Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Day 13: Central Park and all of the lights!

Time to explore Uptown Manhattan! From Uptown to Midtown, from Harlem to 5th Ave! Yes, we decided to start the day at the Harlem, an african-american neighborhood often called 'black mecca', and do the Harlem Shake (True. We have photos.) 
As we walked down the city, we tried to recognize the places from the movies and tv shows. We went from Upper East Side to Upper West Side, and all the way across the Central Park to see its big lakes. In the Upper East we saw where the rich people live/stay for holidays and, of course, the Guggenheim Museum (only from the outside). In the Upper West we tried to find the "John Lennon's Hotel" but we only found the Gossip Girl's Hotel Empire! lol 
At the sunset, Empire State Building was our final destination. After a 2 hour waiting line, we reached the top and we were able to see  Manhattan by day and by night. It was marvellous! You feel like you are on top of the world, singing 'New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of...'. The view is awesome! Something you won't forget ever!

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Day 12: lower Manhattan

Day 12: NYC! Where should I start? Actually, where did we start? Well, I thought that the easy way of exploring Manhattan was to divide it in 4 big areas (one for each day), start in the bottom and go all the way up... We started in lower Manhattan at the Financial district. We saw the lady (aka Statue of Liberty) from the pier, the 9/11 memorial and then we went to the Battery Park along the Hudson river and Tribeca neighborhood, a place where we wouldn't mind to live in.  After a shortcut to Brooklyn bridge (in maintenance...bah!) we went to some other neighborhoods: Chinatown, Little Italy, Greenwich Village and Soho... Soho has those marvellous shopping windows that amazed us and Greenwich Village...oh, we could also live there: its very british alike! 
We wrap the day at the Times Square with all of the lights (actually, we went there every night! it was like magnetism! ahah) 
First day in New York and we had already seen half of it!!! Of course, we arrived the hotel exausted! By the way, we stayed at the Ramada Hotel in Queens with a fantastic view from Manhattan! ;)

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Day 10: 24h in Washington DC

Day 10: we headed up to Washington DC!! We caught the bus early in the morning, we said goodbye to Richmond, and there we went to DC :)
We arrived at lunch time. Before starting to explore DC, we went to the hotel to get free of our luggage. I've been in DC a couple of times by now, so I had already in mind what to do. Well, it's not that difficult: you start at the Lincoln Memorial, then you go straight, straight ahead... (no turns!) till the Capitol! ahah

They were mesmerized by the magnificence of the buildings. Everything is enormous there: each memorial, each museum, each department,.. Well, this is America!
It was a great day!

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Baked Espresso Glazed Doughnuts

I love doughnuts! It's one of my favorite treats! I´ve always wanted to try all of the different glaces, toppings and colors, since I saw them on the american movies. And, yeah, Homer Simpson was right! They are spectacular!! Roughly there are two types of doughnuts: fried and baked. The baked doughnuts are more cakey .. it means that we are allowed to cheat! ahah
So, here they are: the Baked Espresso Glazed Doughnuts!! I hope you enjoy it...because my stomach did! ahahaha

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Day 9: Fine Art

Day 9: last day in Richmond! They had so much fun here! My sisters told me that they felt very happy to finally meet the city in person, specially after all of the posts and photos on my blog! I think they almost felt they were at home!
So, for the last day, we chose to go to Virginia Fine Museum of Arts, close to Carytown. The building is very modern and it covers collections of Art Nouveau, Deco, Modern and Contemporary, French Impressionist, British sporting art... Have look! It's amazing!!
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PS: Do you recognize Pocahontas with her english outfit?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Day 8: snow just for us!

I know that it's hard to believe but, yeah, it snowed in March (24th!)!! The temperature just dropped a lot on the days before, as you can tell by our coats and outlayers that we were using. It was something going on during that week, a polar front that affected this coast bla bla (my sister said). 
Well, I didn't ask for snow, but if you really want a true american adventure you have to experience snow! So, it was perfect! ahah We went to this mall, just to do some light (lol) shopping and to do groceries... All the sudden, it just started to snow like crazy...and then we went crazy! I don't need to say that we started to throw snowballs to each other and arrived home completely wet and cold, totally unprepared!ahahahah
It was the perfect excuse to drink a coffee and a doughnut at Krispy Kreme (actually not my favorite doughnuts but they are an american classic! I prefer Dunkin Donuts). It was a very nice afternoon! :)

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Day 7: a walk through my neighborhood

What a cozy day this was! We stayed at home, I took some photos of my sisters and we had a lot of fun!!! During the afternoon, we decided to have a walk through my neighborhood. We took photos of the new paintings. They are so cool! Regarding streets paintings, there is no city like Richmond!! I don't want to think too much about it but, I feel that I'll miss this city a lot, when I get back to Portugal... buaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! 

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Day 6: Chillout at the river

Day 6 was dedicated to the James River! We packed our lunch and we went to explore this Richmond river. We started at the cemetery because it has an amazing view from the river, and I don't know if am I suppose to say this, but we actually had our sandwiches there. Please don't get me wrong, our sandwiches were just simple, honest and respectful sandwiches! ahah
So, yeah, basically we just walked alongside the river, we saw the Virginia Memorial, we crossed the river, we walked through the canal and we ended up drinking a beer at this Irish Pub. What an excellent day!
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Monday, April 15, 2013

Day 5: Still not enough shopping

Not a lot to say about the day 5... We stayed in bed a little bit late, maybe it was the cold weather outside or just our body asking for a brake. ahah Well, another great day for shopping, we thought! This time we caught the bus and went to a shopping mall here in Richmond. It's not a pretty mall at all, it's dark and old, but it has a couple of nice stores.

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Day 4: Maymont park and 1st round of frozen yogurt

We started the day with some delicious american pancakes: we mixed it with some sliced bananas, blueberries and strawberries, we drizzled it with maple syrup and with some chocolate syrup. Life is good...and delicious! After the breakfast, we took the bus for the Maymont park, that you probably know from my older posts. Maymont Park is for Richmond as the Central Park is for Manhattan! Unfortunately, the trees were still naked and the beautiful Japanese garden dried! :(
We had a lot of fun!
At the end of the day we went to Carytown, a nice neighborhood very european-like to see a couple of stores and to get our 1st round at Sweet Frog, a place with a HUGE variety of frozen yogurt flavors, toppings, fruit, candies... Portugal definitely needs a place like this! :)
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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Day 3: exploring downtown RVA

We spent the third day exploring the downtown of Richmond, that is mainly were the central business district is. Maybe you'll be amazed... I know a lot of you imagine Richmond as a little town, with no buildings... No way! There, you can find for example the Virginia State capitol, the city hall, the hospital, some VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) buildings and the lab were I work...all BIG! 

We had lunch with my labmates at the carts and we chose different meals to share with each other: thai, caribbean, greek and paninis (I will post the food on another time ;)). After lunch, we went to the garden at the capitol to relax and enjoy some sun, and to see the stressed squirrels! 
But the moment of the day was really when we went to have a visit inside the capitol. We had a tourist guide telling us the history of Virginia during civil war (everything is about civil war here!) and the foundation of the Commonwealth of Virginia and many other stories. The guy was really nice, very passioned..so the stories seemed even more fantastic! He even told us all about Pocahontas and John Smith's love story! He also showed us their portraits.. We saw a painting of Pocahontas when she went to England, all dressed up. Hilarious! They stylized her to be more english, they say. ahah 
We finished the day, taking a nice cappuccino at the great neighborhood Church Hill...and then came the sunset. On the top of the hill, the sunset is always magic!

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Day 2: Williamsburg outlet

Day 2: shopping!!! Since we woke up on another crapy and cold day, we decided to go shopping!! We went to Williamsburg Outlet that is full of amazing stores!! Since Williamsburg is about 1h away from Richmond, we rent a car. When we realized that the Fiat 500 was available for the economy renting options, we obviously chose that car! We are sooo europeans! ahah
By the way, the car was automatic! oh, God!!! it was quite a ride! 
Before shopping we went to Colonial Williamsburg, that is essentially a living history museum (wikipedia says): a very cute downtown, with cute stores and souvenirs. We loved it!
At the end of the day, my debit card was getting exhausted! "Em riscos de vida!", I shall say. ahah 

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Day 1: brunch and groceries

Hello guys!

Curious to see more pictures from our trip? Let's have a look at the day #1!
They arrived saturday night at 9 p.m. (let's say day#0), very tired but excited and definitely super jet lagged! So, Sunday morning we went to a place very cool, as I would say "very richmonder", to start the day with a delicious american brunch! Our choices were omelettes, breakfast burritos, with biscuits, english muffins, fruit salad... can you imagine? Your only option is to imagine because, unfortunately, we didn't take any photo of that brunch.. lol We were starving!
The day was so cold, crapy and grey so we decided to have a coffee at Starbucks and have a look at some local stores near my place (Rumors- a cool thrift boutique store, the VCU store, etc.). 
We ended up at the grocery store and we had so much fun! We explored the entire store, as you can imagine, every aisle! I have to say the supermarkets are not as organized as ours and they have a bunch of different products from all around the world.We spent about 3h inside, and the store is not that big! ahah

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter vacations

Depression post-vacations! Yep, this is how I'm feeling right now..  My sisters and my older sister's boyfriend came to visit me during the Easter vacations. It was awesome!! If you follow me on facebook (like me!! facebook page link ) you already know some of our adventures, I posted one photo per day. We spent some days in Richmond, discovering the history behind the civil war and the 'Pocahontas+John Smith' story, exploring the true american food, appreciating the random weather (it snowed in March!), shopping and shopping; all the memorials, museums and monuments in Washington DC; and the vibrant New York City with all the fantastic neighborhoods and multicultural food, people and places!

I have tons of photos to look and edit so, in the mean time have a look at these ones.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April's quote

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