Los Angeles 2018 Day 15 – Citadel Premium Outlets and Home Sweet Home

This was the last day in the US and as usual we slept in late. I felt like going for a run as the weather was rather inviting and I haven’t been running for a while. The alarm clock woke me up and I walked to the window with the full view of the bay in front of me. It was tempting, seeing joggers going on the path alongside the beautiful bay but laziness got the better of me and I was back in bed.

View from our room

840 and I woke in horror to find yet again that we had to have breakfast in bed, courtesy of me collecting them from the breakfast area. I brushed my teeth quickly and went down to the breakfast area to get food. Approached the staff to asked for disposable plates but was given a tray instead and she affirmed that I could bring back the plates and the housekeeping staff would take care of it.

I went to get whatever the small tray could allow me to and brought back the usual stuff. Went back a second round to get more juice and coffee and went back to the room to eat first while mommy joined later. To wake K up, I turned on the TV and soon mommy was carrying him over to the living room.

Breakfast from the buffet table

We quickly packed while K ate his breakfast and before long, we were ready to leave. Called the valet to have my car ready by 1020am and after K was dressed, we brought everything down. Checked out was quick and we loaded up the luggage and was on our way to Fashion Valley to visit an Apple store.

Apple Store
Fashion Valley

12mins drive and we parked at a sheltered car park free of charge. Walked to Apple store and had the intention to get the iPad Pro. I was then introduced by the staff on its capabilities and was already convinced that I could use it for stuff other than social media, when we got all the accessories and iPad ready to be bought, the costs gave me a surprise. I had forgotten to add in the tax and after all the costs added up, it wasn’t that much different in price compared to what was available in Singapore. I apologized and we left.

Not all was lost as from the corner of my eye I caught a store having discounts and checked with mommy if she was interested to get jeans from 7 for all mankind. We walked in and with a 40% storewide discount, she got herself a pair of jeans. Not a wasted trip.

We hurried back to the car as we had overstayed the visit and proceeded to drive to Citadel premium outlets, skipping the Carlsbad premium outlet that we initially thought we would visit. Went through a toll road unknowingly and referring to the signboards, I could pay the one time toll online.

Citadel was a huge area designed like its name suggested. Parking was free too and we made a dash to the loo after the getting off. Had our lunch by getting some sandwiches from Pronto Cafe. We sat just outside to eat and while mommy finished her sandwich quickly and went ahead for her last minute shopping, I waited for K to finished his.

Arriving at Citadel
Citadel outlets
Quite crowded
…for lunch
Disturbing warnings found in Oakley

Brought k to go around and found that Citadel didn’t have as good a deal for some of the stores as in San Francisco, eventually I ended up only getting a pair of chinos from AX. K had a slight tummy ache and we used the family room that had a tiny toilet bowl for K, fitted nicely to his bum and his height.

Huge Xmas tree at Citadel
Family toilet with a cute kids size toilet bowl

We then got ourselves an ice cream from a store with the same name as the sandwich for about $3ish but was given almost 3 scoops which I thought was a good deal. We met mommy along the way who was buzzing around the shops and eventually we ended up in Disney as the last destination before popping back into the car at 430pm and driving towards Courtyard by Marriott for our Hotel by day booking, 45mins away.

It was not far by distance but the LA traffic was the main contributor to the extended time. Tried to take the carpool lane that helped in some cases getting away from jam but not others. Reached the hotel by 520pm. There was again valet parking only, $18. The valet was however kind enough not to charge after I explained that I wasn’t staying long, with the agreement to just leave the car close to the entrance.

Went to checked in and was given a room on the first level. It was good as K had already fallen asleep and mommy was carrying him. The room was within easy reach and soon K was on the bed snoozing while we repacked the bags, ensuring that we do not hit the 23kg per luggage weight limit. Had to throw away some of my old clothes including my jeans and shoes to make way for the new stuff.

Room in Marriott
Old making way for the new

Mommy bathed and I tried to find out where to return the car. Tried calling Enterprise and the automated system wasn’t leading me to the right people and when someone actually picked up, I didn’t think she answered my question and informed that I could drop my car at the airport itself.

After a small struggle to get the K into bath as he was woken up dazed, we rushed to get out of the room by 645pm. Spoke to the valet and was informed that the return for the car was indeed NOT at the airport but at Bellanca Ave, as per on its website and google maps. I quickly drove to location which was just 12mins away, after tipping him. The signs along the way indeed helped show the way, reaffirming the directions and following the “Others” and then “Enterprise” directions, we arrived on the return location.

The area was big but there was a staff there to direct me on where to drop the car and he proceeded with the checking. I got all my luggage off and he then proceeded with printing me the final receipt. Checked that the refueling charge was at a not-too-ridiculous price of $4/gallon, and that indeed there was no higher-than-usual drop off fees (as I was worried when at San Francisco), we headed for the shuttle bus together with the staff as he helped to bring the luggage for us to the bus stop steps away.

Enterprise at Bellanca Ave
Bus stop for shuttle to LAX

The bus was here within minutes and after lugging everything onboard, we sat on the bus on our way to LAX. It was then I realized that the flight was actually at 2225 instead of 2045, giving us another hour more of free time!

We arrived at LAX 10mins later and I asked the driver where we could get off for Terminal B. The reply was rather disappointing as she informed that she wasn’t told about Terminal B and would be easier for us to just alight and walked there. Without much of a choice we did that.

Rented a trolley for $5 (reaffirming that it was damn bloody expensive in LA) and slowly made our way to the international airport.

Not free
Walking towards International Terminal

Checked in at the SIA counters and all the luggage made the cut without issues. We proceeded to go through security which was on the 2nd floor and while there was a crowd, it wasn’t too long before we were at the main departure area.

DFS shopping for some Ghirardelli chocolates which was disappointingly higher priced than those we saw at Ralph’s but bought enough to get it at $6 per pack.

Walked to the central dining place to get some food. I ate Panda Express which was Teriyaki chicken with mixed veg and fried rice and a bottle of drink at a $15 and mommy got something similar. Shared the food with K and moved to the gates early. We didn’t get through the immigration counters and were worried that these were at the gates but upon reaching the gate we didn’t see any.

Shopping inside LAX
Panda Express
Fortune cookie
Walking towards the gates

I went to check with one of the staff and understood that this was no longer required! Something new. Tried to pay for my toll and found that online payment were only for new ones and not one that I already passed, so I had no choice but to wait for Enterprise to charge me (which they did, invoice of $11.71 came in an email 1 month later).

We spent the last hour waiting for boarding while mommy bought some nuts from the stores nearby. Then the call for business and PPS started. We didn’t hear the call for us to board but asked anyways and was surprised that we could already.

Getting into the seats, K started his game while I just chilled. The plane took off after a while and food came 2 hrs later. The rest of the flight was no drama, spent half of the time  in front of the screen and the other half sleeping. Since we would be arriving in the morning, we timed the sleep to be later so as to stay awake when we arrived in Singapore.


This was our long duration year end holidays and the decision for the location was driven by cheap launch prices for premium economy. The savings from the tickets were offset by the high costs of travel in California. The trip itself had a lot of driving that something took too much energy that left my physically drained at the end of the day. Coupled with constant carrying of K, I thought it wasn’t as enjoyable as I hoped to be.

That said, there were still a lot of experiences that was new that I was happy to share with K. Other than seeing the wonderful Grand Canyon and Golden Gate Bridge, taking a helicopter and glamping under the stars, seeing Mars from a telescope, these were memories good enough for growing K.

The costly travel was contributed by transportation and food. For me, the most surprising part was that fuel wasn’t main bulk of costs of transportation, it was actually the parking.

Perth 2015 Day 3 – Perth City shopping

Day started like yesterday, with the only difference of myself preparing baby K pasta. The most difficult of the task was to slice and dice the salmon, carrots and vegetables into small enough size for baby K. Wasn’t too difficult chopping the frozen salmon, and easier still for the other 2.

We didn’t had breakfast today so we settled for the cookies we bought the day before. Usual work of bathing baby K and changing into a long sleeve polo and a long pants, against the cold if we were having a picnic out in the park. After everything was done, we ended up leaving at about 1230pm.

Fraser Suites external.
Fraser Suites external.

Discovered that most of the eateries were closed, despite it being only Saturday. Drove some 10mins into town as the bleak weather didn’t provide for a nice weather for picnic. I was worried about parking and driving in town but it was quite alright, with quite a few parking options available. We ended up parking at Raine square, within walking distance to the main shopping areas.

First stop was to get lunch for ourselves and we found a small store called Ark Star Sushi. Ordered some ready made sushi and Teriyaki chicken rice with 2 drinks, came up to about $15. The food wasn’t really Jap standard in my opinion.

Ark Star Sushi.
Ark Star Sushi.
Inside Ark Star Sushi.
Inside Ark Star Sushi.
Teriyaki chicken and sushi.
Teriyaki chicken and sushi.

Left my wife to express milk while I brought baby K to roam around. The winter wind was furiously strong and I snuggled baby K a little more fearing that he might catch a cold. There were many shops around but I only went to Forrest place and snapped a couple of photos before heading back.

Perth shopping area.
Perth shopping area.
Forrest place.
Forrest place.

Wife was almost done and we went back to the info counter to enquire about the Apple Store. Went through the Piccadilly arcade and walked down along Hay street. Went into JR duty free but didn’t see the MacBook that I wanted and continued to Apple Store.

Piccadily Arcade.
Piccadily Arcade.

It was my first time at Apple store since there weren’t any in Singapore (only authorized resellers). And like my colleague described, they had the nicest of services, having one person to talk to you right from the entrance. Of course being hi tech, all the transactions was done through their on-hand iPod that had a credit card reader. The MacBook was delivered to where I was standing and there was even a staff that helped set it up. The intangible benefits of owning a Apple product was unfortunately not available to Singapore.

As we walked back to our car in order to help baby K sleep, we went first to the modern building Enex100 to use the toilet and it had clean toilets and even a nice huge parents room with a TV playing cartoons. Used the parents room to change diapers and bottle feed baby K. Unfortunately there was hot water dispenser like those in Singapore. There was a microwave that attracted some guys to enter and use, which could be a lost of privacy though.

Inside Enex 100
Nursing room at Enex100.
Nursing room at Enex100.

As we went back to Raine square, it started to rain also even with some sunshine. Baby K had fallen asleep and as we bought some donuts from Krispy Kreme, we went down to the basement food court to sit while baby K snoozed.

As shops were closing around 5pm and worried that we might not be able to get dinner and breakfast for tomorrow, we brought baby K to Coles central for buy microwaveable food. Baby K woke up after about an hour of napping which was great.

Raine Square shopping mall.
Raine Square shopping mall.

Paid for the carpark at the payment machine and it came out to be about $17. The parking fees in Perth were ridiculously high compared to Singapore.

We drove back to the hotel to put foodstuff into the fridge. Then I drove towards Kings’ park. As we arrived, it was already getting dark and the rain started to come down again. There was an area with a nice view of Perth and so we decided to return the next day.

Driving back was pretty straight forward and I managed to park at the carpark on the side of the hotel, which was in fact further than the one I parked the night before.

It was one of the rare moments where we were back at the hotel so early (7ish) but because it was cold and dark out there, and no more shopping at that time, we had no where else to go. Spent the evening microwaving the macaroni and cheese and my wife’s green curry chicken and other stuff, fed baby K and entertaining him and cleaning bottles of course.

Pasta and cheese with pumpkin and veg mash.
Pasta and cheese with pumpkin and veg mash.
Green curry chicken and instant noodle.
Green curry chicken and instant noodle.

Saturday night was sports night and mostly rugby was on TV. Wanted to watch the BPL but there weren’t such options on Fox.

Baby was cranky for no particular reason after waking up from a nap and that drove us mad. Had to take a while before both parents and baby cooled it off.

Ate the strawberries and cherry tomatoes we purchased from the markets in Fremantle and IGA correspondingly and it was really sweet! That made us think if we should buy more strawberries home. Baby K could only watch since we hadn’t try giving berries to him, fearing allergies.

Then nap time at 11pm while I blogged this till 12. Time flew past really quickly this National Day long weekend. The winter must had been the accelerant.