Month: June 2015

Paris, France

After spending some time in London I would love to move on into France.  I have always wanted to visit France because it’s seems so beautiful, there is incredible food and so much cultural history.  Also because ever since I was little girl I have been given many of the Madeline books, seeing as we share a very similar name.  I having been dreaming of Paris ever since.

If I was going from England to France I would want to take the Chunnel.  It seems amazing to me that they could build a train underwater, I would want to go on just see what it was like.  I would take the train from coquelles to Paris.  I would want to spend time in Paris because it is beautiful, there are so many places to eat, the Louvre looks incredible and I want to window shop.

I love the idea of spending each morning at a cafe, drinking coffee, eating and trying not to embarrassing myself with my

terrible French.  I will try my best to speak because I have heard the French appreciate the effort, however I was never fluent and it has been ten years since I took a French class.  I would then plan a whole day at the Louvre.  I would not want to be in a rush, I would want to enjoy all of the beautiful art and read about some of the history.  Hopefully at some point I will squeeze through the crowd to see the Mona Lisa.

The next day  I would head to the Eiffel Tower.  It would be silly to travel all the way to Paris and not climb the Eiffel tower.  I’m sure it’s crowded, but it’s iconic, and I would do it.

Then I would spend the rest of the day sipping coffee and shopping.  The Luxury stores in Paris are so beautiful and I would feel so fancy, even though I can’t even afford to window shop at place like Chanel and Dior.  I love to spend a leisurely day enjoying the shops and an parks I might come across.

There are no specific place I want to eat in Paris, because I would eat anything.  French cooking is so delicious, they use fresh ingredients are are not afraid of butter.  I would wander around and eat at whatever cafe or bakery sounded the best.

Please leave any comments about your favorite places to see and foods to eat in Paris!

London, England

I have always wanted to go to Europe.  There is so much history and such a mix of cultures.  I would love to be able to visit in person the places I had to learn about in history class my whole life.  The first place in Europe I would like to visit is London, England.

London is a good place to start because they speak English, so at least there wouldn’t be a language barrier for me.  I took French in high school, but I am hardly ready to break out my French in France.  I also want to visit London because I love rainy/cloudy weather and drinking tea.

The first place I would visit is the London Library, which has over a million books.  I would need two or three books to travel around the city with me so that whenever I get a a chance I can sit down and read.  London seems like the kind of place where you should always have a book with you.  I would also love to visit the British Museum, where I could learn about and see interesting things about European history.

I would love to take a cheesy double decker bus tour around London.  I don’t usually love touristy stuff, but I would feel like I was missing out if I didn’t.  It seems like the quintessential thing you have to do when you are in London.  In that same vein I would want to go on the London Eye.  I’m sure the lines are long and it’s expensive ($30 US dollars), but I think it would be so cool to see the view.

Of course at some point I would have to eat.  I’m not too keen on fish and chips, but I would try it if I was there.  One restaurant I would love to visit is Ottoleghi, which is known for Middle Eastern inspired vegetarian dishes. I would also stop many times every day to have tea.  I like green and grey and every other kind of tea.  Of course I would also need some dessert.  I will make it a point to go to Gelupo for some blood orange granita gelato.

Please leave any comments about your favorite things to do and foods to eat in London!

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago-Skyline-at-Night

I visited Chicago once in June 2008.  Unfortunately the reason for my visit was the death and funeral of my grandmother. She had grown up and raised her children there, and was buried with her husband, my grandfather.

Even though I was there for a sad reason I really enjoyed visited the city of Chicago.  it is one of the most beautiful big cities I have ever seen.  The architecture is stunning and interesting and Lake Michigan is beautiful.  I would love to visit Chicago again.

My mom grew up in Oak Park, which is a village in Chicago.  Famous people like Frank Lloyd Wright and Ernest Hemingway were originally from Oak Park.  There is a Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Tour that I would love visit in Oak Park.  Fun fact: my mom attended the same high school as Ernest Hemingway, though not at the same time of course.

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I would also love to take an architecture tour.  There are boat tours that run up and down the Chicago River where you can see some of the downtown skyscrapers.

One important thing people should know about me is that I love pizza.  I eat it whenever I can.  Lucky for me Chicago is known for its deep dish pizza.  I want to go to a restaurant called Burt’s Place which has been honored by Thrillest as the best deep dish pizza Chicago.  They are known for their caramelized cheese edges.  If there is one thing I know, it ispizza that there is nothing better than caramelized cheese.

Another Chicago requirement is a hot dog.  I don’t usually love hot dogs, but I would make an exception for a Chicago style dog from a street vendor. The toppings on a Chicago style dog are yellow mustard, relish, onions, tomato, pickles, peppers and celery salt.  I love mustard, so I’m in.

Lastly I would take myself to shores of Lake Michigan.  The beaches are beautiful but the water is freezing.  I would love to spend an afternoon walking along the shore and enjoying the view of the clear blue water and the famous skyline.

Please leave any comments about your favorite things to do and foods to eat in Chicago.

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Los Angeles, California

la

Los Angeles is one of my favorite places in the world.  I have been to visit 3-4 times and I love it, and like New York it is the kind of place you should definitely visit more than once.  Why do I like so much?

I love the weather.

I love the shopping.

I love the ocean views.

I love the food!

Next time I visit, it will be to go on a eating tour.  I have sampled just a few on the great restaurant options in LA and I am raw foodsold. Every time I go to LA is eat at Planet Raw.  (If I’m being completely honest I eat there at least twice per visit).  They don’t currently have a physical location, but I will go to a new location as soon as it opens.  I know that raw food doesn’t sound all that exciting but it tastes so good, and you feel so good when you eat it.

I also love coffee.  Not just because it wakes me up in the morning but because I love the taste.  Drinking coffee is probably the best part of my day.  In Los Angeles there are so many options! I found a list of the 50 Best Coffee Shops from the LA Eater.  I want to go to all of them.  I would start with #4 because it is on Sunset Boulevard, the only street in LA I even remotely understand.

I don’t have the money or the interest at eating at the fancy five star options that are so plentiful in LA.  I like a more casual experience, by that I mean, if I have to wear anything besides stretch pants, I am not interested.

churroI know I will be glad I have on pants that stretch when I visit The Churro Borough. A couple of months ago I read an article about their churro ice-cream sandwich and I have been dreaming about it ever since.  I will probably eat one in every available flavor, and one of everything else on the menu.

I hope to leave LA a little fatter and a little happier.

Please leave any comments about your favorite things to do or eat in Los Angeles.

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Grand Canyon, Arizona

I have lived in Arizona and Nevada my whole life, and I have never been to the Grand Canyon.  Part of trouble is that I hate hiking and it has always been close so I figured i would make it someday.  I always thought then when I became an adult I would just magically start to enjoy hiking, but it turns out that it doesn’t work that way,  however, I would suffer through it to be able to see the best views of the Grand Canyon.  grandcanyon

Even though it seems kind of touristy I wanted to go on the glass bridge that juts out over the canyon.  However, you have to pay at least $43.00 to get a ticket, which is kind of insane, and the reviews say that it is a tourist trap so I will probably have to pass on that.

One part of the Grand Canyon that I have always wanted to visit was Havasu Falls.  I see the pictures on Pinterest all the time havasuand it seems so pretty.  I have done a little bit of research and I have learned that it involves a many days of hiking.  Oh boy, my favorite.  The hike to Havasu is about 18 miles, and it is recommended that visitors take three days to do the hike.  However upon further inspection I have discovered that you can take a horse of a mule for only $75-$150.  so if you see me on the trail to Havasu I will definitely be on a horse.  I hope the horse can carry some food too, because I know I will be so hungry.  My only saving grace will be the promise of really good Mexican food on my way out of Arizona.

Please leave any comments about your favorite way to experience the Grand Canyon.

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Disney World and Harry Potter World, Orlando, Florida

disneyworldI always thought that I would have won a free trip to Disney World by now, spoiler alert, I haven’t.  Growing up in the 90s and watching way too much TV lead me to believe that at some point I would have made it to Disney World.  All of my favorite TV families, the Tanners, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and the Mathew’s (at least Cory, Shawn and Topanga) all made to Disney World.  I guess now that I am a adult and probably too old to enjoy most of the activities I am going to take myself to Disney World and Universal Studios to see Harry Potter World.

There are a few different parks that make up Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.  Ideally I would like to spend a whole day in each park.  At Magic Kingdom I am most looking forward to riding Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Haunted Mansion.  At Epcot I want to see the Coral Reef, Impressions of France and Soarin’. At Hollywood Studios I want to learn about the Magic of Innovation and Walt Disney’s Dream.  At the Animal Kingdom I would want to see all of the animals and ride ride on Expedition Everest.  Harry Potter World is made up of two parts, Hogsmeade and Diagonal Alley.  I would love to spend a day exploring theses two places as well.  I want to ride all of the rides including Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Dragon Challenge and Flight of the Hippogriff.   diagonalley

I know it would not be the most financially responsible thing to do but I want to eat all of my meals at the parks I visit.  I figure I will only take a trip looked this once I should just go for it.  I want to eat treats and everything in the shape of Mickey Mouse.  I am especially looking forward to eating in Harry Potter World.  Ever since I read the first Harry Potter book in 1998 i have wondered what butter beer would taste like, so I would get some at The Three Broomsticks. There is also always time for shopping at Honeydukes and Dervish and Banges.

I’m sure I will regret all of my up indulgences in the hot Florida sun, but it will be worth it.pretzel

BUTTERBEER

Please leave any comments or suggestions about your favorite places in Disney World and Harry Potter World.

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New York City, New York

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I have been to New York City once in my life.  It was fun and exciting and freezing cold.  I do not recommend going in January, even if the flights are half price.  I want to go to NYC again, this time in the spring.

The most important thing I want to do in NYC is eat.  The hardest thing will be choosing, seeing as there are thousands of great restaurant to choose from.  Luckily visiting NYC involves a lot of walking, so that I can build up an appetite.

cronut2I want to stay at the Standard Hotel, where I would have brunch at the Standard Grill.  Then on my way out I would walk the Highline Park.  Then would have a Cronut. I have had a Cronut before, it was delicious and worth the two hours wait at Dominique Ansel Bakery. 

I would spend the next few hours walking and sightseeing.  I don’t enjoy too many of the typical tourist options, like the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty.  I want walk around and see different shops and boutiques.  I would love to take a long leisurely walk through Central Park, and enjoy the spring time foliage.

Next I would eat at Republic of Noodles in Union Square.  I love Pad Thai and really every type noodles.  Then I would like to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to enjoy the view of the Manhattan skyline.  Then I would head to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens to see the cherry blossoms in bloom.  cherrytreesBy this time I would be ready for dinner, and done with walking so I would hop on the subway and head towards the hotel.  On my way I would stop in Hell’s Kitchen for some dinner, probably Ethiopian food.  Inevitable I will get lost at some point during the day, but there is no place I would rather be lost in than New York City.

Please leave any comments about your favorite places to visit in New York City.

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St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Sometimes I feel like the only person in the world who has never been on a relaxing beach vacation.  I have been to exotic beaches, but it was not as relaxing as I would have wanted under ideal circumstances.  I went to the beach for a day in Nha Trang, Vietnam, which was beautiful, however I was 14 years old, and spending time in a bathing suit was not my favorite activity.   I also visited the beaches Costa Rica when I was 17, a slightly better experience because I was able to go with a friend, however therst thomese was not a lot of time to relax, and we spent our days zip-lining and trying to surf.  That’s why I have decided I need to on a relaxing vacation to the Caribbean.

I am lucky enough to know someone who has a home on the U.S. Virgin island of St. Thomas.  They have told me that they would be happy to have me visit and stay at their home, which is great, because that is the only way I could afford to go.  When I go, I hope that my days are filled with fresh fruit, time in the beach and lots of time to enjoy the scenery.

I would love to visit the Caribbean during carnival.  I want to see the celebration and join into the celebratory feasts.  I have heard that St. John is a great place to partake in the Carnival activities.  St. John is only a short ferry ride away from St. Thomas, however it is part of hte British Virgin Islansd, so make sure you have your passport.  I have also heard that there is a great smoothie place called Our Market Smoothies on St. John that I would love to visit.

carnival food

Other than carnival and smoothies I would spend my trip relaxing on the beach.  I don’t want to swim in the ocean, it scares me, and I don’t like tanning, so I would be in the shade of a nice palm tree, reading or napping.  I know St. Thomas is the right location for me to have my relaxing beach vacation.

Please leave any comments about your favorite activities or food in St. Thomas or St. John.

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Healdsburg, California 

I have been visiting Northern California for most of my life. Living in Reno it has always been a quick drive over the hill to see my uncles who have lived in San Francisco and now Cloverdale, California. I loved visiting some of the bay area’s attractions as a kid, like Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz and Monterey a Bay Aquarium. Now that I am an adult I more interested in the the finer things in life, like quiet afternoon on the beach and good food. That’s why next time I head over the hill I am going to visit Healdsburg.

Healdsburg is a small town about an hour and half north of San Francisco. It is located in the heart of Sonoma wine country and sits on the shore of the Russian River. Healdsburg is known for its wine, food and quaint shops. Upon arrival the first thing I would want to do is eat. There is a great restaurant called Costeaux French Bakery. I love all of the breakfast food that I should not be eating. My favorite is French toast, with lots of butter and maple syrup, and a rich latte. stuffed-french-toastAfter a decadent breakfast I would head down the main drag to enjoy the shops, and hopefully work up an appetite for my next meal.

After a morning of shopping I would head to Big John’s Market, where I would pick up supplies for a nice picnic. Big John’s has a great collection of fine cheeses and specialty breads, and most importantly chocolate. Lunch in hand, I would drive to the beach of the Russian River. There I would enjoy my sandwich and take an afternoon nap, and probably spend a few hours lost in good book. The next book I hope to read is The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, because the best type of book to read on the beach is a good mystery.

As the day would wind down most people would start thinking about which restaurant they would want to eat at in Healdsburg. There are many good options, however I have my own tradition. Whenever I go to the Bay Area on the way home I eat at the In-n-Out in Auburn, California. For some reason this In-n-Out is the best I have ever had. Nothing says ending a day in the fancy wine country like a fast food hamburger right?

Please leave any comments about your favorite things to do and eat in Healdsburg, California.

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