Last Tour in New York City in 2019

After spending the night in Virginia, we were up early in the morning after sleeping for almost 2 hours. We went to the nearby McDonald’s to buy breakfast before heading to the bus stop in Manassas for the bus going back to New York.
After almost 5 hours of travelling we reached the bus stop in Lower Manhattan. From the bus stop we went to some of the other landmarks in New York. This would be my last trip in New York City. We took the subway in the 28th Street Station going to 59th – Lexington Avenue and walked to the 6th Street.

Serendipity 3 Restaurant

We went to the restaurant called Serendipity 3, The Legendary Restaurant and General store. There were three movies shot in the restaurant, the films were One Fine Day in 1996, Serendipity in 2001 and Trust the Man in 2005. We also took a photo of the art wall near the restaurant. We walked towards 2nd Avenue and turned left going to the Tramway Plaza.

Tramway Plaza

The Tramway Plaza is the gateway to the tram going to Roosevelt Island. The tram provides a scenic view of Manhattan going to Roosevelt Island. The tramway runs every 7-15 minutes from 59th Street and 2nd Avenue, providing a modern aerial tramway in the world.

Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island is a narrow island between Manhattan island and Long island. It is located on the East River.

South Point Park and Small Fox Hospital

When we got off the tram, we headed to South Point Park. The park offers a great view of the Ed Koch Queens Borough Bridge and Manhattan. When you walked further you will see the ruins of the historical Small Pox Memorial Hospital. Adjacent to the hospital is the Franklin Roosevelt Four Freedom Parks.

Franklin Roosevelt Monument

On the edge of Roosevelt Island, in the four-acre Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom Parks is the monument of Franklin Roosevelt. It celebrates the Four Freedoms he articulated for the USA in 1941.

Little Manila

From the Roosevelt Island Station in the orange line, we went to 69th Frisk Ave Woodside Station in Queens. From the 61st to 70th streets called Little Manila is famous for Filipino restaurants, stores, and other establishments. Because I was craving Filipino food especially sinigang, we ate at Rosario’s Ihawan Restaurant. You can also see Jollibee and Red Ribbon while walking to Roosevelt Avenue towards Woodside. Going back we tried the elevated subway in 61st St – Woodside Station. The subway was like the LRT station in Manila.


Piopio is a Peruvian restaurant in 34th Street where I met another college classmate together with her family who are all living in New York City. Piopio is famous for the rotisserie chicken and Spanish menu. You need to get a reservation since it becomes fully booked. We waited for a while before being seated. And the food was delicious.

Lincoln Center

From Piopio we walked going to Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts in Lincoln Square. We enjoyed the fountain and the view of the building around Lincoln Center. We went home after that.

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Exploring Washington D.C.

That Saturday morning, my friend and I took a bus going to Madison Square Garden. We alighted there and walked going to the bus stop where the bus was heading for Washington D.C. Since we were early we ate at Bagels and Schmear for breakfast.

New York to Washington D.C.

The bus arrived and we were traveling to the Capital of the United State of America. It was a long journey. I wasn’t sure about the roads but I saw some bridges and rivers along the way. In Philadelphia, the bus also changed drivers.

Somewhere in Baltimore, we were stuck in the road for almost an hour before the bus took a U-turn and found another road going to Washington D.C.
It was already 3 in the afternoon when we reached the bus stop which is Washington D.C. Union Station.

Union Station

The Union Station is the central station in Washington D.C. It is a terminal for buses and subways. We went outside and took a picture in Columbus Circle, the Union Stations’ plaza with a fountain.

United States Capitol

We walked going to the Lower Senate Park with different tres and trimmed grass and a beautiful walkway. We then went to the United States Capitol. The United States Capitol is an iconic domed shaped classical building of the US Senate and House of Representatives.

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is one of the remarkable National Library in Washington with beautiful interiors and architectural design.

We also went to tour the area of the United States Capitol and went to see Garfield’s statue. You can also see Union Square. From the left side, there’s a Botanical Garden which was already closing at that time.
We went back and tried the Hop-on-Hop-off Bus at the bus stop in the Garfield Memorial/Botanical Gardens.

Hop-on-Hop-off Tour Loop

It was the last tour of the Day Tour Bus. We decided to try the tour loop without going out of the bus to explore the landmarks and scenery of Washington D.C. Here are the landmarks for the tour loop: Air Space & Space Museum/ Bible Museum; Washington Monument/Bureau of Printing & Engraving/Holocaust Memorial Museum; Museum of American History; Museum of Natural History; Newmuseum; Chinatown/National Law Enforcement/Memorial & Museum/Capital One Arena/ Madame Tussauds/Grand Hyatt; Hotel Harrington/Ford’s Theatre; White House/The W Hotel; African American History & Culture Museum; Jefferson Memorial; M.L.K and F.D.R Memorials, Lincoln Memorial & Vietnam; Shuttle Bus to Arlington National Cemetery; WWII Memorial; White House Visitor Center; National Archives/U.S. Navy Memorial; DC Wharf. The Hop on Hop off One Day Pass is 42USD.

When the bus maneuvered going back to the trail, we decided to go down at the White House.

White House

The White House is the official residence of the president of the United States of America. We went to the famous view were people took a picture with the backdrop of the White House.

Washington Monument

Crossing the street in Constitution Avenue, we walked to the German-American Friendship Garden with the view of Washington Monument. The Obelisk was built to commemorate the first President of the United States, George Washington.

World War 2 Memorial

From the Obelisk, we went to World War II Memorial. The World War II Memorial is a memorial for the Americans who served in the armed forces as civilians during World War 2.

There are 56 granite pillars for the 48 states in the USA, the District of Columbia, and 7 other territories. A striking pillar dedicated to the Philippines which was under the USA during the war.

The memorial is also surrounded by a square and fountain. You can also see the view of the reflecting pool and the Lincoln Memorial.

Lincoln Memorial

We headed to the Lincoln Memorial via the long stretch of reflecting pool. The Lincoln Memorial is built in honor of the 16th USA President Abraham Lincoln.

The architecture of the building is a Greek Doric temple with a large seated sculpture of Lincoln. Inside the building is a museum.

From the Lincoln Memorial, we went to Constitution Ave near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and waited for another friend to go to Virginia. We ate first at Taco Bamba in Falls Church, Virginia. After eating we drove to check the Pentagon, before going to her house in Virginia where we will be spending a night.

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Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan

From the 81st Street Station, I used the orange line going to Broadway-Lafayette Street and transferred to the green line to the Brooklyn Bridge Station. I got out of the station and crossed the street to start my walking tour of the Brooklyn Bridge. Before I started my long walk, I checked out some of the stalls at the foot of the bridge. There were stalls for souvenirs, water and food. I decided to buy water since it was still hot and the bridge was long.

Brooklyn Bridge

The Bridge is a famous landmark connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn. It is 1.3 miles long with a unique stone, steel cables and granite towers design. It is one of the oldest bridges in the United States.

The longest suspension bridge is also a walkable bridge and for bicycles. Underneath is a road bridge for the cars overlooking the East River. It was a long walked so I stayed for a while in the middle and also appreciated the spot with the history of the bridge.

On the other side, there’s a view of Manhattan Bridge.

The Statue of Liberty can be from afar from the Governor’s Island and the East River.

After crossing the bridge, I was already in Brooklyn Borough.  I looked for the High Street – Brooklyn Bridge Station to ride a train going back to the World Trade Center again. I enjoyed the food stalls in the Two World Trade Center with so many people on a Friday night.

China Town and Little Italy

From World Trade Center I went to Canal St. Station and visited China Town to check the stores and place. After some time walking, I found the street going to Little Italy and decided to change the course. There were so many Italian restaurants and so many European tourists enjoying Italian food. I walked around the area and found Bleecker Street Station to ride a subway.

King Dragon’s Chinese food

After so much walking for the day, I found myself so hungry that night when I went home. And I was craving for rice, I went to the Chinese restaurant in the corner of 105th and 4th Avenue and order Chinese food and enjoyed it at the apartment. Chinese take out food are also famous in the USA.

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New York City Central Park

The whole Thursday was spent in the GSA Summit in New York Academy of Sciences. On Friday, July 25th, I decided to explore the more of New York City, and this time I started early in the morning.

Central Park is a very famous landmark in New York City. It traversed from the Upper to Midtown Manhattan both in the East and West Side.

South GateHouse

I skipped the Vanderbilt Gate and the garden inside. I entered the Engineer’s Gate and walked towards the Jacquelyn Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. I walked to the Bridle Path going to the middle of the reservoir and went to South Gate House. The South Gate House is building with the equipment used for the reservoir. There were lots of people walking, jogging and cycling along Bridle Gate.

The Obelisk

From the South Gate House, I walked to the East Drive and saw the Alexander Hamilton Monument and the Obelisk. Alexander Hamilton is one of the founding fathers of the US. The Obelisk was erected in 1881 with Egyptian hieroglyphs which is one of Cleopatra’s Needle originating from Egypt.

Belvedere Castle

I looked at the street signs in Central Park when I passed thru the 79th St Transverse Road. There was an arrow going to Belvedere Castle. The castle is a folly with an exhibit room and observation deck. It is a mix of Gothic and Romanesque architecture built-in 1869. Belvedere means beautiful view.

It is set on a Vista Rock which is the highest point with the park views. The castle is free for everyone to explore. There’s a great view from the top of the castle. Be careful with the steep and small stairs but the view is really spectacular.

From the Belvedere Castle, there’s a view of the Turtle Pond.

The Ramble

After navigating the Belvedere Castle, I went inside the Ramble. The Ramble is a 38-acre woodland in Central Park with rustic trails that will lead you to the lake viewing area and to the Bow Bridge. There’s a falls with a rock formation in the Ramble.

The Lake and Bow Bridge

From the Ramble, you will see the lake viewing area, a nice place for photoshoot with the backdrop of the skyscrapers from the West Side of Manhattan. Tourists and locals can ride a boat with a fee and explore the lake.

There’s a nice spot called the Wood Chip Vantage Point to have a great view of the Bow Bridge. The Bow Bridge is a pedestrian bridge going to the other side of the lake.

Bethesda Terrace and Bethesda Fountain

I went to see the Cherry Fountain and headed to the Terrace Drive going to the famous Bethesda Terrace. The Bethesda Terrace is overlooking the Bethesda Fountain and the southern lake.

The Bethesda Fountain with the Angel of Waters bronze statue is one of the iconic landmarks in the middle of Central Park.  From the fountain, you can walk to the underpass with a decorated ceiling. The whole terrace and the underpass has a very nice architectural design.

From the stairways, you can see the Mall, the Skate Circle and the Naumburg Bandshell.

Sheep Meadow

I took a left turn from the Mall and entered the Sheep Meadow. The Sheep Meadow used to be a place for the sheep. As of today, it is a wide-open space with a perfect backdrop of huge buildings.

Strawberry Field

Before I leave Central park, I made sure that I get to see the Strawberry Field. From the sheep meadow,  I went back to the west side of Central Park to see the spot. Famous for the title of the song, Strawberry Field’s was a tribute in memory of late Beatle member, John Lennon.

From the memorial, I went outside Central Park and took a photo of the building called The Dakota where John Lennon was shot.

I went out from Terrace Drive at the Central Park West Street and crossed the street to ride the subway from 72nd Street station.

Museum of Natural History

From my Central Park tour I went to another famous museum in New York City. I alighted at the 81st Street Station and went to the Museum of Natural History. There were visitors at the front of the museum. It was already past 4 in the afternoon and I didn’t go inside because they were closing at 5PM. I just took a picture of the Franklin Theodore Roosevelt statue and the façade of the museum.

When I go back to New York again, I’ll spend a day in the museums I didn’t have the chance to explore and one of them is the Natural History and the nearby Science Museum.

I went to buy snacks along the road and ate the pretzels before going to the Brooklyn Bridge.

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One of the best parts in Central Park was my close encounter with the squirrel.

Broadway Musical and Ground Zero

During the GSA Summit in The New York Academy of Sciences in Greenwich Village, we had a break because the STEM students went for a tour around New York City, together with one of the parents of the student we went to the World Trade Center Ground Zero.

World Trade Center Ground Zero

The Ground Zero was the commemorative memorial for the 911 tragic event in the history of the world. Near the Ground Zero is a museum called World Trade Center Museum.

We took a picture in the Ground Zero. We also took photos with the street art wall in front of the Occulus.

After that, I went to Broadway to watch a Broadway musical. I told my friend that I wanted to try watching any Broadway Show. He asked a friend for a ticket and we decided to watch King Kong Alive in Broadway.

Broadway Theatre

There are so many Broadway musicals. The Broadway Theatre is in the 53rd Street corner 7th Avenue where they are playing King Kong. I arrived earlier in Broadway Theatre ahead of my friend and waited for him. When he arrived we lined up to get inside the theatre. The play started at and end at 8 in the evening.

The Kingkong storyline is the same as the movie, what amazed me was how they made King Kong come alive on the stage. The visual effects were great. The casts were top-billed by Christiani Pitts as Ann Darrow with Eric William Morris as Carl Denham and Erik Lochtefeld as Lumpy. It was really a great show to watch and another check on my bucket list.

The Halal Food

Since we were hungry after watching the play, we walked two blocks from the theatre and found a line of people in a food stall called The Halal Food. After we lined up and got our order 30 minutes later, the food was really great and delicious. Everybody was in the street eating the food from the Halal Food.

Rockefeller Building

After eating we walked to another famous landmark in New York. This time we went to the façade of the Rockefeller Building. We entered the alley and arrived at the restaurant in Rockefeller.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

We also went to check the famous Catholic church in New York which is the St. Patrick Cathedral.

We also took a picture in the Lotte New York Palace before we rode a bus and alighted at the bus stop at 104th Street.

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Hudson Yards and Times Square

On my third day in New York City, my friend told me to explore Hudson Yards. From the green line in 103rd Street Station, I went to the Grand Central Terminal and went to the violent subway line going to Hudson Yards Station. I walked towards the Hudson Yards Public Square and the saw the great structure.

The Vessel

The Vessel is the latest attraction and destination in Manhattan. It is an extraordinary centerpiece built in Hudson Yards Public Square with a spiral staircase.

The honey-combed like structure which comprised of 154 interconnecting flight of stairs in a 16 stories structure which highlights the view of the city, river and skyscrapers. It was built to plan by Thomas Heatherwick which was opened on March 15, 2019.

To have free access you need to get an online ticket in which there were people who’d help with the process. The tickets are given every 30 minutes. After taking pictures and exploring the staircases of the Vessel, I went to The High Line.

The High Line

The High Line is a 1.45 mile-long elevated park and garden next to the Hudson Yards. It is built on an old freight rail line elevated above the streets of Manhattan’s West Side. It has become an icon for contemporary landscape architecture.

It was a long walk, I only reached halfway until the High Line Observation Deck. The end of the elevated park is in Gansevoort Street where you can see the Whitney Museum of American Art.

I went back and traversed until the Hudson Yards Vista Point where you can see the history of the former New York Railroad.

Times Square

After my trip to the High Line and the Vessel, I went to Times Square to explore the nearby attractions. I walked in 8th Avenue as far as Jollibee in Manhattan before going back to Times Square on 7th Avenue.

I also checked the store called Line in Times Square, in which another friend who I’d be visiting in Texas was asking for BT21 stuff. I also checked City Souvenirs for the famous souvenir in New York City. I went to the Hard Rock Café to buy pins.
The Starbucks in Time Square doesn’t have a place to sit so I decided to stay inside for a while to connect with the internet. I waited for my friend in Starbucks again since she will be coming from New Jersey, an hour away from New York City.
We looked for an Italian restaurant and while walking around we found Casa Barilla. We explored the 6th Avenue and had desserts in Grace Street Coffee & Desserts in Korean town.

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Museum Mile and the World Trade Center

On my second day in the United States of America and it was a Monday, my friend and his roommate went to work. I went out at 11am to enjoy my time alone in New York City. I didn’t have wifi but my phone was in roaming but I couldn’t use the data since it would be expensive. I relied on the free internet in New York City.

I saw most of the museums with my friend during our first tour, I started my Monday trip with the famous New York City Museum and explored the museums. Museum Mile is a beautiful stretch of museums and other fine arts institutions in the 5th Avenue.

Museum City of New York

The Museum centers on the history and culture of New York City.

Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Institution

Next to the Museum City of New York is the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution that is the only museum devoted to the historical and contemporary design.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

I only saw the façade of the Museum as I opted to explore the MET since it was already past 1 in the afternoon after exploring the Museum City of New York and Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Institution.

The Metropolitan Museum Art

The MET or The Metropolitan Museum is one of the famous museums in New York City. It houses a diverse collection of objects from different eras and continents.

Other museums in Museum Miles that I haven’t explored are Museum of African Art, El Museo del Barrio, Neue Galerie and fine arts institutions like National Academy Museum and School and Goethe-Institut New York.

World Trade Center

The main reason I went to the USA was attending a conference, I decided to check the building where it would be held. And upon checking it was near the famous World Trade Center. After the tour in MET, where I actually spent my whole afternoon until the closing, I walked going to the 77th Street Station and went to Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall Subway Station to have a glimpse of the bridge and the New York City Hall.

From there I walked and crossed the street going towards St. Paul’s Church. From the Church, I turned right and saw the World Trade Center. I entered the Occulus and somehow found the place eerie.
It started to rain, I stayed in the Occulus for a while and explored the mall. There are other terminals and subways connected to the Occulus. Since it was getting dark, I went to eat in Eataly but because there were so many people, I decided to buy food and went home.

It was my first time going home and it rained. I alighted at the 103rd Street station. It was scary because it was already dark and walking home from there was also my first time. I was afraid of the neighborhood as I took a wrong turn. Luckily I asked a student walking and asked where the 105th station. She told me that I took a wrong turn and had to go back to where I came from and straight ahead. From there I found my way to the apartment.

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Manila to New York City: 16 Hours Flight

It was my first ever trip to the United States of America. I was early at the airport. I already checked in online. The checking of baggage was very meticulous and I had to open it again prior to baggage drop. After which I went inside the lounge area. And since it was still early, I went to Starbucks and ordered my favorite triple chocolate mocha. There were lots of people waiting for the coffee shop. After finishing my mocha, I went to the boarding gates and waited for the announcement to get on board. It was on the 21st of July in the year 2019.

I booked a 16-hours non-stop flight in Philippine Airlines from Manila to New York. I was seated at the last row from the left side of the plane in a window seat. The good thing was I didn’t have to bother anyone from behind since we were in the last row, but the problem was going to the washroom and there were two passengers on my left.

It was a comfortable flight, I watched two movies first, charged my phone in the charging USB from my personal space. But because of the busy schedule I had a month before my trip, I was exhausted and I slept the entire trip and whenever I woke up, it was already time to eat. I would wash up after every meal, then go to sleep after 30 minutes. I lost track of time but my belly was full after 5 meals, 3 meals with rice and 2 heavy snacks.

When I was awake, I would look from my window seat with the moon blazing into the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Or I would keep track of the plane’s navigation as it went to the sides of the North Pacific Ocean over the Vancouver skies and landed at New York JFK International Airport.  And I was really excited to see the New York skyline with all the night lights while the plane descended. I could finally say, Welcome to the United States of America.

It was past midnight when I arrived. It took time to get out of the plane. I talked to my seatmates and found out why they were traveling in the USA since it took time for us to get out of the plane as we were on the last row.

We headed to the electronic immigration to scan the passport and the visa. We went to another line to be interviewed by the immigration officer before being allowed to get our baggage. It took a little while to get the bags. It took an hour before I was finally getting out of the airport. Ms. Gwen, the person I was seated invited me to her sister’s house in Queens since it was already past 1 in the morning. I told her I would just take a yellow taxi and head to my friend’s house in Upper East Side Manhattan.

They looked out on me while I board the taxi and they told me to keep in touch once I got into my friend’s house. It was one-hour drive from JFK airport to the Museum Mile in the 105th street. The ride was okay, the driver was from Indian descent. He was not a safe driver since every traffic light that we stopped, he seemed anxious to drive. Until we hit the 106th street, he drove while the traffic light was red. I heard the wailing of the NYPD car from our back and we had to stop. Three policemen came to the yellow cab and talked to the driver. I was already scared as it was my first time in the USA and it happened in the wee hours of the morning. I called my friend and told him what happened and he told me that I was near the apartment already. After 15 minutes, the policemen let the driver go and we were heading to my friend’s apartment. And eventually, I saw my friend once I got out of the taxi.

He said that the apartment was small. It was located on the first floor at the end of the hallway before the stairs and emergency exit on the right side. It was a two-bedroom apartment and I would say it was still big compared to a small apartment in the Philippines. I settled inside and it was at 5 in the morning when we decided to sleep after catching up.

You can also check my post last year after my trip to New York City with the title A Summer in the United States of America

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A Summer in the United States of America

The United States of America was not part of my bucket list. I only wanted to go there because of studying. In 2004, I was admitted to a university to pursue a Master’s Degree and the second time was in 2017 when I applied for EMBA with a scholarship. I did not pursue both. Maybe studying there was not really for me.
Last year I joined being a mentor for the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City. Somehow, I knew I would be going to the USA for the GSA Summit, an event for mentees and mentors every summer. I asked for assistance with an invitation letter last March and interviewed on the last 7th of May. After 3 days, my passport arrived with a multiple 10 years entry visa to the US of A.

I started planning for the trip to where I should go first. My initial plan was to stay on the East Coast. I was only planning to meet my friends from New York and New Jersey. I asked a friend to help me find a hotel there but he offered his place for me to stay during my New York trip. He started planning for us to go to Washington D.C. and to stay for one night in Virginia. He also told me to visit our friend in Dallas.
So I contemplated on where to go and then after a week, I asked some friends and they offered their place for me to stay. I chose to stay longer with my long lost closest friend from my F days, and then meet other friends separately. I filed a leave from work, finalized the days where I would be staying and when to meet friends and bought my ticket. The flights were Manila – New York – Dallas Fort Worth – Los Angeles – Manila from July 20 to Aug 5.

I arrived at my first destination at the wee hours of the morning at John F. Kennedy Airport. I took a cab and the taxi was caught by NYPD because of beating the red light. It was scorching hot when I arrived because of the heatwave and my friend Chester toured me to the City on a 94 Fahrenheit weather. I would give the details of the places I went to in another post and when I was alone. I also met Karen, my favorite client from UPMSI and Patriz’s family, one of our classmates in the UST Chem.

I attended the GSA Summit and met those people who organized the event, the different STEM mentees and their parents. I attended a seminar with Josh Henkins. I met so many wonderful people like Ann, Adrienne and many others.
I got lost while traveling alone, but it was easy to find my way in Manhattan. I saw so many different places in New York, enjoyed my time and the city. Enjoyed walking, the subway and the bus. I love the Museum Mile and Central Park where the apartment was located.

On the following weekend, we went to Washington D.C. to explore. Going to Washington D.C., the bus needed to go through the highways of New Jersey and Maryland. We spent the night in Virginia and went back again to New York the following day.
When I was having fun being a New Yorker for almost 8 days, and I had to leave the city already. On July 29th, it was time for me to go to Dallas Fort Worth Airport.

Texas is like a laid-back place that is a part of the Midwest. It has a different vibe from New York City. Well, Texas is so huge that I feel I could be lost and I could not find my way back home. Every city and town I saw had their distinct beauty. What I love most in Texas was the old and historical McKinney and the museums.
I reconnected with my old friends Beah, Louvette and Robert and meet different people like May, Ted, Marissa and Mitchell and the whole family of Beah.

My friends decided where we should go. The best plan is when you have no plans at all and everything turned out well. Although there were some bumps in the road or should I say expected things that didn’t happen. It was a summer worth remembering.

I would like to thank all of my wonderful friends who managed their precious time to be with me, for letting me crashed their homes for a while, for those who had to take their days off and had to travel 1 to 3 hours to join me with my trip. Thanks to all the friends who sent me messages to meet them, I’d like to travel to different states but there will be next time. And just in case I decided not to come back. I already went to the East Coast and Midwest.  I had a glimpsed of West Coast thru Lax Airport. I went to 4 States and the District of Columbia. I fell in love with America with its chaos and silence. I fell in love with the United States of America.

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