Travel: Memories of Minnesota

year 2007, almost half a decade already passed, and this is the only time that i’ll get to write about my 1st official business trip experience in the us. i was sent on a 3-week training (which i’d rather call as ‘w-o-r-k’) to st.paul, minnesota together with 3 other colleagues. i remember that time i was very excited since it’s my very 1st onshore assignment and i’ve never been to any part of the world except metro manila. haha

anyway, i went there on a summer so i never experienced winter and the joys of building a snowman or throwing snow balls. nevertheless, it was still a memorable experience since the company shouldered everything and i was fortunate because i get to travel for free. 🙂

i stayed at a 2-bedroom apartment while the other guys stayed at a separate hotel. the place was too big for 1 person. at first it was a bit scary but then eventually got used to it.

since i’m the only girl among the group, i spent most of the time exploring the places alone. i make the most out of my 3-weeks stay because i feel that i’ll never get the chance to go back there *easily* again.

sea world 

mall of america

downtown st.paul

like any people who go out on a business trip, there are days that we go out as a group and enjoy sight-seeing this laid back city.

target center at minneapolis

albertville premium outlet stores

st. paul saints baseball game

university of minnesota

one of the best things about traveling is that you meet new people along the way… 🙂

pinoys based in st.paul and a local choir at the market

…and celebrating birthday with a bunch of hot girls (i think the guys enjoyed it more than i did) *haha* 😉

hooters birthday bash *woot woot*

st. paul is not as highly urbanized as those major cities you see in the movies such as new york and chicago. there are times you will be surprise to see that shops are already close as early as 7 or 8 pm. what it lacks in glitz and glamour, it compensates for the beautiful surroundings as manifested by the blooming flowers and shady trees along the sides. they said i was lucky as it’s not winter that time. otherwise, i would have to endure the as low as -15 to -20 degrees celsius temperature of winter.

Travel: Chicago and Windy CIty

chicago or “the windy city”, is the largest city of illinois and the 3rd most populous city in the united states. i went there 5 years ago while on a business trip. luckily, my good friend barbie lives there and she arranged if we could meet up. she was on a long-term assignment with one of the clients and rarely goes home to the ph. she got excited when i informed her that i’ll be going there. as it was also july which is my birth month, she bought the round trip tickets (from minnesota to chicago) as her birthday gift to me. 🙂

i spent only 3 days in the city since i need to go back to st.paul for work duties. after arriving from o’hare international airport, we went straight to a restaurant for dinner and catch up stories. early morning next day, we strolled around her neighborhood then went to a theme park during the afternoon. unfortunately, i don’t have any pictures of our ‘six flags adventure‘ because our things got stolen (including my camera) after we rode the roller coaster. we put our things on the bag disposal box and by the time we’re about to get them, our things vanished in thin air. i guess they saw us taking pictures while in the queue (alam niyo naman pinoy mahilig mag picture – haha). that was one of the unforgettable moments. the 2nd one was when we rode the ‘raging bull‘ roller coaster, and we sat at the front row. it was my first time to seat at the front and i hate it. but since it was my birthday (and not to mention that i didn’t spend a single centavo on this trip), i was forced. haha! 🙂

the raging bull — tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster in the park

the following day, we went to downtown chicago for the city tour. this is where the ‘wow-ito-na-nga-ang-us!‘ moment because it’s different from st.paul. chicago is highly urbanized and commercialized as compared to the simple and laid back st.paul city.

downtown chicago

we went to navy pier and smith museum of stained glass,

along navy pier

inside the stained glass window museum

and there’s the millenium park, which features various attractions such as the cloud gate, crown fountain and wrigley square

the cloud gate

crown fountain

wrigley square

and passing by art institute of chicago 

 art institute of chicago
walking further along michigan avenue

walking tour on a summer day

and then we went to the sears tower (now change to willis tower), once the tallest building until surpassed by the petronas towers (general info achieved pang cash cab asia!)

sears tower

here’s the view from the top

from the top 

i miss my friend barbie. haven’t talk to her recently since she’s busy with her family life. but despite our distance, she’s still one of my closest friends whom i miss so much.