18th January 2008, I was on my way to the United States. My first business trip there. It's not the first time I visit places at higher latitude. Dry, cool air; I knew what I would face.
Didn't have much hope nor expectation on this trip. Didn't plan much what I want to do or where do I want to visit. Heard from some colleagues that the clothes there are cheap, and since it was going to be Chinese New Year, the only thing that I really planned before I begin the trip was the list of clothes that I wanted to buy.
The flight took off from Singapore at 4.15pm. Cross the International Date Line, arrived at Los Angelas at 3.50pm the same day. Flew for 15 hrs and 35 mins but I still gain 25 mins. :)
It was nothing surprise until I stepped out of the Airport, to move from one terminal to another terminal for transit to Sacramento. The temperature, the moisture level of the air. man... it feel so like the time I spent at Sheffield. Although here is much cooler as it's winter, but it just brought me back to the street of Sheffield and brought me back to the happiest time I had.
Didn't have a lot of time to bury myself into the memory, I had to follow my colleagues to another terminal. There, we waited until 10.34pm for the next flight, ouch... that is killing me.
Time passed eventually, and we arrived at Sacramento safely. 3 guys who were there before we arrived, came to the airport and get us. In 2 cars we went back to our hotel. Checked in and took a bath, finally hit the bed at around 2.00am.
9am, Saturday. Had only a few hours of sleep and I was on my way to San Francisco. It's about one and half hour drive from Folsom. Visited the China Town, the famous Pier 39, the Lombard Street, and of course the golden gate bridge. The weather was good to me that day, it was sunny for the whole day. It has been raining for days at California and that's one of the few sunny day for weeks.
The next day, went to shop at Vacaville. The weather wasn't so good that day, rain a little bit. And it just got worse for the next 5 days. It was rain and wind. The temperature was around 5-10 degree celcius. Had a string of meeting that week, didn't have much time to do my work and that put me into a big set back.
The 2nd Saturday, the weather is good again to me. After sending 2 of the collegue to airport, return the car and get my own car. Me and another 2 collegue starting visiting places again. It's a no plan day so we were just go wherever we think of. We visited the Sacramento old town, where finally I get to see some shops that look like a cowboy scene. Policemen here also riding horse. New age cowboy... :) After the old town, and since the weather is so nice, we just decided to visit Tahoe Lake. It's about 2 hours drive from Sacramento, it's kinda insane because Folsom is actually in the middle between Sacramento and Tahoe. Now, we came from Folsom and now wanted to turn back and head to the other direction.
After a long drive, we arrived at a small village before Tahoe. Had our lunch there, McD. Then moved on to the Squawl City. It's a place for skiing. We didn't try it because it was pretty late when we arrived and we still had other places to visit. Took a cup of coffee there, snapped some pictures and we were on our way again.
Stopped by the Tahoe Lake, took some pictures and we were on our way again. Then we visited Reno, of Nevada State. Not bad huh, I was there for 2 weeks and I've stepped on the soil of 2 states. There's a lot of casino there, we visited one, lost a little bit of money, and we were on our way again.
Next stop, Boomtown hotel. It's a casino also, therefore we lost some monies again there. :P and we had our buffet dinner.
Hit the road again, arrived at Folsom at 1am. That was a long long one day trip.
The meetings I had during the 1st week had put me behind my schedule. Therefore I worked from hotel on Sunday, and the rest of the days until Saturday, I worked for about 16 hours aday. (hey... any manager reading this? see... I'm so hardworking) managed to pull some of the schedule back but not all. I got the special allowance for the schedule last minute. At least I had a peace of mind to fly back to Malaysia.
Drove to Sacramento alone on 2nd Feb. Return the car, flew to LA and met up with 3 colleagues. We safely arrived at Penang on 4th Feb.
That conclude my 2 weeks trip to the States. Overall, it was a good one as I didn't expect anything from it. Every place I visited is a bonus for me. :D