A Travellerspoint blog

Back in Manila, early morning Sunday

Took Philippine Airlines on the way back to Manila [Manila-travel-guide-885524]. Flight PR103 usually leaves LAX at 9PM, arriving in Guam for a technical stop usually between 3-4AM GUM time. After an hour to refuel, it's off to Manila for an arrival early in the morning, usually before 6AM. Because we cross the international date line, the flight arrives in Manila 2 days after the departure (in this case, November 12th). Most trans-Pacific flights of Philippine Airlines leave late at night and arrive early morning (+2), which is relatively convenient for many travelers.

The plane (Boeing 747-400) wasn't as full so somehow I regretted that I had requested for advance seat reservation in the forward cabin of economy class (thinking I'd be first to get off among the economy class folks), only to find out that during the flight the people who were seated in the rear cabin of the plane were able to stretch and sleep on 3 or 4 abreast seating because the flight wasn't even 2/3 full!

Oh well, you can prepare so much but never really know if the plane will be full on the way back. Nevertheless, it was an uneventful flight so I didn't even take notes or pictures.

Posted by NT01 17:00 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

Some business in Los Angeles and then back to Manila

View Seattle and Tacoma, November 2006 on NT01's travel map.

After arriving at LAX, I was picked up by my sister-in-law and we headed to Orange County. Had dinner at a local restaurant before visiting their place and then back to the hotel late in the evening. Passed by a nearby Starbucks and found some interesting pie which had a Thanksgiving theme (a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving).

On the next day, there was not much activity except that I visited the head office in Los Angeles [Los-Angeles-travel-guide-12789] near Westwood, met with a few colleagues, and prepared for the trip back home. Didn't get a rental car anymore as my colleague suggested I just take a cab.

While waiting for my flight, I visited the Westfield Shopping Center, and dropped by a few stores after I had checked out of the hotel.


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Back to the big metropolis of Los Angeles

View Seattle and Tacoma, November 2006 on NT01's travel map.

Flight details: UA1248A320DepArr SEALAX 908 miles

Seattle and its autumn colors (and rain) was a stark contrast to the urban jungle of Los Angeles [Los-Angeles-travel-guide-12789]. You could see the difference in the foliage (or lack of it, in the case of Los Angeles downtown).

Coming in for a landing, I was amazed by the large urban sprawl we flew by before landing at LAX. While it wasn't culture shock, it was more about discerning the difference in pace between the Pacific Northwest and the second largest city in the US (population wise).

The plane took a while to taxi to its disembarkation gate, so I managed to take a few photos of various planes at LAX.


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Drive to SeaTac with barely enough time to spare

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large_1840343_1354591692539.jpgOn Thursday, November 9th, I had to drive back to SeaTac [SeaTac-travel-guide-135404] to return the rental vehicle and catch my flight to Los Angeles. My colleague Eric had left his rental car, a Chevy Impala with me as he flew out a day ahead. I left the Silver Cloud a bit late, and had to fill up the fuel tank with gas so I don't get charged a more expensive rate by the rental company. At some point I realized that I might miss the flight so I drove a bit more spirited, but still within the speed limit. I made it into the airport terminal drop off station for the car, signed off the documents, and checked in for my flight.

While I made check-in, I didn't realize that the plane was to be boarded at a satellite building. So I had to hurry off, take the underground train, and barely made it to the gate. Immediately after I gave my boarding pass to the gate agent, they closed the gate. It didn't seem to me I was late but then I remembered airlines close the gate a few minutes before actual departure time. So much for the rush, I didn't have anything to grab for drinks, but good that I was able to take breakfast before I left the hotel.


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Drive to Tacoma

View Seattle and Tacoma, November 2006 on NT01's travel map.

large_1840343_1354589878422.jpgS 21st St, Tacoma, WA (facing east)On Wednesday, November 8th, we drove into Tacoma [Tacoma-travel-guide-135601] to visit the facility of my client. It was relatively a long drive from Bellevue [Bellevue-travel-guide-133702], mostly along I-405, Renton, and then I-5 before I-705. I think I missed only one turn along the route, but then we overshot the turn somewhere in Tacoma (I reckon it was E-11th St). Not bad considering I didn't have GPS on my rental car (can't exactly recall what model it was, but most likely the Chevy Impala). But I had printed out the route earlier from Mapquest (Google Maps wasn't as popular back then), so driving was quite a breeze.

Downtown Tacoma has a lot of quaint buildings from the early 20th century, among them the building we visited which despite being old, had a lot of computer cabling and workstations inside the office. Note that this was during the days before Wifi became popular.

I didn't have time to enjoy the ride as much since I was driving and was with my client, and we didn't stop often for pictures. But the scenery of the Washington autumn in November is breathtaking.


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