This is a picture post.
Enjoy some gorgeous photos of the last Summer days in Seattle…
“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are, let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in the quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.” ~Mary Jean Iron
A big day today! Chris flew in from Austin to run in the SF marathon race. Chris’s start time was 6AM, so we left our house accordingly to make it to the site on time. As expected, parts of SOMA were congested and Embarcadero was closed for the race.
A note to self – leave plenty of time for parking on the morning of the race. It typically takes 20 minutes (by car) to get to the Ferry building from my house. It took about 35/40 minutes this time around.
I had not realized the large scale of this event and wow – there were more than 25,000 runners this year! Going to these running events is inspiring but not motivating enough to get me to participate. One day!
Chris started the race around 6AM. Thank goodness the start line was at the Ferry Building. After he took off, I strolled down the Embarcadero, got a cup of joe at Blue Bottle and spent a few hours wandering around. Ferry building is so peaceful early in the morning and it didn’t get crowded until maybe 8/9 am.
As always, sharing some pictures in remembrance of the day.
Sunshine, parasols, blue sky, palm trees, beaches… Miami was a paradise!
I flew into Miami International Airport on Thursday morning for the very special wedding celebrations of M & R. Everything was perfect. Oh how He provides.. Every. Time. The weekend was a whirlwind! I took the red eye from Seattle to Chicago and then had a layover in Chitown (unexpectedly) for five plus hours. During those long hours of anxiety and frustration I met the kindest souls who eased those negative feelings and kept me sane.
I got a taste of the beaches and Cuban foods from my short trip and cannot wait to visit again for its beaches and… Cuban foods! I had the best Ropa Vieja (shredded beef with rice and fried plantain) and Cuban iced coffee at Puerto Sagua Restaurant on South Beach. See pic which doesn’t do any justice but you get the picture. ;)
Some pictures from our day at the beach:
Greetings from the San Francisco Bay Area, my home!
This is a long overdue post which will be short and sweet. I found a cheat sheet for SF tourists: http://www.thebolditalic.com/articles/5112-a-cheat-sheet-for-san-francisco-tourists-
Check it out! For other SF recommendations, check out my old posts: http://hellospaceworld.com/category/pacific-coast/san-francisco/
Hello from the Windy City!
Summer is the perfect time to visit Chicago and yes! I got to enjoy the good days of the city – thanks to A to the E. ;) I had an incredible opportunity to be a faculty member at my company’s training school. It’s surreal to acknowledge that I’ve been with my company for over four years and I am an instructor for the entry-level analysts. The visit started on Tuesday night – I landed at the O’Hare airport in the evening from a long flight from London. Tired I was but thrilled to meet fellow faculty members the next morning. Long story short, teaching was a very special experience and the one of the most rewarding things I’ve done (so far) in my career.
Given my three-week stay, I went out to Downtown Chicago for fun on two weekends. My training facility is in a quaint town called St. Charles which is 30 miles away from downtown. During the week, I spend my time taking a stroll on a local trail, biking and hanging out with my lovely colleagues (oh, not to mention I spent many hours preparing for the next day’s lessons. Teaching is so much more work than I anticipated. Nevertheless, I had such a great time learning the content myself and also thinking about ways to keep my students engaged). On the second weekend, my friend M from San Francisco flew in and we got to spend the weekend together at a flat we rented, exploring the city and grubbing delicious foods.
Chicago has a fantastic public transportation system and is fairly walker friendly as the city is flat. Here are some of my recommendations on what to check out – updated since the 2012 entry. Enjoy!
Architecture River Tour: This is a must. You can find a few booths set up on Magnificent Mile right by the water. 401 Michigan Ave is the building where you can spot the tour agencies.
- Millennium Park: Must see the iconic bean at this park. On Summer evenings, there are free performances at the park.
- Willis Tower: Standing on the skydeck overlooking the ground from high up. It’s a tourist attraction. For a reason.
- Hancock Tower: There’s a bar on the top floor where you can get a panoramic view of Chicago. Go here only when the weather is clear. There’s always a wait so I recommend making a reservation.
- Navy Pier/ Ohio Street Beach: Navy Pier reminds me of Pier 39 in San Francisco, where you see heaps of tourists, a ferris wheel (actually – SF has a carousel instead) and food joints where you can easily find Chicago hot dogs and other casual foods.
- The Art Institute of Chicago: Do you like impressionism paints? If you do, then you will like this museum. Seurat’s Sunday afternoon. Heart.
Giordano’s: Chicago deep-dish pizza is a must. Of all the popular joints (Lou Malati’s, Gino’s East, Pizzeria Uno, Pizzeria Due and Giordano’s), my favorite is Giordano’s. BBQ Chicken pizza is just a dish to starve for. ;)
- Any of Rick Bayless’s restaurants: Xoco, Frontera Grill, Frontera Fresco to name a few. This master chef is known for flavorful Mexican foods with twists. If you go to Xoco, you cannot not order its freshly made churros with a side of vanilla custard. #useddoublenegative #foremphasis One more – I found out Bayless has opened a restaurant at the ORD airport!
- Garrett’s Popcorn: Some may argue this is a tourist trap, but I say no it is not. You see locals waiting in line to get a bagful of just-popped and seasoned Chicago Mix (a mix of cheesecorn and caramel popcorn). You can smell the pungent, cheesy, sweet, buttery, just amazingly nose-catching aroma permeating within a block radius around the store.
- Argo Tea: This Chicago based tea cafe is by far my favorite cafe. I am a huge fan of drinks that have strong tea flavors. AT’s got it.
Tips for first-timers:
- Pack layers. This applies all seasons. It’s called Windy City for a reason.
- Bring walking/ shoes. Chicago’s a beautiful city where there are canals everywhere. Cherish them while saving a few bucks on tranpo.
- The Art Institute of Chicago offers free admissions to all Bank of America cardholders every first weekend of the month.
- Go to the bean on weekdays or early/ late on weekend to avoid a large crowd.
- Buy a weekend/ multiple-day CTA pass (Chicago Transit Authority) if you’re spending a few days in the city. One way bus ride is ~$2 while one day pass (unlimited bus/ train/ subway) is $10.