Alaska – the trip where everyday started out wrong but was made wonderful by the amazing Alaskan people


Alaskan people are the most friendly and wonderful people in the world!!!

Day 1 – Anchorage to Seward – Wildlife Cruise Kenai Fjords National Park

The bad: Upon checking in at the cruise ship office, we were informed our cruise was down for the day due to mechanical problem

The good: Free upgrade to a longer duration cruise including buffet lunch (Alaskan grilled salmon & prime rib). So glad we got this upgrade because this cruise brought us further out to the open water. We got to see wonderful wildlife and amazing glaciers.

The good didn’t stop there. Upon checking in at our hotel, we were also given free upgrade to a better room, just because the cool guy there felt like doing so 🙂

Orca family

Orca family

Harbor Seals

Harbor Seals

Humpback whale tale

Humpback whale tail

Day 2 – Harding Icefield trekking – Coastal Classic Alaska train

The bad: It was raining nonstop during our 5-hr hike to Harding icefield. The weather at high elevation was so bad that we had to cut our trekking short when we were only a few feet away from the Hill top.

Icy and windy at high elevation - Harding Icefield

Icy and windy at high elevation – Harding Icefield

The good: Experiencing the kindness of Alaskan people: the guy who gave us a free ride to the train station, the kind bus driver who gave everybody free rides to the nearby Safeway, the man at the train station who took care of our luggage, friendly staff on board the Coastal Classic train from Seward to Anchorage. And of course, we experienced one of the most beautiful train ride in the world.

Coastal Classic train - Alaska

Coastal Classic train – Alaska

 Day 3: Road trip from Anchorage to Hatcher Pass to Talkeetna to Denali

The bad: Hatcher pass closed indefinitely.

The good: Talkeetna is such a cute little colorful village. So glad, we made a stop there. Our little cabin near Denali national park far exceeded our expectation in all areas. Couldn’t ask for a better place to stay near Denali.

Razor Back cabin panorama - Mountain Morning hostel

Razor Back cabin panorama – Mountain Morning hostel

Day 4: Exploring Denali on an 11-hr bus ride

Denali bus stop

The bad: Upon checking in at 9:45am, we were informed our bus to Kantishna had left for the day at 7:45am and it was the only bus that would go all the way to Kantishna

The good: The kind people took pity on us and agreed to book us on stand by for the tour to Wonder lake, departing at 10:15am. The Wonder lake was only 1 hr shorter than the Kantishna route. So, technically, we didn’t miss a whole lot. Tip: you have better odds at seeing wildlife by taking longer route such as Wonder lake or Kantishna. The part after the second visitor center is where the good stuff really start. And, we saw amazing wildlife living in their natural, undisturbed (hopefully) environment. And, have I mentioned “snow in June”?

Beautiful Denali

Beautiful Denali



Grizzly bears - it's rare to see a bear couple since they only get together once for 1 week every 4 years

Grizzly bears – it’s rare to see a bear couple since they only get together once for 1 week every 4 years

Dall sheep

Dall sheep



Day 5: Road trip from Denali to Matanuska Glacier via amazing Glenn highway

The bad: On the way to Matanuska glacier, we met with at least 5 roadwork sites and were delayed by almost 1 hour. We almost missed the check-in time for the glacier walk. Also, a small rock chipped our windshield. Imagine the horror that we felt since we didn’t get the insurance coverage.

The good: After raining nonstop for 5 days, the sky finally cleared for us, revealing its deepest blue color. Glenn highway looked even more amazing under the great weather. We were also technically given a private glacier walk on Matanuska glacier, given we were the only 2 people in the group.

The goodness didn’t stop there. When trying to pay for parking at Anchorage downtown, a gentleman, upon seeing our clumsiness at handling the parking machine, has kindly covered our parking fee. Have I already mentioned Alaskan people are awesome??? Last bu not least, Alaskan king crab at Bridge seafood restaurant is DELISHHHHHHHH!!!

Glenn Highway

Glenn Highway

Glacier walk under the blue sky

Glacier walk under the blue sky

Day 6: Alyeska Gondola and leaving Anchorage

The bad: This might be number 1 in my top ten bad day list. We started out by getting stuck in a dip while backing out of our Airbnb host. What a horror!!! After half an hour of digging and lifting the car, we managed to free ourselves, not forgetting to damage a few flower bushes during the process. The “good” luck didn’t end there. While waiting to board our plane, hubby realized we left our camera in the rental car. With only 50 min left till take-off, we ran back to the rental office just to discover the car was already sent back to the car shop.

The good: The staff at AVIS was so kind to drive us to the car shop. We managed to retrieve the camera, made it through security check point after cutting in front of a few kind passengers, got an upgrade to First class and boarded our plane with time to spare. Perfect ending to an eventful trip.

And not forget to mention, while driving to the airport, a Moose made its appearance right in front of our car. Had we not got stuck in the dip for 30 minutes, we would have not been able to witness it.

We got Moose, we got Moose

We got Moose, we got Moose



ALASKA – Itinerary & tips

Glenn Highway

Alaska 2015

7-day itinerary (6/6 to 6/13) overview:

Day 1: Landed in Anchorage at 18:30. Explored the town since the sun wouldn’t set until 23:30.

Day 2: 7:00 to 9:45 – Took the Park connector bus from Anchorage to Seward. The bus drove along Seward highway which is one of the best scenic drives.

11:30 to 17:00 – Enjoyed the 6-hr Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise to see glaciers and wildlife.

Day 3: 9:30 to 16:00 – Took a shuttle bus to the park entrance to hike the Harding Ice Field.

18:00 to 22:15 – Took a Coastal Classic train from Seward back to Anchorage. Awesome views along the way.

Day 4: 10:00 to 16:00 – Rented a car to drive from Anchorage to Denali national park. Made detours to visit Hatcher Pass (scenic drive) & Talkeetna (very cute and colorful little town).

Day 5: 10:15 to 21:15 – Took the 11-hour shuttle bus (Wonder lake route) to visit Denali National park. 11 hr included stopping time for toilet breaks & lunch break.

Day 6: 8:30 to 17:00 – Drove from Denali to Chikaloon for a 3-hr Glacier trek. The drive on Glenn highway was amazing.

17:00 to 19:00 – Drove from Chikaloon to Anchorage

Day 7: 9:00 to 14:00 – Visited Girdwood (1 hr drive from Anchorage) and took the Alyeska gondola up to the top of the mountain for a panorama view of Turnagain Arm.

14:00 – Left for airport for a 6pm take-off.


Transportation: Summer in Alaska is road work season. Build in at least 1 hour additional driving time

Hotels: Avoid following hotels in Anchorage: Ramada Inn & City Lofts.

Highly recommend Denali Mountain Morning hostel & cabins, especially the Razorback cabin.

Alaska seafood: Bridge seafood in Anchorage. King salmon & king crab legs were fresh and done perfectly.

Dessert places to try in New York

Spot Dessert Bar <- Yet to try

ChikaLicious Dessert Bar <- If you like light, airy, not heavy desserts. This is the place!!! Go for the tasting menu.

Dessert Club, ChikaLicious <- This is the fake place, right opposite the original “Chikalicious Dessert Bar”. Though it’s fake, their goodies are not bad. The green tea chocolate lava cake is a bit too rich for me.

50 States of America – Tracking tool


50-StatesArkansas – Hawaii – Idaho – Indiana – Kansas – Maine – Michigan – Minnesota – Missouri – Montana – Nebraska – New Hampshire – New Mexico – North Dakota – Ohio – Oklahoma – Oregon – Rhode Island – South Dakota – Texas – Utah – Vermont – West Virginia – Wisconsin – Wyoming – Washington


1. Arizona (Grand Canyon – Dec 2011) – 2. California (San Diego, San Francisco, LA, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite) – 3. Florida (Orlando, Miami, Key West)- 4. Georgia (Atlanta, Savannah)- 5. Illinois (Chicago) – 6. Massachusetts (Boston) – 7. Nevada (Las Vegas) – 8. New York (New York, Niagara Falls) – 9. South Carolina (Hilton Head Island) – 10. Tennessee (Nashville) – 11. Alabama (Birmingham) – 12. Iowa (Cedar Rapids 2013) – 13. Maryland (Baltimore, DC – July 2013) – 14. New Jersey – 15. Pennsylvania (Philadelphia – July 2013) – 16. Colorado (Dec 2013) – 17. Mississippi (Oct 2013) – 18. Louisiana (Oct 2013) – 19. Virginia – 20. North Carolina – 21. Kentucky – 22. Delaware (Wilmington, Oct 2014) – 23. Alaska (June 2015) – 24. Connecticut (July 2015)

United States – West Coast road trip in 20 days – Part 4

I’ve just realized (very lately) that I’ve completely mixed up the East coast and West coast of USA. Sorry!!! I’m quite hopeless with direction. There are many times when my partner asks me “turn left or right”; I would say “left” with my finger pointing to the right… Anyway, now I’ve fixed this, we’ll continue with the rest of this 20 day road trip along the West Coast…

Day 8+9+10:  Las Vegas to Grand Canyon

Day 8 was spent resting after a long trip the previous day coming out of Death Valley. We just walked around the area near our hotel in Las Vegas, doing nothing much. There are much to talk about my first impressions about Las Vegas but it’s better to leave it to the next part.

We started to get to Grand Canyon on day 9. The boring drive would take about 5 hours. There’s an option for you to visit Grand Canyon from Las Vegas by helicopter within a day. It would be interesting but it’s pricey for us so we decided to drive there and spend a night.

the road from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon

the road from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon is so very popular. It’s packed with tourists at every corner. Come to visitor center first to get your map. Follow this map to drive along the Canyon and stop at different points to view the Canyon from different angles.

the usual red Grand Canyon

the usual red Grand Canyon

the unusual Grand Canyon with sprinkle of snow covering on top

the unusual Grand Canyon with sprinkle of snow covering on top

Personally, I don’t get or feel Grand Canyon. I was excited for 15 minutes, hurriedly snapping pictures of million-year-old rocks. It was a cool feeling standing in front of the vast scene which seemed so still and quiet (well, they are just rocks). However, after the initial 15 minutes, I just got enough of red rocks and the Canyon just looked the same whenever I looked.

It would be more interesting if we had had enough time to trek down to the bottom of the Canyon, where river Colorado flows, spend a night at the camp and trek back up the next day. There’s also an option to let mules carry you to the bottom if trekking is not your thing. But honestly, the idea of riding on an animal that is skinner than me is not very appealing…

Next up – back to Viva Las Vegas!!!

… to be continue…

United States – West Coast road trip in 20 days – part 3

Day 6+7: Yosemite to Death Valley National park

Normally, it is almost certain that the famous Tioga road is closed during winter due to snow. However, last year was the year of El Nino. There was almost no snow in Yosemite and the famous route was open for traffic. Yay! We kept thanking God for his treat to us.

Driving on Tioga road is really an amazing experience. There are so many picture-worthy stops along the way. We saw a frozen lake with people skating from end to end and a family happily having picnic on it.

Tioga pass

Tioga pass

Picnic in style - frozen Tenaya lake

Picnic in style – frozen Tenaya lake

Leaving lush green (pine trees) of Yosemite national park, we are ready to be greeted by a complete change in landscape: the desert.

Death Valley: It seems that people are not as enthusiastic as us to see deserts. Some people actually recommended us to skip this destination because it is boring. Fortunately, we didn’t listen to them. Death Valley is very very special! The road leading into the heart of Death Valley is very winding and breath-taking (in both senses). I am not very good with words so let the pictures do the talking instead.

the road leading to heart of Death Valley. Looks familiar? hehehe

the road leading to heart of Death Valley. Looks familiar? hehehe

Artistic drive - one of Death Valley's points of interest

The winding Artistic drive – one of Death Valley’s points of interest

The desert look, boring for some, but very amazing for us from tropical country

The desert look, boring for some, but very amazing for us from tropical country

People are walking to the Badwater Basin - the point of lowest elevation in North America

People are walking to the Badwater Basin – the point of lowest elevation in North America

Some guy watching the sunset in style...

Some guy watching the sunset in style…

As much as we loved what we saw in Death Valley, we didn’t think it’s a good idea to spend 1 night here without many civilized amenities like convenience stores or diners. So we sped on heading to the next destination: Grand Canyon national park via Las Vegas.

To be continued …

United States – West coast road trip in 20 days – part 2

Day 2+3: San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe

From San Francisco, you could make a stop at Napa Valley to visit winery and sit on hot air balloon to enjoy the beautiful scenery from up and above. If you don’t know how to appreciate good wine like us, head straight to South Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe is a very popular holiday destination for people in California and surrounding areas.  There are ample of accommodation choices even during peak seasons. The scenery is very peaceful with clear water lake Tahoe and there’s also a ski resort on top of the mountain. It’s a perfect holiday location for the whole family.

Beautiful Lake Tahoe

Beautiful Lake Tahoe

Crystal clear water - lake Tahoe

Crystal clear water – lake Tahoe

Unfortunately, El Nino hit Lake Tahoe last year so there was not enough snow for us to ski. Nevertheless,  we stayed at Lake Tahoe for two days, just chilled and relaxed, and went to village for late night movies on both days. Perfect vacation lazy style! Another favorite activity to try here is to submerge yourselves in an outdoor hot pool under freezing cold weather. Unfortunately, our age didn’t allow us to try that.

Ice skating at the activity village

Ice skating at the activity village, in front of the cinema

Awww so cute!!!

Awww, a celebrity dog, so cute!!!

Day 4+5: Lake Tahoe to Yosemite National Park

“Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, Giant Sequoia groves, and biological diversity. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness.” – Wikipedia

Take note that there’s an entrance fee of $20 per car. Talking about entrance fee, it’s worthy to purchase a 1 year membership national park entrance pass that costs about $80 which gives you access to all the state national parks in US. Since we visited a few national parks during these 20 days, the pass saved us some money.

Beautiful scene along the drive to Yosemite

Beautiful scene along the drive to Yosemite

With Yosemite village is so deep in the wood, you would expect minimal convenience and comfort here but it is surprisingly well accommodating. There’s even a supermarket selling fresh meat, fruits, water, souvenirs… There are many convenience stores lying around. Accommodations are plenty with different styles catered to different preferences. There’s even unlimited FREE WIFI at Curry Village common lounge.

We planned our itinerary so that we could spend Christmas’ Eve in Yosemite, sleeping in tent, next to bears and racoons. It’s pretty awesome!

Bring glow sticks to have some fun in the dark - Merry Christmas everyone!

Bring glow sticks to have some fun in the dark – Merry Christmas everyone!

Curry Village tent

Curry Village tent – the tent has a big heater but it’s not well insulated so we slept with our jackets on

This is our sleeping tent with a big metal box to securely protect our food. It’s a MUST to put food here instead of putting them in the tent to prevent bears from attacking us during our sleep. We actually met two racoons roaming around our tent. Also, remember to clear all food from your cars if you don’t want to wake up to broken window cars.

Ice skating in a beautiful setting - Curry Village

Ice skating in a beautiful setting – Curry Village

Yosemite has more things to see and more activities to enjoy during summer. During winter, the waterfalls are not as manificient (almost no water) and most of climbing tracks are not open. If you stay at House Keeping camp, you could have your own BBQ right in front of your tent. Be ware of friendly bear visit at night though.

and granite walls... during good weather, you can climb on them

Yosemite is famous for granite walls… during good weather, you can climb on them

giant sequoia

… giant sequoia…

Yosemite is famous for its crystal clear streams...

… and crystal clear streams…

To be continued…

United States – West coast road trip in 20 days

Today, I am going to start on the series about road trips along East Coast of US. Self-driving on the roads from days to days is probably the best way to see this part of the country. We’ve been able to see many breath-taking sceneries, drive on some of the most beautiful roads in the world and experience activities that leave deep impressions in us for the rest of our lives.

The road trip started and also ended in San Francisco – the City of Love. Here is the overview of our loop trip.

East Coast route

Day 1: San Francisco

What’s there to do in San Francisco? Have you ever been to a tourist place that you don’t feel the need to waste money on touristy activities but at the same time feel the inevitable regret if you don’t do those things? Well, San Francisco might be one of those places. If you are a fan of big cities, you’ll love San Francisco. If you are more into nature and free activities like us, fortunately, there are still some for you to explore. One thing to take note is parking is super expensive. We paid $20 for 2 hrs parking near to Pier 39. It’s better if there’s public transport connecting from your hotel to the harbor area.

First and foremost, visit the harbor area and the famous pier 39 to enjoy the weather, a cup of coffee, a snack or simply just people watch.

Pier 39 - San Francisco

Pier 39 – San Francisco

Art gallery on Pier 39

Art gallery on Pier 39

Next, take the Alcatraz tour from the harbor. Remember to book in advance at least 1 day. So, what is Alcatraz and what is there for you in this tour? Alcatraz – the Rock- is the famous “prison” which used to “house” some of the most notorious criminals including the God Father Al Capone. It is rumored that no-one was known to escape Alcatraz alive. The prison is of course no longer in use and now converted to a tourist destination. Alcatraz Island offers a view of San Francisco city from the other bank. If you are not into history or museum kinda stuff, you can skip this tour and opt for a Golden Gate boat tour which will bring you up closed to the famous bridge for some photo opportunities.

Alcatraz island

Alcatraz island viewed from Pier 39

San Francisco city viewed from Alcatraz Island - guess this is what the prisoners saw of the freedom world across the bank

San Francisco city viewed from Alcatraz Island – guess this was what the prisoners saw of the freedom world across the bank

And then of course drive to see the iconic Golden Gate. This is probably the most photographed bridge in the world and it is not even golden. There’s even a detailed guide in Lonely Planet to tell you the best 10 places to view this… bridge. Here

Golden Gate bridge from a seldom-see angle

Golden Gate bridge from a seldom-seen angle

Next, locate Lombard street on your GPS to experience driving through the most interesting crooked lane in the world! On your way there, enjoy driving on some of the stiffest roads which are also San Francisco’s signatures. Remember to shift to 1st gear hehehe.

Lombard street decided to look its worst for my visit. Usually there are beautiful flowers grown along the lane. I always feel pity towards people who live here. They have to put up with crowded tourists everyday.

Lombard street decided to look its worst for our visit. Usually, there are beautiful flowers grown along the lane. I always feel pity towards people who live here. They have to put up with crowded tourists everyday. Some houses put up signs like “No loitering”

Finally, wrap up a day with delicious seafood dinner at Thang Long restaurant by orderring their signature dish “garlic butter crab with fried noodle”. The dish is so tasty, buttery, creamy and fragrant with fried garlic. I’ve never tasted fried crab done so good! Okie, I’m starting to drool thinking of it now.

Heavenly garlic crab. When I was there, the lady sitting at the next table ordered the same thing. After finishing about half of the crab, she complained to the waiter that the crab is cold. The waiter quickly apologized, took away the half eaten crab and came back with a newly cooked one (not sure if spit included)

Heavenly garlic crab at Thang Long restaurant at 4101 Judah st, SF, CA 94122. When I was there, the lady sitting at the next table ordered the same thing. After finishing about half of the crab, she complained to the waiter that the crab is cold. The waiter quickly apologized, took away the half eaten crab and came back with a newly cooked one (not sure if spit included)

To be continued…

United States – East coast – 20 days – Part 2

… continued from Part 1

Part 2: Flying to New York and exploring surrounding cities

So now you are back to Atlanta after exploring interesting cities in Florida state, let’s take a flight to New York to explore the northern part of the West coast.

New York

The most famous city in the world needs no introduction. It’s best to listen to Alicia Keys’ song here while reading this

“New York! Concrete jungles where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do, cause you are in New York”

It’s recommended not to drive in New York. Enjoy their confusing and run down train system. You would be amazed how such an old system has kept New York up and running for more than a hundred years. From New York, there are also numerous tour operators that could take you to near by cities.

Wall St – where big money is made and lost…

American Stock Exchange over-looking a cemetery … interesting

Come to Ground Zero to pay respect to those have lost their lives during 9-11

Yellow taxi – one of New York’s icons – buried in the snow after a blizzard – which is also one of New York’s icons

If you dont want to pay for any touristy things, you can capture Statute of Liberty from the harbour too

New York, after a blizzard, doesnt lose its glory

New York to Washington DC to visit the White House.

The white house

From New York, book a guided tour to Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls look very much different during the day and at night

Niagara Falls during the day

Niagara Falls lid up at night – opposite bank is Canada

Boston:  There are many frequent buses connecting New York and Boston on a 4-hour trip. Most buses offer free wifi.

Boston is really very charming. Once you are in it, you would feel the academic atmostphere.

If you have a day to spare, you could follow a recommended historic route  called Freedom Trail to explore Boston city on foot.

Harvard University – the dream of all students – enter to grow in wisdom

MIT – a completely different architecture from Harvard

On the way to the Little Italy, you would pass by a popular farmer market that sells cheap fresh fruits

Now it’s time to be back to New York for the highlight of the trip: New Year’s Eve party at Time Square – where all eyes of the world will be watching. Tip: Get into Time Square from noon. Trying to get to Time Square at night is nearly impossible.

There would be lots of activities, performances that keep you entertained till mid night. The only big problem is how to hold your pee because it could get so packed that you would not be able to move.

This is all you’ll get if you don’t get to Time Square by noon

Share with us if you have great experience partying in Time Square 🙂

United States – East coast – 20 days – Part 1

This itinerary uses Atlanta as starting and ending point. If you are coming from Asia, there’s a direct flight from Korea to Atlanta by Korean Air. Flying to Atlanta is not as popular as flying to New York but it has many advantages:

–       It is cheaper than flying to New York

–       Atlanta’s airport is the busiest airport in the world so there are many flights coming and departing from this airport, which gives you many options and freedom to plan your itinerary

–       Atlanta is in the middle of New York and Florida which can serve as a nice base and transition point to explore different states along West Coast

–       Atlanta has many touristy things to do

Tips on car rental: remember to bring your International driving permit (especially Asian countries). This permit is in additional to your driving license. In Singapore, you can get this at AA. I was told by a Hertz agent that she has turnt away a few customers because they didn’t carry the International Driving Permit with them.

The recommended time to make this trip is during the festive season (obviously), because:

–       Seeing the decorations everywhere and feeling Christmas in the air is the best thing in the world

–       You’ve got to be at Time Square for the biggest New Year’s Eve party in the world

1.    Part 1: Exploring states in the South of Atlanta by car 

South of Atlanta route map

a. Atlanta

Atlanta Aquarium – The biggest in the world of its kind. You could also book a night in the aquarium to sleep next to giant fish under florescence blue light. How cool is that!

World of Coca Cola museum in its birthplace for every Coke’s fan. You would get to sample hundreds of soft drinks’ flavors from all around the world

Stone Mountain is a great destination to celebrate Christmas together with your loved ones. Bring marshmallow and hot chocolate drink and cozy up around warm fire logs. There are also firework display and snow making.

b. Atlanta to Savannah (250 miles/ 400 km)– Savannah is charming with its historic architecture. Personally, I find it’s rather boring but it’s worth a rest stop. 

c. Savannah to St Augustine (180 miles/ 290 km) – St Augustine has the oldest village in Florida which  is worth visiting or stopping for a cup of coffee in the village garden.

St Augustine garden with little houses in Spanish architecture

Sea view from the fort that is next to the Spanish village – St Augustine

Or have a ghost walk if you feel like it

 d. St Augustine to Orlando (100 miles/ 167 km)

Orlando is the city of all theme parks for all ages: Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studio, Legoland… If you have visited the Universal Studio in Los Angeles, you can skip the one here because simply it is not as good as the real studio in LA.

Tip: It’s better to hunt for cheap entrance tickets on Craiglist or eBay.

It’s a wonderful thing to visit theme parks during festive season. Look at all those decorations! Can’t help to feel exceedingly happy – Universal Studio – Florida

 e. Orlando to Miami (235 miles/ 380 km)– nude beach and party capital 

f. Miami – Key West (160 miles/ 257 km)– Cuban style town, furthest point of USA

Key West is an island which is connected to Miami via a 200-km-long-man-made Overseas Highway. Driving on such route is such an awesome feeling.


Key West is also the southern most point of USA, only 90 miles away from Cuba. It’s “important” to have your photo taken here. In fact, tourists line up to do so.

g. Key West – Orlando – Destin passing through Alabama state

You will be clocking your miles most of the time on this stretch. It’s interesting to pass by Alabama state. You would know it when you are in it without being prompted by any GPS system.

h. Destin – Atlanta

Amazing white sand beach and crystal clear water – Destin, Florida


To be continued here with part 2 – New York and others