Aug 20, 2014

Yosemite, USA


19 Aug 2014 (Sat)

Lodging: Comfort Inn Yosemite Area, Oakhurst



4 of 7, fortnight USA trip
ArizonaLas Vegas Mammoth LakesYosemiteSan FranciscoCoastal CaliforniaLos Angeles




Tioga Road
I once thought this place has got something to do with Japanese, as it sounds pretty Japanese in the first place.

Yosemite, a national park in Northern California, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, owing to its wondrous nature beauty, spreading across over 3,000 km² - it's darn huge.



Tuolumne Meadows



Tenaya Lake




Yosemite Valley

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Aug 19, 2014

Mammoth Lakes, USA


19 Aug 2014 (Sat)

Lodging: Sierra Nevada Resort & Spa



3 of 7, fortnight USA trip
ArizonaLas Vegas Mammoth LakesYosemiteSan FranciscoCoastal CaliforniaLos Angeles





Room 139, Sierra Nevada Resort & Spa
We've left Death Valley, ahead of us is a foresty town - Mammoth Lakes.

Make sure you fill your car with petrol or get enough food and water supply before you get to a less populous place like Mammoth Lakes or Yosemite. There's either limited sources of the supply you need or a very expensive one.

We didn't intend to visit Mammoth Lakes, it's just our lodging for our visit to Yosemite. We picked this resort out of the relative affordability because the location is far from Yosemite.

It seemed like we underestimated the distance and thought we could visit the east side of the Yosemite National Park, get back to Mammoth Lakes, and continue on the second day towards the west side. The chances are, we were only able to get back to the resort after late midnight. Thus, we decided to look around Mammoth Lakes and have a full Yosemite expedition the next day instead.






Notice how two lakes are connected thru a narrow channel

Lake Mary





People are camping at the lake when it was so shivering cold...

Horseshoe Lake

One of the most dispirited corners of the world I've seen...



Twin Falls





Sierra Nevada Resort & Spa
Sky turned dark pretty fast, thank goodness we didn't stick to our initial plan of visiting Yosemite and come back here. It was bone-chilling with the wind out there, it's neither warm indoor.

We got back to the resort and guess what, we met another group of GRDPs from Singapore who started their fortnight-long trip southwards from San Francisco while we're going in the opposite direction northwards.

Tiny little world, that we're even staying in the same resort without any of us knowing, it reminded me of bumping into a friend on a random street in Amsterdam 2 years ago.

For more photos, please check out my photo album Mammoth Lakes, USA on Facebook.

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Death Valley, USA


19 Aug 2014 (Sat)

2.5 of 7, fortnight USA trip
ArizonaLas Vegas Mammoth LakesYosemiteSan FranciscoCoastal CaliforniaLos Angeles





Death Valley
If you noticed, Death Valley doesn't appear in any of the above travel itinerary. It's a route that we deliberately passed by to get us to Mammoth Lakes. I suggested this route instead of those shorter ones selected by Google, because at least the scenery won't be boring for us who's gonna drive for a number of hours.

As I don't have a lot of photos for Death Valley, and it's not really even a pre-planned destination, I included the photos into the same album as Mammoth Lakes, USA.

You can't miss the huge landmark of "Death Valley National Park: Homeland of Timbisha Shoshone". I was so excited and I climbed up there and jumped down as I intended to leave the huge sign. Serving me right for underestimating the gravitational pull there, I kind of injured my right heel, totally.






Coyote
We spotted a few coyotes along the way.
They looked skinny and seemed like starving... So we had to be careful they don't see us as food.

By the way, it reminded me of the coyote in the Looney Tunes cartoon Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner I watched when I was a kid.


The name of this place repeatedly suggested us to get out of here. We really didn't want to get trapped here because it's very warm and dry there. Any malfunction in the car engine or system will be the hugest decennial disaster.


Crowley Lake (as seen from U.S. Route 395)

Ya so obviously we have gotten ourselves out of Death Valley, as there's no blue thing there.

Again, we didn't take as many photo or visit as many corners of Death Valley as we could, though we did see some beautiful dunes.

There are certainly more than these in Death Valley.
For example, the famous sailing stones, a geological phenomenon where rocks move by themselves without human or animan intervention, damn cool right.

For more photos, please check out my photo album Mammoth Lakes, USA on Facebook.

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Aug 18, 2014

Las Vegas, USA


17 (Sun) - 18 (Mon) Aug 2014

Lodging: El Cortez Hotel and Casino



2 of 7, fortnight USA trip
ArizonaLas VegasMammoth LakesYosemiteSan FranciscoCoastal CaliforniaLos Angeles



Day 1


Las Vegas North Premium Outlet
Back to civilization from Grand Canyon, we're now in Las Vegas. Well back in Singapore when I mentioned Las Vegas is gonna be one of our destinations, with a sneaky grin I was questioned by a few, "Go Las Vegas do what ah???" It seemed to be abrupt, as I didn't visualize Las Vegas as an impure place, you know what I mean.

I learnt the fact that almost every (can I just say all?) hotel in Las Vegas has a casino at ground level. Instead of 'G' or '1', you'll find the button 'C' instead ('C' for casino).

Our hotel room at El Cortez Hotel & Casino was quite decent. After unpacking and chilling for a while, we drove to Las Vegas North Premium Outlet before moving southwards to the Las Vegas Strip.

Unlike Texas, premium outlets in most other states don't really offer tax refund on any single brand.


Las Vegas Strip

Fountains of Bellagio

Fountains of Bellagio
This is definitely one of the must-visit attractions of Las Vegas.

There will be fountain show every 15 or 30 minutes depending on the time you visit. Check out their website for the show times.

The music gives you the senses of oldies romance, immersing yourself in the choreography and music will get you enamored of the show. I think it's more glamorous to watch during or after dusk.




New York-New York Hotel and Casino

New York-New York Hotel and Casino
New York-New York Hotel and Casino is easily recognized by its Statue of Liberty. But that's not the origin of its name though, it's named by the deliberate fact that the architecture brings to mind the skyline of New York City.

We're here to visit its signature attraction - The Roller Coaster. Ya, it is the name given to the roller coaster, constructed above the building. One is able to enjoy the view of Las Vegas from a higher altitude but I doubt most people will do so as they might be thrilled by the ride itself.

Well, I was pretty inclined towards taking the ride, because, this is a preparation for me to go skydiving the next day.


The Roller Coaster

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist