Christmas Dinner Lunch
We ate our hearts out this Christmas….American style! This year Evelyn Sen, Phebe’s cousin was in charge of making the big feast. The menu included homemade stuffing, mash potatoes, yams, green bean casserole, wine, and of course the turkey! Ok, I know it sounds boring just naming these but I cannot do justice in describing how delicious each menu item was. Evelyn sure did a great a great job making everything and preparing all the dishes.
After lunch we opened presents and after that we let the “old” people watch a movie while the “younger” people played some serious Big 2. It was a great had by all.
We’re Going to Disneyland!
This is now my second time going to Disneyland. I would love to say going to Disneyland never gets tiring but after this time I am starting to change my mind. Sure the rides are fun, and everything is magical, but the main drag is that you have to enjoy it with everyone else. Line-ups….there are line-ups everywhere! There were line-ups for everything – rides, restaurants, restrooms, and even the train to go back to the parking lot at night. Besides the usual rides, I did enjoy the new Toy Story Mania at California Adventure Park. It is more like a video game than a ride. It’s basically shooting these targets for points. In the end, Phebe tallied more points than me. I couldn’t believe it! Another highlight was the Indiana Jones ride. We ended up waiting in line for about an hour and a half! Our Fast-Pass tickets were being used up for another ride as we could not have more than one Fast-Pass. Phebe’s mom was so scared that she closed her eyes throughout the whole ride!
At night we had prime standing spots on Main Street as we took in the fireworks. It was good for the first few minutes but then they cut it short due to the strong winds. It would’ve been nice to see the ending but at least we saw a little bit of the magic! Although they cut the fireworks short, they still blew some snow out on Main Street.
Our road trip to Vegas didn’t have a good start. As soon as we left the freeway from Pasadena, we were stuck in traffic for a good two hours moving at a snail’s pace. Not sure if everyone was going to Vegas for the holidays, if there was an accident, or if there was construction on the roads but it sure felt like a long time. We left Pasadena at around 12 noon and didn’t arrive to Las Vegas until around 8pm!! So a 4-hour drive turned out to be an 8-hour drive!
Our hotel, Treasure Island, was right on the Vegas strip which was really convenient. Since we arrived late, we didn’t do much but eat and walk along the strip. Vegas is just another city but with big lights and a bunch of hotels and casinos. It would’ve been nice to take in a show or two but we were strapped for time.
Grand Canyon West
The next day we drove to Grand Canyon West to see the Sky Walk. It was constructed in March of 2004 and completed by May of 2005. The Glass Bridge is suspended 4,000 feet above the Colorado River on the very edge of the Grand Canyon. I must say it looks pretty impressive in the pictures you see on websites but when you get there it is nothing special. You end up paying $30US each person (not to mention $20 for parking) to see the skywalk. You are not even allowed to take your camera or phone onto the Skywalk.
However, the best part of the tour was Guino Point, with a 360 degree view of the Canyon. We had to hike up only a short bit to get to the top but it was worth it. On top it was a bit cold but had stunning views. I didn’t want to leave.
Change in plans. Today we were supposed to look around downtown Pasadena and look at all the floats for the Rose Bowl Parade but Phebe was a bit sick. Not sure if it was the buffet we had the day before at Bellagio or the Chinese food we had last night but Phebe’s stomach was upset. We took it easy today and ended up having a late start and a good sleep in. We decided to go to Solvang, a small Danish town in the Santa Barbara county of California. The drive from Pasadena to Solvang was about 2 hours. For lunch we had various sausages and also the famous Aebleskiver, which is some sort Danish pancake but tastes like a dessert to me. After lunch we all rented bikes and rode all over town until sunset. It was fun riding in tandem and getting lost and breaking most of the rules like riding on the sidewalks and the wrong side of the road.
Special Thanks to Evelyn Sen and also Uncle Eddie and Auntie Bee Lan for their hospitality and fun times on the road.