Sofia's 2nd Birthday

After getting our fill of vacation spots at the Philippine Travel Mart, we headed to my sister Sharon's house in Valenzuela.  The trip was an adventure by itself because we've never tried going there on our own since it's a bit far, a bit scary (from my perception) and a bit dangerous (for Stanley, from Patrick's point of view) hehe

Regardless of our misgivings and armed only with verbal directions from my sister, we braved the streets of Valenzuela from Megamall.  Our first folly (although Patrick won't admit it) was getting on the North Luzon Expressway from EDSA.  Actually, on hindsight, we didn't have any choice because that's the only way (I think) and my directions didn't include coming from EDSA, only coming from the house.  If we were coming from the house it would be no problem as we can safely navigate away from the NLEX and use the bridge over it.

Anyway, so there we were on the NLEX and I was talking to Sharon over the phone so we would know which exit to use.  From there, we were told to exit at Valenzuela and travel via the service road.  This is the scary part hehe This service road is only a 2-lane road and you have to share it with trucks, jeeps, taxis, tricycles, private vehicles and pedestrians.  And, if you've been driving around the Philippines you know that this can be a hodge podge of traffic situations - people walking on the road, tricycles that veer here and there and God knows where, vehicles that counterflow to no end and rickety trucks that either move so fast or so slow which are both a danger to everyone.

So there we were, not really traveling blindly because we had a map but it's really hard to navigate when there are no street signs to navigate with! LOL  We were told to simply go straight so we did but we must have over-driven because we ended up crossing the NLEX again! LOL At this point we had to stop because I remember Sharon's instructions that if we were to cross the NLEX that meant we'd gone more than we should have.  Since, our route now was traveling in reverse from her original directions, to me it meant that we were on the ride side of the road now LOL  So we waited on the side of one street (which was really a feat in itself considering Stanley's size and how narrow the roads were) until my nephew drove by in his little motorcycle (and little is was - it was a mini!) which caused me to contemplate on the many ways my nephew could have died from riding that thing! LOL  It turned out that we were already close to our destination but we still had to pass a one-way bridge.  One way because it can only accommodate one lane of cars so there was a man controlling the traffic 5 vehicles at a time.  Really scary! LOL

Finally, we got to a familiar part of the area but it was hell getting to maneuver Stanley to fit in the tight passage from the road to Sharon's house hahaha Patrick even said that if ever Stanley gets a scratch it should be on my head LOL

When we were finally able to relax, here are some pictures that we took.  Most of the time, we just talked and caught up with each other's lives.  Kids played on the street.  Kids played indoors.  Kids ate.  Adults talked and ate.  Very simple things really but the important thing was family is family.  It's just the two of us here (Sharon and I) so it's necessary to communicate, be on each other's radar and let the cousins grow up together despite living apart.  What's a few scary driving moments when you have love and happiness as a reward ? ;)  The drive back was a lot less scary and more direct.  The next time that we visit, we hope that we'll make it in better time :)

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