Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Travel: Hearst Castle

  • Day 1: M, A, B and I drove up to Hearst, stopping by San Luis Obispo for a Cajun lunch at Bon Temps Creole Cafe (it's actually in a Ramada Inn. lol). As we were driving up to the castle, we saw the zebras on the estate grounds (see below). After doing a sundown tour (tour 1) of the castle, we stayed overnight in Cambria.
  • Day 2: We stopped to see an elephant seal colony at Piedras Blancas. We had coffee in Avila and strolled by the beach (it was cold!). Finally, before heading back, we had lunch and pastries in Solvang.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Travel: Montréal

I volunteered at a conference in Montréal that C was attending. Non-conference-y highlights include:
  • Day 1: C and I toured Vieux Montréal/Old Montreal and had dinner at an overpriced, touristy restaurant on Place Jacques-Cartier (where I actually had the best French onion soup of my life). We shared a room in the Le Cantlie Suites Hotel which ended up being a bit of a walk from the convention center, but provided good exercise otherwise.
  • Day 2: Met JF as well as a few others. Some of the guys took me out to Restaurant Basha for a quick Middle Eastern lunch. That evening, JF, C and I went out to Schwartz's Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen and stood in line in the cold for it's famous smoked meats. JF actually lives in Montreal and was able to show us around town that night (e.g, the Latin Quarter). 
  • Day 3: I met E & F. That evening, E and I enjoyed complimentary wine at a conference event and had an in-depth discussion about women in computer science.
  • Day 4: Lunch in Chinatown w/ C. Went to Dundees that evening and had poutine for the first time ever.
  • Day 5: C and I had lunch in Chinatown again. The final night there was a Special Event that consisted of a provided dinner buffet and entertainment (a balloon clown, a live band, and caricature artist) at the Just for Laughs Museum. Of course there were complimentary drinks :D. E and I became good friends after that night ;).
  • Day 6: JF took me to the roof of the convention center where I snapped a few panoramic shots. I got a free Google T-shirt! About midway through the final day of the conference, C and I left to have lunch before flying off to our respective countries.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Travel: Grand Canyon & Las Vegas

  • Day 1: B and I drove out to Las Vegas and picked up C from the Las Vegas airport. After dropping off our luggage, we toured the Strip at night (Venetian, Caesar's, Mirage). 
  • Day 2: C, B, and I woke up early the next morning to take a plane to the Grand Canyon National Park. We were taken to three sites on the South Rim and had plenty of opportunities to take photos and video footage (I'm actually holding my video camera above). Our tour had an included lunch provided to us before we flew back. After trying to take a nap, we went to the Penn & Teller comedy/magic show. We then toured the Strip at night again (Luxor, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay).
  • Day 3: We explored South Strip during the day, first having a brunch buffet at Paris and then stopping at MGM and New York-New York. Afterward, we dropped C off at the airport and B and I drove home.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Travel: London (& Stonehenge, Bath) & Zürich (& Luzern, Mt. Pilatus)

The shot above was taken with a digital video recorder (not a digital camera); hence, the sort of fuzziness. B was answering his work phone while we were at Stonehenge. It was actually pretty cool because we got to go right up to the stones. While I managed to walk on a stone and jump off it, B got in trouble for sitting on one. We think they never saw me.

Anyway, we met up with C in LA and gave him a tour of LA/SD/Tijuana, before leaving him to do his own tour of Central California. Then, B and I went to London. Afterward, the three of us met up again in Zurich where C gave us a tour of the city. B and I were supposed to continue our trip to LA but we actually missed our flight. We had to stay in London for an extra day before coming home.
  • LA/SD/Tijuana (3 days): Picked up C from LAX. LA: Hollywood Walk of Fame/Stars, Chinese Mann Theater, the Getty Center, Santa Monica Pier, Venice Boardwalk, Sunset Blvd., Comedy Store, UCLA. San Diego: Balboa Park, Downtown. Tijuana: Avenida Revolucion.
  • London (3.5 days) : Buckingham Palace, St. James Park, Piccadilly Circus, pub crawling with B's friends, Westminster Cathedral, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, London Eye, Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern, St. Paul's Cathedral, City Hall, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, pub crawling with D in Covent Garden, Leicester Square. Stonehenge, Lacock, & Bath.
  • Switzerland (4 days): Zurich, Bahnhofstrasse, Grossmunster, Fraumunster, Niederhof, Lake Promenade, fondue, beer garden, Lindenhof, Landesmuseum, Migros, Coop, Sprungli, Teuscher. Luzern: the Chapel Bridge, Mt. Pilatus.
  • London (1.5 days): Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park, Bond Street.
  • LA: home.