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36 Hours in San Francisco Bay Area

San Francisco Bay Area, consisting nine county regions in the northern region of California, provides a mix culture of nature and technology.  On one hand, the California’s Pacific Coast Highway offers one of the most nature-oriented scenic drives in the world. On the other, headquarters of multiple renowned tech companies such as Yahoo, Uber, and Twitter provides a technological advancement culture. Today, San Francisco Bay Area still remains one of the top traveling options for a quick weekend trip.



10 AM – Arriving San Francisco Checking in Pier 2620 Hotel Fisherman’s Wharf

 As one of the most popular hotels in San Francisco, Pier 2620 located in historic Fisherman’s Wharf, is the sweet spot for city exploration. The hotel design is minimalist with local and historical taste. Coherent to its design, the hotel offers what they call “simplicity by the sea”, in which they deliver the ultimate efficiency in helping you to make the most of your city exploration with their Coastal Concierge Team. When booked early, Pier 2620 offers irresistible city exploration package as low as $300 per night.


Photography by Collin S. http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/pier-2620-hotel-fishermans-wharf-san-francisco?select=H10LuggrCRpJk8LS8LaqFQ


12 PM – Lunch – A Bowl of Milky New England Style Clam Chowder

Drive south roughly 45 minutes from San Francisco, arriving Half Moon Bay. There’s an awesome and popular local restaurant called “Sam’s Chowder House”. It has won numerous awards such as “Top Three Outdoor Dining in Bay Area” by San Francisco Magazine. As far as the food goes, it’s known for its daily fresh seafood catch, lobster rolls, and New England Style clam chowder. While tasting the flavorful clam chowder made by fresh clams and buttery roll with fresh lobster meat, one can also enjoy the beauty of Half Moon Bay by dining outdoor. The meal normally averages down to $40 per person including tips.  As a highlight, the outdoor heating system is surprisingly efficient enough to allow you to enjoy the smooth ocean breeze without feeling cold.


3 PM – Japantown

Discovering San Francisco Japantown, a place full of Japanese culture. After 1906 Earthquake, many Japanese and Japanese Americans relocated to the area where we know as SF Japantown today. Historically, SF Japantown was commonly referred as “Nihonjin Machi” or Japanese People’s Town, which spanned 30 blocks. Interestingly today, the road signs in Japantown still provide Japanese translations beneath the English, which ultimately deliver additional sense of culture into the overall atmosphere. Moreover, interesting Japanese merchants such as Anime shops, incense shops, and photo booths all make Japantown super mysterious to explore.


5PM – Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park is the must-go landmark in San Francisco. Each year, the park obtains more than 13 million visitors and proudly praised as one of San Francisco’s greatest treasures. While exploring the 1,017 park, it’s easy to discover gardens, playgrounds, lakes, picnic groves, trails, and monuments. If you’re lucky, you might also be just in time for cultural venues, events and activities. The park is a beautiful place to hangout and watch the sunsets while enjoying nature.


Photography by Superchilum on Wikipedia, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Golden_Gate_Park_07.JPG

7 PM – Dinner – A taste of Fast Food in the West

Although a bit unhealthy it may seem, the recognition and one of kind fast food that originated in California makes it a bit difficult to pass. Although In-N-Out offers a convenient drive-through, having the opportunity to dine-in and truly feel the popularity of this western style fast food chain is remarkable. Unlike majority of the fast food restaurants I’ve been through nation wide, In-N-Out Burger operates with more than 20 staffs at all times. Although the variety of the menu is limited (Hamburgers, Cheese burgers, Fries, Milkshakes, and Soft Drinks), the restaurant is yet constantly packed with more than 10 customers waiting for their orders during dinner time. Meanwhile, the chain offers a secret menu known as “animal style” and “protein style” to locals.  While “animal style” translates to Thousand Island dressing in their burgers or on top of their fries, “protein style” replaces the buns of the burgers with lettuce. As for pricing, regular combo meal with fries and drink comes down to less than $7.


10 PM – Nightlife – Hemlock Tavern

After a heavy fast food meal, a drink and some hipster live music is the best way to end the night. Hemlock Tavern, a hipster bar in a neighborhood where few hipsters live has proven to be gold. The spacious Bar has offered everything from the symphonic pop to raucous garage tunes to heavy metal madness; you’ll be able to find something of a quality that you can enjoy. On top of $5 beers and $8 cocktails, $1 bags of hot nuts can’t be missed. Keep in mind, there’s a $10 minimum to enjoy the live music.

Picture 11

photo from Yelp.com


9 AM – Breakfast – Nothing beats the fresh Croissant Sandwich at Farm : Table

A little breakfast eatery located between downtown San Francisco and Tenderloin District. Despite the inconvenience of finding yourself eating your breakfast on a tiny bench outside of the shop, customers still fanatically line up in front of this window shop for their “milk and honey”. Some people actually enjoy eating at the sidewalk and enjoy the morning fresh air with sunshine. As for me, I didn’t mind lining up my breakfast on a narrow bench as long as I got my “croissant egg sammie” and “chai tea latte”, a $15 investment for a fulfilling breakfast.

Picture 10 Photos9

11 AM – An Exhilarating driving experience on California’s Pacific Coast Highway

National Geographic have ranked California’s Pacific Coast Highway as one of the 500 world’s most spectacular trips and drives of a lifetime. From San Francisco heading north towards Tomales Bay, a roughly 50 miles drive on the Pacific Coast Highway is the opportunity to experience the nature through continuous scenes of mountain terrains and sea waves is truly extraordinary. By the way, theyMoreover, there are several turnout roads along the way that not only act as a break area for the drivers after a long distance drive but also an awesome sightseeing opportunity to take some pictures. Meanwhile, I highly recommend driving with a smaller compact car on a beautiful sunny day since the roads are somewhat narrow and full of turns.






1 PM – Lunch – Live Shucking Action

Although a 50 miles drive shouldn’t sound too time consuming, Pacific Coast Highway has also been known as one of the difficult drives. By the time you reach Tomales from San Francisco, it’s likely 2 hours have gone by.  On top of the beach and sunshine it offers, Tomales Bay is also known for its Tomales Bay Oyster Company that was established since 1909. Unlike most restaurants that offer fresh oysters on a platter, Tomales Bay Oyster Company actually let customers shuck their own oysters while providing a picnic bar area offering drinks. If you think the long drive already made you hungry, shucking your own oysters will definitely kick up your appetite.  $15 for a dozen of extra small Preston Point Oysters was my cup of tea.  They are small, easy to shuck, and most tender among other sizes. As somewhat expensive as it sounds, you can also purchase a bag of 50 with $50.


3 PM – Sunshine at the Beach

As you find your way back to the city, Stinson Beach happens to be along the way. In addition to it’s typical sunny seaside beach environment and atmosphere, Stinson Beach is also rich in history.  Along with the sand and sea waves a typical beach can offer, Stinson Beach town is also an amazing tourist attraction. Whether you visit a local Chinese Herbal shop or a beachside fashion store in town, you can always find something unique to boost your happiness at the beach. If you like playing basketball, the town also has a basketball court for you to shoot some hoops with the locals.


6 PM – Market

Once you get back to the city, it’s the perfect time to stop by the Ferry building, a grand marketplace and European-style food hall. On one hand, the Ferry Building demonstrates all the modern trends in the Bay Area food world; it also has the tradition to host outdoor farmers’ markets.  It’s likely that one may assume that products from farmers markets are likely to be more expensive for its organic aspect. However, it’s not the case with the indoor food stalls at Ferry Building. After a brief comparison with local grocery stores such as Safeway, the prices on majority of the organic products that were offered at Ferry Building were relatively the same.  Therefore, not only do you get the pleasure of browsing various organic products, it certainly doesn’t hurt you financially to purchase healthy alternatives.


Photography by Emily on http://www.fleuropean.com/tourist-trap-san-francisco-ferry-building/


8 PM – Dinner – Enjoy the West Coast fish in Sushi

When visiting the West Coast, one must take any opportunity can get to taste some of the fresh sea-foods that the Coast has to offer. A fantastic way to do so is to put yourself in the hands of a sushi experts at Ichi Sushi & Ni Bar. Walking into the restaurant, I would request a seat at the bar for chef’s choice to avoid any additional mental labor on the menus after being totally exhausted with a full day of activities. Then slowly get blown away by a series of aesthetically looking seafood line up across a long white plate. Although it’s slightly expensive to pay $65 for 12 pieces of sushi, it’s absolutely worth it when consider the combination of the elegant atmosphere, fresh ingredients, and aesthetic food arts.



 Online Articles

Discover San Francisco Japantown! (n.d.). Retrieved May 04, 2016, from http://sfjapantown.org/history/

Press. (n.d.). Retrieved May 04, 2016, from http://www.tomalesbayoystercompany.com/app/story?keyword=press

Road Trip: California’s Pacific Coast Highway — National Geographic. (n.d.). Retrieved May 04, 2016, from http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/road-trips/california-pacific-coast-road-trip/#/motorcycle-pacific-coast-highway_89956_600x450.jpg

San Francisco Bars and Clubs. (n.d.). Retrieved May 04, 2016, from http://www.sanfrancisco.com/nightlife/

San Francisco Recreation and Park. (n.d.). Retrieved May 04, 2016, from http://sfrecpark.org/parks-open-spaces/golden-gate-park-guide/

Tsui, B. (2015). 36 Hours in San Francisco. Retrieved May 04, 2016, from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/01/travel/what-to-do-in-36-hours-in-san-francisco.html

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36 Hours

Julissa Ramos
Prof. John Akana
HMGT 1101
May 18, 2016
36 Hours Assignment

The city of Toronto located in Canada is one of the most anticipated tourist sites in the world. Being Canada’s largest city and fourth largest in North America, it is home to a population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto is known for its arts, culture, and business. It is commonly labeled as one of the world’s most livable cities.

Toronto is visited by more than 40 million Canadian residents and foreigners. Tourism is a very important factor for the Canadian city as it helps provide for the thousands of workers in the hospitality industry. Toronto is known for their film and entertainment like their Toronto International Film Festival that takes place each September. Also known for their sports teams like the Toronto Blue Jays and the Toronto Raptors.

This big city is also known for being “Ambitious and alive”. It is also a very diverse city where 140 different languages and dialects are spoken. Toronto is a phenomenal city with many exciting places and things to do. 36 hours in Toronto would go as follows:

10:00 am- Check into hotel.

As part of this trip, you will be accommodated in the Shangri-La Hotel located west of Downtown in Toronto. This hotel is beautiful and modern which overlooks the downtown area and will compliment your stay in the big city. The bedrooms are equipped with everything you need as well as a restaurant at the hotel’s site. The service at the Shangri-La is impeccable and will make your stay that much more enjoyable.

12:00 pm – Lunch at the Signs Restaurant.

The signs restaurant in Toronto is the perfect spot to get a feel of the Toronto vibe. The restaurant is for casual dining with a twist and the twist is that everything from the menu to the waiter/waitress translates in sign language. The staff is openly willing to communicate with signs as well as teach you the basic of the fascinating language. The menu is full with a variety of different items from vegetarians to vegans and even gluten. The experience will definitely be one for the books.

2:00 pm – Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.

For your first activity, I figured we would do something fun and exciting and what’s more fun than a real, HUGE aquarium. Nothing like the ones we have back home in New York. Here you will get to see over 1600 animals and mammals. This is the perfect day trip to spend with the family in a friendly environment and little and big friends (animals). Here you will be able to let your inner child shine and explore the sea world!

4:00 pm – Kensington Market.

What better way to relax that inner child than to knock some stress off with a little shopping? Here at the Kensington Market you will find anything from souvenirs, to local foods, and even grab a beer or two if you’re up for it. This market is very multicultural and you will see all kinds of things like art and sweet coffee shops. Maybe even grab something to eat that you have never tried before.

7:00pm – Dinner at the Olde York Fish and Chips.

After an entire eventful day on your toes, I say we go a little light for dinner. This is an authentic restaurant that serves traditional fish and chips that you would eat in England and it is simply to die for. The servings are massive so a little goes a long way to feed the entire family. It is known as the best fish and chips in town, who can resist!

9:00 pm- Buddies in Bad Times.

Before heading off to sleep from your long but yet exciting day, I suggest taking a stroll down Alexander Street and stopping by this performing arts theatre to dance away some calories. This theatre is known for its support of LGBT community and local artist come here to perform their drag performances (you might want to leave the kids with the nanny lol). This place is a great times with great drinks and even better people.

Catch some snooze and prepare for an even more eventful day tomorrow.

9:00 am- Breakfast at G for Gelato.

Catch a breakfast crepe and some espresso to fuel and prepare for the day’s activities. Here you’ll enjoy a reasonably priced breakfast and if you’re feeling crazy grab some gelato! If you are gonna do it, go all the way. The service and the staff here are great and will surely show you the Canadian/Italian style of dining.

11:00 am- Art Gallery of Ontario

Here at the art gallery you will be able to walk around and glance at famous Canadian art. Their collection includes more than 80,000 works of art dating back to the first century. There is a whole lot of history in this one space. All things from sculptures, books, films, and architecture are anticipated. This gallery is the perfect place to gain knowledge and perspective of Canada’s history.

1:00 pm- Lunch at Richmond Station.

Richmond Station is the perfect spot for a perfect lunch. You can have anything from oysters to pierogis. Located in Toronto’s financial district you will be paying the price for your lunch but it will be worth every penny. The service is amazing and you can even enjoy the luxury of sitting at the chef’s table trying out different delicacies.

2:00 pm- Yorkville Toronto.

Yorkville is a diverse neighborhood in Toronto that is filled with beautiful scenery. Located in Yorkville is the Mink Mile which is the shopping district and not to mention quite expensive. Yorkville is the perfect time to have a nice walk, enjoy the fresh air, and maybe do a little a spending if you are up for it. You will find all of your upscale shopping stores like Hermes, Burberry, and Vera Wang.

4:00 pm- Fort York.

You will then make your way to Fort York where you will enjoy a historic Military site. It is a designated National Historic Site of Canada and is surrounded by beautiful architecture. Here you will learn about the war of 1812 and the battle of York.

8:00 pm- Dinner at the CN Tower.

This is probably my favorite of all. For your last meal in Toronto, I recommend the CN Tower and prepare for the breath-taking views. This is the largest freestanding tower after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and Canton Tower. This is Toronto’s signature icon and I must say it does it very just. CN stands for Canadian National and was once one of the Seven Wonders of the World in 1995. The CN tower is home to the famous rotating restaurant and is recognized for its excellence. This is fine dining at its finest so dress to impress and do not forget your wallet!

After an exciting 36 hours in the ambitious city one must be exhausted. Time to reflect and gather ones thoughts. There is beauty in all that we do, in all that we see. What we do and how we do it determines the outcome of our experiences. Love and peace.

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36 hours in Orlando

7:00pm: arrived at Orlando International airport with my family, the flight was good Delta served us some refreshments, my favorite is doctor pepper soda. i pretty much slept through most of the flight, it was on time which is always great. the airport is very big, clean, and has palm trees. I had to take a train shuttle to baggage clam which i found strange because its usually close by from where you get off the plane, got lost a couple of times trying to find the right exit where our family friends were picking us up.

9:00pm: checked in to the Embassy suites by Hilton Orlando/Lake Buena Vista Resort on 8100 Lake Avenue, Orlando fl. This hotel i found that it was cool and different because it isn’t your typical corridor hotel its all out in the open you have a gazebo right in the middle, across from it is the breakfast area, the pool and gym are all the way at the end of the hallway, a bus service on the other side of the gazebo, and a gift shop right next to the bus service. out room was a two- room suite which included two queen beds, a sofa bed, a microwave and a refrigerator.

10:00pm: Ate dinner a few blocks away from the hotel at Domino’s pizza in a mini shopping plaza.

9:00am: Breakfast- the hotel provided us with free cooked to order breakfast as well as a breakfast buffet including fruits, toast, oatmeal, etc.

10:00am: Collected our bus ticket, the hotel provided us with complimentary them park shuttle service to Universal Studios and back to the hotel.

11:00am: arrived at Universal Studios- I was very excited because it was my first time visiting the park, i felt a little disappointed at the Universal globe because on television it looks huge, I imagined it much bigger. the park was amazing i really enjoyed the Harry Potter sections, I’m a really huge fan so i had loads of fun in all the attractions and plus I had butter beer for the first time which made my day!. All the attractions were awesome i also enjoyed the Rip Ride Rockit and the transformers: The Ride 3D, I would definitely go back.

10:00pm: Dinner- since we were the last ones on the bus to drop off the bus driver was so nice and kind to drop us off at cici’s pizza where it also was in the shopping plaz, she also gave us some coupons where we had a few dollars off each person.

9:00am: Breakfast at the hotel with cooked to order and buffet meals.

10:00am: collected out bus ticket, took the bus to shuttle to Epcot and then the train shuttle to Magic Kingdom.

11:00am: arrived at Magic kingdom- this was also the first time in this park, i was amazed at everything and loved everything, i felt like a child in a candy store. we went on almost all the attractions and sections, the night show was super amazing it was something out of this world. Now I know why they call it the most magical place on earth.

9:00am-10:00am next day : breakfast at the hotel, also collected the bus tickets and took the bus shuttle to Epcot,

11:00am: arrived at Epcot- this park was incredible I loved visiting all the countries, I wish they could have had more. when visiting Japan we bought some Japanese candy called Hi- Chew which are also sold in candy stores  but prior to this I didn’t know they were Japanese. when in France I had my first ever Crepes which was super delicious. The night show was also amazing I loved how the globe opened up and showed all the different cultures and countries.

IMG_0131DSC_1297DSC_1467 DSC_1468DSC_1847DSC_1884 DSC_1872DSC_1921 FullSizeRender_2DSC_1924IMG-20150423-WA0059

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36 hours in Miami

12:00 pm – Arrived at MIA International Airport: An amazing flight into Miami, FL, Delta Airlines provided great in-flight hospitality, a couple of complimentary drinks and some more than decent gingerbread cookies which I somehow love. As we descend into the beautiful city if Miami, I feel like the weekend of March 11th 2016 to the 14th was going to be great. As soon as I get off the plane I look at the distinct style of this airport, very tropical, clean, spacious and enormous. I went to pick up my rental with Sixt rent a car and I was in and out in less than five minutes.

1:00 pm – lunch at La Camaronera: I am a huge fan of Chef Guy Fieri’s show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. I have gone to at least fifteen restaurants that has been on the show and went to this amazing Cuban seafood restaurant in the heart of Little Havana that he once visited and so far he has yet to fail me. Driving to the restaurant was a bit sketchy, but as soon as I walked into the place, I was immediately greeted and asked if I wanted to dine on the counter standing up or wait for a table, and since it was lunch time and there was a long wait for I decided to stand up. I ordered what Guy Fieri ordered and what the restaurant was known for their famous fried lobster sandwich served with a very soft but crispy Cuban bread, and fried shrimp with their own tangy chipotle sauce and half a lime. THE MOST AMAZING SEAFOOD I EVER HAD!!! It was so good, cooked to perfection, an amazing display of Cuban cuisine, it was simple but amazing. They only accepted cash in this place, and I had to ask why. Not because it was a problem but out of curiosity, and they simply told me, “Because we want to keep tradition as long as possible.”

fried shrimp lobster sandwich


2:00 pm – Drove to my sister’s house: After my lunch I drove from about 45 minutes from Little Havana to Miramar where my sister Amanda and her family lives. As I drive to her place, I see the amazing Miami skyline, not a big city but a beautiful one at that. As I drive to my sister’s house, I pass the Miami Marlins stadium, Florida International University, Johnson and Wales University, and Sunlife Stadium (where the Miami Dolphins play). All sights to see and places where I want to visit.


4:00 pm – Shopping at a great supermarket: Bravo supermarket, across the street from my sister’s apartment complex, is an amazing Dominican owned supermarket that has a bunch of Spanish products and an amazing buffet. I take my sister and her two boys shopping for food, because let’s be honest I love to cook and eat like a maniac. We got food to survive for the weekend, but I came across the Dominican buffet and ordered Chimi de pollo (a Dominican chicken sandwich), and shared it with my family. I was in heaven.


9:00 pm – dinner at Amanda’s: My brother-in-law Ray can throw down on the grill, he cooked BBQ beef ribs, hot sausages and a beautifully brazed brisket with an amazing chimi churri sauce and of course a nice moro de abichuela roja (Spanish rice with red beans). Nothing like having a couple of brews with your family while stuffing your face with some good BBQ before you go out.


11:00 pm – Going out to Wynwood, the Art District: I met up with one of my buddy’s K’mari who was stationed with me in Hawai’i. We were looking for a place to go to and he suggested a pretty cool place to go to within Wynwood, FL, Miami’s art district. Like any other art district, this place was super gentrified, but of course beautiful in its own ghetto neighborhood. We saw some beautiful art at the Wynwood Walls, and then had some drinks at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar attached to Wynwood Walls. After, we spent the rest of the night at the Wood Tavern, an amazing place to go for after hour food and drinks. Once I walked in, I wasn’t really impressed, I thought it was very small, but as I walked to the back, God smacked me and said “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” It was an amazing beer garden, that replicated a boardwalk, it had a humungous bar and tons of space to sit. It also had three means of food: two food trucks and a short-order restaurant. The DJ booth was in the corner of the dance floor in a cozy treehouse that was covered in graffiti. Just a very chill, very diverse place to visit, with good drinks, and good food.

the wood wynwood

9:00 am – Dominican breakfast at Yarumba: If there is anything that can cure a hangover, it is an all Dominican breakfast. Yarumba is a great Dominican restaurant in Miami Gardens, FL that has changed the way of Dominican cuisine, normally Dominican restaurants in New York are usually short order, but they have amazing food and flavor. Yarumba takes a twist in Dominican cuisine. I had the normal Dominican breakfast, Mangu with salami and onion (mashed plantains), covered with fried white tropical cheese and sautéed onions drenched in tomato sauce. They made deep fried mangu blocks with panko covered with fried white tropical cheese and sautéed onions drenched in tomato sauce served with a specialty drink, morir sonando (orange juice, milk, vanilla extract, sugar and ice) that was simply delicious.


12:00 pm – Strolling South Beach: It is noon and 50 degrees in NYC, but 84 degrees in Miami, and my friend from last night happens to work in the Ritz Carlton in South Beach. I intended to abuse the discounts off of drinks for my family and I, that was offered from my buddy. The Ritz Carlton South Beach is beautiful to say the least. An amazing staff that took care of me and my family on the beach, and an incredible bartender who made some tasty drinks. After we left the Ritz, we strolled through Ocean drive and since it was during spring break (for other universities), we could barely get through the people partying on the streets. We passed the extravagant Clevelander Hotel that we couldn’t get in to because it was at max capacity, then we made a pit stop at Fat Tuesday’s for a much needed yard long mango-strawberry smoothie with two shots of Jose Cuervo (Yes, it was made to perfection), and after fighting off all of the tourists and locals, we came across Mangos, one of South Beach’s premier Spanish all-day clubs.

the clevelander fat tuesday south beach mangos south beach

4:00 pm – Driving through Star Island: Tropical city? Check. Giants Mansions? Check. Celebrity filled island? Yes. Star Island vacates some top notch celebrities like Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Gloria Estefan, Rosie O’Donnell, and Shaquille O’Neal. If you ever find yourself in South Beach, take a stroll through this magnificent dream.

6:00 pm – A fun time at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino: On the way back home I thought it would be nice to test my luck and gamble a little at the Hard Rock Casino, which is a party city within itself. With five bars, four restaurants, three clubs and a theatre on the strip. A great sequence of hospitality in this landscape, but we skipped all of it to play some blackjack and roulette. When we get to the tables, we immediately are greeted by the dealer and get offered a massage that I of course accepted because, why not. After releasing some tension and winning some money, I strolled around the casino floor looking at the displays of the various artists that have played at the Hard Rock.

hard rock fort lauderdale

8:00 pm – Dinner at the Rustic Inn Crabhouse: Great family restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, FL, with good drinks and good seafood. An enormous amount of seafood. But don’t go if you have a headache, so much hammering in celebration of birthdays.

rustic inn fort lauderdale Jays pics and videos 390

11:00 pm – Club Seven: Club Seven is a small Dominican club in Miramar, FL that has a great atmosphere, and a fun place to go with a group of friends that just want to have a good time. Hookah, and an affordable price on a bottle and a table (not like clubs in Hawai’i or New York City), top that off with great music, you have a winning combination of a good club. Daylight savings didn’t have an effect on partying as we partied until 630 in the morning. After the club we did what any typical Dominican would do…sober up and eat some bomb chimi churri sandwiches, empanadas and some water to wash it all down and finally hydrate.





Art Basel Parallel Art Show in Wynwood. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2016, from http://wynwoodmiami.com/home.php


The Best Hotels, Resorts & Villas Around the World. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2016, from http://www.luxurytravelmagazine.com/property/the-ritz-carlton-miami-south-beach-luxury-hotels-resorts.php


Hughes, K. (n.d.). The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino: A True Destination Hotel. Retrieved April 27, 2016, from http://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/articles/2008/march/867-the-seminole-hard-rock-hotel–casino-a-true-destination-hotel.html

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36 Hours- Upper West Side

The Upper West Side by Andrea Gutierrez

Upper westside

This is the Upper West Side

I planned 36 hours worth of activites for a young couple ready to eat and experience the Upper Westside where the old is meeting the new in this very domesticated side of Manhattan. This agenda is fill of active and artistic activities and full of interesing food venues. Their day will begin at 2pm.

2:00 pm – Arrive early for check-in at The Excelsior hotel. Wait at the hotel’s restaurant, Calle Ocho, where the young couple can have the Brunch special, “Ensalada de Langosta” (Poached half lobster, avocado, green papaya and citrus lime dressing.) Brunch includes unlimited sangria of which they can try the most unusual flavor “Havana Banana” (White wine, coconut rum, crème de banana, coconut and lychees).

Calle Ocho Restaurant- http://calleochonyc.com


3:00 pm– Check into the Classic Queen Museum View suite and freshen up.

The Excelsior Hotel and info 45 West 81st New York, NY 10024


This photo is of their Classic Queen suite with the Museum View. This was taken off their website.



This is the view of the American Museum of Natural History’s Planetarium from the Classic Queen suite

4:00 pm – Go downstairs to the American Museum of Natural History and watch the planetarium show and visit iconic exhibitions. Located at 81st and Central Park West ave.



AMNH main entrance


5:30 pm– Go to The Dead Poet bar and have dinner and drinks. Located on 450 Amsterdam New York, NY 10024

The Dead Poet Bar-Dead Poet Menu

The front of the dead poet

Front view of the bar. This was taken from their website thedeadpoet.com


This was taken off of their website

7:00 pm – They can walk through Central Park and see the Summer Stage event: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Stand up in the Park or the Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital

Summer Stage Event at Central Park info

Trevor Noah Stand up

Summer Stage Trevor Noah


Metropolitan Opera Recital


Summer Stage Opera

9:00 pm – Have dessert at  Sugar and Plumm Café located on 377 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024  or Emack & Bolio’s ice cream parlour located on the same street

Sugar and Plumm Cafe or Emack & Bolio’s Ice Cream parlour both located on between 77th and 78th street and Amsterdam Ave

Map of the two dessert locations

Map of the two dessert locations

Hidden gem, Emack & Bolio’s. This photo was taken from nymag.com

The cone selection. This photo was taken from tripadvisor.com


Sugar and Plumm Menu and Sugar and Plumm Dessert & Cocktails Menu

The couple can try their sweet Gimme S’MORE cocktail (Homemade hot chocolate, whiskey, creme de cacao, graham crackers and marshmallow)  or the Funky Monkey (Dark Rum, Banana puree, homemade hot chocolate and whipped cream)

Website picture

Website picture

10:00 pm – Sleep and prepare for the next day

6:00 am– Get up and get somecontinental breakfast and then walk to the Rumsey Playfield in Central Park

7:00am- 9:00 am – Arrive at the Good Morning America Concert at the Rumsey Playfield close to 77th street, eastside of the park.

Rumsey Playfield

Rumsey Playfield’s location in Central Park

Upcoming concerts for this summer oinclude Sia and many other artists

Upcoming concerts for this summer include Pitbull, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Sia and many other artists

9:00 am-Walk through Central Park and enjoy the scenary.

10:00 am– Arrive for light breakfast at Serafina 2178 Broadway (at 77th Street) New York, NY 10024

Serafina and Food Menu

This is the inside of the restaurant. This photo was taken from Serafina.com


They have their own wine. This photo was taken from their website


11:30 am –1:30 pm -Go sailing on a 2 hour private yacht tour at Atlantic Yatching on 79 Hudson River Greenway, New York, NY 10024

Private Yatch Charters at Atlantic Yatching Rates go from $490-$1600 ranging from 2hrs to the whole day. They also have sailing classes.


2:00 pm – Late lunch at the Boat Basin and enjoy the Hudson River view and New Jersey Skyline.

The Boat Basin Cafe is located close to the pier the Atlantic Yatching company is stationed and is within walking distance

The Boat Basin Cafe is located close to the pier that the Atlantic Yatching company is stationed and is within walking distance

The Boat Basin Cafe- http://www.boatbasincafe.com/index.html

This is where the fountain is located. This photo was taken from boatbasin.com

The places to view the river from. This photo was taken from boatbasin.com

3:00 pm– Walk along the Hudson River Greenway into Riverside Park and take photos at the monuments until they reach the 91st street Garden where they can re-enact the last scene of You’ve Got Mail.

Riverside Park

Inside of the park after following the Hudson River Greenway you can find your way to the garden

Inside of the park after following the Hudson River Greenway you can find your way to the garden

91st Street Garden where You’ve Got Mail had their last scene.


6:00 pm– Pack up and Check out of The Excelsior

7:00pm- 7:30-– Dinner and drinks at Calle Ocho while they wait for their scheduled car service to pick them up to the take them to the airport. A mojito and a Ropa Vieja kinda evening to call it a day.

All pictures were found on the websites of the businesses and those that were not have links attached. All maps were taken from Google Maps.

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36 Hours in Las Vegas

36 Hours in Las Vegas

By Junghwan Cha May 18th, 2016


Las Vegas is a city of leisure. The slogan “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” expose the positive and negative side of drinking part of the fun. If you look into the city more carefully in perspective of what are being offered to guests, Vegas just gets better.

Hotels near strip, the street, have distinguished theme or style. They show hotel is not just a place to stop by to sleep, but a cooperating group that has relation of coexistence. Fine dining to more commercial restaurants, shopping, wedding hall, theater, spa, and specially casino are in each hotel.

Beside from hotel, it is cluster of other activities and recreations for all generations and for any type of group. Golf is for group of older generation. Water sports, arcade type of mini car racing, or tour for Grand Canyon can go well with family visitors. Exotic car racing, gun shooting, or laser tag are more for young visitors. But for sure, there are many performances and conventions to enjoy as well.


  1. 03:00PM: Hotel Check-in.

Venetian’s theme is Venice in Italy. All the rooms are suites in this hotel. There is Walgreen right under the hotel if you want to save some money for food. Location is also convenient to tour around the strip. The hotel is located on little above then middle of the strip.


  1. 04:00PM: Tour in Venetian – Lobby sightseeing and Shopping

Venetian has artistic interior and exterior. Visitors first get amazed by art works starting from main entrance. Once you put down luggage, it is time to visit Grand Canal Shoppes. Shopping area has canal with gondolas for visitors to ride. Ceiling is paint as blue sky. The area mimics street in Venice. There are some highly interesting stores. Frist store sells handmade Venetian masks. Second store is actually an antique shop. Pictures are not allowed in this place, but it is full of interesting items.

  1. 05:00PM: Dinner

After plane ride and from airport to hotel may cause exhaust. Since hotels in Las Vegas give coupons for restaurants in that hotel, it is not a bad idea to take that advantage. This helps managing budget for younger visitors, and therefore, they can spent more on other things.

  1. 06:00PM: Bellagio hotel for “O” show ticket and tour.

One of the most famous show/performance in Vegas is “O” show by Cirque du Soleil. Most of visitors make reservation in prior to their trip. Guests must redeem their online ticket to physical ticket 2 hours prior to the performance time.

While guests wait for the show, guest often tour around the hotel lobby and casino. One another option is hanging out front of the Bellagio hotel. There is fountain show to watch and street caricature drawers.  Or one can just wonder around with beer. It is legal in Las Vegas.

  1. 07:00PM: Watch “O” by Cirque du Soleil (90 minute performance ~8:30)

O show is an aquatic cirque without any speech. There are many parts/chapters in this cirque, but story does not necessary have to be understand. Guests enjoy performers’ sense of humor spoken by their gestures.

  1. 08:30PM: High Roller

Night view of the strip is amazing on this Ferris wheel. Hotels start light up their buildings around sunset. You will see entire strip from the top. It is great way to wrap up the first day in Vegas.

  1. 10:00PM: Sleep


  1. 09:00AM: “Welcome to Fabulous LAS VEGAS” sign

The iconic sigh of Las Vegas. It will surely make memorable picture. A tip for this is you should go little early. When people get gathered and starts to form a line, you will not be able to take pictures as freely as when it is less crowded. Therefore, get a fast and simple breakfast.

  1. 10:30AM: Activities/Recreation – Shooting range (strip gun club)

There are more activities in Las Vegas, but gun shooting is not a common activity you can find in other vacation places. It is close to the strip, and it has reasonable price to the experience.

  1. 01:30PM: Lunch at one of the famous buffet

Wicked Spoon in Cosmopolitan and Bacchanal in Caesars Palace are very famous, but Wynn, Bellagio, and other hotels have nice buffet. Here you can share about your trip with your companions. Take as much as time you need to eat and chat. Sharing experience right at the moment leaves longer trail of excitement.

  1. 03:00PM: Rest at hotel (nap + shower + change)

You might feel little tired after eating. If it is hot season, you may want to change your sweaty cloths. You may want to dress warmer if it is colder season. Having some rest between can help enjoy next plan.

  1. 04:30PM: Buying Souvenirs and tour more hotels

Now is the time to go in as many hotels. Going inside open area in hotels is absolutely fine. Visit their casinos, bars, lobbies, and shops. Gift shops have some good souvenirs that you can actually use and wear.

  1. 08:00PM: Dinner – Fremont

Fremont Street is known as an old town in Vegas. Cars can only be access to certain parts. There are many places to eat around.

  1. 09:30PM: Visit Fremont Street Old Town. Light show

Viva Vision Light Show is a six minute light show of LED ceiling. It starts at 6 or 8 pm depends on the season. The LED ceiling is installed above walkway.

  1. 12:00AM: Sleep.


  1. 10:00AM: Awake – Canyon Ranch Spa Club

You have been drinking and walking a lot for past two days. Last day is not so much physically active. Star the day by relieving physical fatigue by relaxing at spa. Canyon ranch spa club is a spa in Venetian hotel. What is the point of relaxing if the spa is at some other hotel and you have to travel for it?

  1. 01:00PM: Brunch

Have some energy to start the game. You can ask concierge to find a new restaurant, or you can visit other buffets.

  1. 03:00PM: Play at a casino

Finally, it is the time for gambling. Make this on last day. You will at least already have tickets for other shows and plane ticket even if you lose your money. Slot machines make you spend lots of money in short time, and it is just all by yourself. Try the cheapest 1 penny slot machine just for fun with your companions. If you do not know how to play, just simply watch people playing and learn. It should be only for fun, never invest lots of time and money.

  1. 06:00PM: “Tournament of Kings” with dinner (75 minute performance ~7:15)

There is a jousting performance with a meal at hotel ‘Excalibur’. As you can see in its name, it is medieval European theme. The building looks like a castle.

  1. 09:30PM: “KÀ” by Cirque du Soleil (90 minute performance ~11:00)

There is another performance by Cirque du Soleil at MGM Grand Hotel. It is somewhat oriental. The stage moves and performers sky actions are amazing. “KÀ” show gives different thrill from “O” Show

  1. 11:00PM: Enjoy last night view of Las Vegas at Eiffel Tower Experience at Paris Hotel.

Before you go back to hotel, enjoy your last night at Paris Hotel. You can go in and up to the Eiffel Tower for view.

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Chapter 13 Summary – Special Events

In the thirteenth chapter of the textbook, entiled “Special Events”, the gets to explore the diverse facets of the indispensable special events industry. The author begins the chapter by detailing what makes a special event unique. The author shares how special events stand apart from mundane daily happenings, in that they are rituals intended to honor the unique moments in life. Special events are inherently contrived and are usually preformed to satisfy a goal. The text tells the reader that special events is a vibrant industry with many career prospects in things such as event planning and management. The text goes on to say that the special events planners satiate a a need that was initially found by hotels and convention centers. As a result, these planners and managers must oversee the organization of an event from beginning to end. The chapter then turns its focus to the specific categorization of special events. Special events can be categorized as association events, fund-raising events, social functions, charity balls or any other number of classifications. Afterwards, the reader learns about the integral steps to to the special events planning process; these include research, design,planning, coordination and evaluation.  The planners of these events can work in a variety of settings which range from convention centers, hotels, or private clubs. In many cases the planners are self-employed. In addition, the author informs the reader that a effective event planner must have well developed leadership skills, social skills, budgeting skills, project management skills, negotiation skills, and excellent communicative ability. A quality event planner should also display enthusiasm and a penchant for multitasking. These high quality standards are generally enforced by an internal network of professional associations such as the International Special Events Society (ISES). ISES along with  other organizations provide continuing education, networking opportunities and certification.The text goes on to mention how the management of time and finances in conjunction with human resources and technology are key to a successful pursuit in the event planning industry. The chapter comes to a close by expressing the significant overlap that the special events industry has with fields such as catering, marketing, and entertainment.

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Chapter 12 Summary – Meetings, Conventions, and Expositions

In the twelve chapter of the text, titled Meetings, Conventions, and Expositions, the author details the ins and outs of organization and service in the convention industry. The chapter begins by stating that meetings, conventions and expositions always have a specific intended focus in mind. This focus can be social, religious, sporting or political in nature. In addition, the text notes that that associations behind these events tend to provide the benefits of increased political visibility, education, specialize member services, and marketing opportunities. From here, the author turns their attention to meetings, and discusses how they are meant to bring people together to exchange ideas and information. Meeting can take the form of workshops, forums, conferences or symposiums. Afterwards, the goes on to discuss expositions and conventions. Expositions are places where purveyors can demonstrate their products to potential clients. On the other hand, a convention is a meeting with an exposition component. The chapter the delves into the job of the meeting planner. A meeting planner is a contracted service provider, typically enlisted by corporations and associations, that assist in organizing and managing meeting events. Their task usually include premeeting, on-site and post- meeting activities. In addition, the author the informs the reader about visitors and convention bureaus. According to text, these are non-profit organizations that fulfill the logistical responsibilities traditionally preformed by market supplied event planners. They determine what specific clientele may require and respond by organizing the appropriate hotel accommodations, dining services, attractions and transportation. The chapter comes to a close by outlining the facilities that make these endeavors possible, these are known as convention centers, and they  are massive municipally owned facilities, where expositions and other large meetings  are held. The author leaves the reader by stressing how much prior planning and meticulous management these complex convention center events require.

Key Terms

1.Associations- Any labor union is by definition an association.

2.Convention- San Diego Conic-Con is a convention that brings together some of the most important professionals in the comic book industry so that can share their latest projects.

3.Convention and visitor’s bureaus (CVBs)- Convention and visitor’s bureaus allocate local resources to attract visitors to their city or region.

4.Convention center- The Javits Center in New York City is the convention center that holds New York Comic-Con every year.

5.Exposition- Trade fairs are the most common form of exposition.

6.Familiarization (FAM) trip- Any reputable meeting planner will make a thorough inspection of a venue during there familiarization trip, so they can best determine if it will suit the needs of their client.

7.Incentive market- The incentive market is built on the idea of rewarding employees for good work.

8.Meeting- To be part of any successful corporate enterprise, one must get use to attending a lot of meetings.

9.Meeting planner- The execution of a large corporate event always falls on the shoulders of the respective meeting planner.

10.Meetings, incentive travel, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE)- MICE travel is a rapidly growing and lucrative segment of the tourism industry.

11.Social, military,, educational, religious , and fraternal groups (SMERF)- A SMERF related event always has a very specific group of people in mind, who also share a common bond and interests.

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Chapter 6 Summary – The Restaurant Business

In chapter the reader is introduced to the ubiquitous social outlet of restaurants. the author initiates by conveying that restaurants are places that offer the combined attraction of social interaction and food.  They stress that restaurants function more than just to provide a decent meal.  Restaurants also seek to deliver endearing service and a memorable dining experience. The text goes on to say that for a restaurant to prosper  it must have an appropriate combination of appealing service, food, location and atmosphere. All these elements must be tailored to the type of customer they wish to attract. The location  and relative geography is particularly important for determining a potential market and customer demographic. In addition, the nature of a restaurant’s menu and its pricing configuration must not only correspond with the tastes of desired customers but also the capabilities of employees and the existing kitchen equipment. The text continues by detailing the division of restaurants between those that are part of chain and those that are independent. It concludes by outlining the various designations used for describing restaurants such as fine dining, casual dining, ethnic, and fast food/quick service.

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Chapter 5 Summary – Beverages

In chapter five of the text, attention is turned to the indispensable dining element of beverages. The author begins by distinguishing beverages into the categories of alcoholic and nonalcoholic. They further delineate alcoholic as either wine, beer or spirits. The text then describes wine as the fermented juice of ripe grapes, and that it is classified according to color, additives, and developmental processes. The production of wine consist of six steps: crushing, fermenting, racking, maturing, filtering and boiling. Wine is primarily and historically produced in the European countries of France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Portugal. Other important wine-growing regions exist such as California, southern South America, and Australia. Afterwards, the text the shifts focus to beer. Beer is a commonly consumed beverage made from malt. It is typically fermented and brewed. Beer comes in a few varieties, these include pilsner, ale, stout and lager. The text continues by elaborating on spirits. Spirits are generally beverages with a higher alcohol content, and are typically not served with meals. They are produced through the fermentation and distillation of various sorts. Popular spirits include gin, vodka, whiskey and rum. The text goes on to mention that in recent years people have become much more healh conscious about consuming alcohol. As a result, the consumption of nonalcoholic beverages like coffee and bottled water have increased markedly. The chapter concludes by sharing the immense importance of beverages to restaurant revenue along with the increasing prominence of programs and laws devoted to the safe and responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages.

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