Walks of Life


My name is Rahiza. And these are some snippets in my Walks of Life :)

Picking apples and Christmas @ The Grove

Since the weekend would be our last weekend here in LA, we decided to do something that we haven't done before...apple picking! Dear hubby googled some info and we decided to take a trip to Bakersfield. It's about 2 hours drive, north from here. It's where the Murray Family Farm is located. The kids were excited, and of course so was their mom. Hehe.. So we reached there around 11.45 a.m. Took a hay ride around the farm and then went on for apple picking. It's a farm as well as a fun family park. There's an asparagus maze and me and the kids enjoyed ourselves getting lost in the maze. There's also a big pyramid of dried hay, and a big giant ant park. (Of course it wasn't a real ant). Another attraction that they had was a small farm. Among the animals there were peacocks, chicken and hens, goats, ilamas, sheeps and not to forget, mr. piggie (uiyyuhhhsss..). Anyway, the apples were so sweet and juicy! We could eat as much as we wanted to at the farm and if we want to take them home, we only have to pay for those. So we had our lunch of apples and then bought some percimmons, pamogranade, apples and a blackberry pie.

Going on a hay ride.

On top of the hay pyramid.

Inside Asparagus Maze.

Adik Hannah picking an apple.

Hmm...it's so yummy!

Later on we went to the Farmers Market @ The Groove. We went there previously during Ramadhan. I wrote an entry about the place before. It's to fulfill our promise to Harith to catch a ride on the train. Fortunately we reached there just in time. We managed to catch the last train. Pheww.... We rode on the upper deck and Harith had a blasting time. :)

The Grove was crowded and beautiful!!! Christmas is just around the corner and everybody is out shopping or just having a wonderful time outdoor. There's a big giant Christmas tree, decorated till the very top. The lights were just too marvelous! And there's Santa and his rain deers 'flying' in the air.

See? I wasn't kidding. Haha...

There was also a performance by a group of Santarinas...dancing to the Christmas songs. Unfortunately I couldn't get a good look as it was too crowded.

Just as they finished performing, the snow started to fall down.

Of course, it was machine-made snow. Hehe..Unfortunately, there's no snow here in LA.

Santa Claus was having his workshop here too. Well, actually it's where the photo session with Santa is taking place. Since Harith and Hannah already taken a pix with Santa in Del Amo Mall last week, they had to pass on this (although Harith insisted on taking pix again, but no, this time it cost too much, USD60 per photo!)

Lastly, I finally managed to get a copy of Ann Rule's latest book, Mortal Danger in the Barnes and Noble book store. Weehhaaa...can't wait to start reading it.

Tonight will be our last night here in Torrance. I'm going to miss Los Angeles. So many more things to explore, but so little time. Hopefully, Insya-Allah, we will come back. But till then.................Goodbye America and Hello again Malaysia.

Belacan Grill and Beverly Hills

Last Saturday, dear Hubby brought us to 'Belacan Grill'. It's a Malaysian restaurant located here in Redondo Beach. We've passed this restaurant a couple of times, even stopped once last year, but it was always closed. So, after checking their website and making sure of the hour, we decided to have our lunch there.

As soon as we stepped inside the restaurant, the familiar smell of Malaysian food greeted us. Fooh...menusuk kalbu wa cakap lu. And the interior were all too familar. A red beca sitting in a corner, a wau bulan hanging on the wall, a number of rattan and mengkuang weave baskets, a big poster of tourism Malaysia etc etc. And the food...ahhh...I can't get enough reading the menu. I thought of ordering everything, hehe.. Finally we settled on steam rice, seafood tomyum, belacan fried rice, mango shrimp, a mix sate set, and cendol.

Our verdict..hmm...OK laaa....not as yummy as we expected. Dear hubby said, I cook better, hehehe... TQ dear, yes...I think so too ;) But it did keep me full until late at night. Anyway, one of my big dream is to have my own restaurant preferably in oversea. So, seeing a Malaysian restaurant here in LA gave me some ideas on how I want my restaurant to look like. Ceewahhh...ahaks!

After that, we thought of going to Downtown LA, wanted to get a few knick knacks for people back home. Unfortunately hubby took a wrong turn, and we ended up driving in circles, but fortunately we ended up in a familiar neighborhood which we have been to last year....Beverly Hills! Parked our car and took the kids for a stroll along Rodeo Drive. All the famous brands (and the incredibly unbelievably crazy price tags). But one brand made me feel proud to call myself a Malaysian. Check out the pix below.

Yes, it's the boutique of Dato' Jimmy Choo...our own Malaysia-born international designer. Stepped inside...and wow...I think his brand is in line with Versace, Prada or even LV. The designs of his shoes, handbags, wristlets, boots are all so exquisite. Thought of buying a wristlet, but after taking a peek at the tag...no thankyou lah. A small wristlet cost USD 750!!! So don't ask me the price of the handbags or the shoes yeah.

Rodeo Drive at sunset. Notice the road lights? Those are chandeliers kept in crystal boxes. Chandeliers eh....huhuhuhu....well, what do you expect, it's the RODEO DRIVE!

For those who doesn't know, Rodeo Drive is where Julia Robert's character in Pretty Woman went shopping. It's THE place for shopping. Think of any luxury brand you can think of, and you'll find them here. Heaven!
And as usual, being Coach's latest fanatic, I couldn't resist the urge! Did I get anything? Ahaks...ahaks.. ;)

Later we went on a drive around the neighborhood. Unfortunately it was already dark. We were here:
Yes, we were in Bel Air! I could see big gates and big driveways and I'm sure inside there are the big mansions. I know some of them belongs to well-known names here in Hollywood. And the mansions...ahhh...I so wish....when can we afford to have such luxuries? Haihhhh......

What's up, Doc?

Well, since nobody gives any feedback, I shall keep the skin till the day I feel like changing again (which might be soon, haihhh). Actually, I just love searching for any blog skin and apply them here. And then, I would try to edit those HTML to suit my taste. It just reminds me of my programming days. Hmm...can you believe that I'm actually missing those days??

Anyway, what's with the title you might ask. For the past one month, it just seems like somebody I know or somebody that knows somebody I know (errr...do you get that?) are either sick, or have been involved in an accident or dead. Ok..let me go through this:

1. About 3 weeks ago, my only brother in this whole wide world, called me in the middle of the night to inform me that he had been in an accident in Kedah. He's alright (Thank you God) but problem is, he was driving my Kembara. At that time, he thought that the damage was not too serious, but after evaluation by the insurance company, they concluded that it was beyond repair. Seems like the spare parts needed are too expensive, hence it's better off to scratch yard. Arghhh...I didn't even get to say goodbye to that car.

2. 2 weeks ago, when we were in San Francisco, my sister-in-law called to tell dear Hubby that she and her husband was involved in an accident in Malacca. It was a bumper to bumper accident. Thank goodness she who is 7 months pregnant are alright.

3. 1 week ago, we received a call that my brother-in-law was involved in an accident. He was on his way home from his grave-yard shift (no, he doesn't work in the grave yard, I meant he was working on the night shift) when he bumped into a trailer. (yeah, he bumped into the trailer, not vice-versa, hehe..) Thank goodness he was OK, although he had internal bleeding in the mouth and the doctor had to cut his cheek in order to stop the blood.

4. 3 days ago, I received an email saying that a friend of mine in Sarawak has lost her father. Al-Fatihah to Ayahanda kepada Dayang Kartinah. I'm not sure whether he was sick or met an accident or whatever the cause was. (Do death even need a cause?)

5. A few hours ago, I chatted with Shasha who's getting her PhD in Norway. She said she was in Kuala Lumpur because her father had suddenly collapsed after Hari Raya Haji and now is in coma. He's currently in ICU, Hospital Selayang. I pray for his speedy recovery.

6. Oh..and if you have been following my blog, you'll remember I mentioned another best friend of mine, Dida, who's mother has been diagnosed with gall cancer. I also pray for her speedy recovery. Last time I heard from Dida, there has been some good progress. Alhamdulillah.

7. About 3 weeks ago, my best friend, Gee, said that her childhood friend was in a coma. The diagnosis was unknown then. A few days after she told me the news, that childhood friend died. Because of meningitis. She had 2 kids. The eldest is the same age as Harith and the second one is only 1 year plus (who is still breastfeeding). Although I didn't know her personally, it was heart-breaking.

Now, isn't that quite a list?

And for the past 5 years, I've lost a Grandmother, a Father, 3 Aunts and 1 Uncle.

Phew...what a list!

I've reached an age where I keep receiving news of deaths or sickness.

Yesterday, I chatted with some of my good friends. One of them was saying something quite eerie.

"Nak ke, taknak ke, kena terima jugak. Nasib masing-masing tak tau. Kot2 kita jalan dulu, macam abang aku, dah jalan dulu, tak tunggu turn pun."

Translation: "We have to accept this whether we like it or not. We don't even know our own fate. We might go first. Such the case with my brother, he went first, didn't even wait for his turn (by age)"

How true. Question is, are we ready to go?

New Look

What do you think of the new skin? Feedback please.

Oh..and another thing, a few weeks ago, I chatted with a friend whom I haven't seen for quite some time. She said she is a silent reader of my blog and have been visiting religiously without fail. Huh..I had no idea my blog will have such reader. So, those of you who has been visiting me, please drop a comment. (And that include you, Yati, hehe..)

Thank you.

Just feel like blogging

A few stuffs are already packed. Some are still lying around, waiting for the boxes that dear hubby has yet to buy. (grrr...I hate reminding him time and time again). For the past 4 months, we got quite a bunch of things without us realizing it. Remember when I said America has it all? I wasn't kidding Our stuffs are the result of E-Bay, flea market, factory outlet, yard sale and tele-marketing. I guess that's why dear Hubby doesn't want us to stay here for good. But hey, I'm not the only one who did the shopping ok. Who shopped for that big giant BOSE system? (That will be the biggest box of all.) Certainly not me! ;)

On a different note, my anxiety disorder is back :( Normal I guess, for I've been under stress lately (refer to my previous post). Maybe I should do what a friend suggested. Be selfish and arrogant for a change! The dizzyness is back. Short of breath, numbness on my fingers and toes. (The cold weather doesn't help either, sometimes I'm afraid if I'm having a sign of athritis...haihh). I have difficulty sleeping at night too. My eyes are closed but my mind is working over time. I'll be tossing and turning around, sometimes for a few hours after I first lie down. Dear hubby and the kids will be orchestrating their snores, and I'll be envious of them. The Bach Rescue Remedy has not been much help. And neither does drinking chamomile and lavender tea. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH.... I hate when this comes. I keep thinking of dying or getting sick. Problem is, I'm not sick! Well, a slight cold maybe. The whole house is down with cold. I keep reminding myself to be strong and positive, just like Kak Raden in One Breast Bouncing. I try to picture all those cancer sufferers who has practically been given a death sentence, but still, they have the will to fight it and go on with their lives. But most of the time that anxiety disorder part of me wins. Sometimes I fall asleep at 3 a.m., only to wake up at 3.45 feeling choked up and having difficulty to breathe.

I know that I can go through this. That's why I've been given the test. Allah is the Most Merciful. He won't test us with what we can't bear. But sometimes, I do feel that I can't take it anymore.

"Allah, please help me. You are the Most Loving, Most Merciful and Most Powerful. Please cure me of my anxiety disorder. Please give me some peace in my mind and in my heart. Please...help me God. Amin."

Feeling d.o.w.n.

I'm feeling down.

Both persons are important in my life.
I love both of them very much.
Whether they know it or not, both of them are so much alike.
Dedua degil, dedua super sensitif, dedua keras kepala, dedua tak sedo diri, dedua pentingkan diri sendiri.

And as always, I'm stuck between both of them.
Sana kena dengar, sini kena dengar.

Oh why oh why...why does it always have to be me?
Me who always have to please everybody?
Me who always have to take care of other people?

Dear hubby said that is my gift.
Being able to care for others more than I care about myself.
But sometimes I think that is just a curse.

I feel like running away.
Irony is, I AM away.
And instead of remain being away, I am going back.
Back to the mess and b*llsh*ts.

For the past 4 months, I've really enjoyed myself being with my own nucleus little family.
My own rules. Nobody to bother me.
For the past 4 months, life has been like a fairy tale.
Now, back to reality.

I'm so not looking forward to go home.
Haihhh..... :(

You guys don't understand me, do you?
Never mind me...I just need to ramble here, that's what blogging is all about, right?


Phew...I have finally uploaded all the pictures taken during our Thanksgiving adventure. So friends, if you want to view more pictures, please go to my online photo album. Happy viewing!

We will be going home in about less than 10 days. Our flight will be at 11p.m. 16th December. So I might not update the blog as frequent as before. Many things have to be packed. Kalau tertinggal bukan dekat nak amik wooo. I will resume blogging actively when I'm back in JB.

Deep in my heart, I feel 50% happy and 50% sad.

I'm excited to go back home. I miss my mom, my brother and his family, my cousins, my uncles and aunts (apart from my family, I don't miss anything else in Malaysia :-P) and I can't wait to start on my special project (What is it? Tungguuuuu). Another part of me, I don't feel like leaving Torrance. I realize that America is a land of opportunities. Everything is here. You name it, you got it. Tak puas lagi dok sini laaaa. I so wish that we can stay here for good? I want my kids to have those opportunities that this place can offer. But it won't come true, I guess. My dear husband is a true-blood Kelantanese/Malaysian :-P (Paging for Rapiscan Systems: Can you transfer your Asia Pacific Service Manager here for good? You might want to change the title though...maybe somewhere in Florida or San Francisco will be nice. Hehehe...)

Anyway, here's wishing 'Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha' to fellow Muslims all over the world.

San Francisco - USS Pampanito SS-383 Submarine

We checked out from Travelodge on Sunday. It's time to head back to Torrance. The cashier gave dear Hubby a pamphlet of the San Francisco Maritime Museum. It is the USS Pampanito SS-383 Submarine, a WWII era submarine located at Pier 45 (again, within walking distance with our hotel), a maritime museum since 1982. Since Los Angeles is only about 6 hours drive from San Francisco, we decided to visit the maritime museum.

All of us were quite excited. We have never been in a submarine, let alone a submarine which has survived the World War II!

A little info on USS Pampanito:
USS Pampanito (SS-383), a Balao-class submarine, was a United States Navy navy ship, the only one named for a variety of the pompano fish (see gafftopsail pompano). She completed six war patrols from 1944 to 1945 and served as a Naval Reserve Training ship from 1960 to 1971. USS Pampanito's keel was laid down by the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine, on 15 March 1943. She was launched on 12 July 1943, sponsored by Mrs. James Wolfender, and commissioned on 6 November 1943, with Lieutenant Commander Charles B. Jackson, Jr. in command.

After shakedown off New London, Connecticut, Pampanito transited the Panama Canal and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 14 February 1944. Her first war patrol, from 15 March to 2 May, was conducted in the southwest approaches to Saipan and Guam. She served on lifeguard duty south of Yap, then scored two torpedo hits on a destroyer before sailing for Midway Island and Pearl Harbor for refit and repairs to a hull badly damaged by depth charges.

Pampanito’s second war patrol, from 3 June to 23 July, took place off Kyūshū, Shikoku, and Honshū. On 23 June, a submerged Japanese submarine fired two torpedoes, just missing Pampanito. On 6 July, Pampanito damaged a Japanese gunboat, and 11 days later headed for Midway Island.

Pampanito’s third war patrol, from 17 August to 28 September, a "wolfpack" operation with submarines Growler (SS-215)Template:WP Ships USS instances and Sealion (SS-315)Template:WP Ships USS instances, was conducted in the South China Sea. On 12 September, she sank 10,509 ton transport Kachidoki Maru and the 5,135 ton tanker Zuihō Maru, and damaged a third ship, which unbeknownst to them was a "hell ship" carrying POWs. On 15 September, she moved back to the area of the original attack and found men clinging to makeshift rafts. As the sub moved closer, the men were heard to be shouting in English. Pampanito was able to pick up 73 British and Australian survivors and called in three other subs, Sealion, Barb (SS-220)Template:WP Ships USS instances and Queenfish (SS-393)Template:WP Ships USS instances, to assist with the rescue. She then set course for Saipan, disembarked the survivors, and steamed on to Pearl Harbor.

Pampanito’s fourth war patrol, from 28 October to 30 December, took place off Formosa and the coast of southeastern China with Sea Cat (SS-399)Template:WP Ships USS instances, Pipefish (SS-388)Template:WP Ships USS instances, and Searaven (SS-196)Template:WP Ships USS instances. Sinking 1200 ton cargo ship Shinko Maru Number One, 19 November, she damaged a second ship before putting in to Fremantle for refit. Her fifth war patrol in the Gulf of Siam, from 23 January to 12 February 1945, with Guavina (SS-362)Template:WP Ships USS instances, was highlighted by two sinkings, the 6,968-ton cargo ship Engen Maru 6 February and the 3,520-ton passenger-cargo ship Eifuku Maru on 8 February.

Refitted at Subic Bay, Pampanito returned to the Gulf of Siam for her sixth war patrol. Operating with Caiman (SS-323)Template:WP Ships USS instances, Sealion, and Mingo (SS-261)Template:WP Ships USS instances, she sighted only one target before sailing for Pearl Harbor.

From Pearl Harbor the ship proceeded to San Francisco for overhaul, departing for Pearl Harbor again 1 August. With the end of the war, she was ordered to return to San Francisco. She was decommissioned at Mare Island on 15 December 1945. She remained in reserve until April 1960 when she was assigned to Naval Reserve Training at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. Reclassified AGSS-383, 6 November 1962, she served as a Naval Reserve Training ship at Vallejo, California, until she was stricken from the Navy Register on 20 December 1971.

Pampanito earned six battle stars for World War II service.

You can visit her official website here.

The tour through the USS Pampanito descends into the rear of the sub, and it's actually just a short walk through the compartments. Into the rear torpedo room, the 2 engine rooms that reek of diesel fumes, the eating quarters, the tiny galley, the sleeping quarters, and the forward torpedo room.

It's remarkable on how small the place is within the subs. The inner walls are only a few feet apart. The inside of the submarine is sectioned off into small compartments, all separated by tiny water tight doors. To think 80 men lived for months on end within these cramped quarters takes a bit of visualization. And the smell...arghh..for me who is a bit of a claustrophobic and an anxiety disorder patient, it was quite a task to finish up the tour. But the historian in me get the best. Thanks to my dad's gene who was a History teacher. :)

Have a look at a few snaps inside the submarine.

The torpedo room. Yeah, that yellow and black things are torpedos. KABOOMMM!
We could see hundreds of meters and other sorts of control 'thingy'.
So small!
Gadgets again.

Dining area

Water tight doors between compartments.

The service men.

The tour was an educational one. Especially for Harith and dear Hubby who are interested in anything to do with gadgets, meters and all. Me, I'm just interested in the historical part. Hey, it's the WWII submarine ok! Even my Dad was just a little toddler at that time. For Adik Hannah, it was just a small playground. She had fun going through the submarine, climbing the stairs, lying on the bunk(although that wasn't allowed, of course), hehe..

So if any of you folks happened to be in San Francisco, go ahead and take the trip down to Pier 45. The ticket only cost USD7. But I can assure you what you will experience will worth much more than that.

San Francisco Cable Car

One of the attractions of San Francisco are the cable car, the street car and the MUNI bus. Harith, (who is a gaga of trains and tramps and whatever that have anything to do with the rails) was obviously so excited when he saw all the cars. So after a little rest and Adik Hannah was all cleaned up and pretty again, hehe..we went out. We went to the Fisherman's Wharf by foot. There's a cable car station over there. The ticket cost USD5 per person per way. Children ages 5 and below are free. We had to stand in a long line before it was our turn (almost one hour!). But it was worth the wait. The cable car took us on a route which practically covers most part of the city.
The cable car's driver (the Sikh man in the second picture above) kindly obliged when I asked him to snap our family pic. We even had a little chat and I was pleased to know that he knew where Malaysia is. Hehe.. Most people know about Singapore and Thailand, but not Malaysia...so that was kind of refreshing.

We walked around the city for a little bit. The city was bright with night-lights. Since it was weekend and just after Black Friday, most stores are still open. Kira happening laaa.

We promised to take Harith on the MUNI bus too. So we took the bus ride to go back to the hotel. In case you're wondering, MUNI stands for 'Municipal Transportation Agency'. This is how a MUNI bus look.
The MUNI bus runs on electric. It has cables and rails all around the city. I think it is very unique and cost-saving. Obviously Harith was really excited. Gosh...two rides in one night! That's too much to handle. Hehe.. The ticket only cost USD1.50 per person.

We reached the hotel at about 9 p.m. Took the car and drove to BangsanThai, a local Halal Thai restaurant. We haven't had rice for the past 3 days and I told dear hubby that we would definitely have to search for a Halal restaurant. I wanted a proper hot meal. No more bags and bags of French Fries. Grrr.... We googled and found the restaurant which was only 6 minutes drive from Travelodge. Alhamdulilah...told you, our hotel was near to almost every destination :-D
I went back to the hotel feeling very satisfied. Phew...the food was marvelous. So for any Muslims out there who are visiting San Francisco, I definitely recommend this place. You can view their website here.

Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco

Saturday morning, we woke up feeling fresh and excited. Dear hubby and I decided that our first destination would be the historic Golden Gate Bridge. Yeah..you know, that big red suspension bridge with two towers which is a visitor attraction recognized around the world. Surprisingly, it was only about 10 minutes drive from our hotel. From the bridge, we could also view the Alcatraz, one of the most famous prison in the world (no longer a prison now, I think).
From the park, we walked to the bridge. Yes, we are allowed to walk across the bridge. There's a pedestrian walk. I was focusing the camera to snap the pictures of Abah and the kids when suddenly I felt a pat on my shoulder. I was surprised to look up and see a friendly Mat Salleh face asking "Would you like to be in the picture too? I can snap it for you." Of course, happily I said yes. So, this was the picture taken by the kind-hearted Mat Salleh :D

So that was one of the few examples of how friendly an American is. When I first came here, I was quite skeptical on how they would address me, you know....me wearing a Hijab as it has been portrayed that Americans don't respond well to Muslim people (with the 9/11, Osama Laden and all...haihh). But for the past almost 4 months I've been here, I can safely say that I've been treated well and fair. And you won't believe how polite they are! For example, when you're paying for your stuffs at the counter, the first thing that the cashier will say to you is, "Hello, how're you doing?"and before we leave, they will say "Have a nice day, will ya!" with that big bright smiles. Now, tell me if you've ever seen that in Malaysia (yang 'terkenal' dengan adat resam dan budi bahasanya?? Agak-agak pernah tak jumpa cashier yang tanya Apa khabar? Kalau yg muka masam tu banyak la kan) (chuckle)

Anyway, back to the Golden Gate Bridge. Below is some info that I have googled.

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay onto the Pacific Ocean. As part of both U.S. Route 101 and State Route 1, it connects the city of San Francisco on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County. The Golden Gate Bridge had the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed in 1937, and has become an internationally recognized symbol of San Francisco and California. Since its completion, the span length has been surpassed by eight other bridges. It still has the second longest suspension bridge main span in the United States, after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City. In 2007, it was ranked fifth on the List of America's Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects.

The Golden Gate Bridge spans the Golden Gate, a narrow, 400-foot (120 m) deep strait that serves as the mouth of the San Francisco Bay, between San Francisco at the northernmost tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, and the Marin Headlands at the far southern end of Marin County. Although close by proximity, the two sides of the strait are separated by significant natural obstacles. Crossing the strait directly by boat is dangerous because of strong currents and lack of suitable landings. Ocean tides drive an average of 528 billion gallons (2 billion cubic meters) of water every six hours, at peak currents exceeding 5.6 miles per hour (2.5 m/s). Circumnavigating the Bay, however, involves a trip of several hundred miles and crossing several major rivers.

You can visit the bridge's official homepage at Golden Gate Bridge.

Above is the statue of Joseph Baermann Strauss who was responsible for the building of the bridge. He was the Chief Engineer in charge of overall design and construction of the bridge project. Construction began on 5 January 1933. The project cost more than $35 million. Strauss remained head of the project, overseeing day-to-day construction and making some groundbreaking contributions. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, he had placed a brick from his alma mater's demolished McMicken Hall in the south anchorage before the concrete was poured. He innovated the use of movable safety netting beneath the construction site, which saved the lives of many otherwise-unprotected steelworkers. Of eleven men killed from falls during construction, ten were killed (when the bridge was near completion) when the net failed under the stress of a scaffold that had fallen. Nineteen others who were saved by the net over the course of construction became proud members of the (informal) Halfway to Hell Club. The project was finished by April 1937, $1.3 million under budget.

Below are some snaps taken from the bridge. Look at the amazing construction and engineering. It was built in 1937 . Made me sad to think how far behind our country was in 1937 :(

Unfortunately, the Golden Gate Bridge is also a favorite place for suicide. So much so that now they're having a study on how to prevent the suicide here. The Golden Gate Bridge is the most prevelant place in the USA to commit suicide and one of the most popular in the world. The deck is approximately 245 feet (75 m) above the water. After a fall of approximately four seconds, jumpers hit the water at some 86 miles per hour (138 km/h), which is nearly always fatal. As a suicide prevention initiative, this sign below promotes a special telephone available on the bridge that connects to a crisis hotline.

Later, we crossed the bridge by car and went for a scenic drive in Marin Headlands. The Marin Headlands is a hilly area at the southernmost end of Marin County, California, above the Golden Gate. The Headlands are located just north of San Francisco, immediately across the Golden Gate Bridge. Again, another kind-hearted Mat Salleh offered to take our family picture.

Oh, before we went up there, we stopped at the store. It was lunch time and we were quite famished. So we grabbed some snacks and had lunch on top of the hill while viewing the great Golden Gate Bridge. Haihh...I wish we can do that often. Now, we will have to move to San Francisco if we want to do that, won't we? ;)

We stayed there for almost one hour. Thought of wondering about the city, but then Adik Hannah had some business in the car, hehe.. So we had to go back to Travelodge to finish up the 'unfinished business' of Adik Hannah.

Great Salt Lake and Crossing to San Francisco

Friday morning. Another day of adventure. Our next destination was San Francisco. It would be another 12 hours drive. We left Best Western around 10.30 a.m. We took the I-80 West highway. It meant we would left Utah, crossed Nevada desert and enter California through Reno. A few miles into the highway, we made a short stop at Exit 104. That was the entrance to view the Great Salt Lake.
The lake is the saltiest in the world after the Dead Sea. As a result, no fishes can survive in the lake. We can only find shrimps there. Too bad for dear hubby. Hehe...I could practically see his brain working out the times to spend if he decided to fish there. It was quite smelly too..the lake I mean. It had some kind of sulfur odor to it. Not sure what it actually was.

After about half an hour, we left the Great Salt Lake and continued our way to San Francisco. Along the way (still in Utah) we could see some factories. I assume those are the salt factories??

The salt area was so huge! When dear hubby researched for the ski area, he looked at the satellite photos. He saw a big white spot in Utah, so he assumed that was the snow. That's how he decided to take us here. But now he thinks that was actually the Great Salt Lake and the dried salt area. Thank goodness Utah turned out to be the most perfect ski spot in America. Hehe..
And so we headed to San Francisco. Crossed over the Nevada desert, and again...the most spectacular, breathtaking views. Since we couldn't go faster than 75 m.p.h anyway, we took our own sweet time. I was glad that the kids were behaving very well. We played in the car, made some jokes, exchanged some laughter, sang some nursery rhymes (Intsy Wincy Spider being their favorite rhyme and yeah, my little princess Hannah has memorized some other rhymes such as Humpty Dumpty, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Mary Had A Little Lamp..I think for a 2 year old, she is amazing....Ummi loves you so much, Hannah!), popped up some quizzes and guessing games. That long drive was one of the best memories forever stamped in my heart :)

We reached San Francisco at about 9.30 p.m. Oh, we booked a room at the Heritage Marina hotel. But when I called to check in, they said they're over booked. I knew they were some kind of scam. I read the bad review of the hotel but dear hubby insisted to book it because of the low rate but good location. Grrr....looked around and luckily managed to get a room at Travelodge At The Bay. It turned out to be perfect. Only a few minutes walking distance from the Fisherman's Wharf which is a great tourist sport. Our adventure in San Francisco will be in another entry. Hmmm...tomorrow perhaps? If I'm still in the mood to blog. ;)