Tuesday, July 6, 2010

C'est la vie!

By now, you've probably know that I'm back in this bad-a** town, Kuantan. Nothing new in this town; the same as how I left it two years ago. I met few friends. Oh boy, nothing beats the excitement of meeting an old friend. I haven't seen them for more than 4 years! I was gone from the blogging scene for quite a bit eh. From May to today, my head is still wobbling from place to place; as if I'm still looking for a place called home. Haha. Koya or not, I'm at home and something still feels out of place.

...that's right, I don't have my things! My closet is still empty, I don't have my shoes, bags and most importantly, NOT ENOUGH CLOTHES! A few of 'em are still on their way from Canada (maybe, somewhere in the Pacific Ocean) and some were left in KL cause our 5 bags cannot fit a Honda Fit. Sigh.


I'll tell you this much, for two months I was everywhere in North America.
So, here is my recollection of the trip.
Miami - Cruising the Caribbean - NYC - Toronto - NYC (again!) - Montreal - Tobermory - London - Niagara Falls

Since this is gonna be so damn long, I'll just break 'em down to two parts. Right now, I'm beginning to think my blog talks about my travel bits and nothing else. You know, the kind where if I don't go to places I have nothing to write about (errr, maybe work stress sometimes?). This blog might as well becomes a travel blog (Harun, you there? Does this ring a bell to you?)

PART 1: Miami - Cruising the Caribbean - NYC
I went to these places with Izzy. We decided on this trip in a computer lab while trying to understand the different chemical properties between the Icelandic volcanoes and ....I can't remember what else. A lil influence from Pisau Cukur may tick it off too! (or, maybe it IS because of that movie...lol).

Miami is HOT! Everything about it is H.O.T. If you're not in ur bathing suit, you are at the wrong place! Errrr, that's me then :P No worries, if you are like me, just wear whatever you feel like wearing. So what if you get a few stares. At least you turn heads. LOL

We stayed in Decowalk Hostel (http://www.decowalkhostel.com/), which is located along Ocean Drive. Personally, this is the most luxurious hostel I've stayed in. Cheap and facing the beach, it was definitely a good choice. Ok, the restaurants around there were pricey. No doubt. But I know some people don't even bother to check 'em out. Here's the trick I figured out.
  1. Sometime during dinner time, they give away coupons to dine at their restaurant. Usually, 20% discount or BOGO drinks. Some even have more. That's why we would walked from one end to the other and collect all coupons. HAHA.
  2. Each restaurant has unique Chef's creation of the day. Go check 'em out. They are not that cheap, but if you like us, you can share. And that's #3.
  3. Share your food! Trust me, the portion is huge. I can't finish 'em myself.
  4. Try the Giant drinks, boleh share jugak kalau kedekut! They are alcoholic beverages, but we asked them to make it virgin ;) Terasa nak try drinks gedabak tuh haha. The only negative comment I can make is, the food at every restaurant is the same; making it harder to make the decision where to eat.

Ok, what is Miami without the beaches eh? South Beach is the place to be, but we had a chance to take a drive to Coconut Grooves and Key Biscayne. Both places were amazingly gorgeous! However, if you watched Anthony Bourdain's South Florida episode, you would see there are more to Miami than just the beaches. That is the food! Especially the caribbean food - the Jamaican, Haitian, Cuban and so much more. Too bad I didn't get the chance to experience all this! Damn it, what was I doing for 4 days in Miami?!! We swam sikit2 and oh wow, salt water... it couldn't get any better than this. I swam in lakes/swimming pool/hot springs/artifical pool at waterpark for the past 2 years and so, it was a nice change. The only thing is...sand got trapped in my bathing suit :(

Ocean Drive a.k.a Deco Art district.

At the tip of South Beach.

Dinner. Paella and deep-fried calamari with complimentary bread. It was sooooo good. We added Alaskan King Crab leg too ;)

Virgin Mojitos. This is the giant drink I mentioned before! We were out every night in Miami, trying different drinks at different places; but, mojitos was my favourite! Humff, I look weird in this pic. But it is the only non-blur picture I have with this monstrous drink. As you can see my lips were Jolie-ish in this picture and that's cause I tried a lip-plumpin'-lip gloss at Sephora before that :P

Cruise: Port of Miami - Key West - Cozumel, Mexico - Miami (Carnival Imagination)
I give this 6/10
It was pretty damn boring. Sorry. Other than the food, everything else is just "okay lah" and I'm being honest here. The fact that we got to spend only 5 - 7 hours at each pit stop was the reason. So, I became a tourist, not a traveler during this part of my vacation. The things that we can do onboard were pretty limited. The pool, you say? Err, too crowded. Plus, Americans are seriously overweight. Call me insensitive, but I'm not the first person to say so. Every night, I'd go to the Karaoke lounge. It was not that bad, but since we went there every night, the same people kept trying to prove to the world they can sing (more than often, they can't!). The so-called shows were at 10.30pm and I enjoyed them. The stand up comedy thing at 12am was quite okay as well. I don't get the joke for the most part. Even so, nothing beats the food.

So, I just wanna put up the food photos :p

Ahhh! Mee kuning!
(part of Lunch buffet)

Dinner on day 1 was a casual dinner. I was waiting for Kosher food, but I ordered some appetizers first. Just some fruits. When my (pre-packed) Kosher dinner arrived, I wasn't pleased at all :( I think it will be much better if it wasn't pre-packed.


I didn't ordered the fish, but the server just brought me the fish and said "try the fish, it's good!". When I got my "actual" dinner, I was already very full. Tapi betul lah, the fish was good! Was it tilapia?

Our server that night was an Indonesian. He gave me the fish and said "Mau nasi putih ka?" I was like, "cis..."

Lava chocolate cake for Izzy. Somehow, the server was so nice and gave Izzy extra bowl of vanilla ice cream ;)

A typical looking house in Key West. I actually love this town 'cause it has a lot of character. Just look at this house.

Key West is famous for its Key Lime Pie. I looked everywhere for it. I can say it now, I'm not a big fan of this particular cake. Sorry! But do try it anyways ;)

Izzy had a key lime ice cream. This was much better than the cake.

LOL at Mallory Square.

Dinner day 2 was fine-dining. So, you have to dress up. I kinda took it too seriously, maka make-up sikit tebal. My appetizer that night was strawberry mousse. Humff, what's up with me and fruity appetizer? Fruits fall under dessert, right??? I don't know anymore...

Lobster tail with shrimps and deep-fried broccoli in butter sauce. That's one mouth-full name. I had two servings! ;) I bet everybody that night had this. It was beyond perfect!

Docked in Cozumel, Mexico. I don't need a visa since I stayed there for only a few hours. We decided to go on a catamaran tour. The tour took us snorkeling and we had a beach party after that. I wasn't too impressed with the "coral reef" or shall I call them rocks? Sigh. They took us to a 20ft water, so the only good thing to see is the fishes. At least they were awesome fishes! Sorry, I want to think my snorkeling trip in Tioman Island seven years ago was by far the best!


Beach party la sangat. But it was fun. They had kayak, those floating things etc; all free for us to use. We tried kayaking and it didn't go so well. LOL dah lama ni tak kayak. We also tried the water slide thing you see in this picture. We had to swim to it (can't walk cause amat laa dalam for a thing close to shore!). Me and Izzy slide down together and we had to swim back to shore cause neither one of us know how to float. hahahahahahaha (I'm not even a good swimmer!) Best!

Another round of lobster in Cozumel. Murah juge.

Oh, I asked Izzy to try ceviche. I tried 'em in Peru and I absolutely love it. The Mexican ceviche is different from the Peruvian as this one has cilantro and tomato. I like the Peruvian ceviche better ;)
And, the complimentary nachos served with salsa and guacamole (avocado) dip was heaven!

New York City
Is fourth time a charm? Yes!
This time, we decided to finish up all whatever is left of NY that we didnt't visit just yet: Brooklyn Bridge, Washington Square, NYU, Columbia University, Metropolitan Art Museum, the American Natural History Museum, Wall Street. Haha. Of course, still pergi Fifth Avenue, Times Square, SoHo, Rockefeller Centre, Chinatown, Central Park and all the other "must see" places! Berbekalkan map yang dibeli 4 tahun lepas yang by now dah lunyai and almost koyak, we went to all these places and I must say no city in this world excites me more than New York!

Brooklyn Bridge. Very iconic to NYC

Washington Square. If it wasn't because of the Sunday crowd, I would totally hang out here cause I just love its vibes! Instead, we decided to go to Union Square. Bought a frappucino at 1/2 price (lucky!) and lepak there. The best part is, the park has free wi-fi. Humff, just look at the world we live today! Be grateful y'all!

The flatiron building. Imagine trying to fit the whole building into one frame! It was a tough one ;) A must shot, nonetheless.

At a second hand bookshop. I was looking for 1984 by George Orwell. They did have it, but the condition was really bad; so I can't bring myself to buy it.
Columbia University. I would be a happy kid if I go here for school! Bought a copy of 1984 here lol (baru page 17!).

@Mets! Paid whatever you want at this this museum (applies to the natural history museum as well). Ok, I enjoyed this museum much more cause I've seen lots of mineral, fossil, dino reconstruction by now; so, another visit to a museum to see similar items was very demoralizing! But not for Mets. I paid $2 je and I got to enjoy the beautiful art works. Kedekut sikit lah :D

Humff, that's all for now :) Letih tau tulis nih. Another quick update, got a call from petronas and Alhamdulillah they offered me a job. I'll start my PIPE orientation program next week. Wish me luck y'all. I'm actually excited for this! Yeay, my first real job!!

p/s: sejuknya rumah bile hujan lebat!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Back in Kuantan

wow, ramai yang masih melawati blog ini walaupon takde update!
oh teramat sorry. i will give u an update real soon. baru dapat internet dalam rumah di kuantan :P sebenarnye, internet dah ade tapi tak ingat username hahahaha. mmg noob punye mistake!
ape2 pon i'm back in kuantan. i don't know how long i'll be here, but i told petronas the earliest date i can start working is july 15. so, lets see what happens :)
if you happened to be in kuantan, give me a shoutout eh. i'm still using my old number. pls tell me you still have it! if not, pm me dekat facebook.

p/s: tengah addicted baca dragonball, hahaha. mentang2 now adik dah habes collect all 43 buku. weee! sampai barang2 dalam bag pon belom habes keluarkan!