Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chile Tips

In General:
  • Chile is not cheap.
  • You should have low(ish) expectation for food (then you might be pleasantly surprised).
  • It is a very modern country and anything you forget can be bought on arrival.
  • Customs official are picky about food products, so don't bring them in.
  • No matter what season you come in, you will need winter clothes (at the very least for wind/rain). The south is cold, and even Santiago gets chilly at night all year round.
  • Unless otherwise noted, all accommodations refer to double room with private bath.

Good luck and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Unidad Deportiva Revolución

Our latest adventure took us all the way across the street to Unidad Deportiva Revolución, a public sports complex and site of the 2011 Panamerican Games Headquarters. The place is huge, but you have to pay an extra fee to use the specific facilities so it's not as affordable as it first seems. Nevertheless the exploration made for a good change to our walk, and really showcases Mexican public spaces at their finest, ha!

We started at the defunct bobsled track:

Enjoyed the flowering trees behind the miserable field hockey field:

Checked out the slightly dilapidated archery stadium:

And topped it off with a little rusted rock climbing wall:

Not to burn too many calories, we went home, and made some of these:

which keeping with the theme of the day, came out a bit shabby themselves, but were tasty nonetheless.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Yet Another Centro Excursion

Our second full day as tour guides, we spent in the Centro Historico. We actually made it into the Teatro Degollado for the very first time. And of course we visited the Governor's Palace, the Cathedral, and did a little bit of strolling. We had another fabulous lunch at La Chata- just can't really go wrong with them, and a paleta (popsicle) for dessert, as the afternoon sun was slowly melting us away. We browsed some of the pedestrian streets, and were astounded at how much variety of "stuff" you can really find downtown. It really never ceases to amaze us. And we made a short stop at the jewelery market on our way back to the car.

The Teatro Degollado:

Government Palace:

and murals by Orozco:


tourists in plazas:

and impromptu shopping:

and popsicles:

The rest of our visit with M's parents, we spent around our neighborhood, checking out the local shops, walking down our construction laden street, and seeing where M spends lots of his time- school.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Yet Another Tequila Excursion

A few weeks ago M's parents were in town for a visit. So we made the rounds, to some of the Guadalajara must-sees. First up was Andares. I think this is a great first place to visit, because you realize you're in a civilized country. It sort of throws away a lot of the illusions that people have about "Mexico". It was the first place that we were taken, and it really is so pleasant to walk around, you can't not be impressed. After a little of that, and seeing our home neighborhood, our visitors were ready for some real Mexico.

So our first full day, we went out of the city to Tequila. D got to switch it up and we toured the Sauza factory. It was very very similar to the Cuervo tour. Perhaps a little less refined, but you saw more of the actual process so it's hard to compare. We had a little stroll around town, and a great lunch at La Cholula. And so the busy day ended with the scenic drive back to town on the "libre" highway, which was surprisingly in great condition.

With the Cuervo at Jose Cuervo Factory

On Sauza Factory Tour

In Tequila main plaza, outside La Cholula

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tiyulon Movie Review: Around the World in 80 Days- 1956 edition

A British gentleman takes on a wager to go around the world in 80 days. Set in the late 19th century, the man with his helper Passepartout, employ various means of transportation as they make the journey.

The Tiyulon Take: Better than we expected; old fashioned stereotypes (racial/class/ethnic etc) are surprisingly amusing and the old school filmography make the whole film surprisingly engaging.

Inspired by this movie, I'm going to make a mini-bucket list:
See a bull fight
Fly in a hot air balloon*
Take a train in America
See a Cirque de Soleil show (Inspired by Passepartout)

I think I'll give myself a 4 year deadline on these, one a year if you will**.

Has a movie inspired you to do something new? visit a new location?

* Although this has never been so enticing, we might have to extend the deadline for this one.
**Also we're going to pick up the 2004 edition and the book by Jules Verne

Saturday, March 5, 2011

San Francisco - Part II

And then we were off to the waterfront, to see some ships on the piers, have a seafood lunch at Fisherman's Warf, swing by Girardelhi chocolate central, and oogle at the street cars and trolleys. A perfect San Francisco tourist tour!

We also made it to the wedding that evening, the reason behind our wonderful trip!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

San Francisco - Part I

Our second day in the Bay area was chilly but sunny, and so we headed to the big city- San Francisco. Our first mini stop, was at the "painted ladies" where the intro to Full House was filmed. You know: "what ever happened to predictability?"...

All four of us were pretty impressed by the "hilliness" of the city. To the point of it being a bit freaky driving down some of the streets.

M and "our" Cube:

And then we were off to our first big attraction- the Golden Gate Bridge:

"I see it!"

We drove across and stopped for a bit on each side.

[to prevent picture overload- the rest of the day will be in a separate post].

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bay Area

Last week, we went on a fabulous weekend trip to the Bay Area in California. Our flight with Volaris was acceptable and uneventful (so uneventful, in fact, that on a 4 hour int'l flight we didn't get any meal). But we were happy to have a direct flight, so we picked up our Nissan Cube and made our way to Sunnyvale/Cupertino. We got off the highway, driving by Apple offices and content to be surrounded by some of our favorites: Peet's, Targeé and more.

The day was a rainy one, so we decided to forgo the big city tour, for a short visit to the Stanford campus. Somehow, we found ourselves outside the art museum, so we escaped the rain and enjoyed a quick visit. By the time we were done, the rain had almost ceased and we got to walk around a little bit on campus, before heading back for the wedding Welcome Dinner and quality time with good friends.

The museum:

Around Campus: