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Friday, 18 July 2014

ROAD TRIP PART I: SAN FRANCISCO

HI!:) I'm back from the states and it feels like it ended way too soon :( It was amazing there it really felt like a dream come true. It was a total mad rush before heading there cause the trip was pretty last minute and I just felt like I was going through the motion so I didn't actually feel anything until I got to the airport.



I did lose my purse in the states and even though it was just money and not my passport or IC, I did lose one of my memory cards that contained all my San Fran photos so I was damn sad and getting even sadder typing this and thinking of my photos :'( Really cried like a baby cause I was so upset :/ Thank god for the rest who took so many photos hahaha Teck and Gwen are super good photographers and damn good at photo editing hahaha and I guess at least I've got my Vegas, LA, and NYC photos.

Anyways, my very first time taking a plane by myself HAHA I was damn nervous ok. I guess most people my age probably already have taken planes by themselves idk? But it really wasn't as scary as I imagined it to be haha and my flight was so comfortable. Don't feel like flying any other airline besides SQ from now on hahaha. There was an empty seat next to me so I could stretch and sleep pretty comfortably and the guy sitting in the same row was super nice and helpful. Like he helped me open my yoghurt pack and stuff cause I had gel extensions and I've never had long nails before?? so my hands were totally spastic like I couldn't do anything properly :( Anyways I know it's weird but I LOVE airplane food haha its just so cute and neat and I love food that comes in boxes??

Touched down and San Fran is just WOW beautiful?? The weather was perfect. The sun was out but there was a breeze and it felt like air conditioning. Plus idk whether I'm just biased or whatever but the sky is so much bluer there. The streets are pretty clean and the houses omg... just so quaint I felt like stopping everywhere and taking photos. It's like every single spot is just scenic wherever you look. I really couldn't get over how lovely the houses were. They were all so elegant and looked so comfortable and picturesque like toy houses. I wonder what the locals feel about living in such a beautiful place??






The hotels there are another thing though. Accommodation in San Fran was the most expensive except maybe if you stay in Manhattan. I booked Holiday Inn at Golden Gateway cause it was located near the city centre and near Yx's friends' hostel (Encore Express, which I hear is pretty decent too) but it was honestly pricey at about 240++ a night and there was city tax to count in so in the end I think it cost about 800 for 3 nights. Plus the hotels weren't exactly lavish or up to Sg's standard especially for its price. Even the Marriott and Hyatt there looked pretty run down and small in comparison to the houses there which was odd to me cause its like the opposite in Singapore?

With that said though I honestly thought San Fran was the most beautiful among the 4 states I visited and I really loved the city vibe. It was so laid-back and breezy. Like everything and all your problems just took a backseat and there's nothing in the world for you to do or nowhere for you to be.

After unpacking a bit we cycled to Fisherman's Wharf and it was so beautiful there?? HAHA sorry I really cannot stop with my praise huh HAHAH but really guys I wish I had my camera's pictures to show for it.



Ok idk if it was the jet lag or something but I didn't find the seafood there mindblowingly good? It was just okayyyy. The oysters there are the creamy type. Idk what they're called and I suppose they come from a different ocean and during a different season hence the taste but I still preferred the ones I've had back home. The portions there are massive though. I like ;)







After that went to this old school arcade HAHA super cool but they had quite a lot of creepy shit too like the laughing Sal doll. Its this huge ass dummy that moves and laughs in its glass box. And there were a lot of fortune telling machines with dummies inside that moved when you put quarters in. Really quite creepy hahah but I loved it.




Cycled at the beach side and I swear the seagulls there are MONSTERS. They are the size of chickens. Or bigger. I don't know cause I haven't seen many chickens in my life but they are freaking massive ok I was damn scared cause I honestly don't like birds very much ever since a giant crow attacked me in primary 1 and ate my food so I've always had a very bad impression of birds. These seagulls really behave like they own the place, as if they're not animals at all??? They just fly within inches from your head like WTFFFFFFF and when they open their wings it's like ok too much to handle. They're the size of flying cats I kid you not.


Drove to the Golden Gate bridge for a while after to check it out but it was so foggy. The weather in San Fran really can change in an instant and it does live up to its name of fog city. Being located next to the Pacific Ocean, the temperatures here can be pretty chilly even in summer. It's definitely colder than the air conditioning I'm used to and the winds here are really strong so if you're thinking of coming to San Fran, come prepared!

 So unbelievably beautiful <3
Hahah I was damn cold seriously dying :/


<3
Our trusty Ford that got us through the States <3

I was so so tired my whole San Fran trip and was pretty groggy tryna get used to to the change in timing. We went to Alcatraz on the second day hahaha I was so excited to see one of the "most haunted" places in the world but I didn't see or feel anything sadly. It was really quite an experience because everyone gets an audio guide tour so you just plug in and listen to the stories of the place recounted by ex inmates and wardens. Never realised so many of the famous villains in Hollywood movies were sent to Alcatraz so it was pretty surreal realising that these people actually existed and lived within those walls. Al Capone and Mickey Cohen for instance. And they showed us the isolation cells where once you're inside and they shut the doors, there's no light at all. Can't even begin to imagine how harrowing that must be.

 You can see San Francisco from the prison courtyard. Must have been super hard for the prisoners :/







Alcatraz has seen its fair share of murders and deaths and we even saw the cells and marks where the prison guards were shot when there was a prison uprising and some guys tried to break out?? Scary stuff.

The most famous escape from Alcatraz was done by these three guys if I remember correctly. They made fake replicas of their heads and escaped in the dead of night. Their bodies were never found so its either they drowned trying to swim back to San Francisco or they really did manage to escape. HAHA super cool right?? It's like a movie. The waters of San Fran are freezing and pretty rapid though so it must have been some mad escape.

The prison's library area.
 Inside one of the cells featuring artwork done by the past inmates.

Walked to Pier 39 after and it's so nice there??? Everything is so pretty argh even the strawberries are damn big and sweet. 

Had brunch at iHop after and we were all so so tired :'( haha ok iHop is a pretty famous diner there that has multiple chain outlets kinda like..pizza hut or something so the food wasn't that great but I guess its one of those things you'd wanna eat or do when you're in the states? Kinda like going to Walmart or Bloomingdales or something cause you always hear them mention it in movies.



Then headed to the Golden Gate bridge again cause we didn't get to see much the first time. The skies were a lot clearer today but the wind was still crazy haha it's like the kind you just wanna rush back into the car and switch on the heater. I was NAHT prepared for cold weather at all cause I went thinking it was all bathing suits and stuff during summer??


Then we drove by to see the world's crookedest street HAHA. It was closed off to cars though so we had to walk and it's really damn crooked. The streets in San Fran are all very steep its like climbing up a hill everywhere. This street would be crazy ass steep if it didn't have all these curves. Idk if you can tell from the pictures but its super steep like if you fall, you're gonna roll and most likely die or break something.




We were pretty damn tired by then cause we had to wake up early for Alcatraz but anw still managed to do some shopping at Ashbury which is San Fran's hippie neighbourhood.
 This massive soda shop the rest went to while I shopped HAHA. It's damn cool though. There are so many different types of sodas there??






Quite an eye opener because you don't see things like that in Singapore. And there are congregations of hobos/hitchhikers lying on the floor and a lot of people with dreadlocks and big beards hahah it was woahhhh. The shops there are kinda like...an open concept haji lane meaning its a lot wider and bigger than haji lane but the shops basically have around that same feel but cooler? HAHA not being biased here ok. Bought a pair of Doc Marts that I absolutely ADORE???? Been wanting to get these particular cut for a while but kept debating and the Sg store didn't have them so I got them straight away. Yx bought a pretty dapper pair too haha. Then went to this other store called Sway which I definitely recommend. It's kinda like an urban outfitters kinda store with the same style and price range. Anyways they were having a massive sale so I bought two dresses and a pair of shoes hahahahah. One of the dresses was only 10 USD and it was quite nice really! I wore it to the wax museum in LA.

Ashbury's got a lot of really cool small stores and thrift/second hand stores that sell all kinds of odd things like a hippie store and a tibetan trinket store and vintage stores that carry old hats and suits and all so if you like exploring and quaint little stores with unique items, you're definitely gonna want to come to Ashbury.

 Pardon my sleepy eyes :( I was really super exhausted :/

Followed by dinner at this Mexican food place also located in Ashbury called Cha Cha Cha.
It's quite highly raved on Yelp but again idk if it was my jet lag that led to my lack of appetite but I couldn't eat much in San Fran without feeling like throwing up. The quesadilla here is amazing though. Truly amazing and a must try. Also they are famous for their Sangria and you'll see it on every table in the restaurant.


On our last day in San Fran, we took a tour to Yosemite national reserve. I've always been more of a city than country person even though I love animals to bits but that coupled with the fact that I really had no mood to wake up at the unearthly hour of 4 am to go so I was quite sian on the bus there. Plus I was still damn tired and the bus ride there took about 5 hours?? I would much rather have stayed in the city, people watching, eating and doing what the locals do. With that said however Yosemite was quite a sight.










It was like looking at the pictures of my geography textbook in real life haha. Saw the three brothers (mountains) and the half dome and the brides veil waterfall. On the bus there I swear I ate the best damn strawberries I've ever had in my life. California just has such awesome food?? The strawberries came in this MASSIVE box and they were so cheap?? AND THEY WERE SO SWEET AND BIG AND JUICY argh hahahah really super good.

Anyways we had to climb down and up this giant slope to go and see the Sequoia trees.
I swear I'm the most unfit young person alive. I was dying walking back up the slope. It's steep and takes like 30 minutes to walk down so can you imagine what walking back up is like!?!?! It's like climbing mount doom. I wanted to just lie down on the floor and camp there and finish the walk up like say in a week or something. After that I basically slept the whole way in the bus HAHA. Argh need to get in shape or I'm gonna turn into a blob.

It was Monday the next day and our last couple of hours in San Fran before we drove to LA so we had brunch at this place called MyMy. This one, EVERYONE HAS TO GO AND EAT. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. THIS IS LIKE THE BEST BRUNCH I'VE EVER HAD.





For some reason, a lot of the cafes and brunch places were closed on Monday I guess cause nobody wants to go to to work on Monday right but anyways this place was open and got tremendously good reviews on Yelp (a must have app if you wanna find the best places to eat in the vicinity) and woah MINDBLOWING. We all ordered different things. If I remember correctly, I got the Eggs Benedict with Salmon and it was AMAAAAAZING plus the hash brown and bacon is out of this world. DEFINITELY RECOMMEND AND THE MUST TRY PLACE IN SAN FRAN!!

Ok that's it for my San Fran post! Hope it was of help to anyone who might be thinking of heading there. Yx's friends had a really nice itinerary planned out but we didn't manage to do everything on it not just in San Fran but for the rest of the states too. They did a really stellar job planning but I honestly would take great pleasure in planning my next trip myself cause there were a lot of things I wanted to see that I don't think the rest were too keen on, mostly in LA, Vegas and New York. Shall list them all down at the end of each post in case anyone wants to know.

Also, we didn't manage to check out San Francisco's chinatown which was a shame because its the biggest outside of Asia plus it was where the first outbreak of the bubonic plague occurred on the continent. But yea other than that we basically covered everything else in San Fran! Lotty says the night life there is pretty decent too but I didn't get a chance to check it out so if anyone has any suggestions please let me know so I can plan it in my future trip :)

Will post about the drive to LA real soon! Gotta rush off to promote Chivas tonight at KPO HAHAH cause I'm super broke now HAHA. Have a great weekend everyone <3

xx
Qing