A Note on Anthony Bourdain

When I read the posts on Facebook I was confused and thinking, “What happened?”

I felt that something bad had happened.

Then I Googled his name, and saw.

Anthony Bourdain had comitted suicide.

Like other celebrity deaths, I was in disbelief. I didn’t want to believe what I was reading, but as I continued to see the headlines pop up on my screen, and when the news reported on it, reality set in.

The funny, straight-talking, adventurous chef was gone.

As I’m typing this a No Reservations marathon is playing in the background, and right now he’s in Spain. Prior to that Bourdain was eating his way through Rio.

I only knew Bourdain as a chef and TV host. I didn’t know that he was a writer, who had written multiple books, and–at least for his CNN show Parts Unknown–wrote the scripts. I always thought that he had hired a writer to put together his stories and narrations.

Now I’m more in awe with him, because I write.

I just placed an Amazon order for his book Kitchen Confidential.

Bourdain opened up my world to different cultures and foods. His distinctive voice drew me in to even the most boring subjects on Parts Unknown. He made me want to visit third world countries when I was adament to do so! That’s how powerful No Reservations and Parts Unknown were, not just to me, but for thousands of other people. Those who couldn’t afford to travel, were taken on a journey with him.

And wanderlust began.

RIP Anthony Bourdain.

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Apple Picking

apples
kozirsky/Shutterstock

One blog I read is Extra Petite, a style blog for petite women. Besides fashion, Jean blogs about makeup, her travels, and more recently, recipes. Gorgeous pictures flood every post, making each one very attractive. And she does all of this while highlighting her home city of Boston. Her blog makes me want to get on a plane and visit Beantown.

I can imagine it now…watching the sailboats glide along the Charles River, strolling through Boston Common and admiring the flowers in the Public Garden…going apple picking in the fall…

Okay, the main reason I want to go to Boston–and the East Coast in general–is to experience fall. On Extra Petite, Jean recently blogged about her and her husband’s apple picking adventure.

And I wanted to BE THERE!!!! What a fun way to start autumn, huh?

One thing about living in Hawaii is that there are only two “seasons”: summer and “winter,” the latter being cloudy and rainy. I think experiencing the seasons would be fun! Getting stuck (in my hotel room) in a blizzard would make for a great story back home, I’m sure. And so would sharing photos of the bright fall colors of the trees and my apple picking experience…

Have any of you picked seasonal fruit before? If you live on the East Coast, is fall all that I imagined it would be? Full of color, the smell of cider and pumpkin, and apple picking?

Vegas 2017

I didn’t get around to blogging this sooner but here is my post about my Vegas trip!

My dad and I stayed at the New York New York Hotel & Casino, our first time staying on the Strip. It was a decent hotel and central to everything. The hotel lobby was outlined with restaurants and the further you walked past the casino, the decor changed to look like New York: there was a pizza parlor, painted brownstone apartments on the walls and cobblestone pathways. The hotel has a roller coaster which starts inside the hotel, so every few minutes there was the roar of the car taking off. Upstairs was Nathan’s Hot Dogs, an arcade, the second floor of Hershey’s World (first floor was by the casino), Coyote Ugly bar and entrance to the pedestrian bridge connecting New York to MGM Grand across the street.

New York New York
One of the walkways of New York New York

We arrived Friday afternoon and took the shuttle to our hotel. After freshening up it was 6pm, and we went to explore our surroundings. But first, dinner!

Broadway Burger
Bacon Cheeseburger and buttermilk onion rings

We ate at Broadway Burger and split the bacon cheeseburger and buttermilk onion rings. I loved the mini fryer the fries came in!

After, we went to look for the T-Mobile Arena, where the John Mayer concert was, which was located in The Park. It was a nice dining complex right outside of the hotel, with Shake Shack (need to eat there next time), Bruxie and other restaurants.

Saturday we went exploring. We went to see the flower garden at The Bellagio, ate pizza at Caesars Palace, went to a few of the Las Vegas gift shops and meandered around Hershey’s World.

Bellagio
Japanese Spring was Bellagio’s theme in the flower garden

Hershey
One of three cases of sweetness at Hershey’s World

That night was the concert, and it was alright. The arena was nice and in the foyers T-Mobiles signature pink was splashed everywhere. I’m still a hardcore John Mayer fan though.

Sunday morning we ate breakfast at Denny’s, checked out Wynn and Encore, took the tram to Mandalay Bay and Luxor and relived my childhood at Excalibur and Circus Circus.

Since it was our last night I wanted to eat dinner at Giada de Laurentiis’ restaurant, who is my favorite chef. I thought that since it was Sunday that it wouldn’t be crowded.

Boy was I wrong. The next open table was at 9:30pm, so we chose to eat at the bar lounge. Upon arriving, you walk up a set of stairs to a very clean, nicely lit and organized reception area. There are items for purchase on display, including her cookbooks and shirts. In the corner is a seating area with a photo booth.

Giada
Entrance to Giada

The dining area was equally fancy, with a panoramic view of the Strip, including the Bellagio Fountains across the street.

My dad and I split the chicken marsala meatballs and spaghetti. Both were full of flavor, especially the spaghetti, which was very lemony. It wasn’t overpowering. The shrimp was cooked well and complemented the pasta. I could’ve eaten a full order!

Spaghetti
Half portion of spaghetti with shrimp

After dinner we watched the Bellagio fountain show. It was good ending to our trip.

But it wasn’t over.

When we arrived at our hotel we noticed a crowd of people were waiting in front of the elevator lobby doors to Century Tower (where we were staying). The fire alarm had gone off on the 22nd floor so the elevators were shut down.

Our room was on the 37th floor.

After 30 minutes we were allowed to return to our rooms through different elevators (which didn’t make sense because each tower had their own set of elevators). But my dad and I were given conflicting information to get back to our room. We walked up stairs and took two elevators, only to come back down to the lobby. Eventually we had to be escorted by the hotel manager to our floor.

It was 11:15pm when it was over, and we needed to wake up at 5:30am to catch the airport shuttle.

After rushing to shower, I hopped into bed and awoke groggy. I didn’t want to go home.

But I had to. I had to go back to work, and vacation doesn’t last forever.

Until next time…

Flying, Groan

I like traveling. I like doing the pre trip research and getting excited over going to see places and eating at restaurants. All of that is fun. (I’m still doing it for my Vegas trip tomorrow!)

However, I have a tiny fear of airplanes. If I can teleport to places instead of flying, I’ll be traveling often!

Sadly, that isn’t going to happen and I’ll need to cope with the anxiety. It’s the pre boarding jitters, because once I’m seated and comfy I feel fine.

It’s not that I’m scared the plane is going to crash or that I have a fear of heights (ok, maybe I have a small fear of the latter), but it’s just anxiety. I can’t pinpoint the exact cause.

It’s like going to the doctor: you get nervous before the appointment but once you’re in the office and getting examined–and after it’s over–the nervousness goes away.

I don’t remember how or when this began, but I didn’t have this as a kid. Traveling was more fun back then.

Anybody else feel this way about flying?