Monday, August 17, 2015

My US Trip Itinerary (2 Weeks)

My two week vacation in USA took a lot of planning and research to complete. For that span of time, I was able to cover/visit the following places:
  1. New York
  2. Washington
  3. Tampa
  4. Miami
  5. San Francisco
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Arizona
  8. Las Vegas
I was also able to visit other airports even just for a stopover (Moscow, Detroit and Minnesota) and I love airports. For the flight research, ClearTrip and SkyScanner are the best sites that you can use. It is always to have at least two references to compare the prices. For the bus, I compared Megabus and Greyhound. It is very important to plan, not just the tourist destinations and time, but also the budget and cost that will be required during the trip. Below is my itinerary that I prepared for this trip. I don't know but planning and preparing notes like this excites me. I used the below as base and reference for the entire trip. I can say that it I have followed almost 90% of it and the costs are almost exact (Except for the bus and flight, they are in exact amount. For hotels, you might need to add costs for tax and other charges.). Of course, there will be circumstances that you will spend more or make a sudden change. The list below doesn't include my shopping cost.

US Trip - Las Vegas

Las Vegas was the last stop of my "US Tour". This vibrant city is one of the most famous places in the United States. Not just because of its hotel casinos but also the night life and the amazing colors of the great architectures around the area. We stayed in the world famous 'MGM Grand Hotel' and it was a really comfortable stay. I was thinking that I am already in Vegas so why not stay in a prestigious hotel.

We tried the 'MGM Grand Buffet' and I must say, it was really good. You have a lot of options though the price is a bit expensive. Nevertheless, we had our dinner there twice hahaha. It was also great to see many Filipinos working in this hotel and they made us proud because the service was superb.

We just basically walked through the Las Vegas strip, day and night and felt the atmosphere and the joy that surrounded us.  There are a lot of stores where you can buy souvenirs and some gifts. Ne and I were excited to see those items and yes, we bought a lot of stuffs (especially me).

We stayed there for 3 days and two nights and we made sure to spend time on casino. Slot machines were the easiest and I was able to win at least eleven dollars haha. Ne was more risk taker as she played with the roulettes but she lost everything eventually. Overall, it was a fun and very exciting two weeks vacation. See more of our adventures in Las Vegas by playing below video.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My Serbian Trainers in Dubai

For the last few weeks, I am now trying to get back to the 'fitness' style of life. I stopped going to gym for almost a year and as you may know, the result is not a good one. Now, I am trying to lose weight and have a healthier lifestyle. Good thing, I can manage to workout on my own and the experience I had with my previous personal trainers helped a lot. I have posted here in my blog the profiles of my trainers from Manila and Singapore. Now, let me introduce to you the men behind my healthy body 2 years ago. Incidentally, they are all from Serbia and when it comes to fitness, they are very serious.

1. Jakša Sekulović. He is actually a tennis coach before transferring to Dubai and become a personal trainer. I learned from Jakša the importance of endurance. Since he is familiar with long hours of training for tennis, he managed to apply the same techniques on my fitness routine. Amazingly, our workouts resulted to a great outcome. I was able to lose 5 kilos every month and the clothes I was wearing was changed to Large from XXL. What good thing about Jakša is that he is flexible and knows how to use machines in different ways. He loves music and also an experienced DJ. Jakša is also very competitive. There was once a competition where they have to execute a workout routine in the shortest time. Check the below video to see how he managed to complete it. Fortunately, his team won.

Right now, Jakša is a tennis coach at 'Clark Francis Tennis Academy' and I am so happy for him because I know that tennis is his passion and it is where he is good at. The students in this academy, for sure, are very lucky having him as a coach.

2. Bojan Stajković. Bojan really knows his stuff. Our priority that time was to be more adaptive to different kinds of machines and equipment. He will push you beyond your mental and physical limits. Bojan gave me some advice about food control and how to choose the right and healthy meals. He has a wonderful and humble personality and very approachable for some help and advice (even not about fitness). He will motivate you until you reach your goals. He is knowledgeable in fitness because he is a very passionate cyclist and always on the road. For you to achieve that level of easiness in biking, you have to be very fit. Based on his Facebook profile, he's been travelling to other countries to either compete or participate in a cycling event.

3. Miloš Janković. Miloš was working at ‘FitYou’ when I got his services. He was in control of his time so we managed to have a workout in a gym near to my apartment. He was very focused when we were doing our sessions. We had a tagline before where he will ask, 'Are you ready?' then I will reply, 'Always'. We used to have plenty of circuit training but muscle development was not being compromised. He is also very passionate with this field and will assist you for anything that you need such as routine variations and nutrition information. I used to call him 'Eric Bana' of Dubai as they kinda look a like. Anyway, right now, he is doing part time modeling and working as a fitness manager in a well-known gym. I think he is now based in Abu Dhabi.

Right now, I am back in Fitness First near my apartment and on the “hunt” for my next trainer.

Pictures used are from their Facebook profile and were posted with their permission.

US Trip - Arizona

We arrived at Las Vegas around 6 PM and had few drinks in a bar. But in the next day, we boarded the bus that took us to the State of Arizona. I booked the tour online via and the service was not that bad. They provided coffee and bread from the bus stop while queuing in the line. At first stop, we found ourselves at Hoover Dam. The construction was built between 1931 and 1936. It is actually situated in the border of US states of Arizona and Nevada. Aside from being the largest reservoir in the US by volume, it also generates power for public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona and California. Actually, we were just outside the dam. We weren't able to get inside for some reasons. On the popular culture, they are saying that the US government is hiding a UFO or aliens inside the dam, haha.

After that quick tour in the dam, we had a buffet lunch along Route 66. Then we headed to the Grand Canyon. Oh, the view was amazing! It is one of the biggest tourist attractions that I have seen. The feeling was definitely and undeniably ecstatic. The national park is a UNESCO World Heritage site so you would expect a proper preservation of the place. I was in awe just by staring at it. We entered the park from South Rim as I believe it is more accessible for tourists. Around the area, you will find lodging services where you can book a room and enjoy the magnificent view. There are some stores and even an RV park. It was a very fast trip in Arizona but seeing the Grand Canyon was totally worth it. See more pictures from the video below:

Monday, August 3, 2015

US Trip - Los Angeles

From San Francisco, we headed next to Los Angeles via Megabus. We were fortunate to stay with Ne's relatives, Tito Raffy and Tita Lods. They were very accommodating and nice people. Their love story is superb but I won't go into details about that. Anyway, we stayed at their house and Tita Lods always cooked the best and tasty meals. Our initial plan was to get a hop on hop off bus tour but Tito Raffy was kind enough to drive us around LA.

Hence, our first stop was in Palos Verdes. We visited there the Wayfarers Chapel which is also known as the 'Glass Church'. It is very famous for glamorous wedding and the view that surrounded it is very peaceful because of the dramatic sceneries of the ocean and hills. We also made a quick stop at 'Redondo Beach' which is located in the South Bay region of the Los Angeles area.

Afterwards, Tito Raffy drove us around the very famous Hollywood Boulevard. But first, we went our way up to the 'Griffith Observatory' where we saw the very famous 'Hollywood Sign'. It was like a dream come true for both of us, we only saw it before in movies! Haha! The place was jam-packed with tourists but we were still able to get a good shot. Of course we wouldn't miss the 'Hollywood Walk of Fame'. We walked along the boulevard and took several pictures. Ne and I really enjoyed the place as we also saw some street performers and impersonators.

We also made a quick tour around the famous 'Beverly Hills'. Oh yes, this place is totally for rich people. The place is full of famous brands and I really appreciated the architectural structure of some of the stores. Of course, we couldn’t afford to buy anything in that 'mall' but walking around the streets was good enough to feel 'rich' even for few minutes haha.

The next day, it was Sunday and before our tour, we attended a service at 'Calvary Chapel South Bay'. It was a feel good moment that we were able to seek for guidance and protection on that day. We visited the 'USS Iowa (BB-61)' ship. It is the last lead ship of any class of the United States battleship and was the only ship of her class to have served in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II. We also visited 'The Queen Mary', also an old ship that sailed primarily on the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967. They said that there are ghosts inside the ship. We also made a fast journey at 'Downtown Disney' and 'Universal Studios' but we didn't get inside as for myself, I have tried it both in Hong Kong and Singapore. We just walked around the place and enjoyed some ice cream and the surrounding itself.

On our last day in Los Angeles, we were on our own. Tito Raffy had to go to work. So Ne and I took bus and train to reach the famous 'Farmers Market'. It is basically a place where you can buy a lot of stuff and eat several cuisines at very affordable prize. And just beside the market, is 'The Grove'. It is like a big mall where people can buy signature labels or just enjoy the place. We watched the movie 'The Maze Runner' and we kinda enjoyed it. Tito Raffy picked us up to get home. From LA, we headed next to Las Vegas but that will be in the next post. Play the video below to see more of the pictures we took during our LA trip.

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