LA – Los Angeles Travel

In Summer 2015, we traveled to Los Angeles (aka L.A., aka city of angeles).  We were on our way to Long Beach to Ensenada, Mexico cruise via Carnival Inspiration.

We stayed in LA for two days to check it out.  It was definitely cool to see.  We visited the Walk of Fame, we ate an authentic Korean meal in Koreatown, we shopped in Santee Alley and we took pictures at the Hollywood sign.

The highlight for the ladies was shopping in the trendy and cheap “Santee Alley” :)

If you are in California, I think LA is worth checking out.

Here is the Good, Bad, Ugly and AMAZING of LA:

Good – So many incredible things to see from museums, to theme parks, to movie sets.  LA is pretty incredible.  The restaurants have a variety that is the envy of WORLD.  There are sooo many cultures there.  You can find every nationality there.

Bad – The traffic is bad, aggressive and crazy every where within the confines of the city.  Long Beach is not nearly as bad, but if you are in LA you need to be a pretty good aggressive driver.

Ugly – With such a huge concentration of people there are a LOT of crazy people.  We were only there two days and met a few.  We were on an elevator going to the second floor because mom could not take the stairs and were greeted by a crazy lady insulting us for not taking the stairs even though she was only one floor above that, “You are what is wrong with America.”  She said on our way off the elevator.. obviously a Trump supporter.  Then there was some minor road rage incidence that did not involve us.  Oh, yeah, we also passed the scene of a murder.  It had happens days or weeks ago.  The victim was a child so the news was there and few mourners.  It was a sad situation. It is also CRAZY expensive there.

AMAZING – There are so many beautiful people there.  There are so many young aspiring models, artist, actors, and musicians trying to make it in LA that you see and ridiculous number of very, very beautiful men and women.   Since it is the movie capital of the world it is not a big deal to see stars, or scripts being proposed to producers.

 

 

Hollywood Historic Haunted (short version)

First of all we want to say 95% of the people that go to Hollywood Historic Hotel seem to LOVE it. The price is right, the location is close to great tourist attractions. We are the other 5% who think it is haunted as HELL. So take this article as an opinion from two random people who were there two nights.

We traveled to Hollywood, California to see the amazing city of L.A. The only thing worse than the traffic was the ghosts in Hollywood Historic.

Check out our story of what happened on http://dimetravel.org/hollywood-historic-hotel-haunted

A 3 day Carnival Inspiration Cruisin

I remember the first time I saw a cruise on TV.  I thought, “Wow!” With all the activities on the ship is must be a fun experience.

In 2014, I got married and found out going on a cruise was on my husband’s bucket list.  March 2015, we both decided to go on a cruise. We booked for tickets for our daughter and my mother in law.  It was not cheap.

Time in L.A. And Check in

May 29,2015, we flew to L.A. and hung out there for a day or two so we check out the city and drive to Long Beach just before departure.  We arrived 4 hours early but there were already hundreds of people there in line for the cruise.  Carnival is so organized that they process people pretty fast.

I really thought we were not allowed to bring water but I seen an Indian couple bringing their own water and sodas.  When it was our turn, we filled out the health department paper with a few questions about Ebola.  My husband and I, submitted our IDs.  Although I am not a US Citizen, I was able to use my passport and I-512 EAD to go on the cruise.  We were given our card keys that also serves as our id while on the boat.  It also has a $100.00 credit per stateroom that we could spend while cruising.  When it was my mother-in-law’s turn, she was told that she needs a birth certificate since she did not have a passport.  She had only brought a State ID which we all thought was good enough because in our tickets that is what we it said.  It also says in a Customs and Border Protection website that a US citizen can present a government issued id.  She was not able to go with us on the boat and we were given a paper that state her denial of boarding.

On the Carnival Inspiration

After boarding, they had an orientation on Paris Lounge. There were hundreds of people sitting. There were older people but what stood out the most are the college students and 30 + adults who were acting like little kids. The crew told them to keep quiet and the college students would try to make a scene and keep talking. It made the orientation even longer. After that, we went on to find our stateroom. It was chaos. There are tons of people everywhere and many are already tipsy and drinking. We finally found our room and rested for an hour.

We went to Mardi gras restaurant. The food is included in what you pay for your cruise. They have two restaurant. One is an a la carte and one next to the pool area which is a buffet. The food was delicious. The buffet has so much variety. The food was what I enjoyed the most. I was on vacation and did not have to cook :)

The second day, we landed in Mexico. There were many tours offered each with their own fee, but you can get off the boat and walk around free if you want (just make sure you have your identification to you can get back on the ship). For those who want it, you can take pictures as you disembark (which they sell back to you at a ridiculous price once you are done with the cruise).

We had chosen an express bus that took on a tour around Ensenada for an hour and dropped us off in a shopping/bar area.  Ensenada is rich with a proud Mexican heritage, a high level of academia and decades of foreigners from all over the world coming to visit and/ or live.  We notice that a lot of citizens of Ensenada had California accents since they had strong connections with the Westcoast of the United States.  On the way back, we saw Steve Job’s yacht parked at the docks.  We return to the boat in just 2 hours. Over all it was okay but not great.  The souvenir shops were overpriced.  It was more expensive than Hollywood Blvd souvenir prices!  We got some shot glasses and a dress for mom. We got back to the ship to eat and rested.

Carnival Cruise put out an itinerary everyday that detailed all the events throughout the ship.  There were dance events, night clubs, kid’s clubs, auctions, pool parties and MANY other events.  One of the most popular events was Cruise Elegant nights were everybody dressed up formal for pictures.

The third day we were at sea there was a huge pool party.  There was a DJ, people dancing, a contest for the hottest guy and girl.  It was very entertaining.  The buffets were so packed that day.

On the 4th day, we arrived in L.A. We woke up at 6:30 am, had breakfast and disembarked at 9am.  Overall, it was a fun food adventure with a spring break party feel but I was wanting a more peaceful experience.

Prices summary:

Ticket for 4 people + vacation protection insurance   : $ 1745.32

Shore excursions tours 2 adults + 1 child                    : $      54.97

Souvenier shop glass                                                     : $     10.00

low quality house dress                                                  : $     25.00

3 pcs 4 R photos                                                              : $     48.00

housekeeping & restaurant service fees $ 36.00/day : $   108.00

 

Tips:

1. Check in early. Like 4 hours before departure. You would think you are early but theres already hundreds lining up for check in.

2. Bring valid passport or birth certificate. Always have a passport or birth certificate even on travelling a closed loop.

3. Review the coverage of your insurance. If you have to cancel your trip for emergency reasons, call immediately days before your trip. Vacation Travel Protection do not give a refund if you are denied boarding.

4. Expect a crowd. People are not as well mannered as you think.

5. Prepare to spend more money. Everything has a corresponding amount except for the buffet food.

Hollywood Historic Hotel.. haunted?

First of all we want to say 95% of the people that go to Hollywood Historic Hotel seem to LOVE it.  The price is right, the location is close to great tourist attractions.  We are the other 5% who think it is haunted as HELL.  So take this article as an opinion from two random people who were there two nights.

We traveled to Hollywood, California to see the amazing city of L.A.  The only thing worse than the traffic was the ghosts in Hollywood Historic.

As soon as we stepped inside it had a strange feeling to it.  I mean, the renovations they have done are very nice.  They did a great job.  But there is something that else going on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QuWkraJNkU

It is hard to explain, but imagine how it would feel if you went to a hotel that was occupied by humans from the afterlife.  Have you ever went to a place and you felt like you are being watched everywhere you go?  That is how it felt in Hollywood Historic.

It feels occupied by other worldly creatures.  Perhaps the dead who have made it their home.  When we walked through the third floor hallway, it felt crowded.. but there was no one there.

Perhaps we were both hallucinating the feeling.  But my mom also heard something there.  In the hallway.  Someone running.  Only when she looked there was no one around.

You think we are crazy?  Well go see for yourself http://www.hollywoodhistorichotel.com/

Here is what others had to say:

hollywood historic haunted

hollywood historic haunted

annat

worst night

Play

USA Girls

If you are traveling to the USA and looking for American girls, you are in for a treat.  According to concensus.gov there are about 150 million women in the United States:

157.0 million. The number of females in the United States according to the 2010 Census. The number of males was 151.8 million. At 85 and older, there were more than twice as many women as men.Feb 22, 2012

There are more women then men.  And the best way to “hook up” is online.  How do you find American girls?

Go online (dating site)

Be honest, be foreign, be hot, be available

Make arrangements

About half of US households are single.  So you really have a chance.

For every 100 single women in the United States, there are 88 unmarried men available, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 46 percent of all households nationwide are maintained by a single person.Aug 20, 2010

Since most Americans do not travel outside the country, foreigners are considered very exotic.

 

thai girls

Thai girls are amazing!  They look good, they smell good and they are probably the main reason that people even travel to thailand.  As discussed in a previous article about dating thai girls, many of my friends and coworkers traveled to Pattaya, Bangkok and Chang mai.  If you go to Thailand it is MANDATORY that you hook up with hot babes.

There is probably no better place to find a date in South East Asia than Thailand.  One of my co-workers traveled to Bangkok after a nasty divorce and found an amazing wife on the outskirts of the city.  They bought a house and had a healthy baby boy.  The only problem was that Thailand has so many other amazing “potential” wives that he could not stop finding “options”.  The last time I talked to him, he was still traveling there and hooking up with 2 or 3 women at once then going home to his Thai wife and kid when he was done.  According to him, it was ok because many Thai men have “options”.  I am not sure if that was true.  Needless to say he is not the most ethical guy I have ever met.  Many of the Thai women I have met have been the “jealous type”, so I don’t think his wife knew about his travels.   I am not condoning this type of behavior, I am just telling you what happened.

We met a beautiful French/Thai couple in Pattaya.  Physically very attractive by any standard.  They showed us the many clubs for possible hookups (and/or prostitutes) in Pattaya.  They were very nice to us and it was really a pleasure to have met them.

our friends from thailand

friends from thailand

Another group of guys I know are huge fans of Pattaya.  It is a little touristy and crowded for my tastes, but it’s really not bad for a vacation.  These guys would date several women in Pattaya.  Their routine was to find two or three per day!  And for a little money you could have more.  Is it dating if you have to pay?

If you are looking for something in the middle (not one night stands and only long term if things workout) then Thailand is still one of the best.  A friend of ours has dated a lawyer and a doctor in Bangkok!  There are many very successful women and men there to choose from.  The economy is one of the best in South East Asia.  Those with higher education tend to know English, French, Spanish or some other languages other than Thai.

Pattaya

Pattaya

Most of the thai people we met were amazingly nice people.  It’s very easy to find a date in Thailand no matter what you are looking for.  The biggest barrier seems to be language since most people don’t know any English.  This makes a long distance relationship almost impossible, so Thai ladies looking for a foreigner usually look for those that are already in Thailand.  Another thing is race.  Just like Filipino women, Thai people favor the nordic/European look.  Although many in South East Asia are obsessed with the European look, there are definitely exceptions, but not many.

Overall, I would say Thailand is a great place for anyone to find a mate.  The Thai people as a whole are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.

I lived in South Korea for 1 Year

Back in 1999, I lived in Korea.  It was the first country that I have ever been to outside of the US.  Korea is where I first fell in love with Asia.  I was interested enough to learn some Korean.  I could read some of it and speak it.  I love the culture, the food and the people there.  Like anywhere else there were pros and cons to living in Korea.

Pros of Korea:

Food.  If you are a foodie who is not afraid to try new food, you will LOVE Korea.  The bulgogi, gimbap, amazing flavors and KIMCHI!south-korea

Moderate Prices.  You are not going to see Thailand or Philippines types of prices, but the cool thing about Korea, is that you can have just about anything made for a fair price that is less than half of the retail.  You can go to Itaewon (the Silk Road), Dongdaemun and many other places.

courtesy of becuo.com

courtesy of becuo.com

Great people.  My personal experience interacting with locals was great.  People accepted me with open arms.  It felt a little more open than Japan to me as far as attitude toward foreigners but perhaps I should have stayed in Japan longer to get a better feel.  Japanese people are more polite but sometimes I got the feeling that I was not welcome.  But I did not usually feel this in Korea.  They were very impressed if I could even say one word of Korean.  Some of the younger generation hated Americans and felt that the US is the reason for the tension between North and South Korea.  While the older generation that had parents in the Korean War (or where IN the Korean War) were very, very cool with Americans.  Maybe the younger people would like Canadians and Europeans better.  This was over a decade ago so I am sure things have changed for better or worse.

CON in Korea:

Rudeness.  It is not uncommon for people to bump you in the street, over take you when you are driving or walking, they don’t smile or give small talk usually.  I guess this sounds like a contradiction because I just said the people are great… and they are.  The rudeness there is legendary!  Here are a couple of examples: Seoulcafe on Korean Rudeness, Trish in Korea on Rudeness.south-korea

INSANE drivers.  The roads are not as dangerous as Kuwait, but it was so dangerous when I was there that I was too afraid to drive.

If you find yourself in Asia and considering Korea, you should definitely go.  The food is awesome and the culture is cool.. just don’t drive there.

Cruise identification

*k1 visa Closed Loop Cruise*

During our 3 day cruise from Long Beach, California to Mexico, I was worried that they would not let me on the ship since I am not a US Citizen.  I am a citizen of the Philippines and my status in the US was that of a “nonimmigrant” in the process of getting a permanent residency card.  At the time I had been issued an I512 parole card.

We called Carnival Cruise customer service and they said they did not have an answer on whether or not I could go.  The next day another Carnival cruise representative called me and asked about the cruise.  His name was Emmanuel.  I was so thankful that he called me back saying that I can go on the cruise.  Our cruise was only 3 days and was a “closed loop”.  A closed loop means it is going back on the same port where it started.  I also presented my passport and my I512 parole card and I was able to go.

When I returned, border patrol needed to see the same documents to determine my status in the US.

I had been researching the identification needed before we left for the trip. I have read in the cbp https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1139/~/documents-needed-to-take-a-cruise of what kind of identification has to be taken.

We were surprised that my mother inlaw couldn’t go with us on the cruise. For us citizens, a government issued ID is good enough but in the carnival cruise case, they require a birth certificate as a form of travel document or a US passport. She was confident enough to bring only her State card. She did not bring her birth certificate and did not get a US passport. This is a huge lesson for us. To always be prepared especially if you are planning on travelling outside the US. Because even when it is just a neighboring country. Their rules can get pretty strict.

3 hotels connected

We went to Las Vegas Nevada to try our luck on the slots.  What we got to experience was overwhelming heat night and day.  Luckily, the hotels provide an Oasis in the middle of the desert.

Mandalay Bay, Luxor Hotel and Excalibur are all connected to each other so you can just walk inside the building for what feels like miles.  And it takes you to another hotel and casino.  It is such an amazing architecture.

DSC_0023During our stay in Las Vegas, we stayed at the Luxor Hotel.  It was beautiful.  Some of the rooms look kinda old (they have done some renovations 2015) but it is still nice.  They offered buffet on the ground floor, a casino on the main floor and entertainment on the upper floor.  They had shows like the Jabbawokeez performing almost every night, the Bodies exhibition, Show Girls, Lax club, some fancy restaurants and lots of shopping!  It was a great experience. What I really enjoyed the most is the hotel’s theme. Every hotel in Las Vegas has its own theme to attract people.

DSC_0036

We walked Luxor hotel to Mandalay Bay.  They also had buffets there and casino. Mandalay bay look modernized.  It looks newer than Luxor.  They have their own shows and attractions too.

Before you get to Mandalay Bay from Luxor you to get to the Excalibur Hotel.  It looks like a Disney palace.  It is great for kids. It looks more like the palace from the Cinderella movie.  We walked inside and they had a huge casino too.  There are activities there that kids can do during a family vacation.  These 3 hotels has a tramp that will take you to each.  It has a small station where you can ride from Mandalay to Excalibur. These hotels has resort fees of average $60.00 per night but you can find deals from $30 if you really look.

Las Vegas is a beautiful place. It is full of bright lights, entertainment and fun.

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