Sister Oh Sister

I haven't written a blogpost in months. It feels like years, really. So bear with me if I ramble.

For years, I've tried getting my sister to come to Maryland. She's a bit more adventurous on her travels than the usual tourist. She's been to Mount Everest, for goodness's sake! The DMV didn't sound that appealing to her, I'm sure. 

But alas, here she was. Compelled by life's curve balls to take a breather from routine, Nuria made her way to the wild wild suburbs of America, and we got some well-deserved sister-bonding time. It had probably been over a decade since we spent more than a weekend together. Thanks adulthood!

I relish in taking loved ones to my favorite sites. When you live in a foreign country you get to visit and know all these beautiful exciting places by yourself or with new friends. It feels great, but it doesn't feel complete. So you make a mental list of all the spots you'll one day show your family and your lifelong friends. Then it finally happens in real life and it's surprising, and fun, and just right. And picture-perfect. (Good thing I'm a photographer, right?)

Nuria had never ever been to the United States, but I believe we accomplished a lot in 13 days. We did the proper DC sightseeing: The White House, The National Mall, The Smithsonian Museums, and the Zoo. We also spent a decent amount of time in the Georgetown Waterfront, Dumbarton Oaks (everyone knows that's my favorite spot in DC, right?), and stopped by the Exorcist Stairs (I mean... If you're in Georgetown, why not?). While in Maryland, we visited the Great Falls Overlook, hiked the Billy Goat Trail, and explored the woods behind Rod's parents' home. 

On the first weekend she was here, we went to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, which was such a blast despite the soaring heat and her motion sickness (that was a surprise). We all powered through and got to enjoy two days of pretty fun rides. I adore The Griffon! She was more into The Loch Ness Monster (which is a no-no in my book... I mean, the thing is almost 40 years old!). 

Then the next weekend, we rode the bus to NYC. Ah! What a total cliché, but I love that city. I don't know that I could live there, but I wouldn't mind having to travel there for work (and fun) more often than not. Nuria, on the other hand, felt quite a shock visiting it for the first time ever. Being from São Paulo, I figured she'd find it at least normal. In her own words, "NYC is way too frenetic." Maybe it was the heat, the tourist-packed weekend, the change from a few days in the quiet Maryland burbs, but I don't think my sister is returning there so soon. 

We had a ridiculous amount of fun though! I got to meet with my good friend Julianna from high school, who now lives in the Upper West Side, and she was so sweet to welcome my sister, Rod and I to her super cute apartment. 

We visited Central Park, walked 5th Ave, Madison and Park, got delicious ice-cream inside the MetLife building, had a cold beer on Bryant Park, took a yellow cab to Chelsea, had dinner at Bianca on Bleeker St. (it's a tradition with Rod and I since his cousin Louis took us there years ago), fought through the midnight crowd on Times Square, and walked, walked, walked all the way back to 79th St. The next day we gave up walking across the Brooklyn Bridge with its sea of people atop of it, so we ventured through Chinatown, got a little lost but made it to the Manhattan Bridge, which was empty! Such a great spot for pictures!

Yikes, I did ramble, didn't I? This post might have been longer than intended. But hey! I did it! :D