Thursday, December 30, 2010

San Diego

Last day in California was quite of a rush, we needed to drive from LA to SD in the morning, take some time off there and drive back to LA in the afternoon just not to miss the flights home from LAX, though some of us did miss after all.
Traffic in LA is terrible, if not worse than NYC. Every hour is virtually rush hour, and since it's so big a city, no matter where you go, you might want to consider a 10 to 30 mins' delay depending on where your destination is. We were clever enough to pull traffic layer out on Google Maps so as to avoid those sections marked yellow and red. Once you are out of LA, road is all yours!
First time to set my feet on a real air carrier in San Diego. The carrier is so huge, we spent 2 hours in the lower decks and when we finally made it to the top deck, only to find a long long line waiting to board the carrier bridge. So had to quit and rush to airport.

Also the first time to get involved in a rear-end collision, not by my fault. Miraculously, though the sound when the collision happened makes me think it's gonna leave a huge dent and scratches on the bump, the rental car survived without even a scratch! Gelievable!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Malibu State Beach

We've made a very wise decision to drive to Santa Barbara via US1 road, it's built along the coastline so as you are driving, you get to appreciate the beauty of the ocean, the Pacific. Malibu State Beach is just one of the places one must stop by along the way.

Lots of rich people live there, so on one side is the great ocean, on the other side on the hill, it's luxurious houses and villas. This is exactly when one would wish to work very hard and make a fortune!

Santa Barbara

Photos by 360 Panorama on iPhone from Superior Court

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Zion National Park

Breathtaking scenery with water falls, mountains, ice, fog and bushes in Zion National Park. It's about three hours drive from Las Vegas crossing Arizona and into Utah. Though it's a short drive inside the border of Arizona, it's not an easy drive. There's this 10 miles' zigzag shaped highway that gives me goose bumps even now I'm thinking about it. It's completely in the mountain, so a lot of frequent sharp turns while on high speed, especially dangerous in the night.
As it gets closer to Zion, you'll start to appreciate the grandeur of nature, be thrilled by the scene and completely forget about all the adventures along the highway.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Las Vegas

Having heard so much about the city on desert, about its gambling business, strip clubs, and how every new couple gets married there, it has never occurred to me that my first visit to this city is primarily for a concert of a super Hong Kong star, Eason Chan.

Typically, anyone who visits Las Vegas would choose to stay in one of these luxurious hotels along Las Vegas Boulevard, spend hours in line waiting for a spot in one of these fancy restaurants for lunch buffet, and then play slot machine in one of splendid casinos, having a foot massage or a spa possibly along the way, and enjoy in one of these gorgeous show arenas one or several strip shows in the night. None of these happened to me in Las Vegas.

So I stayed in a Holiday Inn far off the strip, went to one state park and one national park during the day, and had every meal in Chinatown, spent the night wandering around the strip, watched a Chinese concert in a seat where even the screen looks blurry, took a bold step to the top of Stratosphere tower for three insane rides, which scared the hell out of me and some other kids going with me!

Being special feels so extraordinary!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Valley of Fire

Valley of fire is Nevada's oldest state park just one and a half hours drive to the north of Las Vegas. It gets its name from red sandstone formations. So you are driving and driving, bored by those normal treeless grey hills along I15, but all of a sudden, the the stones and rocks turn red, it's just going from one world to another, except that the other world makes you so exciting.
The other thing about Valley of Fire is petroglyphs just as the one in the photo. It's said that some sort of ancient people used to farm here, and they communicate by these kind of symbols. Well, of course now it's considered rock art open to all tourists.