"Many journeys, plenty things to see", a wellknown phrase in my childhood. Very true indeed. After first walk in the soil of uncle Sam country, then poised to visit this big and wellknown country again and again.
Me and wife @ UN, New York
1. The first opportunity come up when an American, IT Consultant in my Bank looking for a special IT training for me in Washington DC. In the same time I joined IT seminar in DC too. I took my wife and 2 sons, high school along. United airlines landed at Dulles airport at May 24, 1991.
Course for Managers in Tecnical Environment for 4 days relatively expensive, $ 1.745 attended by American execpt me from Indonesia. I catched up the discussion a little bit hard from language point of view. Fortunately one of my group discussion was Burmanese American, understand my challenges.
Otw to Niagara Fall
We spent a good time together for long time, May 24 - June 20, 1991 sight seeing in DC, then enjoyed spacious Amtract train to Niagara fall before fly to Florida in the South. Before leaving back home, we stop for few days in Los Angeles, city of film stars in the West coast.
Kennedy space center @Florida
Funny thing happened and become sweet memory was when we finished dinner, we leaved Korean restaurant and a waiter run after us said :"Do you forget something ", he said about the tip. Tip is not custom yet in my country at the time. After hand over some $, we rushed back to the Hotel laughing out loud of this new experience.
Me and Pahala @Niagara Fall
On the way to Niagara fall, I asked my oldest son Monang :"Do you like study here ?". "Yes pap", he answered seriously. Surprise, I don't expect he, a quite character, wants leaving his family behind in Indonesia.
With Monang @ Olympia, Wahington
2. Soon after he graduated from high school in Jakarta, then me, wife and daughter Peggy took him to US for 1 year English course in Olympia, Washington state. This is our second went to US and for the 1st time Monang away from home alone. We say good bye , he standing, waving in front of our Hotel. My eyes wet, missed him a lots since then.
@ Bus shelter near Brea Mal, South California
After the English course was over then Monang moved to Colton, South California. Thingking of my oldestson, not too long, on Christmas, 4 of us, me, wife and daughter Vera, Peggy visitted Monang. We stayed at Hotel by renting weekly basis. We took the opportunity to shot photos in Los Angeles city in the night with beautiful XMass tree.
On Sunday, we attended GKJ church service, where Monang play as a drummer of the church's band. Ater the service, we chatted with Mr.Epi family from Bandung, West Java and teased my daughter Peggy said :" Come and study here and lived in our home".
Pahala, Wife, Peggy, Monang @ L.A
3. My daughter remembered the offer and tempted to join her brother to study in State. After Peggy finised 1st class of high school in Jakarta, then she transfered to Colton senior high school and lived in Epi's family house with 2 girls, daughter of the family. This is the 3rd visit to State.
Few days later, unexpectedly we got the invitation from Peggy class mate, Situmeang family in Lomalinda city, to come over to their residence. We never knew this family previously. This kind family prepare yummy dinner at their house.
In the next weekend both families traveled together to Midwest, to Arizona through Indian special settlement.
Step upstairs till the torch level
4. We are not fully satisfied visitted Washington DC before seeing New York close by in the East coast. So June 3 we landed in JF Kennedy airport and in two days took a city tour visitted the wellknown tourist destinations. Among other were United Nation building, Twin Tower and walk upstairs in Liberty statue at Ellys island.
This is the 4rd opportunity went to State.
@ Torch of Liberty statue
5. The 5th time, beyond planning, went to State again, when we got phone from Monang said :"Pap I have good and bad news", he said. He continued :"The good news is, we are ok and the bad news is Peggy had a car accident, but she is ok". Then we rushed fly to Los Angeles. Thanks God she was not injured.
In every visit to State, our children were very happy, because my wife will cook Indonesian menus, my kids accostumed since childhood and my wife is a good chef. We shopped in Oriental market nearby then take home for cooking. Our stomach are very hungry when the aroma of delicious spicy Indonesian food reac our nostrils. The most unforgetable one, the favourit menu is soft meat soup with bones. Kid's friends come along joint to enjoy the foods.
Few years later, Monang's friend took turn to treat us in cozy restaurants in US nor in Indonesia as well.
6. After 2 of my children study in US, then we offered our youngest, Pahala to join his brother, sister. He love to stay in Indonesia. but lately he tempted to try study in State too. We took him fly to Los Angeles and start to rent two rooms apartment in Colton city. This trip was the 6th to State.
On weekend we toured the next State, wellknown tourist destination for gambling dan boxing competition in Las Vegas. We are not plan to play gambling, just try spend few $ just for fun and many more attraction inside the huge building.
With my wife and 4 children at Las Vegas
My kids @ Los Angeles
7. Since 3 of my children study there, the right time to rent an apartment, then we may spend our 2 weeks holiday on Christmas and stay with them. On weekend, we decided to spend Christmas holiday to see wellknown bridge Golden gate in San Fransisco, North California.
We spend a whole day on the road by drive two cars from South California. We shot few fotos with Golden gate as the background for sweet memory for our family. Beside, we spend a day aboard the ship under Golden gate and visit Alcatratz prison too. This is our 7th trip.
8. At November 1994, the 8th visit, I had the opportunity to join 20 days course for Overseas Bankers from around the World, taken place in Wharton Scool of Bussiness, Philadelphia University. We stayed at suite room Korman Hotel for only $ 130/night.
I took my wife and oldest daughter along to State and dropped them in Los Angeles airport, join the 3 children in Colton apartment in South California. Then I proceeded fly to the East coast in Philadelphia University with 3 Bankers from Indonesia.
Few days before the course is over my wife plan to come and joint me in my suite room Hotel in Philadhelpia. When I picked her up in the airport she was not appear after all passangers out of the plane. Then I rushed to the phone dialed my son's apartment. "We came late to the airport", my wife answered. Then she continued :"I would come tomorrow", she laugh out loud.
We joined city tour of Philadelphia city, when the time almost enter Christmast, when roads decorated with Christmast ornaments and lamps. Very beautiful.
9. On our way back from bussines trip to Finlandia, I and my wife didn't buy tickets directly to Jakarta, Indonesia but routed fly to LAX airport, Los Angeles first and spend 2 weeks holiday with my children
Once in a while we go out for dinner in spicy Thailand restaurant and to be our regular outing while in State. The foods aroma and scent similar to our taste.
10. In the mid of 1997, economy crisis hitted Asia very hard, including Indonesia. A year later, Peggy and Pahala stop the study in State and return to Jakarta, Indonesia capital. Monang kept stay there and finally met his soul mate and got married.
Ten years after the crisis, in November 2007 I visitted them in their house at La Habra city and stay with them 6 months as visa allowed.
Since Monang stay apart for long period of time and we missed him so much, I took advantage together with him for 6 months, spend weekend including went to Curch service.
Take a break step down from my bike
I enjoyed travel with mountain bike everywhere in rather close places such as restaurants, coffee shops, malls, library and to the lake in the neigborough city.
Since I went to State many times, when landing at LAX, Los Angeles airport I feel at home just like landing in Jakarta, so many Asian faces in waiting room to pick passengers up. Also many words in many languages from many countries say Welcome, including Indonesia language "Selamat datang".
Many things we learn after visit this advance country including enjoyed free study for 2 of my children in high school. We could use our new knowledges obtained from State for benefit of my Bank and my country, Indonesia.