Friday, March 16, 2012

A Feast for the Gastronomes in Dumaguete

I'll take a break from my Star-Spangled Journey posts and whet your appetite with these gastronomic choices in Dumaguete City.

1. Have your breakfast and pamper your sweet tooth at Cafe Mamia, located along the Boulevard. The view of the sea and comings-and-goings at the Boulevard make for perfect breakfast companions.

All-day breakfast, salads, sandwiches, shakes and pastries at affordable prices.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Star-Spangled Journey: Boston to NYC for US$15

At the Boston Bus Station

Getting to New York City can be expensive. But for US$ 15, we hummed New York, New York from Boston to the Big Apple. We took the Fung Wah bus from the Boston Bus Station. 

Star-Spangled Journey: Quacking Around Boston

I've taken the Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours and water cruise in the past but this was my first time to take a Duck Tour. We bought our tickets at the Prudential Tower (the ticket included a pass to the Skywalk Observatory) and then waited for our 4:30 ride just outside the Prudential Tower.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Star-Spangled Journey: Education(al) Tour in Massachusetts

A trip to Boston won't be complete without making a side trip to Cambridge to somehow get a glimpse of the Harvard University or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). We managed to visit two campuses and had a glimpse of the other academic institutions.

Just across from the hotel where we were staying was a long stretch of buildings comprising the Boston University.

And while we were strolling one evening, we passed by the Berklee College of Music. This school, located on Boylston Street, was founded by Lawrence Berk in 1945. Among its roster of alumni is the conductor of FILharmoniKA, Gerard Salonga.

Star-Spangled Journey: Boston

I was glad that East Coast was part of our itinerary because I have always wanted to visit Boston. I already fell in love with the city even before I set foot on its soil.

From Buffalo, we took a Jet Blue flight to Boston. Then we proceeded to Hotel Buckminster where we would be billeted for the night. And surprise, we were upgraded to a two-bedroom suite facing the CITGO sign and the main thoroughfare of Boston. It is close to the Charles River, the Boston University, the Subway station and of course, the famous Fenway Park. The brick hotel almost takes the form of the triangular lot on which it stands in Kenmore Square. I love the old charm of this place with its carpeted floor in dark rich red, the wooden furniture in the rooms, the columns in the hallway, and even the elevator (with its slow speed and that familiar old chime when it reaches a floor). It allows one to imagine being transported to a bygone era. The hotel is an institution in Boston, it being one of the oldest hotels in the city. It was designed by Stanford White, the same guy behind the Boston Public Library. Hotel Buckminster also figured in sports history when it became the nest for the Black Sox Scandal which fixed the game of the 1919 World Series. In fact there is a plate attached to the lobby's wall which served as a reminder of the said scandal. On the other hand, the CITGO sign has been a beacon to Boston since 1940, a welcome sight to sports enthusiasts, particularly the baseball players and runners. And it has survived five hurricanes. 

 Hotel Buckminster

Friday, March 2, 2012

Star-Spangled Journey: Niagara Falls

We took a morning Southwest flight from Baltimore to Buffalo. A SuperShuttle van picked us up at the hotel at the scheduled time. For my party of three, we paid $65.00.  We shared the van with three other passengers whom we picked up on our way to the airport.

The flight took almost an hour. Upon arriving at the Buffalo airport, we decided to take the Metro Bus #210 since it was cheaper with a fare of $ 1.75/pax compared to taking a chauffeured transpo. The downside though was waiting for at least 30 minutes for the bus to arrive. There were no luggage counters at the airport so we had to bring our suitcase to the Niagara Falls. Good thing, we could leave our stuff at the Visitors Center.

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