Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

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Dinner in Zurich, Zurich West

August 11, 2011

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Went to Zurich for work, and kinda fell in love with the city. I wasn’t very excited to visit, but the food was yummy, I got to hike the hills around Lake Zurich, and I just loved the old world charm meets modernity and contemporary design. It was a pleasant surprise. Though I often have to eat by myself when I travel for work (super bummer), I enjoyed sitting outside at Josef and watching the bustle of Zurich West (an old industrial district that reminded me of the Meatpacking District a decade ago, or Williamsburg a few years back).

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Paris in May… Le Sigh

May 6, 2011

J and I will be visiting Paris for a week starting next Tuesday. Any suggestions or recommendations??? The first time I was in Paris, I was 20 and b.r.o.k.e. I even ate at McDonalds because it was cheap.

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Margaritas and Mojitos in Tulum, Mexico

May 6, 2011

In January, J and I went to Tulum, Mexico — a 30th birthday present from me to my man. It was lovely, laid back, and low-key, unlike lots of our vacations where we run ourselves ragged. Though the food wasn’t exactly mind-blowing in Tulum, there a few recommendations I have. One, our favorite dinner was at a little place called Casa Violeta. We got a giant platter of grilled seafood that was amazing and great margaritas (J had 5!). It’s a bit pricier than most of the restaurants we saw in Mexico, but well worth it. Also, La Zebra has a dance party on Sunday nights that we attended with a fun hour-long salsa lesson before the night starts and Mojitos made with fresh sugar cane juice.

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Eating, Drinking, and Driving Stick in Italy

May 6, 2011


I haven’t written in a while, so I’m going to do a few catch up posts today. In October, J and I went to Italy — to Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, and then all over Tuscany to be exact. It was 2 full weeks of wine, pasta, and total gluttony, and it was amazing. We started in Rome, where we did the sightseeing extravaganza, from the Colosseum to the Pantheon to the Vatican. We rented a great, little apartment right in the center of the city, and spent all day walking from one end to the other. Our first few nights in Rome were a culinary miss, and we quickly learned that yes, you can have a bad meal in Italy. But J kicked it into gear and did some serious blog searching to get proper recommendations. We loved walking around Trastevere, and one of our best meals was near the Colosseum at La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali. If you ever go to Rome, check out this very useful map that J made. Also, note that you will need reservations for ALL dinners in Italy. You may walk up to a place that has 10 open tables, but if you don’t have a reservation, they won’t seat you. It’s against everything capitalist that we know and understand. And, last tip — eat gelato every day. We did.

From Rome, we went to Florence. Number one tip here: book a reservation at the Uffizi Gallery. All this reservation-making goes against my travel senses, but you’ll wait on line for HOURS if you don’t reserve. We loved Florence, and again rented an apartment that was on the other side of the river from the Uffizi. Our best meal here (and maybe in Italy) was at Trattoria Quattro Leoni (4 Lions). We had a pear ravioli that was to-die-for, and then ordered a hunk of “steak florentine.” I was a little nervous about the concept of eating basically rare meat… until I ate it. Oh man. That dinner haunts me in my dreams. If you are visiting Florence, J made another map… he’s so helpful, right?

From Florence, we took a train up to Cinque Terre. Although we didn’t have great food here, this was by far my favorite stop on our trip. Every minute, every step was a beautiful view. If you’re not familiar with this part of Italy, it’s basically 5 different towns on cliffs overlooking the Ligurian Sea (just below the Italian Riviera). We hiked all five towns (though one pass was closed and we had to take a train). And, the day we arrived it was warm enough for bathing suits and a quick dip in the sea.

From Cinque Terre, we trained to Pisa where we quickly ran to take photos of the Leaning Tower of Pisa (it’s really leaning) and then picked up our rental car. We got a stick shift — all I’ll say is we will never make that decision again. We hit up Pisa in the morning, and then stopped at Lucca in the afternoon. Lucca was one of our favorite Tuscan towns, with a gorgeous park around the walls of the city. We saw a great sunset here before heading to the place we were staying… which was here:

On the middle of vineyard. Nuts, right? In Tuscany, we went wine tasting at the Castello di Verrazzano (yep, like the bridge). It’s a beautiful old castle nestled high on the hills of Tuscany, and we tried lots of yummy things.

One of our favorite finds in Tuscany was a dessert wine called vin santo. It’s made by hanging grapes for more than 3 years!

While we stayed each night in the Chianti region, we visited many other towns during the day, including Volterra, Greve in Chianti, and Siena where we saw the beautiful “duomo.” In Siena, we had lunch at a restaurant just around the corner from the Piazza del Campo called Trattoria La Torre. There’s no menu — and you basically have to pick your pasta and your sauce, but everything was so homemade and fresh. So yummy. 

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Eating in India, and Not Getting Ill

September 8, 2010

I also ate this. I spent most of my trip to India completely terrified that I’d get what they affectionately call “Delhi Belly” (read: throwing up). That means, I mostly ate granola bars when out and about, and then shoved food in my face when I returned to my nice, clean hotel. However, on a walk through Old Delhi, one of our colleagues who is stationed in Delhi convinced me to eat some street food called paneer. It took some convincing, but I finally did it… and then I prayed and prayed that I wouldn’t get sick. Mission accomplished.

MMmmm… spices.

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Business Class

September 8, 2010

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This is what dinner looked like in business class on my flight to India. Also, that’s champagne in that glass.

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Oh, Canada! Eating in Toronto

June 30, 2010

I spent 4 days in Toronto, Canada for work last week. Thankfully, I got a few hours to have some fun! I got to visit the CN Tower (above), which is 1815 ft. tall. (The Empire State building is 1250 ft.) It has this really cool “glass floor,” where you can look straight down, 1815 ft. Cool idea. Felt like I was going to puke.

I also took a tour of the Steam Whistle Brewery. It was quick and fun, and TripAdvisor had listed it as one of the top things to do in Toronto. I don’t know if it was a top sight… but I had a nice time. At the end, I sampled some beer. They make a premium pilsner. They talked a lot about it using a lot of the European techniques, and about using natural ingredients. It was fine… nothing to write home about, but a decent way to spend an hour in a different city. It makes me want to check out the Brooklyn Brewery, with one of my favorite beers, finally.

We also ate at Wayne Gretsky’s — how awesome is that? It had a revolving Wayne Gretsky figurine playing hockey at the top of the restaurant. Food was sub-par, as you could imagine, but it was fun to see all of his all sports paraphernalia and all the hockey glory. It felt very Canadian! And, the restaurant was connected to the famous comedy troupe: The Second City, so we popped in for a show before going back to our hotels.

All in all, I found Toronto to be really pretty… until the G8/G20 protesters destroyed it.