Las Vegas and stayed at the Trump. This was our first time staying at this hotel and we were fairly pleased. The fact that it did not have a casino was, quite literally, a breath of fresh air. The room's jacuzzi tub is enormous! It was a bit annoying getting to the Strip though, as we had to walk a block or so to the Wynn (the nearest casino). They do run a regular bus, but it's much faster walking it, if you want to stay in the middle of the Strip. The Fashion Show Mall is practically across the street from the Trump, which was convenient for me, since I shop during every trip to Vegas. There is a restaurant downstairs, but we ended up ordering room service one morning. I was treated as I expected I would be at a 5-star hotel/condo. The internet usage fee was included in the resort fee that they charge. The most annoying thing is that there is a mandatory car valet service (no self parking), so getting the car was a bit of a hassle each time. Other than those minor issues, I would probably stay here again in the future if I had to.
Other itinerary highlights: we saw the Blue Man Group perform. It's great, if you're into black lights and strobe lights.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
- Day 1: LAX >> SFO >> JFK. I arrived in New York City before C did. I didn't know at first that the Empire Hotel had a super trendy bar on top, and so I didn't understand why there was a long line of beautiful people standing outside in the cold waiting to get into the hotel. It turns out that the TV show Gossip Girl also takes place there, thereby increasing the hotel's popularity. Seeing as how I arrived at about 11PM to the room, I took the time to walk around and buy necessary supplies (water, food, etc.) before C joined me. As I was looking through the room's mini bar, I noticed that they provided a travel-sized sex kit. I'd never seen a hotel offer anything like it and was amused by the condoms and manual vibrator they offered inside it. C later arrived several hours later, having gotten lost on the subway, thereby forcing him to take a taxi. We later figured out that he got disoriented because the hotel turns off its enormous, red sign after a certain late hour. We spent the rest of the evening/early morning catching up.
- Day 2: After breakfast at a nearby Starbucks, because of our proximity to Central Park, we decided to see the skating rink, the Mall and Literary Walk, the lake, the Great Lawn, and the Bethesda fountain and terrace. We then went to see the Frick Collection followed by a late lunch in Lenox Hill. It was Halloween that evening and we went downtown to see the parade via Grand Central Station. Unfortunately, it started to rain and the crowds became mob-like. We escaped to the Blue Water Grill in Union Square and had drinks instead.
- Day 3: We woke up to go to Battery Park, Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island the next morning. That evening, we had dinner in Times Square and went see Chicago at the Ambassador Theatre. After the show, we decided to see what all the fuss was about with regard to the hotel's rooftop bar. Not only was it the most expensive bar of the trip, it was also the warmest :).
- Day 4: C had to work in the daytime, so, I decided to explore the northern part of Central Park including Belvedere Castle, Ramble Stone Arch, and the reservoir. I met up with C after his work and we had dinner in Greenwich at the Grand Trattoria. We checked out the Washington Square Arch and surrounding area, ultimately having drinks near NYU before heading back.
- Day 5: Flew back JFK >> LAX, in time for my photography class.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Philippine Airlines had an airfare sale which my brother and I quickly took advantage of. For this 11-day trip to the Philippines, we decided to explore some parts of Luzon. I’ll post a photo every day over the next few days of places we went to or things we did. My cousin, a professional photographer, took many of the shots I'll be posting. But I took some too :). Some of the places we visited included Manila (Malate, Taguig City, Pasay City, Intramuros), Baguio, Subic Bay, San Fernando (Pampanga), Angeles City (Pampanga), Olongapo, Manaoag (Pangasinan), Cabanatuan, Tagaytay, Balagtas, Sta. Rosa City, and perhaps more (because I can’t remember them all nor can I keep the distinctions between cities and provinces). Apologies, if this is confusing.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Las Vegas, staying at the Wynn this time (sorry, the picture above is from my iPhone). The registration desk for this hotel is totally on the opposite side of where the self-parking structure is, so you have to walk all the way across the hotel gambling area just to check in and out (kind of a hassle!). Because we booked two rooms across from each other, I was able to shoot a photography assignment (panaromas) through the windows. In the end, I finally settled on a panorama I completed at the Venetian (below).
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Oh, man. Where do I begin tearing apart The Soloist ? I suppose, I had high expectations coming in, because of how high A Beautiful Mind set the bar for movies dealing with schizophrenia. I had read the book, before seeing the movie, and know how much of the story was missing on screen. Not surprisingly, B did not enjoy the movie. I think the most interesting part was when they simulated audio hallucinations which can only be appreciated in a surround-sound type setting, which we, fortunately, had while watching in a theater in New York. I found the irony hilarious that we were in NYC watching a movie about LA.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
- Day 1: B and I flew LAX >> JFK (New York City). As we were about to buy our subway passes, two women gave us their week-long passes that had yet to expire (it was safe to say that they weren't New Yorkers). We stayed in Midtown East at the Roosevelt Hotel. It's a classy (what a lobby space!), older hotel that has very thin walls. And, the rooms (as expected for NYC) are tiny! Since we arrived very late, we only had time to catch a late dinner near Grand Central Station, before turning in for the night.
- Day 2: We had Sunday brunch at a cute, French place called Le Bateau Ivre Cafe. It is small, but it had a live jazz band. I had a salmon omelet, toast, orange juice, and cappuccino. It was quite good. Anyway, it rained most of the day, but we managed to take in a few sights, including seeing random Hello Kitty sculptures, Fifth Avenue (Trump Tower, Disney Store, FAO Schwarz, etc.), the Met, and the Guggenheim. Later that evening, we met up with B's brother who was in Connecticut for business. He took the train down and we met up in Grand Central Station. At first, we tried to have dinner at Sparks (but it was closed) and Morton's Steakhouse (which was hosting a private event), before we settled for drinks at an Irish pub near Pershing Square, followed by dinner at a Brazilian restaurant (where we got free deserts!) on Restaurant Row.
- Day 3: We ate lunch at Soba Nippon (as recommended by our Lonely Planet book) where we had moderately priced sushi with patrons in business attire (it was near Madison Ave on a Monday). Since B was busy that day, I checked out the New York Public Library and returned to the Met. I, then, met up with him at Social Bar to have drinks. Later that night, we went to Rockefeller Center, Times Square, and the Empire State Building.
- Day 4: JFK >> LAX.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
Las Vegas for New Year's Eve . It's what you'd expect for a 3-star hotel. The decor and furniture was not modern and the smell of smoke was very strong, despite our rooms being of the nonsmoking variety. There are lower stakes blackjack tables at this casino (which was a nice change from the 5-star hotels' gambling floors). In addition to staying there, we had complimentary passes to their New Year's eve celebratory feast which had a photographer on hand as well as an giant "2009" ice sculpture. Overall, it was a decent experience. I wouldn't pay to stay at this hotel, though, if I had a choice.