#LinWedding & East Coast Adventures with my Chinese Family

Hi.

I promise I’m not lazy. Okay, maybe just a little. But, I have some good excuses. I’m officially moved into my new townhouse in Orem! So I’ve been unpacking, starting my new job and catching up with friends here in Provo!

2 weeks ago, my older brother Mark got married. WHAAAAT? I remember when we were babies sharing a room together and now he’s married! This would be officially my last trip of the summer. I came back from Ecuador, hung out in Provo for a little bit and drove back to Vegas to travel to the East Coast with my family! When I got home, I was so stoked to see my grandparents! They live in mainland China and I haven’t seen them in 7 years and they haven’t been in the states for 9 years.  I definitely grew up since then.

It was quire the adventure getting to the wedding.  Mark and Imee got married in Virginia Beach, VA and to save money, we flew to Baltimore, Maryland and then rented a mini van to drive 4 hours to Virginia. Once we arrived in VA, we went straight to my brother’s new home that he just bought and renovated.  Definitely way weird that he has a HOME.  My best friend Erick Yamagata was already at the house and all of my brother’s groomsmen as well.

We had a dress rehearsal the day before the wedding.  I’m not really used to dress rehearsals… but since this was a full on Catholic wedding we had to practice like in the movies.  It was very interesting.  I’m super grateful that I don’t have to do that for my wedding haha. After the rehearsal, we went to the rehearsal dinner at Sushi King, Mark and Imee’s favorite restaurant in VA.  All-you-can-eat sushi?? I’m down with that.  I sat at my dad’s table with my baby brother, Erick and my Step Mom.  & my dad is HILARIOUS.  I think that’s where I get my sense of humor from..

WEDDING DAY

I had to wake up SUPER early to get my hair and make up done.  I was fine with that.. BUT it was an updo and everyone knows that I look like Mulan or a Chinese boy when I have my hair up!! I went along with it because obviously it wasn’t my day to complain… and it was SO humid outside.

Mark and Imee got married in a Catholic church on the Naval Base.  It was pretty hectic because everyone had to have a military ID or your drivers license # already in the system.  A lot of people had to be escorted in and it was stressful.  But, 4PM came and it was time for the ceremony to begin. Imee looked absolutely beautiful and Mark is well, Mark.  All of his best friends from high school flew all the way to VA from Vegas and I definitely didn’t want to cry… BUT love is love and I love it. Ha! I bawled like a baby.

After the ceremony, we took tons of pictures and then went straight to the wedding reception.  It was located at The Westin hotel AKA the only tall building in Virginia Beach. Super fancy, huge ball room and everyone had a specific table and seat.  Luckily, Erick was placed at my table! The wedding party received special treatment and got served appetizer foods before the reception and we took more pics. When the reception started, the MC for the night announced each of our names to come into the ballroom and everyone started clapping for us hahahah

The wedding reception was a blast! They had a photo booth, amazing food and tons of dancing! It was kind of like a high school reunion all over again with everyone from high school there.  Luckily, Mark and I have the same friends. I had the chance to give a speech and again, I bawled like a baby.  Geeze, I just love my brother so much! I know. So cheesy. Overall, the wedding went super well and what I thought was going to be super stressful.. everything was smooth like peanut butter.

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I’m so happy for Mark and Imee.  They are perfect for each other and I’m so happy Mark found love! I’m glad I have a new sister! It’s amazing how my family is GROWING so much!

The next day, we had a huge family lunch with Imee’s family.  BOMB FILIPINO FOOD. YUM YUM YUM. I guess the bride and groom open presents in front of everyone the day after the wedding… So that’s what Mark & Imee did.. they opened presents in front of everyone.  Kinda awkward cuz they received a ton of money. At night, Erick and I walked along Virginia Beach and a lightning storm was going on.  I’m so happy that Erick flew to VA – seriously one of my best friends!

We left VA the next day and drove 7 hours to NYC. We stayed in Jersey right by the George Washington Bridge.. It was pretty funny because my parents weren’t used to all of the tolls they had to pay for.  That night, we met up with one of my step dad’s friends in Flushing, NYC.  I love FLUSHING. That’s the real Chinatown in New York.  I was kind of worried that being back in NYC would make me sad that I didn’t choose to work and live there.  I definitely did miss it, but I knew I was supposed to be in Utah and that my decision was a good decision. Walking through the streets of NYC, I definitely want to move back for sure. My family and I did all of the tourist stuff.  We went to Times Square (which they hated because of all of the tourists AKA that’s why I don’t go there anymore), 9/11 Memorial, Staten Island Ferry, Central Park, and Chinatown! It was pretty hectic since my grandparents are getting older so we had to take a ton of breaks while we were walking to our destinations.  I did get all of my family members on their first NYC Subway ride… You gotta love the 1 Train!!

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NYC will always have my heart.

Now on to DC! I’ve never visited Washington DC before so I was stoked to see all of the monuments and historical sites! PLUS. It was my birthday. so HOLLA!!! 22! We visited the Washington Memorial, The White House, Lincoln Memorial, Georgetown and a whole bunch of other memorials.  I LOVE DC.  It was so clean and quiet compared to NYC.  It reminded me a lot about Boston.  Cute cobblestone sidewalks and everything.  We didn’t have a lot of time to do everything since our flight was that night.  But definitely a great way to celebrate my birthday, especially with my family.

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I loved spending time with my family before I started my new job in Utah.  It’s been a while since I’ve traveled with my whole family.  Basically, they’re all my best friends and I LOVE THEM!! Thanks for reading and I promise I won’t slack off anymore!

XOXO,

Liz

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