Monday, September 3, 2018

Sleepless In Seattle

My husband and I took a short weekend trip to Seattle to get a taste of what the city has to offer. This being the year of traveling more within the US, Seattle is one of the cities that I have wanted to visit for the longest time so I was more than excited to check it out and cross out yet another "would love to visit" city off my wish list. Two days isn't much but I figured it's better than nothing so with that in mind, we focused on the highlights of the city.

Pike Place Market

A public market that's been in operation since 1907 and located in the heart of downtown Seattle, this is where we decided to start our adventure. The place was packed! not just inside the market but the surrounding area as well, it is after all in the heart of downtown. I wasn't complaining at all and if anything, just seeing the crowds of people made me more eager to explore plus the sun was out in it's full glory and the day was just beautiful so what was there not to be happy about?

Space Needle

Next up was a visit to the Space Needle, Seattle's most iconic and recognized landmark. To be honest it appeared smaller than I expected so that took me by surprise but it did not deter us from checking it out and going all the way up to get a 360 degree aerial view of the city. Surprisingly, the wait wasn't too bad! tickets were being sold in time slots which I think is meant to control the's just my guess, but hey! the most important thing is we got in pretty fast when our time slot came up.

Once we made it all the way up to the observation deck we got some pretty good views of the city and it's only then that I realized how tall the tower actually is. Perspective does tend to shift when you are getting an aerial view of everything down below and it all appears so tiny making you aware of how vulnerable everything down below really is.

Chihuly Garden & Glass

This is a museum showcasing the glass art work of an artist named Dale Chihuly. Museums are just not my thing but this museum had been highly recommended plus it is located right next to the Space Needle so we figured why not check it out to see what the fuss is all about. We saved this for the following day since part of the exhibition had already been closed for the day.

We came back the following day and all I can say is that I am so glad we got to check out this museum because the artist's work is so pretty! who knew you could do so much with glass.

Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour

We decided to take a one hour harbor cruise so we could learn a little bit more about the city while enjoying the skyline view from the water. The guide on the tour was very lively and educated us on some very interesting facts and history about Seattle, I would recommend this tour if you are interested in learning more about the city otherwise if you are only interested in the view of the skyline I would recommend taking a ferry to Bainbridge, which is cheaper.........actually a friend of mine who used to live in Seattle had recommended this but I decided on the harbor tour just because I wanted to learn more about Seattle. If you ask me now, I can't even remember half of what the guide much for wanting to learn more about the city. 

After the cruise we debated on whether to check out the Seattle Aquarium but we both decided not to because we were just not that interested, to each their own, right? we headed back to Pike Place Market to get something to eat then took advantage of being in the area by taking photos in front of the first Starbucks, you don't even want to know how long the line to get inside was.

That's it folks! it wasn't a very jam packed trip and there was no desire to do too much within those two days, we just wanted to do enough to get a taste of Seattle and still have some free time to relax and do absolutely nothing, our mission was accomplished so that made for a good trip. Do watch out for the next travel update in November when we make a major international trip, until then.....adios! from the both of us.

Random Thoughts of The Day:

Seattle city pass, get it if you want to enjoy the highlights of the city cheaply because it covers all the entrance fees with one price. Trust me, entrance fees into some of the sites do add up and at the end of the day you are better off getting a city pass which will save you some money, lesson learned indeed!

Seattle honestly underwhelmed me, you know how you can get excited about visiting certain places then when you finally visit it's like, "that's it?!" that is how I felt about Seattle. Don't get me wrong, it's a pretty city but it just did not "wow" me. Granted, I only saw a tiny part of the city so I am sure I missed out on a lot more but so far that's my impression.

Uber and Lyft are such life savers but boy do those charges add up. Speaking on these app based rides, Toyota's seem to be very popular here with Lyft and Uber drivers, it's an observation that both my husband and I noticed. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Saying Goodbye to Boston

All good things must come to an end unfortunately and my trip to this city is no exception. I must admit Boston surprised me with what it has to offer and I can honestly say that it's been one of my best trips so far. The combination of spending time with my friend Angelica who is such a sweet heart and exploring this city with tonnes of entertainment options, made my stay all the more memorable. I left Boston early this morning and I am back home reminiscing about some of the trip highlights which I will share below.

Newbury Street

A two mile stretch of a pretty street filled with boutiques, restaurants/cafes and salons. The beautiful brownstone buildings add to the appeal of Newbury and I would definitely recommend a stroll along the street especially on a nice sunny day.

Beacon Hill

Pretty neighborhood known as one of Boston's oldest as well as most expensive. It's worth your while checking it out and taking a stroll along it's streets, if you love taking photos you will not be disappointed because the area is highly photogenic.

Boston Common

It's America's oldest public park and people come here to jog, walk along the paved paths or just chill out. The African Festival that I had mentioned in my prior post took place at this park and we of course attended. The turn out was pretty good and the event was so much fun.

That's it folks, my last day in Boston was hectic as we spent the whole day out and about. At night we decided to go to a Haitian nightclub to end the night on a high note, loved the music! we danced, laughed, drank and had a very good night. Wouldn't have wanted my last night to end any other way.

 This pretty much sums up the night, good times indeed! and with the best company.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Boston's Carnival Parade

So far I am really enjoying Boston and what the city has to offer, Angelica and I have been up and about exploring and attending the numerous summer events taking place in this city. By the time we get to her apartment at the end of the day I am usually so tired that updating this blog is the least of my priorities. Today we attended Boston's Caribbean Carnival parade, we actually just found out about it last evening through one of Angelica's friends and we decided to check it out.

We thought we would spend maybe a couple of hours then move on to something else as we weren't expecting much but it turned out to be so much fun that we spent the whole day at the event and ditched the other plans we had. It was a day well spent and I will let the pictures do the talking........

That's it folks! keep checking in for more updates as tomorrow we attend another event that I am really looking forward to, The Boston African Festival. This should be fun!

Random Thoughts of The Day:

There are so many restaurant options for different kinds of food here that I have made it my mission to try a dish from a different country everyday. We have had some Afghani food, Cabo Verdean food,  Jamaican food (ok, I have had this before but it still counts). Next we are going to try Haitian food.

I was telling Angelica how the trains here look so old, out of curiosity I looked up information online to see how old they are. Turns out the Boston subway system dates back to 1897 and it's the oldest in the US. Well, as long as the trains get you from point A to B that's what matters right?

It's funny how always without fail I look forward to a trip, buy the ticket, then totally lose interest in traveling a day or two before the trip. I literally try to talk myself out of the trip but of course I end up getting on the flight anyway because there is no way I am losing money over some silly fickle tendencies. After traveling I always end up having so much fun that I wonder why the heck I was grumbling prior to the trip. Needless to say it wasn't any different with this trip but now I am having so much fun that I can't believe I ever thought I wouldn't. Yes, I am weird like that.

I have to hand it to some of the folks who had huge elaborate costumes at the Caribbean Parade, those things appeared heavy and to make matters worse it was hot and the parade route was 2 miles long. I really don't know how they managed to carry on but kudos to them!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Up & About In Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is one of the oldest cities in the US and it so happens to be one of the cities that I have always wanted to visit but I was just never proactive in making the trip happen. My friend Angelica who I met in Cali, Colombia moved to Cambridge to attend Harvard University and I can't tell you how many times promises of a visit were made. I finally decided to fulfill my promise so here I am, in Boston. Well, currently staying with Angelica in Cambridge but easily commuting to Boston to see what the city has to offer, so far we have visited the following places....

Boston Public Garden

It is the first public botanical garden in America that was established in 1873. The garden is very pretty and ideal for relaxing on its grounds or taking a walk along the various pathways it has. It's not very big and a walk around is very do-able and highly recommended.

 Four years later and it's like we never missed a beat with our it miss a beat or skip a beat? hmmm?!

The Freedom Trail

A 2.5 mile trail through downtown Boston that has 16 sites that have historical significance in the history of the US. The trail is pretty easy to follow and there are signs all over to guide you, there are guides who can take you through the trail explaining each site but we opted to go through the trail by ourselves. I didn't take pictures of all the sites as I was distracted by all the activities around but I managed to get a couple.

Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market

These two are actually part of four places located around a cobblestone promenade, the other two places are north and south market. It's a nice area to watch street performers, do some shopping and grab something to eat.
PS: Faneuil Hall does have a long history which I am not going to pretend I am well versed in but I read some bits and pieces prior to visiting just to get an idea of what the site is all about.

Inside Quincy Market, there were plenty of food options that it got overwhelming.

Boston Harbor

Located adjacent to the city of Boston, it includes almost 40 miles of pedestrian friendly public access to the water's edge. We didn't of course walk along the whole harbor, but we still enjoyed what part of the location had to offer.

That's it folks, today was a long day comprised of long walks (just how I like it) and we managed to see more than I had anticipated. I didn't include all that we did as I am too tired to go into more detail but at least you get an idea of what we have been up to so far.

Random Thoughts of The Day:

I am very proud of my friend Angelica, just thinking of how far she has come and to now be attending Harvard University where she will be graduating with a doctorate degree. Very impressive indeed! her story was actually featured in some newspapers in Cali.

Today evening after doing all the sight seeing we could during the day, we went to an art exhibit that Angelica had planned. To be honest with you I thought I would be so bored but didn't have the courage to tell Angelica this because she had really been looking forward to this exhibit. Well, turns out I loved it! what made it even more interesting is that she was interpreting some of the art for me and I got to learn a lot about the story behind the various artists' work. She is very knowledgeable about art as it's her area of speciality.

Drivers here seem very aggressive, I can't tell you how many times I have witnessed road rage and it's only been my second day here! 

Barack Obama's daughter attends Harvard and Angelica has spotted her and her boyfriend several times around campus. I wonder if she goes through a lot of scrutiny being the daughter of a former president, now that's pressure I would hate to live with.