Hello from Los Angeles!
My sister is here for one semester on an exchange program between her school NUS and USC. I flew in her with her to accompany her, help her settle down and also to explore the place with her before she starts her term on 9th January.
I really wanted Le Hubby to come along but he had work commitments, plus he has to go for his National Service reservice in 2 weeks time so he can't make it. I miss him so badly already! :(
I flew in on 1st January morning (Singapore time) and arrived on 1st January morning (Los Angeles time). Waited for my sister for around 3 hours+ at LA Airport because we flew on different flights. I bought my tickets much later than hers so the price for Singapore Airlines shot up to almost $3000 for departing on 1st January, so I had to fly on Delta Airlines instead which was around $1800 for a round trip ticket.
Both our flights were via Narita but I departed a few hours before her that's why I reached earlier.
Thank God I went to LA before last year with Le hubby because Delta flights arrived in the domestic terminal and I was kinda lost when I came out because it looked different. Only when I left the gates did I realized it's a different terminal (not much signs around cos they were undergoing renovations). I had to take the shuttle bus over to the main International Terminal (Tom Bradley) where all the international flights are landing at.
Thank God for free wifi too! So I can whatsapp her to tell her where I'll be waiting for her so she can see my message when she arrives. Spent the time reading on my Kindle and watching some shows on Le hubby's spare Samsung S3. Before the trip he asked me to give him a list of books, music and shows that I want so he can download them onto the Kindle and his Samsung S3. Best hubby ever! :)
When my sister arrived, we went to collect the car which I rented for 2 weeks and drove to her apartment where she will be staying for the next 5 months. We explored the apartment to make a list of what to buy at the supermarket, washed up than headed out to Farmer's Market! It's also the first stop for me and Le hubby when we visited LA last year. :)
Christmas decorations are still up! :)
CARAMEL APPLES! YUMS! I LOVE LOVE THEM!
Look at all the yummy cheesecake! ^_^
Poor sis was sick (cough and flu) because of the weather
Our last stop before heading back was to Walmart to buy some necessities because the apartment doesn't have any blankets, bedsheets, toiletries, utensils, food. Luckily it has the basic stuff like furniture and appliances like microwave, stove, oven, washer, dryer. After reaching home she just concussed and slept till noontime the next day because she's so jet-lagged, plus she became a bit sick because of the cold. Poor girl.
The time difference between Singapore and Los Angeles is -16hours. So if it's 1pm in Singapore on 1st January, then it's 9pm in Los Angeles on 31st December.
It's easier for me to switch to the time difference because I was working the night shift for so long.. Also I told her one of the trick is NOT to remember what time it is in Singapore because it's a psychological barrier. If it's daytime but you see that it's nighttime in Singapore, your brain will kinda panic and you will automatically feel tired because you will compare both timings and tell yourself "It's my sleeping time now".
Though it's easier for me than her, it's not entirely without challenge because I wake up at 4am in the morning and struggle to go back to sleep. Usually I just wake up and go find something to eat or do some housework (my sis had a maid her entire life so she's not really good with housework - not an excuse and she better start learning while she's there by herself).
Yesterday was a chillax day because she has not recovered from her cold and sore throat, so we decided to go to the nearby Little Tokyo to have a walk.
I've not been there before but thank God I have Le hubby's trusty Tom Tom GPS! He asked me where I wanted to go with my sister and saved all the places of interest in his GPS under the Favourites so I can just click and go! :) If we wanna go anywhere else all we need to do is to put in the city name, street name and unit number and we are good to go! Best companion to have on a self-drive holiday!
Lunch was at this simple Jap restaurant
We ordered the same Chicken teriyaki set!
The portion was so huge we had to tabao one set and keep it for our dinner! Same thing happened the night before at Cheesecake Factory where my plate has so much potatoes, I tabao it for our breakfast the next day. Hahahhaha!
Look at the woman beside me!
Both of us were wearing jackets and the locals are wearing singlets and shorts! Some were even walking around in slippers! Wah lao damn hardcore! The weather is not that cold but it gets chilly when the wind blows. Average around 18 degrees celcius which is cold by Singapore's standards. Hopefully I'll get used to the cold and dress down like the locals!
We walked around Japanese Village Plaza and even went to the Jap Supermarket where there's so many yummy Jap food at crazy expensive prices! My sister splurged on a box of miso soup paste cos she wanna have hot soup at home.
Afterwards we went to another Walmart nearby and bought lots of food products! The Walmart we went on the first day had lesser food selection so this time we really whacked! My sister was surprised and amazed to see the food prices here because compared to Singapore they are really cheap... and I've not even brought her to the other supermarkets like Food 4 Less where it's even cheaper. Well, you need to see for yourself to believe because things in Singapore are really overpriced.. no choice since we import most of our stuff from overseas.
We bought fruits, vegetables, canned food, a few tubs of Ben & Jerry and Haagen Daz icecream (around USD4 each) and while on the way home we decided to to go the factory outlet mall! I was worried that the icecream will melt but we decided to go ahead since it's so cold and we can always refreeze the icecream. We did not go back to the apartment and come out because it's a detour.. thank God the icecream survived! Hahahaha!
This is the closest outlet mall to LA city, and the next closest one will be nearer to Disneyland (40mins drive away). Parking is free but because of the huge crowds we decided to valet park instead so we can have more time to shop!
Largest Christmas tree in the world!
GUESS WHAT I FOUND!!!!!???
Buy 3 get 1 free! Wahhhzaaaaahhh!!
Of course I bought 4 apples! I love caramel apples so much! My sister doesn't want to eat them because she said they are too sweet.. when I tried to feed her a slice she just shudders and shake her head. SHUDDERS! So funny lah!
Best buy of the evening will be my Hello Kitty Vans! I saw the display set on the shelf (last piece) without the hello kitty heads and told my sister they are so cute and I must buy them.. then while paying, the guy said "Where's the heads?" and both of us were like "WHAT HEADS?!". He walked to another shelf and there's 1 box with a brand new pair in my size! LAST ONE IN MY SIZE! And when he opened it, there's 2 Hello Kitty heads inside! He said someone must have stolen the hello kitty heads from the display set.. -_- But anyways, thank God he's so nice and thank God there's one last pair in my size! WOOHOOO!
USD29.95 + 9% sales tax!
My sister's happiest buy was a Kate Spade wallet at a really low price. I can't remember the exact price but it's 60% off + additional 10% off because I went to take the VIP discount card (free) at the visitor centre. My sis always say I am very aunty, but aunty is good when it comes to saving money!
We also bought other stuff but these are our favourite buys of the day! :)