elyse: (hetalia: 君にプレゼントを♪)
I can't believe that the year almost comes to an end!
Christmas is only a week away...

On Christmas day, my family and I will (hopefully -- if the visa is accepted) go to Italy & France ^^v

It was really a last minute decision. We applied for the visa only a week ago.

When I told dad that my friend's wedding was cancelled, he sms-ed me (yes, you read that right: SMS!) the next day, asking whether we could still go on Europe tour this Dec. We initially had wanted to join the pilgrimage tour to Italy, France, & Portugal. But naturally, by then all the tours were already closed to new participants, because it was only two weeks away from the tour's departure date. So we decided to go by ourselves. It's actually my vacation preference! I always love arranging my own holiday trips.

So within 2 days, my mom and I frantically booked plane tickets, prepared all the necessary documents for Schengen visa application, booked hotels (random hotels -- only for the visa purposes -- and will be cancelled very soon), etc. It took my mom 3 visits in 3 consecutive days to the Italian Embassy for them to accept all the documents & our passports! During the first 2 days, there were always something insufficient: this document, that document, etc. Gah, so annoying! x_X Thank God they finally accepted everything on the 3rd day and told mom to pick up the passports on Dec 23rd. They're not saying whether they will issue the visa or not. But supposedly they will, right? >_<

Now that the crucial parts of the preparation are done, I can relax a bit and focus on the next tasks, like booking hotels (in Milan, Paris, Lourdes), buying plane tickets (Milan - Paris, Paris - Lourdes), researching of what to do for New Year's eve & what to see in each city, etc.

This is the (simple) itinerary as of now:

Dec 25: fly to Rome via Singapore (by Singapore Airlines).
Dec 26: arrive Rome. Stay at Villa Maria Ines at Garampi, near Vatican.
Dec 27: day roundtrip to San Giovanni Rotondo. About 4 hours by car one way *gasps*
Dec 28: train to Milan (4 hours! @_@).
Dec 29: enjoy Milan & fly to Paris in the evening.
Dec 30: fly to Lourdes early in the morning. Stay at Lourdes.
Dec 31: fly to Paris early in the morning.
Jan 1: enjoy Paris. It's New Year, baby! xD
Jan 2: fly to Singapore in the evening. Bye bye Paris! ;_;
Jan 3: arrive Singapore in the evening.
Jan 4: Singapore
Jan 5: Singapore
Jan 6: fly to Jakarta at night. Bye bye vacation! ;_;

I've bought some winter clothes, but I can't find the white earmuff that I bought in Tokyo last January ~_~

Edited at 5.56 AM:

The white earmuff is found, YAY! It ended up in my mom's wardrobe somehow.
Now my gloves are gone missing >_<
elyse: (nana: hachi - :O)
Well, I'm home, since last nite (Nov 9 at 8p).
Vacation's over. Hello, real life!

And this is what awaited me at home: my dear PC failed to start! Eeep *_*
I had to do some works, so I used my mom's laptop. But the internet was sooo slow, it got on my nerves, so I ended up going to sleep & abandoning work altogether *lol*

About my PC: turned out the power supply & UPS were broken. So today I sent it to my cousin who works in IT and he put a brand new power supply in it. The UPS still needs to be inspected, but at least the PC can be used again, after spending a day off. At first, the monitor went flickering without reason, so I unplugged & replugged the monitor-to-CPU cable & restarted the PC, and thankfully it was fixed. Only 3 hours ago the computer went back alive, pretty safely. Phew.

I didn't really do anything today, since the electricity went down just when I was about to start work! -_-
C'mon Indonesia, what's the matter with these frequent power down lately? It's getting really annoying!

So I ended up twittering nonsense twits and dozing off for a while (since I was still very tired), and got a blissful &  relaxing body massage in the evening. What a great way to ease the mind & fatigue body!

Australia story will be written in the next entry, hopefully ^^

My Blackberry went in silentium for a long time & more than once in Australia. Perhaps it had to do with data (GPRS) availability in that area. The longest it went silent was in Perth, for 3 days. When I arrived in Melbourne, suddenly the BIS went alive again and I got 150 unread emails xD Then it went silent again for a few hours, and on again, and off again, just like that all the way to Sydney & finally went back alive in Jakarta.

I might be going to Sydney again next January with 5 other people. It's gonna be merry.... or perhaps not, since we're going there for a ministry :P
elyse: (morning musume: risa niigaki - summer)
I really suck at making a short summary. Blame it on this detailed & organized personality of mine... As it is said: your strength can be your (greatest) weakness. Hanyaaan... *_*

So, continuing from part 1 of the 1-month christmas vacation story, I present to you:

The (very long) holiday summary! :D

Dec 14-17 (Singapore)
Singapore with friends (a total of 10, including moi). I used my mileage for a free Singapore airline ticket (I went by myself, my friends went together by AirAsia). We stayed at Lucky Plaza apartment at Orchard (the unit is owned & managed by an Indonesian lady), so it felt like home. As for the daily routine: basically, we ate lots, shopped even more (while also buying things I might've needed for my 1-month vacation), and hangout at a different cafe after dinner each night. We left the apartment before lunch, and we went to bed after midnight. Too bad it was raining most of the time.. But it was fun nonetheless.

Dec 19
The 1-month vacation (USA, Mexico, Japan) with my family begun. Transit in Singapore & Hongkong.

Dec 20-22 (Las Vegas)
Arrived at Los Angeles in the morning of Dec 20th. Later that evening, went straight to Las Vegas by car (about 4-hour drive) with my family & my friends (I stayed at his apartment in Irvine during my stay in the US). I got a great deal at Planet Hollywood (only $75 a night!). The routine: slept after 5am, woke up after 12pm, brunch @ Bellagio's The Buffet (Dec 21) & Paris' Le Village Buffet (Dec 22) until 4+ pm, took photos of Bellagio & around (Dec 21), Paris, Venetian & Wynn (Dec 22), shopped at Miracle Mile shops, dinner after 11pm. Since dad & bro wanted to watch a show, I bought them tickets to see Zumanity. I went shopping with mom instead, and my friends played at the casino. Drove back to Irvine in the evening of Dec 22nd.

Dec 23-30 (Mexico)
Mexico pilgrimage tour.
I used the service of Mexico Travel Advisors (contact person: Miguel Robledo) while in Mexico. It was the cheapest & most flexible tour that I could get. In fact, the price was almost half of the other tour offers. I got a satisfying experience from them, especially since I'm a very detailed person, I confirmed everything to the slightest details and Mr. Miguel always responded.
We got a private tour (just the 4 of us, using Lincoln town car, with Raul as the driver and English-speaking guide), isn't it wonderful :) I made the tour itinerary myself (from researching here & there). Everyday we chose what time to go, and we could also skip the itinerary (very, very flexible!).

This is the summary of the itinerary:


Dec 31 - Jan 2 (Irvine)
New Year's eve: late lunch at 4p (resulting to gastric problem!), Little Tokyo (just to kill the time - grocery shopping), 9pm mass @ Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels with Cardinal Roger Mahony, celebrate new year @ Universal City Walk, supper @ Bubba Gump (gastric problem started).
New Year's day: lazing around at home (my friend's), while my mom & bro went shopping nearby. Dinner @ Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, Irvine. My dad & bro left the US on Jan 2 (coz they had to work, obviously), staying in Singapore from Jan 3 - 6, before going back to Jakarta.

Jan 3-8 (Irvine)
After dad & bro left, my mom & I started to go to the storage & work on Jan 3. The storage closes at 6pm (earlier on weekends), so here's the daily routine: woke up around 10a, brunch around 12p (either at home, outside, or bring food to eat at the storage), went to the storage & worked until it closes, threw the trashes away at friends' apartments nearby :P, went home (take a bath), dinner outside (then either shopped a bit, or went straight home after dinner).
Exceptions: on Jan 3, I met my close friend Faye at Irvine Spectrum Center for lunch.
Gastric problem lasted for a few days, so I couldn't enjoy the food as much as I wanted to.

Jan 9
We decided to spend the last day NOT working, so we finished everything related to the storage on Jan 8. Went to Los Angeles this day. Lunch @ Little Tokyo, mass @ Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (and took daytime photos, since it was dark when we went there on New Year's eve), visit Wine House (to seek for Dolce by Far Niente), dinner @ Thai Nakorn (at Stanton) - a reunion with my close friend Shirley, her husband & her cousin, then back home to pack.

Jan 10
Flew to Tokyo, morning flight. Got a free upgrade to the United Economy Plus seats by chance ^^

Jan 11-15 (Tokyo)
TOKYO! :D (wikitravel)
This part will be written separately (it will be on vacation recap part 3) as it has more detailed stories. I don’t want this entry to be too long.

Jan 16 (Singapore)
Arrived at Singapore after midnight. Got a free overnight hotel stay from United at Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel. After we slept till noon, we went to mass @ Novena church & had lunch @ River Valley Rd, then treated ourselves to a body massage @ Healing Touch :D We really needed that! So relaxing.

Our SQ flight back to Jakarta was the last one (at 9.20pm), so we arrived at home almost midnight due to the traffic jam.

Bye bye vacation! *sniff sniff*
Tanoshikatta yo!
Jakarta is soooo hot, humid & dirty! -_-
Aaah, back to reality & routine…

PS: Tokyo story will follow soon on part 3. Stay tuned.
elyse: (hot chocolate in winter - frosty)
I realized that I was absent (i.e. not writing at all) for 2.5 months (during Dec 2007 & Jan 2008), thus missing the occasion to say "Merry Christmas & Happy New Year" :P
During those 2.5 months, I spent 1 month vacationing (Singapore, USA, Mexico, Japan), and the other 1.5 months catching up with work, as it was piling up on me big time.

While vacationing, I only updated my twitter, because that was the easiest & most efficient way to write. Moreover, I got tired most of the nights, since I travelled heavily everyday (especially when in Mexico & Tokyo). Oh, not to mention that I actually had to work while in the US. Yes, work. That simply means: sorting out my neglected & forgotten stuff left in the storage since 5 years ago, which ones to throw away, which ones to donate, and which ones to send to Indonesia. I should've done this years ago, I know, but after the twice rejection of US visa on 2002-2003, I was reluctant & a bit traumatic to apply again.
So I finally got the visa on Sept 2007 (because my whole family also applied for this trip, thus making me easier to get one, for I didn't apply solo), and finally after 5 years, I got to take care of my stuff ~_~

Planning the vacation actually made my life more hectic during Sept to Dec 2007, since I did everything by myself (for the whole family), from preparing the documents for visa applications (to Mexico & Japan as well), searching for the best tour in Mexico (city tour with hotel & food only - excluding flights), finding the best hotel in Shinjuku with the best price & the nicest location (near train station), deciding where to stay in Las Vegas (& searching for online coupon codes), researching for places to go to create a detailed itinerary, etc. Of course, the research took most of my time, as I was really excited with my first trip to Japan. Basically I prepared everything.

So to compensate for the absence of writing, I'm gonna start posting random photos taken during the holiday. Not much though, since I lacked the time to take many many pictures. Next time, I want to have a more relaxing holiday & take lotsa photos!

The (very long) summary of my (long) holiday will be on part 2 (to cut this part 1 short).


"There are those relationships that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous..."
~ Carrie Bradshaw (from Sex and the City)

May 2010


Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags