Monday, July 18, 2016

San Diego - our annual July trip!

Every year for about 4 years now Charlie and I have gone to San Diego for Padre games, just a little weekend get away..last year Charlie wanted to take Ethan (grandson 12 years old now) so they could go ocean fishing, they had a blast last year and they caught a 26 pound tuna! So we decided we would take him every year...Baseball and fishing, life is good.

We took off for San Diego on Friday, took us 5 hours to get there, traffic was super light!
We had a room at the Courtyard Marriott on 6th and J street. Great location, Petco Park is just two blocks down one block over, 5 minute walk. The seaport village for shopping and restaurants is just 4 blocks down to the water around the convention center.

The hotel was nice but they have no restaurant, just a starbucks for morning coffee and snack, also they do not have a pool or spa, which is where I like to hang out while they fish on Saturday. So we will go back to the Hilton on the bay next year! That place was awesome!

Friday after we arrived we walked down the the seaport village and had early dinner at the Harbor House, the ahi tacos were fabulous! Then we walked to the Park and saw the Padres beat the Giants.

Saturday morning the boys left at 4;30 am for their fishing charter, they fished until noon and caught lots of fish, they caught and released. No big tuna this year! I walked to the village and went shopping and just strolled the boardwalk, such beautiful weather!

They got back and showered and we had an early dinner again this time at  Rocking Baja Lobster, the lobster bites were so good and Charlies nachos were Humongous!! We headed to the ballpark and saw the Padres beat the Giants again!! I rooted for San Diego while Charlie rooted for his guy Buster Posey on the Giants! Ethan was happy playing in the whiffle baseball game with all the kids in the park area!

Sunday we got up and went to the Broken Yolk restaurant right down the block, wow, that place was good, I had a breakfast quesadilla, it had black beans and chorizo...oh I miss it already!

I can't wait for next year to get here!
Great food!



My SD jersey!






Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Nothing new here...

Wish I had some exciting news to share but summer is kinda boring. I have been playing in my pool almost everyday, making light meals, no new recipes.

I have been reading again, picked up some new Stephen King books, Revival and Finders Keepers.
Finders Keepers, was really good. I let you know about Revival when I finish it.

***UPDATE***
Revival was really good, just like one reviewer said: "Vintage King" if you like the old stuff this is right in there!




I am also in the process of sorting through about 3000 photos we all took on our cruise, trying to whittle them down into scrapbook page categories, I need about 20 photos to choose from for each page layout. It is quite the process, but I figure I am half way there, then I will only print out about 200 pictures, just the best ones for the pages!

These 3 pictures will be on my front page!
Scotland

London

Ireland

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer!



Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What's for Dinner?





Many times when I am traveling people will ask about Las Vegas, once they find out I live here.
Most of the time they ask "Where is a good place to eat?"

Well, with 3000-5000 places to eat here in town, it's a tough call.

I will tell you our 10 favorites, these are by location, just because it is a chain does not mean they are all good to eat at, the location is the key:

1. Lindo Michoacan on Desert Inn, east of Eastern, you want great service and homemade mexican food? This is the BEST!

2. Claim Jumper in Town Square, 215 and Las Vegas blvd. Happy hour in the bar is the best, cheap eats that will fill you up and they usually have baseball on!

3. Cheesecake Factory by The District, Green Valley Parkway. The ahi steak in here is the bomb! Hubby has to have a slice of vanilla bean cheesecake every time, so we limit our visits to save his waistline from growing!

4. Lucilles at The District, Green Valley Parkway. Best bbq, hands down, but they have other great things, I love the fried chicken and the marinated sirloin sliced with a special gravy on it...sooo good!

5. Trevi in Caesars palace, for some reason this little spot has become a favorite place to sit and watch the tourists, plus locals get a discount and the lasagna pizza is out of this world delicious, you have to try it to believe it!

6. Ventano's up on a hill in Henderson, Horizon Ridge and Valle Verde. Go for the shrimp on the stone if you only order that, you will die happy. Great Italian place!

7. Grand Lux Cafe in the Venitian, sit on the patio (indoors) by the railing and watch the people come and go, no better entertainment in the world, plus the food is gourmet but reasonably priced!

8. Tides in the Green Valley ranch resort, sit at the bar and order shrimp cocktails, and caesar salad, you can also get fresh sushi made right there in front of you, a bowl of clam chowder here in the winter is the best in town!

9. Cafe at Green Valley Resort. Breakfast is always good, they have a BLTA, Bacon Lettuce, Tomato, and Avocado sandwich!

10. Buffet? Everyone wants a buffet every now and then..I only suggest the Buffet at Green Valley Resort again, and only on Friday night, seafood night, all the crab legs and shrimp you can eat, yummy!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Concert at the T-Mobile

Got to go to my first of hopefully many concerts at the New t-mobile arena here in Las Vegas.
Thing is massive!
The walk through the park into arena.
But what a way to break it in...Garth Brooks back in the saddle, touring again after taking time off to raise his daughters. He sang all the oldies, the crowd just ate him up! They were in hog heaven! Loved it when he would start singing then stop and the whole crowd would finish his sentence! The sound system in there was excellent, so clear and pure. And great big clear picture screens. I was impressed. Plus we got a little bit of Trisha Yearwood with him, she came out and sang a few songs!
I will be back in October to see Keith Urban. Going to be fun!

I know a lot of people are concerned about parking but we had friends who went and bought 12,00 premium parking and they got right in and right out.

My hubby and I stayed off strip at the Green Valley ranch Resort, my home away from home,


I love that place! They shuttled us for free over to the Mandalay Bay at 4:00pm, we then just walked to the tram and rode that to Excalibur, from there you walk across the bridge into New York New York Hotel then out the doors a short walk through the new parkway (packed with places to eat, hang out, drink, play games, like big jenga games, bean bag toss games and more) and right into the arena you go! So fun and easy.

If you come to town and like to be away from the hustle and bustle but want to do a concert at the new arena, try out the Green valley resort,  Here is the link: Green Valley Resort has all you need in one place and after the concert just reverse your steps back to Mandalay bay and you hop in a cab for 30.00 back to GVR! Easy Peasy and no drinking and driving!

The concert was great, and I forgot just how many of his songs I really liked....Shameless, More than a Memory, The Dance....
 Thanks for a wonderful night of good music, Garth!

I have to say a big Thank you to our friends Chuck and Donna for meeting up with us and having a great dinner at the New York, New York, Damn, those burgers at the Burger Bar were fabulous! We owe you big time!!


Monday, June 20, 2016

First day of summer, time for soup???

My heaven here on earth, I will be playing here all summer!

Slicing and dicing is half the fun!

The liquid gold, so yummy, yummy, ENJOY!

My sister and I melded a few different recipes together to come up with this amazing COLD soup, if you have never had gazpacho in the summer, you truly have not lived a full life!

You must make up a batch ASAP! Start in the early morning, this soup needs time to come together and chill properly. It is a lot of chopping and dicing but in the end you will find the work is sooooo worth it!

Let's start off with HAPPY HALLELUJAH it is SUMMER!!! My favorite time of year, I am happy, I am glowing, I am living la vida loca!
Tank tops and flip flops and pool time and grilling goodies.....oh yes, I am in paradise.

OK, on to some chilling good soup!

We called this: TWO SISTERS GAZPACHO

You will need:
one large glass gallon jar

1 bottle 64 oz. spicy V8 juice
1 large English cucumber peeled and diced
1 regular cucumber peeled and diced
3 large garlic cloves minced
1 large jalapeno seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper seeded and diced
1 orange bell pepper seeded and diced
1/2 a red onion peeled and diced
3 vine ripe tomatoes diced
3 green onions diced
4 stalks celery diced
3 tablespoons cilantro chopped fine
juice of one lime
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Put all ingredients in the jar, stir to combine, and let chill in fridge for 3 hours or more. To serve, ladle into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream, so refreshing and delicious!
Trust me, you will thank me for this summer time recipe!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Beautiful places and some travel tips!

Now that we have a few trips under our belts, I would like to share some travel tips we have figured out.
When embarking on a cruise, plan 2 days to spend at your embarkation place. Then 2 days at your disembarkation place or the last place you visit before sailing to your disembarkation place.

Take for instance our trip we just took, we allowed 2 days in London to see the sights, then we hopped a bus tour from our hotel that took us to Stonehenge and then to our cruise port where we boarded the ship. Worked out great!

On the return trip our last stop was Le Havre/Paris, many people disembarked there and left the ship for good to spend a couple days in Paris before flying to their homes direct from Paris. We did not think of that...hmm would have been nice, but many excursions were cancelled that day and the rain and flooding had just started the day we docked in Le Havre, so now looking back I am glad we did not plan a couple days in Paris. But it is a great plan to have a couple days to see a new place and then relax before flying home. Something to think about!

Plan your flights with plenty of hours to spare, I had a mishap happen to me, My flight home was at the minimum already- at 4 hours of disembarkation of ship, when Virgin Atlantic changed my flight to an hour earlier! Who does that?? Most flights get delayed not moved up!! So now I had no chance of leaving ship at 7 am, driving 2 hours to the airport and then getting through security and customs in order to make a now 10:30 (board at 9:30) flight!!! I had to book an extra night in Gatwick to make the next flight the next day. Had I booked my flight home at say 6:00pm I could have had no problem making the flight the day of disembarkation of ship. Instead it costed me about 300.00 extra, which I am hoping to get back from my travel insurance.

Long flights: I thought booking a non stop to Southampton London would be the best thing, just 10 hours and I am there, but now I am reconsidering long flights, I think having a stop over where you actually get out of the plane walk around, recharge, and take a break from flying is a much better plan, Break up the monotony of being packed in the plane like sardines with no chance of any rest. So next time I am going to find a flight that goes 5 hours with a 2 hour break then 5 hours more...I really think that would be the best thing! Unless of course I can fly first class! Those people have it made!

We do need one more trip to Europe, we need to see Germany, Switzerland and Holland! So I hope to remember these tips in say 4 years....

Now for some more of London, Scotland and Ireland:
London

Big Ben

Changing of the guard, Buckingham Palace

Stonehenge

Herm Island, Guernsey

Blarney Castle, I did not kiss anything while here!

Christy and Jeff at Powerscourt Waterfall

The view a top Conway Castle, Wales

Another view, it was amazing!

Duke and Baron, the Kelpies. 115 foot tall metal horse heads, we only got to drive by, no excursion to this place!

Christy wanted to wrap him up and take him home, he was so sweet!
Gotta love a man in a kilt!





Saturday, June 4, 2016

Traveling Fool and my reasons why...

I tell anyone who will listen, I tell anyone who asks about my wrist tattoos...."Get busy living or get busy dying"
The story behind them is real and meaningful...

When my mom lived, she worked her whole life from a young mom with 3 daughters to being on her own after we grew up and moved on. She retired and bought herself a little mobile home and dreamt of all the things she could now do.
But, she didn't do any of them, she just sat in her little mobile home and watched TV and bought frivolous stuff on eBay. She passed away, not fulfilling her long time dream of going to Ireland. 
She passed away not going anywhere.

My sister and I made a pact, we were not going to let this happen to us, damn it.
We made plans and booked cruises...we got out there and now I am proud to say I have been places, I have seen things...I have ventured beyond my own backyard!

Our first big trip was for our Grandma Ginia, she use to go to Italy with her long time boyfriend Dante. She loved it. So we went to pay homage to her. Our next trip to Scandinavia was for us, how far could we go and push ourselves, well, pretty damn far....we went to Russia!! For Pete's sake, we went to Russia!!

This trip was an homage to our mom, she wanted to see Ireland always dreaming about the green, green fields and the castles. Oh, and "I would like to have tea with the Queen of England" she always said as she drank her tea, talking in an English accent.
We didn't have tea with the queen, but we stood at the gates of Buckingham palace and watched as the guests left after having tea with the queen at a garden party!

My mom was also an avid reader of books, her favorite being the Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Conan Doyle. So while searching things to see in London, I came across Sherlock Holmes Pub, We must go I told my sister!! And go we did, and we had the most delicious lunch of steak and ale pie! 

Now, keep an open mind, while you are dining in hundreds of years old buildings, you will meet some curious little friends, as we did there, it was a beautiful pub full of all sorts of Sherlock memorabilia, highly rated place and got quiet busy as the lunch crowd came in, but just there scurrying around under the table, we met a little mouse, we named him Sherlock, of course, and he scurried off, the waitress just shrugging and saying "they just come with the old buildings".

Later on in our trip we came across Sir Conan Doyle pub and we dined there and had the most delicious lunch of Chicken Pie and Spinach Pie! How cool is that!!

So coming up in the next few posts, I will share some pictures of our 17 day travels to London, Scotland and Ireland, why? Because....We just Got Busy Living!

London

Scotland


Ireland
Lunch with Sherlock!
Wish you could have been here Mom!