Tuesday, June 2, 2015

San Francisco, California USA

(L-R) Myself, Alfian and ex-colleague Allan

The last time I've been to the US was in 1999 when my father sought for medical treatment there. So I was so happy that after around 15 years, I had the chance to go back there last Aug 2014 when I went for training with my ex-company.

My training was in South San Francisco, where my company's HQ was located. The above was the view from our room at the Hilton Garden Inn. I still remember the feeling of happiness and awe while I was peeking out from our hotel window. Thank God indeed!

Alfian tagged along when he found out I was going for training. It was also great for him as it meant free hotels and free meals since we had daily meal allowance haha. We were only there for 8 days so we made sure to maximize each day. After our arrival in the morning, we headed out to downtown San Francisco in the early afternoon.

I remember going to San Francisco as a young boy but I can recall very little of that trip. So in a way, this felt like my first time in San Francisco.

We took the ferry tour and I highly recommend this! We didn't get to go down Alcatraz but the ferry goes around it anyway. You also get a very good view of the Golden Gate bridge. I remember it was freezing cold due to the wind!

I was so happy to finally get to try In N Out burger but I'm sorry to say that I was underwhelmed. I guess my expectations were too high given all the hype haha.

The next day was shopping day! We made sure to plan this and get it out of the way while we still had money and luggage space haha. We spent almost the whole day at Gilroy. It was a great decision to rent a car as Gilroy was I think a 1.5hour drive away.

It was my first time at a Bath and Body outlet so I hoarded hahaha. It's been almost a year since that trip but I still have stock from what I bought that day eventhough some of them I have given away as gifts. I got too carried away haha.

This was our damage from our first day of shopping haha. But seriously, it was so cheap at the outlet and a lot of stores that you seriously need more than a day.

This was my first day of training and I am proud to say that I was the only Filipino among 80+ participants from around the world. Unfortunately, I no longer work there but I surely enjoyed the travel incentives we got hehe.

These were the cookies that were served daily at our training during meal breaks. OMG they are the best damn cookies I have ever tasted!! No kidding!!!

This was the car we rented haha.

On another day, we also got to go to Livermore Premium Outlets. This was a much smaller version of Gilroy but they have Prada.

The first time I got to try Cheesecake Factory was in Dubai so this was my first in the USA. I love love love this restaurant. The ambiance is really nice and the food is even better.

I was ecstatic I was able to go to Trader Joe's for the first time. There were a lot of firsts on this trip and most of them were food related haha.

The first and last time I ever tried Benihana was in Ortigas in Manila, Philippines way back when I was still in University. I remember it was my bestfriend Vishnu's treat because he got his credit card haha.

Benihana is definitely a "must-do" and I highly recommend everyone to eat here at least once. The food is great and the chef's "show" is truly an experience.

The Great Mall Outlet at Milpitas is my favorite as it is indoor and the mall has a circular walking path which makes it easy and accessible to visit all the stores.

I couldn't believe how cheap Ben & Jerry's was! If only it didn't melt, I would have hoarded these haha.

Our last night, we had dinner at BJ's at a nearby shopping mall where they had Jollibee haha.

And after 8 days, it was time to go home. Sob! Training was quite tough actually as we sometimes had homework and group activities so imagine how we were still able to squeeze all the sightseeing and shopping haha. Pat on our backs I must say!

I am truly grateful to Alfian for joining this trip as most of the places we went to especially the restaurants and shopping malls were his recommendation. He used to frequent the US as well a few years back when he had a lot of company business trips.

We had a stopover in Narita and Royce was so damn cheap. I made sure to buy a few haha.

We also made sure to eat authentic Japanese food even at the airport haha. I recently visited Tokyo for the first time so watch out for that blog.

This US trip was definitely memorable and surely one of my most enjoyable trips so far. Time and again I always believe that travel is the only expense that makes you richer - with memories and new adventure.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails