Tag: vacation

Journal Entry – 10312018 – London Trip

Journal Entry – 10312018 – London Trip

Stef and I went to the United Kingdom for vacation and we stayed for most of the time in London. For me, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in London and would consider going back again! I enjoyed using the public transportation system in the United Kingdom as it’s straightforward and reasonably priced. The weather was lovely at times, although it did rain here and there, it did not get too hot as I’m the type of person who does not like the heat so much. All so, enjoyed learning about the history of the United Kingdom and London.

The plane ride from SFO to LHR took about nine hours with Virgin Atlantic. I’ve been in a few economy class seats, but Virgin Atlantic was the most uncomfortable I’ve been in. There’s no real padding on the seat. much less, the seat makes me feel claustrophobic and uncomfortable(Virgin Atlantic, if you’re reading this, you need to invest in more comfortable seats! …. Just saying). The food on the plane is “Ok” at best, but it did fill me up. The flight offers WIFI service and considering that the plane has to use satellite service, the internet service is not too bad. Moreover, I notice that the airline WIFI partners are from other different carriers in the EU. All so, I saw EU versions of T-mobile like T-mobile Poland and T-mobile Germany? Is T-mobile global!?! Anyways, Under economy class seats, I notice that they have international power outlets, and I notice that it was pretty difficult for me to find it, much less see it due to the tight spacing. I had to feel around for the plugin with hands in order to find the correct position to plug in my laptop on. In addition, that outlet is pretty flimsy. The plug on my laptop kept falling out.

I stayed in the Hilton London Bankside hotel. The hotel was nice, comforting, and the staff were quite nice and helpful. The room offers complimentary soda and water. The bed smells clean and fresh. Which I like because I do not want to sleep on a dirty mattress and sheets. The tables and bathroom were clean as well. In the bathroom, their have the little bar of soap, little bottles of conditioner and shampoo. Besides the normal set of towels they have for the guess, They even offer bathrobes as well. The hotel offers a restaurant and bar that is next to the main lobby. I’ve only does breakfast at the restaurant where I got a “Full English breakfast” and super good. Oh, in the restaurant they offer tea and milk for free! All so, at the hotel, they offer complementary blue cheese to us one day, white wine on another, and a small cake for their guest. I have not tried the cake, but the blue cheese was all right.

Stef and I did a few tours together in and outside London. The Harry Potter tour we went on was super awesome! I got to see the behind the scenes of how Harry Potter the movie was made. Stef and I were amazed by how awesome the tour was. I got to see the great hall, the moving staircase, models of the town, and Hogwarts Castle. Oh, they even have the train that goes to Hogwarts and you’ll be able to go inside and see the passenger car that Harry, Hermione, and Ron would stay in for each movie. We did a food tour with a group of people in The Borough Market and it was well worth it. I got to try a lot of great food that London had to offer. I did like the blue cheese, although I discover on a food tour I like this blue cheese called “Stilton blue cheese” (soooo good!!) Stef and I went to Stonehenge and the city of Bath. It was pretty amazing! For Stonehenge as they offer an audio guide about the different spots, theories, and how people lived near Stonehenge. The city of Bath, we walked around and checked out the Roman bathhouse and Bath Abby. In the Roman bathhouse, it had a lot of signs and videos show what parts of the bathhouses were used for along the history of the bathhouse. Bath Abby is a church with gothic design and nice stain glass artwork.

During my stay in London Stef and I got to check out the Ice bar where there is a room mostly made of Ice. They serve you drinks in a large shot glass made of ice. The decor is made out of ice with neo lighting. Though we could not stay in the room too long as the bar only allows a person to be in there for 45 mins max. It seems that most of the shops and restaurants accept contactless payments which were super cool! The hotel gave us a bottom of white wine and I decided to take it home with me. Not sure what to do with it, besides save it if anything else, Christmas gift!?!?! Overall Stef and I enjoyed the trip together in London, and even though I touched on a few things briefly here, I will be more posts talking about more in detail about the different places that we visited.

Journal Entry – 05062018 – NY Trip!

Journal Entry – 05062018 – NY Trip!

I’ve never been to New York and I though it would be a good trip. To go see central park, Statue of liberty, and try a New York style hot dog. I asked Stef if she would be interested in coming along with me to New York, and she agree to come with me. The time that I plan for this trip was when I got laid off from my previous employer. So fast forward a bit to when I got hired at another company, My 90 day plan ends when I get back from my trip, But I felt that it was well deserved at the end of my 90 day as I did so much work in a short amount of time.

At the being of my trip, flying from SFO to JFK using JetBlue. My flight was five hours long. They offer free checked in luggage so I checked my luggage in. There was plenty of leg room and service was not too bad. They did offer free wifi! which was nice, which was nice as I was to browse though some of my goto sites, use wifi calling, and to some extent, stream Hulu shows like Silicon Valley. I really could not sleep on the plane though as sleeping upright is uncomfortable to me. I did get beer on the flight and a bottle of water, but when it came down to get food on the plane, they ran out of everything by the time they got to me. Although they were nice enough for them to not charge me for my beer and water.

The next day. Going though the Hudson river in a fairy, I arrive on Liberty Island were the Statue of Liberty is on. Seeing the statue in person is truly amazing and even standing in-front of it and realizing the size of it. There is a museum on the island that shows the history, and how was the statue made. It the museum showed the history of the statue, the iterations of the torch, its moldings, and repairs the status had it gone though.

Stef and I saw Avenue Q. I really enjoyed the show. The songs where catchy, it had good humor, and the play was very well put together. The theater, New World Stage, was really cool to go as it has many draws on its wall of famous people. For example, Leonard Nimoy, Alfred Hitchcock, and John Lennon just named a few. In addition, at the end of the play they were selling shirts that says:

Donald Trump is only for now!

Which I bought as tomorrow in head toward the Trump Towner. After the show, we went to Serendipity and tried their frozen hot chocolate. After try the desert, it was not my cup tea as it has this granny taste to it.

The next day, We went to the Ess-a Bagel. The bagels that place serves were really tasty. They were fresh and homemade. After eating a bagel, I did not get that heavy feeling inside of your stomach after eating a bagel that you would get from one that is store-bought. I got to try a Black and White Cookie for the restaurant as well. That moist spongy tasty cookie was awesome to have. After the bagel restaurant, we walk to 725 5th Ave. Where I had my T-shirt from the New World Stage theater and gone ahead to take a picture of myself while giving the bird to the current president. There were two people in-front of the Tower, One was the Pro and the other was against. I tried to have a logical argument with the Pro Trump Supporter, but he was ether dismissive in what I have to say, or defensive when I question is motives or ideals. The person who was against the current president was seem opened and having fun protesting. After that, we walked to the M&M World. In side, There I found so many flavors of M&Ms Like Mint, peanut brittle, regular, and Raspberry. For dinner, we went a restaurant called Raclette. Where the waiters serve you melted cheese on to your main course. It was really good! I got a steak with potatoes, and with hot cheese poured on top, it was just awesome!

The last day, I walked from the Brooklyn Bridge, to Central Park, and to the Wall Street bull, where they were impressive to see and though my journey I got see some great street performers putting on a show for people who were walking on by. It was nice to see people carry around their instruments around in the city as well, As it inspires me to continue to practice playing. And, who know, maybe one day I’ll come back to New York with my cello and play in the subway system or in Central Park while enjoying the moment. Using the New York subway system was pretty convent and cheap to get around the city. I normally have to wait between ten to fifteen minutes for a train to arrive a stop that I am at. The only issue that I have with the New York subway system, is that it get very confusing for someone who is not familiar with. The hotdogs that are sold on the street corner venders in New York are quite tasty to eat and filling.

Journal Entry – 01282018

Journal Entry – 01282018

The main property

I went to the Land of Medicine Buddha in the mountains of Santa Cruz in December 10th. I plan this a while ago, to relax, slow down, clear/refocus my mind, and get away from civilization for a change. It’s really nice as I got a Yurt, breakfast, and lunch. I guess you can say in glam-ping! I got here on Sunday. I walked around the main part of the property and I saw they have a sauna, hot tub, and pool. There are Buddha status throughout the property and I notice on that they are on the side of the trail along with wind chimes which was quite relaxing. On the top of the mountain, There is a template, that is very spacious with a very large Buddha statue in the middle of the building at the top of the mountain.

I hiked a few of the different trails on the property. I hiked to the other side of the property to get to the other Yurts.. I looked around and it looked vacant. I found out later, that they were unavailable during the winter expect for yurt 8. There is a heater and a bed warmer which help me sleep though the cold night. Although I had a few nights were a small animal was breaking into my Yurt and eating my food that I had. Later on, I found out that it was a skunk that was breaking into my Yurt. I’m just glad I did not get spread on! Near the Yurt there is a bathroom with a shower. It was not too bad as it provided enough for me to brush my teeth and a hot shower when I need to.

The trails where nice. I spend a good amount of time hiking up and down the mountain and exploring. The trails can really give you a good workout. But, I think it was worth it. Breathing in the fresh air, feeling breeze go though you, feeling the ground beneath you, and hearing the different sounds from the forest. I did notice that there is a mountain lion in the area. I notice the lion growling at me as I was walk though a trail. I did not even see it, but I did hear it.

I Remembered Stef telling me that she lived in Santa Cruz and offered to show me around. I took her up on her offer and we were off! We went to the warf and saw Sea otters, we went to the beach, and gone to downtown Santa Cruz. In addition, also Stef recommended a few places as well.Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceria is a place where you can get sandwiches and already made meals. Mission St BBQ serves BBQ which is pretty good! And, Betty Burgers is pretty good as well!

I did some meditation, Qi Gong, thinking, and Dharma Program about illusion. The programs were fun and interesting to part take in. The monks were pleasant to talk to and helpful. It definitively gave me something to think about more about the teachings of Buddha. In addition, brought my cello with me and started to work on the next piece Ave Maria by Franz Schubert. Which I’m glad I brought it, being able to play in a different setting such as a forest was quite nice to do.

Journal Entry – 08262017

Journal Entry – 08262017

For this whole week, I was in Ireland, it was an interesting vacation. I had a lot of fun, meet new people and saw wondrous things that Ireland had to offer during my stay there. Our vacation started on Sunday August 20th. Cass and I made it to the airport and we got to check out the Delta business lounge.

It was morning, and I got my self a beer. Ballistic IPA.

Picture of the bar area. On the left is Cass.

It was nice, it was quite, and offer some items of food that you can eat. For example, fruit, bread, and cereal. They even offered a full bar were you can get your drinks. After spending some time in the lounge, we left as our time to board our plane for our first leg to Ireland which was from SFO to JFK. We were served lunch which was good and we got free drinks and amenities from our flight on Delta. Once we got to JFK, we had to get to our flight within ten minutes. luckily, it was only few gates away from us to the flights to JFK to DUB.

We got into Dublin airport around the afternoon, and we had a disagreement between her and I about transportation that we will need to get around the city. I had bought two bus passes so that we can go from the airport to the city center and back. In addition, wanted to buy a visitor card so that we can leverage the public transportation system and not spend so much on money. I manage to convince her that we already had the passes for the bus and we windup skipping getting the leap card. Understand that she stressing out, on trying to get to our destination and I was like that as well. We sat at the bar, waiting for our room to be ready, relax, while drinking beer and having a great time. Later on that evening we tried to sleep, but the jet lag was affecting us, so we did not get very much sleep at all.

So Tuesday came around and it was Cass and I Connemara & Galway Bay Tour. We got on the train for a two hours train ride. It was nice train ride as we got see the beautiful landscape across Ireland. The train, even offered food and beverage on board as well!

Kylemore Abbey. Lovely Castle!

A small but nice town in Galway.

A muscle farm!

Next the Kylemore Abbey Castle, There is a garden that was taken care of by nuns. The garden was amazing.

For dinner, Cas and I went to a bar called Garveys Inn. I remember ordering Fish ‘n Chips, and it was amazing! The food taste fresh, it was crunchy and the fish sticks them selves were huge! It’s definitely one of my top favorite. Although on the way back our train got delayed for an hour. But, it was nice as they compensate us with free food and drinks. Also, our tour tour guide gave us shot of Whiskey(Awesome!)

So Wednesday rolled around and our Guinness and Whiskey tour got moved to Friday. Later that evening Cas and I head down to Bray to meet her friend. Let’s call her L. On the way to Bray we took a train, which by the way the train broke down on us again. The last car was smoking and had to get off the train and wait for another one. I did see sparks coming from the bottom of the last car as it was smoking again. We finally got to meet L and we were hanging out at her place. She a lovely and passionate girl who is fascinating to talk to. L made curry with rice and it was delicious. We talked and drank wine and enjoying the conversation we were having. I wind up drinking way too much to the point were Cass and I were plaster. Cass and I spend the night at L place were the floor was well nice a comfy. When I woke up, man!, I was fubar(My acronym: Fucked Up Beyond all remembering)! So Cass and I stayed in our hotel recovering. I felt really bad for Cass as she had to watch over me, explicitly since it meant with had to miss one of our tours. 🙁 We did how ever got to see the Dublin Castle and learn about the history of the Castle as well!

What Dublin Castle looked like, Awesome!

The Church inside of the Castle, along the walls are royal coat of arms that ruled Ireland.

The group of men on the wall, are people who rebel against Britain.

St. Patrick’s Hall.

Ceiling paintings at St Patrick’s Hall

Friday has can around, and Cass and I went to the Whiskey and Guinness Tour. It was fun! Cass and I tried different whiskey and we find that we liked Powers and Tullamore Dew. We learned about the history of whiskey and I leaned that Uisce Beatha means the water of life! After words, we headed to the Guinness Brewery. I got to drink Their IPA version, and Stout!

The 9000 year lease the Guinness Signed.


Viking Artifacts found in Dublin!

This the first place where Handel first played the Messiah.

This is where part of the Viking Wall used to stand.

Guinness 360 degree room!

After the tour, we went to a fancy restaurant called Boxie. The food the place serve was really good!

The corn beef was awsome!



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