To my readers: This is a guide for Sara Rodriguez who will be my exchange partner for Hostelling International’s BigBlogExchange. Starting on Friday (June 7th), we will be simultaneously embarking on a new adventure to each other’s country. Sara, who is from Spain, will be visiting the United States (Boston, LA, and San Francisco). I will be visiting Spain. I fly to Madrid, and will subsequently visit Segovia, Toledo, Sevilla, Cordóba, and Granada. During this period, Sara will be writing on my blog and I on hers. As part of the BigBlogExchange’s vision of “Changing the world using the power of blogs.”
First off, I would like to take this opportunity to formally welcome you to the United States. It is wonderful that you will be visiting my country, and I hope you know that you are welcome with open arms.
I know that you’ll be visiting some exciting places such as Boston, LA, and San Francisco. It will be exciting to see what you come up with in your experiences. I must say that I am interested to read your experiences for several reasons. One major reason is Boston. As we all know, Boston was recently tragically attacked in one of its grandest events: The Boston Marathon. Just over one year ago, I was living in Boston and even attended the Boston marathon. I enjoyed my time there in the city and held special memories of the Marathon experience. I was encouraged by so many nations coming together for a common purpose. So encouraged in fact, that it became one of my early articles on this blog. I hope that in visiting Boston, you will be encouraged by the resilience of the Bostonian people and that they will be a reflection of how Americans can come together in times of crisis. I hope that you are able to enjoy the rich history that lives in Boston and enjoy some of the many foods that Boston has to offer.
My recommendations for Boston:
(1) Walk the Freedom Trail – I walked the freedom trail one day when I was living in Boston. The freedom trail begins in the park called Boston Commons and can take a few hours to walk if you take your time. The Freedom Trail is nice because you get to see a variety of things and most of the major historic places.
(2) Relax in Boston Commons – It is a really nice park in the center of Boston’s downtown. The weather may be or may not be nice enough in the moment to relax in Boston Commons, but if you get a chance try to spend some time people watching in Boston Commons. People watching can be a great way to get to know the locals.
(3) North end – Commonly referred to as Boston’s “Little Italy”, the area has some great little restaurants and bakeries, especially if you like sweets :). North end also has a nice nightlife. Tip: Don’t refer to this area as Little Italy. It is very touristy to say this and locals do not always appreciate it. There is also a China Town in downtown Boston if you are around. I recommend eating a lunch there as they can be quite cheap. I got Mongolian beef served over a plate of rice, soup, and a full kettle of tea for $5.
(4) Check out some of the universities – Boston is home to nearly 45 different universities including some of the most well-respected in the world. If you get some time, you may enjoy making a visit to some of the universities.
Getting around Boston:
Boston has an extensive subway system, which you can find a map for here: http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/subway/
LA and San Francisco
I’d recommend a few things in California, but unfortunately I have never been there… It is strange how you visit the world, but don’t always get to see your own country isn’t it? I’ve heard some nice things about the cuisine and districts of LA as well as the beauty of San Francisco. For someone such as yourself who enjoys photography, I imagine that you will really enjoy it and have wonderful photo opportunities. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
What you are missing…
I really wish that you were able to visit my region of the United States. I have been fortunate enough to travel to many of the States, but I can honestly say Louisiana is quite different from the rest. I often try to convince people to come to the South of the US to experience another side of the US as most people often visit the US hot spots such as New York, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, LA, and even Boston. For future reference, Louisiana is a great state with lots of exciting things for visitors to do. In addition, in Louisiana you will find New Orleans, which is a truly international city. The nature of Louisiana keeps it interesting as well, as you may have read in my An Alligator Ate My Shirt article… something is always going on with those crazy Cajuns. I should mention that food is delicious here as well.
Well, goodbye for now. ¡Espero que lo disfrutes mucho tu rato aquí!