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This is THE first ever trip log I've ever made with funny layout and terrible technique. I thought of redoing it but it may be a good idea to keep it the way it is to remind myself of the then Kam - a traveler who makes unhandsome web pages. It's fun to look at this page and laugh at myself from time to time.

 

Kam's US Vacation Travel Log
I Got My Break! Finally.

Kam Leung

All friends, folks, before you read please note that this travel log:
1) is more IE compatible. I am not good enough to make it look good in Netscape;
2) could be boring;
3) is guaranteed to have typos and grammatical mistakes. Kids please view under parent guidance.
Good luck.

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Time Line
Year 2000
June July
26
HK
26
US
27 28-29 30 1 2-4 5-6

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26th June in HK

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Where in the US is here?
No where. It's Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway. Technically, it's part of my trip.

26th, June, Hong Kong time. I hopped on a plane. No work for the coming 10 days. No work!

On a connection flight from Tokyo to San Francisco, a _____ (skipped to avoid race related controversy) guy took the seat beside me. Oh well, you can't always run into beautiful ladies on a plane.

Upon sitting down, this guy started whining that his feet were hurting him. I saw that his bare feet got a little skin burn from his new pair of shoes. Socks, socks are the answer Mister.

Then,

  1. Mr. Newshoes put his one foot on the chair with the little toe almost tickling my thigh. I guess I wasn't psychologically prepared for that kind of excitement.
  2. He put the other foot on the rear end of the arm rest of the seat in front. I wanted to see the face of the passenger in front after her elbow got in contact with Mr. Newshoes.
  3. Mr. Newshoes got his refreshment towel and ... applied it to his feet with the utmost tenderness. I sweated.
  4. 5 minutes later, he recycled the towel by using it to rub his chest underneath his T shirt. I promise I would throw out all towels in my possession and blow dry my body after each shower.
  5. I went to the washroom and back. Just to discovered that my pillow was placed on the floor supporting his wounded feet. He gave me a big grin and asked me if I wanted it back. On the bright side, I at least got to keep my blanket.
  6. I called for the beautiful stewardess and asked for a bottle of wine and a bottle of beer. "Mighty alcohol mixture," I said, "please knock me out for the rest of the flight."
A vacation started on the wrong foot. 

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26th June in US

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Columns at Stanford. Good looking. 

Kam was winding Stanford's clock while talking and pointing non-stop. Very busy.

Stanford graduate?

Arrived at San Francisco airport. My long-time-no-see high schoolmate, Mike, picked me up at the airport and dropped me off at Palo Alto for my first day trip.

Took a walk in the city and Stanford. Then sat in front of a restaurant with a piece of my favorite junk food - pizza, and watched people passed by.

It sounded less than exciting but that's my style of a vacation. Put myself in a relaxing surrounding that looks real different from my office and don't do anything. The battery would then recharge itself.

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On the street of Palo Alto, I saw this man who could be a hi-tech multi millionaire.

I want this gentleman ... 's wireless connection!

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27th June

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In San Francisco

Carb ... crab ... crab ... crab ... at Fisherman's Wharf

"Natural art" rock piles at seaside.

In San Francisco today. Had a big walk along the piers, then up the famous slopes, then Market Street. Got a rough idea of how San Franscico is like.
The best thing compared to Hong Kong is the almost lack of air pollution. My lungs got a vacation too.

Mike took me to a salad buffet for dinner because I asked for "something healthy". The salad was healthy. No doubt. I felt like I took a few inches off my waist just picking the salad from the bar. That was very good.... 

Then I found the desert bar. Whipped butter, whipped cream, ice-cream, chocolate fudge ... and the list ran on. I know my artery will chock on these things but it was my taste bug that was calling the shoots. Heart attack? It's just a rumor.

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Steep climb from subway up to street level. Looks never ending in the PIC.

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28-29th June

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Fans who don't ask for autographs

Midnight drive heading for Grand Canyon.

My craving for long distance driving and nature got me rented a car and started a short trip on the 28th. Left San Fransciso area at 10:30 am and by 7:00pm, I was at Las Vegas. 

After dinner, which was past 11:00 pm, I decided it's too late to stay. I headed towards Grand Canyon right way.

At 6:30am of the 29th, I hiked the West Rim Trial of Grand Canyon. This art piece of nature is truly amazing. And it's only such shapes and colors that can make me forget what work has done on me - for a while at least. 

(Warning: I tried the Bright Angle Trial and found that heart attack is NOT a rumor)

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You probably need facial hair before you can qualify for a park ranger at Grand Canyon. Just kidding Mr. ranger.

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Kam went diving in Vegas...
In that aquarium behind hotel Mirage's check in counter?

Fountain danced to Italian opera music.

Even McDonald's has to be visually competitive in Vegas.

Night of 29th, which is now. I am in Vegas sitting on the bed of my hotel room typing this travel log.

Vegas is not really the attraction of nature that I like but it's fun to see such a unique place.

I hated it though when I put my 5 quarters in the slot machine and in 5 seconds, I found that the casino had kept the million plus jackpot. Guess I want to post a negative feedback on Vegas. Payment made and no delivery.


According to my tourist guide, I can only find these landmark in New York .... I was lost! Show me the way back to Vegas!

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30th June

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In case you can't read the sign, it said HELL.

Alone onto the dunes? Suicidal.

Left Vegas in the morning and headed up north. Didn't expected much but nice scenery was everywhere.

Picked a smaller highway and ran into the Death Valley at near the border of California and Nevada. 

From my air conditioned car, the sand dunes at the bottom of the valley looked cute. I was tempted to take a walk onto the dunes. Guess what? It was about 50C (I keep forgetting how to translate that into F but I think it's well in the 120Fs). And there was the heated wind, peppered with sand, blowing into my eyes and noses. I have to mention that the Sun could be a different one from what I have in HK because it was definitely hotter. I returned to my car in just 10 minutes and I was sort of dried. Now I understand that an unprepared individual can actually die in a desert in a few hours. Nature can amaze and nature can fear. I am lucky to be able to see it with my own eyes and feel it with my own sense.

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Color of nature I

Color of nature II

Looking down from 8,000 ft. Felt a few worms moving up my inside thigh

Then up, up, up north. Yet another small highway into the Toiyabe National Forest. Looking down from some 8,000ft. was wonderful. 

And up, up in Lake Tahoe in late evening. I met another high schoolmate, Horace, who was attending a conference. I guess I was kind of exhausted from a few days of long driving, I lost control. At dinner, I cleaned out all butter and bread, ordered an appetizer and salad, then followed by a 16oz steak.... I remember I saw this sign before descending into Death Valley. It said H-E-L-L... So I skipped dessert.

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Beautiful Lake Tahoe

1:45 am in the morning of the 1st, July, Horace suggested we should check out Reno as well. So we went. Reno is a small scale Vegas and because the night was long, I placed a few bets and won myself some 40 bucks. Kinda nice to feel lucky. Then started our journey back to San Francisco.

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1st July

A day to relax back in San Francisco with Mike. He drove me and Horace around San Francisco and I think the city was just beautiful. Very nice to see it from another angle then when I toured the city on foot.

I asked for dim sum at lunch. Just a week from home and I was already thinking of the food if not home itself. Couldn't help it.

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2-4 July

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No more driving and traveling alone. Headed for Crater Lake in Oregon with Mike and his friends. After Horace took off. I became the odd ball because I was the only non-couple. I guess Mike was trying to tell me there is something I might be missing by bring me to this trip.

I slept almost all the way up. That should be more sleep than enough to make up for the sleep shortage in the last 3 month. Most difficult part was though to try to look not stupid in front of all the new friends while I was in deep sleep. I hope I didn't drool. 

Crater Lake was impressive visually because of it's blueness. Probably a result of special minerals in the lake, the deep blue color was like jewel and it had the depth to suck you in. Of course, the fresh air was always the invisible attraction that I would pay attention to. Battery recharged for another bit.

An unexpected program was the Monopoly game at nights. Mike's friends were Monopoly junkies and they wouldn't end the day before 3 o'clock in the morning playing the game. After playing with them for 3 nights, I found that early bankruptcy was my expertise. No good. It got me worrying about my own business back in HK now. 

Came back late on 4th July. Only celebration I caught was the small scale fireworks along the highway. I understand the joy of people being able to enjoy the freedom and rights that they deserve. I think that is the foundation of prosperity. I guess what I see in this country proves it all.

Oh, after the trip, the other 5 couples convinced me that I shouldn't get married - at least for now. Independence is king right? 

 
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5-6 July

Time to say good-bye to the US and my vacation. Wonderful trip it was.

At the airport, someone came up and asked for a donation. I then became literally penniless. Doing good deeds in fact paid off. On the plane, a beautiful Japanese lady showed up and asked me with heavy accent if her seat was the one beside me. Yes yes yes! But then a couple minutes later, her muscular boyfriend walked in. Well, may be more good deeds were needed.

Slept all the way after the plane took off. The US radar should be able to detect my snore above the Pacific Ocean.

When the plane touched down at the HK airport, I tried to think of work. Ha ha ha, I couldn't remember a thing. Thus the vacation worked.

Now it feels like a fresh start. 

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