Our Thai airway flight is TG94U, left Bangkok at 7:40pm and arrived in LAX, Los Angeles 7:10pm (about 14.30hrs.)
Right on schedule, 7.10pm. we arrived Los Angeles International airport ‘LAX’ is a short name. I was to identify and answer lot of questions to immigration officer and he was scarily me a lot. I believe they were trained to say that, but for this guy he is over acting I think!
It took us almost one and a half hours to clear our documents and luggage. 8.30pm. car pickup at the Budget rent A car System, Inc. near the airport. Less than 30 minutes of paper work..brand new Chevrolet, only 200 mile meters with license plate no. 5XVF477, Jan07 California, with white color.
Wow very big car for 2 people. Really big! Driver on the left-hand side and passenger on the right, so am get in the wrong side for couple time hee hee..!
10.20pm. we arrived at Barstow (65 miles from LAX and 216 miles to Las Vegas) weather was very cool.
We decided to stay overnight at Barstow till sunrise because my sweetie want to show me the scenic view via to Las Vegas. We sleep at Chevrolet hotel (our rental car)and we couldn’t sleep well that night because worried about our safety in our new environment..
Sunrise, 6.30am. we drove from Barstow to Las Vegas, the route was through is no green, can see the beautiful desert and rocky hill around. We past the Valley name “Death Valley” the name is quite scary but has an attraction location call Mojave Desert.
8:00 am, We crossed at border line of Nevada and our first stop was at Primm Valley for fuel – I filled up the tank by myself for the first time - and then we had a breakfast at McDonald's.
9.30am. we arrived at Las Vegas, drive onto the strip for sightseeing first then back to the hotel - Excalibur Hotel and Casino “Welcome to the Castle!” I was feeling like a pretty princess when we got there. We checking-in but the hotel had no room availability for check-in early so we have to come back later during normal check-in time at 2pm. We have arranged this hotel for 4 nights and from the hotel we can easily walk to the strip. During waiting for check-in we took monorail to Luxor and Mandalay Bay near by the hotel. We ordered soft drink and snack at Mandalay Bay for our lunch. In late afternoon the jet lag from air travel kicked in, am so sleepy and I have some nap at the café where we had soft drink. Not for long the waiter woke me up they not allow to sleep in the café. 13.30pm. we return to the hotel for check-in, unpack and slept for 3hrs, after energy is back we ready for the first night sightseeing in sin city.
Romantic dinner; 7.30pm. We had dinner at café Bellagio, located in the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. I had Tuna sandwich and my sweetie had meat sandwich. It’s so big portion and so nice really! The price is about $8 so surprise haa! compare with the proportion. KENO is my first game in sin city, not so lucky for the first time gambling in sin city.
After dinner we took a walk to Caesars Palace; which has the Forum shops with all high end products are in and this shops look like outdoor shops because the sky views on the ceiling. Then to The Mirage; it was time to see the Volcano show. The nightly volcano spewing fire and lava makes the tropical resort sizzle in the Vegas night. But unfortunately we did not see it for tonight, bad timing.
After none stop walked, so we a bit tired can’t walk anymore. Then we took monorail to Treasure Island to see nightly pirate show but we missed opportunity for tonight. We stop at “Ben & Jerry’s” had one scoop ice cream – my sweetie favorite, my too. After Treasure Island, we walked back and stop at Bellagio fountain show. We spend quality times together and with our first at the romantic show. Tonight I am in love!
Bellagio fountains; really amazing + highly recommended. This is the largest water show in the world, and it shoots 250 feet up - all tech details aside, it's an amazing show as the sprays perform high-speed chases or sway elegantly. The fountains run every half-hour until 7 p.m. every 15 minutes after that until midnight. When you're at the fountain, you won't want to leave.
Photojournalists!10.00am, we started from New York New York Hotel, MGM Grand, Mona Co’s Monte Carlo, we entered to Bellagio (again) the lobby decorate themes Chinese New Year celebration style, beautiful flower decorates at Conservatory inside the hotel. Then we entered to Caesar Palace (again) for window shopping at Chanel, Gucci, Christian Dior and Coach and many more brand name.
At Venetian there are actually has two different rides, one outside in front of the resort and one inside through the Grand Canal Shoppes. Feel like am in Venice. So romantic really! 6.30pm. on the way back to hotel for change and take video camera for night shooting, we stopped for dinner at Panda Express – Asian food Chinese’s style. Where we order fries rice with broccoli beef + Pepsi, good taste!
Second night in 'The City of Entertainment'
Our destination is “Sirens of TI” in front of Treasure Island. We don’t want to miss again take a real fast walked there. Show time 8.30pm. Crowded of people watched the show we stand at the back. It’s difficult to see the show. The 12 minute was show dance (sexy dancer with bikini suit), energy, music, temptation, danger, excitement of four football fields filled with water. Our next stop was the volcano erupts in front of the Mirage and end with the water fountain show at Bellagio (yes..again) with another 3 romantic music and another longest kiss! Sealed with a kiss…I love you sweetie. Thanks for filling my life with so much happiness.
After non stop walked tour, we were getting hungry so we had a nice very late dinner at the same as first night at Bellagio café. By the time we finished it was getting quite late. The next day would be Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon Tour. We had to take a good rest to prepare for new day and new exciting journey. Sweet dream… Good night!
Day 4 : One place for you to see before you die
We book the tour before traveling with arivegas.com, cost $88+$5 per person fuel charge with Continental Breakfast, Lunch, Park Entry Fee. Katherine is a guide for our group she is talkativeness. Our professional guides keep informed and entertained with a wealth of information of Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, Colorado River, Route 66, and the Grand Canyon.
The route was through no sign of green around via to Hoover dam. When we got a glimpse of Lake Mead, our tour guide, Katherine point us the millionaires houses around the Lake, like her dreamt houses. Then we first stopped on the Hoover Dam at the border of Arizona to take pictures.
We stopped again at Historic Route 66 for 20 minutes. We took some pictures outside and see around the route 66 shops. Yeah, sights to see! The view was unique.
11.45am Amazing Canyon,Grand Canyon weather was very cool. On the day we got there (about 5-degree Celsius during day time), can see and touch some of snow on the ground. We decided to walk started at Mather point - paved trail 2.5 miles to Yavapai point, Bright Angel lodge point and Hopi house gift store (the Indian handicraft and souvenir shop in Grand Canyon Village). Along the way we chitchat about the view and shared our feeling about this trip. We take a lot of pictures and video. We had a good quality time together for about 3 hours we spend at the Canyon. I have never seen anything like this before in my life, totally different in the world, so Fantastic. After walked tour, I can feel my sweetie was so much happy and I know why.
We back to the hotel approx 9.00pm. A bit tired from 5 hours traveled back hotel. But we don’t want to waste any minute, still some energy left for tonight, we decided to spend quality time in Vegas tonight. We went to Aladdin try some drink….one drink. Alcohols dizzy me a lot. But it is so nice, I like it.
View from the Top at Paris; The Eiffel tower at 460 feet is the perfect spot for view of the Las Vegas, the informed elevator attendant recount the history of the original Eiffel Tower in France, while also pointing out Las Vegas landmarks. View from the top made me spellbound. The night view of the strip was just unbelievable so much beautiful. More over that, the water Fountain show at Bellagio began, this time view from the top, am so in love this city.
Day 5 : Top 3 hotels in Las Vegas
After lunch, we took a lot of picture outside the hotel and then we walked to Venetian hotel resort and casino. We spent at the most romantic hotel for 2 hours and we then walked to Wynn hotel. The Wynn Las Vegas resort is number one resort in Las Vegas.
Venice in Vegas; Wow! What a hotel.
Venetian; the most beautiful hotel casino in Vegas (in my opinion). We don't even know where to start. The lobby is amazing with marble everywhere. Surrounded by a ceiling blue sky as well as Venice landmarks, they have both indoor and outdoor gondolas. Romantic Gondolas rides go along through the Grand Canal Shoppes, bridges and below the quaint shops and cafés, so what your imagines so romantic isn’t it. “Not to be missed”
Actually today is Valentine’s Day in Thailand and we has celebrated at the hotel at night. So today is our last day in Las Vegas. It’s time to say bye-bye Las Vegas and hope to get back again someday, stayed tuned for more details.
It’s about 560 miles from Las Vegas to San Francisco, approx. 8 hours drive. I am so sleepy on the way to Barstow and we first stop at Barstow for breakfast at McDonald’s which is first choice for American fast food. Weather was very cold in the early morning. After Breakfast, navigator is my duty and can’t sleep any more.
After a very long and very straight road through, we arrived at No.18 Bridge of San Francisco around 3.50pm. After across the Bridge to the city we got loss the exit to 9th/Civic Center but not so far. Finally we can reach our destination at Ramada Plaza Hotel International. At first we planned to stay at this hotel for 4 nights, but the room was sold out because of Chinese’s New Year on 18 Feb. We have to find another hotels and the one near by is Holliday Inn. The rooms are availability for 3 nights only, and then we decided to change our schedules to stay in San Francisco for 3 nights. Mainly due to hotel rate and car park in San Francisco very expensive. This was our first time in San Francisco and we didn't realize before we arrived about car parks charge. It is very expensive about $8 per hour and up to the location. So we had to pay for an additional $23 per day for hotel parking. Oh my goodness!
On the Market Street we was through the side walk area quite dirty, people homeless there and the area very bad-smell. Those things so scares me and we disappointed for the first visit this town. After dinner, we walking around Union Square and entranced to Westfield San Francisco Centre, Macy's and checking out the offer. Then we went back the hotel.
Day 7: Best of San Francisco
Lombard Street, everyone should try this at least once! It’s the world’s most twisted street! Unfortunately for us that no flowers in the garden when we were there. We took some pictures. We wondered what kind of people lived there and fantasized about having a home on that very street.
After Lombard Street, we went to Golden Gate Park. It’s was our experience ride in the largest with a wide area of the Park and a perfect spot for snuggling, strolling, or having a picnic. We ended up near Bay area around dinner time and fortunately again we found Thai restaurant name “Ladda seafood” where we ordered Tom-Yum-Kung, Pad-Ka-Pow-Nuay and Pad-Pak. Really good Thai taste and reasonable priced. After dinner it nearly 7.00pm, we drove to Twin Peak again for the night view. We had a good time there. We seated on the ground, talked and discussed about our love life, hehe..top secrets! It was the most romantic and memorable experience we've had together. However we didn't spend a lot of time there because of the thick fog and freezing weather. We then back to the hotel around 8.30pm
Day 8 : It’s a must do-Cable Car, Fisherman's Wharf and pier 39
Pier 39, at this time we are enjoying the neighborhoods and the nice weather. The shops are wonderful on pier 39 and beautiful tulip garden. It smells like the sea and we got to see real seal lions just inches away lounging around on the docks barking, jumping into the marina to swim and sleeping..!
At 6pm, at Wharf we ordered one crab for two of us cost about $20 ($8.56 per pound), weight approx. 2 pound wow! Ever see Phoo Yuck before he he..). We enjoyed excellent seafood. The crab was absolutely delicious, very fresh and nice taste
Scenic Drive, Pacific Coast Highway – CA1, we drove about 1 hour and first stopped at Santa Cruz. Stopped for international breakfast at MacDonald’s as our first optional for American food. After breakfast we toward to Monterey Bay, we drove about 2 hours (126 miles from SF). Before arrive at the Monterey we stopped at one Artichokes farms bought some Strawberry Peach and red Apple. Strawberry was very fresh, big size and very nice taste.
Then we turn off at Fisherman’s Wharf for lunch but no lunch at there. Because of the food price quite high. Wharf, it was okay. We thought it would be like San Francisco’s but it was not. It was small. There were not a lot of good places to eat. Monterey Bay is peaceful. We took some picture, seeing around the pier and then looking for a place to stay a night. During that weekend the hotel was fully booked for lawyer’s conference. We went to many hotels and spent couple hours to find the hotel, but no room available. There have some but the rate very high and higher than hotels in San Francisco. We decided to skip the day & night short at Monterey Bay and heading to Los Angeles instead.
After a long ride, we stop at Big Sur River Inn and restaurant for late lunch. Our ordered were Fish Fries served with French Fries and Fresh Spinach Almond Salad with very, very tasteful of sweet sauce. The food quality was amazing and use of locally made and grown ingredients. It was certainly the best American food we have ever had. Big Sur is great peaceful place and great food. We so much enjoy our lunch/eat at the restaurant over looking the water fall and took a short walk to the stream.
After lunch, there are many places to stop down the coast and we went through many state parks, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is beautiful a lot of big tree. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park has waterfall to see, camping place, the ocean the cliffs and the mountains, beaches, watched, wind surfers, wave surfers, Sea Lions and much other marine life are viewable. We stopped at the Bixby Creek Bridge, took very nice picture. We saw only one gas station along the way, we stopped for fuel, restroom and spent a little time hanging out in the lodge. I can’t remember the name hehe. We had Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and watched the nice view. There is a beach, but the rocky cliffs and canyons certainly gave a new feeling.
At San Simeon, my sweetie told me about the Hurst Castle that he has been there before. Actually not far away from HWY 1 but we don’t have time to be there, because we worried about the long ride to North Hollywood, LA. We continued down to Santa Barbara, we went at late evening so can’t see the nice view of Santa Barbara beach. We made the wrong exit to the city, and spent little time to find the gas station for fuel. We had a Mexican food at Habit restaurant for the dinner, spicy taste but it okay for me. Then continued our journey and finally took the exit which we thought it should take us to the Motel that we planned to stay in North Hollywood. That was it for our adventure on the Pacific Coast Hwy. It felt like a National Geographic tour. We arrived at North Hollywood about 8pm, we went though the few main roads looking for Motels for 6 nights and not to expensive. Our budget planned approx US$60 to US$80 per night. There are few Motels and look not safety for us. Then we change our target to find the safety hotels and good quality one. Finally we found Best Western Carriage Inn on Sepulveda Blvd which is more expensive hotels and more comfortable. Raining at night sleep was easy.
Beverly Hills/Rodeo Drive Shopping District, It was totally different from what we had been doing in the previous days. It is great to walk or drive and take in the richness area. We interact with locals and we had a breakfast at Brighton Coffee Shop on Rodeo Drive. After breakfast we walked around the area, spent a little time took picture at the Beverly Hills.
Hollywood Walk of Fame, I have been waiting to go to Hollywood walk of Fame, Kodak Theater, and Chinese Theater. The most interesting part of the walk is the hand and footprints in the front of Mann's Chinese theater. A little bit disappointing trip down Hollywood Walk of Fame. Once we got there and have a photo taken with the "star" actor of course, a few bucks from my pocket. We only took a short time there took some video and some picture. We also walked to the nearby Kodak Theatre. They are on preparation the red carpet for Oscar in 25 Feb 07. Back to the Future, we headed back to North Hollywood and visited my sweetie house at Cantley street, Sherman way road (x’house). We took a short walked around the alley and get feel like at home. Then we went to Ralph Supermarket near P’ house, we took some food and fruits for dinner at the motel.
Day 11 : President day and shopping!
8.30am we went to Wat Thai of Los Angeles see around and met 2 Thai people there. Just say Sawasdee kha, because we don’t know each other. We took some picture and then to P’G high school near by that area.
Glendale Galleria, we drove about 45 minutes from Wat Thai. They have only 2 levels and shopping mall inside, one is Macy’s another one is JC Penny. We bought perfume, beauty skins care for my college (Philosophy), T-shirt (wrestler picture paint). We spent long time at Bath and Body Works outlet bought for our college and family.
Day 12 : Wonderland
All of this day was dedicated to the happiest place on earth called Disneyland. Disneyland was a big reason why we picked Los Angeles in our vacation itinerary. Next to Disneyland was another theme park called California Adventure. However, we decided not to go there because we only allocated one day for Anaheim and preferred to spend it on the "classic" Disney rides.
We went there on a Tuesday. Weather was nice and extremely crowded. It was very long queues for car park and the entrance. But when we get in them park there were 30-45 minute queues in the popular rides such as Indiana Jones, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean and Splash Mountain.
Our experience in the classic Disney; Jungle Cruise, Haunted mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, Buzz Lighthyear Astro Blasters, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Fantasyland, Mickey’s House and Meet Mickey, Indiana Jones and Walt Disney’s Parade of Dreams at the nigh time. Wooow! Magical place. My dream is come true. We absolutely loved it! Especially Indiana Jones rids, so much fun and very fantastic! We had a great time, unfortunately though didn't have enough time to do everything in the park.
Day 13 : Universal Studio
It was on Wednesday and the park was less crowded compare to Disneyland the day before. The queue time was 15-30 minutes. Before we entered we decided to take some picture at the City Walk, which is a strip of shops and restaurant right next to the theme park. We had a wonderful time here, especially at Shrek 4D. As the name suggests, it was a 3D movie that you watch with a special glasses. However, there were some extra sensory surprises during the movie (which made it 4D... Get it?). And the Mummy ride, the ride is super fun and fast. We went for 2 times. It was so good and very nice place to see.
We took picture with my favorites Characters, Shrek+ Fiona and Spiderman. Our experience in the Entertainment theme park at Shrek 4D movies as mention, Back to the Future was very excited and awesome, Jurassic Park look real and more fun, Terminator 2:3D We got saying suuuper!, Mummy our favorite ride, Special Effects, Water World and we also took the theme park tour, which is a must for all visitors. After theme park, we went to Topanga Plaza for another round of shopping. We had dinner at Japanese restaurant before we got back to the hotel late at night.
On the whole day, all I can say is that it is necessary to get the fulfilling day at California Adventure.
Day 15 : Time to Fly
Today is our last day for this trip. But it was a first reason why we picked Los Angeles in our vacation itinerary. Because my sweetie wants me to visit his houses, high school (we went there the day before), CSUN University and Baskin Robin-his part-time jobs. He wants me to be a part of his lifetime in this country, to feel when he was young boy. Am so excited to visit my young boy places and perspective what he was told me many time about his lifetime in LA.
“The memories will always be with me”