2010 US Tour Diary

Looking back at 2010 now, one of the best things to happen to me during the year was the trip to US. The chance to visit US, on duty, was jinxed for some years, but finally got to go at the start of 2010. I took a flight from Bangalore International Airport on the 3rd of January 2010 to Los Angeles, California. I was to work at Thousand Oaks, California which is about 45 miles from Los Angeles.

Below is a short account of my visit to the places of interest in US from my tour diary.

Jan 16th and 17th 2010 – Universal Studios
I am a movie freak, and it would come as no surprise to the people I know that Universal Studios was on the top of my ‘MUST DO’ list. I was very excited. I had purchased the annual pass and was hence entitled to visit multiple times till the end of the year. I was accompanied by 2 of my team members who were also at Onsite for a short duration. Inside the Universal studios it was all fun – Terminator 2 Show, the special effects show were the ones I loved the most. But the best was the Studio tour – A bus ride through the real shooting floors and lots. We were shown some of the props used in landmark movies like Jurassic Park, Back to the future, Jaws etc. We got to see the movie setting of ‘Bates Hotel’ used in the Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece ‘Psycho’. I also shopped few memorabilia, including 2 miniature Oscar Statuettes for family and a close friend.

Jan 23rd 2010 – Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
The ‘Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Memorial’ is situated at his estate at Simi Valley, California. The highlight of the visit is the Air Force One stationed inside the museum. They did not allow us to take picture near or inside the Air Force One, but it was a great experience to step inside an Air Force One and see for real the insides of the famous plane. Also of interest was the replica of the Oval Office.

Feb 14th 2010 – Big Bear Lake City
I had never been to a place where it snows, before this trip. This was again a first-time experience for me. In this trip I had some of my Onsite colleagues and their family for company. The Big Bear Lake City has attractions like Skiing and Snow sledding. I liked snow sledding and had 2 rounds of it. We had our lunch and snacks at a Nepali restaurant called ‘Himalaya’, which serves amazing food/beverages.

Feb 27th and 28th 2010 – Las Vegas, Hoover Dam & Hollywood
This was a special trip as my childhood friend joined me from Dallas. We hired a car and he did the driving on this trip. First we went to Las Vegas, the Sin City. We indulged in gambling for hours, across all the major casinos of the ‘Las Vegas Strip’ – Flamingo, MGM Grand, Caesar’s Palace, Bellagio, Luxor, Excalibur and New York – New York. The next morning we left for Hoover Dam. I wanted to see the famous dam, more so after watching ‘Fools Rush In’. When I visited the Hoover Dam, the new Hoover Bypass was still under construction. We walked across the dam over to Arizona, and to my disbelief I did not find the ‘border’ painted on the road, as shown in ‘Fools Rush In’. I read later that that ‘border’ stripe was created for the movie and it stayed till 2005. On our way back to Thousand Oaks after stopping over at Lake Mead for few minutes, we visited the Hollywood region – the famous ‘Hollywood’ sign, Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd. On Hollywood Blvd we could see the Kodak Theatre being decked up for the ‘Academy Awards Ceremony’.

March 13th 2010 – San Francisco
San Francisco (SFO) was one of the places I had planned to visit right from the start of my trip. I had my very close friend working in US at that time and we had planned to meet up. Apart from meeting my friend, I was only planning to visit 3 places of interest – Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge and the Crooked Street. But as luck (or bad luck) would have it, my friend had to be out of SFO that day, and I was all by myself. As I had travelled to SFO from Thousand Oaks by Bus (Greyhound), I did not have a car too. I decided to explore the city by walk. First I walked down to Ferry Building and the market place behind. Took some snaps of Mahatma Gandhi statue behind the Ferry Building and walked down to Pier 33 to take the first ferry to Alcatraz Island. Alcatraz was in the list because I had watched ‘Escape from Alcatraz’. It was nice to go through the prisoners’ cells and other quarters of the prison. After Alcatraz, I went to Pier 39 had my lunch and proceeded in search of the Crooked Street. The Lombard street portion used to descend down the Russian Hill is known as ‘The Crooked Street’ and is a major tourist attraction. It is featured in many major motion pictures like ‘Love Bug’. I had watched ‘Love Bug’ as a child and somehow remember my dad telling me about the road that goes ‘zigzag’. It was a great experience to walk up and down the crooked street; my only grouse was that I did not have a car to drive in that street. Then I started towards Golden Gate Bridge. It was a long walk but a good one. I am accustomed to seeing Golden Gate Bridge (GG) in movies, magazines and it is also part of the logo of company’s homepage I work for. I walked across the bridge, awestruck at the engineering feat and the Orange/Red ‘richness’ of the bridge. It was cold and magnificent to look down at the water below and imagine how it would be to dive into it. From the other end of the bridge took a tour bus back to downtown to catch a Greyhound to Thousand Oaks.

Souvenir Magnets from my US Trip

My stay in US wouldn’t have been so interesting and trouble-free without the help/guidance and support of few people. First and foremost is my dear sis Jo – She has always taken of me and it was no surprise for me that she called me daily and made sure that I had no problems. My close friends, Suppi from Dallas and Priya from SFO, were of constant support and ably guided me when I was in some doubt or confusion. Suresh and Krishnakishore, my colleagues and friends, are the other people to whom I am thankful for helping me during my stay at US.

Looking forward to visit US again… to make more memories, and posts for my blog.

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~ by Jayanthan Ravi on January 5, 2011.

3 Responses to “2010 US Tour Diary”

  1. you are welcome anytime 🙂

  2. Very nice post.. Must say it was long awaited. I like the way u have added the relevant movies with each place, that was a nice touch…
    Keep them coming 🙂

  3. matte baa maams.. full maja maaduva.. 🙂

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