Saturday, March 30, 2019

US 2019: Orange County


On my last day in the States, I took my time packing my things, and getting ready. I even got to squeeze in some episodes of The Blacklist. My uncle had to go to work so he couldn't show me around the city during the day. To pass the time, I walked to Target and grabbed some stuff for my family back home. After work, my uncle picked me up and we had dinner at the newly opened branch of Porto's at Buena Park, then drove to Anaheim for a quick stroll at Downtown Disney. While walking around, I saw this place called The Void, and they currently offer Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire (according to their website, they also have a Ghostbusters themed one). I read about it when I was in LA. Basically, It's a fully immersive VR experience-- you can see, feel, and smell things. We were given a mission, and we had to complete it by disguising as Storm Troopers. It felt so real, like I was in the Star Wars universe! Seriously, after the experience, I could not stop talking about it. It was truly the perfect way to end my US trip!

I feel like I was able to do so many things and visit so many places in just two weeks. To sum it up, my trip started in Las Vegas, then we went to Page, Arizona, then LA, then I flew to San Francisco, then flew back to LA, then drove to San Diego, and last stop was Orange County.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

US 2019: San Diego



LA used to be one of my favorite places in the world because of its laid back vibe and very open culture, but I think I'm now leaning towards San Diego. San Diego has the same feel as that of LA, but it looks better aesthetically and is far less crowded. I'm not into surfing but I heard that San Diego also has better surfing spots. 

From Mission Viejo in Orange County, we drove to San Diego for a change of scenery. We first visited the USS Midway Museum. The USS Midway was an aircraft carrier of the US Navy, but is now decommissioned and was turned into a museum. Then, we went to Mostra Coffee, a coffee shop owned by some of my relatives. I ordered creme brulee latte, which was amazing! Then, we had dinner at Romano's Macaroni Grill. It always feels nice to reconnect with family!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

US 2019: Laguna Beach


After flying from San Francisco to Los Angeles, I took a Lyft to Mission Viejo where I'll be staying the next few days. On my first night here, we ate at The Cliff in Laguna Beach. Aside from offering a great view of the ocean, they serve the best calamari! I would love to come back here during daytimeI'm sure the view would be just as great, or even better.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

US 2019: San Francisco Day 3


It's my last day in San Francisco and the only free day I have to visit tourist attractions. In my previous trip to the US almost four years ago, I visited Lombard St., Fisherman's Wharf, Union Square, Sausalito, Monterey Bay, and Napa Valley. So this time, I wanted to see Alcatraz, Palace of Fine Arts, and Mission District. We had an authentic Italian lunch at Little Italy and had drinks at a rooftop bar called El Techo. The guacamole cheese dip that came with the nachos at El Techo were unbelievably good! And so is their Paloma cocktail. My cousin also brought me to The View, a bar at the top floor of the Mariott Marquis building, which offers a panoramic view of the city.

Since we were already spending so much (food in San Francisco is crazy expensive!), we decided to have a simple kebab dinner. I was obsessed with strawberry crepe I had yesterday, so I ordered another one during my last night here. Lol.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

US 2019: San Francisco Day 2


I was looking forward to this day because I signed up for an information session and a class visit at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. I took the Caltrain to Palo Alto station and a Margueritte Shuttle and got off right in front of Stanford GSB. I haven't had breakfast yet because I didn't want to be late. Since the train and the shuttle ride was on time and efficient, I had an hour to enjoy my breakfast. I ordered an egg burrito with bacon and cheese at Arbuckle Dining Pavilion. 

After the info session, there was a short campus tour where current MBA students showed us around the GSB campus. Then, I attended a class about Pricing to have a glimpse on how the classes are like. When all these were done, I met up with my friend Lance who showed me around the entire university. Time flew by so quickly! When it was time to go, I took the Caltrain back to Downtown San Francisco. We ate at a sushi bar called Nara for dinner, and had crepes for dessert.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

US 2019: San Francisco Day 1


Ryan flew to Manila, I flew to San Francisco, while his brother and his sister-in-law stayed in LA. My flight got delayed so I rebooked my flight to an earlier flight, which also got delayed as well. Lol. I had a lot of time to kill at the airport so I walked around and spotted an Urth Caffe branch where I ordered a Prosciutto and Cheese Panini. The last time I checked, my new departure time was not for another two hours, but when I checked again after half an hour, passengers were already boarding the plane! I almost got left behind. 

Upon arriving in San Francisco, I took a Lyft going to my cousin's apartment because I'll be staying with them. Their apartment is adorableI'd love my place to someday look like that too. Haha. It's just a few blocks away from Union Square, and a few minutes walk to Chinatown and Little Italy. And there are tons of good restaurants near their place too! They brought me to Liholiho Yacht Club where I really enjoyed their Spam Musubi. Because of its food options, this place reminded me of Your Local in Makati. Normally, it's hard to get a reservation here because the place is always full. We were just rally lucky that day! After dinner, we passed by this park to see the beautiful San Francisco skyline. Then we walked to Little Italy for some lovely dessert!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

US 2019: Los Angeles


At Page, we hit the rode again and drove for eight hours to LA (can you believe it? eight!!). We were still on the road during dinner time, so we stopped at a roadside diner called Peggy Sue's. We spent a total of three days in LA. Sadly, the weather for these days wasn't great. It was raining every day so we had to cancel most of our plans. We did a lot of shopping instead! Haha.

Day 1
We met up with the cousin-in-law of Ryan's sister-in-law (lol that's complicated) for lunch at Fat Sal's Deli. Then, we spent hours and hours looking around and browsing products at Costco. Seriously, there were so many things I wanted to buy there. If only, they would all fit in my luggage... lol. I also got to try Costco's $1.50 hotdogyum! We then had a filling dinner at Cheesecake Factory (which I initially thought is the same as Cheesecake Etc.,the cheesecake place in Manila which closed down). Day well spent but hoping that it stops raining tomorrow.

Day 2
This time, Ryan and I spent the day with my uncle, who's based in Mission Viejo. He brought us to Urth Caffe along Melrose Ave. for brunch, and the food was excellent! The rain stopped for a moment so we had time to visit and take photos at LACMA and at the Hollywood Sign. We then drove to Camarillo Premium Outlets for some shopping. I was so exhausted from all the walking so I was excited to know what's for dinner. My uncle brought us to Quarters, a Korean barbecue grill at Koreatown. Everything was according to plan and our restaurant choices were great, so I was pretty happy about this day!

Day 3
Last day in LA! Huhu. First went to Best Buy then had a quick lunch at Panda Express a few meters away. We were in a hurry because we got tickets to watch The Late Late Show with James Corden live at CBS. Entrance is on a first come first served basis depending on how many seats are available in the studio so we had to come early! After two hours of queuing, we were told that they couldn't accommodate us that day. What a huge waste of time and effort! Oh well. We just had to make the most out of our remaining hours in LA. We ate at In-N-Out (yay!) and did some more shopping at Glendale Fashion Center.

That's it for LA! I'll be flying to San Francisco next!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

US 2019: Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend



So after two days in Las Vegas, we drove to Page, Arizona to see the Antelope Canyon, but not before dropping by the Las Vegas Premium Outlets. Talk about priorities, lol. We spent more time in the outlet stores than what was originally planned, so we arrived at Page at 11pm. Also, it was freakishly cold!!!! I didn't bring thermal wear, and even decided to leave my thick coats at home. I was so unprepared for the cold weather. I was like, 'how cold can the West Coast be? Definitely not that cold'. Boy, was I wrong.

Fortunately, the cold didn't stop me from enjoying the view. Antelope Canyon is truly one of the most beautiful places I've seen in my life. Just look at these photos! Best time to go is early in the morning because it's not yet too crowded. We availed the tour services of Navajo tours and paid $60 per person, but we could get them for as low as $47 if we booked online and ahead of time.  Nonetheless, I was still pretty happy with the experience. 

There was a cute couple with us on the tour. Turns out, they're popular Youtube vloggers! You could even see us in the background on their Antelope Canyon video. Lol. They're called Eamon and Bec, and they're the ones who suggested for us to visit Horseshoe Bend. We're glad we met them because Horseshoe Bend was amazing (and entrance is free)!

P.S. Not seen in the photos but there was snow covering the mountains in Page! And I even got to experience a very light snowfall (emphasis on very). Lol.

Next stop: Los Angeles!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

US 2019: Las Vegas


My trip to the States was completely unexpected. Two weeks before the trip, Ryan's brother asked me if I wanted to go to the States with them, and of course, I said yes! We took a flight going to LAX, then drove to Las Vegas. The flight was okay but the thing is, I had a hard time sleeping in the plane, I'm not sure why. Can you imagine I was awake for more than 36 hours? Woah. That's no mean feat!

While in Las Vegas, we attended a show called Opium. It was weird and different, but entertaining. I however don't think it's worth $$40++. We then had dinner at Tacos El Gordo and stayed until 2am. As a self-confessed sleepyhead, I had no idea how I managed this. Lol.

The next day, we went to CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center. It was the last day so I really had to come if I wanted to see it. The show closed at 5pm, then we went to Wynn to look around and to grab a quick snack at their cafe. We also tried Luke's Lobsters, and had dinner at Grimaldi's Pizzeria.

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