Category Archives: USA

California Adventure

Ivan and I woke up at 7 am on January 21, 2013.  We left the hotel at 7:40 am and started walking to California Adventure.

We went on lots of ride at California Adventure.  Ivan and I use the Fast Pass and it’s great not waiting very long for rides.  We rode the big ferris wheel (the moving carriage!), Soarin’ Over California and other cool rides.

We walked to Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney.  Keith and Thresa, who we met on our Alaskan cruise, met us there.  We started off with some cheesy garlic bread.  Ivan had a seafood salad while I had the pasta jambalaya with chicken, sausage and shrimp.  The food was tasty.  It was sooo great catching up with Keith and Thresa.  I totally forgot to get a picture of all of us though.  Next time!!

We went back to California Adventure to go on more rides.  We saw the parade with Pixar characters.

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Later, we met up with my old friend Jerry and his girlfriend Denise.  It was great to see him and meet his girlfriend.  We all had pasta for dinner.

We checked out the Mad T Party. 

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The bar had a cool table hanging down from it.  There was red lights on in this area and flashing drinks.  Ivan and I each got a flashing drink. 

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Ivan and I watched the Mad T band with Alice while Jerry and Denise went on a ride. 

We had a fast pass for Tower of Terrors, so we said we’d meet up with Jerry and Denise later.  The Tower of Terrors was lots of fun.  It was my first time riding this ride, but I’ve been on the one at Disney World.  It’s scary because you’re not sure if you’re going to fall or go back up.

We met up with Jerry and Denise at California Screamin’ and rode the fun rollercoaster.  It was cool riding it at night with all the lights on.

Ivan and I were trying to convince Jerry and Denise to watch the World of Color water show with us, but they said they were headed home. 

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We said good-bye and headed to the area for ticket holders – we got the tickets earlier in the day. 

The World of Color show is amazing with lots of Disney cartoons shown on the fountains with lots of lights as well. 

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It’s really worth checking it out.

After the show, we rushed to Toy Story and it was really quiet – we rode it twice in a row and then it was closed.  The park was closed so we walked back to the hotel.  It was a really fun day filled with rides, Disney characters and friends.

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Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Ivan and I were up at 4 am on January 20, 2013 for the half marathon.  Ivan ate oatmeal and we both got ready.

We left the hotel early and walked to the start of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon.  Ivan didn’t think it was that cold so he took off his long sleeve shirt.  He would definitely warm up while running.

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Ivan left to join Group B which would start a few minutes after Group A started.  I left him at 5:10 am and started walking towards Downtown Disney.

It was cold for me since I wasn’t running, but I’m glad I had my big jacket.

I waited in between the entrances of California Adventure and Disneyland for Ivan to run by.  I wasn’t sure what time he started.  I was signed up to get the text race updates on the phone. 

I saw Ivan later on and yelled at him.  He waved and ran on his way into Disneyland. 

I got a text message about Ivan’s progress.  I went to find the entrance into Disneyland but nobody knew where it was.  I went to the wrong side.. I headed to the left side where the Disneyland entrance is and walked inside.  It was weird seeing Main Street so quiet.  I saw Mary Poppins and chimney sweepers there.  I walked farther along the street and saw Tinkerbell. 

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Then, I saw the Disney Castle. 

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Ivan ran through California Adventure after Disneyland and then through historic Anaheim which he thought was lovely.

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I waited a few minutes in the VIP area which didn’t have any seats.  I didn’t see Ivan so I figured I missed him.  So, I thought I should head to the finish line.

It was a lot warmer now then earlier since the sun was out.   I walked to the finish line and sat down on the VIP bleachers seating area.  I ate a banana and made banana and peanut butter sandwiches for Ivan.  Ivan wanted to do 2 hours and it was 2 hours already, so I thought he would be by soon. 

I kept a look out for him.  A few minutes later, I saw Ivan and cheered him on.  I walked to find Ivan. 

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I congratulated him and saw his cool Tinkerbell medal.  He told me it was really cool running through Disneyland and California Adventure in the dark with just the runners.  There were also bands playing and lots of Disney characters.  He stopped along the marathon route to use the toilet.  But, he said the longest lines were the people who wanted to take pictures with the characters.

Ivan’s time was 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

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I was so very proud of him!

We walked back to the hotel to rest for awhile.  Ivan was thinking of taking a nap, but he ended up relaxing while he used the internet.

We walked to Bubba Gump for lunch.  Ivan and I shared salmon and a Cajun mahi mahi with grilled shrimp on top.

It was time for more relaxing in the hotel.

I drove us to Fashion Island where we checked out the home furnishings stores.  Ivan and I both liked the cool Room Service store. 

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I drove us back to the Red Lion Hotel.

That night, we walked next door for dinner at IHOP.  Ivan had a spinach, mushroom and onion omelette while I had a vegetarian omelette.

It was an early night for us since we were both knackered (tired).

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Anaheim

Ivan and I were up at 7 am on January 19, 2013.  We had breakfast at the house.  Lil Dave didn’t want to join us our trip since he wanted to spend time with his dad and his cousin Swedish Dave. 

We grabbed our suitcase and left at 8 am headed from Las Vegas, Nevada to Anaheim, California.  Ivan is going to be doing Disney’s Tinkerbell Half Marathon.  I drove us for four hours.  We checked in to the Red Lion Hotel which is right near Disneyland.

Ivan and I walked around to find a restaurant for lunch.  Ivan wanted to load up on carbs for the race tomorrow so he found pasta on the California Pizza Kitchen menu.  I got a great vegetarian pizza with whole wheat crust.  Ivan had a salad and a Kung Pao spaghetti dish.  The food was great.

Later that afternoon, we walked to the Disneyland Hotel Exhibit Hall where Ivan had to pick up his packet for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon.  I went in line to get my stuff for the Chear Squad.  I got VIP which included a Disneyland pass (for either park), a Mickey clapper, blanket and anChear Squad shirt.  I will also get to go in the VIP area. 

After we walked around the Weekend Health Expo and grabbed some free Luna bars. 

Ivan wanted to walk around Downtown Disney.  He thinks it’s better than the Downtown Disney in Orlando which I agree.  It’s always cool to check out the LEGO Store in Downtown Disney since there are huge characters outside and in the store.  I really liked the Aladdin, Jasmine and the Genie hanging from the ceiling.

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We walked back to the hotel.  Ivan and I used the internet while we watched tv. 

We wanted to go to Bubba Gump for dinner, but decided against it since we were too tired to walk a lot.  We walked to IHOP which is right next to the hotel.  Ivan had the tilapia while I had a tasty grilled chicken sandwich.

We came back to the hotel and called it an early night.  We’ve been sleeping early to get used to waking up early for the half marathon.

Source: Aladdin LEGO picture

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Back to Vegas

On January 13, 2013, we had breakfast at El Cardenal in our hotel.  A guy asked if we wanted hot chocolate and we said yes and he started stirring the hot chocolate in the pot.  It was really tasty.

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Ivan got the Escamoles omelette – an omelette with ant eggs.  I had an omelette stuffed with zucchini flowers and mushrooms.  Lil Dave got a banana oatmeal with more bananas on top.  The food was very tasty.  We were charged for the hot chocolate – the guy should have told us that before serving it to us.

We got a taxi to the airport at 11:10 am.  Ivan and I checked in and went through Security.  We sat down at a gate that was a waiting area until the gate was announced.

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Ivan used the internet and I worked on the blog.  The flight was supposed to leave at 2:18 pm, but it kept getting delayed.

The plane ended up leaving at 4 pm.  We arrived at 5:15 pm in Las Vegas.  My mom picked us up and took us to our house.  It was great to be back home. 

There’s more to our trip.. we’ll be going to Anaheim for Disney’s Tinkerbell Marathon in 5 days.

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Family Flags

On October 19, 2012, Ivan and I looked up and it was pouring outside.  Good thing it wasn’t like this yesterday or we wouldn’t have gone on the walking tour.

Ivan drove us really slooowly to Jersey City, New Jersey.

We met up with my Auntie Belle and my cousin Karl at Saigon Café.  I ordered the seafood udon soup while Ivan had sautéed vegetables.   We chatted about life and traveling. 

For dessert, we drove to Red Ribbon. 

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Auntie Belle and Karl had halo-halo which is a sweet Filipino dessert.  Ivan and I shared a good slice of chocolate cake.

The rain had stopped which was good since we were heading to a theme park later.

We checked in to the Red Roof Inn in Secaucus nearby.  We sorted out our backpacks since we’ll be going to South America soon – so we need to lighten our load.

Ivan drove us to Six Flags Great Adventure.  Fright Fest was also going on – we saw lots of clowns and ghouls scaring people. 

Our first stop was Kingda Ka which is the highest rollercoaster in the world. 

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It was so fun that we rode it twice in a row.  It goes from 0 to 135 mph in 3.5 seconds.

We rode El Toro next which is a wooden rollercoaster with the highest drop.  It’s like riding a bull since you go up and down in your seat.

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The Fright Fest events are extra, so we didn’t end up doing any of the terror trails.  We did see one of the scary shows Bad Bob the Bone Butcher which was good.  It was funny when they started dancing the Gangnam Style dance.

Ivan and I checked out the rollercoaster Bizarro which was good, but the music didn’t make sense.

We really enjoyed all the rollercoasters at Six Flags.  It was good that it rained earlier in the day.  Ivan thinks a lot of people thought it would rain so they didn’t come to the park.  It was pretty quiet with our longest wait being 10 minutes for the cable car.

Source: Kingda Ka photo

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Philly Cross

On October 18, 2012, we went on the 9th Street Italian Market Tour.  Our guide was Bob.  Ivan and I were on the tour with two older people.

We went all around the Italian market.  Bob didn’t seem too much.  We got to try gelato at Anthony’s Gelato.  Ivan and I also tried a chocolate covered potato chip.

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We stopped at Fante’s Kitchen Store and Di Bruno Bros. where we tried a nice cheese spread and parmesian reggiano with a balsamic vinegar.  I wouldn’t recommend this tour. 

The tour stopped near Geno’s and Pat’s which are THE places to get a Philly cheesesteak. 

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Ivan and I thought that I should try the original.  I had a Philly cheesesteak at Pat’s while Ivan had a crab cake sandwich.  The Philly cheesesteak tasted good.

Later, we did a wonderful Free and Friendly walking tour.  The guide Mike was very interesting.  We walked around City Hall and saw the organ at Macy’s.

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There was a short break at the Reading Terminal Market. 

The group stopped at Friends Center which is run by the Quakers.

Our last stop on the tour was Love Park. 

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The water in the fountain was dyed blue for fallen police officers.  You should do this great tour. 

That night, we went to Hummus.  We each got a hummus, chickpea and avocado salad to go.

We ate our salad during the Alex Cross movie.  The movie was alright.

 

 

 

 

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Tofu House

Ivan and I woke up on October 17, 2012 and had a good night’s sleep for once.  We had breakfast at the Airbnb house and then left.

We used the free wi-fi at McDonald’s.

Our next stop was the Visionary Arts Museum. 

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It was a small museum with art, some were good while others were ok. 

We had lunch at Mr. Rain’s Fun House.  Ivan and I each got the set menu.  We had potato and leek soup and an apple and walnut salad for a starter.  A veggie sandwich was our main course.  We got the desserts to go.

At 2:25 pm, we started driving towards Pennsylvania.  We passed through Delaware and arrived in Philadelphia at 4 pm.

We were staying with a place that we booked through Airbnb.  We met Gavin and his girlfriend Amanda.  Gavin created the house.  Our room was up uneven steep stairs.

Gavin recommended a restaurant nearby.  We had dinner at Honey’s Sit n Eat.  Ivan and I started off with vegetable latkes and a vegetable soup.  The latkes were good.  We each got a tofu noodle Asian salad which was huge. 

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Lil Dave went with the banana latkes and a chicken and banana wrap.

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Segway Bistro

On October 16, 2012 I woke up and Ivan didn’t sleep much again because of his asthma.  We’re convinced it’s something in the house.

We drove to CVS and parked the car there.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I took the Metro to the Center. 

We went on a Segway tour in Washington, D.C. 

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The tour went to many places along the National Mall like the FBI building, Capitol Building, The White House and the Lincoln Memorial.

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We got the car back in Takoma Park. 

I drove us to Baltimore which is only a short drive away.  I wanted to visit since this is where I was born.

Ivan was hungry and got a veggie delight sandwich.

We checked in at the Airbnb place with a lady named Deb.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t any wi-fi.

We went into the city where nothing was really happening.  We got a house salad at Chiapparelli’s which Deb recommended.

We walked around Pier V and ate the tasty house salad.

Later, we went to dinner at Corner Bistro.  Lil Dave had banana fries and a chicken and banana burger.  Ivan and I shared a corn chowder with lump crab added.  We also got a main course of crab cakes with sweet potato fries and green beans.  It was a lovely meal.

We drove back and watched Parks and Recreation before heading to bed.

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Mark’s Museum

I woke up on October 15, 2012 and Ivan didn’t sleep much the night before.  His asthma was really bothering him. 

We headed to the Prince Georges mall where I bought a jumper (jacket) at Ross.  I thought it would be wise to get a thicker jacket since it’s been getting cold and will probably be colder as we head up towards New York.

Ivan and I got food at Subway.

We dropped off the car at the house since the guy at the house said there’s no parking around the station.

Ivan noticed parking at CVS right near the station that we could have used. 

Took the Metro to Metro Center.  We walked along the National Mall where we saw the National Monument.

Next, we checked out the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. 

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We checked out a few different areas of the museum like fossils, mammals and dinosaurs. 

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Ivan and I each got a nice grilled eggplant sandwich with cheese and sundried tomatoes.  Lil Dave got a banana soup. 

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It’s a really big museum and we didn’t end up seeing everything. 

Ivan wanted to do a free walking tour in an hour and a half.  The clouds looked gloomy and dark, so it looked like rain.  We decided to head back and do a Segway tour tomorrow instead.

Later, we went to dinner at Mark’s Café.  Ivan had a vegetarian chili.  Lil Dave had a banana noodle dish.  Ivan and I each had a great bibimbap with brown rice.

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Vegan Pitch

Ivan and I had breakfast with David and Ruth on October 14, 2012.  We talked about traveling and Chapel Hill.

We left at 11:30 am headed to Maryland.  We stopped at a fish restaurant for lunch.

It was a long drive and we arrived in Takoma Park in Maryland.  We booked a stay at a community house. 

Ryan showed us around.  He looks like the hippie teacher in the tv show Beavis & Butthead. 

It was time for dinner which was vegetarian and vegan.  The food wasn’t too exciting since it didn’t have much flavor from the lack of spices.

Later that night, Ivan and I drove to the theatre nearby.  We grabbed some frozen yogurt and fruit and watched the entertaining movie Pitch Perfect.  It’s about competing college a cappella groups.

 

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