Sunday, June 22, 2008

7 Days of Vacation!

This has been the most amazing trip of my life! I have traveled across 7 different states in a span of a week & I have seen so many natural & manmade wonders in the United States. Here's to my long-awaited blog :)


~left on the bus @ 7:20am
~saw the Sacramento capitol building, walked through the aisles of the different counties of California, looked at old 1906 offices inside, talked to my old tourguide Hans for a bit
~ate McDonald's for lunch in a little town called Truckee
~along the way to Elko, we saw a car catch on fire along the Truckee River
~arrived in Elko, Nevada & ate dinner at Monkey Sun Chinese Restaurant
~stayed at the Red Lion Casino & Hotel in Elko, Nevada where it had a HDTV screen, microwave, & fridge :O


~left Elko, Nevada @ 5:15am toward Idaho, where we switched to Mountain Standard Time & lost 1 hour
~stopped at Twin Falls, Idaho to see a beautiful view of Snake River
~had lunch at Burger King in a small town in Idaho
~headed into Wyoming & stopped at Jackson Hole first where it is home to 4 arches made of elk antlers, Cowboy Bar [one of the first bars in the US] & Harrison Ford
~Grand Teton National Park is located next to Jackson Hole & the highest peak of Grand Teton is 13,000 feet above sea level!
~next we headed to Yellowstone National Park where we saw:
--Lake Lewis [which flows out to Snake River & into the Pacific Ocean]
--Yellowstone Lake [which flows to the Mississippi River]
--Geyser Basin/Hot Springs [the different colors depends on how much wavelenths are absorbed or not]
--Old Faithful Geyser [where we waited 20 minutes before it went off @ 6:05pm for about 5 minutes]
--Excelsior Geyser [where the hot water ran off into a river]
~stayed overnight in Western Inn in West Yellowstone in Montana [dinner in the hotel's buffet, which was a ripoff of $14.99!]


~left for Yellowstone again @ 6:30am & saw:
--finally got to see & touch snow for the first time!
--Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, where the Lower Falls & Upper Falls are located
--Norris Area, which containted the Steamboat Geyser [if it went off, it'd be bigger than Old Faithful]
--Mammoth Hot Spring 45 minute walk [at the bottom was a town where we had lunch]
~after lunch, we headed toward Montana
~visited Little Bighorn Battlefield where the Last Stand battle occured between Custer's troops & 3 Native Indian tribes [the battle was to force the Native Indians into reservations rather than roaming freely]
--saw a movie about the battles that occured
--walked through the cemetery of the dead troops [including Custer's grave]
~on the way to the hotel, the tourbus was stopped by a police officer for speeding [it was a highway that had no speed limit signs & the dude said it was 35 mph!] so we drove all the way back to the entrance to find 1 tiny sign about the limit, pshh.
--had to pay a fine of $73 before the tourbus could leave :/
~stayed overnight in Holiday Inn in Sheridan, Montana


~depart for South Dakota @ 6:30am
~stopped by Devil's Tower which is a sacred place for the Native Indians
--story of how Devil's Tower came to be: Long ago, there were 7 siblings, 6 sisters & 1 brother. One day while the boy was chasing his sisters, he suddenly changed into a bear. Fearful of the bear, the girls climbed up a tree up & in turn the tree started to grow very tall 'til they reached the sky. The girls were unable to leave the tree & the bear was unable to climb up. After staying up in the sky so long, the girls turned into stars & the tree they were in turned into Devil's Tower.
~next was Mt. Rushmore, where we stayed for lunch [Vinh got to try his buffalo burger, lol
--the heads of the presidents are 60 feet tall & their noses are 20 feet tall [cept Washington which was 21 feet]
~while leaving Mt. Rushmore, it started to rain & hail super hard for like 5 minutes & then it stopped completely!
~next was the Crazy Horse Monument [still on-going since 1949 & not federally funded, all funds come from admissions & gift sales]
--Crazy Horse was part of the Lakota tribe & he was leader at the time of the Last Stand battle against General Custer [he stands for all the Native Indians]
~headed back to Wyoming & had dinner at JB's [like Denny's]
~stayed at Best Western in Casper, Wyoming


~depart for Utah @ 7:30am
~used the Oregon Trail to get to Utah
--Independence Rock [where pioneers needed to reach by July 4 if they wished to get to the West before the winter snow set in]
--Devil's Gate [passed by it & this is a gap inbetween the mountain cuz when the Devil was surrounded by Native Indians, he ran through the mountain & created the gap]
--Echo Valley [where pioneers in the front yelled info toward the back in case of danger, but Vinh & I yelled super loud & no echo, boo!]
--Snow Mountain [where the 2002 Winter Olympics were held]
~arrived in Utah & saw:
--the Kennecott Copper Mine [where it can be seen in space by astronauts, the biggest man-made excavation ever]
--Mormon Temple/Temple Square [where we took a 30-min tour around by 2 sisters from Mexico & the Phillipines]
--Utah state capitol building
~had dinner in a Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant
~stayed at Comfort Inn in Salt Lake City


~ate a complimentary continental breakfast at Comfort Inn before departing for Nevada @ 9am
~stopped by the Great Salt Lake [which has super high salinity that barely anything lives in it & is 70x20 miles big]
--there were like little bugs all around the edge of the water & they moved in swarms when you got near it, ickk!
~next was Bonneville Salt Flats [which was like dozens of feet worth of white salt & water underneath it]
--home to the fastest race car of 602 mph!
~lunch at Moneky Sun Chinese Restaura$$nt in Elko
~arrived in Reno & stayed in Circus Circus Casino & Hotel
--dinner @ The Steakhouse [cuz we had a coupon for $20 off, I had some chicken with rice, veggies, as well as the strawberry daiquiri I ordered]
--gambled $1 at the $0.01 slot machines & won myself $3.04!
--played in the arcade, watched the Chinese acrobats perform on bikes & with the diabolos, & traded in our tickets for prizes


~departed Reno toward home @ 8:30am
~passed through the Sierra Nevada Mountains
~stopped by Lake Tahoe [one of the biggest freshwater lakes in the US where you can see up to 60 feet deep in the water]
~lunch at a Chinese buffet
~got home around 5:30pm



  1. WOW! That trip does sound amazing!! It's sooo cool how you get to see so much stuff in just 7days. Thanks for taking a ton of pics and writing a blog so L and I could pretend we went with you LOL! haha Vinh on the little train is hilarious! You got so many gorgeous pics! My fave is probably you kissing Jefferson. ROFL!!!

  2. woooooow!!! what an awesome trip!! that's so cool that you got to see so many things and landscapes! all in 1 week too! my cousins are in salt lake right now! haha... what a coincidence. lol, omgosh.. 1 cent slot machines... must've been your lucky day! what are you gonna do with all that money you earned?? ;) i'm so glad you had a great time, annie! now is definitely the time to enjoy your life before you have to start your OT program! oh yeah, and really nice pictures too! almost made me fell like i was there myself.. haha

  3. Annie! its been a long time, how are you doing? =)