Monthly Archives: July 2011

Palma de Majorca: Palma Perfection

When I think of Palma de Majorca (Palma de Mallorca) it absolutely takes my breath away.  There is this peacefulness about it that I just can’t explain. Everyone seems to walk a little slower, the sun seems a little brighter and the café con leche tastes a little better. Palma is one of those places that you should call home at some point in your life.

I arrived early in the morning when the island was still shut down.  Some local fruit vendors were setting up for the day and the street sweepers were driving up and down the tiny streets.  I really had the pleasure to just take my time and enjoy Palma before the day started. I found a quiet street off the beaten path and sat down for a morning coffee as I mapped out everything I wanted to do during my one-day stay.

Palma is a tiny area and you can really see all that the city has to offer in just a few hours. It’s not known for its shopping, although there are some great stores if you are looking to do some damage on your credit card. But truthfully, if you plan on visiting Majorca, go for the atmosphere, don’t waste anytime looking for a great restaurant or a nice patio because they are everywhere. Rather than taking a vehicle, I urge you to walk the streets of Palma. It’s very safe and extremely clean; something you may miss if you’re stuck inside a car.

Here are a few things to see:

  •  The Cathedral de Palma – sticks out like a sore thumb in Palma. It really is the first thing you see as you near the city.  I’m personally not a history buff, but I even have to admit I was pretty taken by it.  The only drawback was a number of officials in their horses riding around the structure – it did smell a little bit.
  • Paseo Maritmo – This marina is a beautiful and romantic area where you can unwind. You can choose to walk up and down the street or sit down and enjoy the patio. Here, you will see boats and yachts pull up. I would imagine by how busy the area was that this is the hotspot for locals and tourists.
  • S’hort del Rei – By far this was the best place that I stumbled across. A botanical park with a fountain…doesn’t that sound boring? Well, I wasn’t planning for this to be a “place to see” rather somewhere for me to pass through to get to my next destination.  As I walked through the park, the tall trees would provide some shaded areas and I could hear the faint sound of water running from the fountain.  The highlight was the saxophone player playing the Beatles hit, Yesterday.  Lovely.
  • Plaza Mayor de Palma de Mallorca – The large town square local street vendors set up for the day, street performers outdo one another and of course a place to rest after a long day on your feet.

If you are planning a trip to Spain, be sure to add Palma to your itinerary. You don’t need to be there for long, but you should be there!

Until we meet again….

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Categories: Europe | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Chicago: Chi-Town

 In my opinion Chicago is probably the nicest U.S city I have visited, often comparing it to New York City but without the hustle and bustle.  Residents of Chicago seem a little more approachable and a little bit more conscious of work-life balance. 
 I was fortunate to visit Chicago on my one-year wedding anniversary which happened to be the same day of the Chicago Blackhawk Stanley Cup parade. Our taxi driver had to drop us off a few blocks away from our hotel, The Hard Rock Hotel on North Michigan and Wacker because all the streets were shut down.  The hotel is the perfect homebase to explore all things Chicago.  Very trendy in its décor this well-kept hotel is a block from the water and at the tip of the Magnificent Mile and attached the best steakhouse Morton’s.

Stanley Cup Parade

 So what else is there to do in Chicago? Here are some obvious and not-so-obvious things to do:  
Hop-on-Hop-off Tour – For $30 per day, this double decker bus will take you to all of Chicago’s hotspots. This is a great way to get around and learn about Chicago’s history.

 Segway Tour – If you are a bit more daring try a Segway tour through the city. You follow your guide around Chicago while getting a history lesson.

 Shedd Aquarium – I’m the first to admit that this didn’t excite me when I included it in my itinerary but I will be the first to admit how wrong I was. This was probably one of the highlights of my trip. The dolphin show was incredible and the 4-D auditorium is amazing! It’s a great place to visit if you have kids or visiting Chicago with a friend.
 Howling Moon – If you’re looking for an entertaing night I can not stress how much fun you will have at the Howling Moon.  This dueling piano bar plays the best oldies and top 40 while the packed house sings along.

Magnificent Mile – The obvious highlight of Chicago. The Mile has an array of shopping both affordable and not affordable. Just walking up and down N. Michigan Ave. is fun!

 Morton’s – I touched up on the fact that this steakhouse is attached to the Hard Rock, but besides that – the steak and service is unbelievable. I was hear on my one-year anniversary and the staff went as far as taking a photo of my husband and I, printed it on a card and individually signed with the staff’s best wishes. Great service isn’t even the word.
 Mike Ditka’s – I’m not one for bar food. But this was a great place to stop and have lunch. The portions are good and the food is very tasty.  You don’t have to like sports to enjoy the atmosphere.

 Some places that I found to be a little overrated:

 Millenium Park – across from the Hard Rock, if you have 15-20 minutes to spare, take a stroll through the park. It’s nice, but it’s a park. There isn’t too much that impressed me here.
 
Navy Pier – I probably was expecting more, but I found the pier to be a little boring. There isn’t much to do other than walk on a pier and go on a few rides. Honestly, if I didn’t see it I would have been ok.
 
Giordano’s Deep Dish Pizza – everyone talks about Chicago’s deep dish pizza and say that Giordano’s is the place to go. I will be honest, I really didn’t think it was that good and it was very overpriced.  There are plenty of other places that I’m sure make a better pizza.
 
Chicago is the perfect place for a weekend getaway. There are tons of things to do whether you’re a single traveler or travelling with a family.  It’s a great city and I highly recommend it.
Until next time……
 
Categories: North America | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

En Route….

Sorry folks, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’m en route to the beautiful Greek islands and will be back with my review. See you in a few….

Categories: Where am I? | Leave a comment

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