USA Work & Travel Week 9-10 [5 day tour: 19-23 Jul]

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Alright, I’ve finally decided to continue writing after a long break. One more week till the new year. I wonder if I can finish this on time.
As much as I love to do free & easy, it was really very expensive for us to travel everywhere as the transport is freaking expensive unless you drive. Going to Boston will cost like $60 just for transport. Going to niagara will cost 80+30 inclusive of transport to new york from point pleasant. Going to phili would be at least 20-30. Washington is like totally out of the way from new jersey. After all these crappy considerations, a tour was the best option. Well, we were in the east coast and there’s ao many national monuments we had to see since we’re there already.
Gosh, this tour was really a touch and go. woahx.

we booked the tour from gotobus.com

5-Day USA East Coast Tour Package – From NYC/NJ
From USD$327

well there was buy 2 get 1 free promotion and we had 4 people. And we ended up paying $270 usd each. However we had to squeeze 4 to a room since their hotels come with double queens. There was alot of drama throughout this whole tour man. seriously. but then again it’s over.

[Day 1: 19th July]
We left PPB really early in order to reach NYC at 830am.
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We had to meet at the entranace of empire state building and we waited and waited.
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2 phone calls from 2 different numbers came. We only managed to pick up one.
Guide: are you all on the tour?
Me: Yes we are waiting outside empire state
Guide: aren’t you all supposed to meet at chinatown?
***My itinerary printed out clearly stated 830am at empire state. It was a mixture of not very clear chinese nor english. I don’t know how we communicated = =

Nevermind, after the hassle, we entered entire state building[$20 entrance fee], took photos blah blah blah.
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it was sunny, but i had my sun glasses and my excessive sunblock! So it was fine.
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i can’t seem to recall which floor we were on. was it the 89th floor? we could recognize a few random buildings here and there but NY looks really packed and tight. it’s like playing sims city. every inch is  photo 38970_464429666208_1220216_n.jpg photo 38970_464429676208_1674757_n.jpg photo 38970_464429686208_8031281_n.jpg photo 38125_464430016208_5335054_n.jpg

we got on the bus. it was really interesting! Everyone had preassigned seat numbers. Usually it is first come first serve? But anyway, they rotated the seating arrangement every day. Lol. Our tour was a very random mix of asians of all races. The guide had to speak in english and chinese. While he usually spoke canto. Wow. I shouldn’t complain too much.

Anyway, at 11am+ after empire state. we received another call.
Person: Aren’t you joining our tour group?
Me: WHAT?! I am in another tour group already!
Passed the phone to the current guide in the bus and all he told me was I will handle it without even explaining the situation to me. I was really really pissed off at that time. Wow. how come we booked a tour and there a two different tour guides calling me, saying that I am supposed to be on their tour. Big screw up man. zzz. and i remember i asked ALOT of times to try to find out what happen. he simply just refused to explain and brush it away by saying everything is settled. I hate the feeling of not knowing what happened. This was just the beginning.

Anyway, we continued our NYC tour by going to Rockefeller Center,
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Time Square. Everywhere was a touch and go. like 20-30mins just for photo taking. Looking back now, I don’t even recall much.
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After that, we went to USS Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum. We didn’t enter the museum. By the way, the tour price was exclusive of all museum charges and boat rides. we had to pay for the rest. Thus we did not visit all the attractions. We had lunch there. clam chowder and a bagel. =)
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after lunch, we went to venture the outside of the ship. though we are not sure if only ticket holders could enter but i have this act blur mentality and we just went in. it was super sunny but super windy. lol.
it was a sunday and there was an exhibition.
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random display?
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anyway there was this aircraft thing where the person asked to see our tickets. guess what i said. my friend is holding on to the ticket! and he just let us pass. lol. but there was nothing much inside.
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the surrounding area was really nice.
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really a nice place to chillax. i love the sky.
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after that was the boat ride to see the statue of liberty[$26 boat ride]! this was it. lol. the iconic statue on an island. we fell asleep during the boat ride. under the hot sun. it was scorching hot but sitting on the deck gives you a better view. sunblock and sunglasses ftw!
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interesting skyline. all buildings. not very neat somehow.
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if i didn’t remember wrongly, the commentator was really interesting and had alot of funny jokes. but i was really tired that day. hardly slept the night before =/ it was a saturday night and there was a party.
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well, next stop was the Metropolitan Museum of Arts whereby we decided not to enter as it was $18 or $20. But then again i went to Guggenheim the following week.
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well we didn’t waste our time. obviously we had to venture somewhere and with a map and iphone, you will never be lost. we had ice cream and venture the other side of central park. gosh central park is really huge. anyway, not sure if i mentioned but new york was like a grid. there was like just avenues and streets. streets run horizontal, while avenues run vertical. i think central park had the span of 20-30 streets.
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and it was walking and even more walking. im sure they hated me some point during that awfully hot walk. to some monuments which i didn’t knew existed. photo 38555_464431356208_2411661_n.jpg
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alice in wonderland! finally found it!
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and, we found the boathouse too! i can’t remember which drama they said it was, gossip girls? it’s a really interesting place. but there was a long queue. it was a sunday by the way.
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There are really beautiful fountains.
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awesome car.
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we had to walk all the way back to the museum.

our next stop was UN. but guess what, it was a sunday. and this was all we saw.
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following that, we went to wall st. i could never imagine what it looked like.
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and this was the icon of wall st.
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didn’t manage to take the picture of the bull because the are was so small and there was so many people.

anyway, something was really wrong this whole trip. it was not following the itinerary which i had read online. according to the itinerary, we were going to boston right after empire state building. i keep questioning myself it we were on the wrong tour. we were supposed to go madamn tussads instead of moma. questions burning in my head, and the tour guide refused to address them. all he told me was, everything is okay. you will visit all the locations. he didn’t even bother to give me the itinerary when i requested from him a few times. wow. so for the whole trip, i did not know where i was going next. and maybe i was really on the wrong tour. and no one cared to check. grr. it was only after i talked to another tour member, that i found out where we were going next. seriously, why so screwed up? because it was.. budget?

after that, the bus drove out of new york, into NJ for our hotel. i think it was holiday inn for the first night and we had dinner at the nearby (15mins walk) macs.
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and of course i’m eating.. snack wrap!
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it was only $3.77. inclusive of the 2 for $1 baked apple pie! it’s different from the one in sg.
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and that ended our first day. what a mess.

[DAY TWO 20th Jul]

After the free hotel breakfast, we rushed to Philadelphia. the land of the cream cheese. lol. we had to queue up to see the liberty bell (FREE) but it started raining. and raining and raining. it was so cold.
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and the highlight of the bell was that it cracked.
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i guess it must have been really symbolic in the past and maybe present.
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we went to National Air and Space Museum [FREE] it was really quite interesting inside.
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i guess such stuff is the pride of the nation.
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i felt this was really interesting.
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propaganda..
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and i regret not buying this.. i really ate it when i was young!
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and we had mac’s for lunch again. the only cheap choice.
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and i decided to splurge on the agnus. gosh. fantastic!
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and next was the 2 famous buildings
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and even more memorials!
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Jefferson memorial. I felt it was really really pretty in a way.
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he was really huge.
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this was the vietnam and korean war memorial. sobs. (i just watched forrest gump last night)
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i really love this place. it’s really a nice place to sit and relax. i really wonder if locals visit this place just to chill.
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doesn’t it look like the image on a bill?
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we ended the day by taking the washington dc cruise ($22)
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it was a really windy ride.
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we went for a $15 buffet dinner after that.
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i was so happy when i saw soya bean.but mine was rather tasteless because i didn’t know how much syrup to add.
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to be continued.. alright i’m back a day later. gosh. im getting lazy.

[DAY THREE 21st Jul]
it was a boring day. there were only 2 places on the itinerary. hershey world and corning glass centre.
well we went for the free hershey tour whereby they show you how chocolate is made. quite interesting. i really wonder if they got the inspiration from charlie and the chocolate factory. but then again, everything was fake. but it was very nicely decorated. photo 35257_465060136208_3125688_n.jpg
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LOL. CSR. sounds so familiar.
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i should have bought this.
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so interesting ain’t it. i really wonder how people actually finish it. won’t they get bored of it somehow. i mean how can you not get bored of something =/
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and there was the offer. was it 4 for 11 or 3 for 12 or i can’t remember. there were alot of flavours and i regretted not getting more. and i think it was a tax-free state!

after that, we went on the bus for another long ride to conning glass centre.
it was the famous produce of corning ware but honestly i felt that it was a waste of time. anyways, we had to pay for entrance tix and obviously we didn’t want to waste money. however, we saw that under 20, kids enter free! so me and justina decided to try our luck and they didn’t even check our passports or anything. LOL. but that place was really not interesting.
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but we ate some snacks there. which were not cheap. $8 just for that o.0
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after that we went on a long bus journey to Niagara falls.
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we stopped by somewhere for dinner but we didn’t want to eat. i think it was indian food buffet. so we went over to the supermarket to eat. and i can’t exactly recall what we ate. probably some food on offer. on a side note, i remember talking to some locals after dinner. asking where we were from and all that. really friendly people.
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one of the 7 wonders of the world: Niagara Falls!
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canada was just across the river..
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we stayed in this really really ulu hotel. i remember i was feeling quite sian because we didn’t really do much that day but sleep on the bus. wanted to go somewhere near the hotel but there was no where. it was like a really small motel in the middle of nowhere and it’s darkness everywhere. i remember i went to use the computer to print our airtix confirmation in the lobby. and there was wifi internet. woah! the reason why the iphone users usually sleep later. wahax.

[DAY FOUR 22nd Jul]
breakfast was awesome.
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Today was another sleep on the bus day. It started with the really interesting maid of the mist ride whereby you enter the boat, anad everything you see is just water splashing on you. and water everywhere, and it makes one round and that’s it. HAHA. but it was still a nice smurfy experience.
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well we didn’t pay to watch the movie. and i bought my penny book here because it was on offer! but it was still $4. and i bought a postcard which i only mailed home when i was in san fran. one day before i flew off. and the funny thing is, when i reached home back in sg. on the very day, the postcard arrived in the mail. LOL.
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you know i thought i was really lucky to be able to see a portion of the rainbow. until i saw my friend’s photo which had like a super long rainbow. much longer than this!
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yea the water was terribly strong and powerful.
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and it was hard to keep your camera not wet.
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we had lunch there. and we set off for our 8 hour bus ride to Boston.
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they dropped us at chinatown in Boston. giving us the option of eating a luxurious lobster dinner but we decided to save money and explore the place on our own!
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dinner! duck and char siew and porridge. i was greedy and i want everything. it was only $5.75!
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of course with my beloved teh-bing!
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and i think i have a talent in making food look better than it taste. gosh i’m hungry and its 1.48am. growl.
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with that we ended the day!

[DAY FIVE 23rd Jul]
Gosh this day was a MAD rush. to summarize. we had to visit MIT, Harvard and Quincy Market, go for some cruise which we didn’t go, and rush to Boston airport, and reach NYC at 8pm. how did we do it?

30mins for each university, and 45mins for quincy. but then again im thankful to have went to Boston last week already.

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don’t all LTs look the same.. hmm.
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i didn’t even had time to absorb this. all i know it’s the world largest or oldest calculator or something.
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the river cruise we didn’t sit. oh well, we already sat 3 boat rides this trip. liberty cruise, washington cruise and the maid of the mist.
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quincy market
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i don’t know where i took this picture from but it looks good.
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that was the end of our mad 5 day trip. we had to pay $30 for tips. so although we paid 267+.. i think after everything, we paid almost 400.. oh wells. it was still cheaper than free and easy.

with that i conclude my 5 day tour post! hurray.
let’s count how many more i have to go
(1) last 3 days in PPB
(2) 5 days in LA
(3) Disneyland & Universal Studios
(4) LV
(5) SF
(6) Taiwan

oh gosh. even if i write one each night, can i even complete before 2011. zomg.

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