1 November 2008
Lately, I haven’t had a chance to update my blog as often as I used to. I am not sure if there still be anyone following my post here anymore. Anyway, I decided to write a short journal of my recent trip to San Francisco Bay area here for the sake of memory.
From October 18 to October 22, 2008, I had a chance to visit San Francisco Bay area for the first time. My friend from Thailand came for a conference in Mountain View, California and he invited me to be his guest at the conference. It was a good chance for me to fly from Portland to San Francisco and traveled around the city and then met up with my friend for the conference. I spent the weekend in San Francisco, visiting various famous spots of the city including the Golden Gate Bridge, the famous Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39 (where you could watch tonnes of sea lions on the pier), Coit tower, Lombard street (the crookedest street in the world) and the Palace of Fine Arts. I also had a chance to visit Stanford University in Palo Alto and the NASA Ames Research center in Mountain View. All in all, it’s an enjoyable and memorable trip.
Below is the video I took at Pier 39. You may notice the noise of those sea lions.
I also included the gallery of photos of my trip here as well.
31 March 2008
I have just been back from a one-week Spring break trip. In fact, the trip was planned as a short three-day trip from Portland to Seattle by train. However, I ended up crossing the U.S. – Canada border and visited the city of Vancouver of the province of British Columbia in Canada. Traveling to Canada this time was an impromptu decision which turned out to be enjoyable and memorable experience for me.
I departed Portland by Amtrak Cascade northbound train to Seattle. With several stops along the way, the train took me approximately 4 hours to reach Seattle. The city is the biggest metropolitan area in the Pacific Northwest region. My first impression of Seattle is its hilly terrain and modern architectural buildings around downtown areas, including an upside-down skyscraper shape of Rainier Building, an unusual structure of the Central Library and the famous Space Needle, the legacy of the Century 21 Exposition (World’s Expo) held in 1962 . The waterfront of Elliot Bay provides a spectacular view especially from the Seattle Aquarium. Personally, I enjoyed the modern arts and scultures around the Seattle Olympic Sculpture Park and Fremont area as well as the Seattle Art Museum. A view of Seattle cityscape from Alki beach in the West Seattle area makes the place worth visiting.
Initially, I planned to go back to Portland after a couple of days in Seattle. However, my friend drove a car from Portland to Seattle just a day before I scheduled to take a train back. He asked me to join his road trip to Vancouver, Canada which is just about 100 miles away from Seattle. As I have never visited Canada before, I agreed to travel across the border with my friend. I spent a couple of hours preparing the documents and went to the Canadian Consulate in downtown Seattle in the morning to apply for a visa and got the visa just before noon. It was fast and easy. Then, I was ready to hit the road to Canada. It took us 2 hours to drive from Seattle to Vancouver across the U.S. – Canada border.
Vancouver is the third largest city in Canada. The city will host the Winter Olympics Game in 2010. Downtown area is vibrant and energetic while the city is just minutes away from the natures; both mountains and beaches are easy to reach. The waterfront area and the famous Stanley park boosts a spectacular view of the city. I also took a Seabus, the public transportation from downtown waterfront area to North Vancouver, which provided a beautiful view of Vancouver by the waters. I also visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge which is 230 feet high and 450 feet across the raging waters of Capilano Canyon in North Vancouver.
All in all, this Spring break trip was enjoyable and adventurous experience for me. Now I have to get ready for the Spring term which starts today. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to my next trip around the U.S. and beyond in the upcoming Summer break.
You may check out my facebook photo page for more pictures from this trip by clicking here.
31 December 2007
It’s new year’s eve and I wish you all the very best for the year to come. I hereby post an e-card I made from the photo I took at the Grand Canyon. It’s breathtakingly beautiful and I just want to share it with everyone.
Last but not least, I have a short video clip of the famous dancing fountains at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. The music in this video is one of my favorite holiday’s tunes. It’s called “Carol of the Bells.” Please enjoy the magnificent show.
Happy New Year 2008!
25 December 2007
I have just been back from a 4-day road trip to the Southern Oregon during Christmas weekend. I and my friends hit the road early on Saturday morning and drove along the Pacific Ocean scenic route. We drove some 170 miles south of Portland and spent a night camping by the beach in a camp ground near the city of Coos Bay. On our second day, we drove a short way by the ocean to the town of Bandon and decided to go East via Roseburg and headed to Crater Lake National Park in the middle of the State of Oregon. Here, it’s the start of Umpqua-Rogue rivers scenic route, another beautiful drive in Oregon. We ended our second day at the little town called Prospect (with 350 total population) at the historical hotel of the town. On Christmas Eve, we finally arrived at Crater Lake. Unfortunately, the road to the lake was closed because of the heavy snow the previous night. Anyway, we had a good view of the surrounding area around the national park. We went further South to the city of Medford near the border of the state of California and Oregon. We stayed the night and celebrated our Christmas Eve there. We headed back to Portland on Christmas day. We spotted a small town called Sunny Valley on our way back and we thought it was a good idea to check it out. At least, I had a shot with the street sign resembled my name. Yeah, it’s Sunny in Sunny Valley. We paid a visit to my friend’s friend in Eugene and arrived back safe and sound to Portland. This concluded our enjoyable Christmas road trip.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!
11 December 2007
Yes, I am in Hollywood and my vacation trip here has been an amazing experience so far, especially today as I had a chance to see not only one but three Hollywood stars in a day. First, in the morning, I joined the hand and footprint ceremony of Will Smith at the world’s famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Will Smith’s latest movie, I Am Legend, will be open across the States this coming Friday and this is a perfect time to honor his achievement. I was lucky enough to have a chance to shake hand with Will Smith after he decided to cross the road to greet the crowd who waited and cheered him up throughout the ceremony. By doing so and delivering a remarkable speech at the ceremony, I think that Will Smith proved himself to be a truly Hollywood star. Click on the link below to watch a video clip of his speech. (As I was recording this from the other side of the street, the quality of the video is not good because there was traffic blocking the view from time to time but the sound is audible.)
Here are some pictures I took…
Will Smith got out of his car and waved to the crowd. (Please do not mind my hand waving back at him…)
Will Smith crossed the road to greet the crowd.
I got to shake hand with him.
He was entertaining and friendly.
Look at the crowd!
In the evening, I went to Universal City Walk Hollywood and joined the world premier of the movie Charlie Wilson’s War starring three award-winning actors including Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman. No, I didn’t have a chance to watch the movie but I could watch it later. The reason I went there was to watch the lead stars of the movie walking down the red carpet. Luckily, I could take a few good pictures of Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts when they were giving an interview.
Last but not least, I have a short video clip of Julia Roberts when she gave an interview. Let’s check it out.
This concluded another day of my enjoyable trip in Hollywood. It’s definitely a home of the stars, literally!
7 December 2007
Yesterday, I began my winter break journey by flying from Portland International Airport (PDX) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The 2-hour flight went well except that the departure time was delayed by 2 hours because of heavy air traffic. Eventually, I arrived at the hostel in Hollywood, where I would stay for a week, around 11 PM. It was raining lightly so I decided to take a hot shower and go to bed. I will head out and explore the neighborhood today. It is interesting to walk along the well-known Hollywood Walk of Fame and check out the stars on the street.
It’s time to hit the road. I will update my blog here when I get back. Stay tune.
14 September 2007
“All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go…”
As I am about to leave for the U.S. to further my study this evening, my feeling right now wouldn’t be much different from the song “Leaving on a Jet Plane” originally written by John Denver in 1976. Well, there is nothing more to say here. I just want to say good bye to all my dear friends in Bangkok. Even though we won’t be able to meet each other and hang out regularly like we used to, we could still see each other online via internet messaging service. The world nowadays is getting smaller and smaller. For those who missed me, you could always check out my blog here as I will keep updating. The next post would be after I arrive in the U.S.