Tag Archives: San Francisco

When Will I Recover

9 Jul

It’s been nine days since we returned from the US and both of us have not fully recovered from the jet lag! My goodness… it’s taking rather long.

Every night the whole of last week, we were waking up twice in the middle of the night at two hour intervals. The only one night I slept throughout until morning was last Friday when I went out for dinner with my golf buddies and I drank whiskey. I think it helped. The other nights were normal routines without any aids or meds to expedite the recovery.

So how long does one take to recover from jet lag?

From what I read online, it would take about a day to recover for each time zone crossed. Hmm… the time difference for us is 15 hours, so about two weeks to recover? Gosh…

Generally, jet lag is worse when traveling from West to East. We started out from Portland, and headed East to Salt Lake City, Amsterdam and finally Kuala Lumpur, that’s going East all the way. With the extra one stop (at SLC), long transit time and flying, maybe that’s why we are taking longer than a week to recover. Our 2012 trip to the US, we flew from East to West, San Francisco to Kuala Lumpur and that time, I took a week to recover from the jet lag.

Well, I woke up once at five this morning instead of twice before sunrise. Maybe a sign that I am recovering. Hopefully by the end of this week, the body would finally catch up with the time zone I am in and totally recover from the jet lag.

Massaged Kale

8 May

Yesterday M1 sent us a picture of her dinner, bought at San Francisco Airport. She was en route to another city but that is not the point. The point here is her dinner.

What is ‘massaged kale’ pray tell? The food that I am used to, Asian or Western or otherwise, does not need any massaging. The only thing I know that needs massaging (besides me) are them cows that give us Wagyu Beef. I never knew vegetable also needs to be massaged. We thought it was funny.

Then I decided to google up the meaning to find out exactly what ‘massaged kale’ is. Ahh… it’s the preparation step.

One should massage the kale with bare hands to soften them. And this process apparently will yield a softer texture, making it easier to chew compared to just using a utensil to toss the greens.

Hmm… We learn something new everyday. I may try both methods just to see the difference if I do buy kale the next time I am at the grocery store.


Trying Not To Cry

5 Jan

After three wonderful weeks with M1 home with us for her Christmas holidays, she left for the US this morning. Sniffle…

We had to wake up in the wee hours of the morning, and left for the airport by 4.20am for her 8.00am departure for Japan’s Narita International.

Heaviness filled my heart. No words can express the void a mother feels every time the child leaves home for the pursuit of education. No matter how grown up they have become, they still remain our baby. 

I shouldn’t cry or feel sad. After all, she starts the year as a Junior, midway towards her Food Science degree. Seemed like only yesterday when she left home to bravely travel by herself to start her Freshman year at university. But a Junior now and a seasoned traveler. How time flies.

I must say thank goodness for Skype and WhatsApp. With technology, we are able to get updates during the course of her journey when phones are allowed to be used. And with Skype, we talk frequently during school terms unlike the dinosaur era when I was in college. The only mode of contact was phone calls which were very short and expensive and of course, snail mail which Dad wrote me. A lot.

As always, I will be tracking her on flightaware.com and probably with anxiety as well. By the time this post is published, she would have flown almost two hours for the first leg. Hopefully, there’s no weather delay enroute to San Francisco thereafter.

Safe travels and pleasant flight while I try not to cry… Sniffle.

Some Things Do Change

20 Dec

While some things never change, some things do and we have to learn to go with the flow. Otherwise, we will be more dinosaur than ever.

When I went off to college and came home for the holidays, the aircrafts that I flew in were mostly the Boeing 747-400 model and I thought this aircraft was very comfortable. I loved the B747.

When M1 came back last week, she flew on United Airlines. And for the SFO-NRT leg, it was a B747 and because there were no personal entertainment units, she did not appreciate the aircraft like me. The final leg home was with a Boeing 787-8 and she thought, thankfully that was much better. 

I believe the B747 model has been replaced with newer and younger fleets by most airlines of the world except a handful like United Airlines. And you realize things change when your experiences that you cherish differ from your offsprings.

When I was younger, I would save every penny of my allowance and waited until there was an opportunity to go buy a cassette or two of my favourite musician(s). Then with my Sony Walkman (also purchased with endless savings), plugging in to my music was the best thing in life.

These days, like me, my M2 says she cannot function without music. So her iPod and a set of headphones go wherever she goes. And how does she get her music?


In fact, recently she asked if she could subscribe to Spotify Premium and hubby allowed; she ‘paid’ for the monthly subscription with her allowance. Now this makes you really open your eyes and acknowledge that things and time have changed when the need for the same thing has evolved with technology. Going out with the girls, I have also evolved, allowing them to plug in their music in my car instead of subjecting everyone to my CD choices of Jacky Cheung or Michael Buble.

Hmm… Maybe I should consider getting Spotify and perhaps plan a vacation flying off somewhere long haul with any aircraft other than the B747-400.

An American Thanksgiving

24 Nov

This year’s Thanksgiving somehow made me recall the one we celebrated four year’s ago in the most coordinated fashion. It may be one celebration that we don’t do often but when in America, we have to do what the Americans do! And it was by far, the best Thanksgiving ever.

2012 was the year of our Great Adventure Road Trip in the US. And it was the year my niece and nephew – the twins, were studying in Kentucky. And I thought it would be fantastic for them to fly out to California to meet up with us. And their sibling – my niece, K1 can join us too, flying in from KL since she was old enough to travel by herself. And we would all spend Thanksgiving at the happiest place on earth, Disneyland.

It took me more than a year to plan for our impending trip because there were so many stops, friends, activities and lodging to consider. And this extra family get-together time in California needed more attention because the three parties were coming in from three different locations. Very exciting that it culminated with good timing and no delays.

During the Thanksgiving week, we were just wrapping up the Las Vegas stop. By Tuesday, we left for LAX to pick up K1 who was flying in alone from Kuala Lumpur. The great mastermind–me–had planned for her to arrive that afternoon and estimated that she would come out to the Arrival Hall by 1.00pm and we can just pick her up curbside if we started our journey at 9.00am. The timing had to be perfect and it was. 

When we got her, the poor child was so zombied after the 18-hour plus journey whilst we were still fresh from our pleasant unhurried drive. We tried our best to keep her awake to adjust her to the new time zone. It wasn’t easy.

Staying close to the airport at Travelodge LAX minimized the travel time for the airport runs and was without a hitch when it was time to fetch the twins; it was most convenient and sensible especially to avoid the busy highways. The twins flew in by midnight after their last class and the next day, our fun began…

We played tourist and visited downtown Los Angeles for a day excursion to see all the famed attractions. Then by late evening, we made our way to Anaheim. It was to be our base for the next few days. On Thanksgiving morning, we were off to Disneyland and had the most memorable American Thanksgiving.

The seven of us had the best times of our lives with all the rides, sights, food and fun. And although dinner was just a simple meal at Flo’s V8 Cafe, what mattered was the experience and time spent together. The crowd was relatively small, yet there were still long queues for the more popular rides and we took it all in stride.

The Disney experience continued the next day at the main park and Universal Studios the following day. By Sunday, the Thanksgiving break was over and the twins headed back to Kentucky with K1, while we stayed on in Anaheim for three more days before heading north to San Francisco via the Pacific Coast Highway.

After that awesome Thanksgiving experience, our Road Trip continued and all other Thanksgiving was never the same again for us.


One Track Mind

11 May

It was a quirky conversation after dinner. The night before we left for Tawau, Sabah, M2 sounded envious that we were going away again.

Out of the blue, she declared, “Let’s go to Your-rope!”

“Your-rope?” I raised my eyebrow, “you mean Europe.” I was emphasizing the “you” instead of “your” in the pronunciation.

“No, Your-rope,” she reiterated.

I was intrigued, “Why? Don’t you want to go to USA instead to visit your sister?”

“I’ve never been to Your-rope.” Ahh. I’ve been enlightened.

“I know,” I replied her. But before I could go on, she blurted out, “London! But you’ve been there.”

I nodded.

“Paris! Hmm… You’ve been there too. Rome? Been there! See? I am replying for you to me! You’ve been to all these places and I have not,” she said.

“Well, you’ve been to the good places starting with the letter ‘S’,” I pointed out to her, “Singapore, San Francisco and Sydney but Sydney doesn’t quite count cos I was four months pregnant with you.”


“Let’s go to Your-rope!”

“When you are older, ok?”

Bundle Up!

9 Dec

Back in December 2010, we went on a family vacation to Korea and it was right smack during the winter time. And dang, it was cold! Seoul weather was in the low teens and sometimes in single digits even during the day. And when the wind kicked in, goodness gracious! Even the bones were not spared and chilled to no end.

It was the first time for M1 and M2 in such extreme weather conditions and I was worried for them. So I was constantly saying, “Bundle up!” to remind them to do so, every single time before leaving the comforts of the bus or the warmth of a restaurant into the cold blustering winds.

So much so, M2 started counting each time I said that phrase. The cheeky girl.

At the end of the eight day trip, M2 reported that I said that phrase 40 times! My goodness. Did I actually do that? I can be so predictable at times.

Then in November 2012, when we went on another family vacation, this time to the West Coast of the US, that familiar phrase was uttered again. However, as weather was not that extreme the whole time, it was mentioned only in cold places like Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon and San Francisco.

But the girls remembered! They would exchange knowing looks at each other and say out loud, “Yes we know… Bundle up!” Sometimes before I can even open my mouth, M2 especially, would beat me to it, “Mummy? Aren’t you gonna say ‘Bundle up!’?” Hrmph.

I cannot remember at the end of the three-week vacation, what my final tally was…

Now that M1 is in Japan during this cold season sans mummy, I made sure she has enough to bundle up without me having to constantly utter that now infamous phrase.

Carrots are Good, Part 1

13 Aug

I like carrots, not for its vegetable goodness but what it’s suppose to represent: rewards, as in the saying, dangle the carrots in front to get the results you want, you know.

M1 and M2 are both very carrot-, I mean, rewards-oriented. I think this is very good to spur them to dream big, study hard and do well in school. Little exams with good results will yield little rewards and big (main) exams yield a bigger windfall, it’s very clear cut.

Last year was a critical year for M1 to sit for her mid-high school exam, while M2 was to meet the target of staying in her current class. The big fat carrot: a trip to USA to visit the many places that they have only seen in magazines and travel documentaries: Disneyland, Universal Studios, Sedona, Sunset Crater, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, LA and San Francisco, just to name a few.

It was very inspiring to me to see them so motivated in their efforts to achieve what has been set out for them. There was icing on the cake as well! They get to buy whatever they fancy with their pocket money earned. Indeed a good deal for them, that is.

The big plan was set in motion early last year and the trip dubbed, “The Great Adventure Road Trip to USA”. However, in June, there were hiccups, dissatisfaction, anger, threats and tears as setbacks were encountered; targets were way off! Plans had to be restrategized to recuperate from the shock and disappointment. But the two young adventurers persevered again with their efforts and finally, determination and hard work paid off!

M1 did very well and M2 met her targets, in short. And so, in November last year, our big fat carrot was savored and brought many happy moments and memories for all. Looking back at those priceless moments, I would do it again without hesitation, that is, to plan another carrot-incentive trip to spur the girls on.

Well done!


The four adventurers!