People are often surprised I was born in the Philippines. My family and I packed up our lives, trekked across the Pacific, and landed here when I was 4, almost 5, years-old. In 2008, my family and I finally went back. We explored our beginnings and reconnected with extended family. With my dad passing away about 3 years later, I'm fortunate we did. So, when the opportunity to celebrate my Great Aunt's 94th birthday presented itself, my huge family decided to visit her in Portland, Oregon. The memories created during our visit will last a lifetime.
We visited Portland's Saturday Market first and enjoyed the street vendors and entertainment.
My mom's best friend is her sister, Cecil. They spend hours on the phone several time during the day. It's a beautiful friendship.
My Great Aunt's 94th birthday weekend was full of food, laughs, and my personal favorite, tons of photographs. My Uncle Bobby collected and archived these photos with my Great Aunt (his mom)... the outcome was albums upon albums of our history. Even a beautiful photo of my ancestors on their wedding day.
Yup, this is them...
Our hotel was pretty awesome. And, they, of course, wanted a photo.
Off to The Grotto for Sunday mass. The Grotto is an outdoor Catholic shrine & botanical gardens. I can only imagine the beautiful weddings they host here. If you're considering it, I volunteer to capture it!
The Rodriguez fam bam. The genes are strong within this group.
Post church brunching at Petite Provence.
& hike to Multnomah Falls.
One more visit to see my Great Aunt...
She's super adorable.
And some more places to cross off the list - especially Voodoo Doughnut! I brought some of this deliciousness home to Paul... it was hard not to eat them on the plane ride back to Los Angeles.
And of course, we made some time to stop & smell the roses.
I'll never forget our trip to Portland to see my Great Aunt. She was an amazing person who left an incredible legacy behind. She passed away on January 21, 2016 and will be forever missed.