One of the things which struck me deeply about the United States is the sheer size of the country. Roads can stretch for miles and miles uninterrupted, and the surrounding environment can change dramatically from coastal landscapes, green farmlands, coniferous forests to barren semi-arid deserts. The historic Route 66 – a long winding highway linking the Eastern and Western states of the US – offers such an experience amongst other highways.
Naturally, we were captivated by the beauty of what we experienced which unfortunately cannot be reproduced here in its entirety. Nevertheless, I shall endeavour!
Hitting the road is a common activity for us when travelling from San Francisco in the North all the way to San Diego in the South.
Unlike other more typical Singaporeans, shopping isn’t really in the blood of my family. We much prefer to spend our time exploring the great outdoors, visiting museums and attractions, or indulging in a good meal. However, as a significnt part of our US tour package includes various shopping stops – an ever popular request amongst Singaporean groups – we had the chance to dive into some festive Christmas shopping in the West.
How was the experience of shopping like in the US? Well, here are some snapshots to give you a glimpse of what we did.
The US is full of warehouse discount shops like Target here, which are big factory-sized affairs offering free parking, everyday low prices, and money-back guarantees (no questions asked).
So goes that age-old favourite by Tony Bennett. Who wouldn’t, after encountering this beautiful coastal city in Northern California. The spirit of the season makes it all the more magical for us during our recent holiday in this city of 4.2 million (about the same as Singapore), which boasts some of the most instantly recognisable landmarks of American culture. I believe that our ubiquitous Swensen’s Restaurant in Singapore was inspired very much by the spirit of San Francisco.
My family and I have just returned from an “epic” two week holiday in the West Coast of the United States. Our trip took us across three states – golden California, silver Nevada and picturesque Arizona – and a journey across cities and counties like San Francisco, Gilroy, Fresno, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, and Los Angeles. We travelled across thousands of miles of vast land – from scenic Pacific coastal drives to barren desert land – and had a taste of how post-crisis Christmas was like in the world’s largest economy.
The verdict? The United States is truly awesome and brims with opportunities. I must add though that some of the tourist spots are more hyped up than they truly are. We’ll definitely make plans to return here, perhaps touring the national parks next.
To kick off my series of posts (and I promise to inject some “marketing lessons” in my latter ones if time and energy permits), let me first bring you on our whirlwind photographic journey.