The 2023 Reunions

What an unforgettable week. Between my wife’s family and mine, we attended two reunions back to back. I am still high on all of the loving and bonding times together.

After 4 years on hiatus due to Covid and bereavement, my wife’s family reunited in Pocono, Pennsylvania. With 39 members across three generations, we stayed together for a week. Food has always been our priority. Thanks to all the great chefs in the family for constantly feeding us delicious Vietnamese dishes—and a Filipino dish too.

We ate from morning until midnight. Our uncle and aunts sat around the dining table, reminisced about the good old times, and ate homemade meals. Our kids swam in the pool, played with each other, and ate plenty of snacks. Our cousins talked about our lives, sipped on whiskeys, and enjoyed dishes that complimented liquors. Our goal was to drink without getting drunk.

Even though we had plenty of bonding activities at the rental house, which had a huge entertainment basement with large-screen TV, ping pong, pool, and foosball, we also ventured out. The seniors took it easy with shopping at the outlets, checking out the farmers markets, and visiting the wineries. The younger generations took on a bit of a challenge with roller skating, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and hiking. Our kids and I couldn’t hit the skateparks because it was raining everyday.

Because we had so much fun together, a week went by so fast. We planned to stay from Sunday to Sunday, but our little family had to leave on Saturday to attend our reunion reception in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with my side of the family. We couldn’t miss this one because it was the first time that we rathered. So many family members I hadn’t seen in years, especially my aunt who I hadn’t seen since my wedding. She is my mother’s youngest sister and the only one left on earth out of the siblings.

The reception took place at Bareville Fire Hall, which has a beautiful countryside view, in Leola, Pennsylvania. We took plenty of pictures. We ate so much food. We played some balloon games. We sang karaoke and danced. The highlight of the program was sharing great memories of our mothers and fathers.

Big thanks to my cousin Karen Huỳnh for organizing such a meaningful evening. She rented the place and bought all the equipment just for the events. Thanks to all my cousins who cooked the delicious dishes for the event. We need to turn this into an annual event.

Five hours were just too short for the special occasion. After we cleaned up the hall, we went over to my nephew’s house for more conversations and karaoke. The party didn’t stop until two in the morning.

As I am writing this, I am tearing up with joy. I am grateful for both of these reunions.

Bonjour Vietnam