Long Drive to D.C.

Long Distance Driving to D.C.

For a lot of my friends who are skilled in driving, most would not really like long distance driving. My guess is that most of you don’t as well. Well, I maybe one of the few who loves to drive. I find freedom when I drive. That is, when I know that I can reach any destination as long as I have fuel and a map.

I occasionally take the steering wheel while in Manila. I’ve also gotten the chance to drive in Europe when we ventured to Amsterdam from Brussels. But I specially liked driving in the USA just as I did when I drove from California to Arizona.  Also there one from within Texas.  Here you drive on very smooth pavement and at high speeds on automatic driving.

In those previous trips to the US, some of the longest trips I’ve made was our 7-hour drive from the Grand Canyon to Los Angeles. But in 2014, I’ve pushed myself further by driving for around 10 hours straight.

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Atlanta Trip: Food Truck Park

Atlanta Trip: Food Truck Park

Back in my 10-week stay in Atlanta back in 2014, I was able to go around the Atlanta’s major and key tourist destinations. But in one of the memorable moments I had during my visit there was an opportunity to experience one activity not common in the Philippines.

My colleague, Niko and his wife Kim invited me to join them in checking out this group of food truckers that having a stop in one of the parks in suburban Atlanta.

Food trucks are basically moving food kiosks and is a common sight in US cities especially in their downtown areas. These trucks offer different varieties of quick to eat dishes for people on-the-go. They serve from sandwiches to rice meals and from local to international cuisines.

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Atlanta Trip: Georgia Capitol and MLK Jr. Center

Atlanta Trip: Georgia Capitol and MLK Jr. Center

In the month of May, my employer RCG Philippines sent me on a business trip to our client, Elavon, in Atlanta, Georgia for 10 weeks.  Elavon is a major credit card device provider in the US and I was sent there to support my QA director in planning our projects.

Elavon’s office is located in Sandy Springs at the northern part of metropolitan Atlanta, about 15 miles from downtown Atlanta.   And during my stay,  I’ve stayed in two nearby Extended Stay America hotels, one in Peachtree-Dunwoody for two weeks and longest at the Homestead Suites branch along Hammond Drive, just across the office building compound of Elavon’s.

I arrived during a cooler time of the year just as spring ends and stayed until middle of summer in July.  It was nice to experience the cooler weeks before experiencing the scorching heat of summer.

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Atlanta Trip: Wizard World Comic Convention

Atlanta Trip: Wizard World Comic ConBack in May this year, the Wizard World Comic Convention came into the city of Atlanta.  It was a very opportune time for me as I’m in the city for the about ten weeks to visit our client, Elavon.  The Wizard World Comic Con events are held in different cities in the US with the grandest happening in the city of San Diego.   And this time in Atlanta, event was held for three days in the Georgia World Congress Center, just across the Philips Arena and near the CNN Center.

Though I’m not a hard fanatic of comic books, I sure did love reading them specially when I was still living in Singapore.  I’ve read multiple comic book series from the Singapore libraries.  And among the most famous comic books, I liked reading a lot of Marvel comics specially the X-men series and Spiderman.

So on the second day of the conference, together with my on-site manager and friend, Niko and his wife, Kim, we went on to check out the event.  The ticket costs $40 for access into conference, but to get pictures or autographs with the celebrities in the event has additional costs.

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Atlanta Trip: CNN Studio Tour

Atlanta: CNN Studio Tour
After visiting the World of Coca-Cola, my colleague Sally and myself walked for a few minutes into another top attraction in the city of Atlanta.  This is to check out the headquarters of I think the most famous news network in the world, the Cable News Network or more famous as CNN.

And just like Coca-Cola, Atlanta is also CNN’s home base.  The CNN headquarters is located just across the Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta. It is  just a few meters from the Georgia World Congress Center where I went to for the Atlanta Comic Convention.

The CNN Center in Atlanta, as I learned during the tour, is located in what was once an indoor amusement park.  Its the first of its kind and was called The World of Sid and Marty Kroft.  The CNN Studio tour takes about 55 minutes and runs about every 30 minutes. Standard rate for the tour costs $15 which can be bought at the main atrium.

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Atlanta Trip: World of Coca-Cola

Atlanta Trip: World of Coca-ColaDuring my first weekend in Atlanta, I took a drive down to the downtown area with my colleague Sally. We headed to checkout two of the most famous attractions of Atlanta.  This day we visited the World of Coca-Cola and took a studio tour into the CNN Center.  On this blog I’ll focus our trip into the World of Coca-Cola.

The World of Coca Cola is located next to the Georgia Aquarium and the Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta.  The World of Coca-Cola is an indoor exhibition that features all about everyone’s favorite and probably the most famous soda drink in the world. This attraction is also located just a few blocks from where the headquarters of Coca-Cola is located.

The World of Coca-Cola is a modern building that stands right next to a park and the Georgia Aquarium beside it. One interesting feature of the building is that it has this glass tower which contains the image of the iconic Coke bottle.

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Grand US Tour 2010: California Adventure Park

PauTravels in Disney California Adventure

After one whole month in traveling around California in 2010, we end it with our last chance visit to see Disney’s California Adventure theme park located across the main Disneyland theme park in Anaheim.  Again this is included in the CityPASS ticket that we purchased to see California’s other theme parks like Universal Studios and Sea World.

Unlike the beautiful sunny Saturday the day before, the weather went back to being rainy just like our first trip to Disneyland 2 weeks back.   And due to this, we went to the park a bit later that day after lunch as we try to guage whether the weather will still go better.  We ended up just bringing our umbrellas to the park since it’s our last opportunity throughout our stay in the US.  Also it was just my family and Angel who went.

Grand US Tour 2010: Return to Disneyland

PauTravels and family in Disneyland again

This US trip of 2010 of our family has been a very long trip and it was ending as we met the new year of 2011.   We have seen the bright lights of Las Vegas, the beauty of the Grand Canyon, the theme parks of Los Angeles, the scenic hills of San Francisco, and experienced snow in Tahoe.   But due to the rains that we have encountered when we first visited Disneyland, we had postponed our return until this last 3 days left for us before flying back to the Philippines.

And so on new year’s day, we embarked on visiting once more Disneyland.  This as we have a 3-day visit ticket for the park as part of the CityPASS that we purchased.  Fortunately, this time around we were granted with a very good sunny weather.  That it was my brother and his family and my cousin Angel who went with us.

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