Category Archives: USA
We arrived at Flagstaff almost midnight yesterday after driving from Hoover Dam. It’s pretty cold in Flagstaff due to high elevation of around 7000 feet. The temperature was about 10 Celcius last night.
This morning the weather was cool and pleasant but did not require a sweater. We stayed at the Residence Inn by Marriott.
It’s a really cool, beautiful and peaceful place but we had to check-out immediately after breakfast as we are heading to Grand Canyon which is about 2 hours away.
Arriving at the Grand Canyon National Park South Rim.
Hiking is a popular activity for many visitors to experience some of the canyon’s rich natural beauty and immense size, there are various trails available to hikers.
After touring the Visitor Center we headed to Mather Point to get a first glimpse of the Grand Canyon and it is……
… simply breathtaking! First thing you notice is how huge the Canyons are and considering this is only one small part of the entire Grand Canyons.
Another picture of Mather outlook point to show perspective. It’s more than 4000 feet down to the Colorado river and you can’t even see the river from up here. Real dizzying heights..
More Pictures of the Canyon,
If you are up for hiking, the Bright Angel trail starts near the Grand Canyon Village
Nope?.. here is a larger blown up image 🙂
The Grand Canyons were the final leg of our roadtrip.
It’s the final day in Vegas. There are so many hotels on the Strip it is impossible to visit all of them.
Next door to M&M’s World is the Coca Cola Store
Quick stop at Sam Woo for lunch before leaving for Hoover Dam.
This is the new bridge which connects Nevada to Arizona. Prior to 911, the dam roadway also served as a highway connecting Nevada and Arizona. This is no longer allowed and all traffic now passes over the new bridge. It is still possible to drive across the dam to the Arizona side but is a dead end so you will have to drive back across the dam via the new bridge to Arizona.
The dam tour brought us down 500-foot to the powerplant.
This is one of the original diversion tunnel 30-foot pipe which during the construction carried the Colorado river around the dam for it’s construction. The diversion tunnels have now been sealed but a section of it is still being used today to carry the Colorado river to the hydroelectric generators. You can feel the rumble on the platform as the mighty Colorado river flows through this pipe.
We are now in Arizona, shall be staying at my brother’s place in Scottsdale.
The Saguaro cactus : It is native to the Sonoran Desert in the U.S. state of Arizona, the Mexican state of Sonora, and the Whipple Mountains and Imperial County areas of California (Source from Wikipedia)
Next stop, we head to Heard museum located in Phoenix Arizona. This museum houses collections related to the Native Americans in the Southwest.
Within, there are a lot of information regarding the various native tribes. Some of the familiar tribes are Apache, Navajo (remember the movie Windtalkers staring Nicolas Cage?), Yavapai, etc
This place located in Phoenix serves Native American specialty fry bread.
Next stop is the Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix, the local Chinatown.
Here you can find a Chinese supermarket selling lots of Asian ingredients. We found some Malaysian branded stuff here. There are also Chinese restaurants and a hotel here.
After spending a week at California, we headed next to Scottsdale in Arizona which is about 370 miles away and approximately 6 hours drive on Interstate 10. Along Interstate 10, we made a stop at Desert Hills Outlets near Palm Springs.
Stopped by dinner at Carl’s Jr at Varner Road, Thousand Palms. First thing we felt alighting from the car is the hot air. Feels like stepping into an oven, temperature was around 40 Celcius. So this is what desert feels like. 🙂
What trip to California would be complete without a visit to Disneyland (a must do!). We spent an entire day there and had the most wonderful time at the theme park.
Main Street U.S.A
Even on a weekday, most of the rides and attractions have long queues. Popular ones can be as long as 30-45mins wait time. You can use the FASTPASS service which gives priority into popular rides and it just requires your park ticket to get it.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, this is a really fun roller-coaster and it’s our favorite ride.
The new revamped Star Tours featuring digital 3-D motion simulator is really awesome. There is a nice little surprise inside but we won’t be revealing it here. 🙂 We only managed to do 1 ride but seems there are up to 54 different journeys into the Star Wars ramp.
Another really entertaining Star Wars attraction is the Jedi Training Academy at Tomorrowland Terrace. The appearance of Stormtroopers and Darth Vader is sure to delight many Star Wars fans. Kids can take part in this.
I was most exited about our visit to San Diego. Being a military buff, one of the key highlights of our trip was the visit to USS Midway, an aircraft carrier now turned into a museum. Leaving Irvine in the morning, the drive to San Diego takes about 2 hours, where we spent the next 2 days there.
The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station seen on Interstate 5 on the way to San Diego
Once arrived at San Diego our family split into 2 groups since some did not wanted to visit USS Midway, instead they decided to visit the San Diego Safari Park.
Entrance to San Diego Safari Park, weather was really hot! that day.
One of the unique attraction here is the Africa Tram Ride which gives a tour of ‘mini’ Africa and observe these animals in their natural habitat. It’s also a great way to explore the safari without walking!
The USS Midway museum is located downtown San Diego at Navy Pier. A must visit if you are in San Diego as it is a unique opportunity to visit an aircraft carrier especially one as famed as USS Midway.
However not the entire ship is open to public, you can visit sections such as the top carrier deck, bridge, lower hangar and some sections of the lower decks.
After leaving USS Midway, we took a drive to nearby Coronado Island via Coronado bridge. This bridge is really quite high to allow ships through.