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Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

So I’m finally sitting down to write about our last trip before Noodles arrives. I’ve never been to Las Vegas. It’s been on my list of places to visit. B’s been there several years ago back…pretty much before all of the ‘mega’ hotels started to sprout.
Since this was our last ‘hurrah’, we wanted to stay in a nice place. We chose The Palazzo. As my co-workers said, since LV hotels are always trying to out-do each other, go with the newest hotel. The fact that the rooms STARTED at 720 square ft. might have played a factor. And I must say, the room was…quite lovely.

View from the foyer...you can see the living room at the back.

View from the foyer...you can see the living room at the back.

When you walk in, there’s a large bathroom two steps into the suite…almost as big as the one back home. (more…)

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When I was younger and traveling across Europe, I joined an international group that allowed for visits with local families for a few days so you could see what life was like there. I was able to ‘hang out’ with the locals in Wales with a female doctor. She lived in a stone house overlooking the ocean. The lanes were so narrow, only one car could pass at a time. That was the first place I saw hedgehogs. (hedgehogs would be to Wales what armadillos are to us) And I know why ‘stinging nettles’ are called stinging nettles.

I also got to stay with a young artist couple in Bath. (As I was repeatedly corrected, pronounced “B-ah-th”!) They had some, uh, interesting foliage in their backyard.

I also got to see Scotland with a couple of teenager boys. We exchanged ‘lingos’. I think they found my American accent interesting…and I found their Scottish adorable.

Having said that, I was reading an article in the Travel section of the newspaper. There was a list of ‘home exchange’ sites. (think The Holiday with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet)

Many of them do ‘hospitality’ exchanges…which is like what I did…having someone come visit you in your home while you are home…to ‘host’.

However, if you are really brave…and trusting, you could go in whole hog and do a home exchange.

I don’t know if I am that trusting. I’d like to think I was. And I know “I” am trustworthy. 🙂 But you never know. Most (if not all) of the sites ‘testify’ that in the many years they’ve been up, they’ve never had problems with exchanges.
Maybe I should be more trusting of my fellow Man.

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Found some interesting websites to search for a possible cruise this summer:

Travel + Leisure’s “Best 35 Travel Sites” list

CNN’s article about T&L 25 list 2007

CruiseCritic

Frommers for the discussion board

LuggageOnline

Kiplinger’s 2007 update of a 2004 article

TIME’S magazine 2007 list

Washington Post list

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You know, smells are very subjective. There are things that pretty much everybody agrees smells good. Like fresh baked cookies or bread. Some are not as crystal clear. I had a friend who LOVED the smell of fresh cut grass. I absolutely abhor that stench. It would actually cause a gag reflex when it was too strong…hence me paying someone to mow my yard when I was single.

I know this is going to sound strange, but I like the smell of light chlorine. It reminds me of summer. Can you tell I’m a city girl? All the pools around here had to be chlorinated…so summers…chlorine! (and coconut smells…and Johnson & Johnson baby oil for those of us who were hard-core sun worshipers)

I also love the smell of fresh clean earth/dirt after a cleansing rainstorm. And the smell of a baby. Or my honey straight out of the shower before cologne. Patchouli…which is not very easy to find in candle scene, btw. Makes me sound like a very earthy kinda girl, doesn’t it? <shrug> (Don’t you sometimes wonder how your olfactory senses were wired the way they are?)

But there’s a group of smells that by changing the situation can smell either really good…or really bad. For example, cheese. And I’m talking about the most ripe, pungent kinds. You blindfold someone, and (more…)

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I am finally getting to our quick long weekend trip to one of our favorite cities: New York City. B has Columbus day off, and so did I. Even though it was going to be a very short trip there and back, a little NYC is better than no NYC at all.

I’ve been going there at least 2 times a year for almost a decade. Now I just go to ‘hang’ out at my sister’s apartment and walk around…more than seeing all the sites. B is still a ‘tourist’. But we both agreed this was too short of a trip to really plan tourist stops. SO…I suggested an epicurean’s foray.

What’s a ‘epicurean’s foray’? Well, it’s planning a trip around a list of things you want to eat. Of course we had our ‘usuals’: Gray’s Papaya’s (we did try other places…like The Papaya King…but nope, Gray’s is better!) and eating at the Chelsea Market Place (always a good choice…fresh stuff…home of the Food Network…FRESH fish!)

This time we wanted to try different stuff we saw mentioned on TV or places my sisters been wanting to try…or share with us: (more…)

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Guilty Pleasures *burp*

Food Network is a de facto station for background noise for me. But there are two shows on the Travel Channel that I make a point of watching, if possible: Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain…for different reasons. The travel part is good…informative, really. But the real draw are the two stars.
Anthony Bourdain is Dr. House.
Andrew Zimmern is a car wreck you just can’t look away from.
With both of them, you are thinking to yourself, “Oh no he didn’t!” or “Ewwww!”

Although you say you are appalled at the insensitivity of Anthony Bourdain, you are secretly enjoying his snarky comments throughout the show. And when he says he really likes something, you really, really wish you could try a little of what he’s having. I even write down the restaurant for future reference.
In his defense, he isn’t a wuss or a priss about food. He love street foods. In fact, he’ll eat food that he probably should eat because of possible side effects. But it might be all that drinking he does along with it. It probably kills whatever bacteria that might have been in the food originally. He also will eat whatever is put in front of him…like ostrich egg cooked directly on sand or grilled iguana. He ate it and kept it down in front of everybody, but he made sure you knew exactly how he felt about the taste.

Andrew Zimmern is a poultry of a different feather. The man has a cast iron stomach. He eats things…with a smile on his face…that would make a 300 pound linebacker whimper for his mama. But the best parts are when he eats something that he truly cannot swallow. You can almost see him turning green and trying desperately to not throw up on tv. It’s that schoolyard reaction: <sniff, sniff> “Eeeeewwww! That smells funny. Wanna smell it?” <sniff, sniff> “That’s gross! Let me smell it again!”
I don’t really want to eat it…but I just maybe wanna try something he considers so bad that even his‘s stomach says, “Enough’s enough already!”
(Side note: if he is ever invited to a party, and he doesn’t eat your food, how insulted are you? The man’s eaten live grub worms and fetal eggs, for goodness sakes.)

Next week (August 6, 2007) will have BOTH of them together…in NYC. Is it sweeps week? I don’t care. I’ll be watching.
But I must admit NYC is pretty tame…compared to places they’ve been previously. However, I am willing to be corrected.

Mmmm. All this talk about food is making me hungry. Anybody got chili flavored cockroaches? (more…)

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  • I guess my biological clock is going. I found the CUTEST (say in a high pitched voice) cool baby ‘stuff’ site: drool.icio.us
    It’s not just really cool stuff you wish you had found for a baby shower…or your own baby, but they make snarky comments about some stuff out there for babies & mothers that make you wanna say, “For the love of God, WHY?!”
    DesignMom
    is similar but more focused on the design element rather than the ‘Awww. How cute!’ factor.
    My favs:
    (more…)

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