I have already blogged several times about going on holiday, one trip that brings back the occasional twinge of regret and humor about the situation was our trip to San Francisco and California. We purchased a package tour through a local travel agent in Taipei: hotel rooms and airplane tickets. Oddly enough, I can’t remember how much we spent at all. I’m sure I have the bills somewhere.

Each day the little trips that we took around San Francisco provided comic amusement all the way: the Holiday Inn we stayed at was in the middle of winter renovations so we had to eat breakfast IN THE LOBBY! Of course, it didn’t help that the lobby was small, uncomfortable and FREEZING. I neglected to say that we visited in January. So we sneaked our bagels and coffee back to our room and enjoyed the meal watching breakfast TV! That was itself amusing! But we should have complained about the situation, and demanded a partial refund for the inconvenience or at least some complementary tickets. We didn’t know enough in those days to do that!

Despite the cold weather, we had no rain almost the entire time we were there, and we had a wonderful trip around Northern California and the city of San Francisco. So today when I was glancing around the web, I was shocked to see the very same streets and buildings in full-view on the web. It brought back fond memories from days when I didn’t really use a camera. Take a look at Lombard Street today, and you’ll see how I saw it in 1998.


We had a personal or very small tour group when we traveled, a kindly Chinese gentleman who regaled us with stories of bus drivers, spectacles, and scenery. He spoke a lot of Chinese to the Chinese in the tour group, I of course didn’t speak much. But at least I thought the irony was funny: visit San Francisco and speak Chinese! Irony: 1/3 of the city residents actually were Chinese, anyway.

Perhaps next time we go, we’ll pick one of the tours from Trusted Tours & Attractions as our choice; they cover most tours of California, but if you want to visit Madame Tussauds wax museum, you might have to go a little further afield to Las Vegas. Do consult the online travel guides first, though. And if you’re already planning next year’s winter or summer vacation, signing up for the newsletter may provide a lot of extra help in choosing your destinations, saving your pennies and winning a $150 Magellan’s Gift Certificate just for signing up! But you’ll have to hurry: the offer ends on August 31st, 2008.