I don't know how it always happens, but mommyo always ends up visiting us just when we've moved to a new place. When we moved the South Korea, she was there two months after we arrived. This time she came three weeks later with my older brother Chris. I left my car in Florida and my brother kindly drove it up to Chicago. My mom needed to go to the Philippine Consulate, so in the end it all worked out quite well. It was quite lovely having them so soon after we moved. There's nothing like having a bit of family in a new place.
The first morning she was here, Markus and I took her to the Philippine Consulate so that she could be sworn in as a citizen again. About the same time Markus and I moved to Korea, she retired in the Philippines. When we were at the consulate, everyone was speaking in Tagalog and I had no idea what they were saying. I kept asking Markus to translate and that surprised a lot of people. Tita' are always telling me that it's a shame I don't understand the mother tongue. Trust me, I regret it too. If I had my way, I would be fluent in French, Spanish, Tagalog, Chinese and Korean. Sadly, I don't have a knack for languages, which totally stinks.
After she was finally sworn in, we spent the rest of the afternoon in the city. We visited a few sites and ate way too much food. The highlight of the day was when we went to Magnolia Bakery and had red velvet cupcakes. I live for those cupcakes. I still remember when we went to NYC in 2008 and ate them for the first time. Of course my mother defied convention and ordered a cheesecake. She always does what she wants, which makes sense because I do too. I'm glad that I was able to have this one day with her in Chicago. I missed the times when it was just me and her, so it was nice being able to explore a new place with her!