Thursday, August 09, 2007

Random thoughts and pictures from my recent U.S. trip

Well, I am back in the P.I. after a two week visit in the States. I have a lot of catching up to do in terms of work in the S.P. and with my Miriam class. There are resolutions and ordinances to review, there is the allocation of my B.D.F., and the preparation of my class' midterms.

But before I continue with my life, I would like to pause, reflect and look back on probably my last trip to the U.S. for a long, long time.

Here are some random thoughts:

- Before passing through the security check in any U.S. airport, remove your laptop from its bag. Otherwise, the TSA (Transportation Security Authority) Officer will pull you out from the line and conduct a scrutinous inspection of your laptop. I experienced this when I departed Oakland airport.

- When renting a car, even if you prefer a mid-size or full-size sedan, choose a sub-compact. Usually, the rentacar companies will upgrade you to a full-size one at a sub-compact price. Neat, huh?

- To maintain communication with your friends and relatives, you don't need to spend lots of money using your Globe or Smart celphone. Go over to a Walmart and purchase a very reasonable disposable GoPhone for as low as $20 (with $10 load already).

- If you intend to drive in the U.S., make sure your Philippine Driver's License is still readable (i.e. your picture is clear and your number visible). My friend Barnett was not allowed to drive by the rentacar company when his face and number could not be read by the agent (dumikit kasi sa plastic cover yung tinta ng card. Cheapo talaga ng LTO).

Throughout my trip, I met a lot of friends and relatives. here are some pictures:

That's with my brother-in-law, Dr. Kitz Delusong, in San Francisco. He is studying there to enhance his specialization.

This is with my nephew CJ and travel buddy Barnett onboard the kiddie rollercoaster (it was the only ride the two would agree to ride with me) named Psycho Mouse in Great America theme park.

This is me taking down the number of an M-to-M chatline ad kuno. I saw this ad in SFO's Castro Valley. If you're wondering why I was there in the first place, well, my niece's friend, Xye, took me there for delicious pizza. Masarap nga. I would have enjoyed the pie better if not for the vivid PDA of the gay couple in front of me.

This is with my nanay Carmelite, at the Oakland Airport, before I flew JetBlue to Long Beach. She is currently a caregiver in Union City.

Eto naman, kasama ko si Lainie, high school friend ni Ria. I met her in Burbank. She was responsible for the Jay Leno tickets. Thanks Lainie and connections!

I visited my late lola's former driver, Mang Andy Manrique, in San Diego, where he currenlty lives with his family. They are originally from Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte.

With my niece Nicole in a casino in Henderson. I played 1 cent slot machine.

In front of The Venetian Hotel with my high school classmate, Ryan, in the Las Vegas strip.

Finally, Ked and I (the best men) and Earl (the groom) in the middle. Wynn Hotel, Las Vegas.

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