Category Archives: Travel

Florida Trip -Part 5/5 – Down hill from here

On the final day of our trip, we decided to return to Island of Adventures to see Harry Potter World for the last time.

Oct. 22, 2010 – We got up bright and early as usual to get ready and were out of our room by 6:30am. We decided to check out in the morning, spend the rest of our day out and then head straight to the airport. So at 6:30am, we checked out of our hotel and before eating our morning breakfast buffet there, we dropped off all of our luggage in our car.

As usual, it was dark outside. Right after loading our car up with our stuff, we returned to the hotel….while walking back, a police officer was walking toward us, and just as he was within a few feet in front of us, he yelled “PLEASE GET DOWN ON THE GROUND!”.. in shock, khang and I stared at each other and then notice that the cop went past us..we looked behind us, and literally within 20feet of us were 2 black men, which thuggish looking clothes on… they looked at each other and then RAN. The cop pulled out his gun and his walkie talkie and took off after him…. O___O

Well….we went back to the hotel and got our breakfast…soon after, we headed down the street to pick up some stuff at walgreens, and to our surprise, the area around us was all covered with 8-10 cop cars closing off a 2 mile radius. Awesome.

What a morning right? haha..I never found out what that was all about…but yes..soon after we went back to Orlando Studios and enjoyed our final time there. We hit up The Wizarding World of Harry Potter first of course, got tons of butterbeer, last minute souvenirs and then went on other rides in Island of Adventures that we enjoyed. I will miss you Harry Potter World….

With such an eventful week and already going on all the rides we wanted, we were out of the park by 11am. Our flight didn’t leave until 7:30pm so we still had the whole afternoon. We dropped by the Orlando Premium Outlet mall, which is very similar to the Seattle one..just..better weather? haha..then killed the rest of our time at Downtown Disney again. By 4pm..we were pooped..so we headed to the Airport early..and thank god we did.

Delta Airlines…YOU SUCK. I’ve never been on such a HORRIBLE airline in my entire life (this will be long…warning you).

So we arrived to the airport around 4:30pm and did the self-check in. I tried to pay for one check in at the booth but it didn’t give me my option. When I asked for help about it, they just said go line up..so in counter-lines I went. Khang and I lined up at the first counter and there were a handful of people in front of us. We didn’t know what was going on really, but people kept getting turned away. By the time we got up to the front to check in our luggage, the lady told us that this was for pre-payed customers…..and it ended there. WTH..why wasn’t there a sign? or someone directing ppl? Anyway…so we hopped into a different line..again, with a few ppl in front of us. When it was finally our turn, the lady at the counter walked away. I saw her wandering back and forth and then I heard her saying to another co-worker that she was off work……so..that was it.. we had to find another line. For the next 2 lines we hopped into..the person at the counter kept switching counters by the time we arrived tot he front of the line……..after 45min..we were checked in.

We found out that our flight would be late..so instead of leaving at 7:30pm…we were leaving at 7:50pm…this raised a lot of concern for me since our layover in Atlanta (ATL) was originally suppose to be: arrive in ATL at 9:05pm…depart to Seattle (SEA) by 9:45pm..this meant that with our delay..our flight would come to ATL by 9:25..giving us only 20min until the next airplane took off. When we asked a Delta worker about it..they responded “You at least have to try”………….

So…we of course ..had to try. Our flight landed at ATL at 9:20….the flight was parked by 9:25pm..and we exited the plane by 9:30pm… this meant that our next plane would be leaving in 15minutes. We darted out of the plane and Khang got a head start running off while I looked at the sign to see where our transfer gate was. Delta SUCKS..they don’t have the “technology” to tell you what the transfer gates are while you’re on a plane….wtf? so you have to land and find out. So we landed in gate A20 ..or A30…I can’t remember..and when I read the gate to Seattle it said “T07” …I was horrified! and I didn’t even know where to go! I thought I read it wrong..but we had to just run. So Khang and I ran toward gate T…we stopped really quickly at another board to confirm..and yup.. T07.. we started running at full speed again and then down a set of stairs. T was so far that there was a subway that could take you there….when we got to the subway..the doors JUST closed…you had the choice of running ALL the way around..but since it was only 30seconds until the next train, we waited. We hopped on…quickly got off and took off running again.

We arrived to T07 at 9:40m. 10 solid minutes to get to it. When we got there..the door was shut but there was still a lady there and she told us to hurry. We told her that we were rushing the entire time and she just opened the door and said huurrry hurrry…when we told her that our flight had JUST landed, she responded “everyone else made it.” …BULL SHITTT.. I don’t believe for ONE second that anyone from our flight made it..if there were anyy at all. We were the only people in the airport running..and by the time we were on the plane, there were tons of empty seats in the back..The only positive outcome of this was that, we got a row to ourselves.
Delta. Your service sucks. Worst layover I’ve ever experienced. I sent a complaint to Delta via email and I got a response back really quickly. To my surprise it wasn’t automated and was actually quite polite. You know what they gave us as a “sorry our service sucks”? , they rewarded Khang and I each 4,500 Delta sky miles… effing useless……….Wanna know the best part?  A few days after this whole escapade…I saw this article about American airlines and which was ranked the meanest..guess who took the cake?  Article: America’s meanest airlines

well..in the end..we got back in one piece Anne kindly picked us up. What a day…Delta.. I hate you.

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Florida Trip – Part 4/5: Going to shows

This was one of the more relaxful days =)

Oct. 21st, 2010 – We went to Seaworld! As noted before, I went to Florida before with my family..and on that trip…I vividly remember that  Seaworld was one of my favorite places, and when I came back…I realized that it definitely still is.

When we got in, we darted towards the major rides! We first hit up the Manta. We had be anticipating this ride from the very beginning and damn was it awesome. You ride it superman style! basically, head first and belly down…and wow does that create a completely new sensation when you’re riding rollercoasters and taking twists, turns and going upside-down! I felt like a bird flying =) Afterwards, we hit up the Kraken, a floorless rollercoaster, which my bro and I went on over and over again when we went a few years ago..and it’s definitely still just as amazing!

Well..after hitting up the awesome rollercoasters, we were going to conquer all the big shows! On our way to find them though… we ran into the Dolphin feeding area! and of course, we had to do it =)

Feeding dolpins =D

After feeding the cute dolphins, we hit up 3 shows…one with dolphins, another with walruses, sea lions and otters, and then the shamu one ( one whale had just given birth to a baby only 12 days before we arrived, and we got to see the mommie and calf!). The shows were all cute and the animals were all brilliant. Given.. I was quite hesitant to go to Seaworld after reading the news about Seaworld and finding out that the life of a captive whale is basically half than one in the wild…but..I still had fun? plus, lots of their animals there are ones that they have rescued.

Well..we left by 4pm and took a short nap…but since it was our last full night in Florida..we couldn’t just end it like that! We went to eat at a meat buffet place called Texas De Brazil, which is very similiar to Ipanema Grill, but instead the meat is more pink (awesome!) and if you don’t like how the meat is, you can ask them to cook you a skewer that is more red or even with less salty. Delicious! To burn off some calories after some fine-meat-dining, we played  2 rounds of some intensee……. mini golf at Pirates Cove!

Why don’t we have mini-golf courses like this at home? *sigh*

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Florida Trip: Part 3/5 – More than just theme parks

The last time I went to Florida, I had just finished up 8th grade and went with my mom, dad and bro. Although the trip was fun, I definitely remember a lot of disappointment because we went to the wrong parks. Instead of going to Island of Adventures, we went to Orlando Studios..which lacks rides and is more about shows. And Disney World. It simply sucks. Not only is it expensive, but they divide the park into 4 sections and each one is relatively small, especially in comparison to Island of Adventures and Busch Gardens. Want to visit a Disney park? go to Disney Land!

Although I knew Disney World wouldn’t be as fun, we had to go since Khang had fond memories of it. We chose to go to Hollywood Studios, and to no ones surprise, his childhood dreams were shot down >__< he finally realized he was too old for Disney World lol

Oct. 20th, 2010 – We got up around 7, ate breakfast and then ventured off to Disney World: Hollywood Studios. We first hit up the  Twilight Zone Tower of Terror,which was pretty fun, and then went to get a fast past for Toy Story Midway Mania. since it was such a crazy. Our fast past wasn’t until  12:55-1:55, so we just went around the park until then.

We got to go on the Studio Backlot Tour, check out Journey into Narnia, and roamed the park. To make Hollywood Studios even more lame,  The Star Wars ride was down and the Indiana Jones thing at Disney World wasn’t a ride, but another show. We also killed time watching the Little Mermaid show.. It was cute, but definitely not for us.

Finally! 12:55 hit and we went to the Toy Story Midway Mania ride, which is a interactive ride that allows you to shoot targets. With confidence, when we got on the ride Khang said “get ready to get owned,” but long and behold! I won..BIG time. I was only 10k away from the high score of the day =D

We ended the day by going on the Rock n Roller Coaster. Surprisingly good! I wish it wasn’t as dark as it was though, I hate not expecting turns and having my head jolt back and forth without preparation!

That…was pretty much it though..not much to do. Overall..not a lot to do as Disney World. I don’t think the cost is worth the visit. We were out of Disney world by 2pm, and that’s with us going back and forth in the entire park at least 3-4x…

It was like a childhood memory getting crushed. When we got back, we got a bunch of fliers for stuff to do in Florida and we found Medieval Times. Without must hesitation, Khang got reservations even though I told him we should stay within budget.

Medieval Times  is a dinner and tournament show, and it was AWESOME! When you buy a ticket, you get placed in a section; we got placed in the yellow one, so we hoot-and hollered for the yellow Knight. Our knight was definitely one of the best out there, and I’m totally not being bias.  Dinner consisted of a large piece of tomato soup, garlic bread, roasted chicken, a thing of ribs, half a potato and then an apple turnover. Oh, and no utensils =) this made it hard for photos haha

As for the performance… completely amazing and I love how they get the crowd involved! I heard some people say that this was overpriced and corny, but I found it excellent. It was about $60 a person including tip and tax, with a $10 discount. Not too shabby. This definitely made our Knight 😉

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Florida Trip – Part 2/5: Riding the top rollercoasters

It was only the 2nd full day of our trip and our feet were already feeling the burn.
Oct. 19th, 2010 – We went to Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. It was about 1.5hr away from Orlando, but we had a feeling it would be worth it, and by golly..we had the time of our lives =)

After experiencing Island of Adventures, we had a game plan with all the stuff we had. We brought my little bag in first, with minimal stuff and kept it in the locker. From there, we hit up all the roller coasters in the morning, and in the afternoon, we would go back to our car for food we brought, then pack up khang’s backpack and go to shows and other attractions with my big camera, leaving my bag in the car.

We rode some of the BEST roller coasters Florida had to offer.

Sheikra: the first roller coaster to have a 90-degree vertical drop. I hella didn’t want to do this one..but do I ever get out of anything with Khang? haha it wasn’t AS bad as I thought it would be in the end though.

90 Degrees…down.

– Stanley Galls Flume: a log flume ride that got us drenched

– Tanganyika Tidal Wave: a log ride with a big drop, but in comparison to other rides, quite peaceful haha

Kumba: a roller coaster with a 143ft drop and 7 inversions…SOO fun

Congo River Rapids: a ride that simulates raging whitewater rapids and keeps you in anticipation, as you try not to get soaked..I had to ring out my socks twice after this…so ridiculous.

Montu: is a 150-foot (46 m) steel inverted Bolliger & Mabillard roller coaster with seven inversions.

Gwazi – a dueling wooden roller coaster. Fun but this rattles my head WAY too much..and the thing does not look stable.

Beyond big roller coasters, we also took the Express train around the park and went to a Pirates 4-D show!

That’s not all though!

Feeding the Kangaroos!

Petting the Kangaroos =)

Busch Gardens is more than just rides though, we got to experience playing and feeding adorable Kangaroos and also go on 30-40min Safari Ride called the Serengeti Safari, which put us in a open-truck ride and  we got to feed Giraffes and see a bunch of other animals up close! We had to pay extra for this, but totally worth it. Overall, Busch Gardens was definitely one of the best parks around. We spent the ENTIRE day there, from open to close and didn’t even see everything that we wanted to see. AND! we went off season, so even though there were still tons of people around to have fun, there weren’t any real lines to wait for the roller coasters. Busch Gardens is HUGE and loads of fun. Great for people of all ages! I want to bring my mommie here =)

Of course…our days don’t end with just going to parks though. We left Busch Gardens around 6 and got back to our Hotel around 7:30-8. After we cleaned up, we went out for ice cream at this awesome little place called Twistie Treats near our hotel. The place is great and cheap! Definitely hit up this place if you get a chance.

Right after ice cream, Khang and I went to feed baby alligators and then mini-golfing at Congo River Golf! Mini-golfing in Florida is AWESOME. The courses are HUGE. The only problem is if it’s crowded and there are big groups, because you get stuck waiting.

Still 3 more days to go! I thought I could cram multiple days in 1 post..but…impossible. It’d be way too long. haha

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Florida Trip – Part 1/5: Making the best of my days in Florida

Whew…tiringgg trip..but sooo good. As a present for Khang’s birthday, we went on a trip to Florida and hit up all the hot spots! Our mission: Utilize all the time we had there, check out the major theme parks, and drink up The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Island of Adventures in Universal Studios. And damn..we accomplished just that.

Disney Downtown

Oct. 17th, 2010 – We landed at 4:30pm ish, got our car and found our hotel room by 6ish. After dropping things off, we headed straight to Downtown Disney. Although Khang had been to downtown Disney before, I hadn’t, so I didn’t know what to expect! It was definitely a lot of fun, I love the atmosphere and weather. We roamed around and went into all the neat stores, then ate at Paradiso 37. Decently priced, delicious food and awesome music =) We originally wanted to hit up Quest Disney this day, but by the time we came back to it, there was only an hour left, so we pushed it off and went to get some Ghiradelli ice cream instead.. Mmmm.

Oct. 18th, 2010 – Woke up at 6:00am…completely dark outside. Our place provided a breakfast buffet at 6:30am and we were there at 6:30am sharp! We ate and were quickly off to Orlando Studios: Island of Adventures…particularly, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! With the package I purchased, we got a 2-day pass to Orlando Studios with a 1-hour early admission! We arrived around 7ish, found parking, and stood in line at 7:30, and when the early gates opened at 8, we ran to Harry Potter World. We didn’t know which way to go..but all we had to do was follow the crowd =)

Hogwarts

I LOVE Harry Potter World. They did such an amazing job with everything, from aesthetics, to how everyone dressed, to how the workers acted and insisted on calling us Muggles -___- . The first thing we did was ride  the “Forbidden Journey.” I don’t want to ruin it for everyone, but it was definitely amazing if you’re a fan. Before hopping on the simulator-type ride, you get to walk through the Castle, which is full of things to look at and listen to. For people that are prone to motion-sickness…I’m warning you…this ride might not be for you! Oh! and after some research, I learned that  2 out of 3 of the rides at Harry Potter World are just rides that were converted over from The Lost Continent (another section of Island of Adventures). One was the Dragon Challenge , which was fun but it did make Khang a bit dizzy haha, and the second was the Flight of the Hippogriff…it’s cool because you get to see Hagrids hut…and a hippogriff..but the ride is definitely one for the kiddies. Oh! and check out Ollivanders wand shop! The line is ridiculous..and although the show is SHORT…It’s pretty cute =)

We also got a complimentary breakfast at 3- Broom Sticks with the package too and..man..lemme tell you, it’s awesome to go up to the 3-Broom Sticks and have your name on a special list there haha. And what’s even better..is that we got 2 glasses of butterbeer for free with our breakfast there =D

Butterbeer: Cold version

And at last! details on butterbeer! So Khang and I went to the Island of Adventures twice..once on Monday, and the other on Friday. On the first day there, we got the Cold version..but that’s because that was all that was offered to us. On the final day, they had the frozen kind (slushy-like) and also another Cold one. We both fully agree that the cold one is WAYYY better. Why? The Cold version is like drinking a Coke…and then when you try the Frozen Butterbeer version, it’s like trying the slushy version of Coke..a bit water-downed and no carbonation. Don’t get me wrong, the frozen one is still good! but..overall…Cold Butterbeer FTW!

The only downside…was that Harry Potter World was TINY. From entrance to exit..if I walked without stopping, I could probably walk through it in 5-10minutes… >___< Otherwise though…I love the place =)

Of course, Khang and I ventured off to all of the other portions of Island of Adventures and hit up all of the big rides, like  Incredible Hulk roller coaster, The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man : a 3-D simulator ride,  Doctor Dooms Fearfall, a ride that brings you up high and drops you back down, and Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Fall, similar to Splash Mountain..but..you get…completely SOAKED. The Hulk definitely took the cake on best roller coaster at Island of Adventures. We also dropped by Suess Landing and went on the rides there, and watched a show at The Lost Continent called Poseidon’s Fury.

We left the park near closing and went back to our Hotel to clean up…but of course, the night didn’t end there! We went back to Disney Downtown, and went to Quest Disney, a 4-story arcade that has a bunch of interactive games. If you go at a later time, generally 7:30-8pm and after, it’s half price! Some of the games were loads of fun, like the interactive one with Pirates, the bumper cars that shoot, and the retro arcade section, but overall, your typical giant arcade. We left at closing, after spending about 2-3 hours there, trying to get our moneys worth haha.

…and wait! there’s more! before ending the night, we went to the largest McDonald’s! or so, it claims haha. With a huge menu that has the normal stuff, plus pizza’s, sandwiches, enchiladas, and etc. The second floor doesn’t allow food and is filled with kiddie-arcade games. oohh yea, the management here SUCKS. They don’t know what the heck they’re doing and the customer service is poor. The manager forgot to give us our food and blamed us for leaving…when we were at the counter the entire time. FU Mr. Mcdonalds manager. You suck at your job!

Whew…and that was only our first full day.

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Trip to Victoria, BC

Whoot! just came back from an overnight trip from Victoria, BC with Khang. Overall, a trip well spent =) We took the Victoria Clipper there and stayed at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort and Spa, which provided the friendlies service I could have ask for.

Our hotel. We had to cross the bridge to get to it.

Our room! Although I was super excited about how nice it was..Khang was disappointed.. -___-

We had a HUGEEE balcony with the view of the downtown.

Bruce dropped us off to catch the clipper and we got there right on time to board. The ride there..was ROCKY….. I generally don’t get motion sickness..EVER…the only other time I got motion sickness was when I was in Mexico and was recovering from a night out of drinking/clubbing..and the next morning..we hopped onto a small boat tour bright and early..otherwise…Motion sickness is beyond me..kinda like getting a sun burn 😉 Anyway….the ride was rockier than usual according to the crew and other ppl on board with us. TONS of people got sick… >___<

We got to Victoria on a good time! there was a Blues Festival with stands out for food, the weather was warm, there was a day market, arts festival. and etc etc.
Places we visited:

Pacific Undersea Garden <– WASTE OF MONEY…it’s like..a ton of rock fish…and…1 octopus… and about $12 a person… wth?

This is seriously all you see….there is a tiny 15min show that that introduces different rock fishes and an octopus..but literally..this is it..

Royal BC Museum <– great! typical museum with lots to look at. We also saw: The Ultimate Wave: Tahiti at the Imax there..and it was interesting but i fell asleep like 4 times…at least…

I saw this while walking around downtown……haha jk…the exhibits were awesome!

The 90’s

Craigdarroch Castle <– after 2 tries  on 2 different days of trying to find this place on foot with no map..we finally made it after almost 2 miles of hopeful walking in the rain.. It was definitely worth the visit and to learn the history of it

We made it! This castle is in the middle of the neighborhood. Can you imagine being the neighbor??

I asked Khang to carry my camera bag while I carried the camera since we had walked so far and it was getting heavy…this is his reaction…

We hit up a bunch of good eats too:

Canada candies!

Wharfside Eatery and Deck: Although if you look online..it didn’t get very good reviews..I actually loved it! the food was delicious, I like how the place looks, and the service is super nice =) a bit pricey..but it was basically what we expected.

Khang got the Lobster and steak…he devoured it all.

Frank’s Honeybun Cafe: a small restaurant that does a fusion of American and Chinese for cheap. The lady in there is kinda and works wayyyy too hard. She was handling the front all by herself and also doing some stuff in the back to help the cook out. Simple, cheap and good food.

Nautical Nellies: Deliciouss! the service was amazing and the food (especially the fish and chips) was to die for. This is definitely a place to hit up if you ever go to Victoria. They’re also Ocean Wise!

The ride back was peaceful luckily. Overall…an awesome trip with good sites and eats… besides the rain on Monday that kinda dragged us down.

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To the Aquarium!

Overall a good day I’d say. Yesterday, Khang, Whitney and I decided to make a trip to Canada. Our main objectives: the Vancouver Aquarium and food. And damn…did we accomplish it.

We started our morning with a Mcdonald’s breakfast and were on our short trip to Canada. We made it there in good time too, and the best part while we were there was that we were never ever lost =D yay. If you go to Canada…it’s always about quality food right? Especially Asian cuisine, so our first dining spot was getting some DimSum at Dai Tung! It’s one of my favorite places to get DimSum but I’ll have to admit…it wasn’t very good this time. I usually enjoy the food and service a TON more but it just wasn’t cracking today. The food wasn’t up to par and the service was just lacking…o well, at least it wasn’t HORRID. Afterwards, we made our way to Chinatown to pick up pastries and some meats for my mom. Typical Canada trip no?


Soon after, we did the tourist thing and went to the Vancouver Aquarium to enjoy the marine wild life. We had some awesome timing too. We caught the 4-d showing, which was awesome besides the aggressive plastic rod that jabbed us, and then immediately after got to see the dolphin show.

On our way out of Vancouver, we hunted down the infamous  Japadog...a what? I said it! a Japadog! It’s a hot dog with Japanese influence! We found the place pretty easily..just parking sucked..but even the cute little ladies that sold them were native Japanese =D

The rest of our trip was spent at Metro Town mall browsing and purchasing a few goodies. On our way home, we were going to eat in Canada but took a wrong turn.. since it was already late and we were heading the direction of home…we drove home and ate at BCD. Altogether though…another awesome trip to Canada for me.

Next time, we’re going to enjoy the fine Stanley park weather with our bikes, scooters and blades =D

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