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Trip 2019 Travels 2019 Travels   All of my travels in 2019. Walter Ch (US)

2019 Travels


All of my travels in 2019.

  • 26Mar 2019

    1 Delayed to Orlando 03/26/2019 USA —

    Orlando, USA


    I decided to take another trip to Florida, which was originally planned in 2018. But something came up, and that trip never happened. But this one will, as I would make a return trip to Orlando, and make my very first visit to Tampa Bay. I would be resuming my baseball stadium quest, and hoped to finish within the next 2 years. And visiting the theme parks, including SeaWorld. But no Disney this time.

    Started the day, by packing up. Since my mom was my ride and had to leave early for something, I would leave home very early. Dropping off at the train station, I took the train first, to Temple University. I would use the computer, to buy a 2-park ticket. Then bought lunch, but no time to eat, as I had another train to catch. Arrived at Philly Airport, where I ate my lunch. Then went through security.

    I walked to the gate, and later found out that my flight was delayed by 1 hour. Then a second time, and the final one being about 5 hours. Meaning that it would not be until night time, as the Frontier Airline had to get another plane, as the current one has mechanical problems. When asking about booking with other airlines, they could not do it. So I looked at other options, and saw a cheap flight with Spirit Airlines. After some thinking, I decided to book that.

    Luckily, the gate was just across the way. No need to change terminals. I told some people what I did, and thought that refund was not possible. But one of them, told me that he got a refund. So I asked for one myself, and got it. Though, the Spirit one cost a little more than Frontier. Still, reduced the cost for me. I tried to get on an earlier flight, but it was full. So I just waited and charged my devices.

    When it came time to board, I was able to get on the plane, having the aisle seat. And shared the row with 2 other people, also from the Frontier flight. It turned out that this plane was not full, so the middle seat person sat in a different row, giving me and other person some leg room. The flight took off, leaving Philly, and back to Florida for me.

    Arriving in Orlando, where it was that odd feeling that I would not be going to Disney World. I took that familiar tram, and to the curb. I decided to take Mears Shuttle, since it was well after sunset. It costs more, but it would be faster and safer.

    I would ride in a cab, and the only one in it. I had to say, to go to Magic Castle Inn, since Mears does not go to the hostel, since it was the closest location that I can think of. The ride took longer, as part of a highway was closed off due to police activity. But I was able to get to the Magic Castle Inn, which itself, was not easy to find, due to the setup of Highway 192, and how the hotel is not visible from the street. I just decided to get off, a block away, to save the driver the trouble.

    Being in the familiar area of Kissimmee, I walked to the 7-Eleven, to get a coupon for Rays game. Then walked to the Palm Lakefront Hostel, which was farther than expected. The same one from 2013. It was only $20 per night, so it was unbelievably cheap. But I knew that I would get what I paid for.

    Arriving at the hostel, I checked-in, with Julia at front desk. We did talk for a bit, as we were going through the process. Then I went to the room, and met a guy named Luis. He was from Colombia, and traveling through the US. We talked for a bit, as I got settled in the room. The room did feel hot, as the air-conditioner did not seem to work properly.

    After a long day, I finally made it, even if the hostel seems more rundown than before. I did not have anything originally planned, so I was not upset (much to my surprise). Just wanted to get as much rest as possible, mainly for the next 2 days.

    That was when this trip will really begin!

    Photos & Videos


  • 27Mar 2019

    2 Visiting Tampa For First Time Ever 03/27/2019 USA —

    Clair-Mel City, Tampa, USA


    Started the day, getting up early enough, so I can make it to Maingate Lakeside Resort. This was where I would catch the bus to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Plus I wanted to stop by a pharmacy, to get some things.

    Leaving the hostel, I went to the bus stop, to catch the Lynx. I hopped onto one. When looking up directions on Google Docs, I had a feeling that I got on the wrong bus. I did ask the driver to be sure, and it was the wrong one. I got off, and waited for the correct bus. When it came, I rode it to the Maingate Lakeside Resort. Once in the area, I stopped by the Walgreens.

    Afterwards, I walked one way, but realized something was not right. So I called the hotel, and found out that I went the wrong way. So I backtracked, and found the hotel. This was where I waited for the shuttle bus to Busch Gardens, getting there early enough. So in the meantime, I took care of some times, and waited at the stop. And it started to rain.

    The bus came, and I got on it. It made one more stop, then headed to Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay. The ride took less than 90 minutes, as I had the row to myself. The bus arrived into the Tampa area, as I finally made my first ever visit to the Tampa Bay area.

    Arriving at Busch Gardens, I saw that it was already crowded. I had to get in line, first a bag check, then a ticket scan. Only that the paper that I printed, was not actually a ticket. So I had to go back out, to the kiosk, to get the 2-park ticket printed. Then had to go through the same 2 lines again.

    After all that, I was finally in Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, or BGT for short. I have seen this place for various TV shows. Picked a park map, and just went basically, in a counter-clockwise direction. I would only focus on the animals, as I did not really have a desire to go on the rides.

    Started with the American alligators. Then to the Myombe Reserve, which was a walkthrough, that has chimpanzees and gorillas. Then came close to riding the Serengeti Express Train. But decided not to, as I was hungry. I have not eaten anything so far, this day.

    I came to a stand, as I had an All-Day Dining Deal. I decided to get this, so I can eat as much as I wanted to, and not worry about the costs. But it would not be accepted everywhere. I got a chili hot dog, which I did enjoy.

    After the meal, I would see some more animals in the same area. Then went through Animal Connections, and Edge of Africa after that. Toured around this area. Then continued on to the Egypt area, where I saw cheetahs. Then backtracked to the main path, which would take me to the Animal Care Center.

    The Animal Care Center is the animal hospital, featured in the TV show, "The Wildlife Docs". I went inside, and looked around. There was a display, on the veterinarians that are often appeared on the show. I saw the different rooms, then sat on a keeper talk, as a keeper held a snake. It ended with a Q&A.

    I left the building, then saw some Asian elephants, before entering the Pantopia area. This part has a more Asian look. I did stop to try to get some snacks from a stand, but my card was not accepted. But I went inside a restaurant, where my card was accepted. I just got a cheesecake and soda, and learned that All-Day card is only accepted in certain places. I just sat and enjoyed my food, and even got to see a performance on stage, where 2 ladies would sing some 80's songs.

    Afterwards, I continued on, to the Congo area. This was where I considered going on a ride, the river rapids. But I did not want to get wet, and had no place to store my bag without paying. So I just watched the rafts passing by, and seeing the riders getting squirted by a spray, which is activated by people. As if some type of target practice, or an amusement park game. Kind of relaxing, though I stood the whole time.

    After a while, I continued on, seeing more animals along the way. Too numerous to list here. And considered getting on the train at the Stanleyville part of the park. Even got in line, but had to make a decision, whether to ride this, or see the rest of the animal exhibits. I asked myself, which one would bother me more if I missed it? I decided to see the rest of the animal exhibits.

    I would enter into a couple aviaries, and a kangaroo area. And I'm glad to decide to see these things, as it would have been more disappointed to miss them. I did hurry myself, as I still wanted to ride the train. So after seeing the rest of the animal exhibits, I walked to the first station of the Serengeti Express Train. I decided to ride only half of it, and get off at Stanleyville.

    Getting on the train, it went into the open field, with the African animals roaming free. I would see rhinoceros, which can only be seen from the train ride. And there is a possibility of the animals blocking the tracks, as there is no barrier around it. Also saw giraffes and kudus as well. Thus, my visit was complete. More about visiting the park and more photos in the review, in the zoo blog.

    Arriving at the Stanleyville area, I got off, and just walked towards the exit. I would get some bottled water, which is covered by the All-Day Dining Plan anywhere. Then browsed a little at a shop, before exiting the park. Closing time was approaching, as well as the time to catch the bus before it left.

    Exiting the park, I went to the bus with enough time. When the time came, the bus left Busch Gardens and returned to Orlando. Arrived back at nighttime. Getting off, it was really chilly. I took the Lynx bus back to the hostel.

    Once there, I just unloaded my bag there. Then looked into doing laundry there, but none were available at the time. So in the meantime, I went to a nearby shopping center, stopping by a Panda Express, thinking about dinner. But decided not to, to save money, and it was getting late. So I went back to the hostel. Also had to make sure that I knew when the front desk opened, so I can check out early.

    Back in the room, I packed up a little, and ate some of the food that I brought from home. And talked to the roommate, Luis for some time. We were the only ones in the room. Took care of some things, as this was my final night at this hostel.

    Photos & Videos


  • 28Mar 2019

    3 Return to SeaWorld 03/28/2019 USA —

    Orlando, USA


    I got up early, so I can check out of the hostel, and head to my next hotel. Packed up my things, all done by 7 AM. This was when the front desk would open up. Returned some things, and left the hostel. It is very cheap, and even more rundown. Still, I won't rule out staying here again, mainly due to the cheap price.

    I took the bus, taking me into Disney World. This was where I had to transfer. When waiting there, it was weird that I would not be going to Disney World at all, even if I am in the Orlando area. The next bus came, and I rode it towards SeaWorld Orlando. I would arrive at the Days Inn by Wyndham Orlando Convention Center.

    I was disappointed to learn, that there is a $45 fee for checking in early. I really needed to unload some things. But I was still able to store my bag there. And learned that there is a free shuttle bus to SeaWorld. Something that seemed to have gone missing at hotels on Highway 192.

    I waited until the shuttle bus came. Then rode it to SeaWorld Orlando. Got off, and walked to the entrance, as this was my return trip since 2013. Since I started visiting zoos and aquariums, I decided to give SeaWorld another visit, and see it with a different set of eyes. More like an aquarium and less like a theme park.

    Started this visit with breakfast, as there was still the All-Day Dining Plan, and I have not eaten anything. After that, I started with Dolphin Nursery, which has dolphins in a pool. I assume this was where dolphins were rehabilitated. Seeing them above and under water. Then decided to see re-trace my steps from my 2013 visit.

    Seeing the flamingos, Stingray Lagoon and Dolphin Cove. As I wanted to see all the shows, I walked to Dolphin Theater. I got there, and it was already crowded. But I did find seating in the shade. The show was called "Dolphin Days", which was different name from 2013. Still the same type of show, but not boring at all. I did really like it.

    Then a short time after, I went to Sea Lion and Otter Theater, to catch "Sea Lion High: The New Class". Getting there, not nearly as crowded as the dolphin show. I thought this one was okay, but not as good as the dolphin show. But better than the 2013 show, which I originally thought was boring.

    I did make multiple stops at Voyager's Steakhouse, which I learned about, from Youtube. I decided to get lunch, as the lines were shorter this time. I would get the sample meal, which included large portions of ribs, sausage and chicken. And it was so good! After lunch, I saw more of the park.

    I would see the manatees, where they were rescued and nursed back to health. And the only attraction that I did, was Turtle Trek. And did visit some places that I missed in 2013, like the Jewel of the Sea Aquarium, and the Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. And some repeats from 2013, like Pets Ahoy! in Seaport Theater and One Ocean at Shamu Stadium. I liked both of those shows as well.

    Afterwards, I would try to see the rest of the animal exhibits, like Wild Arctic and Shark Encounter. And eat as much as I can. But one thing that I would miss, is the Pacific Point Preserve, with the sea lions. And finished seeing the marine life with Manta Aquarium. More about visiting this park and more photos in the review, in the Aquarium blog.

    I would end my visit with one last meal, the last with my All-Day Dining Plan. And I would say, I got full value of it, and more, eating a lot more than if I did not have it. Then browsed through a couple shops, as I was tempted to buy some things. But I did not, and left the park.

    I walked back to the hotel, and finally checked in. Then went to the room, to get settled. I decided to spend more, for a nicer hotel for a change. And relaxed until I went to bed.

    Photos & Videos


  • 29Mar 2019

    4 Laundry and Pin 03/29/2019 USA —

    Kissimmee, USA


    Getting up early enough, I wanted to make sure that I got the laundry done, as I ran out of fresh clothes. So I did that, but after the dryer part, my clothes were still wet. And I did bring this issue to the front desk, but all they did, was get someone to check out the broken dryer. I should have asked for a refund.

    I would dry out my clothes, until checkout time. So I got some breakfast, and later, picked up my rental car with Enterprise. The rental place was only a block away, so very convenient. And got to talk some sports with the agent, who came from Minnesota.

    Back at the hotel, I waited as long as I can. Luckily, I have a car, so no need to pack all within my bag this time. I would check out and went to Highway 192, in the Kissimmee area. I came to some non-assuming building, as I was dependent on Google Maps, away from the main street. Inside, was a collection of stalls, sometime I would normally see in other countries.

    I came to a place called "Booster Packs and Beyond", which has mainly Disney pins. Sold cheaper than in the parks, as I heard about it from Youtube. And thought about starting a collection of pins. I wanted my first ever pin to be a Disney pin, and decided to check it out, as I did not have any set plans.

    I browsed, and saw a variety of pins, whether related to movies or the parks. And even some non-Disney pins as well, like Pokemon and Toothless from "How to Train Your Dragon". It was tough, trying to decide which one will be the first, as there is that tendency to go crazy. After a while, I would get a 2019 Disney pin. After my first one, I would get more later on, whenever that will be.

    Leaving, I decided to go to a Subway, to get lunch. I ate there, and after getting a drink, I was leaving the Orlando area. And driving to Tampa.

    Photos & Videos


  • 29Mar 2019

    5 Unique Hostel in Tampa 03/29/2019 USA —

    Clair-Mel City, Tampa, USA


    Driving to Tampa, I started to feel tired. So I would stop by a parking lot, and rest for a little while. Basically, sleeping in the car. After that, I stopped by gas station, to get some water. Then resumed on the road, towards Tampa.

    I arrived into the city, and got confused by the directions, as I tried to follow manually. I would end up going in the opposite direction, so I had to turn the GPS on my phone back on, using some valuable bandwidth, which is limited on a monthly basis. After doing that, I was able to get to the Gram's Place Hostel. Turned out, relying on GPS ended up saving me a lot of trouble.

    I arrived at the hostel, and was able to check in, as I got to meet Rhonda. She was the owner of the place, and very interesting person to talk to. As she showed me around, I could not help but be amazed at the type of hostel this place was. It was almost as if, it was some type of treehouse. I would stay in the Amsterdam room, upstairs. There was an outdoor kitchen and shower. Very unique place, and possibly an attraction of its own.

    As I got to the room, which does look very promising. And already better than the Orlando one. Looked around some more, and bought a Rays ticket on my phone. I chose to get the more pricey one, for better seats at the ballpark.

    But I could not stay long, as I wanted to get a head start to the Rays ballpark, Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. So I left the hostel, and back on the road.

    Photos & Videos


  • 29Mar 2019

    6 Seeing Rays 03/29/2019 USA —

    St. Petersburg, USA


    Leaving the Tampa hostel, I would drive to St. Petersburg, which was separated by Tampa Bay (referring to the large harbor). A long bridge connects the 2 cities. And the drive was not as disorienting as I thought it would be.

    Arriving into St. Petersburg area, I was able to find free parking, with favorable hours. So this will help save some costs. I took picture of intersection, so I can refer to ti later, when finding the car. Then walked to Tropicana Field. When getting there, it was not open yet, so that gave me some time to walk around part of it.

    When realizing that there was nothing noteworthy, I just turned around, and to one of the entrances. I did notice a lot of Astros fans in attendance. When the gates did open, I was able to enter Tropicana Field. Also known as "The Trop". And even ran into some Phillies fans, who I talked with, for a bit.

    This ballpark has been around since 1990, and even once home of the Lightning. The baseball team started play in 1998, originally as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Then just became the Rays in 2008. As I walked around, I wanted to see some of the attractions before the game started.

    First was the Rays Touch Tank, which was a pool full of sting rays. But it was empty, and would not have rays until start of the game. I did not feel like waiting, so I had to skip it. Disappointing.

    Second was the Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame. This was basically a mini version of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. And for its size, it was pretty extensive. As the name would indicate, there was a display on Ted Williams. Plus there was a series on the Negro Leagues, and different hitters that made it to the Hall of Fame. And some on baseball in the Tampa Bay area, and more. A bunch to see, and worth seeing. Especially for baseball fans.

    Leaving the museum, I would see some sculpture out of the wall, of a guy catching a fly ball. Hard to describe. Then went to the Rotunda, which turned out to be the main entrance of the ballpark. I did check back at the Touch Tank, but still no rays. So I just went to my seat, which was a quite a distance. And my time was short, as I wanted to get to my seat before the start of the game.

    I was able to make it with barely enough time, sitting in the middle of a row. It was a great view, being on the home plate side. I think that I got my money's worth, for the most part. I looked around, as I am glad that this stadium has a roof. And would be surrounded by people, who were very knowledgeable about baseball.

    During the game, when trying to get a photo taken, I would get to know an usher, named Marshall. And we would talk for about 2 innings, about the stadium and even the other sports. It definitely was an interesting time.

    The Tampa Bay Rays played the Houston Astros, the 2nd game of the season. This would be the earliest that I ever attended a game in a season. And I noticed a lot of Astros fans, which was common to see more away fans than home fans. Almost all of the scoring was done in the 3rd inning, with the Astros jumping to a 2-0 lead. But the Rays scored 3 in their half. Then the Rays scored another run in the 6th inning, from a home run. And it ended that way, with the Rays defeating the Astros, 4-2.

    After the game ended, I went to lower levels, for better photo opportunities. Then went to a gift shop, to browse for a bit. I looked at the pins, and thought, maybe later. Then I left the ballpark.

    I thought it was an okay stadium, not as bad as I thought it would be. Just that I hate that there was hardly any reliable public transportation, hence why I rented a car. Walked back to the car, having trouble finding my way. And very good thing that I took photo of the intersection signs, which proved very helpful. Otherwise, who knows how much longer.

    Getting in the car, I drove back to Tampa. Even listening to a station playing 80's music. Made it back to the hostel. Then went inside, to unpack. Took care of a few things, as this was the final night, before going to bed.

    Photos & Videos


  • 30Mar 2019

    7 Delayed Again, and Stuck 03/30/2019 USA —

    Clair-Mel City, Tampa, USA


    I was able to wake up early enough, to get ready and pack up my things. I did eat the rest of my snacks, as breakfast. And got to talk to some people, who were traveling around Florida for a bit. Then just left the hostel, as there was no formal check out process. I will say, this was one of the most unique hostels that I ever stayed at. And would not mind staying here again.

    I drove to the airport with no problem. But getting in the area, there was the issue of refueling the car. I had to look up where any gas stations were, and did find one, that did not stray too far. Just had to go to this one, to refuel the car, which was a 7-Eleven. After that, I went back to the airport. And dropped the car off there.

    I walked to the terminal, to check-in and print my boarding pass. That was when I learned of a lengthy delay. When getting to front desk after waiting in a long line, and telling the agent that I would kill time by going into the city. But the agent warned me that the delay time can change to an earlier time. So if I missed it, it would on me. So I was stuck here.

    As it turned out, the delay was reduced by 1 hour, but still a long time. I took a tram, and went through security, to get to gates. But when unloading some things there, I saw that my camera was missing. After security, I went through my things again, to make sure. And yes, it was not there.

    I filled out a form online, and called the hostel first. It was not there. Then called Enterprise a few times, but no luck. Then it hit me, from the day before, when I threw my jacket in the car, I heard a thumping a sound. That was when I realized that my camera may have fallen out, I had to call the airport Enterprise. And turned out, they did have it. I was relieved.

    So I went back to the car rental center, and did get the camera back. So I guess the delay, and the fact that I did not venture into the city, were blessings in disguise. Because I would have been devastated that I could lose those set of photos. The camera sometimes, is the better option than the cell phone.

    So back to the gates, and got lunch there. Luckily, that place allowed free refills of drinks. And just waited for time to board. A long wait, but after all that, I really should not complain. When the time came, I did finally board. And sat with other people, who I got to talk to.

    The plane took off, leaving Tampa, and arriving back in Philly finally! But taking the train back, took longer. But I did finally made it back home!

    This was an interesting trip, and possibly the first of 2 visits to Florida this year. And got to visit another stadium, as I visited Tampa for the first time.

    Photos & Videos


  • 08May 2019

    8 Full Yankee Return 05/08/2019 USA —

    The Bronx, New York, USA


    Decided to make a last minute trip to New York, as I wanted to see a full game at Yankee Stadium and more. I packed really light, as this trip would be for only 2 days. I would arrive into the city by bus, getting into Manhattan in the afternoon.

    After getting off the bus, I decided to go to a Chipotle, for a lunch. With nothing else planned, I wanted to get something to eat, and kill some time until check-in time at the hostel. I did some people-watching while eating a pricey lunch. After the meal, I went to the subway, exchanged for a new Metrocard. Then rode it to the Jazz on the Park Hostel, where I stayed in 2017.

    After checking in, I would go up 5 floors by steps, as there was no elevator. Then just got settled and rested for a bit. After that, I went to ride the subway to the Bronx, as I arrived later than planned. I only spent a little time, looking outside of the stadium. Then entered!

    I went to Monument Park, and much to my surprise, there was no line. I just walked in. A huge difference from my last visit in 2013. Though, it was very sunny, making it hard to take good photos. Another difference was seeing the numbers and plaques of the more recent Yankees that have retired, which included Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams and more. As I was looking around, I did notice some people in visiting team gear. When done with this place, I went to the New York Yankees Museum.

    This place has gone through changes as well, with fewer display cases. I just focused on the changes, with a display of different players, including Jeter and Mariano Rivera. Plus one on the 1978 season, and how the Yankees made a comeback to win the World Series that year. So this place has rotating exhibits, I guess, to get people to return to museum.

    After the museum, I had enough time to get to my seat, as the game would start at 6:35 instead of the usual 7:05. My main reason for this visit, was to see a full game here, which I did not in 2013. This was due to spending a couple innings, seeing the museum. Normally, I would allow 1 inning at the most to miss, depending on reason.

    The New York Yankees took on the Seattle Mariners. And this game would be one-sided, as the Mariners took a 5-0 lead, as they hit a few home runs. During the 7th inning, when the crew go around the diamond, they would do the YMCA. Something I missed in 2013, but I do remember seeing it at the old stadium in 2008.

    The Mariners would end up winning the game, 10-1. It was a chilly night, and good thing that I packed an extra layer, to wear. Surprisingly, the final score was not displayed at all, on the scoreboard. I guess that applies to any embarrassing losses. I will say, I was happy to see the Yankees lose.

    I stopped by the store, to browse. Then went back to Manhattan. I stopped by a Baskin-Robbins, for some ice cream, and ate it back at the hostel. Then went to the room, where I would meet some more roommates. They were exchange students from UNC, originally from Hong Kong.

    Took care of some things, and trying to decide what to do the next day.

    Photos & Videos


  • 09May 2019

    9 Greenwich and Lower 05/09/2019 USA —

    Manhattan, New York, USA


    Started the day, trying to decide what to do. I considered visiting the Bronx Zoo, but with the limited time and high admission price, I decided to save it for another time, that is less rushed. With the sky being cloudy, I decided to walk around Greenwich Village. I packed up my things and checked out of the hostel. Then to the subway, going to Greenwich Village.

    When I arrived there, I walked to Washington Square Park, in the New York University area. Also known as NYU, as I have been here a few times before. Named after George Washington, was formed as a public park in 1871. There is the fountain, and people playing chess. But the most notable landmark is the Washington Square Arch, which has statues of George Washington. I looked through it, from both sides.

    After looking at the arch, I went to a nearby McDonald's, to eat a brunch there. Then came back to Washington Square Park, and just sat for a bit. I did some people-watching.

    I got to visit this area back in the late 1990's, and always remembered it as a unique area, as well as interesting. A different side of Manhattan. Will it still hold up for me? This would be my first visit with a digital camera, as I would be following a walking tour.

    Leaving Washington Square Park, I came upon Washington Mews, which used to be stables. Looked like an old side street. Then went inside the nearby Church of the Ascension, and sat for a bit. Then back out, walking along 10th Street with its elegant-looking row homes. Continued walking around the area, seeing different buildings and side streets.

    Some places of note, include the building from the TV show, "Friends". And I went to see the outside of what was considered the Cosby Show house. The "Friends" building is very touristy, but the Cosby Show one is not. I have seen every episode of both shows, as I used to love them both. Interesting enough, the Central Perk is actually inside a Warner Bros studio, which I have visited.

    Continued walking around, until I came back to Washington Square Park. And that ended the walking tour. I have to say, it does hold up for me, as it is interesting now as it was then. I remember, seeing this area, it made me really like this city, and part of why I continue to visit this unique city in the world.

    With some time left, I decided to visit the Brooklyn Bridge. Rode the subway to Wall Street, and came close to walking across it. But I wanted to see the entire bridge first. So I went towards the East River to see it. I thought that I could do both with the time I had left.

    Well, I came upon a comic book shop that I took a detour in. That would cancel the part of crossing the bridge, but no big deal. I stopped by a few places, until I got to the South Street Seaport. There was the Titanic Memorial and the museum there. But no time to see the museum.

    Instead, I went to Pier 17, where I would see the East River and the boats that passed by. And the Lightship Ambrose, which was a lighthouse on a boat. Plus seeing Brooklyn on the other side, and the 2 bridges (both named after boroughs). I see that this pier is relatively new, as it was a great place to look around. I did not stay long, as I walked along the river on the East River Esplanade.

    I would see the Brooklyn Bridge, then the Manhattan Bridge. Then left the area, as I came into Chinatown. I did a quick walkthrough, seeing a few statues as well as Kimlau Memorial Arch. But not enough time to linger longer, as I had a bus to catch. I did see Columbus Park, and saw some Chinese locals playing games there. Then went to the subway, to get back to midtown. I was running short on time.

    Stopped by Penn Station, then walked to the Megabus stop. Arrived there, with just enough time, as I did run a bit. Much to my surprise, the line was not long. I was able to get on the bus, and had the row to myself.

    The bus left NY, and arrived back in Philly. Though, it arrived late. I would then take another train to get back home, ending this short trip.

    Photos & Videos


  • 16May 2019

    10 Reading Baseball 05/16/2019 USA —

    Reading, USA


    I have been meaning to take a day trip to Reading, which is an hour outside of Philly. But never really got around to it, until now! Main reason was to see a baseball game there.

    Leaving home, as I got off to a late start, I drove to the town of Reading. Once I got there, I went to Infinito's Pizza Buffet, as I was hungry. It was an all-you-can-eat buffet, or pizza and pasta. It was okay, but nothing to write home about. And drinks were extra and overpriced. But I guess they need a way to stay in business.

    After lunch, I debated whether to visit one of the attractions. But none really stood out enough, to make me want to visit with limited time that I had. Plus I did not want to be rushed, trying to squeeze as much in as possible. Instead, I decided to go to a LA Fitness, to take care of some things. Then went to the Reading Public Library, to use the computer there. I went to one branch, but it was too crowded. Then went to the main branch.

    After the library closed, I went to FirstEnergy Stadium, with enough time. Turned out, parking was free, and I was able to find space. Then stood in a long line, to enter the stadium. When I did, I got a program and a free cup. Then looked around, as I went through the team store. And to the wall of team photos over the years.

    It was interesting to finally be here, after hearing about them for so many years. I knew them (and still refer to) as the Reading Phillies, the double-A affiliate of the Phillies. Even if their current name is the Reading Fightin' Phils. Seeing the collection of team photos on the wall, I recognized a lot of names of past players, whether they had a long career in the majors or not. Including some that were part of teams that have made it (but not always won) the World Series.

    Walked around the ballpark, then went to my seat. I would sit in the section behind home plate. The seats were dirty, but my assigned seat was not, fortunately. Should I be surprised at this? During the game, there was the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor, who would throw hot dogs in the stands. And the Veggie Race, this team's mascot race.

    The Reading Fightin’ Phils took on the Portland Sea Dogs. And while no home runs were hit, the Phils would dominate the game. After falling behind 1-0, the Phils scored 4 runs in the 3rd inning. And really never looked back. They would defeat the Sea Dogs, 7-2. Good game to watch, and possibly seeing some future Phillies down the line.

    After the game, I browsed in the team store. Then left the stadium. I went to a few places in the Reading area, before driving back home. Arrived back around midnight.

    I finally did what I have been meaning to, for some time. Now that was done, I do plan to visit all the other minor teams of the Phillies team, and more. It was a very nice day.

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  • 25May 2019

    11 Dutch Wonderland 05/25/2019 USA —

    Lancaster, USA


    This would be a day trip to Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, and meet up with my sister's family. Originally, it was suppose to be a weekend trip, with me and my mom staying in a hotel. But after seeing the cost of staying in the hotel, we decided to just drive up for the day instead, to save money.

    Started the day, getting the necessary things. Then the drive to Lancaster with my mom, on a cloudy day. It went well, as we reached Dutch Wonderland around the opening time of 10 AM. We parked at a nearby shopping center. Then walked to the park.

    We waited until we met up with my sister and her family. They had all the tickets already, and have arrived the night before. We entered into the park, and started with the Skyride. Then did a round-trip on it, as it did go to the other side of the park.

    I only recall having visited once, back in the early 80's. Probably back when we used to live in Philly. This was a park that has been a staple of Central Pennsylvania, as I did remember a few things from back then.

    After the Skyride, I would make a very big mistake. And that was riding the swinging ride. That made me feel very sick, as I also made the mistake of looking sideways. Somehow, my sister and niece did not feel sick. After getting off, I just wanted to sit down for the rest of the day. I just felt very lousy.

    I tried to push on, as I did not want to ruin for everyone else. We would go on the train, and they would do a few other things. But I was not really getting any better. To the point where I just did not want to eat either. We would also ride the monorail. And then the Frog Prince Show, where I would sit in the back, so I don't get wet at all.

    And that would end my time, as my mom was getting tired as well. We left the park, and she would do the driving back home. I slept most of the way. And arrived back home.

    It would have been a nice time, but unfortunately, my mistake would end up being very costly. No more swinging rides for me.

    Dutch Wonderland is a nice park to visit, but probably not one that I would re-visit unless I am with family. Or if I was really into rides. The shows were enjoyable to watch, and actually pretty good. I'd say, entertaining enough for entire families.

    Now, I just needed to recover.

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