Lombard Street in San Francisco. It’s the curviest street in San Francisco requiring up to 20 minutes to walk up the steep slope. Most people of my age did it easily while others like my mum took a long time. Psst. She gave up half way! Goodness. I believe it’s jet lag.
The Palace of Fine Arts is not literally a palace. It’s merely an old architecture which is a replica of the Roman’s Empire. This building was used for exhibitions in the past to attract tourists back to San Francisco after the mega earthquake. It’s also a popular place for wedding pictures.
Golden Gate Bridge was next. It’s the first suspension bridge in the world and it was constructed this way to reduce damages cause by earthquakes. The bridge was extremely long and so I refused to cross the bridge by foot. Haha.
There’s many more pictures coming up, [Ferry Ride at the Fisherman’s Wharf, City Hall, View from Twin Peak, Gay Street, Yosemite, Universal Studios, Grouse Mountain] but the internet connection speed at the hostel is way too slow. Haha, I’ll upload them another day! I’m going to the Rockies Mountain tomorrow! Yippee!
Solvang, sunny field, is a small Demark Town established long ago by the eastern citizens of US. Their ancestors and parents formally migrated from Demark and settled at the eastern side of US. The cold and icy climate of the eastern side made them move to seek for a brighter, warmer land. California! So here they settled in this small town with only 2000 residents there! Beautiful buildings with little shops that sells souvenirs and items with detailed decorations!
After that, we went to Hearst Castle which is a huge huge huge huge place used to own by Mr Hearst. He was later caught for tax evasion and all his property was confiscated by the American Government. His castle was later converted into a museum. It’s just huge! Majestic! Luxurious!
The Hoover dam was built when America was having a depression long time ago. It was built to create jobs for the depressed economy and we all know C+I+G+X-IM = GDP so in order to improve their economy, jobs were created and government spending was increased. Yada yada. Whatever. It was a dam that killed approximately 10% of the people who had constructed it.
Grand Canyon was spectacular! But the skywalk was too overrated! It’s a freaking USD$27 (in addition to entrance fee) and it’s extremely small and not at all exciting to walk around it. It would have been better if the skywalk was longer and protruding further away from the cliff. But other than that the canyon is simply amazing and magnificent. The Native American BBQ lunch provided was good! (It’s included in the USD$50 entrance fee).
Las Vegas, a Sin city indeed. It was later renamed as Entertainment city. LV is right smack in the middle of a desert and it’s extremely sunny with only 0.17% of clouds up in the sky. Haha. The night scene was gorgeous with lots of lights and beautiful buildings. We saw Rio Hotel’s “air parades” and dance performances, Mirage’s man-made Volcano and Bellagio’s musical fountain. The air parades were interesting and the volcano was spectacular. The musical fountain show was huge and I still think it’s kind of similar to Singapore’s Sentosa Musical fountain.
After the night tour we went for a musical performance called Jubilee. No pictures were taken due to the nature of the show and out of respects for the performers. Now you must be wondering what the show is all about. Hehe. It’s a topless musical performance. It’s not extremely good and we paid like $69 each for the tickets. Not all movements were well coordinated and I can tell the differences in their dancing ability between normal dancers (fully clothed) and topless dancers. Perhaps the topless ones were feeling cold or were unable to concentrate compare to the non-topless ones. But some of the topless ones were rather good especially the lead dancers for some scene. One of the Act featured history from the bible portraying Samson and Delilah. Other Acts were Titanic, Retro and some weird costumes and all. Other than the boobies the more interesting part of the shows was the backdrop of the stage. It changed in every scene and it was extremely grand. The show did not just use a plain 3D backdrop but one that was “operational” with backdrops moving and beautiful lightings and all.
Disneyland. It’s truly the happiest place on earth but only for kids. The rides are not at all exciting. But other than that, I did fulfill my childhood dreams of going to Disneyland just like every other dreams of a kid. Saw some of my favourite princess characters like Ariel and Princess Jasmine, but I think they look much better as cartoon characters! Haha. Ate Cherios and I totally love it! Just as much as I love Auntie Anne’s Pretzel for USD$3! We also bought a turkey drumstick which is HUGE and we couldn’t finish it. Saw lots of other Disney Characters too, but the place was so huge and my mum was still having Jet Lag and thus we can only complete fifty percent of the amusement park! Boo hoo hoo. Didn’t get to see Winnie the Pooh and friends!
Hollywood!!!!! It’s one of the nicer parts of LA!!! (Mind you, LA is really like Malaysia. Sigh. Even my mum says that. Haha.) Walk of fame, Hollywood museums, weird buskers and many more! I was told that each “stars” at the walk of fame cost USD$75,000 hmm, or was it USD$750,000. Heh. I can’t remember, but anyways, these stars didn’t come free and that’s why some famous people’s name were not there cause they simply do not want to pay such money. Didn’t see much stuffs though and the place is kind of small! I love the buskers but do you know that they will lure you into taking pictures with them and then demand tips from you! Scary. So once again all I did was to take pictures from afar. Hehe. We also joined the movie stars’ home tour. Nothing spectacular, saw Brad Pit’s home, Britney Spears, Linsay Lohan, Justin Timberlake etc etc. It’s just huge huge mansion like those you see at 6th Avenue and Bukit Timah!
My mum was having jet lag in the afternoon thus we went back around 4pm. Now she is wide awake after sleeping for 6 hours.
*Note: The “high-speed” internet that the hotel provides is really slow. It took more than 30 minutes just to upload these pictures. URGH
As Val and Colin were having exams, I then went Santa Monica and Venice Beach on my own today! It’s a “beachy” day today!
First stop, Santa Monica!
My initial plan was to go to the beach, suntan and read the book that Dawn gave me, but to my disappointment it was way too cold for that. I wonder how they actually suntan there with the wind blowing like nobody’s business. Anyways, Santa Monica was rather pretty, nice beach and nice people, but it was rather small and way too commercialized. So many tourists and food was slightly overcharged. Luckily I brought a peanut butter sandwich there.
Venice beach was next!
Venice beach was way “cooler” than Santa Monica, not in Celsius or Fahrenheit sense, but the “in fashion” way. There were many budding artists there with their artwork, nice little stalls and shops, the “muscle” gym, beach and all. To take pictures of their artwork or of them painting the artwork, I’ve got to give them tips. That explains the lack of interesting photos of their artworks. Initially, I thought I would just take the picture without paying tips and if they do demand for it, I’ll tell them that I can help promote their artwork in my blog for free and therefore I do not have to pay them tips. But come to think about it, my poor blog has only say 20 – 40 hits per day and not Mr Brown or Xiaxue’s hit counts in ten of thousands and even if I am, they may not give a damn. Thus, not risking my life getting kill on my second day in LA, I merely took pictures from afar.
USD1.60 pizza was my lunch for the day! Pepperoni pizza! Not too bad but was a little oily. While seating on the bench eating my pizza, I was talking to an old man who was probably in the mid fifties or so. He mentioned that he went to Singapore once in 1988 and the only thing he remembered was how regulated the country were, with “fines” all over the place. Oh well. Let’s not get into that controversial topic.
Note: I missed Vancouver clean fresh air already! The air here is soooo polluted! Sun + Colin’s virus + Polluted air = Sore throat serene ! I think it’s an annual event! In the May – July, I’ll always have one bad sore throat! URGH
My first day in LA and I love the sun already!!!!!!!!!!
I had a terrible time bringing my luggage from Vanier to UBC Bus loop this morning! The usual walking time is approximately 10 to 15 minutes. But guess what. I took 45 minutes! Every step I take was painful! My backpack was (and still is) extremely heavy not to mention my trolley luggage which was even heavier. It was drizzling and that only increased my misery. Even 8 steps I took, I stopped. URGH. I wanted to give up, and then I remembered Colin reminding me yesterday to use the “Jennifer Aniston” tactic if necessary. Thus, I stopped a random stranger and got him to bring my bag to the bus loop. I guess I will need 1 ½ hour to reach without the help of that guy! So when I reach LA, I’ve decided not to take a public transport and I should stop torturing myself. And I ended up paying USD24 with tips for a supershuttle ride to USC!
Ok, other than the torture this morning, everything else was really fun! As you all may know, holiday with Colin + Val = Eating, eating and more eating. We ate Mexican food and ice cream! Yummy!! Haha… And Colin drove me around! On a bike… no not motorcycle, a bicycle! Scary yet exciting!
My exam results are out! For the very first time, “efficiency” is the word in UBC
Since this blog is about exams, I’ll talk about the unregulated exam systems they had back in UBC.
1) It was free seating! That means, students were scattered all around and the invigilators had to give out and collect the exam scripts inefficiently.
2) Checking of student identification was conduct without a standard procedure. Some of the invigilators did not check, while for some other exams they checked the ID with a name list, while others merely looked at the UBC card and my face??!!!
3) You can leave your bags at the side of your chairs during an exam.
4) You can visit the washroom as and when you like and you don’t have to sign out when you do so.
5) The lecturer had the power to extend the duration of the exams based on the following reasons: A) The sunrays were shining too brightly and students were unable to concentrate, therefore 15 minutes extension were given. B) Students voted for 15 minutes extension.
It’s totally different back in NUS. Sigh.
We had our “last supper” yesterday. The last gathering where everyone on our batch of exchange had in Vancouver. The place we went to had nice food, excellent ambience and splendid washrooms! I feel like a diva in their toilet! It’s almost like a club without the crowd! Ok, enough of the toilet. I want to extend my gratitude and appreciation to them in times of good and bad, in laughter and bickers (only Wenjing). Thank you all!
These are the people I would like to thank:-
Dawn: The one I went swimming with, baked cookies and doing other silly stuffs.
Joel: Almost always there for lunching, dinnering and slacking around in Vanier.
Chelsea: The one who holds intelligent conversations and who simply loves to poke and slap people’s butt.
Wenjing: The always grumpy one but one who is also responsible.
Sharon: Motherly one, who is always so caring, understanding and hospitable. My savior!
Jimmy: Our social butterfly who is full of silly jokes yet also one with “yi qi”
Julian: The gentlemanly one who is also very vain. Julian = Cutting hair).
Sheryl: The blur and always sleepy one.
Beniah: Big Papa who is always protective and helpful to us.
Siu Kee: The quiet one who listens and observes more than anyone else.
Liyong: The capable guy who is always doing project, and also a Mr Nice guy who knows how to treat a lady.
Thank you all! Enjoy your summer and see you guys soon in Singapore!