 months after our wedding in San Francisco. But, I know in my heart, my wife deserved far more better wedding than this. The wife I lovingly called "hime" (meaning princess in Japanese) deserved a wedding worthy for a real princess. Of course less extravagant but meaningful and more heart felt.
So back to San Francisco, I just love going to this place, not only is it a beautiful place but its like going home to the Philippines, of course a lot cleaner
and orderly. My best friend in colllege lived just right outside San Francisco, and as always happy to host all my visits to the city. I hope he really is, coz Ive been to his place quite a lot of times. Roll down your car window and you can hear a group of young dudes blasting their car stereos with Tagalog pop songs. Filipino shops and restaurants thats are popular back home are everywhere.
It is very special for us to look back at this special moment since, for an even more special moment will unfold next month. We will be having the wedding that we have dreamt about and meticulously been planning since late last year.
I remembered quite clearly, that the start of our San Francisco holiday wasnt turning out right as it should be. Myself and my then new wife, were not so comfortable wearing our wedding rings yet. I took it off as much as she took of hers, if we are with each other. But, then Rinka put her ring inside her jeans pocket, which eventually fell off on the plane seat. She only realized that she lost her wedding ring two hours
after we disembarked from our flight. Well the band was a bit pricey as it was diamond studded, but it wasnt the cost of the ring that made me so mad, but it was the fact that she was so calm amidst what has happened. Her calmness, later in our marriage I would realize was the fact that most Japanese women are brought up that way, and act very calmly in most situations. But still I have bigger plans on this trip for her..... Since, we jumped hastily on having a civil wedding, I didn't get a chance to propose to her the right way. I was supposed to surprise her with an engagement ring which I asked Charmaine, my best friend's wife, to purchase it for Rinka at the jewelry store she was working at. It was a beautiful match for her wedidng ring, which she lost. So eventually, when I gave her the engagement ring, she realized why I got so mad when she lost her wedding band. There were tears and a deep realization that we are just starting to get to know each other. It's a long road ahead but at least we have our love
to make the challenge easier.
Strange how we had our wedding first then, she lost her wedding ring, and then I gave her an engagement ring. Well, movies are hardly replicated in real life. But, after troubles of the first day it was all sunny and beautiful San Francisco. There was still a chill in the air as I remembered, because our spring jacket were not enough, as we have to buy new thicker jackets to keep us warm. Golden Gate bridge, check, Museum of Modern Art , check, the sealions who invited themselves as permanent resident and fixture of the wharf, check, among other things. Our friends needed to be back home at 7PM, because they needed to catch the finale of a Filipino soap opera on TV, hihihi, just like home. So we all head home and have a TV party after the soap, drinking and feasting on Filipino food with more classmates and their families from the Philippines who now live in the bay area.
The next day we took a 4 hour drive up another beautiful spot. We drive through Nevada's beautiful Lake Tahoe set atop a mountain. The lake against snow capped mountains is glorious. The drive up the mountain was also such a sight to see. Lake Tahoe is a popular winter sports destination. Since us from the tropics are not easily swayed to speed down the mountains wearing metal blades, while we hold on to our dear life, we head down to the casinos, where we try to hold on to our dear savings. The breakfast cruise around the lake was a nice way to start our adventure in this quaint little place.
We both had so much fun. Rinka learn so much about my culture hanging out with my friends, who openly welcome us into their house, let us bother them for days, even accompanied us for the whole duration of our trip. Even an aunt, who was at that time working in the bay area toured and spent a day with us. I knew that after this trip she got a glimpse of the beautiful bond we Filipinos form not only with our familes but even with friends. And as for myself, I realized I have a lot to learn from a wife, coming from a culture very much different from mine.
Looking back it has been more than 5 years. We have both learned a lot and as we walk down the aisle next month, we are making a vow to God in front of family and friends, to hold on to a promise we made to an unattentive judge 5 years ago.
Like San Francisco, being with my wife is so familiar and beautiful and feels like a home, away from home.