Category — JOURNEYS

{recipe} Spiced Green Lentil Coconut Soup

Here in Northern California it’s been raining like crazy and the skies darken so early each afternoon. This kind of weather almost demands you make something nourishing and warm, with just a little bit of spice. This green lentil coconut soup fills the bill perfectly.

lentil coconut soup

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December 8, 2014   1 Comment

{magic kingdom} A Journey Through Bhutan, the Last Himalayan Kingdom

When I received an email saying “Here are your documents for your visit to the Land of the Thunder Dragon” I knew that visiting Bhutan was going to be the trip of a lifetime. And I was right.

bhutan 26

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September 30, 2014   3 Comments

{bella roma} My Favorite Things to Do and Eat in Rome

Since tonight I officially returned to my Italian lessons after a 6 month hiatus, I was inspired to share my Rome travel guide. I have emailed this list of recommendations to so many people, but somehow it has never made it onto the blog. I’m excited to report all of my favorite things to do and eat in Rome, organized by neighborhood. I can’t wait to go back so I can expand this list even further!

rome street

Centro Storico [Read more →]

July 7, 2014   1 Comment

{aloha advice} More of the Best Things to Eat in Maui

I thought I had seen and tasted most of Maui by now, since we keep going back again and again – but on our most recent trip, I found even more fantastic things to eat. I was especially wowed by the new-ish Star Noodle, which we went back to multiple times. I wish I could go there right now. It’s in a weird warehouse-y area and seems an unlikely spot for the best food in Maui, but I definitely think it’s a contender. The Filipino “Bacon and Eggs” was one of my favorite dishes.

star noodle maui

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June 27, 2014   No Comments

{recipe} Cha Ca: Hanoi-Style Catfish with Turmeric and Dill

My last post was all about eating and drinking in the North Vietnamese city of Hanoi. One of the dishes I mentioned was the famous Cha Ca – a catfish dish served in sizzling oil and flavored with turmeric and dill, an odd-sounding combination. It comes with lots of cooked scallions and fresh dill, and is accompanied by roasted peanuts, rice noodles, and fresh leaves of basil, lettuce, cilantro, and mint.

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June 14, 2014   2 Comments

{travelogue} I Went to Hanoi, and All I Did Was Eat and Take Pictures. If That Sounds Good to You, Read This

Hanoi is a fun, vibrant, dirty, smoggy, incredible city that I can’t recommend highly enough. It’s modern and old-fashioned and surprising and busy. It’s Vietnam with a French Instagram filter.

hanoi 2

Just when you can’t take almost being run over by 22 dozen mopeds anymore, you can duck into a soothing courtyard oasis and eat something wonderful. And in hindsight, I spent nearly a week there and basically all I did was eat and take pictures. So if that sounds good to you, keep reading!

hanoi1 [Read more →]

June 12, 2014   No Comments

{travelogue} Street Eats and Spicy Stuff; Crickets and Craft Beer: A Second Time Around in Shanghai

I recently went back to what I think might be my #1 favorite Chinese city: Shanghai. I have met so many Westerners who tell me they don’t like Shanghai, but I think the problem is that it’s like New York or London or any other huge metropolis: it is so big and there are so many things to do that it can be hard to crack past the touristy spots and get into the real Shanghai. But once you figure out what to do and where to go, it is a fantastic cosmopolitan destination that should be on everyone’s short list.

detail of stone carving

This trip, we made a point of discovering great street food, trying restaurants that represent cuisine from different parts of China, and exploring some hidden treasures. Here are my recommendations to help you figure out all of the very best things to do in Shanghai. And be sure to read my previous post for a complementary set of recommendations so you’ll be totally well-versed on all that’s great about this busy city!

January 29, 2014   No Comments

{10 second vacation} Hidden Beaches & Floating Villages of Ha Long Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay, Vietnam

If you travel to North Vietnam, chances are you will make an excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage site at Ha Long Bay. Its calm waters are dotted with unique karst formations, tiny beaches, and floating fishing villages. You can take an overnight boat cruise on a small junk, which is a great way to explore the bay’s wonders. The floating villages were a sight to see. Since we were traveling with a 2-year-old we were doubly impressed with how adeptly some of the young children could swim and steer boats all on their own! 

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January 21, 2014   1 Comment

{haiku review} Giordano Bros Sandwiches in San Francisco, CA

giordano bros sandwich

Giordano Bros – 2 locations in San Francisco, at 303 Columbus Avenue and 3108 16th Street. 

 

January 13, 2014   No Comments

{10 second vacation} Winter Weekend in Monterey, California

Monterey is most famous for its fabulous aquarium, but the area boasts lots of other charms. If you can largely avoid the tacky, touristy Cannery Row area you are in for a real treat. A 10 minute drive down the peninsula will put you in the quaint town of Carmel, so it’s really like a two-for-one! Point Lobos State Reserve is one of the absolute gems of the California coastline – and rivals many a national park in beauty and sights. You can spot sea lions, tide pools, and hidden beaches at nearly every turn. 

There are lots of fancy spots to try, and I do enjoy a sunset drink with bagpipes with the upper crust at The Inn at Spanish Bay, but I find myself gravitating more to the down-home dives for meals… like an early morning stop on funky Fisherman’s Wharf to hit up Loulou’s for creme brulee-style oatmeal or enormous pancakes, or chicken shawerma lunch with fluffy pita and garlicky sauce at teeny-tiny Paprika Cafe. To warm up, try a big sourdough bread bowl of creamy clam chowder at Schooner’s right over the water. For more Monterey recommendations, check out this article with tons of great suggestions. 

gibson beach point lobos ca

Gibson Beach

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November 25, 2013   2 Comments