Sunday, January 03, 2010

Up and Away

As many would know by now, I am finally in the States! I will do away with prefaces and unnecessary jargon and allow you to dive right into the journal of my life in the US to the A!

29 Dec 09, Wed:
  • Had what will probably be my last cup of Milo in a long time on the MAS flight to S'pore. Contented. On top of that, flight was real smooth.
  • Arrived in S'pore and killed time by facebooking, tweeting and chatting. Thank God for free WiFi! (Just as I am stealing WiFi now as well. Hee.)
  • Nearly missed our flight en route to Tokyo! cause I was fast asleep having had very little sleep the night before and Roz decided to grab a nap at 5am. Note: our boarding time was 5.05am. Flight was at 6am. Typically, she failed to hear her alarm but thankfully I woke up at 5.30am. Unsurprisingly, we were the last two to board.
  • Landed in Tokyo in the swiftest of time. Another smooth flight. Pilot was awesome. Sadly, didn't have time to explore Narita Airport as our connecting flight to Detroit was brought forward to 2.20pm (initially, scheduled to depart at 2.40pm). Despite that, we ended taking off at 3pm. FAIL. Mad bumpy flight. Still on it as I write this. I wonder what causes turbulence. [Written on the plane, 9.05pm Tokyo time.]
  • Finally landed. Half an hour later than expected arrival. Expected arrival time: 12.40pm. Landed: 1.10pm. By the time we alighted the plane and cleared through customs, it was almost 2pm. Rosanne and I had to declare our food. I had no problem. But Rosanne, she brought 'Bak Kua' which resulted in it getting confiscated. Anyway, our connecting flight to Miami was at 1.40pm and we clearly missed it. They put us on the last and only flight out from Detroit to Miami which wasn't scheduled to leave until 7.30pm. Another 5 hour wait at the airport. And Detroit was so cold. It was -4 degree Celsius when we landed. By evening, I believe it only got colder. I think due to the cold air, I felt really light headed. And my throat was so dry. Perhaps, dehydration from the long flights, although, I did drink plenty of water on the plane. Anyway, Rosanne and I napped to passed time.
  • Finally, we boarded the plane and it was snowing outside! Got to see snow but didn't get to touch. Oh well, I don't think I'd want to anyway. The air was freezing cold. Once again, our flight was delayed by 20 minutes or so, and we ended up arriving in Miami at 11pm. Was thankful we were staying with Roz's friend who was so nice to pick us up from the airport. His name is John and was really hospitable. Lent us his calling card. And drove us around. And even lent us the bus card so we could use the public transport.
31 Dec 09, Thurs:
  • It's New Year's Eve! John took us to Sawgrass Mills Mall, the 6th largest mall in the States and 2nd largest in Florid. Pretty darn huge indeed. I love the shopping here. Everything is so affordable. But of course, I haven't gone shopping frenzy yet. Only bought 1 shirt thus far. Coach here is cheap. Really cheap. That mall I just mentioned had a Coach factory outlet, however, designs weren't too nice. But I know Naples has a Coach factory outlet too. So will check it out some day. Rosanne and I had Taco Bell for lunch. The taco, the cheese, the sauce, combined to make a sinfully yummy and extremely fattening meal.
  • Next stop was Adventura Mall. The malls here are just as great as the ones in M'sia if not better! John just dropped us off as he had to rush off to work after that.
  • We were so dead beat though, having slept only at 5am the previous day. We walked about the mall looking like zombies. But our spirits were lifted slightly when we came across The Cheesecake Factory. Had their 30th Anniversary cake, which was mainly chocolate cheesecake. So delicious, I know my mum will surely love it! They only specialise in cheese cakes, hence the name. Despite sharing just 1 slice, Roz and I still couldn't finish the cake. Too satiated. Bluek.
  • When 5.30pm came around, we caught the public bus to head down to South Beach to celebrate NYE. I was so worn out, I fell asleep on the bus. It was a 1 hour bus ride. Mad long. it was cramped, dirty and uncomfortable. Ugh.
  • By the time we reached South Beach, the sun had set. We proceeded to walk the whole stretch of Lincoln Road. Very happening place. Plenty of eateries lined the street, mainly Italian food. Uber tempting but alas, they were kinda pricey so we steered away from them. The place reminds me of Clark Quay in S'pore.
  • It was reaching 10pm when we decided to walk down to Ocean Drive to count down cause we were told that's where we could catch fireworks.
  • Upon reaching, we knew Ocean Dr. was definitely the place to be. Practically, half of Miami's population were there. Every other road leading to Ocean Dr. was blocked so the whole Ocean Drive road was swamped by people. Once again, restaurants lined the road and extended their tables out onto the roadside. Every restaurant was packed. Every restaurant was loud. Every restaurant was colourfully lit.
  • We sat by the wall divider of the beach to rest as we had grown weary from all the walking, while waiting for time to pass. But an hour before midnight, Roz wanted to leave. I could tell she was dead tired, so I agreed to head as I too was feeling the lethargy. We reached a bus stop and a handicapped gave us the heads-up on which bus to take.
  • 15-20 minutes passed, and still no bus in sight. The time was almost 11.40pm now and Roz changed her mind and decided to just stay back for the fireworks. After all, it was only 20 minutes more and we had already waited the whole evening. So what's another 20 minutes right? We bought ourselves a can of Budweiser each and headed back to the beach on Ocean Drive.
  • Witnessed one of the most spectacular display of fireworks. It was right smacked in our faces. It was certainly beautiful, standing on the beach looking out into the ocean with explosions in the sky. Happy New Year from Miami! =)
  • As the display of explosions ended, 3 semi-drunk guys came up to us, made small talk and tried to sweet talk us into going partying with them. Evidently, people in America have very loose morals. Quite unsightly actually. So anyway, I brushed them off and proceeded to walk back to the bus stop. After standing there for a good 10 minutes, I realised the bus we were supposed to catch does not pass by that bus stop anymore. So we had to walk back to Lincoln Street, back to the bus stop from where we got down.
  • After walking at least 3 blocks, we found out we were walking in the wrong direction and a group of locals helped point us back to the right direction. About a mile's walk or so. Did so much walking. But the weather was lovely, so you don't sweat and it doesn't feel all that tiring.
  • Finally, we found our way back onto Lincoln Road, and waited by the bus stop among a sea of people. It was almost a 20-minute bus wait. The only comfort I got from waiting was knowing there was a huge crowd waiting with us cause it seemed as though the bus was never going to come. So we finally managed to board the bus at 2.20am and it was packed like a can of sardines. Had to stand throughout the majority of the bus ride.
  • Again, another 1 hour ride back up to North Miami. Sigh. Tiring indeed. We got down at a bus stop on 170th street of North Miami and waited for about 10 minutes for John (Roz's friend) to pick us up. It was already 3.20am by then. Got home and washed up and had Maggi Mee for supper. Rosanne cooked. Hee.
1 Jan 10, Fri
  • Woke up by 10am to repack our bags. John dropped us off early at the Greyhound bus station to collect our bus ticket cause he had to go off to work . We thanked him and had to spend 2 hours waiting. So thus far, I've done lots of walking, and lots of waiting but only one helps me burn off the fats. Bus journey was about 3 hours though I didn't really feel it cause I managed to sleep the whole way through.
  • We arrived as scheduled, 5.05pm and one of the girls gave the person who was supposed to come pick us up a call. We found out we had to wait about an hour. It was drizzling slightly, and the wind was blowing. It was just mad freezing cold! Roz & I decided to walk over to the next building and found a pizza deli. Went in to have a bite to get out of the cold while the other girls decided to weather it out. 1.5 hours passed, and the girls finally gave in and came into the deli and sat down after calling back the guy and finding out they had to wait yet another 20 minutes. Hah.
  • So we were finally picked up at 7.30pm and we were dropped off at our apartment. A gated community. Couldn't really see much cause it was dark. But I am currently now typing this from my room, having being able to leech WiFi. The apartment is nice, cosy and spacious. However, the place is so new, the light bulbs haven't even been installed. They had to bring us lamps which we had to set up ourselves. Pfft. On top of that, we were only given a mattress, with no blanket, no pillow, no bed sheet, no nothing. HEEH. Don't know how I'm suppose to sleep tonight, but I guess I'll just have to rough it out. Heating is available but we're trying not to use it cause they only cover USD150 for electricity bills and USD75 for water bills. So yeah. That's all my updates thus far. [Written 1.09am US Eastern Time on Jan 2.]

1 comment:

-seokie- said...

Ruwan and I were planning to go out for lunch with you.........

..........and you're already in US. =.=

Nevertheless, it seems like you're having a fab time, albeit with a lot of waiting and walking. :P