My goodness--that was the least of of I got.
What I ended up getting was a really big family that had no qualms about taking me in like we'd known each other our whole lives. Sure, we knew of each other and on certain occasions we'd spoken on the phone but there never was solidifying or establishing a relationship. It was more of a connection by name and blood. Even so everyone was so open and warm and welcoming that I felt guilty for having thought that this trip was a meet & greet at best. From day one I was offered any and everything I wanted and needed. My cousins had tea (to help with the altitude) waiting at the airport and were patient enough to answer my questions and requests to stop for pictures of the scenery. No hesitations, no "we'll come back's." Mostly everyone called to check on us and make sure the altitude (we're talking 42,000feet above sea level) wasn't screwing us up. And when the altitude did get the best of us daily visits, phone calls and small gifts to make us feel better were instantly offered. What surprised me the most was how genuine it all was. Perhaps it's the Miami (sunniest beaches, shadiest people) in me but every aspect of that trip was genuine and honest. I'm typically a skeptic when it comes to new people and their intentions but I like to think that I'm also a good judge of character. That's actually why I was stupified at the wholesomeness of it all.
I also got to experience some of THE BEST cuisine known to man. I ate till I burst, literally. The food has such a different taste. Not only because of the seasoning and spices available but I think it has more to do with the organic ways of the farmers. The meat and chicken were tender, had a different color to them and oh-my-gawd they smelled SO good! The pastries: to die for! There was one particular coffee shop that was just delish; from the decor to the food. I will say that at times it was a bit much. Over there meals (except for breakfast) consist of:
Visiting the places I still remember was something that left me speechless each time. Passing by the apartment where my mom, sister and I lived was emotional. It was the place where a lot of things happened. Seeing the windows, the street it left me with a ball in my throat. I think my mom had the same reaction but there was no point in crying about it. We passed by the school I went to, the gyms my mom used to play volleyball, the park where we (my aunt, the nannies and us) were mugged. I couldn't help but wonder what life would have been like if we had stayed over there. I definitely don't think those places would mean what they do. And, like most of my family, I think I might be remiss of all the culture and artistry that exists. I can't blame them for that. After all, I think I'm pretty remiss to that stuff in regards to Miami. I guess that happens when you live somewhere for so long. You forget or maybe ignore some of the coolest things around you. It happens; what's one to do?
There are many things I won't forget about the trip. There are others that I may forget in a few years but by writing them I hope to at least have a record of them. I'll definitely get into more details of the trip as the days go by. I certainly wont' be forgetting them anytime soon.