Since we arrived here in California during the 2nd week of December, most of our friends and relatives were still too busy with work to take us sight seeing. So while waiting for their holidays to start, my dad decided to book a 3-day tour to Vegas and the Grand Canyon. We’ve been to Vegas several times before since my cousin lives there, but we’ve never been to Arizona so I was pretty excited.
(I decided to make two separate entries about the trip instead of having a super long one. This entry will focus on our first day, when we went to Vegas.)
My dad booked the tour online and the confirmation email told us that they would pick us up at a supermarket near my aunt’s house at 7:30am. My aunt had to be at work by 9am so she dropped us off at around 7am. It was really cold that morning and the supermarket was still closed so we decided to grab some breakfast at the nearby McDonalds first.
Hot choco – perfect remedy to chilly weather
At around 7:30am, a van arrived to collect us and take us to Chinatown where the bus was waiting for us. Our tour was organized by Sea Gull Holiday tours, which is a Chinese company (I think). Most of the tourists were Chinese so the guides were required to alternate speaking in English and Mandarin.
Our bus. We had to make sure to remember our bus number because there were 3 other buses travelling with us they all looked exactly the same. (We forgot to look at our bus number in the beginning so my mom ended up getting on the wrong bus after our first pit stop. Luckily she realized her mistake quickly and we found the right bus in the end.)
One more week till the end of 2011~
It’s been pretty crazy over here at my aunt’s house. Since we don’t often come to California during the holidays, my aunt decided to hold a big party here yesterday (Christmas day). She invited all our relatives in the area (there’s a lot) so we’ve were all really busy decorating the house and planning the menu for the big day. And now that the party’s over, we’re all busy cleaning up the huge mess that was left behind.
This picture was actually taken last week during our tour of Vegas, but lately I’ve been too busy to take a decent self portrait. Ezra took this shot for me near the entrance of Tropicana hotel, where our guide dropped us off to explore the city. I really love the red bamboo-like structures so I decided to edit it and submit it as my photo this week :)
Whoa, 2 more weeks till the end of this year? Time goes by so fast!!
Ezra took this shot of me the the other day at my aunt’s house. I really love her red walls! My very first self portrait for 2010 was shot at this exact same location :D (I’m even wearing the same boots in both pictures XD) I stole the little snowman from her coffee table for this shot. I’m so glad she decided to decorate for Christmas this year. Last time we spent Christmas with her (back in 2009) she was too busy to decorate so Christmas didn’t feel as complete as usual. This year she even bought a real Christmas tree for us to decorate. It was the first time I helped set up a real live Christmas tree :D
Earlier this week our family went on a 3-day tour to Vegas and the Grand Canyon (blog entry to follow). We saw snow again after almost two years :D I took this quick shot of Ezra when we were at Grand Canyon National Park. I wish we could have had more time to play, but we only had one hour before we had to go back to our tour bus. But we still had a lot of fun frolicking in the snow while admiring the view during that short time :D
(Trees and birds were added in Photoshop using brushes from redheadstock.deviantart.com)
If you’ve read the last few entries on my blog, you can probably tell that I’m on vacation right now. I’m actually in California at the moment, visiting relatives for the holidays. The last time we were here was in 2009 (which was also when this blog was created – I took a lot of pictures of our activities and my shopping hauls back then that I wanted to share with friends so I made this blog XD) Anyway, we had so much fun spending Christmas with our relatives here that we decided to do it again.
We left the Philippines on December 10. We arrived at the airport early to avoid problems during check in, which meant that we had a lot of time to kill while waiting for our flight. Ezra and I passed the time watching Running Man while munching on the free snacks offered at the airport lounge.
Ezra and me
We sat near the buffet table so we can grab food more easily XD I only had crackers for breakfast so I pigged out on the mini sandwiches and siomai
Setting up Ezra’s laptop so we can watch Running Man
They had free wifi there too, so I checked my FB while waiting. (I had to use my PSP because I didn’t bring my laptop with me.)
Running Man! Ji Hyo’s so cute ^___^
After about an hour, we decided to head over to our gate and wait for our plane to board. Our flight was supposed to leave at around 2pm, but it was delayed by about 20 minutes.
Camwhoring on the plane XD
This was taken the week that I had my thesis defense. Since it was a success, I thought that it was the perfect Christmas present :)
Another quick shot taken just before we left for our vacation. We were told that it was getting pretty cold in California so she bought a lot of scarves and jackets for our trip. She loves cold weather because she enjoys layering clothes, which isn’t really something we can do in the Philippines (unless we want to torture ourselves).
Something simple because she’s so behind on her 52-week project. I actually like this shot. Even though it’s not that fancy, I liked how it turned out. Not bad for something I edited in the middle of the night. I actually went to bed around 11 that evening, but I woke up around 2am and couldn’t get back to sleep. I hate it when that happens! Anyway I decided to edit photos to pass the time and this was the result.
Disney fans would probably know where Ezra got her title from.
She found this jade teapot at our house and thought that it looked like a genie’s lamp so she asked me to draw a genie for her. I think I did a good job, but she insists that it looks like a snake’s head because of the slanty eyes! Hmph~ I told her that since she’s using a Chinese teapot, she got an Asian genie XD
Uploaded this on Flickr about 2 weeks ago, but forgot to post it here. I was extremely busy with school stuff when I posted this there.
I really enjoyed taking this shot because I got to tape up Ezra’s mouth XD She’s normally very chatty when we shoot, so it was nice to have some peace for a change XD Just kidding~
Anyway, this was taken before we left for our vacation here in California. She was extremely excited about seeing Kurt again. They’ve known each other for 10 years but this will only be their third Christmas together since he lives in California. Before we left she told him that he better prepare himself for all the kisses that she’s saved up for him :)