After breakfast, I took a shower, got dressed and packed the rest of my clothes. I checked out at the front desk, and took a shuttle to the airport. I arrived at the Lambert airport really early, about 2-3 hours before my flight. Which is something you do for international flights and not domestic flights. I figured I'd be couped up in my hotel room anyway if I didn't leave for the airport early.
Checking in was a breeze, surprisingly, because one of the idle aiport personnel at the self-check-in counters offered to help me out. For once, somebody that was helpful and accomodating. I went through security checks fine. The key with security checks is that you should put everything in your pockets in your handcarry bag prior to passing through the security check. This lessens the hassle of getting "bleeped" at the metal detector area and then going back again. Taking your shoes and belt off are already standard these days. So no use fretting about the inconvenience, and the fact that your pants might actually fall off as you walk past the metal detector. LOL!
The plane ride was painless except for the portion of the flight with a lot of turbulence. We went through a long stretch of thick clouds. The pilot even warned us of the incoming turbulence. It wasn't that bad. I've been in flights with much worse turbulence than that.
I arrived at Newark airport in New Jersey, about 20 minutes earlier than the scheduled arrival time. This was actually a first in my entire trip. Most of the flights I've been on in this trip were delayed. I just ended up waiting for my little sis to pick me up. She didn't think my flight would come in early. So she left the house just in time for the scheduled arrival time.
It was nice seeing my little sis, Johanna (I call her Jaymee), again. When she pulled up in front of me in the airport, she quickly got out of the Rav 4, and gave me a tight hug. I actually haven't had a hug in months (neither romantic in nature or familial). I have a lot of love for my sis. So we just talked and caught up with each other on the way to their house in East Windsor.
When I arrived at the house, my Mom, John, and my older sister Janne (I call her Ate Jaydee), were all excited for my arrival at the house. The living room now looks like a baby's play pen instead of a living room, compared to the last time I've seen the house. Mom quickly went upstairs and brought down the most beautiful girl I have ever seen in the world; my little niece Kami (pronounced as "Cammy", my family has a knack of having weirdly spelt names or nicknames for their kids). She's 8-9 months old already. So she's grown from the pictures and videos of her that my sisters have been sending me.
My family warned me that Kami is actually very picky about who she likes to be with and play with. When Kami saw me, she tilted her head to the side and observed me for a few seconds. Then she smiled at me and raised her arms motioning that she wants me to carry her. My family was so happy when they saw Kami do that. So I took Kami into my arms and played around with her for a while.
Later that night we went out to eat dinner at Red Robin. Below is video I took from my crappy Treo 650, of Kami strapped in her baby seat.
Below are pictures of Kami taken from the restaurant that we ate at last night. She was actually very fidgetty when we got to the restaurant. I found it so adorable.
The food was great. As expected, servings in restaurants in the States are just way larger than anything in the Philippines. Their steak is huge. It seems a 16 ounce steak is just much larger in the States for some reason. The milkshake I had was fantastic. At that point, I already knew I was gonna gain major weight here in New Jersey. The food is just too good over there.
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