Chicago

Chicago! Known as the Windy City. It was a beauty. There’s so much sightseeing to do and you just need a few days.

My last blog was just about Chicago’s Navy Pier. This blog will be all about the various things that you can do in Chicago.

Let me start by saying get tickets for the Big Bus hop on and hop off bus. There are many different ways to get the bus. You can get a day pass, 2 day pass or even a 3 day pass. We got the day pass but a 2 day pass is worth it. You will learn a lot of history about Chicago and also get driven to all the main attractions in Chicago. It was worth every penny for this bus.  We got to see Chicago and learn at the same time. The buses run until 7 but make sure that you check which stop you are at because certain stops end earlier.  I know that the last stop for the Skydeck is 5:15pm. Make sure that you plan accordingly.

360 Chicago is a skyscraper that allows you to see Chicago’s skyline from the top. It was not busy but we also went later morning. We were able to view all of Chicago from the top. They have a special attraction at 360 called the Tilt.  You stand holding on to the glass and it tilts 30 degrees.  It was cool to do.

Next stop was Millienum Park to see the bean. When I think of Chicago, I think the bean. Everyone goes to see this bean which is art but amazing.

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Another to do in Chicago was the Shedd Aquarium. This Aquarium was enough for my boys to enjoy. There was a lot of art of various sea creatures made from recycled materials. It was very cool to see. There were various creatures from the local lakes.

One of the last places that we went to was the Skydeck. There of course was a longer wait. Everyone wants to come and see Chicago this way.  The Skydeck is glass that extends outward and you get to see the city below you. We wanted to go at around 2 o’clock but there was a 3 hour wait for it. We went again later in the day at around 6 and we waited about 30 minutes to get to the Skydeck.  It was worth it. It gets crowded so if you are not a fan of crowds go really early when they open at 9am or after 6pm. They close at 10 pm.

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We did all these attractions in one day.

Happy traveling!!!

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Chicago’s Navy Pier

Traveling is great because you get to experience something new and different.  It’s great to have a change of scenery.  This summer, my family and I will be traveling a lot because we are able to.  Last summer I was pregnant with my second son and it was hard to travel.

Our first trip this summer was Chicago.   First stop: Navy Pier. It was beautiful.  There is a lot to do at the pier.   There is so much to eat at the pier.  You can have whatever you want: Bubba Gump, Margaretville, Ben & Jerry’s and so many other places.

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We walked around Navy Pier and stopped by Crystal Gardens.  It was beautiful.  The trees and plants were beautiful.   There was water turned into art.  My son loved coming to the gardens and just watching the water.  Crystal Gardens leads you to the Pier Park which has rides to go on. Some of the rides that you can go on are the Swinger, Carousel, Climbing walls and the main attraction the Centennial Wheel.  The Centennial Wheel allows you to see Chicago’s skyline from 200ft up  in the air.   You sit in gondola’s that take up and around.  It was beautiful.

 

Also at the Navy Pier, you can go and catch a cruise.  One of the cruises that we took was the Shoreline Architecture River Cruise which was a 75 minute boat ride around the Chicago river.   It was very relaxing and we learned a lot about the architecture of Chicago.  We saw many rivers, bridges and buildings that shape the beautiful city.

There was something interesting to me when we were at Navy Pier was that if you are under the age of 18 you need an adult to come with you.  I think that is because there is drinking allowed on the pier.  You can pick a to go drink at one of the restaurants and just take a walk. I definitely recommend visiting the Navy Pier!

 

Happy Traveling!

 

NYBG Orchid Show 2018

The Orchid Show is one of my favorite things to do in New York City during the spring.  It is the start of spring and orchids are beautiful flowers.  They are one of my favorite flowers and I enjoy going to the New York Botanical Garden to view the show every year.  This year it is the 16th show that the New York Botanical Garden is hosting.  It’s amazing and no wonder that so many people go to visit.

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This year the design of the show was created by an artist named Daniel Ost.  According to the website, he is considered the Picasso of flower arranging.  It’s amazing to see what an artist does with flowers and how they are able to arrange them and make a masterpiece.   Below are some photographs which I took while viewing the show.  I hope this inspires you to go and view them also.

 

Orchids are a beautiful flower that come in a variety of colors. I couldn’t get enough of taking photos of them.  A symbol that spring is here!

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Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine is a nice coastal place to visit.  I’ve always wanted to go to Maine and Portland was the closets to New York. Our hotel was the Hyatt and it was in Old Port. That’s where all the major places to visit are.  The Hyatt was nice.  Parking was either self which was $20 a night or valet which was $22 a night. The lot that they used was a block away.  We valeted because it was easier for us.  They had breakfast every morning which was nice. They had toast, English Muffins, cereal, eggs and so many other choices.  Our room had the view of the bay.  They also had a pool and fitness center. We used the pool. It was small up to 4 feet only.

The day that we arrived it was raining but we were able to get a few things done.  For lunch we went to Duck Fat which we had to wait 20 minutes because it is a popular spot.  When we sat down to eat, we had Beglian fries and pouting fries. They were very good. They were cooked twice in duck fat.  We all had sandwiches. Their menu is small because it’s a quick eats place. It still was a very nice place and the food was good.

When the rain stopped, we walked around the old port. We found some souvenir stores. I always enjoy looking for magnets and ornaments from places. The one place that I found all my souvenirs was in a place called The Blue Lobster.   We of course found a lot of ice cream places and had some ice cream before dinner.  Dinner was an adventure. We went to J’s Oysters and we were told  there was a 30 minute wait. We waited an hour to get seated. When we went inside there were empty tables. We were really upset about the service at J’s. I had a lobster pasta which was good.  The view was nice though.  See the photo below.

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The next day we visited Cape Elizabeth (see blog before this one).  We came back and then went to the Portland Science Center which had a special show in of Pirates. These were artifacts from a ship that was lost which was taken over by Sam Bellamy. It was really cool to learn about pirates life. I learned things that I didn’t know.  That was a nice experience.  We really enjoyed Portland, Maine. It’s a nice town to visit for a  few days.  Happy travels.

Cape Elizabeth

We took a trip to Cape Elizabeth, Maine.  We stayed in Portland, Maine and took a drive to Cape Elizabeth. It was beautiful.

We went to the Portland Head Lighthouse. It was amazing. You’re able to walk around the area and explore for free. There is a museum there that is attached to the lighthouse and there’s a small charge for it. We didn’t do it because our son would not handle it.  We were able to walk around and look at the lighthouse in different views.   After exploring the lighthouse, we went for a walk.

The walk was around the around the area, around the lighthouse. You were able to get a wonderful view of the lighthouse and the cliffs. I’ve read that the lighthouse is one of the most photographed in the world and I have to be honest it should be. It was simply amazing to see. I really enjoyed taking in the view and how amazing it looked.  See the photo below.

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After the lighthouse, we went to the cliff walk. This was a nice walk around the area to see all the scenes around the lighthouse and Fort Williams Park.  We walked and of course took lots of pictures with the beautiful scenes.  It was relaxing and breathe taking. Our friends went down to climb the rocks. We didn’t because of our son and the fact that I’m 7 months pregnant so it was not possible for me.  See the photo below of some of the things that we saw.

 

After the cliff walk, we walked over to to Fort Williams Park.  It’s an abandon Fort that we were able to talk and explore ourselves. We walked up the stairs and were able to see the beautiful views from there. It was simply beautiful.  I love to travel to coastal places because the views are amazing and beautiful. I hope this inspires you to travel and see the beautiful views of Cape Elizabeth. Happy travels.

 

Queens Zoo

The Queens Zoo is located in Corona, Queens New York. It is a Wildlife Conversation Society Park.   It is a small zoo that goes around in a circle.  You are able to see all the animals this way.  There is also a petting zoo there as well.  They are open until 5:30 pm on weekends from 10 am.   These are the summer hours from April to November. During the week, they are open from 10am until 5pm.  They are also open during the winter months from November until March.  The hours are from 10am until 4:30pm.

Yesterday we went with our son and nieces for a nice afternoon at the zoo.  It was a prefect day. The kids got to see many animals and spend time together.

Some of the animals that you can see at the Queens Zoo are as follows: lots of different ducks at the waterfowl marsh (where you can feed the ducks for 25 cents), alligator, sand hill crane, bald eagle, lynx, puma, Roosevelt elk, owl, coyote, sea lion, bison, pronghorn antelope, push, chacoan peccary, thick-billed parrot and an Andean bear.  There is also an aviary with many different kinds of birds.  That’s a lot of animals for a small zoo.

The petting zoo has a lot of domestic animals.  The kids are able to feed them for 25 cents as well. Some of the domestic animals are pigs, goats, wheels, llama, horse, donkey, and chickens.  The kids had a great time feeding the animals and we were there for a while feeding them.

If you are looking for a quick place to visit, definitely go and check out the Queens Zoo.  It makes for a wonderful afternoon with your children. Happy traveling.

Orchid Show 2017

I love orchids.  They are one of my favorite flowers.  So of course, every year, we try to go to the orchid show at the Botanical Gardens in New York.   This year the orchid show was held from March until mid-April.   The theme of the orchid show was Thailand.

When you enter the conservatory, you enter a magical world.  There were huge elephants made from bushes covered in orchids.  It was beautiful.   As we continued through the conservatory, we saw many different types of orchids.  There were many different colors and sizes.

I was amazed by the beauty of these flowers and it of course inspired me to get my own orchid for my house.   When we got to another part of the conservatory, there were more orchids and beautiful in color.   They also had these cute little pineapples that grow in Thailand and were ripe and ready to eat.   I have never seen such cute pineapples.

I would recommend visiting the Botanical Gardens to see these orchids when they have them.  Every spring it is a nice way to start the beautiful season of rebirth.  Below are some photos from our trip to the Botanical Gardens. DSC_0732.jpg