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Things To Do In Washington D.C From A Local

Hi there my beautiful lovelies hope you all are doing well. Growing up in Washington D.C. I have seen so much of it’s beauty and diversity. Today I want to share with you place you should not miss to visit in the nation’s capital. One of the biggest treasure of this beautiful city is it’s vast amount of museums and memorials, which are free to public.

Smithsonian National Zoo:

The National Zoo is within walking distance from where I grew up. It is one of the oldest zoos in the United States. It is part of the Smithsonian Institution and does not charge admission. Founded in 1889, its mission is to “provide engaging experiences with animals and create and share knowledge to save wildlife and habitats”. The best-known residents of the zoo are the giant pandas, but the zoo is also home to birds, great apes, big cats, Asian elephants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, aquatic animals, small mammals and many more. It used to take me all day to cover the entire zoo.

White House

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The most famous residence in the United States is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW in Washington D.C. It is the residence of the president of the United States of America. As I grew up in the city the fences became higher and higher. The White House has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in 1800. In 1814, during the War of 1812, the mansion was set ablaze by the British Army in the Burning of Washington, destroying the interior and charring much of the exterior. Reconstruction began almost immediately, and President James Monroe moved into the partially reconstructed Executive Residence in October 1817.  I have so many memories of the White House not only as a D.C. residence but also as a D.C. public school student.

The Washington Monument

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The Washington Monument an obelisk on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the Continental Army (1775–1784) in the American Revolutionary War and the first President of the United States (1789–1797). Located almost due east of the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial, the monument, made of marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss,is both the world’s tallest predominantly stone structure and the world’s tallest obelisk, standing 554 feet 7 11⁄32 inches or 169.046 m tall according to the U.S. National Geodetic Survey (measured 2013–14) or 555 feet 5 1⁄8 inches (169.294 m) tall according to the National Park Service (measured 1884). It is the tallest monumental column in the world if all are measured above their pedestrian entrances. Overtaking the Cologne Cathedral, it was the tallest structure in the world between 1884 and 1889, after which it was overtaken by the Eiffel Tower in Paris. If you are on the roof of any building in the District of Columbia, you will not miss this magnificent structure. I remember being their every fourth of July for the fireworks.

The Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials

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The Lincoln Memorial is an American national memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the western end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., across from the Washington Monument. When looking across the Reflection pool in front of the memorial, you can clearly see the Washington Monument standing tall. I still remember the fire work display that ushered into Y2K, how amazing it was to walk all the way home.

The Jefferson Memorial on the other hand is a presidential memorial built in Washington, D.C. between 1939 and 1943 under the sponsorship of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Situated on the Tidal Basin among the Japanese flowering cherry trees, the Jefferson Memorial is the perfect place to experience peak bloom during the Cherry Blossom Festival every year.

The U.S. Capitol

Recognized around the world as a symbol of the United States, the Capitol is the seat of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The huge dome, based on the dome of St. Peter’s in Rome, stands out above all other Washington buildings.

Like Washington itself, the building has grown over the years since the central portion was built between 1793 and 1812. The last addition, in 1958-62, enlarged the main façade where presidents take the oath. On the other side, a marble terrace offers beautiful views over the mall and the city.

Free tours, which can be reserved online, begin at the visitor center on the lower floor, where there is an interesting exhibition on the building’s history. To visit the Senate or House in session, you need to contact your Senator or Representative for a pass; foreign visitors can arrange visits through the visitor center.

Library of Congress

If you are at the Capitol, don’t forget to visit the Library of Congress. It’s the world’s largest library, modeled on the Opera House in Paris. You can visit portions on your own, but free tours disclose even more of its beautiful interior. Displayed here are one of the three surviving complete Gutenberg Bibles, an earlier hand-printed Bible, Thomas Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson’s personal library, and galleries filled with exhibits focusing on topics as varied as the musical careers of the Gershwin brothers and the work of editorial cartoonists and graphic artists.

Smithsonian Museum

One of the best thing about Washington D.C, is that the museums are free. Whether National Art Museum, National Air and Space Museum, National Holocaust Museum, to Museum of Natural History, National Museum of American Indian, Hirshborn Museum, National Museum of African American History and Culture, and National Museum of American History, you will find so much to see.

Beside the Smithsonian Museums, don’t forget to visit Vietnam War, World War II, Martin Luther King, and FDR memorials. There is no limit to the historic monuments and museums in this culturally rich and diverse city.

Finally, visit the local neighborhood, such as my hometown of Adams Morgan, or Georgetown, Navy Yard, Warf, Columbia Heights, downtown, Chinatown, Dupont Circle, or even now the famous Black Lives Matter Plaza. They will give you the front row seat to the city’s rich culture, diversity, shopping, and so many restaurants.

My dear beautiful lovelies! It is my utmost pleasure to give you a virtual tour of my hometown, Washington D.C, and its diverse, and rich culture, whether in its people or the food, you will not be disappointed in Washington D.C.

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Five Tips to Have a Fabulous Vacation without Breaking the Bank

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Here there my lovelies! Hope you are doing well. I know vacation is the last thing in our mind during pandemics, but is it? I for sure, can’t wait to things go back to a new normal, and travel is one such way to feel normal. Additionally, budget constraints may be put holiday thoughts in the back burner for you. However, it does not have to be the case. If you plan early you have a wonderful vacation without breaking the bank. I will share my own five tips to have a wonderful vacation without breaking the buck. Following these tips has allowed me to go on more vacations then the entire childhood.

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1. Air fare and hotels rentals to your favorite vacation spot: This may sound like a far-fetched idea, but it can within your reach. I had same thought process for years until I learned about this rewards point tip for a friend. My friends, there are various credit card companies that will give you hefty rewards for using their cards. Many cards have this introductory bonus available if you spend certain amount during the first three month. This might seem unattainable but if you think about it, it’s very much within reach. Check out the following rewards program:

a. Hilton Honors American Express Card: Here, not only there is no annual membership but you can 75,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of the card membership. Additionally, there are no foreign transaction fees. Furthermore, for each dollar of eligible purchases on your card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, you get 5x Hilton honors points, 3x points for other eligible purchase.
b. United Explorer Card Through this card you get 40,000 bonus miles if you spend $2,000 within the first 3 months of the card membership. Additionally, there is no annual fee for the first year, but you have to pay $95 annual membership fee after the first year. One perks that I really like about this card is that I get two check-in luggage free. Knowing how much the airlines charge for check-in bags, it’s a good perks to have.
c. Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card: Through the Bonvoy Bold Card you earn 50,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of the card membership. Additionally, there is not annual fee involve. You can choose to apply for the Bonvoy Boundless Card for a $95 annual fee, and you earn 100,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of the card membership. 100,000 points will give you 15 days free stay at the vast list of Marriott hotels.
d. Capital One Venture Card: With this card you are eligible for 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of activating the card, and you receive unlimited 2x miles for every $1 spent. If the spending requirement sounds intimidating just remember one thing. I was in the same boat but I have decided to pay my phone, utility, cable, car insurance bills, groceries through the reward cards and pay it right away as I would do through my bank. Before I knew, I have enough points to have a free vacation to Hawaii with my family, which was in my bucket list for a very long time.

2. Plan ahead: Planning ahead is a great way to make your amazing vacation dream come true without breaking the bank. I have planned each of the vacation that I have taken a year ahead. This allows you to have time to shop around for the best deals and save up for the vacation.

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3. Take Advantage of the Various Travel Booking Sites: There are various sites available for great travel deals. Site such as Kayak, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Priceline, Orbits, CheapOAir, Google Travel, Trivago, Hotels.com (for hotels), and app such as hopper to find the best flight and hotel deals for your travel destination. Often when you shop around early you can often get the best deal available.

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4. Sign Up for the Free Loyalty Programs: Hotels such as Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, and airlines such as Jetblue, Southwest, American Airlines, Delta, United Airlines all have free rewards program so that you can earn mileage and rewards points for every time you book through them. If you need to travel for business, signing up for the loyalty programs will really come to your advantage. For example, my cousin who constantly travels for work has accumulated a lot of mileage and hotel points to use for dream vacations. If you have to travel for work, use that to your advantage. Additionally, being part of the travel reward programs allowed me to receive emails about various deals, such as Southwest and Jetblue’s one-day deals starting at $49.

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5. Save your changes: Every day we spend money to pay for bills, groceries, and other miscellaneous expenses. If you set up to automatics changes for each of your expenses, before you know you will have enough money for your vacation. The money that you would not have paid attention to anyway will help to have your dream vacation. I have also saved for my vacations for setting aside the changes from the cash I spent and before I knew it, I had few hundred dollars to use during my vacation.

My dear lovelies! I am not trying to promote one site over another, but merely sharing from my own experience so that you can have your own vacation without breaking the bank. I grew up seeing vacation as a privilege. However, with cheaper flights and hotel deals along with the above tips have put vacation within my reach. They have allowed me to travel to places like Canada, Bahamas, Orlando, Chicago, Atlanta, Minnesota, and my favorite Hawaii.

Hope these tips help to prepare for your dream vacation without breaking the bank. I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. I would love to hear about the tactics you use to prepare for your dream vacation frugally. I would love to hear about your ideas.

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Oh Beach, I Miss Thee!

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Hi there my lovelies! Hope you are doing well. It has been so cold outside the past couple of day. I looked onto my desk and saw a layer of ice. The cold forced me to daydream about the beautiful beach that I love going to during the summer.

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“Oh the beach, how much I miss you at this time. I miss your warm sands playing with my feet and the waves dancing and singing with sands. One thing I like the miss about right now is the peace and calmness that I find deep in my heart looking at your vast horizon. You treat my mind and my soul. As Emilia Wickstead said, ‘To escape and sit quietly on the beach – that’s my idea of paradise.'”

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What is your favorite vacation spot? Where do you see yourself vacationing today? Please comment below. I really like to hear your feedback.

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Happy New Year from Dubai

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Hi Lovelies! Happy New Year from the beautiful city of Dubai. You may be thinking I am in Dubai right now. Actually, not really but one year ago today, I was celebrating New Year from Dubai. I decided to wait till now to share my experience with you. Dubai is a beautiful place to visit and I was only there for a day but I want to share my experience my experience with you, my lovely and wonderful readers.

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We left for Dubai on the mid-morning of December 31, 2015 for a close to 9 hours trip. We flew from Dulles International Airport. We flew by Emirates and went by Dubai timeline to celebrate New Year in the plane. At midnight UAE time, the flight attendants came by wearing the New Year hats wishing up Happy New Year. To be honest, this was the very first time in my life, I ushered in the new year above international water. My dear wonderful readers, during my visit to Dubai I have taken the time to take deep breath and take time to observe my surrounding. The result was to enjoy the moments even more and creating lasting memories.

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Emirates Park Towers Hotel & Spa
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Dubai Business Central Twin Towers

I were in the hotel by 9:00 am. I took a little time to freshen up and relax after the long trip. After that we went to the lobby and booked one of those guide tour to show us around the city. We highly recommend this as it will allow you to enjoy various part of the city with guided tour. Each hotel have various package deal, you have the option from 2 to 6 hours tour and even a desert tour. We visited various part the city including: Burj Khalifa, Burj al-Arab, Dubai Business Central Twin Towers, Emirates Park Towers Hotel & Spa, Jumeirah Emirates Towers HoteI, Dubail Mall, Al-Farooq Mosque, Jumeirah Beach, Atlantis the Palm, Palm Island and so on. I am also glad that we took a guided tour because even on January 1st it was in the mid to upper 90s in there.

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Burj Khalifa: Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, standing tall at 829.8m (2,722ft). Burj Khalifa was designed by Adrian Smith, then of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), whose firm designed the Willis Tower and One World Trade Center. Hyder Consulting was chosen to be the supervising engineer with NORR Group Consultants International Limited chosen to supervise the architecture of the project. The design of Burj Khalifa is derived from patterning systems embodied in Islamic architecture, incorporating cultural and historical elements particular to the region, such as in the Great Mosque of Samarra. The Y-shaped plan is designed for residential and hotel usage. A buttressed core structural system is used to support the height of the building, and the cladding system is designed to withstand Dubai’s summer temperatures. I was literally awestruck when I first saw the building ground up. It is humongous.  I tried to take picture of the entire structure from ground up and failed miserably. The building was too tall.  To me, the picture does not do justice.

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Dubail Mall: This mall is located at the foot of the Burj Khalifa and stretches across 1.1 million sq/m, it is the world’s largest shopping, entertainment, and leisure destination. There are 1,200 retail outlets, from Armani to Zara, or visit the Dubai Aquarium, children’s theme parks and the Dubai Ice Rink.

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Burj al-Arab: It is a luxury hotel. It is a five-star hotel, the highest official ranking. While the hotel is sometimes erroneously described as “the world’s only seven-star hotel”, the hotel management claims to never have done that themselves. It is also the fourth tallest hotel in the world. This beautiful architecture, designed to mimic the sail of a ship, is on an artificial island 280m (920 ft) from the Jumeirah Beach. The building stands tall talk 321m (1,053 ft).

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Jumeirah Beach: The glorious Jumeirah Beach lies along Dubai’s coast, providing stretches of soft white sand on which to relax and play. Our tour bus dropped up off their for 20 minutes to enjoy the view of the ocean and take pictures. It was very hot. It was the dry heat that made it hard to stand there. I stood near the water to enjoy the water a bit but the sand was very hot. We took the time enjoy some beach time. I enjoyed every moment of it because I knew that I couldn’t have done that in the east coast on January 1st, with temperature in the 30s.

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Al Falrooq Omar Bin Al Khattab Mosque: The mosque is named after Umar bin Al Khattab, a companion of the Prophet Mohammed who became the second Caliph after Abu Bakr and was given the title Al Farooq, meaning someone who distinguished truth from falsehood. It was a very quiet and serene place to visit. I am always fascinated by the European and Islamic architecture. We stopped and spent 10 minutes absorbing the environment and taking picture.  It is a beautiful place to see and the mosque is so beautiful. There are inscription in the walls, which are Ottoman inscriptions inspired by the Blue Mosque in Istanbul and had an Andalusian touch.

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Atlantis the Palm: Set on the iconic Palm Jumeirah island with views of the Arabian Gulf, this luxurious resort is 14 km from Wild Wadi Water Park and 15 km from Mall of the Emirates. The island is a man-made island in the shape of palm tree. The island consists of a tree trunk, a crown with 16 fronds, and a surrounding crescent island that forms an 11 kilometer-long breakwater. The island itself is five kilometers by five kilometers. It adds 78 kilometers to the Dubai coastline.

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Gold Souk:  The souk is located in the heart of Dubai’s commercial business district in Deira, in the locality of Al Dhagaya. The souk consists of over 300 retailers that trade almost exclusively in jewelry. One thing that I have learned about buying gold from Dubai, if you really want to buy gold from Dubai from gold souk then you really to haggle to get the best deal.

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Courtesy a friend of mine.

Dubai Museum: Finally, we ended the trip with visit to the Dubai Museum. It is the main museum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is located in the Al Fahidi Fort. When entering, one can see the fort constructed and the various displays that go along with it. From the fort, there is a path to the galleries, which display the general culture of the land, especially in the 1800s. It includes local antiquities as well as artifacts from African and Asian countries that traded with Dubai. We did not enter the museum but sat outside and enjoyed the outside view.

Overall, I always recommend to use guided tour to visit various places at Dubai. I know one day was not enough to visit Dubai. Next time, we will be there longer and enjoy more. Until then, we really enjoyed our day at Dubai. If you ever get a chance take a stop over at Dubai and take a guide tour of the city. A friend of mine did the same on her way to Australia.

I hope you enjoy the post as much as I loved writing this. Don’t forget to check out my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram @allaboutme3181.

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Boston in Day and a Half

Hi There! Happy Friday! Hope you are having a good day. Today, share my experience of my recent and very first trip to Boston. Though I have to say it was a very short business trip but I did enjoy it a lot. Hence, I will share with you can do during a one and a half day trip to Boston. This is by no means what you should do but this what my colleague and I need and had a great time in the process.

I went to Boston on September 8th and Boston had a record heat that day with temperature in the mid 90s. I took very early flight so that I can have the entire day to enjoy the city.

Hotel:

I stayed in the Colonnade Hotel. It’s located at 120 Huntington Avenue. Everything you need is just a few blocks away. It’s just a mile from the famous Fenway Park.  The staff was welcoming and helpful, especially, Norman the doorman, and the room was clean. The concierge staff was very helpful. One thing I have to say that I was little disappointed at was room service when I had a horrible headache I called for room service I was constantly transferred around, which was a little annoying since I needed to eat something before taking my medicine. Other than that, everyone was very nice an amazing.

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Trinity Episcopal Church:

Trinity Episcopal Church is beautiful church. It located at 06 Clarendon St. The construction of the church started on 1872. Being an Art History minor the architects of these old buildings really fascinates me. If you are in Boston and have time, you should go visit this place.

Boston Commons & Public Garden:

This is one of the most beautiful gardens I have visited. I have nature and it is so beautiful. The place is so scenic. I have willow trees and this garden is full of them. The swan boats were gliding quietly over the pond. There are always a beautiful variety of plants, flowers, trees and foliage. With majestic weeping willows, excellent people-watching, swans swimming by, I couldn’t do anything but smile. This garden is right adjacent to Boston commons, which is the starting point of the Freedom Trail, and the oldest park in the country.

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Whale Watching:

After a stroll through nature, why stop here? Take a cap to the New England Aquarium at 1 Central Wharf and take the Boston Harbor Cruise for 3 hour Whale watching experience. You are going have the time of your life. If the weather is nice you will see a lot of whales.

View from Boston Harbor Cruise

View from Boston Harbor Cruise

Shopping:

You are into shopping like I am there are great shopping places in Boston from my walk to the Public Garden I found H&M, Marshalls, Nordstorm Rack along Boylston St. On my way back to the hotel I stroll around on the

Copley Place, an upscale shopping center at 100 Huntington Ave. It stores shops, including Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior, John Varvatos, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Victorinox Swiss Army, Porsche Design, Tiffany & Co., Jimmy Choo, David Yurman, Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, Banana Republic, and Gap.

Prudential Center, I myself preferred the shops that prudential center located at 800 Boylston St, right across from the Colonnade Hotel. It houses for budget friendly stores such as Lacoste, Body Shop, Ann Taylor, Loft, Saks Fifth Avenue, Vera Bradley, and more. What I like most about this building is the Skywalk Observatory on the 50th Floor. You can have the most amazing view from the observatory. We had a business dinner there and we got to see the view of Fenway Park with a Red Sox game going on at the time. What a view!

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View of the Fenway Park From Skywalk Observatory
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View of the First Church of Christ from the Skywalk Observatory

Farmer’s Market, right close to the Copley Place, there was a farmer’s market where you could get fresh local items. I could not stop by more since I was on a tight schedule, but next time I to go to Boston for leisure I am sure to really stop by and enjoy for more.

Summary

My one and a half day trip to Boston was amazing. I cannot wait to go there with my family next time and enjoy more of it. My trip was short but I took few seconds just to stop and breath and see the Public Library from outside, say hello to the local people, just stop at the local farmer’s market for a just a second or buy a green tea lemonade from the Boylston St Starbucks and sit in front the fountain at 500 Boylston street before heading back to the chaos. Dear readers, wherever your travel, don’t forget to take your time to just take a deep breath and enjoy your surround and take in everything.

In front fountain at 500 Boylston St (Marshall Store)

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Trip to Chicago

The last few days, I have had the pleasure of visiting the windy city of Chicago for a conference.  It was a business trip, but my parents and my sister offered to come with me. Though majority of the time I was indoor learning various researches and findings on cardiovascular disease and presenting my own, I had the chance to explore parts of the city as well. Unfortunately, I visited the city during one of its record low temperature, making the outdoor exploration even more difficult. The five days I spent in Chicago, the highest temperature was on Saturday, with high temperatures in the low to mid 30s.

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View from Skydeck Worth It
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Willis Tower Loved Taking This Photo
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View from the Skydeck at Willis Tower

On day one, right after we checked into our hotel, we took a cab to Willis Tower, once the tallest building in the world for two decades. Visiting Willis Tower was the first in my list because it was for my grandfather. Growing up, I heard so much about this building and how I share the same last name and cultural background as the architect of the tallest building of the world, Dr. Fazrul Rahman Khan. The temperature was in the 20s and inside there were hundreds of people in line with a wait time of at least hour and a half. We had to go through security and long line to finally watch a video about history about the once called Sears Towers. F.R. Khan and Bruce Graham were inspired by cigarette sticks to come up with design of the building. The wait was all worth it, because the view of Skydeck was breathtaking and when I standing on the ledge, I felt that I was on the top of the world. Though I am scared of height, I had to stand at the ledge for my grandfather and it was all worth it. It’s was a feeling I will never forget.

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McCormick Convention Center View from Hyatt Regency McCormick
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View of Shops at North Bridge
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Wrigley Building from Wiki
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Snapshot of Trump International Hotel from the Riverwalk
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Tribune Tower from Wiki
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Crain Communication Building

On day two, after my presentation, I had most of free the time to explore the windy city and the temperature was gorgeous. It was in the low to mid 30s though windy as expected. Hence, we took a cab from the McCormick Convention Center to the Shop at North Bridge at 520 N Michigan Avenue.  This is a upscale retail place with stores, such a A/X, Boss, Bose, Louis, Vuitton, MAC, Porsche Design, Tommy Bahama, Sephora, Nordstorm, White House Black Market, and Forever21. There are other stores in the neighborhood such as Gap, Coach, Guess, Macy’s and many more.  After a little shopping, we walked through the “Magnificent Mile”. Along our walk we saw several Chicago landmarks such as the Wrigley Building, Water Tower, John Hancock Center, Tribune Tower, Trump International Hotel and Tower.  As we walked down, we walked over to the Chicago River Walk, Crain Communication Building.  Though, it was getting quite cold and windy, the view was breathtaking. I have to confess, I relied a lot on my maps app in my smartphone the entire time. We then went to the Millennium Park and the Agora in the south end of Grant Park. It has 106 armless, headless iron sculptures. The park also has the Buckingham Fountain in the park, one of the largest fountains in the world. Due to the brutal cold temperature, the next couple of days, and my busy conference schedule, before my flight back, we mostly spent indoors, enjoying the fine dining, such The Shor at the Hyatt Regency McCormick, and Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush at the 437 N 437 Rush St. However, a trip to Chicago is not complete until you try the famous Chicago Deep Dish Pizza. Nonetheless, we didn’t get a chance to visit the Navy Pier, or the Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium. One thing for sure, the next time we visit Chicago, it has to be during the summer when I can enjoy from a walker’s perspective and really enjoy all the city has to offer.

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Ariel View of Boston City
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Beautiful View

Beside the windy city, I also loved taking aerial view photograph of Boston City from the airplane when we switched plane to head home. It really gives a new prospective. I got to see the entire city in one big picture called macro perspective. In my public health of Epidemiology background macro perspective let’s you see pattern and symbols. When I was looking at the night view of the city of Boston from the top, I knew that I have to go to the city one day and meet the city up close and personal.

However, walking through the windy city of Chicago we got a micro perspective of the city. We saw the busy but friendly people. We got to see the small detail, such the sparkles in the children’s faces and the friendliness of the people and how they offered to take our family picture when they saw how hard we were trying to fit our faces taking family selfies, or the restaurant maitre d’ offering suggestion as to how to take advantage of the wonderful city in  few brutally cold hours.

Overall, the trip to the windy city has not only been informative for work but also been enjoyable as well for travelling purposes. Though brutally cold, I enjoyed walking through the streets, and McCormick Place and counting my walking steps with my ihealth step tracker. The brutal cold did not stop me from surpassing my 10,000 steps each day. My recommendation, don’t let something like brutal cold ruin your trip to a new place. It’s true that Chicago would not have been my ideal vacation place during winter but that did not stop me from enjoying my very first trip to the windy city.

Afterall, as Rachel Ann Nunes said “ Do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile, laugh as much as you breathe, and love as long as you live”.

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Veterans Day

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Today is Veterans Day. We celebrate and honor those who serve our country. I want to thank all the men and women who are or have served our country for the sacrifices they make every day to protect us to that we can enjoy the lives we leave.

Let us not confuse Veterans Day with Memorials Day. Memorial Day honors military personnel who died serving our country, especially those who died in the battle or as a result of the wound sustained in the battle. However, Veterans Day honors all those who served in the military.

While we honor those we sacrificed so much for us and our country, I wanted to showcase the memorials I visited, especially in the Washington DC area so many times honoring our veterans and fallen heroes.  It’s such a surreal experience walking through these memorials commemorating our nation’s heroes. I highly recommend everyone to visit these places when if you ever find yourself in the nation’s capital.

WWII_memorial

World War II Memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S., the more than 400,000 who died, and all who supported the war effort from home. It was opened to public on April of 2004. Every time I visit the place, I find a profound peace. It is flanked by the Washington Monument to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west.

vietnam-veterans-memorial
The picture is courtesy of http://living-in-washingtondc.com/

Vietnam War Memorial honors men and women who served in the controversial Vietnam War. It is located in the constitution gardens adjacent to the National Mall, just northeast of the Lincoln Memorial. The memorial was opened to public on November of 1982. The memorial includes the names of over 58,000 servicemen and women who gave their lives in service in the Vietnam Conflict. The memorial also includes “The Three Servicemen” statue and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.

The photo is a courtesy of Korean War Veterans Association
The photo is a courtesy of Korean War Veterans Association

Korean War Memorial honors those who served in the forgotten Korean War. It is located in Washington D.C.’s  West Potomac Park, southeast of the Lincoln Memorial and just south of the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall. The memorial was opened to public on July, 1995. It has several realistic sculptures of soldiers in trench coat, treading in the grass and on alert for enemy ambush.

This photograph is a courtesy of Donna Gail htttp://www.donnagailphotography.com
This photograph is a courtesy of Donna Gail htttp://www.donnagailphotography.com

Iwo Jima Memorial, officially known as the Marine Corps War Memorial is located outside the walls of Arlington National Cemetery. It is dedicated to all personnel of the United States Marine Corps who have died in the defense of the United States since 1775. The memorial features the statues of the six servicemen who raised the second U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II, on February 23, 1945.

We have memorials honoring the heroes who sacrificed so much for your protection and our country.  Visiting these places reminds us the coldness and cruelty of war and so much has been lost. Just go down with your family if not for anything just to sit down and enjoy the surrealistic beauty of these iconic memorials.

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