Learning Vietnamese Cooking

Learning Vietnamese Cooking

Hoi An, Vietnam, has become a culinary destination.  Just outside of Danang, restaurants and local markets provide plenty of Vietnamese food, fish and dining choices. We walked over the bridge and on cobblestoned streets until our group reached  Ms Vy’s Restaurant and Cooking School. It is a two story building with a beautiful restaurant...
Michelin rated Summer Pavilion Fine Dining

Michelin rated Summer Pavilion Fine Dining

Our goal on this Asia trip was to eat street food and experience highly rated restaurants.  Singapore, where our cruise began, held a special dining experience and worthy of its praise.  Summer Pavilion, a Michelin rated restaurant, is located in the luxury Ritz-Carlton Millenia Hotel. Steaming Lychee Oolong elegantly served from a beautiful...
Let them eat cake in Alsace, France

Let them eat cake in Alsace, France

Crossing the Rhine River, which along the way divides the countries of Germany and France, is the popular wine growing area of Alsace, France.  Well known white wines such as Rieslings and Gewurztraminer are produced in this area because of the conducive climate and soil.  And, some of the vineyards on...
S'mores as the sun sets on Coronado's beach

S’mores as the sun sets on Coronado’s beach

The perfect ending to a beautiful time in Coronado, S’mores on the beach at sunset. Hotel del Coronado hand makes colorful marshmallows in different flavors and adds gingersnaps to the basket of graham crackers.  Lots of chocolate to choose from to melt on top of the marshmallows.  Can life get any...
Growing Chocolate in Hawaii

Growing Chocolate in Hawaii

Hawaii the state of scenic sunsets, gorgeous beaches, and chocolate?  Yes, the “food of the Gods” is grown on the Big Island near the fertile lands where coffee and avocados abundantly grow. A bit south of Kona, in a lush tropical setting with sweeping views of the ocean, sits the...
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Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley

Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley

Beaches, upscale food and wine joints and modern lodging only begin to describe Santa Barbara, California.  Formerly a haven for surfers and touted for its perfect blend of Spanish Mission Style architecture, today there’s a mini-fascination with this “American Riviera” situated in Malibu’s backyard. The charming community along California’s Central Coast with a surfeit of...
My Maui Dining Favorites

My Maui Dining Favorites

First stop on Maui from the airport is Star Noodle. Fine Asian/Fusion and always freshly prepared. Vietnamese crepe, Kalbi short rib and steamed pork buns. One of my regular restaurants when visiting Maui and I haven’t found another crepe like this, which brings me back to Maui. Time after time, I’ve passed Frida’s Mexican Beach...
Mac Nuts and Ice Cream on the Big Island, Hawaii

Mac Nuts and Ice Cream on the Big Island, Hawaii

Back in the 70’s, Hamakua Macadamia Nut Co. owner Richard decided Hawaiian Macadamia nuts needed to continue to grow on the island and limit the importation of nuts. His business, Hamakua Mac Nut Farm, processes and sells 100% Hawaiian nuts. The visitor center is full of flavored nuts, popcorn, chocolate and coffee-all nutty and packaged...
The Sweet Side of Hilo, Hawaii

The Sweet Side of Hilo, Hawaii

Guava, mango and lilikoi flavors are some of the traditional Hawaiian flavors used by a classically French trained chef in Hilo, Hawaii.  Baking with butter and squeezing fresh fruit juices are the heartbeat of the kitchen. Buttery butterscotch Hilo bar Chef and owner Maria Short of Short N Sweet Bakery and Café in Hilo on...
Burger Week was good and juicy

Burger Week was good and juicy

San Diego’s annual burger week was a big temptation of burgers and fries.  With many restaurants participating, I narrowed it down to three independent burger joints. First on the list was Cali “O” Burgers in Hillcrest. I looked over the menu and realized La Jolla and Fallbrook are both lovely places, but wait, they’re a...
Iwo Jima Commemorative Event, Camp Pendleton, Ca

Iwo Jima Commemorative Event, Camp Pendleton, Ca

In February 2017, we were privileged to attend the commemorative banquet for the 72nd Anniversary of the Marine’s Landing on Iwo Jima at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, Ca.  Our friend, Bill Behana, Master Sgt, USMC Ret, was 19 years old when he landed with the 5th Division. Bill has kept the tribute going for those who lost...
Hong Kong is Fascinating

Hong Kong is Fascinating

Our cruise ended in Hong Kong and the majestic harbor was our lovely view during our stay. We stayed in the Kowloon district because it offered old sightings of Hong Kong with tailor shops promising to make a new suit in two days and watch stores selling Rolex’s duty free. After unpacking, it was time to search...
Vietnam-the past and future

Vietnam-the past and future

Cruising into Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, the limestone formations are quite a sight to behold. They are majestic looking and one of those wonders of the world, like Stonehenge.  Our Capt made sure we had exceptional views by going slow while approaching the many formations for optimal picture taking opportunities. Many passengers chose the excursion to explore the...
Rickshaw rides and massages in Hoi An, Vietnam

Rickshaw rides and massages in Hoi An, Vietnam

Not my usual post about food (next time), but we really got “local” in Hoi An, Vietnam! Chris had an exciting rickshaw ride and I had a massage and later threading of the eyebrows. His rickshaw ride was $5 and I saw him parade around the corner as if he was the King. I was enjoying...
Historic Saigon Post Office

Historic Saigon Post Office

The Saigon Central Post Office in what is now called Ho Chi Minh City, is full of unusual activity compared to Post Offices I visit.  The outside of the post office appears gracefully designed and inside it is worth a long look.  Colonial style with high ceilings, yellow and green colors and old wooden phone...
Pho, Coffee and Frog Legs in Ho Chi Minh City

Pho, Coffee and Frog Legs in Ho Chi Minh City

To visit a Vietnamese food market and restaurant like a local, we hired a local.  Turns out it was the right thing to do.  Who else could show us the legit places and also a safe restaurant to eat Pho (soup). Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) is full of crazy traffic and that’s the only way to...
Dinner prepared from Bangkok Market

Dinner prepared from Bangkok Market

We arrived in Thailand through a very busy working river.  The shoreline was dotted with colorful Buddhist temples, old shanties and floating fishing boats.  I thought to myself, this is just what I have seen in pictures and I’m slowly cruising past it. Once docked in Klong Toey, a port in Bangkok, a small group of people (including us) soon left on...