Travelogue: New York, Salem and Boston

It was an early morning yet again as I had to catch a flight at 7am. I was surprised I had a pretty good sleep even though I could hear airplanes taking off from time to time and I’m usually pretty sensitive. I must be very tired. lol. The consolation was that the airport was not that far away else I would need to wake up even earlier. And surprisingly even though it was that early, there were a number of people waiting for the bus at the front

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So dark, so early at 4.20am

Then I overheard a guy quarrelling with his girlfriend at that hour on the phone. It was so audible I think everyone could hear them. Lets just say they did not end on a good note when he ended the call with.. profanities. :/

I was glad the guy did not take the shuttle with us. We might be in for ‘Breaking up with your girlfriend’ part 2

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The huge shuttle that arrived. I don’t think the design of the shuttle was very smart cos you have to climb up/down the skinny steps to bring up/down the luggage at the back of the shuttle. Like … :/ Thankfully the driver helped else you might end up with a broken luggage or injured ankle or both

The shuttle dropped by the nearby Westin hotel for a quick pickup before heading for the airport

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And soon we arrived at SFO airport! Which I had to repack my luggage cos it was overweight by 2kg and overweight luggages cost USD100. Like seriously. US is very strict about the weight limit so yeah, please keep that in mind

Went for security clearance which took about 30 minutes cos it was quite crowded. And you could tell the staffs being frustrated at some point in time cos they were raising their voices ‘That’s why you need to reach the airport 2 hours before!’ at some people who were clearly cutting it close for their flight. So much drama for an early morning, and it wasn’t even 5.30am :/

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Then as I was walking to my gate, I spotted Japanese food again! lol the people here must have really love Jap

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I was pretty early so I just sat down and went on socials. Then as boarding commenced, you can see people all crowding around and waiting to be the first one to board. I could understand why. In US, you have to pay for check-in luggages (yes it’s not free!) and from a cost/time perspective, people would rather opt for carry-on. However there’s limited overhead bins cos everyone opts for carry-on, resulting in those who board later to have no luggage space. At some point in time, the counter staffs were asking for 30 volunteers to check-in their bags cos their bins would be full. And this was a common occurrence. Suddenly you appreciate flights that have free check-in luggages. lol

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The flight was uneventful so that began my 4hr 50 minutes flight to JFK

I had arranged for a transfer that would drop me at my hotel via Airports Taxi Transfer and I was glad they were so proactive in contacting me/keeping me updated

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Like sending me a picture of the car with car plate number/informing where to meet them

And this, is proper communication. Instead of just telling me the colour of the car :/

I mean if you want the tips, you need to earn it right..

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Welcome to New York

I was glad I went for the private transfer cos I had arranged to meet some friends for dinner and the  jam was quite bad. I cannot imagine a shared transfer where the shuttle had to make a few rounds. I might die of anxiety and frustration inside. lol. And with cars kept honking on the road, it made things worse

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1hr 15 minutes later, I arrived at Cambria Hotel Chelsea. I didn’t really have time to explore the hotel cos I was pressed for time

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So I took a quick shot of my room which was pretty spacious in my opinion

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They even have a sofa area at the side. Though the only thing I would pick on is the toilet. It was so small I found it inconvenient for my size. They didn’t even have enough space for you to put all your toiletries. But well, I guess you cannot have both the pie and eat it

I freshened up quickly and took the subway to the restaurant. I was glad we did not need to buy a ticket to take the subway now cos you could just tap with your credit card and that was very convenient. Dinner was at Llama San, a fusion of modern Japanese & Peruvian cuisine located at Greenwich village

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This was the holder for the chopsticks. Guess who was entertained the most. I mean it’s cute, but it did not hold the chopsticks very well.. so I guessed it was just all for photos

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Scallop, Wasabi, Fall Radish $27

A very pretty dish. The scallop ceviche was refreshing and I liked that the coconut milk blended quite nicely with the dish

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Shrimp, Tofu, Aji Panca, Huacatay $28

This was delicious. The tofu was done well and the slight spiciness in the sauce brought the whole dish together

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Wagyu Nigiri, Lima Beans, Wasabi, Banana $32

Decent nigiri. I thought it was a little strange in the banana but overall, it’s still a good dish

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Chicken Thigh Maki, Aji Amarillo, Walnuts, Alfonzo Olives $35

Probably the most average and forgettable dish of the meal. There was really nothing special about it

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Iberico Pork Tonkatsu, Udon Verde, Tsukemono Cucumbers $44

Our absolute favourite. Our eyes lit up and we took the first bite and you could see in everyone’s eyes that this was good. Not sure if it’s the pork or the cook but we wanted to order a second portion of this

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The udon was cooked pretty well too but the tonkatsu stole the show

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Crab & Octopus Yakimeshi, Perilla, Egg, Dashi, Soy $39

We were like why so much vegetables in there

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So we decided to clear them away and make way for the egg. At least we could tell there was something in there. lol. To be honest, the vegetables were good. The friends had a moment of doubt cos it’s just vegetables right? But after trying it, they agreed it was really not bad. You could taste the crab and octopus but I wished they had given a little more

It was alot of carbs. We were so full

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Yuzu, Honey Graham Crumble, Swiss Meringue $14

But that didn’t stop us from desserts cos we wanted something sweet to end the meal. Well, it’s sweet lor. lol. Don’t have a better description for it

This place was introduced by a friend who wanted to try but did not make it here. So we tried on her behalf given Resy screwed up my reservation for dinner. It’s such a stupid system. The food here was generally decent though the place was small and it progressively got colder over time cos the aircon was just blasting. Also, the restaurant got less crowded into the night. We thought it was a little pricey here. But okay, let me take it back. Nothing is cheap in USA. lol. But it was still a pretty good dinner

I managed to make a booking for Please Don’t Tell, a highly recommended speakeasy bar in New York. The friend was surprised cos apparently reservation can be quite difficult. So after dropping by Target to help friends find stuffs, we made our walk there

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Welcome to Crif Dogs. lol

Yeah the bar was hidden inside the hotdog place

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Which you had to pick up the phone at the telephone booth and dial, before you were led inside

There were some guys at the hotdog place looking confused to why was everyone entering the telephone booth (and disappearing) and then realising, oh, there’s a bar inside. lol

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It was a different kind of atmosphere inside

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We got a nacho tatter-tots to share cos I thought it would be nachos. I didn’t expect to see well, fried potatoes. They were good though, and would probably taste better if we weren’t that full

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I didn’t take a picture of the menu but these were all the drinks we ordered..

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And they were good. They really don’t scrimp on their alcohol here and you felt like it’s worth paying every cent of it

We were deciding between this place and Double Chicken Up (also highly recommended) but we didn’t have time for it cos the friends were just suffering badly from jet lag (it was Day 2 for them) so we ended the night at 10pm and uber-ed back together since we were all living near each other

It was a brand new day again and I couldn’t wake up. Thankfully I did not have a flight to catch but still have to up cos I had a bus to catch to Woodbury. I wanted to have bagel for breakfast cos one should always have bagel in New York so I found one along the way to Times Square

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Best Bagel & Coffee

but.. not nice how? lol

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They had quite a selection

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I went for the breakfast bagel – Ham & Egg w Sesame bagel. The portion was huge, so much that I could only finish half of it. It was decent but ‘best’ might be a little subjective

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Went on to Frisson Espresso to have my coffee and I must say this was pretty good. It had a nutty aftertaste to it and was balanced and smooth

After a filling breakfast, I proceeded to my pickup point which was at West 51st Street,

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at the corner of Mcdonalds

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And you can easily spot the sign there. There were alot people going to Woodbury so the line was pretty long and it felt like the bus was full. The bus ride took around 1hr 15 minutes and we finally arrived at Woodbury Premium Outlet!

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which was pretty empty at that time cos most shops only opened at 11am while I took the earliest bus slot at 8.30am

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But it was good to roam around and get familiar with where the shops were cos this place was huge. I remembered the last time I came, we came back a second time cos it was just too big and we didn’t have time to cover everything

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Also found these lockers after buying too many things and I was tired carrying them around. So for those who come here with luggages, yes, they have space to store your luggages too

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Lunch break was the breakfast I didn’t finish. So I sat on a random bench and people-watched

It was an intense, focused and exhausting shopping trip cos there were so many shops that were on the list and I was also helping friends shop as well

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So at 2pm, I found myself at Pinkberry, too tired to move and I stayed there for some time. lol

I caught the first bus back to New York (3.30pm) as well cos I had dinner plans

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And I was glad the sky cleared up in the evening after being so cloudy the entire day

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While walking to the subway, I saw a girl running after a guy shouting ‘he took my purse’, dashing across the street with cars oncoming and nobody cared. I was like o.o I told my friends this and they said that might be a trap

New York City is so colourful

So after dropping the things back at hotel, I went back out for dinner, taking the subway and walking down 10th Avenue to Kochi, which hmm, wasn’t the most comfortable walk I would say

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I was just glad to see the restaurant in sight. lol

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It was a good meal. Read more about it here

I decided to walk back to hotel after dinner cos I was feeling so full. While walking past a deli store, these 2 guys came out and started shouting at each other, getting ready for a fight. I was like … omg and hurried as fast as I could. And then it started raining on the way back. Sighs. It was definitely an eventful day

I had plans to visit Quebec cos the friends were supposed to be travelling there, however due to unforeseen circumstances, I changed to Boston instead cos I wanted to see Salem. And that meant an early flight out yet again. I didn’t know my car was already waiting for me outside the hotel until a woman approached it and I overheard ‘Iris?’ and I was like oh, that’s me! lol

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Flew out of LGA airport and I must say I was most impressed with their efficiency at security clearance. This must be the quickest TSA check I’ve experienced. Every US airport should be like them

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And then it was a far walk to the gate

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All I could remember about this flight was it was full of turbulence but I was so exhausted I slept throughout the entire journey. Yes, travelling is tiring especially if you have been at it for so many days. lol

The flight was delayed. We only landed 45 minutes later than scheduled so by the time I got out of Boston airport, it was already 9.25am. On top of that, there was quite a jam to the hotel which took me 35 minutes before I arrived. All the delays threw a spanner in the works cos all my plans had to be pushed back

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I was glad I finally arrived at Boston

I couldn’t check in cos I was too early so I left my bags with them while making my way to the train station which was half an hour walk away

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It was a really nice walk though

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And passing by Beacon Hill neighbourhood which I took some quick snaps

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On the way, I saw some people taking of this place and not knowing what it was, I thought oh this is quite pretty and I followed suit as well. lol. Well I still haven’t figure out what this is

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Found the entrance to the station! But I took some time to find the ticket counter cos it was hidden in a corner

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To my horror, the next train to Salem only departs at 11.35am due to some diversion that was going on and I looked at the time. It was only 10.40am. Cries. It was really not my day

So I found a bench and made myself comfortable before the announcement came on saying the train has arrived 50 minutes later..

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Reached Salem in 30 minutes and I was so ready to get out and explore

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Even though Salem is known for its 1692 witch trials, during which several locals were executed for allegedly practicing witchcraft, you would have thought it would be gloomy and all, and the buildings to reflect that but nope, it’s a very vibrant city that is full of life and character

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But you can definitely find lots of stores/goods related to witchery

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And cos it was near halloween, decorations were up and everywhere

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Also spotted, skeletons more than humanF08E9995-2967-4C11-907B-E9F9EC3383FC_1_105_c

lol. I’m kidding

I was famished since I haven’t had breakfast. So I headed to the famous Red’s Sandwich Shop for lunch

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It was rather packed and the kitchen staffs were all busy2CD95D95-E484-4C0C-8805-515752CC7CC4_1_105_c4CBCDB1D-FFB3-4501-B9AF-0BDCF32E4469_1_105_c

In Like Flynn

Red’s Famous Corned Beef Hash over Home Fries, Topped with 2 Poached Eggs & Hollandaise Sauce with Choice of Toast

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Thinking back, I don’t know why I ordered this since I’m not a fan of poached eggs. I guessed I was drawn to the idea of home fries which turned out to be potato chunks instead of fries, fries. Tsk. I felt cheated.

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A beautiful yellow mess

Well I finished the eggs, ate a little of the beef hash and ‘fries’ cos it was simply too much. And after a certain point, it felt too overwhelming too. It probably wasn’t the best order. lol

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I wanted to see a re-enactment of the trials so I headed to Witch Dungeon Museum

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which I made it in time by a whisker cos the play has barely started as I entered the room

They used the lines that were mentioned during the trials in the courtroom and took on the roles of the accused and defendant and basically acted out what happened back then. Then we were brought downstairs to see the replica of the dungeon who had held the locals in captivity

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The dungeon was dark, narrow and very tiny and this was the main captivity space for all who couldn’t pay and that’s almost 200 of them. People who could pay enough would be locked up in cells

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But well, the cells in the dungeon were even smaller. Each cell was divided according to how much you can pay. So you pay more, you get a bigger cell. You pay less, you get an even smaller cell

This cell belonged to the wealthiest. Bed/blankets/etc have to be topped up

Basically you spent your whole fortune in there not knowing when you would be able to get out

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This cell – if you walked from one end to another, it would probably just take you one step in 2 seconds, that was how tiny it was. The space however, accommodates up to 6 pax or more at one go with all their hands up in shackles. Oh gosh

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And erms yeah,  the various form of tortures that were used

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But this was the worst. Cos it was actually illegal but they placed rocks on the guy until he died in 3 days
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The result was 19 people were falsely accused and hanged. The guide told us the executioner was constantly masked up in black so nobody knew who he was. I was like yah, I don’t think he would be alive when this whole ordeal is over

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And as I was exiting the museum, I saw this which was really used back then as a witch test. As you read through each line, it just sounded more and more ridiculous. It’s like whether you do things right or wrong, you would be a witch. And people believed it back then, with or without a choice. This test was just bizarre

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Popped by Front Street Coffeehouse cos I wanted to try their coffee

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And it was pretty decent. For an iced latte, I could still taste the body and flavour of the coffee beans so it was a pretty good cup of coffee

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Then I continued walking and passed by Charter Street Cemetery which was the final resting place for many residents

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I didn’t go on the tour cos err, no interest there so I moved on

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And went to Salem Witch Village
IMG_5628With the wax museum opposite

I thought the haunted witch village sounded interesting but the staff that was mending the ticket booth told me, it’s only haunted during the weekends and I was like er, thanks. lol

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So I roamed around and spotted so many people wearing witch hats for the atmosphere. It’s like if people wear Disney ears to Disney, well, it’s witch hats here

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Saw random figurines at a corner that were really random

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And also popped into so many gifts stores that were selling witch/spells-related stuffs

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There were also plentiful tarot readings everywhere I go. No I didn’t visit one, but I bought my own tarot cards just for the fun of it 😀

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I eventually bought it from this store cos I felt like their items were more interesting than some of the popular ones

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Also spotted, lots of Harry Potter-related stuffs

I was done with the main attractions so I decided to walk towards the harbour for second part of the sightseeing

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And saw this guy singing in the middle of the road?

That’s attracting your attention on a whole new level. lol

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The weather was really nice, warm even. And I thought it would be cooler up North. But I was too lazy to remove my coat so I had it on the entire time feeling very warm

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The houses near the harbour were more boathouse-like. Very cute designs I feel

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Also dropped by America’s Oldest Candy Co

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Which had abundance of sweets, for the sweet tooth. But nothing caught my eye. So I walked one round and exited the small store that was packed with people

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Last stop of this trip was The House of Seven Gables which I heard from people on my Napa wine trip mentioning this place was their favourite so I thought I should visit it too, not knowing what it was about

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If you would want to see the house, you need to sign up for the tour which takes about an hour. Else if you don’t wanna pay, you can roam around the grounds

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I went for the house tour. I mean, what’s the point of seeing the outside?

The House of Seven Gables is a Gothic novel that follows a New England family and their ancestral home that is haunted.. so I guessed this was the house in the novel

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We explored the different parts of the house which was quite small in my opinion

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This was the shop that was set up in order to support her family, according to the novel

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Dining room

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And a secret passageway that was so narrow it would just fit me nicely

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We went up to the attic where we could see the model of the house

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And this was the last stop for me before I had to leave the group in order not to miss my ferry ride back to Boston

In all honesty, you would probably be able to relate more if you had read the book, else to me, it’s just a house lor. But the whole compound was huge. Other than the house, you can also visit the birthplace of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hooper-Hathaway house and Counting house which were all within the compound

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Bidding goodbye to Salem with spiders and the unknown sending me off

 I actually enjoyed my time in Salem. It was nice to walk around and the sights were informative, educational and it was just interesting to know what went down in history

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And that’s the ferry that would take me back to Boston. I chose the ferry ride cos I heard it would be pretty scenic so I thought it would be nice to have some views

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Halfway through, they were giving out these ginger chews which were actually very nice cos the waves were very choppy that day. And I had a hard time listening to the commentator who was trying his best to introduce sights along the way. At some point, I felt like I was going to have a headache and I wished he would just keep quiet572EAF30-AF4A-4506-A677-1771AD5D6885

And so, this was the only sight I saw

And so you can tell, I’m not going to recommend this ferry ride

By the time I reached Boston, it was about 5.30pm so I decided to walk to my dinner place

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which was at Barking Crab known for lobsters

(cos how can one not have lobsters in Boston right?)

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It’s a very colourful place

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that was also full of character

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It was still early so there weren’t much crowd. But as the night progressed, it can be quite crowded and service got slower over time as well. Glad I was early 🙂

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And their choice of music was excellent. It was just a good place to hangout

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Love all their signages

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I took some time to look through the menu cos I couldn’t decide on the steamed or grilled lobster. In the end, they recommended the Pan-Roasted Lobster with their signature Beurre-Blanc sauce. And I also ordered a clam chowder to go along. There were so many things on their menu that I wanted to try but knowing how big American portion can be, I decided not to

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Then they placed this on the table and I was like that’s a really big pail. It looked more like it’s for cleaning tables than throwing lobster shells. lol. They also provided gloves and wipes, all together in the pail

Processed with Focos

Pan-Roasted Lobster

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Clam Chowder

I concluded that the clam chowder that we had in Singapore has been modified to suit our taste. lol

This clam chowder was salty. Maybe I should have gone for the crab cakes instead

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Coming back to the star of the show

The lobster was pretty big for 1.5 pounds, definitely bigger than what I used to have usually

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And I felt like the meat here were more ‘muscular’ lol. Like I have to chew even longer to break it down. I’m not saying the meat was tough. It’s just that it’s really thick. Ha. And at some point I chewed until my mouth was really tired

 I took a long while to finish my dinner cos I was really just enjoying the lobster together with the vibes the place gave. By the time I was ready to walk back, the sky has turned dark. lol

Half an hour later, I finally reached back at my accommodation and I was so ready to rest and call it a night

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When I saw the room, I was shocked at how small it was for the price I paid. I was like wow, this place is really expensive. And being located on the first floor, you can hear all sorts of noise coming from the reception so :/

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A small side table that was hidden in the corner that looked like you were having some punishment facing the wall

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But the toilet was quite big, and that’s the only good thing

So I showered and just headed straight to bed after a very long day

I actually had a good night sleep or maybe I was just too tired. Then I got ready for the day and headed out. The plan was to head to Boston public market for breakfast and so began my 30 minutes leisure walk there

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It’s good to be back. Even though according to my friends, there’s really nothing here. lol

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Found the market easily. I was there pretty early so most of the shops were still closed. I suggest to come here around noon time and you would probably see more activity in the market

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The still quiet market

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I found a little corner that had so many people crowding around and so curiosity got the better of me. It turned out they were ordering bagels. But since I already had bagels in New York, I wanted to have something different

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So I got myself some coffee from George Howell Coffee which essentially was the only coffee kiosk around

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I got the Taza Mocha which was a local flavoured latte. The coffee was decent though it was a little on the sweeter end

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Then this caught my eye from the same stall. I actually wanted to know what this was cos there was no description but the guy just wrapped it up for me and I was like, I guessed I will know when I eat it then

But it turned out to be pretty delicious. It reminded of cinnamon sticky bun that was chewy and sweet and the pecans were addictive

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Then I spotted donuts

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And there was an array of selection

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So I got the Belgium Chocolate which had a thick layer of chocolate coating. The donut was pretty good. It was very soft and the brioche dough tasted different. It was a little chewy yet airy at the same time. But you know what would make it even better? If it was served warm. lol

After a very filling breakfast and considering I had lots of time on hand since there was nothing to explore in the market, I decided to head to Beacon Hill neighbourhood to find the famous Acorn street that was supposedly one of the most photographed street in Boston

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And on the way there, found this random street that had vines decorating the building so I took a quick snap

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This charming neighbourhood also had Halloween decorations all around

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They really go all out

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Then I finally found Acorn street

My first reaction was.. very nice meh?! Okay I guess nice is subjective

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I still took some photos even though I had question marks in my head since this was the most photographed street. And I guessed the residents here must be damn annoyed with people taking photos of their street so much that they had a ‘Please keep your volume down. This is a private residence’ note outside their door

So I tried to tiptoe when I walked past the doors. lol

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One last one for the memory

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They had very cute street names though, like chestnut, acorn, walnut etc. I wondered if they had the trees planted there as well. It would be cool to collect the nuts when they had ripened

I began my walk back to my hotel, checked out and I got a notification that my transfer to the airport had already arrived. So I proceeded to the airport earlier than scheduled

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Goodbye Boston! Till next time

TSA check was very efficient. It only took 10 minutes so I had lots of time on hand. Wandered around before I decided I shall just sit at the gate, for a very long time. The flight arrived at LGA airport 15 minutes earlier than scheduled but the landing was so bad everyone went WOAH. The funny thing was they were so proud of their early arrival but I was like maybe you need to practice on the landing too?

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I’ve booked a shared shuttle via Go Airlink to take me back to my hotel. According to instructions, you were supposed to find the reservation desk and let them know your reservation number so I walked the whole terminal and out of the doors and couldn’t find the said reservation desk. In the end I came back to the terminal and called them. I was told to stay inside the terminal while they dispatched their driver and I’m like okay? How would I know which door to wait at. I told myself if they don’t arrive within 20 minutes, I shall call them again. And just at the 20th minute mark, a black shuttle with a small ‘Go’ sign pulled up and I saw the driver running inside the terminal shouting my name. Well, I guess that’s their way of pick-up. Sometimes, I really don’t understand their way of doing things

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After getting up the shuttle, I overheard the driver talking to someone saying he had 14 pax pick-up and I was ?! omg.. But then the shuttle just started moving out of the terminal and into the city and I had a #thankgoodness moment internally. lol. In the end, there were only 4 pax (including me) onboard. The whole journey was centred around this guy bitching about the celebrities he met and it was quite entertaining. The traffic was so bad in downtown Manhattan I took forever to reach back hotel, so much that I had to change my plans cos I didn’t have much time. So if you are in a rush of time or had things planned in your itinerary, the shared shuttle is not recommended

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After forever, finally back at Cambria Hotel Chelsea and I got an even bigger room?

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The toilet was also bigger this time round so double yay

I canceled my plans to head to Summit One Vanderbilt and decided to hunt for the friend’s coffee beans instead cos after searching 4 Targets, they were not available at any of them. The friend confidently told me you can find this at any Target! If only he knew..

Then I headed to Flatiron district cos my dinner was in that area and decided to walk around a little

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which brought me to supermarkets

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and exploring their salad bars

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which looks damn delicious. lol

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Headed to Jua shortly after and it was the start of an exciting meal

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which left a lasting impression on me

Read more about it here

Initially I wanted to explore the hotel’s rooftop bar cos it was my last night in USA but clearly, I didn’t have the energy and chose the bed instead. So packing + bed it shall be!

I woke up slightly later on the last morning thinking to myself, thankfully it was the last day. lol. Don’t get me wrong, I did not miss home and I love my travels. It was just that with each early day, the energy was sipping away from me

I was actually contemplating whether to go get the round croissants which got so popular in Singapore recently. Originating from Lafayette Grand Cafe & Bakery, these circular croissants with filling were also highly sought after in New York and I heard from my friend that the line can be quite crazy. But I decided to bite the bullet and go cos, I’m already in New York right? Let me try the original. lol

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The croissants are baked freshly at 8am, 12pm and 3pm daily so you can choose which time slot you wanna go. Well, I chose the earliest hoping that the queue would be more manageable in the morning

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And this was the situation at 7.50am. I would say.. not that bad lah!

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At 8am, the cafe opened officially and there’s another line inside
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Chocolate, Pumpkin & Pistachio

Each person is only entitled to one each (yes sadly). So unless you go there with 2 other people, then you would be able to try all 3 flavours. The woman behind me was like – Can I order 6 for takeaway? The staff went – no, you can only order 1 per person. The woman again – Oh, I can’t order 6 for takeaway?

I was like ?!?! which part of his sentence she did not understand?

Sometimes, people. Sighs

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Yes, they packed it nicely for you even if you ordered only one. And in all, I only took 20 minutes from the start of the queue to the moment I left the bakery which well, wasn’t that bad I feel

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Got the pistachio one which cost USD9.25!

That is one expensive croissant

Okay the croissant was not bad. It was crisp and the filling was generous, actually so much that it got a little messy eating. I didn’t like the topping cos I thought it tasted a little artificial. Else, it was quite a decent croissant. One for the experience, I could probably find more back home. lol

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Then the friend went and sent me the photo for the 12pm release. This was the queue at 11.15am and it went round the corner already. So for those of you who were thinking of the 12pm slot, well, just be prepared to queue a little

Went back to hotel to check-out and moved to another hotel to check-in. I had used Dayuse.com and book a hotel that offered dayuse services so that I could shower before my flight at night. And I purposely choose a hotel that was nearby so I don’t have to drag my luggages all over. Had a panic moment when they said they couldn’t find my reservation and all their rooms were full (wow?) But thankfully it was all sorted out in the end and they proudly exclaimed they had given me one on a high floor and room with a view and I’m like okay..?

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Hello INNside New York Nomad! This view was taken from the elevator area and I’m like okay, this looked quite nice

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The room was huge
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They told me I could eat/drink everything from their minibar and I’m like wow. They even provided a yoga mat in the room. I was amused

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The toilet had room to walk too so that’s great. This felt like a pretty good hotel. I went back out to the room to check out the view and..

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I was a little underwhelmed by this sight

So I drew the curtains in and headed straight out for sightseeing

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First on the itinerary was The High Line. It’s an elevated linear park that could take you to attractions along the way

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So I brought myself to The Vessel, a honeycomb-like structure of 16 stories high

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I took a quick snap since there was nobody around

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Unfortunately this attraction remained close to visitors due to suicide cases that happened in the past. You can appreciate the structure from the ground floor but unable to go up to the top so after 5 minutes here, I left for Chelsea market

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I used The High Line that would take me to Chelsea market located on the other end and it was a pretty nice walk

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20 minutes later..

I wanted to have lunch in the market so I followed the restaurant signs. It turned out I was walking on the wrong side of the building cos I just couldn’t find the entrance to get in. I must have looked so lost a local actually asked me if I was looking for a way in. lol

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Well, I found the door eventually

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And the market was in full halloween deco

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with spooky animations no less. I was entertained

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I walked around to see what’s around in there

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And this hand-pressed Chinese Noodles shop was actually very popular. Since I was flying back that night, I decided I shall have something else

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Other than food, there’s also things to shop around. I really love the vibes the whole place gave and all the small individual stalls that were set up in there. As I was making my purchases at one of the stalls, the owner asked where I was from and I said Singapore. She said she loves Singapore and was there a few years back before Covid hit. I told her oh, that’s nice cos not many people knew where’s Singapore and she went – they are just stupid. I lol-ed. So brutally honest

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I had feels for pasta so I waited for La Devozione to open at 12pm and the first question the staff asked me was – We only served pasta here. Is that okay for you? I’m like they must had difficult customers making difficult requests here. lol

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It was pretty empty cos it was still early but as I sat there enjoying my lunch, the place soon became pretty crowded

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In Between $18

Paranubes Rum, Pisco Acholado, Bianco Vermouth, Cactus Pear, Pineapple, Lime

Kickstarted with a cocktail cos it’s the last day in the USA! Actually that’s just an excuse. Who needs a reason to drink? :p

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Canneroni Con Cozze ‘Tarantina Style’ w Mussels, Tomato Concasse $28

I was just drawn by the mussels. I had no idea what pasta I was going to have and I was too lazy to google. The pasta was actually quite tasty though I would prefer it a little softer. I love the sauce. It was infused with the mussels and it was delicious to drink. The pasta was also coated in the sauce which made it really addictive to eat

And I felt like I ate more than my usual amount

I wanted to have coffee but I don’t think my stomach could take it so I left for my next item on the itinerary

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Which was Summit One Vanderbilt

Took some time to find the entrance and went for the SUMMIT Ascent which according to the description, you get to try a thrilling 12 storey glass elevator experience. I have to say the path to get into Summit was quite an experience. It felt like going through security clearance with all the different stations involved and at the photo-taking area, I thought the photo was for security reasons. lol. So I didn’t bother to smile properly

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You get to experience the different installations with an experience called Air, created by Kenzo digital and this was Transcendence

Well, I guessed I would have had a better experience if it wasn’t that crowded and the sun wasn’t so glaring. Because of the reflections in the room, it was exceptionally bright. No wonder they were giving out sunglasses at the beginning

9DFAE51B-0D49-4FD3-97C1-1E812100734ESo I quickly took a snap and moved on to the next room

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which was Air: Affinity

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Which after awhile was just giving me a headache with the balls coming in all directions

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There was a photo area where each person was only entitled to 45 seconds and the staff kindly took some for me. I thought his skills were not bad 😀

I didn’t stay very long at each area cos you would realise the view was the same so I proceeded to take the elevator that would take me 12 stories up

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And up we go

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So bright and sunny

I could imagine the headache just by looking at this photo. lol. I went at 2pm so the sun was really glaring. So maybe you can consider going early morning or later in the evening for better photos and skyline

I wanted to try Lysée before I leave so I made a quick pitstop for this dessert shop at Flatiron district. Opened by Chef Eunji Lee who was the executive pastry chef at Jungsik, I had high expectations

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But wow, they were full so I could only do takeaways

I went up to the second floor which was their takeaway area and took a look at all the pastry that were on display

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Corn

Corn Mousse, Sablé, Grilled Corn Cream

This was their signature cake but it was sold out by then 😦

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Flatiron

Choux, Tahiti-Madagascar Vanilla cream, Dulce de leche, Feuilletage

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Seasonal: Fig Tart

Organic Black Mission Fig, Huckleberry Jam, Lavender Honey

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VIC

Chocolate Cremeux & Sponge Cake, Timut Pepper Caramel, Dark Chocolate Mousse

This was one of the cakes I got. I found this a little too thick so probably better to share4D650330-71F3-4DAE-8CDC-962103A11A43_1_201_a

Lysee

Korean Toasted Brown rice mousse with caramel, Elliot Pecan Sablé, Praliné

And this was the other one I got. I definitely preferred this. It wasn’t too sweet and I could taste the brown rice mousse evidently

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Lysee Signature Latte

Brown Rice Milk, Espresso

Would also recommend their signature latter. It was fragrant, sweet and had a good balance of espresso in it. You could taste the brown rice in it which was delicious

As I was crossing the road, I spotted Alo yoga and spent a long time in there.. lol

Made it back to hotel with enough time to spare and the driver contacted me at 4.45pm. I thought I had booked the wrong time. He suggested to leave for the airport earlier cos the congestion was really bad and wanted my opinion. So I was like sure. And I gobbled down my cakes

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This transfer was also made via AirportsTaxi Transfer and I liked how engaging and proactive they were

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My flight was at 10.30pm. We left for the airport at 5.15pm and we only reached the airport at 7.05pm. The driver was like, thank goodness we made the right decision to leave earlier. I mean honestly, I had alot of time to spare. I think the driver also enjoyed talking to me cos I was bilingual and he could improve on his English. So we talked alot, even though sometimes I preferred my peace and quiet

He insisted on dropping me at the right door for Singapore Airlines even though I said anywhere is fine. I mean, there’s no harm just walking to the right row. But he was really insistent so I don’t need to walk so far. lol. Okay can, as long as you happy uncle

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There was no queue. I settled my check-in and got my boarding pass in 3 minutes. I was amused they asked for my vaccination certificate (for Singapore citizens). And I was like if no cert how? Cannot fly home? 😀

Security clearance was also fast, given this was JFK. It took me 15 minutes to clear TSA and soon I was on the way to the lounge

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Spotted Wingtips easily

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It sucks

The friend told me they used the same lounge for KFG members

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The lounge was pretty crowded. I found a corner seat and settled in comfortably cos I had so much time till I board
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They don’t have much food selection and I was hungry

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So I ate whatever that was available and started thinking about the meals I was going to have onboard the airline
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And this was the situation at the gate when they announced they were going to commence boarding. I never understand the need to crowd around and be the first one to board when you are already in the priority queue *shakes head*

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Hello Singapore Airlines, it’s great to see you again

I was really really looking forward to the flight

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Singapore Sling to kickstart the pre-departure drink and cos Singapore Sling on Singapore Airlines is a special concoction

So slowly after take-off, the crew went around to check on everyone and their supper menu. They were very busy cos it was a full flight. Thankfully I was in the smaller section and my crew seemed really friendly. Cos there was some commotion going on at the other side when I got up to the use the restroom halfway

And food came!

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Appetiser: Smoked Salmon

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Mains: Fried Fish Steak with Flat Noodles Soup

At first when I read the menu, it was something along the line of fish noodles soup so out of curiosity I asked the crew if that’s 鱼片米粉 but she said it’s not quite similar. I decided to go with that in the end cos it sounded comforting

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And wow, it was delicious!

The fish steaks were seasoned right and cooked well and the soup was sweet and tasty

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It honestly reminded me of 鱼片米粉 just that the noodles were slightly different, but it was still very good

Skipped desserts and so did everyone else cos I guessed everyone was ready for bed

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While I had a glass of Baileys for dessert and watched the entire season of Supermodel Me for the entire flight

Well, I did manage 5 hours of sleep before I woke up feeling hungry. So I requested for cookies06CB94E1-BBDD-48F1-8BEA-D06A05FBA3B4_1_201_a

I should have requested for instant noodles since it was more than 2 hours to meal service 😦

I really wanted to try instant noodles onboard. lol. Maybe next time?

Then came the next round of meal service
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Appetiser: Grilled Prawns with Croutons and Walnuts

This was okay I guess. I ate the prawns and the blackberries but left the croutons untouched cos they were quite hard. When I looked at the crew clearing the plates and saw all the leftover croutons, I guessed everyone else thought the same

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I wanted sake but unfortunately they had ran out. So in replacement, I got 3/4 glass full of umeshu and I was like o.o This could last me for awhile

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BTC: Seafood Congee

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This BTC option of seafood congee was the best decision ever. It was so good, so comforting. I wasn’t expecting Cantonese-style congee but this congee was cooked so well and the rice wasn’t clumpy. And they had a generous portion of seafood. I was so happy and satisfied I finished the entire bowl. Can you believe it?

I looked at my neighbour’s inflight option. I had no idea what he ordered but I felt like his looked pretty sad. lol. I was glad I had BTC. Cos after being away for close to 3 weeks, this was just simply comfort food

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and having fruits for dessert which everyone did the same. lol

We had so much options for desserts but everyone chose fruits. It was hilarious the crew was like no desserts?

So after finishing Supermodel me, I took out my phone, look at my photos and tried to edit them. Well..  I gave up halfway cos it was simply too many. I went back to my kdrama in the end and that lasted me the entire flight. So I was still contemplating about my instant noodles but the turbulence was quite bad towards the later part of the flight so I doubt they would be able to serve it. And so, I didn’t get the chance cos the plane arrived earlier than scheduled. The flight was supposed to arrive at 5.20am but at 4.30am they secured the cabin for landing? I thought I had remembered my time wrong

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So at 4.50am we touched down in Singapore and it’s home sweet home

That marked the end of my holiday and also the start of 3 days of jetlag back home. Oh man

It had been an awesome and tiring 3 weeks of USA. I would do it again, but perhaps not too soon. lol USA is too expensive 😀

Read the rest of my travelogue here:

Travelogue: Walt Disney World – Epcot and Magic Kingdom

Travelogue: Walt Disney World – Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs

Travelogue: Travelogue: Walt Disney World – Hollywood Studios, Epcot & Magic Kingdom (Yes Again)

Travelogue: Napa Valley and Yountville

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