Monday, September 26, 2011

Revisit San Francisco

My 2nd visit to San Francisco after 4 years! This time, another business trip took me to SF for 1 week.
I had blogged about my 1st trip to SF in Nov 2007 here SF Nov 2007

Luckily for me, I've been to SF, so I was not too disappointed when the trip was to be only for 1 week. Still I had half a Sunday and Friday to explore the unexplored places which I did not manage to do 4 years ago - Primarily Land's End (Ocean Beach) and Golden Gate Park!

After a long ardous 20hrs flight, upon checking in and washing up, off to Land's End it was! It was a 1hour bus ride so I had to make every second count! Luckily, the bus service in SF is rather frequent (about every 5-10mins), so I took bus 47, and changed to bus 38 all the way to the very west end of SF. The view that greeted me was fantastic!

The weather was beautiful that afternoon and perfect for a good long walk - Sunny but not too hot with the sea breeze blowing.

The entire trail is 1.5miles long (return) but you can choose to keep on walking till the Golden Gate Bridge, which was what I initially set out to do...

What can I say about the scenery but just amazing?!?! You have to be there to experience the wowness..

There is just 1 restaurant there - Cliff House which offers you the fabulous view of the Ocean! Also, there is a Seal Rock when You look out, and s'posedly seals love to congregate there. But seems like they have abandoned that rock long time ago cos there were no seals....

Walking up the steps to follow along the coastal trail. The trail is quite well marked and there are alot of people on the trail - walking or running so you will not get lost!

A pitstop area where you can see the Golden Gate Bridge! This was after a 40mins walk..

And there's the Bridge! Looks really near right? After a 40mins walk, and this view, I thought "Hey that's too easy and short a walk and I'm already close to the bridge!". Yea rite, I thought I could easily get to the Bridge on foot within the next 2hrs, but I was WRONG!!!

I walked a total of 2hrs but still NO WHERE near the bridge! I ended up at the China Beach which was still miles and miles away from the bridge and it was already 630pm! So unfortunately, I had to give up the walk and take a bus back to the hotel. By the time I reached the hotel, it was close to 8pm.

And from Mon till Friday noon, it was work work and dinner dinner, no sight seeing...

We had a crab feast at The Crab House by Pier 39! Yummy!

The starter - Mussels and shrimps

The main - CRABS!! Dungeress Crabs, all 3 of them and they were humongous!! But yummy! The shells are very soft, so you just need to softly crack them with the tools provided! Not like the hard shelled sri lankan crabs. These were baked in garlic butter sauce.

We had dinner at a Perusian restaurant Limon on the last night of work. Yummy food!

Cerviche mix (not my kinda food)

Vanilla Panna Cotta dessert

A stop at Lombard street at night, courtesy of the nice taxi driver! Who's wife happens to be a SIngaporean!

Then on Friday afternoon, after we wrapped up, off I went to Golden Gate Park. Yes another 1hr bus ride, this time bus 47 then bus 5.

Beautiful park and flowers greeted me..

Flower conservatory. Entrance fee of USD7 to enter. So I didnt go in :)

There were quite a lot of people walking and sunbathing in the park! Hey it's summer in SF for them!

Map of GG Park. The park is 3miles long and 1.5miles wide. There are quite a number of attractions within the park - Japanese Garden, conservatory, musuems, botanical garden, but all these require separate entrance fees (probably about USD7 onwards). So i didnt visit any of them! Isn't a park s'posed to be free?? So I just walked from 1 end to the other end, all the way to Ocean Beach.

Cute squirrel

The Ocean Beach is ok... the waves were huge! Good for surfing, and the interesting thing is cos it's coastal area, the sky above that area was cloudy and foggy, but once I walked further inland, the sunny sky appeared! Cool!

So there ends my small little adventure in SF. Of cos, I did shopping :) 1bag in, 2bags out! Online shopping for the most part.. Next up in Oct - Chicago the wind city!

'EE' is a valid surname!!

Surprise surprise! In my entire life of travelling, I've never had problems with my surname in any sort of bookings (be it flight, hotel or whatever). So imagine my utmost disgust and shockness when my travel agent called moments ago to tell me 'united has problem recognising your surname for flight booking. They dont recognise EE as a valid surname'.

*eyes wide, mouth agape,speechless* what the f***! An internationally known airline, catering to millions of travellers both in usa and asia and tons of other countries and they cannot accept 'EE' as a surname? What abt all the other countires where pple have even weirder surnames?! How can u discriminate against my surname!! What the f*** is so wrong abt a surname w duplicate letters?

Unbelievable! And u call urself an international carrier. What a joke!

Wow, not only can't the americans pronounce my first name, now they're finding fault w my last name! I'm really amazed that my name can bring so much trouble...

My travel agent also very funny, she called to complain and told the UA person that how can they say/do something like that, her surname is from her ancestors, how can you disregard pple's heritage!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fun at Pulau Ubin

Once again, thanks to the fabulous discount deals website, we snagged a good deal for 2hr fish spa+2hr kayaking+fish feeding at Pulau Ubin for $16.80 each.

Bought 4 tickets, and rounded up the gals from HCJC - Sa, Mei Mei, Angeline and I. After much discussion, we finally decided upon a fine saturaday morning to embark on our fun!

The adventure is held at the Celestial Resort at Ubin. There were LOADS of pple there, holding the same discount deal.

As the lagoon was packed (the lagoon is bloody small), we started with the fish spa 1st! You can choose full body (no one chose that) or just let your feet into the water. Of cos, we chose feet spa.

It's my 1st time doing a fish spa and the initial feeling was - Ticklish!! Haha, the moment the fish came to nibble it was like electrical shock! But after a while, and a few deep breathes, you get used to it (at least I did).

The horror look on Sa's face when she felt the fish. She just couldn't bring herself to dip in! Of cos after a very very long time sitting there, she finally relented.

Poor Angeline, she was really feeling weirded out! Look at how horrofic she looked (hands clasped over ears).

The fish were big! I mean u would have thought they were probably small fish, but they were big, like at least 5cm long.

Did I feel like the feet was really well-cleaned out? I think so. WE kinda felt like we had smoother skin..Or is it a psychological effect?

Next up, the kayaking. 2hrs of kayaking, but looking at the size of the lagoon, I think 10mins is more than enough!

I partnered with Mei Mei (good choice Mei Mei) while Sa partnered with Angeline. It was kinda fun kayaking in circles, until the rain poured. And we made a hasty retreat back to land...

Yea, it was kinda fun meeting up with the gals, but frankly, the kayaking is disappointing.... But I would probably try fish spa again..