USA - WEST COAST
Tuesday, November 19, 2019


Hello peeps!

It has been almost 2 years since I last posted something on here, the longest time in my seven years of blogging. Sobs. Things have been really hectic. My status has changed from single to married, I have moved out from my family house and in the span of last few months, I’ve got a new job and… we are also expecting a baby! Alhamdulillah.

So where do I begin? I’ve lost track even though there are sooo many things I want to share. Pre-wedding, post-wedding, honeymooning, places WE’VE been to so far (hehe) and all those beautiful memories.

But, do people still read blogs nowadays? After all, I am writing a part of my life’s story here and I will continue. Well to be honest I still like to read blog posts I wrote from x years ago. Hehe. So here I am, let’s start with our recent trip to the States which is one of the best trips so far :). It was filled with outdoor adventures, great food, lovable company (my shuben hiks), and natural beauty.

Here are the highlights of our West Coast trip.

Los Angeles

San Francisco

Yosemite

Death Valley

Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend & Grand Canyon

Las Vegas 

Prior to getting married, I traveled around the world with friends and family. And now, with my partner for life, my husband. Hehe. We both have done our fair share of travelling, especially around Europe during our student days. My husband spent 6 years in Ukraine and I had 1 year in Birmingham. Beyond comparison, I know. Haha. So we're well used to the pace. Roughing it out in backpacker hostels, spending ALL day exploring the city or town or country, and having a good night rest before starting an equally grueling day after that.

We thought that since we've both done this routine so many times over so many years, we'd be up to it. But we were wrong. Haha. Pretty safe to say both my husband and I are getting old. Sobs. And I don’t think he had any idea how much I would keep him on the road and in flight. Hehe. So one night, I asked his permission to go to the States for our 1st year anniversary. He declined at first, various reasons were given but after few times pujuk sessions he agreed at last. Haha. Sayang isteri punya pasal lol.


CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES
We booked China Southern flight a couple of months in advance (4 months to be exact) because it was significantly cheaper than other competing airlines. But it was really great value for money, trust me. Would definitely fly again and recommend to all. Who would have thought that our return tickets to LAX was just RM2,003 per person! I told my husband, we really have to buy sayang, insanely cheap. Haha.


The booking was made easy and we have selected Muslim meal throughout the journey. They have selection for other types of meal too; vegetarian, kosher, just to name a few. And the food according to my husband was good but to me it was average, I don’t really fancy airline food though. Haha. We were given more snacks in between (i.e. sandwich, breads, cakes) but I forgot to snap pictures. Hehe.

KL - Guangzhow meal (chicken based)


KL - Guangzhow meal (chicken based)

#Meal 1 Guangzhow - LA (fish based)

 #Meal 1 Guangzhow - LA (fish based)

#Meal 2 Guangzhow - LA (prawn based)

 #Meal 2 Guangzhow - LA (prawn based)

Besides that, the entertainment on board was great, I managed to watch 2 movies; The Meg and Holmes & Watson. But most of the times, we were comfortably sleeping. And eating. And talking. And toilet break. Repeat the whole process again and again. Haha. What else could we do for almost 21 hours of journey including transit, kan?

And on top of all those plus points, the customer service was really tip top and the seats were comfortable and spacious enough! Much to our surprise, apparently China Southern operates an A380 from Guangzhou to Los Angeles and vice versa. My husband got really excited, his first time flying A380 but yours truly have flown A380 years ago with Emirates to Dubai. Hehe.

Last but not least, economy class tickets are allowed to bring in two (2) 23kg check-in luggages, which is in total a whopping 46kg! But still not enough for my shopping loots though. Haha.

And just a reminder, please read the safety tips for transport of lithium batteries and power banks on their websites. We had our checked-in bag opened and our Gopro batteries were apparently confiscated at transit point in Baiyun Airport without our knowledge. It was not until we got to our hotel in Los Angeles and there was a note in our bag by China Southern stating that their government prohibits such items to be flown to China. Haihhhh. 2 Gopro batteries gone!


GUANGZHOU BAIYUN AIRPORT

We departed at 1.35 noon on 27 March 2019. Our flight from Kuala Lumpur to Guangzhou took us about 4 hours and we had a stopover for another 4 hours at Baiyun Airport.


Approaching Guangzhou Baiyun Airport

Upon arrival, there were officers directing us for international transfer departure, so we just follow the signs accordingly.

Just remember that your passport will not be stamped but they will stamp on your boarding pass instead. And your luggage will be checked to your final destination. That part has been taken care of like any other airlines. Sooo convenient.


The airport in my opinion is quite big, we found a prayer room near our departure gate and we quickly performed zuhur + asar together and we then waited few minutes for Maghrib.


And one more thing, halal food is pretty limited here, but there is one halal restaurant at the departure area so we decided to give a try. Since we will be served more airline food in the next few hours so we just ordered one big bowl mutton noodle. Sharing is caring hehe. Sedaapp!




LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (LAX)

It took us another 12hours and 40minutes from Guangzhou to Los Angeles. Fuh. Kematu. Haha. We departed at 9.30 pm Guangzhou time (27 March 2019) and arrived around 7.10 pm LA time (still 27 March 2019).

Sunset

 LA baby!

Initially we estimated 2 hours for immigration and custom clearance so we opted to pick our car around 9.30pm. But lo and behold, we got stuck for at least 5 hours to get out of the airport.

First and foremost, there is no separate immigration line for passengers for connecting flights. So if you have another flight to catch, it is important to estimate your time properly. The only lines available are for visitors and U.S. nationals and citizens. Since LAX is the busiest and largest airport in the US and the fact that a super-jumbo plane like the A380 has landed that night, can you imagine how long we have to queue to get clearance? Sobs. It was nightmare.


We then had to go to the kiosk for online inspection and here my husband and I were separated because the kiosk doesn’t like him for some reason and send him to in-person inspection. He found himself subject to a secondary screening process because a cross sign was stamped on his boarding pass. Pity my shuben.


And I remember the immigration officer asked me politely and courteous on the purpose of my visit, etc. It took me literally 2 minutes and tada, settled. So pleasant and welcoming.

I waited my husband for about half an hour at the baggage carousel and he was nowhere in sight. I was soo worried and I really had no idea what was happening. Then a few minutes later I got a text from him and he explained that the procedure might take an hour or two and he said I shouldn’t worry so much. It was already 10.00pm at the time. Luckily the car rental office is in operation for 24 hours and my husband asked me to call their office and informed them that we will be really late.

So I was alone at the baggage area, just looking around and get my phone connected to the WIFI and started to google on the reasons for the detention. Well according to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the reasons are varied. Either you have immigration issues, failure to declare the proper documentation, etc. So yes, my husband was detained for about 2 hours in a room with other Mexicans, Arabs and the best part is, no reason was given to him. He was asked to just wait for his name to be called for secondary inspection and that was it. Takde apa pun. Perhaps his features, haha.


ADVANTAGE CAR RENTAL
 
My husband pre-paid the car that I booked on Kayak and the site directed us to the Advantage Car Rental as it offered the cheapest price for an economy car at the time. His credit card was charged RM1,404 for 10 days rental with insurance coverage and to us, it was really a good deal.


So we waited the Advantage shuttle bus for about 15 minutes to pick us up at the waiting area. Do note that there are a lot of rental car companies so don’t get confused. Different buses will bring you to different location. Haha. Better ask the driver first to avoid any uncertainties. The journey took about 10 minutes and after arriving, we had to wait for another 40 minutes in line even though it was already almost 1am midnight. Sobs. Such a longgg day.


Below is my husband’s feedback on his Instagram. I just copy and paste. Hehe.
We were supposed to get a Toyota Yaris (2 door) or something equivalent for this trip. To our surprise, we got a 2018 Subaru Outback and it is Subaru’s best-selling model in the US.

We got the car either by sheer luck or divine intervention, or most probably we were unaware of Advantage own upgrade or promotion policy.

At first we were taken aback whether this was supposed to be our ride, but thankfully it is. Especially seeing to where we were going and carrying. The car accommodated us and our 5 luggages in sheer comfort. A total of 2,670 miles (4,296 km) driven from the steepest hills of San Francisco, to the forests and deserts, the Outback made ease of each journey...
So I would definitely recommend Advantage Car Rental despite of having a lot of bad reviews on the website. Don’t be afraid to give a try because to be honest our experience was nothing but amazing!

To be continued…

Labels: ,



11:38 AM | 0 comments
Webmistress



Noor Rafidah Jacob
Fida Jacob
Kuala Lumpur, MY
Chartered accountant
Tax Manager, BIMB
Kaplan Financial UK
IIUM Alumni
fidajacob@gmail.com

Hi everyone! My weaknesses are pretty things and kindness. Knowledge is of high importance. I believe that everyone has the potential to become the best they can be and that beauty comes within. This is a spot where I'll share with you some of my adventures + my inner thoughts! Oh and don't forget to follow me on instagram! : @fidajacob

My Photo
For me to know, for you to find out



Media


UTUSAN (Citra Orang Muda)


HARIAN METRO


Featured in JOMJALAN.COM.MY


Malaysia International Tourism Bloggers Conference & Awards ‘MIBTCA’(Winner of Malaysia International Tourism Fashion Blog)


Wishlist


LADAKH


KOMODO ISLAND

 
MOROCCO


ARIZONA


ICELAND

Korean Shooting Locations


 

INCHEON AIRPORT GUESTHOUSE (WILL IT SNOW FOR CHRISTMAS)
SHINDO ISLAND (FULL HOUSE)
PETITE FRANCE (SECRET GARDEN)
YONGPYONG SKI RESORT (WINTER SONATA)
YANGPYEONG ENGLISH VILLAGE (BOYS OVER FLOWERS)
BUKCHON HANOK VILLAGE (PERSONAL TASTE)
NAMI ISLAND (WINTER SONATA)


Footprints

MALAYSIA
SINGAPORE
INDONESIA
THAILAND
VIETNAM
MYANMAR
CAMBODIA
PHILIPPINE
SOUTH KOREA
CHINA
JAPAN
INDIA
AUSTRALIA
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
SAUDI ARABIA
TURKEY
SWITZERLAND
AUSTRIA
SPAIN
FRANCE
SCOTLAND
ENGLAND
NORTHERN IRELAND
IRELAND
HOLLAND
BELGIUM
ITALY
VATICAN CITY
GERMANY
PORTUGAL
LUXEMBOURG
POLAND
MONACO
GREECE
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA
CROATIA
HUNGARY
CZECH REPUBLIC
NORWAY
DENMARK
UNITED STATES

Travelogue


BEIJING 2012


KOREA 2012
Day 1
Day 2 (Part 1)
Day 3 (Part 1)
Day 4
Day 5 (Part 1)
Day 5 (Part 2)
Day 6 (Part 1)
Day 7 (Part 1)


KUCHING 2012


PARIS 2012
Day 1 & Day 2 (Part 1)
Day 1 & Day 2 (Part 2)
Day 3 (Part 1)
Day 3 (Part 2)
Day 3 (Part 3)


AMSTERDAM 2012


BRUSSEL 2012


VENICE 2012


ROME 2012


SCOTLAND 2012


LONDON 2012


SINGAPORE 2012


PULAU PERHENTIAN 2012


HO CHI MINH 2012


SEOUL 2013


JAPAN 2013


JAKARTA 2013


BANDUNG 2013


DUBAI 2013


TURKEY 2013


BARCELONA 2013


SWISS 2013


BALI 2013


Rewind


Follow Me


Previous

E-DAY
L O V E
HEART TALKS
AND THEREFORE...
WHAT IT FEELS LIKE...
MOUNT KINABALU - THINGS TO BRING
LEBARAN 2017
GULMARG - A WINTER WONDERLAND
dUCk - THANK YOU FOR THINKING OF ME
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - PRELUDE


Label

Misc

CURRENTLY WATCHING

RUNNING MAN



SEHANGAT ASMARA

JUST
FINISHED



TENTANG DHIA

Music



Links

Facebook
Cari Forum
Soompi
Ockoala
Dramabeans
Rebel Souls
EY Malaysia

Credit

designer: Stephanie (kyuusho)
banner: sweetsugar

OLDER POSTS | NEWER POSTS