Saturday, December 26, 2009

Backtrack to Easter Sunday in Charlottesville

Actual date of 2009 Easter Sunday is April 12, and I was still in Charlottesville, Virginia during that time. It was a refreshing experience to celebrate Christ's resurrection away from the traditional setting in the Philippines. Here, Roman Catholics celebrate Easter almost like Christmas. Since after a week-long penance and having a no-pork diet, we truly deserved a feast with our families.

Mary Jane Divine and Deborah Rose, members of LexisNexis Statutory Code training team and who went to the Philippines last February to March, invited us* to hear mass at the Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. The church is located at 401 Alderman Road, adjacent to the University of Virginia. As we all know, most Americans identify themselves as Christians (not necessarily Roman Catholics).  Deb and her husband Benjamin fetched us at the Marriott Residence Inn. I still think that those two gracious ladies (and Deb's husband too) were kind enough to go out of their way to accompany us in a Catholic Church. The celebrated Southern hospitality is simply amazing.

Inside the church

 A sight to behold - Mamy Mary with fresh, colorful blooms beneath

 Outside the brick walled church

 MJ took off her dogwood flower earrings and told us that dogwood flowering tree is Virginia's official State tree.

 Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church

Deb also invited us to lunch at her house in Riverbend Condominiums. How nice of her, huh? While we were marveling at Deb's digital photo frame that displays her Manila pictures, she served a deli tray full of.. just see the pic!

 Deli-cious tray of cheese cubes, cold cuts and olives and fresh strawberries

Deb's father, daughter and granddaughter also came to join us for lunch. Too bad I wasn't able to take pictures of Deb's homecooked meals.

 Post-lunch pic

After lunch, Deb invited us to take a stroll in the Old Mills Trail, just beside the Riverbend Condominiums, to check out Rivanna River. Really, when she said there's a clean river (I guess it is, compared to Pasig River), I was almost surprised.

The hikers (I switched to comfy sneakers from ballet flats during mass.)

Forward, march!

The dogwood flower

To my right is the Rivanna river (no sign of garbage, really) and, OMG, a huge rock! What the hell was I thinking then? Hahaha!

Riverbend Condominums

Goofin' with Deb's granddaughter (FYI, she's only 11 years old. Big kid!)

Back at RI: With our Easter loot bags from MJ

*The Fantastic Four

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