I was off for a vacation to the West Coast of USA from 18 Dec 2010 - 5 Jan 2011. This 17-day vacation turned out to be my best trip so far!!!
I started off with Minneapolis on Dec 18. Minneapolis downtown is one of the U.S. top five downtowns which is rich in culture and diversity. The city is very unique because the buildings are interconnected with skyways to keep the people from the extreme weather out there. We do not need to put on our heavy winter clothes to get to the other building. They are all connected indoors through the skyways. Besides, I had a wonderful Malaysian cuisine in the downtown. I also visited the Mystic Lake Casino and it was my first time entering a casino. It truly opened my eyes.
The next day, equipped with extremely high spirit and excitement, I took the plane and headed all the way west to the most wonderful city in the USA- San Francisco. I was so excited that morning and my heartbeat was pounding like a hurricane. I knew I was going to meet with a bunch of buddies from Malaysia in a jiffy!!! Despite the excitement, I remembered that day was Jodie's BIG DAY!!! Woohoo~ I wished her and we sang a birthday song to her at night! I'd definitely buy her a big cake if she could join us in San Francisco!
Let's go back to my trip. Alighted the plane in ecstasy, I made my way hurriedly to the lounge to meet with Zaolon! I gave him a BIG HUG at the second I saw him! Then we just couldn't wait but took BART right away to meet with other friends, which were currently waiting for us in Chinatown! It was to my ultimate frenzy to meet with Shi Ee, Yu Fen, Diego, Yang Wei and Gan! Time was frozen. My heart skipped a beat... Our first reunion in the states! Wow!!! We started our tour in Chinatown and Union Square at that wonderful night. Back to the hostel, we talked about all our happenings in the states. We chitchatted until we fell asleep...It was a lovely night! Very lovely... =)
The next morning, we taught and trained Zaolon how to make pancakes and he was very thrilled to learn. For the next consecutive mornings, he woke up early to make us ones. Courtesy of him, we had great breakfasts to start up the day with!
We began our trip at this hilly city with Golden Gate Park, Golden Gate Bridge, Vista Point, Ghirardelli, Lombard Street, Fisherman Wharf, Pier 39, Alcatraz Island, Cable Car Museum, Transamerica Tower, Japan Town, and downtown. We were delightful to have the famous Clam Chowder at Fisherman Wharf. In the meanwhile, we learned about the public transports in San Francisco such as trains or trolleybuses, which are more environmentally friendly than fossil-fuel or hydrocarbon-based vehicles. They run on electricity or cable car wire.
We had two very wonderful times in San Francisco. One was at Vista Point, viewing the picturesque city on top of a hill! At that point of time, I thought I was still dreaming! How the hell could I make myself to the states?! This was unbelievable! The second one was at Lombard Street. We enjoyed the moment very very much. We hoped to freeze the time at that moment! San Francisco has become my favorite city in the world!!! If I am to introduce my friend a place to visit in the USA, it'd definitely be this hilly city. I Love SF!!!
Goodbye SF, Hello LA!
We spent four days at the U.S. second largest city - Los Angeles! We stayed in Orbit Hotel, located at Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood. On the first day, we went to Hollywood! The Hollywood Walk of Fame was very fantastic! We met with people wearing the costume, busy taking pictures with the tourists. There were Jedi, Spiderman, Batman, and any superhero or cartoon that you can name. At last, there were two costume people gesturing at me, indicating to take pictures with me. Of course, I'd love to take with them.
"Whom do you want to take with?"
"Both!" I exclaimed in excitement.
Without second thought, I took with both of them and I asked Shi Ee to do so too.
After the pictures, they asked for tips! Oh My God!!! I found that I only had 20 dollars in my wallet! Neither did Shi Ee have any small bill. In that instant, a cold chill ran through our spine. Swallowing a lump in my throat, I held Shi Ee's hand, and without further ado, we....RAN!!!!!
That was extremely exciting! The feeling was so freaking awesome!!! While Shi Ee had her goosebumps still! I am not suggesting taking pictures without tipping. Please don't do that! Later did we find out this was their butter and bread. Ops.. We were sorry! Haha..But coming to think of it, running from tips has become one of our best experiences in Hollywood!
In the afternoon, we decided to climb the famous Hollywood hill. We were lost in the hill at some point. We bumped into a rich middle-aged guy in the exclusive Hollywood neighborhood. He offered us a ride to the closest lookout point of the Hollywood sign in his open-roof, two-door Audi. Oh My God! I have never sit in an open-roof car. I made my first experience in Hollywood. Thanks to him, Mr. Aldo- the nicest guy in Hollywood! He made our day!!!
We went on to go to Beverly Hill, University of California- Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Universal Studio Hollywood, Farmer's Market, and LA downtown on the following days. I met up with my two good friends in UCLA - Jia Long and Kai Sheng. We had a wonderful tour in the school. We also had a good sunset view in Santa Monica Pier. That was very lovely!
LA, checked! If SF is a walking city, we would regard LA as a car city. It is just too big! Next in our list was San Diego!
San Diego is a very gorgeous city with a lot of Spanish speaking people. Everything is in English and Spanish these two languages, be it transport, food, etc. It is just a plain 30 minutes' drive to San Tijuana, a city in Mexico. We spent 75% of our time in San Diego to watch ANIMALS!!! We went to San Diego Zoo, San Diego Wild Animal Park a.k.a Safari, and Sea World. We had numerous phenomenal animal performances, like Shamu's, dolphins', our lovely penguins' and sea lions'. The other wonderful times in San Diego were spent in USS Midway Museum, Coronado Beach, Old Town, Gaslamp Quarter and Little Italy. We had a very wonderful encounter with the Pacific Ocean sunset. That was magnificent! We got to see a big balloon parade in the downtown too!
After San Diego, we went to the Sin City.
Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada.
I was amazed to learn that the city was built in a desert. We learned about the history behind this splendid city, how it was built in this godforsaken place, and all the great entrepreneurs and Casino Kings that made all these possible. Apparently, there was only a place in Nevada which prohibits gaming - Boulder City. Just to mention that Nevada is the only state in which prostitution is legal. The grandeur of Las Vegas was depicted in The Strip. From pyramid to castle, from Paris to New York, The Strip has every possible entertainment and "WOW" that make you drop your jaw! I had the chance to visit all the grand casinos and celebrated our 2010 New Year Eve in the fabulous Las Vegas. The best experience in Las Vegas, to me, was to visit Grand Canyon in Arizona. We spent an excellent time in this Seven Natural Wonders of the World. I swore I'd come back to Grand Canyon again to do the water rafting.
Happy moments passed by in lightning speed. In a glimpse, we have come to the end of our trip. How I wish I could turn back the time pendulum. We bid farewell and headed back to our respective school, leaving our wonderful memory forever in our minds..
Goodbye California! Goodbye Nevada! Goodbye Arizona!