Friday, July 01, 2005

(R) The Adventures of Break-a-Leg 2005

Break-a-Leg takes a year out from work hoping to complete her doctorate as soon as possible. As fate would have it, many diversions came along the way…. Will she complete her studies end of this year or not?

Bali (March)

Stayed at The Westin, Nusa Dua, Bali with my aunt who was there for a HR conference. To live in style (while unemployed), make sure you’re related to individuals who travel for work ;)

Thanks to the MAS Fair, I managed to get a cheap ticket at RM400+++. While my aunty worked, I covered Bedegul, Kintamani, Goa Gajah, etc on my own over three days.

Shopping spree – bought woven straw bags, Balinese kebaya and batik, oil painting by local artist, wood-craved monkeys, and a local flute.

Vietnam (April)

By God’s grace, my expired frequent flyer points was miraculously renewed for another three years.

Flew to Hanoi for free and lived in USD12 and USD10 budget hotels.

Spent a lot on shopping though – tailored 3 Au Dais, 1 pair of pants, and 2 dresses; bought mini lantern, lacquer tray, bamboo tray, 2 bags, 3 embroidery art pieces, an oil painting (with a Vietnamese girl) by local artist, silk purses, etc.

2 days in Hanoi (North Vietnam) – Hoan Kiem Lake, Water Puppet Show, Halong Bay

4 days in Hoi An (suburbs of Danang, Central Vietnam) – My Son, the beach and Hoi An town.

United States (June-July)

West Coast

17 June
Arrived in San Francisco and my wonderful friend took half a day off work to pick me up at the airport. I stayed with him in Sacramento for a week.

18 June
Outing with friends from Intel - Monterey Bay Aquarium and Cannery Row- and took the 17-Mile Drive which ended at Pebble Beach, a famous golf venue. Had dinner at Banana Leaf, a Malaysian restaurant in San Jose!

Bought a Monterey Bay Aquarium fridge magnet.

(GPS-guided tour)

19 June
Day trip to San Francisco

Visited Lombard (the Crookedest Street in the World), pass by Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate Bridge, and had dinner at Little Italy. The restaurant that we dine at is called The Stinking Rose: A Garlic Restaurant. The receipt said, “Thank you for your Stinking Patronage.” Cool!

Bought San Francisco fridge magnets.

(GPS-guided tour)

20 June
Folsom Outlet – Shopping day.

This outlet is big enough to warrant a map. As I only had 3 hours, I used the map wisely to plot my shopping excursion. There were many brands there but this round, I fell victim to Gap, Nike, Dockers, and Kenneth Cole.

21 June
Watched “Batman Begins” at an outdoor drive-in cinema. It’s the first for me, watching a movie this way. Sat in the car to watch and tuned the stereo to a specified channel to receive cinema audio.

22 June
Day trip to Lake Tahoe

Some say that the Chinese first found this place – in Mandarin it’s called “Ta He” or in Cantonese “Ta Hor.” The lake is big and beautiful and it’s surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Snow can be seen only on the tips of the mountains as most of it melted from the summer heat.

In the middle of Lake Tahoe lies the stateline to Nevada where gambling is legal. I lost USD3 to the slot machines at Harrahs. But my friend, who also invested USD3, won USD22.50! So, buffet dinner at Harrah’s casino was part sponsored by winnings and part sponsored by per diem ;)

Bought a souvenir that says “Forget the Horse, Ride the Cowboy”

And a Lake Tahoe fridge magnet....

When I get home, my mom would need to buy another fridge to accommodate all the magnets.

23 June
Arden Fair Shopping Mall, Downtown Sacramento

The Victoria’s Secret virgin spent 3 hours at the Victoria’s Secret Sale. I’m now the proud owner of an Angel set and a Very Sexy set. Woo hoo!

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