Tag Archives: Travel and Tourism

Granada, Spain

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Fun Fact: Granada means “pomegranate” or “grenade” and while I didn’t see either while I was in Granada, it was still quite the adventure. Granada is a hippie central and for that reason I loved it. It reminded me so much of my beach town at home in San Diego. There are many people called “perro-flautas” which are hippie/wanderers that have a dog (perro) and play a flute (flauta). Our teacher flirted with a few of them and bribed them with beer to tour us around the alternative side of Granada.
Darling white washed houses and traditional Spanish roofing tiles abound. The graffiti is colorful and inspiring. The vibe of the city is a positive one and it’s just so sunny! The Alhambra is breathtaking and you’ll wish you could move right into this expansive castle. Plan to spend a lot of time there as the gardens alone can take all day to explore. Granada is easily one of my favorite Spanish cities, you have to visit! 

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Cordoba, Spain

Cordoba is full of history and bursting with the traditional Southern Spanish culture. The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba is the main highlight, and for good reason. The combination of Muslim and Christian architecture is gorgeous and tells an amazing history. Cordoba has an unexplainable charm and is a romantic city to explore.  The small idling streets with whitewashed homes are beautiful to explore.  When you visit Spain be sure to take at least a day trip to explore Cordoba.

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Ciutadella Parc

Parc de la Ciutadella is a place for all of Barcelona to come, enjoy the sunlight and be themselves. You’ll see people painting in the park, relaxing with their loved ones and forming drum circles. At the top of the park you’ll see an Arc de Triomf, constructed for the 1888 World Fair.

It’s a great place to people watch on Sunday afternoons. Since nothing is open in the city, people tend to crowd toward the park. Be sure to visit when you’re in Barcelona to get a real feel for the city’s people.

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Chicago, IL

My most recent trip to Chicago was prompted by my Uncle’s wedding, which was absolutely spectacular! Visiting Chicago with the entire family was great fun and I have a few recommendations. Take the Chicago river boat architectural tour. You’ll learn so much Chicagoe history and it really helped to reinforce some concepts I learned in architecture school. The tours are fun and family freindly, everyone is sure to have a great time! I may have learned more on that boat tour than I did in architecture school! 

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Millennium Park is very cool to walk through. It’s full of odd modern art that you can look at and try to figure out what it could possibly mean. The giant bean, called “Cloud Gate” is the most popular landmark in the Millennium Park. Be sure to stand under here and take a funny picture. Also grab a beef sandwich at Al’s! 



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Christmas in Barcelona

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, as all good Americans know. But what they may not know is that Barcelona and much of Europe does amazing work with Christmas lights. From October to January I’d say nearly all city employees are working overtime installing, maintaining, and taking down Christmas lights. They don’t celebrate Halloween or Thanksgiving, so they can just skip right to the important one, Christmas. The city absolutely glows!


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Each street has it’s own pattern of lights that repeats and they seem to change every few years. This Christmas, 2013, they were nearly all white lights, which was a bit boring. But I’ve included some earlier photos too. Experiencing the holidays in Barcelona is amazing and you really should try to stop by some winter!

Since all the main roads have different lights, you’ll want to keep walking and walking to see them all. On my street, Rambla de Catalunya, they put giant noodles called “galets” on display. These are the traditional noodles in a meatball soup that’s eaten in Catalunya at Christmas time. These are fun for parents to put their kids inside for a Christmas photo.

Also for New Year’s be sure to wear red underwear for good luck! Also follow along on the TV to eat 12 grapes for the last 12 seconds of the year.

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Hollywood, CA

Hollywood’s walk of stars is a must visit when anyone from outside of America comes to visit you. This most recent time involved taking my Spaniard’s family to visit and take their picture with their favorite celebrity stars.

As for food while you’re in Los Angeles I recommend a visit to Pink’s Hot Dogs which is a staple part of LA history. They make giant hot dogs topped with an amazing chili. I also recommend a visit to Philippe’s which makes amazing French dip sandwiches. You can still buy a cup of coffee for 30 cents just like in the 1920s.  The authentic feel of this place is unbeatable!

Walk along Rodeo Drive to enjoy the nice cars and window shop at the luxury shops. If you’re lucky you’ll see a celebrity! DSC_1139 DSC_1141   DSC_1148 DSC_1152 DSC_1155

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