Am documenting my trip to the US which is way overdue to a point I’m starting to forget! Jien and I have always wanted to visit the States and since my dad wanted to celebrate CNY in London, we figured it was a good time to also explore the US, by using London as a pitstop to reduce the jetlag. :P
We flew in to Tampa to spend some time with our granduncle, who hosted us throughout our time in Florida. This was also my first time trying American Chinese food (the kind that comes in a takeaway paper box) and it was strange. Good experience though, and I have to say, Malaysian KFC is still the best I’ve eaten.
I wanted to visit New York and also Florida where the theme parks are – we went to Disney World and Universal Studios, which I thoroughly enjoyed. A 2-day pass would cost $199 and if you’re ‘kiasu’, you might want to get the express pass option.
Jien and I opted to spend a night at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort (French Quarter) because it’s more convenient for us to get the theme park via shuttle bus the following morning. Plus, I’m the kind who wants to get there first thing in the morning and get on as many rides possible – the tickets cost close to RM1,000 for two days so I had to make it worthwhile haha!
I was really looking forward to Universal Orlando because that’s where all the awesome rollercoaster rides are. I got an express pass (I think we paid $125 per ticket) and went crazy with all the rides, especially the Dragon Challenge which I rode 5 times! This isn’t just a place for fun rides, but also one where you can shop, dine and do sightseeing. But why would anyone go to Universal Orlando and NOT enjoy the rides?!!
And the portions in America – ginormous. A plate of nachos at Hard Rock Café is three times the size of what you get in Hard Rock KL. I think portions are generally a lot bigger (not so good for the waistline) so that took some getting used to. I had to condition myself not to order extra food, unlike back home. I actually gained weight in the U.S. because of the portions!
We spent our remaining two days in Florida with our granduncle, resting and getting over the jetlag. I don’t have much problems with jetlag in London, but it’s a lot worse for me in the US. I’m sleepy by 3pm (US time) and wide awake at 2am. There isn’t much to do in Tampa but they do have a pretty huge premium outlet for you to do all your shopping. I reckon it’s better to shop in Florida as the tax is lower so you pay less than what you would at a premium outlet in New York or Boston.
Our flight to New York was rerouted and subsequently cancelled because of a snow storm so that took away 1.5 days from our time in the Big Apple. A bit of a bummer really, as I was really looking forward to seeing New York.
We got to try Katz Delicatessen, Bouley, Five Napkin, Magnolia Bakery and Serendipity (known for their frozen hot chocolate). Tried to walk around but it was freezing cold (-6 to -8 °C at night, 0°C during the day) so we were constantly looking for a place to take shelter. Jien caught a bad cold because of the harsh weather, unfortunately. :(
Despite that, we got to see Rockefeller Center and Times Square – I found the latter really gimmicky haha. People will attempt to sell you broadway tickets but I was told it’s better to get them from a trusted source. Jien and I were bummed we didn’t get to catch a Broadway show. We missed ours because of the flight cancellation.
I wished we had a bit more time in New York as I didn’t get to do all the things we planned. Am hoping Jien and I get to go soon, and next time around, we will aim for autumn so it’s not as cold!