Wednesday, April 27, 2016

3 days in the windy city: My Chicago bucket list

Some of us have that city that we've dreamed of calling home. Mine was Chicago. 

I can't even pin point the exact moment I started dreaming of living in windy city, but this place that I had never even visited just stuck in my mind for years. When it was time for grad school, I found a school in Chicago that had the exact program I was looking for. I was so ecstatic, and without a shadow of doubt, I thought that was going to be my opportunity to move to Chicago. 

I can remember how heart broken I was when I did not get into this school. After the grad school rejection, I pushed Chicago out of my mind. Then sometime last year, Chi Town popped up in my head again, and I randomly bought a ticket and booked a solo trip to my dream city.

Chicago did not disappoint and I immediately fell in love with the windy city. The art, the stunning skyscrapers, and the general vibe of the city had me clicking my camera nonstop. Unfortunately, I lost most of the pictures I took with my DSLR camera—sigh! I was able to salvage a few, but most of the pictures in this post are the low-quality ones I took with my phone.*Insert sad face*

For the purpose of this post, I included 5 pictures I found online. These pictures are of The Chicago cultural Center, Crystal Garden, Interior of Holy Name Cathedral, Crown Fountain, and Buckingham Fountain. All pictures have been credited to the appropriate source. 

Enjoy...

Day 1
Once I touched down in Chicago, I headed to my hotel, freshened up and hit the town. The Flamingo Sculpture was the first art I came across. While it is a pretty neat sculpture, I wouldn’t advice anyone to go out of their way to see this
When I think of Chicago, what comes to mind is the vibrant Chicago sign that I have seen in a gazillion movies
So of course, I had to go out of my way to see the famous sign for myself
The millennium park is the area that houses Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the famous Cloud Gate (The Bean), Crown Fountain, and Lurie Garden
 In recent times, Cloud Gate has become one of Chicago's most popular sculptures
This stainless steel sculpture, Cloud Gate was created in 2006 by British artist, Anish Kapoor
How picturesque is this!
Crown fountain is a unique interactive piece of art in Millenium park
Photo Credit: Rstrain.me
Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park is where  the Grant Park Music Festival takes place
The pavillion is one of the world’s most unique and advanced music venue
 These metal head sculptures were created in 2014 by Spanish sculptor, Jaume Plensa. They were erected in celebration of the 10th year anniversary of Millennium Park
 Awilda sculpture by Jaume Plensa in Millennium Park 
When I was done at the park, I dragged myself to my hotel for a quick nap.  After my nap, I headed on out to hang out at a house party with my friend, YouTube Vlogger FabCocoBerry
Day 2
Next morning was Easter Sunday and I had planned to attend church service at Rockefeller Chapel; University of Chicago. Unfortunately, I had been sleep deprived for days, and did not hear my alarm go off. By the time I woke up, it was midday, so I decided to stroll around and enjoy the quite street ambiance. 
After my midday stroll, I hopped on a train to go check out Holy Name Cathedral

Holy Name Cathedral is one of the famous Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States
How impressive is the Gothic revival architectural style?!
Photo Credit: Flicker


After my brief stint at the church, I wandered around the city a bit, and then walked on the Michigan Ave Bridge 

Once I got off the bridge, I came across this interesting "Men in Suit" sculptures
Then I met up with my cousin at Vertigo Sky Lounge. The lounge has a roof top bar with an amazing view of the Chicago skyline.


Then we took goofy pictures
Manificent mile is shopping boulevard on the northern part of Michigan Avenue. I am not a big shopper, so I wasn’t too keen to visit. However, when I was done hanging out with my cousin, I decided to take a stroll down the famous shopping street.  It indeed is a shopper’s paradise. 
Photo Credit: 10best.com

After I was done walking the magnificent mile, I found myself at Cloud gate. How stunning is The Bean at night!


Day 3

My last day in Chicago started with a visit to the Sky Deck at  Willis Tower/ Sears Tower, the second tallest building in the USA, and 14th in  the world
I am terrified of heights and I froze right after taking this picture. Luckily for me, a kind stranger was nice enough to comfort me and help me up

Look ma, I did it!

Once I was done conquering my fear of heights at the Willis tower, I hopped on bus #124 and went to Navy pier.  The Navy Pier is an area on the shores of Lake Michigan. It comprises of gardens, shops, rides, and a host of other fun things

One of the highlight at Navy Pier is The Crystal Garden, an indoor botanical garden
Photo Credit: Flickr

After my Botanical experience, I headed to Buckingham  Fountain, one of the largest fountain in the world. Unfortunately, the water had been turned off for the season, but it was still great to see this historical landmark
Photo Credit: FineArtAmerica

Chicago Cultural CenterMy last point of call before heading the airport was the Chicago Cultural Center. This was worth the visit as I was gob smacked by the amazing interior
Source: Chicago Cultural Centre


The center also house the largest stained glass Tiffany  dome in the world—amazing!
Photo Credit: Anne Belmont Photography

The center also had some neat art work


That's all from my adventure in the windy city. Do you guys have that one city that you've always fantasized about? Or a country that has been on your bucket list and you just cannot just wait to visit?  Please leave a comment and share. Thanks!


Happy hump day chicas.



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Pale Pink VS Fuschia?

Now, I am a sucker for dark smokey eyes, but for this look, I chose not to smoke out the outer V of my eyes.  The smoked dark eyes always lends an edgy vibe , but because I skipped  this step this time, the eye makeup ended up way too bright.

Since the eyes were overly vibrant, I opted for soft pink lips (ColorPop Cosmetics: Tulle & Trap), but I later switched things up and tried a fuchsia lip color (ColorPop Cosmetics Highball liquid lipstick)

Undoubtedly, the pale pink lipstick look is my favorite; as the fuchsia lips was a tad too much an already bright eyes.

Am I in love with this look? NO! My eyebrows definitely did not cooperate this time :-(, and the silver eyeshadow in the inner corner could have blended better. Still, it was a fun look to try and I wanted to share it with you all. 

Which look do you guys prefer? The pale pink or fuchsia?

Have a fab week guys!


Friday, April 15, 2016

24 cool things I did in Lisbon, Portugal--Part II

Hey guys, this is the concluding part of my Lisbon adventures. If you missed part 1, please read here

 16. Stumbled upon a 500-seater restaurant-- Time Out Mercado da Ribeira

This is one place we stumbled upon by chance.  Time out Lisboa food hall is a newly renovated establishment that houses some of the best restaurants that have been highlighted in the Time Out Lisboa magazine
I have never been more confused about what to eat. With so many food options, it was hard narrowing down my choice.

17. Said a prayer at Jeronimous Monastery

The Monastery is where explorer Vasco da Gama spent his last night before embarking on the India expedition
How grand is the monastery!
Every inch of the architecture was well thought out and intricately crafted
Jeronimous Monstery was fun, but it was time for a little outdoor fun, so we crossed to the other side of the road walked to the Discoveries Monument

18. Visited the Discoveries Monument (Padrao dos Descobrimentos)

Lisbon is famous for its explorers such as Henry the Navigator, Ferdinand Magellan, the first explorer to circumnavigate the globe,  and Vasco da Gama who discovered the sea route to India from Europe. This monument was built to honor the countries explorers and other notable figures.
The northern bank of the Tagus river is a monumental place as this is where ships set to sail to explore and trade

19. Viewed the Cristo Rei Statue from the bank of Tagus river
In the far distance is the 25th of April Bridge and further on is the Christ The Redeemer, a replica of  Rio de Janiero's famous statue

20. We stomped all over Portugal

In the square that houses the discovery monument is a mosaic map of the world and a compass that shows the routes taken by explorers and the dates they embarked on their explorations. Tee and I located Portugal on the map and snap, snap! When we were done here, we made our way to Belem Tower


21. I kept watch over Lisbon from Belem Tower
Belem tower was a military fort and was built to guard the entrance to the harbor. 


How picturesque is Belem Tower

Belem Tower is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site





A view from the top



22. Watched street performances in the DownTown area of Chiado-- Largo do Chiado  


This downtown area features tons of shops is a traditional shopping area that mixes old and modern commercial establishments. We walked down the city’s famous shopping street Rua Augusta, and just took in the lively downtown vibe, and caught few street performances


I even caught this on video

23.Stayed in an uber cool apartment



24. Took tons of pictures
Lisbon is known for its tiles and tile building, so of course I had to take a picture of this pretty blue tiled building
There are colorful buildings on every street!

It was indeed happy times in Lisboa

Peace out Lisboa

Hope you guys enjoyed my Lisbon series. Barcelona adventures coming up soon. Have a fantastic weekend.