There are two reasons why I love October so much: the leaves and trees at its most beautiful form in New Bedford (and New England region), the Halloween spirit is here (I just love seeing pumpkins, Halloween decorations, and people wearing weird and silly costumes). But this year I have more than two: I got to see my parents and sister for very first time after 4 years and 1 month..! It seems like a very long time, especially for us – since my family and I are rarely kept in touch with Skype (we had our WhatsApp group, but that’s it). This is because my parents aren’t tech savvy – after years, they still couldn’t figure out how to use Skype by themselves for some reason. And my siblings are living scattered away from them, so they had no hope to do a Skype routine (apart for the fact that my parents, especially Bunda, is a very busy person as she always be). With this kind of situation, Malik (as my family always refer, my parents didn’t fancy “Azka”) and Khalif didn’t know their grandparents that much. They of course know Akiya and Eni better than Inyik and Uci. They were really excited to meet their Inyik and Uci…!
Long story short, they only stayed in here for 5 full days. I KNOW that was very very short. It felt like a dream to have them here….I love to see how Azka and Khalif could feel connected to them just right away – especially Azka who loves Tante Ozu very much (that he refers her as ‘Chicken pox’ and Ozu refers Azka as ‘Chubby cheek”) – I don’t know what that means, but its just cute to see their interactions, hehe. Though sometimes Azka could be clingy to Ozu and Inyik, I guess it’s just the way he showed his affection to them.
During their short stays in here, I tried my best to showed them our family favorite places around New Bedford, Fairhaven, and Dartmouth, then a short trip to Providence, Boston, and New York City. The schedule was a bit packed and we had to deal with jet lag, tiredness, and traffic. Oh, and speaking of traveling with two kids under 5, it was a lot of work – good for us, the minivan that we rented had a DVD player and TV, so within that 5 days without any doubt I let them watched as much as they want , as long as they’re happy – and everyone happy x) *A good excuse since I didn’t prepare any kind of road trip games materials.
However, I still feel a bit guilty because maybe (just maybe), we supposedly could see more attractions and places if I was more prepared with day to day schedule – or something like that. But again, that was me being ambitious, then I remember Bunda said “We only have 5 days, our main intentions to come to US is visiting you, Ara and see Malik and Khalif. Don’t worry about taking us to many places, it’s secondary. I want to see New Bedford and your favorite places like the ones you showed in your Instagram”. Aha, so I was more “go with the flow” and not too anxious going from one touristy places to another. Still, we got enough time to enjoy New Bedford best places like Fort Taber, Fort Phoenix, Antiques, RJD House, Whaling Museum, Downtown, and South End, picnic in Boston Public Garden, strolling around in Beacon Hill, Newburry St and got a sight inside Boston Public Library, MIT and Harvard, had a evening breeze in Upper West Side while in Manhattan, sight seeing in Strawberry Fields, Central Park, Carnegie Hall, and Times Sq (including a verrrrrryy long walk in Times Sq subway at 10.30 PM – a nightmare for my mom because it was very long walk – Maafkan ya Bunda, next time we used the yellow cab!), an afternoon glory in DUMBO Brooklyn, Grand Central,Ground Zero, and little lost in New Jersey. The weather and traffic could be tricky inside Boston and Manhattan, but Ayah said it was nothing compare to Jakarta traffic, hehe. I agree with that.
Ps: If you want to see a glimpse of New Bedford from my sister’s eyes, kindly check her blog. It’s sure beautiful!