Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Flagstaff, Arizona

 For Spring Break we drove to Mexico.  Yes, very adventurous, and I will share the details soon.  It was
about fifteen hours of travel, so we broke it up into several days, stopping in Flagstaff, AZ for a two nights.
Flagstaff is known as the ski town of Arizona, home to Northern Arizona University and located on the historic Route 66.
 As in Fort Collins, we enjoyed exploring Flagstaff's little downtown area with their shops and restaurants.  One night we ate a local hot spot called The Tinderbox, featuring fancy comfort food.  So yum.

Going to a new restaurant with Daniel is so fun because we're both so entranced by the menu, that we often get to try it all.  It makes me giddy looking at all the fresh options and anticipating their arrival on our table.
                             The next day for breakfast I enjoyed quiche at another local joint
                                                                       La Bellevia
Right across the street was a place called NiMarco's.  I need to go back because I am so curious.
 What is Flagstaff's style of pizza?
I'm beginning to realize that any town can offer an adventure for exploration.  Every place has something unique to discover.  

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fort Collins, CO

Our friends from Chicago, John and Heather, have chosen to move out west for what they are hoping is a slower pace of life.  They have picked Fort Collins, Colorado as their new home.   Daniel and I met them on our last day in Denver to go see the new house they are about to close on and explore the town.
Fort Collins is a college town, home of Colorado State University, and an hour north of Denver.  This a picture of the reservoir which looks over the town.
 The thing I loved the most about Fort Collins is its so charming Old Downtown.
 This college town must have more industry or lots of tourism because it's a downtown is a big area, filled with nice shops and restaurants. The buildings and sidewalks have been freshened up and maintained, something I don't think alot of cities can afford to do when trying to revive their old downtowns.
Okay, let's talk taste buds.  For dinner we went to a local brewery and John ordered chicken and waffles.  The chicken was so-so, but the waffles were served with pepper butter, creating an amazing contrast to the maple syrup.  He let me try one, and I'm telling you, you gotta try Pepper Butter!
For breakfast we went to the Silver Grill Cafe and I had my first Bloody Mary, virgin of course.  I have always been nervous to try tomato juice, but I think I'm going to look up a few recipes. It was yummy, especially with the big stalk of celery.  
                                       You will never find a more luscious, not too sweet cinnamon roll, than at              the Silver Grill Cafe, Fort Collins, CO.  Hope you get to stop by one day.

Bye bye Chicago.  We sure had a great time with you, but are grateful to have our friends within driving distance.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Denver, Colorado

Last weekend Daniel and I had a little getaway to Denver, Colorado.  We stayed just off of Sixteenth Street Mall.  This is what it looked like in the evenings.  It was pretty cold. Each night we would start out walking towards our restaurant and then resort to taking the shuttle or getting a ride from a bike carriage.

On our trip we met two very interesting people.  One was our taxi driver who took us from the airport to our hotel.  He was from Afghanistan and had moved to America when he was 18 years old in 1974.  Having read The Kite Runner, I was fascinated to meet someone who had a very similar background and time frame to the protagonist in the book.

 The other man I was mesmerized by was Claude, a fifty something black man who was shining shoes on the corner of 16th and Welton.  We stopped because my beautiful boots Daniel had given me for Christmas had a few scuffs on them.  I received a lecture about the importance of cleaning my shoes.  First, shoes are filthy and carry disease, and second, my shoes are made of skin.  It would be irresponsible for me to neglect this skin, let it dry out and crack, when it always took such good care of the animal is was on.
Throughout this learning/polishing session, Claude would look up to notice everyone who walked by.  Sometimes he'd comment on the people, "Are you a bumblebee?"  he'd say to a man passing by.  "Well, how did you get that honey?" referring to the woman at the man's side.  Sometimes Claude would comment on the shoes, "Nice shoes.. to one of you."  Daniel watched as two men carried on walking while looking down at their shoes and then at the other's.  "I think you might have just started a fight," he reported.  Daniel decided to wear his leather shoes the next day and go back to the same spot for a shoe shine.  I loved my time with Claude.  I love people who make me laugh and who are also serious about life.

Our favorite discoveries for food were Vesta Dipping Grill on 1822 Blake Street - Very cool and very delicious.
 Mixed baby heirloom lettuces, shaved butternut squash, ricotta, garden herb vinaigrette.  Garlic grilled scallops, fingerling potatoes, fennel-arugula salad, bacon aioli.  That was my appetizer and main dish.  Then a sliced caramel apple for dessert with a vanilla bean sauce for dipping.

And Snooze, an A.M. Eatery on 2262 Larimer Street
 - so cute and so yummy. 
 Upside down pineapple pancakes with cinnamon butter.  Sweet potato pancakes with pecans and caramel.  The list goes on and on.

Besides relaxing and exploring, the best part about a vacation is discovering the best food your destination has to offer.  Daniel often uses to find recommendations.  

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cinque Terre

On the northwest side of Italy, there is a place on the Mediterranean Sea called Cinque Terre.
                                 Cinque Terre actually consists of five separate villages on the coast.
                                                   Are you ready to see this amazing place?
  Here is a picture of what the coast looks like between each town.  You can see the tunnel where the train comes through.  The train is the best way to travel in Cinque Terre.
 The roads and stairways can be very steep.  Don't bring high heels for this reason,  also the cobblestones.
 Doesn't it look so tranquil and inviting?!  All you can do here is eat, swim, hike and shop.  What wonderful ways to spend your days in the sun.  I was so happy when I visited here on my way back from Lake Como.
At the very top of the main street in Vernazza, Daniel and I wandered upon a fantastic little restaurant, owned and ran by twin brothers from Sicily.   Their food was delicious and they were so funny, they entertained us the entire meal.   We had to go back a second time.
 We rented an apartment right above the main square looking out onto the water.  It had a kitchen, dining room, living room, two bedrooms and bathroom with a washer machine.  I absolutely loved hanging my clothes to dry on the lines outside our windows.  We paid 320 euros for two nights, that ended up being 80 euros per night, per couple.  Here is the stairway leading to our front door on the right.  Oops, we left the kitchen light on when we went out that night.
 This is a place that is calling me back.  I could live here.  I hope I do someday.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


When we were at Lake Como, we drove over the Swiss Alps to Zurich for two days and a night.
                          On our drive we saw lots of little villages nestled into the mountains.
Switzerland has the most beautiful countryside.  Green as England but with majestic  mountains.

                                               Zurich was as clean and polished as Disneyland.

           This church has stain glass windows made by the Jewish Russian-French artist Marc Chagall

                                                The city is built on the edge of a lake.

                       .                          This was the location of our hotel.

In Switzerland they speak German, French and English.

                                       Look at these crazy switchbacks!  We drove on them.

While in Zurich, we passed by a Bookshop.  I went in to discover new children's picture books.

 A Bell for Ursli shares the old Swiss traditions of ringing out the winter with their Spring Festival. 
Written by Selina Chonz and illustrated by Alois Carigiet 

Another book by same author and artist is The Snowstorm.  This time Ursli is older and we met his little sister Florina.  They are decorating their sleds for a sledding party.  If you have Swiss in your ancestry,  you should consider adding these two books to your collection.  They are so sweet and are a great way to learn your heritage.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


A few weeks ago my sister'n law Emily wrote a great post about essential items you should pack to feel your best when traveling.  I have just a couple items to add to her list and it all has to do with regularity.

Before I read The Green Smoothie Diet and started drinking them every day, I didn't understand the importance of being regular.  But now I do, it has become an issue for me when I travel.

Two obstacles stand in my way of being regular when I travel.

Diet and Location

When we go to England, we usually go for about two weeks.  That's a long time to be without my smoothies.  I try to eat as many fruits and vegetables as I can, but its never as many as I would eat if I were home.

 Okay, I know this is too much information, but I first discovered probiotics because I was searching for a natural solution to female infections, and then realized they also help my intestinal tract.  So that is a great option to take when traveling.  The purple link above takes you to a help website where you can learn more.

Also I discovered when I went to Lake Powell  this fall, that chocolate covered raisins will also do the trick.  I can not stop eating them if there's a tub from Costco lying around, but I have decided they are worth the calories and need to be an essential item I pack for long trips.

Okay, now to solve the problem of location.  Sometimes when I am staying in small quarters and everyone is feeling way too close to the bathroom, my body will not relax.  Well, if I have Poo-Pourri in my toiletry bag,  I am fine.  Just spray the toilet water before you go and it cancels out any unwanted smells.

Hope these tips will help you feel your best on your next trip.