01.04.2017

London 2017

Great way to begin the new year in London!

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Covent Garden Christmas Day
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Cliche London Pose
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Trafalgar Square
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Big Ben background
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Christmas at Piccadilly Square 
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In the spotlight!
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Westminster Abbey 
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Buckingham Palace – cold af 
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Hyde Park 
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Missing ear muffs!

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Shut up everybody, shut up! Don’t move, don’t speak, don’t breathe, I’m trying to think. Anderson, face the other way, you’re putting me off — Sherlock

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Sherlock Holmes Museum 

The name is Sherlock Holmes, and the address is 221B baker street. Afternoon.

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Hyde Park Winter Wonderland!
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Tower of London
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Windsor Castle — Shooting season 2 of “The Crown”
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Stonehenge – cold af 
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Bath
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St. Paul’s Cathedral hidden under fog 

 

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Corgi Thank you card for our hosts!
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Can’t forget the Fish ‘n Chips!
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Tower Bridge
Great way to begin the new year in London!
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07.26.16

Denver, Colorado

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Larimer Square 
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Colorado Convention Center
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York Street Garden – So many Paras caught…
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Caught a Pikachu here!
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Zen
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Japanese Garden
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The Source – River North District
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The Great Divide Brewery – Hoss!! 
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Denver Zoo – Up close with tiger
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Found Nemo
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Couldn’t catch this one…
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Bae

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Little Man Ice Cream – Highland 
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Coors Field – Braves vs. Rockies
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Mountain background
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Hot as hell @ Red Rocks
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Red Rocks Amphitheater 

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Kodak moment
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Pearl Street – Boulder, Colorado
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End the trip at Union Station!!

Great trip to Denver.

Big city with a small town charm.

Thank you Derek for meeting us out in Boulder!

 

 

 

 

Italy (Florence & Venice)

Florence, Italy

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David Statue @ Accademia Gallery. Majestic af
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Florence Cathedral
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Dome inside the Duomo
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Street chalk painting

Uffizi Museum

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Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli @ Uffizi Museum 
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Primavera by Sandro Botticelli @ Uffizi Museum 

Me “What is this one called?”

Rosemarie “This one’s Primavera”

Me “Primavera like … Chicken Primavera from Cheesecake Factory?”

Rosemaire “…Yes…exactly like that…”

Me “Nice”

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Ponte Vecchio 

Venice, Italy

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First rainy day in Venice
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Grand Canal at Venice 
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Styling the poncho 
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Doge’s Palace
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Piazza San Marco – crowded
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Gondola’s
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Saint Mark’s Basilica 
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End of a great trip to Italy! 

 

Thanks for reading!

JL

Italy Trip (ROME)

Roma, Italy

Day 1 (4.18.2016)

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“Let’s Rome around!”
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First stop – Trevi Fountain
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Second stop – Pantheon
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Inside Pantheon – Perfect Dome
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Third stop – Piazza Novana. Fountain of Four Brothers and Egyptian obelisk
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Forever crowded
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Pantheon again at night.
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View from the fountain in Piazza della Rotonda – Restaurants all around the piazza
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Still crowded
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War trying to get through the streets
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Trevi Fountain again at night

Day 2

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Piazza Barberini near our hotel @ 7 AM. Empty street
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On our way to the Spanish Steps
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Unfortunately the Steps were under construction, but got to catch the sunrise!
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Vatican Museum
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Got there early and avoided the crowds!
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Huge Museum.

The highlight of the entire trip was definitely seeing Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Spent an hour inside just looking up the ceiling in silence. “Greatest piece of art ever created.” I think it’s safe to deem Michaelangelo GOAT. Unfortunately, no photography allowed inside the chapel…I recommend you go see it yourself!

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Got lucky and saw the Pope speak @ St. Peter Square! Can you find him…?
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Second Museum of the day – Castel Sant’Angelo!
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Tiber River near Vatican
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Cafe inside Castel Sant’Angelo
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Great view of Rome on top of Castel Sant’Angelo
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St. Peter’s Basilica – “Greatest of all churches of Christendom.”
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Inside St. Peter’s. Very, very crowded
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Michaelangelo’s Pieta inside St. Peter’s.
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Dome inside St. Peter’s

Day 3

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The Colosseum
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With Bae
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Artistic AF
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“Are you not entertained?!”
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Can someone photoshop all the tourists out of this picture?
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Entering the Roman Forum near the Colosseum
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View from Palatine Hill – “Beverly Hills of ancient Rome”
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Roman Forum
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Colosseum in background from Palatine Hill
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Rosemarie “Can you NOT open the entire map? Stop looking like such a tourist!”
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No shame in opening map on the streets!!! Still got lost.
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Can’t forget the Gelato!
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Finish off a great trip to Rome with Tiramisu from Osteria dell’ingegno

 

Had a great time in Rome for the first leg of our trip. Had a nice hotel location near Bernini station and was walking distance from everywhere.

I definitely recommend getting the Rome Pass (~35 euros) for anyone visiting this city. This pass will get you unlimited access to bus and metro for 3 days, and entrance into two museums from a select list. We used the Rome Pass to get into the Colosseum and Castel Sant’Angelo.

Be sure to reserve tickets for the Vatican Museum prior to your trip so you don’t have to battle long lines, even in the mornings. Also make reservations for all the restaurants you want to eat at! The hole in the wall restaurants with authentic foods will all be booked, so make reservations way in advance!

You will be bombarded by street vendors on every corner. They will shove bright colored selfie sticks in your face. Do them and yourself a favor and just buy one. Not to use it to take selfies…but to smack anyone in your way while visiting Trevi Fountain or anywhere there is a congregation of obnoxious tourist groups.

We used Fodor’s Essential Italy travel book to plan most our trip (by “We” I mean Rosemarie). The book provides great insight into the top attractions and everything in between. If you’re planning your own trip, this book will help you schedule a packed trip.

If you are traveling without a tour guide and want to visit the attractions at your own pace I definitely recommend using TripScout! It’s an essential app for all travelers. The app provides a curated list of all the top attractions, audio tours and offline maps. TripScout also donates 10% of all revenue to charity for local causes!

I also took advantage of Rick Steve’s podcasts that provided long and insightful audio guides for the top attractions, such as Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s etc. It helped us stay engaged for the museums as he and other tour guides walked us through the history and explanations for some of the art work and architecture.

Overall, great three days in Rome!

Stay tuned for Florence and Venice posts.

Thanks for reading,

JL

 

 

 

3.16.16

Los Angeles, California

I had the pleasure of visiting the City of Angels this past weekend with my Braddock Elementary crew, Shan and Stephen. Shan has been a Kobe fan his entire life and with the Mamba retiring this season, it was time for us to pay tribute as he went head to head with the King one last time.

From D.C & ATL to LA we went. Here are some pictures we took throughout our trip.

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We arrived at LAX and went straight to the Staples Center.
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Had to get a picture with the great Magic Johnson of course
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The Mamba. Aka. BOAT (Best Of All Time) — Had a great game

We went to LA on Thursday without tickets to a Thursday night primetime game. We were unsure if Kobe or LeBron would play. We bought the tickets two hours before the game and prayed.

“Shan, what if he doesn’t play…?”

“Don’t worry he’ll play”

“How do you know?”

“I tweeted at him. He’ll play.” And so he did.

We are still waiting for a re-tweet from Kobe though..

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Dinner in K-Town @ Kang Ho Dong Baek Jeong after the game.
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Me, Stephen and Shan hanging out at the Americana Plaza in Glendale before lunch
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Lunch @ Din Tai Fung in Glendale – Soup Dumplings
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Warner Brother Studio Tour in Hollywood
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Grabbed a cup of coffee @ Central Perk
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On the set of Friends
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In-N-Out Burger

Went out of our way to get In-N-Out burger for the first time. It was pretty hyped so I was excited but expectations fell short on the first bite.

Shake Shack & Five Guys > In-N-Out!

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Griffith Park hike…

We asked our Lyft driver to take us to Griffith Park. He dropped us off telling us the Hollywood sign is only a 20 minute hike. Lies. He dropped us off on the other side of the mountain and took us 2.5 hours to hike up the mountain…hungover.

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Then the climb down to the Griffith Observatory

Stephen saved a little girl’s life on this treacherous hike down to the Griffith Observatory.

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View was worth it though
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Got to pick out my spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Right above Tom’s
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Walking around Rodeo drive. No shopping. Just walking.

Stephen – “Damn.. there are NO homeless people here. WE are the homeless. Just push me into one of the Ferraris as it comes by…we can split the settlement three ways.”

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Ballin on Venice Beach. We saw, we came, we conquered. One and done.
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Young King – Best Tang Soo Yuk hands down. Steve went through about 4 bibs.
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Park BBQ

Great trip out to LA. Big city with a lot of character and great weather. Won’t miss the traffic though. These were my highlights from the trip!

And last but not least…

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Squad since ’97 rollin deep!

More trips to come – Austin, TX…?

Thanks for reading,

JL