Barcelona – in 4 Hours you can do it

Casa Mila - La Pedrea entrence to parking garage design

Casa Mila – La Pedrea entrence to parking garage design

4 Hours to see the top sights in Barcelona.

With only 4 hours to show my partner Barcelona I had to choose wisely because, there is no doubt it is the most culturally rich city in Spain. Our goal was to get a grand overview, and create the excitement of “I want to see and experience more” so we could plan to come back again and again to this city.

Grab a free map and set your day

Map our your day, pick the sites you want to see.

Map our your day, pick the sites you want to see.

Circle the top spots you want to see

It has vivid landscape, one that is reminiscent of both, Catalan Art and Islamic Architecture that have resulted in a beautiful and diverse culture, filled with tradition and architecture.  While visiting Barcelona, chart out a route which to include certain spots, sights, landmarks. These spots are no doubt an iconic representation of Barcelona. Just a sample and a quick look at the landmarks will show you why this city is so beautiful, unique, and deserves more than four hours.  I knew we had a lot of ground to cover, and would have to miss some of my favorite spots, but I made the decision to go, see, and do as much as we could. Knowing there would be much more ahead for us.

Get your first glimpse of Gaudi with your first stop La Sagrada Familia

It’s a good idea to start at La Segrada Familia

I decided to start our quick city tour at La  Sagrada Familia. We jumped in a cab and went early to see this amazing work by Antoni Gaudi. Although we couldn’t spend time inside, I do suggest if you have more than four hours you don’t want to miss inside. A travel hint, try to book tours before you travel to Barcelona to save time and money. Once we saw the wonder of La Sagrada familia, I knew my partner would have a strong desire to see more of Gaudi. So we did jump in a quick cab ride up the road and took a stop at even went inside to see, La Pedrea – Casa Mila.  Commissioned in 1906 by a businessman you will be amazed by the way the light moves through the balconies and windows. You must go to the top and walk around, each detail is design with function in mind, but it’s the attention to style just looking at the chimneys, and skylights give you a look into the genius of Gaudi. There is information and more on the floor below and it’s worth a look at. I was in love with the massive iron gate that is on the main level and provides access to the garage and basement. To me it’s a living work of art, like a watercolor seen here.

Don’t miss some more of Gaudi’s work

From top of the roof to the parking garage - this is worth walking into and seeing..

From top of the roof to the parking garage – this is worth walking into and seeing..

All this can be seen in under an hour, we jumped in a cab – but you could walk up to Casa Batllo.  This is known as the house of bones, one you see it you will understand why. On our quick tour we did not have time to visit inside, but outside you will see 3 amazing properties all in a row. Each one beautiful and magnificent.  This street is the Passeig de Gracia you will find many of the top retails in the world along this street. From here you can walk up to Plaza Catalunya, along the way you have passed Diagonal Avenue.

Three main area’s are in the center of town

You might miss this if you walk too fast down the streets

You might miss this if you walk too fast down the streets

If you are mind mapping the city on foot, you are bound to come across the all famous Gothic Quarter. It stretches from Via Laietana to La Rambla and represents pure Catalan art movement. Seeing the imposing facade of Palace of Catalan called Seau Cathedral of Santa Eulalia will make you want to just stand there for few minutes because of its intricate, gripping details and beautiful stone magnetism.

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, also known as Barcelona Cathedral, is the Gothic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona, Spain

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, also known as Barcelona Cathedral, is the Gothic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona, Spain

Many sites to see while your around the Cathedral

While walking around the cathedral, you will also come across street musicians playing pure Catalan music within Gothic Quarter, just outside Catalan Palace.  You have some time to spend here and waling run into Paseo del born. Walking around you will see City Hall Square, Plaza del Ayuntmiento, there are the 3 neighborhoods the Raval, Gothic and Born.

Picasso thought of Barcelona as his home -

Picasso thought of Barcelona as his home –

Picasso’s first art show

In this quick tour you will not have time to stop inside and visit the Picasso Museum. but you can swing past where Picasso had his first art show,  Els Quatre Gats, literally meaning The Four Cats, derived from a Catalan proverb that suggests ‘only a few people.

It’s a bit or walking back and forth but you can make your way up to Las Ramlas and immerse yourself in diverse marketplace of La Bqueria. If you are hungry, you can grab a coffee a few steps ahead at Placa Reial, a famous square worldwide renowned for Gaudi’s famous lampposts.

The market place - amazing pick up a fresh snack..

The market place – amazing pick up a fresh snack..

We ate a quick snack and walked up to finish the day at a beautiful view of sunset at La Barceloneta, a magnificent beach the sight of which will own the day for you. Have a perfect dinner with your loved one beside a waterfront view. There are opportunities to enjoy nightlife as well. If you love clubbing, do not miss to try out bars near Hotel De Arts.

Take a walk out on the waterfront of Barcelona

Take a walk out on the waterfront of Barcelona

It can be done, and knowing you have just skimmed the service of what makes Barcelona one of the most interesting and amazing cities to visit in the world… What did I miss, could you do this in four hours?

Women making an “IMPACT”

“As a bullet whizzed past my cheek, the heat caused me to fall face first into the concrete” Isaiah Brooms spoke to the crowd – and we listened to each word, each breath of his story, this was his experience growing up in Chicago. This same man Isaiah was now in front of the crowd of over 400 women, and he is now a Chicago Public School teacher, a mentor, a youth minister, and role model Mr. Brooms  is telling us this, and thanking Tutoring Chicago and his first tutor Sarah.

Tutoring Chicago

From Tutoring Chicago Facebook page

Isaiah is pitching to the crowd, almost Shark Tank style as he and six other finalist are presenting for the 2016 grant award from Impact 100 Chicago. A group of women in Chicago who each donate $1,000 each to empower change. This is an all women, all volunteer group of women, who put their own money, time, effort, and resources to seek out nonprofits that are making a difference, empowering, and changing the lives of so many.

These grants are not taking lightly, each application and applicant is looked over and vetted with a rigorous review, four-step process, and close look at how the funds will be used.

From RefugeeOne Facebook page -

From RefugeeOne Facebook page –

Each of the presentations were so moving, I wanted to get up and volunteer  my own time and money to help each one. The crowd heard from Refugee One, a very poised young lady who survived the worst situation over in her birth country of Sudan was welcomed with open arms when she finally arrived to Chicago. A heart moving story of how she now has hope for a future because of this group was eye opening.

Another presentation was for a program which supports low-income students so they can continue their education, One Million Degrees and they walked away with on of the four awarded with $100,000 grant’s so they can continue to support their efforts.

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 3.41.47 PMHere are the links to all of the organizations that were selected to present – in my heart all of these are amazing and sharing your support will continue to impact change for the better here in Chicago, and around the world. Next year you can bet that I will be supporting Impact 100 Chicago, and maybe you should also.

Chicago Women in Trades

One Million Degrees

The Chicago Debate Commission

Refugee One

Family Rescue Inc

 

Action Chicago

 

 

Location, Location, Location or when in NYC

The Plaza Hotel

It’s considered the ‘Mona Lisa’ of hotels. It was featured in pop culture movies and books such as Eloise, Home Alone and The Great Gatsby. This  grand hotel is located right in off Central Park. The current GOP front-runner used to own it.

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From the greeting staff to the waiters, they all were helpful , warm, and friendly. Exceptional customer service.

That’s right: The Plaza Hotel! I had the privilege of staying at one of New York’s most iconic landmarks. The Plaza Hotel has a long history of being the backdrop to some of the country’s biggest events and celebrations. Immediately when you’re greeted by the bellhop, walk through the marble encrusted lobby, and check in with the concierge, you can sense The Plaza Hotel is more than just a place to rest your head at night.

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The Rose Club, embodying the grandeur of The Plaza with a splash of contemporary style and spirit, overlooks the stunning new Fifth Avenue lobby

 

 

 

During my two night stay, I enjoyed all of the luxuries The Plaza Hotel had to offer. Sitting on Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman is only a two minute walk away. With the sun shining, and temperature in the mid 70s, I was able to enjoy a nice walk around the reservoirs, pavilions and fountains of Central Park.

 

 

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Setting the standard for luxury for more than a century, The Plaza Hotel New York is a testament to timeless elegance.

 

Another highlight to The Plaza Hotel was the food hall. I did not have to travel far from my room to get a taste of New York. There were many diverse options such as Chi Dumplings & Noodles, Pizza Rollio, and Luke’s Lobster. I decided to go with something a little more traditional, but, delicious nonetheless.

If you ever get a chance to stay at The Plaza Hotel, be check out all of the great sights and scenes. This Boomfluent had a 5 Start Stay and the location, the food, the service, and the great people watching made it even worth it.

 

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Located on Concourse level, The Plaza Food Hall offers a collection of fine food purveyors, as well as counter-style dining options. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner I had a classic Lobster Cobb.

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The Plaza Room features one King bed and is located on floors 5 – 19.

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Bathroom is finished with inlaid “earth stone” mosaics and include a luxurious bathtub and separate shower. Among many splendid details are 24-carat gold-plated Sherle Wagner fixtures, as well as hand-crafted solid white marble vanities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why do people love bloopers?

I have raised 4 children. I have made plenty of mistakes along the way, and most of them have worked out to be great teachable moments for my kids. Even if I had to eat some humble pie along the way.

I am proud to say we made it though high school and college without them winding up in the police blotter. My twins just turned 21 and never got an under age drinking ticket at college. Three of my children have traveled and studied abroad and made it home safe and sound, even though some of the Facebook posts I happened to see were um less then stellar.

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I have tried to be a perfect role model, with all the best behavior I could muster. I must admit at times it has been tough. Have you ever tired to discipline your child while holding in the laughter because what they did to deserve the little lecture was really funny, but unexpected behaviors.

How about yelling at your kids and hearing your moms voice come out of your mouth. OY

One rule I have lived by, is to let my kids see me make mistakes. It’s the little subtle lessons they learn when they know how you recover from the mistakes that worth it. As much as I would like them to think I’m perfect it’s better for them to know that I’m not.

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Fail up, learn and move on, make it even better the next time, happy missteps…

You can also find me at ChicagonistaLive.com 24/7

or Tweet me @BethRosen

 

Do you see what I see NYC

Next time you visit the Big Apple – New York City – as you hurry off to see the sights, a show, grab a meal, why not take a look at some of the things around you. This city is filled with wonderful opportunities to do just that. I also just had so much fun asking people on the street to snap a few of these photos. Have some fun snap, share and post your photos – and keep looking around.

A bite of the big apple

A bite of the big apple

Where can I buy those

Where can I buy those

Where should I start?

Where should I start?

Struck by a good idea

Struck by a good idea

Don't love these shoes - so you?
Don’t love these shoes – so you?

 

Spotted in NYC

art truck

Fun – Fashion – Fogo de Chao and Shopping

Fogo De Chow!! &  Fall Fashion Finds

ChicagonistaLive Fun at the Fashion Outlet Mall Chicago

ChicagonistaLive Fun at the Fashion Outlet Mall Chicago

We spent an afternoon with the ChicagonistaLive gals. First we had a shopping stop at  Fashion Outlets of Chicago http://www.fashionoutletsofchicago.com/ We had  a chance to visit many of their stores, they have very high end to everyday stores. Take a visit and see the selection and the cost savings

 

"Talk Nerdy To Me"

“Talk Nerdy To Me”

 

For our Food!!

Worth a visit to http://www.fogodechao.com . ”

Yes they have a wonderful salad bar too

Yes they have a wonderful salad bar too

Welcome to Fogo de Chão® (fo-go dèe shoun), an authentic Brazilian steakhouse. In 1979, Fogo® began sharing the gaucho way of preparing meat in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Today, our gaucho chefs still expertly grill each of our 16 cuts of meat and offer you continuous tableside service.

We invite you to enjoy the delicious preparations of our gaucho chefs along with our gourmet salad bar, authentic Brazilian side dishes, and award-winning wine list. Welcome to Fogo de Chão.”

 

Nothing better then great bloggers, wonderful food, and fashion

Nothing better then great bloggers, wonderful food, and fashion

 

Visit Boston – Boomfluent Tips

Boston is a strong, proud American city that has a unique European charm running through its history and culture. Nestled around the Charles River you can explore its many winding streets.  You will be thrilled by Boston’s interesting, diverse, mixed architecture and do take some time to slip into the hidden niche areas all waiting to be rediscovered.

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Boston – Cheer’s to Beantown the city that lays claim to many firsts for our country, at the Park Street Church, “America the Beautiful” was sung for the first time. At Old City Hall the first public school in America was established, and at Ye olde Union Oyster House est. 1826 known as “America’s Oldest Restaurant”, I had my first Freshly Shucked Oyster (yep only had one)

Below is a quick list of 7 reasons to get your butt to Boston – and when you do, try to go when there is no chance of snow, bring an appetite, good walking shoes, and a thirst for history.

1. Once you have landed there, your there. One of the best things about Boston is it’s easy to travel to. The airport is at the doorstep so you can hit the ground running. Boston is an amazing walking town; again it’s best if you can go when weather is not going to be a factor. Driving and parking is not an easy task, so ditch the car and get going.

Cheers to Boston - Enjoy your day

Cheers to Boston – Enjoy your day

2. Unique sightseeing options that will suite anyone’s taste.
From walking tours to bike, boat, Segway, bus, trolley, costume, gruesome, baseball, chocolate, scary, freedom, foodie, and a few more, Boston has many specialized tours at your beck and call it’s easy to see the city and try something new at the same time.  You can find many apps that have Boston walking tours, and if you want to do your own – just start at the Freedom Trail grab a walking map and go. To get the most out of Boston on a short trip I suggest you take one of the sightseeing tours, it’s a great way to get the lay of the land, hear the history, and take photos.

3. Food glorious food.
Who knew that you could get some of the best sushi in Boston, also on the North Side you won’t be disappointed by the Italian bakeries, authentic from the old country  they bring the true old world flavors from pasta to cannoli – good thing you can walk it all off. From beer to Boston cream pie the food does not disappoint. I created my own personal Chowder Crawl, some were creamy and filled with flavors from the sea; others were too milky and had more potatoes then any site of seafood.  I did have a few cups of chowder in one day, places where I did enjoyed good chowder along with a pleasant atmosphere and wonderful other food selections were The Oyster Bar, and The Hub.

4. Beauty and the beast.

Boston is loaded with beautiful scenery, from its amazing green parks, waterfront, cobblestone streets, and river you can spend hours just walking, sitting, and enjoying the beauty of Boston. The city is also filled with stories of sacrifice and suffering. The story of the Boston Massacre “The Boston Massacre, known as the Incident on King Street by the British, was an incident on March 5, 1770, in which British Army soldiers killed five civilian men and injured six others” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Massacre. The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts, between February 1692 and May 1693

Freedom trail

5. Let freedom ring
You can set your own pace, download an app or just use a map as you walk the 2 1/2-mile Freedom Trail. Take in the history and sites as you walk past 16 historic spots, including museums, churches, parks, the water, and even some burial grounds. The Red Line way will keep you on track. Visit www.thefreedomtrail.org, and also get a map of the entire trail, mark you spots and go. In my next post I will tell you a bit more about the sites you can see along the way.

6. Take me out to the Ballgame
You almost hear the crowd when you’re near Fenway Park, even if there is not a baseball game at the time. Via, Wikipedia, “Near Kenmore Square in Boston, Massachusetts. Located at 4 Yawkey Way, it has served as the home ballpark of the Boston Red Sox baseball team since it opened in 1912 and is the oldest Major League Baseball stadium in use” The park has had some work done, resulting in unique, quirky features, including “The Triangle”, “Pesky’s Pole”, and most notably the famous Green Monster in left field. Fenway Park has a low seating capacity, the fourth lowest in seating capacity and second lowest in total of all Major League Baseball stadiums; it is one of the seven Major League ballparks that cannot accommodate at least 40,000 spectators

View from the Tour Bus

View from the Tour Bus

7. Good old College Fun.
A great college town, with many colleges and universities to chose from, it’s the students that help keep Boston fun, edgy, trendy, and on the cutting edge. You can fill the vibe and discover some of the more interesting little shops, coffee houses, art, and bookstores in and around the areas where the students tend to spend time. Because of the many higher education areas and the high standers of the students, I read on Wikipedia that Boston was dubbed the city “The Athens of America”

A Special Splash Share, Care, and Give

 

The Ann & Robert H Lurie Childrens Hospital of Chicago Radiothon

The Ann & Robert H Lurie Childrens Hospital of Chicago
Radiothon

A special thanks to MJ Tam for inviting me to come help her, I had an amazing and heartwarming opportunity to spend some time creating social media content and interaction for the 2013 annual WTMX Eric & Kathy Radiothon created to help the kids at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

I had no idea what to expect in fact – I thought is was a Dance-a-thon, but that’s another event I will be at for Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. This year the Radiothon of course raised money, but it also raised awareness, and spirits. I wanted to say thanks to all the folks who participated, donated, and stay involved, these are amazing people who give from the heart. The stories of the families, staff, and from the children continue to provide hope and inspiration each and every day, and lifted the audience for the full 12 hours during the Radiothon this year.

Please click here to lean more  about the event and know that you can still donate, Eric & Kathy’s Radiothon has raised over 23 million dollars for kids and families treated at Children’s Memorial Hospital over the past thirteen years – money that stays right here in Chicago. The money raised during our Radiothon is directed to the areas of greatest need, such as Patient and Family Services, Charity Care, Education and Advocacy.”

This year raised year’s annual Eric & Kathy Radiothon raised $1,454,327.29 and you can still give anytime

MJ Tam and I wanted people to donate! They did! Thank you to all

MJ Tam and I wanted people to donate! They did!
Thank you to all

Some facts from  the information they shared with us, and why we should all care and continue to give.

•Lurie Children’s has moved up in the ratings as one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals in the U.S.News & World Report2013-14 Honor Roll rankings. Lurie Children’s is now ranked #8 nationally and is the only pediatric hospital in Illinois to be ranked in all 10 specialties.
•Surgeons performed more than 93 transplants
•Imaging staff supervised 79,000 medical imaging procedures
•More than 150 babies came across the bridge from Prentice Women’s Hospital to Lurie Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
•Lurie Children’s physicians and scientists doubled the amount of research conducted at the hospital, due to a dedicated Clinical Research Unit
Eric & Kathy's Radiothon has raised over 23 million dollars for kids and families treated at Children's Memorial Hospital over the past thirteen years

Eric & Kathy’s Radiothon has raised over 23 million dollars for kids and families treated at Children’s Memorial Hospital over the past thirteen years

• Accidents and injuries are the leading cause of death in children in Illinois. Lurie Children’s researchers are currently working with patient data to uncover trends in an ever expanding variety of injuries, illnesses and conditions seen at our hospital.
The day was so much fun, and what a surprise to see the Chicago Blackhawks who came and shared their time. I can’t wait to get more involved next year. Thanks to MJ Tam and the whole staff who invited us to come in and share such a special event and day.
Tweets
NHL

A special surprise - with the tweet so sweet!

A special surprise – with the tweet so sweet!

5 things I’m Lollapalooza obsessed with – ButtCheekage is one of them

5 things I’m obsessed with at Lollapalooza on Day 2

5. Flower Power is back.

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This summer along Michigan Avenue in Chicago, on the Chicago Cultural Mile, Plant Green Ideas RRR at www.plantgreenideas.com and www.chicagoculturalmile.org.have placed head-shaped planter sculptures, many have flowers growing out of them. I also noticed a flower power theme on the grounds of Grant Park, a nod back to the 60’s was in full force at the fest. I was obsessed with how many girls at Lolla were sporting the look of flower wreaths on their heads. Very retro –

 4.  Tour guide flag’s – stick’s and cartoon characters.

sticksupI thought it was just brilliant and creative how many groups of people came prepared with their own form of how to find each other. In the crowd you may spot a plush unicorn head mounted on a stick, a naked blow up doll, or just a flag, many carried high above their heads an object that could easily be seen by others from a-far. What a great way to be able to mark your territory,  spot your group, and just make your way through the crowd. Above are a few I spotted today.

3.  The Great Chicago Police Force.

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The officers who I met and are working Lollapalooza have all been beyond helpful and kind. I have seen them chatting with visitors, helping others get water, and pointing people in the right direction. The force seems to be setting a nice tone and vibe. I saw these two even having some good fun with some of the VIP’s. Thank you Chicago Police who have shared smiles and handshakes all around.

2.  Boomers – Lollapalooza Fashion Hit’s and Misses –

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I did notice many of the over 40 crowd dressed age appropriate. That’s more than I can say for some of the younger women in the crowd. Looking concert ready with many wearing sensible comfy shoes, hat’s they are ready to rock. There were a few misses, but all and all I’m proud of our Boomfluent group

1. Butt Overexposed Cheekyness.

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I just don’t understand this fashion no no.  It’s a throw back to the high waist mom jeans, but now cut off so short exposing the under butt cheeks. At first I thought it was just a small group of girls, (not)  as I walked around it’s dozens and dozens of girls with lower butt bottoms hanging out. I would call it a diaper cut, and these babies need to get tossed out ladies.

I can’t wait to see what I will discover on day 3 of Lollapalooza