Saturday, June 17, 2017

Dallas Weekend of Fun

I went through the Big D and I do mean Dallas!

Previously, my exposure to Dallas had been the DFW airport.   I've been there many times, but never escaped the confines to see what the Dallas Fort Worth area has going on.    One of my friends from Maui, who went on the Big Island road trip with me, transferred there for work.   A perfect call for a weekend adventure in my book.

Being honest with ourselves, there was a lot of eating and drinking going on, along with the touristing.
ere are some of the things you could eat, drink and do during a Dallas Weekend of Fun.  

The Eating and Drinking

Brunch on the patio at Meso Maya

Food truck treats at Klyde Warren Park
(ice cream sandwich from Cool Haus)

Big ass margaritas at Booger Red's Saloon in Old Town, Fort Worth
(we chose not to have the Buffalo Butt Beer)

Deliciously perfect BBQ at Pecan Lodge

Classy custom cocktails at Armoury D.E. 

Fine pies for fine folk at The Emporium

The Touristing

Learning more about our American history at the Sixth Floor Museum 

Getting our wild west on at the Fort Worth Stockyards 
We missed the parade of longhorns, but did ride on a tiny train, so there's that.   

Going on a ghost tour of Fort Worth!

Everything's more haunted in black and white
The most amazing spring day at the Dallas Arboretum

Do you have recommendations of things to enjoy in Dallas?    Where have you gone recently on a weekend adventure?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

7 Photos of Adorable Sleeping Sea Lions

Adorable Sea Lion Alert!

Sea Lions:  one of the many things I loved about exploring the Galapagos islands in May.

So sit back, relax and take a minute and enjoy these photos.

This one had its own park bench in Puerto Ayora

Best quote from a friend who knows I love to bake
"That's a strange looking sugar cookie"

What adorable sleeping animals do YOU love?   Which sea lion is your favorite?

Other Adventures in Ecuador

Friday, June 2, 2017

Eating in Ecuador

Food is high on my list of vacation experiences.

Whether it's a weekend road trip or a major adventure, I look forward to what I'm going to eat and drink.   Most recently I went to Ecuador, aka major adventure.    Our trip started and ended in Quito and we took a Galapagos Island cruise in the middle.    Galapagos has been on my 'work for it' list (wishing doesn't get you anywhere) and I loved the experience.

I have a quote up in my office that says "First we eat, then we do everything else."   
I'll be sharing more of my Ecuador trip including all the cute sea lions you can handle, but first, let's eat!  

In Ecuador, the bizcochos we had were biscuit-like.   
Our guide had us spread caramel on top and then top it with a piece of cheese for a winning sweet and savory treat.  

I love traveling the world and eating potato chips.  Technically chifles are not potato chips, they are plantain chips, but they are equally salty and delicious.    The picante Doritos packaging makes these chips look fierce and spicy.  In reality, not so much.    

My friend and I were trying to keep track and we were pretty confident that we had plantains, empanadas, coffee and chocolate each day.   The way it should be.    

Ecuadorian fried pork.  
Also pictured, the requisite plantains, and another favorite potato option, the llapingacho.

Blackberry and Soursop Juice
I loved that blackberry options were available (juices, ice cream, and more).   This layered juice was a real treat at El Crater.  In Spanish, the soursop is called guanĂ¡bana.  I have to imagine I can find it here in San Diego as close as I am to the border.      

Potato Soup
So good every time. 

Sea Bass
Bonus when it had passion fruit sauce.

Vacation Coffee
It feels so good.

Ecuadorian Chocolate
Ecuador produces amazing chocolate.  
I loved these turndown chocolates from Hoja Verde on our cruise .

Potato Pancakes

Chocolate Caliente
The real deal.   Hot milk and dark Ecuadorian chocolate.

I went to Peru in 2010 and that started a love affair with ceviche that continues to this day.    

Have you traveled anywhere recently where you've loved the food? 

Where should I go?   What should I eat?  

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Explore San Diego: The Flower Fields

Imagine a place where everyone is photogenic.
Every nature shot is instantly shareable.  
Every family photo is Christmas card worthy.
Every selfie is magic.

Where is this place?  
The Flower Fields

This being my first spring in Southern California, I had no idea these fields exited until friends started talking about it and posting all the pictures.    Not wanting to miss out, I knew I needed to make the trip to Carlsbad before the season ends.

What flowers make up the fields?   It's 50 acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers and they are all different colors, planted in rainbow rows.  

You can walk through the fields or take a wagon ride.  Maybe even get a strawberry sundae made with local Carlsbad-grown berries.    The fields are a beautiful way to spend an hour or two in the spring.
So many colors 

And, of course, make sure to take a lot of photos.

Flowers in your future?  
Visit their site to see the hours and the length of the season.   For 2017, the season ends on May 14th.

Looking for other San Diego adventures? 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Explore San Diego: Art Walk

Happy Spring!

I'm creeping up on my one year anniversary of moving to San Diego.   It's insane to think that a year has gone by that fast.  In typical Jenni style, I explore where I live.    I often take tourist in your own town to the extent that friends who are born and raised in a location will say that I've gone places they've never been.

My goal for this summer is to take time to share some of the SanD experiences that I've enjoyed in my first year.    The Art Walk San Diego in Little Italy was my first activity on my first day in San Diego last May.    When it came around this year, I decided it was a milestone of sorts, even though  I haven't hit the official anniversary of my move from Hawaii to California.

The art walk is both on Saturday and Sunday.   The bonus of going on Saturday is that you can enjoy the Little Italy Mercato (farmers market) too.  You can feel truly San Diegan by carrying some fresh flowers or produce while strolling through Little Italy.  Obviously the Art Walk is a one weekend event, so if you aren't here right now, you've missed it. Rest assured that there are plenty of festivals and events every weekend.

The weather this April has been amazing.    I've got my fingers crossed that the May Gray that I learned about last year doesn't come and visit this year.    Give me the blue skies any time.

So here I present my one photo from the Art Walk.
Soak it in.     

This artist had a sign at their booth encouraging photos to share
his work so it's the only photo I took of the actual art....
 As you may know, San Diego is defined by its neighborhoods.
And most of the neighborhoods have their own sign.

I saw the sign

The city also has a lot of public art:  mosaics, sculptures, murals, and more.

Little Italy and SanD Events

Enjoyable Eats in the Area 

What do you love about San Diego?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

National Parking: Joshua Tree National Park

Welcome 2017!

I got a National Parks pass for Christmas and decided to start the year as I mean to go on.   Going on with more National Park visits, that is.    Joshua Tree is one of the closer National Parks to San Diego and I had not been there since 2002.  It was time to pay another visit.

National Park Passport - stamped!

Joshua Tree was named a National Monument in 1936 to protect the beautiful and unique plants in the park (special shout out to Minerva Hoyt - an activist who helped make this happen).   Prior to that, people were taking the trees to put in their yards in LA.   Joshua Tree became a National Park in 1994.     There aren't lodges or services inside the park, like you see in Yosemite or Yellowstone.   It's popular for camping, and there are different lodging options outside the park.   Palm Springs, Indian Wells, Coachella and Indio are within a one hour drive to one of the park entrances.

An Easy Two Day Adventure

My trip was very last minute and an easy two day adventure from San Diego.   I booked my hotel the day before and off I went.    A friend in Indian Wells met me for dinner at Eureka! and Wild Lights at the Living Desert Zoo and Garden.   She also put in her recommendation for buying dates at Shields Date Garden and epic sandwiches at TKB Deli.   A great way to start my new year!

"Hoppy" Hour at Eureka

The beautiful Hyatt Regency Indian Wells

The Living Desert 
Dare to learn!
This pic does not accurately reflect the
awesomeness of this sandwich

Visiting Joshua Tree National Park?

  • Bring a LOT of water, sunscreen and layers.   This is the desert.   Even if it doesn't feel hot, it's very dry and there are not services within the park.  Dehydration will make you sad.   And sick. 
  • The Joshua Trees themselves are only in the northern part of the park (Mojave Desert).   You'll see them right away at the Joshua Tree or 29 Palms entrances to the park.    If you enter at the Cottonwoods Visitor Center on the south side, closer to Indio, you'll need to drive about 27 miles through the park before you see a Joshua Tree.  
  • The vehicle entry fee is $25.     Buy a National Parks pass for $80 and enjoy our parks all year.  If you are a senior, you can buy the Senior Pass for $10.  
  • I wasn't there for sunset, but I heard they are epic!  

Other National Parks to Love:

Klondike Gold Rush - Seattle
Mount Rushmore - South Dakota
Yellowstone National Park - Wyoming (home of my favorite summer job)

What National Park have you visited recently?


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