While we left the east coast wanting for more, we were also ready for our next adventure stop: California.
We already had a taste of sunny California as we spent two days in Los Angeles before flying to New York. We had time to go around Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive and Santa Monica Pier. We also checked out the Hollywood Wax Museum, Ripley’s “Believe or Not” and Guiness Museum.
We flew back to LA right in time for Game 6 of the LA Clippers and Oklahoma Thunder. If there was anything that F looked forward to in this trip, it was to watch an NBA game live. In fact, when we were getting our visas, this was what F told the consul when the latter asked why he wanted to go to the States. That being said, we really couldn’t pass up on this opportunity. But since it was the playoffs, the ticket prices were triple (or was it quadruple?!) the regular season tickets! So as it went, F saw the game with his dad while I stayed home with S, who was just happy to stay home, watch some TV and rest.
The next day, we took a road trip to San Francisco to visit other relatives of hubby, N. We reached the Bay Area around 2pm and headed straight to the Fisherman’s Wharf for lunch. Once we got settled in our booth at Joe’s Crab Shack, the two buckets of crabs and shrimps didn’t stand a chance.
We walked off our big lunch around the Marina area where we had a nice view of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. The kids had some time to play at the nearby park before we headed off to meet N‘s cousin, Mayette. We met at Off the Grid in Fort Mason where they had about 35 food trucks convene in one location. There were all sorts of food, drinks and desserts, we didn’t know where to begin! In the end, F & S got chicken barbecue, N got this super yummy Korean beef rice burger and I got paella. We wanted to stay longer and check out the other food trucks but it was getting too cold for comfort so we decided to call it a day.
We spent the following day exploring San Francisco’s must-sees. We walked to Union Square and the kids were thrilled to see Manila being mentioned in the monument dedicated to Admiral George Dewey for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay. The cold weather got the kids craving for hot chocolate so we went in a Ghirardelli store to get some but they quickly changed their mind and ordered ice cream instead 🙂 We also rode the famous cable car and drove to Lombard Street to see the crookedest street in the world.
Lunch was at the Ferry Building Marketplace where they had all kinds of food offerings – from organic veggies to freshly-harvested fruits, from artisan cheeses to gourmet sandwiches and coffee. It was food paradise, if you ask me! N & I loved the vibe of the place so we decided to stay longer and had coffee and pastries while we catch up with N‘s cousins.
We only had a week left in our vacation as we headed back to our base (LA) that Sunday. This was already reserved for the kids’ main event: theme parks! Even before we left for this trip, we knew that there were just too many theme parks and attractions for our allotted time (and budget) to accommodate. So, after careful consideration, we trimmed it down to four: Universal Studios, Legoland, Disneyland and California Adventure.
We spent one full day in each of these parks and needless to say, we all enjoyed every minute of it! We probably took hundreds of pictures in these last four days and I’d be happy to share some of them with you.
Our first trip to the U.S. is really something for the books! We know that we’ve barely scratched the surface of the list of things to do and places to see but we all had a wonderful time. We are grateful to our family and friends who generously opened their homes to us, took the time to meet up with us, showed us around and bonded with us. N & I know that the memories that we made during this trip are priceless and is something that our family will cherish and remember.