California here we come

Since Ckloy is on a plane right now headed to the U.S. of A. and I can’t go with him, the best I can do is finish this entry which has been sitting in my drafts folder for so long.  At least I can pretend that I’m headed off to the states too while I’m writing this.

These photos were taken last May when our family visited our relatives in California for the summer.  (Although most of these were taken at airports on our way there, the actual pictures from our California trip will come soon … I hope.)

Our flight was at around 1pm , so we left our house at 8am to get to the airport 3 hours before boarding.  We expected a lot of traffic since that’s normal during the summer, but surprisingly the roads were clear and we were at the airport by 9:20.  The check in counter was still closed when we got there, but there was already a long line of passengers.  I guess it’s good we arrived early and that we managed to grab a spot in the line early on.

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Good morning to us!  So excited to get our vacation started

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Waiting in line with all our luggage.  (Yeah, we obviously don’t pack light XD)

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Oh hi there.  Just sitting down here, waiting for the line to get moving

Ezra and I passed the time texting Kurt (since Ckloy was still asleep).  He couldn’t wait to see Ezra so we sent him pictures of us at the airport to to make him even more excited.  He decided that the best way to burn off all his excited energy was by defiling them T__T

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I feel so violated T__T  Just kidding! XD  He must have sent us over a dozen, but I lost most of them when my phone crashed a few months ago.

Since we skipped breakfast to leave early that morning, Ezra asked if we had any food with us.  I found a pack of crackers in my bag, so I gave them to her

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Look at her so happy to get some food

As it turned out, those crackers had been in my bag for quite a while and they were quite stale.  It was my travelling bag and the last time I used it was back in December when our family went to Coron.   I guess I packed those crackers to eat on the plane and forgot about them.  Whoops~

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Ezra doesn’t look too happy with the fact that I tried to feed her stale crackers

Naturally she threw them away because she didn’t want to risk getting sick on the plane.  Thankfully the counters opened up and we were able to check in and make our way inside.  And since we had plenty of time till our flight, we headed over to the PAGSS lounge to pass the time.

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They had comfy couches, free wifi and, most importantly, free food~  Yaaaay!

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Getting some arroz caldo for breakfast

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Drinks and dessert table

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Ezra is happy to finally have some non-stale food


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My breakfast consisted of arroz caldo, siomai and siopao.  I also had some tiny sandwiches and cookies after this

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might remember that we also hung out at this lounge back in December of 2011 (which was our last visit to California before this one).  In fact, we sat in this very corner back then as well.

Soon it was time for us to go to the pre-departure area for our flight.  During check in, we couldn’t get 4 seats together, so we decided to sit in pairs.  When we got to our gate, we realized that we were placed in two different zones (areas of the plane).  I think two of the seats were in Zone 2, and the other two were in Zone 3 (or 4, I can’t really remember).  They started loading the plane with Zone 1 passengers first.  Since Zone 2 would be boarding next, and my parents wanted to make sure Ezra and I got on the plane safely, they gave us those tickets even though it had their names on them, and they took the Zone 3 (or 4) ones.  When we got on the plane, we found out that the Zone 2 tickets were for business class seats!  Ezra and I both thought “wait, this can’t be right…”, but according to our tickets (umm, our parents’ tickets) that’s where we were supposed to sit.  We waited a while for our parents to board the plane but we couldn’t see them in the business class area with us.  After a while, they closed the plane doors, but our parents were still nowhere to be found.  As it turned out, Zone 4 was in coach, so that’s where they ended up sitting, lol.  So while we enjoyed our spacious seats and foot rests, our parents were stuck at the back of the plane.  We have no idea why two of our tickets got bumped up to business class since we bought 4 economy class tickets, but who are we to say no to good fortune?

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Lucky girls XD

(If you’re wondering how we were able to enter the airport lounge with economy tickets, it’s all thanks to BPI.  I guess it’s a perk that the bank offers to some of their investors.)

Since we took EVA Air (again), we had a stopover in Taipei.  It takes around 2 hours to get there, and Ezra and I spent most of this time asleep. But we did wake up when the stewardess served us lunch.

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Ezra looking utterly perplexed by the straw that came with her apple juice.  It was a short straw which you can elongate.  I’m not sure how to describe it because I’ve never seen these kinds of straws in the Philippines.  It’s like two short straws, one tucked inside the other.  You have to pull one down to make the straw longer.  But the problem is there’s a tiny gap between the two straws, which means that every time she sipped on her drink, she got a big mouthful of air to go along with it, lol.  (I had the same straw but mine worked fine for some reason.)

After 2 hours, we landed safely in Taipei and were reunited with our parents 🙂

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My mom kept joking that we stole their seats.  I pointed out that it was hardly stealing when they personally handed the tickets to us, lol.

Anyway, our flight to Los Angeles wasn’t for a few more hours, so we passed the time by walking around the airport to stretch our legs in preparation for the long flight ahead.

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We came across this cute phone booth with a book shelf theme

We also found this Chinese-themed terminal that had a strong wifi signal, so we decided to stay there

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Those people lying down the benches seems to be enjoying the free wifi too

My parents wanted to rest and organize their things, so Ezra and I left them there while we looked for the Hello Kitty terminal that we went to on our last visit here.

After a bit of walking, we found it:

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Nice to see you again Hello Kitty 😀

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Did you miss us?

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Cute Sanrio store

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I missed these uber kawaii seats 😀

Of course Ezra and I had to play around with the fun mirrors they had there again:

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Very pretty Ezra 😀

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But I think I look much prettier

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Do you agree?

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Alien head Ezra

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I wonder what she’s so shocked about?

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If I don’t control myself while we’re on vacation, I’m going to end up looking like this

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Whoa

After laughing at ourselves, we decided to go and explore the airport a little more, since we weren’t able to do so last time

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Goodbye Hello Kitty.  Till we meet again~

A few meters away from the Hello Kitty terminal, we came across this exhibit of dolls dressed up in different national outfits

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This one’s USA.  Is she supposed to be a Southern Belle?

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Here’s Japan

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This male doll reminds me of Silent Hill.  The card says he’s supposed to be from “Yami” but I’ve never heard of that place before

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Fluffy doll from Denmark

Obviously I can’t show you ALL the dolls because that would take forever, but they were all really lovely and interesting.  I had to drag Ezra away from the exhibit because she didn’t want to leave them.  She’s loved dolls ever since I can remember.

Next to the doll exhibit was this little orchid garden.  We stopped by here on our last visit as well, but we didn’t get to spend a lot of time admiring the flowers because I was worried about my shoe falling apart back then.  This time we really took the time to look at the plants and admire them.

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Good to know 😀

Next we found ourselves in this area with lots of prayer rooms.  They had rooms for different religions (Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, etc..).

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We didn’t go inside, but we did take a quick peek in all of them]

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Random little hut in front of the prayer rooms

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Poor Ezra was thirsty and wanted a drink but the vending machines were in Chinese.  (She did manage to get herself a can of iced coffee after studying the buttons for a while.)

After this we just walked around some more and stopped by all the shops we came across.  Ezra particularly enjoyed the ones that gave out free food samples.  She’d leave me for a minute and come back with a handful of cookies or whatever it was they were selling.  By the time we made it back to the terminal where our parents were, she was stuffed!

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Piggy Ezra next to a giant jar outside one of the shops

After we’ve had our fun, it was our parents’ turn to walk around and stretch their legs.  We stayed at the terminal and made use of the free wifi to inform some of our loved ones that we made it safely to Taiwan.

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Random photo of my sparkly nails 😀

After my parents came back, we headed over to our gate and waited to board the plane.  The flight was very long and I spent most of it asleep, so there’s nothing really much to write about.  I did try to watch a few movies, but I kept falling asleep.  I think I was able to finish an episode of How I Met Your Mother, the Big Bang Theory and Pawn Stars in between my sleep cycles.

After about 11 hours, our plane landed safely at LAX.  Getting through airport security was a major hassle as usual, but I guess we should be used to it by now.  It took us over 2 hours to make it outside.  I felt bad for the people who came to pick us up because they had to wait for so long.

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Thank you Ate Xenia (and Ate Maryann) for picking us up 😀

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Of course Kurt was there too.  He couldn’t wait to see Ezra

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He arrived wearing a suit, looking very much like a Japanese businessman.  Ezra looks thrilled.

My parents went with Ate Xenia and Ate Maryann to buy some pie before heading to Ninang’s house.  Ezra and I went with Kurt to pick up some burgers at In N Out for dinner.

The next few photos will be of Ezra and Kurt because she kept asking me to take pictures of them together.  Not that I can blame her.  Now that Ckloy’s going to be away for 6 months, I’m already counting down the days till I see him again.  And I’m sure I’m going to be taking lots of pictures that day too.

Here they are at the parking lot while waiting for the elevator:

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This is them inside the elevator:

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And at In N Out while waiting for our order:

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We headed home to Ninang’s house after this where we pigged out on burgers and pie.  It’s been a few months so I can’t really remember what we did after that, but I’m guessing we stayed up talking and catching up before crashing into bed.

To end this entry, here’s a picture of our favorite strawberry pie from Marie Callender’s.  We missed it because we couldn’t get it on our last two visits there since it was out of season.

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Yummmm~

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2 thoughts on “California here we come

  1. Pingback: What 2013 was like for me :D | What I have shown you is reality ...

  2. Pingback: Revisiting Third Street Promenade and Little Tokyo | What I have shown you is reality ...

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