Category Archives: travel

Another Trip to San Francisco

Here are some pictures from my recent trip to San Francisco at the end of August.  We stayed at the InterContinental Hotel and got an upgrade to a one-bedroom suite on the 32nd floor.  Here is the view from our room.

San Francisco from 32nd Floor



















We went to a party for Evernote Trunk Conference.  It was a nice party with a few food trucks providing food.  On Saturday, we went to J-Pop Festival in Japan Town.  I haven’t been back to Japan Town in a few years, so it was great to be back.  The festival was okay – a few street vendors, performances on stage, and a few food trucks.  On Sunday, we went to Chinatown since they closed Grant for people to walk.  It was nice to be able to walk on the street in Chinatown.  Here is a picture of me in Chinatown.

Pavee in Chinatown

New York in the Spring

I was visiting New York City in late April this year.  The whole trip was planned around getting tickets to see Book of Mormon and Sleep No More.  We also made a reservation at our favorite restaurant, Eleven Madison Park, for this trip.  We got lucky with the weather (for the most part) and had two nice warm days and one rainy day.  We got to eat great food and saw three great shows.  I also ran into three people I know unplanned and saw two friends (planned).

Here are the highlights of the trip.

Amazing lunch at Eleven Madison Park restaurant.  This is a Michelin three star restaurant.  You can see all the dishes I had on this post.

Interesting concept for Sleep No More.  The set is in a 6-story building in Chelsea they have called “The McKettrick Hotel.”  It is based loosely on Macbeth.  The set itself is amazing with many rooms to explore.  All the audience members have to wear a white mask (provided) and cannot talk during the show.  They take you in a group of about 25 and the elevator man will take you up in the elevator and let some people out on each floor.  You can later use stairs to explore other floors.  There are many rooms including a candy room where you can eat candies.  You can easily get lost and end up seeing nothing if you don’t pay attention to what’s going on.  My recommendation for those who are planning to go see this is to learn more about the show before going to get an idea of what to expect.

Doughnut Plant store in Chelsea is very nice compared to their original store.  The one in Chelsea offers seats, espresso drinks, and take credit card.

Book of Mormon is funny.  If you want to see this, be sure to book it in advance.  I booked mine 6 months in advance.

Early Summer in Scottsdale, Arizona

I spent Memorial Day weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona.  I was expecting hot weather but it turned out the temperature was in the 80s during my visit which was actually nice.  I was surprised to find many houses I liked (from an architectural point of view).  There are many modern looking houses in the area.  There are also many huge houses or mansions in Paradise Valley.

We stayed at the Montelucia Hotel which is part of Intercontinental Hotel Group.  The hotel is very nice and it has three large pools.  The location is also very nice.  It sits at the bottom of the Camel Back Mountain.  We got upgraded to a junior suite with a large balcony with two large lounge chairs.  It was very nice to be able to sit and relax on the balcony.  We also got to spend half a day at the Joya Spa.  I got a great full body massage.  The facility was amazing with many great amenities including a dry sauna, wet sauna, cold shower pour, hot tub, and a hot room (for the Hammam ritual).  The spa also has its own pool on the second floor where we had lunch.

Here are a few pictures of the room and the hotel.

A View from My Room with Camel Back Mountain



















Patio of the Suite with a Table and Two Large Lounge Chairs
























Warning Sign on the Door at the Hotel
The Lobby at Joya Spa
























Taliesin West.  I am a big fan of Frank Lloyd Wright and his design.  He has a winter house and architecture school in Scottsdale, so it was great to get a chance to visit.  Prior to this, I had been to one of the houses he designed in St. Louis.  At Taliesin West, they offer many tours and we took the standard 1.5 hour tour.  It was very informative and they also allow you to take pictures of the house inside and outside (except the living room and the bed room).  Another cool thing about this tour is that you get to sit in the living room in original Frank Lloyd Wright designed chairs.  To learn more about Taliesin West, please visit their website.

Taliesin West
























Taliesin West



















Arcosanti.  This is an interesting place which is located about 1.5 hours north of Phoenix in the middle of nowhere.  It was originally designed by Paolo Soleri who spent some time at Taliesin West with Frank Lloyd Wright.  Arcosanti is designed according to the concept of arcology (architecture + ecology) to eventually house about 5,000 people.  The project is still going slowly and it is now a home for about 80 people.  They offer a tour for $10 which takes you around the facility, talks about the history of the place, and shows you how they make their signature metal bells.  You can spend a night, a week, or a year there.  They also offer concerts throughout the year.  To learn more about Accosanti, please visit their website.

Arcosanto: Entrance



















Arcosanti: Vaults

















Arcosanti: Amphitheater

Visiting USS San Diego

Last week, the USS San Diego, visited San Diego and opened for a public tour for 3 days from May 15 to May 17.  It was a short window and I was glad I was able to see it in person.  The tour was great – very informative.  I got to see the cargo area, cafeteria, the deck, the bridge, a medical bay, and a sleeping area.  Those sleeping beds are tiny.  Here are some of the photos of the ship.  They also had a tent selling merchandise and I got a magnet.  To see the magnet, please click here.

USS San Diego



















Inside the bay of the USS San Diego
























San Diego Street Sign inside the USS San Diego
























On the deck of the USS San Diego