Strike Zone, bottom fishing in Maui

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Probably fishing is my first passion ~ Luke Bryan

img_3059Our son is at one with the ocean and all he wanted for his birthday was to go bottom fishing. There are so many options to choose from in the islands, so we needed to do a little research to find out what the tours offered. Our main question was, “do we get to keep what we catch?” On Strike Zone, they split all the fish that is caught so that everyone gets to bring some home. Plus, all of the gear is provided, no experience necessary and you don’t need a fishing license. Lunch and drinks are provided as well. This was perfect for our son!!!

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There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a serenity of the mind.  ~Washington Irving

The boat leaves out of Maalaea Harbor first thing in the morning and it is about a 6 hour trip. They use 4 poles to high-speed troll on the way out to the spot where they will bottom fish. Enjoy gorgeous views of Maui as you ride along the Pacific. Each person is given a ping pong ball with a # on it. When a fish is on the line, they call out a # and whomever has that # gets to reel it in. Hanapa’a! Try your luck at marlin, yellowfin, skipjack tuna, mahi mahi or ono. Once you arrive to the bottom fishing destination, drop your pole for some snapper, trevally, wrass, sea bass and maybe even a shark!

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I love fishing.  You put that line in the water and you don’t know what’s on the other end.  Your imagination is under there.  ~Robert Altman

It’s what’s for dinner!!! Below are the fish that my son brought home for me to cook. Top row is ta’ape (bluestripe snapper) and bottom row is palani (eye-stripe sturgeon).

For more information on Strike Zone tours call 808-879-4485.

 

A day in Galveston

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A picture is worth a thousand words so they say.

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Hilton Galveston Island Resort

When I think of Galveston, I think of horse-drawn carriages, spring break, The Strand, the Seawall and 4 wheel bicycles. We had 24 hours to see all we could see in Galveston before boarding a cruise to sail the Caribbean. What to do? It was the first time visiting Galveston for all of us. We chose a hotel located right on the famous Seawall, the Hilton Galveston Island Resort. We had ocean view from our room, a much different ocean than what we are used to in Hawaii.

Seawall Blvd

The weather on the Gulf is very unpredictable. In fact, ships are delayed coming into port and pulling out due to heavy fog at times. The ocean is less blue and more gray than Hawaii. Needless to say, we were not there for the ocean. We were off to sight see! Situated right on the seawall, we grabbed a 4 wheel bike and peddled on down Seawall Blvd. The 4-wheel bike was a first for all of us. Tip: ride in the back seat to take frequent breaks from peddling and the front passengers are unaware. Bike rentals are available all along Seawall Blvd. I can’t remember how much we paid but it was fairly inexpensive and by the hour.

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The Strand

First stop, The Strand historic district. The Strand is 5 blocks spanning from 20th to 25th street fronting the wharf. It is lined with Victorian style buildings full of restaurants, antique stores, and curio shops. I love seeing the massive cruise ships all in port visible from all streets. The Strand hosts all kinds of festivals throughout the year and is a major tourist spot. The actual street, created in 1830, is called Avenue B but has been referred to as “The Strand” named by a German jewelry store owner who thought it sounded better. The Strand is named after a street in London and means shore or riverbank. Galveston is known for it’s horse and carriage rides, trolleys, county museum, factory outlets, galleries, beef jerky shops, and confectionaries.

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The Strand suffered catastrophic damage after the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. Many buildings and businesses first floors were entirely wiped out.

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La Kings Confectionary

Best part about La Kings Confectionary, a throwback from the 1920’s, their products are available for order on line!!! So, no need to hand carry or shove all of their yumminess in your luggage. Tourists are drawn into the shop by the sweet aroma filling the air outside. It smells like waffle cones and homemade caramel sauce. La Kings uses 19th century methods of making candy, using traditional equipment. Our kids loved the 1920’s soda fountain that serves malts, shakes, ice cream sodas, sundaes, splits, and floats (pictured above). La Kings also makes Purity ice cream founded in 1889 on Galveston Island. Some of the award winning treats are: fruit slices, salt water taffy, handmade chocolates, pecan logs, divinity, and pecan pralines.

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Pleasure Pier

As we rode bikes along Seawall Blvd., a pier in the distance became larger and larger as we approached. It was Pleasure Pier! Since we rented the bike by the hour, we chose not to explore the pier, observing from the road instead, listening to all the screams coming from the roller coasters. In addition, you can’t walk on without a $10 per person walk-on pass. We didn’t want to pay $40 to take a look around. $26.99 per person will get you unlimited rides. Family packages are also available for $89.99 2 adults/2kids, $94.99 3 adults/1 child or $99.99 4 adults.

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Port of Galveston

Strolling around the Strand we ended up at Galveston’s Pier 19, where we noticed a huge offshore oil driller, the Ocean Star. The jack-up rig is now a museum which visitors can take a self-guided tour. The oil drilling equipment is on display and visitors can learn about oil to gas production. Admission is $9 for adults.

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Black Pearl Oyster Bar

When in Rome….we smelled the wharf and instantly craved oysters on the half shell. After asking around town, several locals mentioned the Black Pearl Oyster Bar located at 327 23rd Street. Yelp rates the restaurant 4 stars- another good sign. When we saw people waiting in a long line outside the door, we knew it had to be great! Oysters are severed as Oysters Rockafeller with spinach cream cheese; Oysters Haelen topped with crab meat, cheddar, and bacon; or Oysters Diablo with spicy diablo sauce, shrimp, and cheddar. Other menu items include Po-boys, sandwiches and fresh salads for lunch. Choose specialties such as, barbecue shrimp, crab cakes, fish tacos, crawfish etouffee, ribeyes or grilled pork chops. For seafood options, try the hand-battered fresh fish and choose from flounder, snapper, salmon, ahi tuna, talapia, or catfish. Yum!!!

1975205_10153988257281838_2938178253686608160_nDining in Galveston~ there are a ton of restaurants located up and down Seawall blvd. After returning our 4-wheel bike, we popped into The Rainforest Café. Not exactly unique to Galveston or Texas for that matter, but we always love a great chain restaurant that we don’t have back home.

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The Strand

 

 

 

 

 

Stingray Sandbar, Grand Caymans

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snorklingWe love to cruise as a family for our annual vacations. Planning our adventures consists of sitting down together and reviewing all of the excursion options. Usually my husband will pick something historical, such as Tulum in Cozumel, Roman Coliseum in Italy or castles in Spain. Our kids generally choose an activity much more adventurous than what I would choose. When reviewing the options for George Town, Grand Cayman, they chose Stingray Sandbar immediately!  Stingray City, a natural channel located in the northwest corner of the Cayman’s North Sound, houses rows of shallow sandbars which draw tourists year round due to the abundance of Southern Stingrays.  We booked a tour through our cruise line Royal Caribbean. There are several boating companies offering similar trips, some include sailing. We hopped aboard the Cayman Explorer for a short ride out to the sandbar with views of the emerald Caribbean waters. Important note, eat a good sized breakfast and bring snacks in your bag, as they do not feed you on board, and after swimming in the ocean, you will be very hungry. As soon as we pulled into the sandbar area, large stingrays were visible. It looked like black spots moving all about the ocean. I was very nervous to get into the water and felt more apprehensive as the tour guide announced, “no water shoes, watch where you step and stay together.” Of course the kids and my husband jumped in before I did and eventually I made my way in.

Coming from Hawaii, I wasn’t nervous about the ocean or waves, but the feeling of having a large stingray rub up against my legs as soon as I stepped in the water was unsettling. You really need to know how to swim on this tour because the tide can change rapidly. Lifejackets are supplied but I would advise knowing how to swim. The guide had the group stand in a circle as he grabbed a large stingray and walked around letting each person pet it. It feels like a wet mushroom. Ika (squid) was passed around for those who were brave enough to feed the stingrays. Of course, my son grabbed several pieces and caught the stingray opening it’s mouth to feed on his GoPro. That was exciting to watch back. I couldn’t help but to think about the sharp barb sticking up out of the water as the guide held the stingray. At one point, he even put the barb in his mouth for show.

Interesting Facts~ Stingrays first started gathering to the sandbar area decades ago due to fisherman cleaning their fish and throwing the contents overboard in the shallow waters. Today, divers feed stingrays by hand in this area and it is thought that they gather here due to the sound of boats coming, symbolizing feeding time.

 

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Grand Cayman

 

4 Days in Midtown

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The glamour of it all! New York! America! ~ Charlie Chaplin

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New York is Not Just a City, It’s a World ~ Author Unknown

4 days in Manhattan is not very much time to cover everything we wanted to see!!!! I jotted down a very long list of “must-sees” and then prioritized them to be sure that we could hit the top sights on the list. Warning, in order to cover as much as we did, you have to be willing to go non-stop from morning until night! Realistically, doing even half of what we did is a lot for some. Plan your agenda by location or else you’ll spend all of your time sitting in a cab and going nowhere. I’ll categorize this post by food, sights, and entertainment. I apologize in advance if there’s more information on FOOD than anything else.

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In terms of theater, there’s not a more supportive theater community than in New York. It’s really kind of a real thrill to go there. I mean, don’t forget, I’m a boy from the suburbs of Sydney, so getting to New York is a huge, huge thrill. ~ Hugh Jackman

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Entertainment~

Broadway, Broadway, Broadway…..

I love theater and have experienced shows in both Vegas and London but never in New York. Of course we’d love to see Hamilton but it was sold out due to nearing the end of their run in New York. So, we chose Phantom of the Opera in the Majestic Theater!!! I had seen Phantom in Las Vegas at the Venetian theater that was built specifically for Phantom, but never in New York. The special effects were better in Vegas but the music was phenomenal on Broadway. I could watch Phantom 10 times and never grow tired of the music.

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Standing in line for hours at TKTS

$$ Saving Tips: Purchase discounted tickets same day at TKTS located in the center of Time Square under the red steps at 47th and Broadway. Tickets are 20-50% and sold for same day evening shows and next day matinees only. Get there about an hour before it opens to wait in line. Don’t wait in line for a hour to try and purchase a ticket that is not same day otherwise you’re wasting your time. There is a monitor that will show the tickets available for the day. The booth opens at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday if there is a matinee showing that day. The booth is closed on Sundays. There are 3 other locations: South Street Seaport, Downtown Brooklyn, Lincoln Center. If you are planning to sit with someone else, be sure one person purchases both tickets because you can’t choose your seats, they are all best available. Don’t have two different people walk up to two different windows because you will not be seated together.

Our favorite entertainment was seeing the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall!!! Be sure to see the Rockettes post on this blog located on the right hand side under “topics”, “New York”.

Food ~

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Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity 3

A Balanced Diet is Chocolate In Both Hands

For Casual Dining~ There is no way to capture everything we ate over the span of 4 days. Even if we weren’t hungry, that didn’t stop us from trying foods, pastries and desserts as we passed carts, patisseries, and restaurants. The aromas are endless!!

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The Halal Guys

13592183_10209788632811266_8285031252294809189_nFood Carts~ Halal Guys was one of our favorite carts, conveniently located outside our img_1614hotel, the Sheraton New York Times Square at 7th & 53rd. The Halal Guys carts are all over the city, the red & yellow umbrellas seen from blocks away. The aroma of charbroiled meats is what will draw you in. Maybe it was so memorable because it was our first time experiencing a gyro, but I tend to think it was the intense flavors, not too mention they are so filling, great to split and only $5! My husband ate two in 24 hours. Pick your sauce and weather you want it served as a salad or as a gyro.

img_1018Then of course there are the total rip off carts! Since my blog focusses on money saving tips, I must share the not-so-great deals. My daughter was insistent on a double ice cream cone that she spotted right near Rockefeller Plaza. I can’t remember the exact price of the cone but I want to say around $10! It didn’t even taste like ice cream, more like frozen whipped topping. People are drawn to the cart due to the unique cones offered and choices of dipping flavors. The cart says Fun-Time all over it and has a large menu with pictures of cone options. Not worth the money at all. Very disappointing.

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Carlo’s Bake Shop

 

img_1422Walking back from the Circle Line Tour, we stopped in for a cannoli at Carlo’s Bake Shop located at 8th and 42nd. You’ve probably heard of Carlo’s Bakery on the TV show Cake Boss. Carlo’s is a family owned bakery that originally opened in 1910, named after Carlo Guastaffero.

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Chocolate Cream Filled Cannoli

 

 

Carlo’s Master Baker Bartolo Jr., known as “Buddy”, cake was voted Best Cake in America by the Today Show viewers. Buddy has made appearances on the Food Network, known for his intricate sugar art designs, and specialty and wedding cakes. Carlo’s is much more than cakes, choose from cannoli’s, freshly baked cookies, chocolate dipped strawberries, biscotti, tarts, cream puffs and pastries.

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Junior’s

 

img_0890Juniors “Home of the World’s Most Fabulous Cheesecake” is located right off Time Square at Broadway and 45th. Everything at Junior’s was over-the-top delicious and I must brag about their Ruben sandwich. My daughter loved their milkshakes and my mom raved about their cheesecake. The best part is, you can grab a slice of cheesecake to go after eating lunch. img_0893The décor inside is very fun with murals all over the walls. Their portions are pretty large, perfect for splitting entrees, especially if you are going to be walking the streets as we did. You may just need to dine at Junior’s twice to indulge on the extraordinary menu options. Be sure to stop into Junior’s when walking around Time Square.

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Junior’s Time Square

 

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John’s of Time Square

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Coal-fired brick oven

Can you really go to New York and not eat a pie? No way! Stop in at John’s of Time Square at 260 W 44th Street, the most unique pizza in the world. At John’s they make each pizza made-to-order in an 800 degree coal-fired brick oven. Each pizza employee has months of extensive training under their belt knowing exactly when to take the pizza out of the oven. John’s is located in what was once an abandoned church on West 44th Street, where the homeless hung out and graffiti  was the only décor. Madeline Castellotti noticed the perfectly intact stained glass ceiling at the tabernacle and saw the potential. It was symbolic of a pie in that it was made up of 8 parts and all equal in size. John’s opened in 1997 and has two other locations: Bronx and Jersey City.

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Original 5 Napkin Burger

Hell’s Kitchen~ If you plan on visiting Hell’s Kitchen, we found a great place called 5 Napkin Burger, named for their messy burgers, located on a corner. We had a gift certificate from Open Table for the restaurant and found our way there. img_1186We actually walked on over to 630 9th Ave. from Time Square; however, there are 5 locations. They are open for lunch and dinner from 11:30am-12am. I loved that we could watch all the happenings of Hell’s Kitchen from our window seat. Many of their staff are actors by night, including our waiter that day. You can find sushi, salad bowls and burgers, made with Aspen Ridge Chuck, on the menu and draft beers for just $6-7. The burgers are around $14 each but large enough to share, especially if you order a side of their amazing onion rings!!!

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The Lambs Club, Chef Geoffrey Zakarian

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Bucatini with crab

Moving on to Food Network Restaurants in Midtown~ I love watching the Cooking Channel and Food Network, so as soon as we started planning our trip to Midtown, I looked up the Food Network chefs local establishments. Chef Zakarian’s The Lambs Club just so happen to be located in the hotel that we were staying at~ The Chatwal at 132 West 44th Street.

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The Lambs Club

Chef Zakarian has 7 restaurants, two of which are in New York. The menu is quite pricey but we were there for the experience as much as the food. We ended up sharing one pasta dish and had a glass of wine. The Lambs Club décor is that of classic club rooms of midcentury America, complete with red leather banquettes, art deco fixtures, and an 18th Century French fireplace. If the dinner menu is out of your price range, stop in the bar area and have a cocktail while listening to live piano music.

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Butter Midtown, Chef Guarnaschelli

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Charred White Cloud Cauliflower

My favorite restaurant in Midtown is Butter Midtown by Chef Alex Guarnaschelli!!!! One of my favorite memories while in Manhattan was our visit to Butter Midtown, which was recommended by the concierge at our hotel. The food is fantastic while reasonable, the ambiance is cozy, dark, rustic with high back booths, but I was most impressed to see Chef Guarnaschelli working in the kitchen!! She isn’t just a name on the restaurant, she is the executive chef at Butter Midtown, her first restaurant.

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Raw & Roasted Brussels Sprout Salad

The menu offers local, freshly sourced foods and surprisingly decent sized portions very reasonable priced. Everything that we ordered was so unique and full of flavor. We opted to order several side dishes so that we could try multiple items rather than settling for an entrée. Be sure to save room for dessert! When I checked out the restaurant on line, I was blown away by the detail of the desserts. We asked our waiter if we could please meet Chef Guarnaschelli and to our surprise, she came to our table! We shared how much we loved the food and how reasonably priced it was but maybe it just seemed reasonable because we are used to Hawaii restaurant prices.

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S’mores

 

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Inside Park at St. Bart’s

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Autumn Squash & Grain Salad

If you are looking for a place to sit, have a glass of wine and watch the hustle and bustle in the heart of  Midtown, Inside Park at St. Bart’s is your place!! We loved this location so much, we ate dinner there two nights in a row. It is a popular stop after work for Wall Street, men dressed in suits and talking about the stock market. We just so happen to be there during Brexit. It’s a great place to people watch and who doesn’t want to people watch in Manhattan? The location makes the restaurant, the food is simple, but good and the atmosphere is 5 Star!! Inside Park is located at 325 Park Ave. in a courtyard of St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral where echo’s ring out from the church bell while your dining. The restaurant replaced what was once The Great Hall, the details and décor are modeled after it’s design.

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Red Velvet Cupcakes, Waldorf Astoria New York

 

img_1446Did you know that the iconic Waldorf Astoria New York, located at 301 Park Ave., was the first hotel to offer room service and hire female chefs? The Waldorf Astoria is famous for the Waldorf Salad (1893), Eggs Benedict (1894), Thousand Island Dressing (1894), Veal Oscar (1893) and Red Velvet Cupcake (1920’s). You don’t have to stay at the Waldorf to indulge in their wonderful menu items while listening to piano music at the Peacock Alley Bar & Lounge. We sipped coffee and devoured the cupcakes pictured above.

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Waldorf Astoria New York

Sights~

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Grand Central Terminal

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Main Concourse

If you have to catch a train , you will most likely experience Grand Central Terminal, also known as Grand Central Station, at 42nd & Park Ave. Even if you’re not going anywhere, stop in for pictures and a bite to eat at the Dining Concourse located below the Main Concourse. Step foot into the terminal where you’ll be greeted by the sounds and rattling of trains inclusive of 41 tracks underground and 26 above ground pulling in and out of the station. img_1040We took a ride along the Hudson River headed for Poughkeepsie. There are automated ticket machines in the lobby and very simple to navigate. Admire the starry ceiling that is astronomically inaccurate. For example, some constellations appear correct while others are backwards, left-to-right.

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Main Concourse

It’s sort of a center of everything; it’s Grand Central Station. When a dog gets lost they call me. When the cows get out, they call me. ~ Marty Hunt

Interesting facts~ The American Flag was hung in Grand Central Terminal a few days after 9/11. The 13-foot clock (pictured above) in front of Grand Central façade which faces 42nd Street contains the world’s largest example of Tiffany glass.

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Brooklyn Bridge

img_1281The Brooklyn Bridge was on our list of things to do. We wanted to walk across it and end up in Brooklyn but were too tired by the time we arrived, so we walked part of it. The views from the bridge are gorgeous, cars are zipping by and people strolling past on bikes. If we had more time, it would have been fun to rent bikes and ride along the bridge. Bike rentals start at $15 for one hour and go up $5 per hour from there. You can also rent a bike for the day at $40. Rentals include a helmet, basket, map and chain and lock. There are several companies offering bike rentals, check out Brooklyn Bridge Sightseeing where you can reserve it all on line.

img_0950After checking into our hotel after 5K miles of traveling, our first stop was the Empire State Building located on 5th Ave. between 33rd & 34th street. We looked at our map and walked there from the Sheraton New York. The Empire State Building is 102 stories high standing at 1250 feet tall. It was the tallest building until the World Trade Center Towers were built in late 1970. In 2001, it was once again the tallest building in New York until 2012 when One World Trade Center was constructed. Tickets are available same day by walking into the lobby of the building or available in advance on line. Ticket prices vary from $34-54 per person. We chose the tour that goes to the top with access to walk around outside. It was very windy at the top displaying breathtaking views including the Hudson River.

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Reflection Pool

 

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Subway

9/11 Memorial & Museum~ One of the top items on our sight seeing list was the 9/11 Memorial; however, it was a ways away from where we were staying. We found that there were two different subway trains that go to 9/11 from where we were staying in Midtown. I have to admit it was a bit confusing and hectic getting there but pretty easy coming back. The subway is very fast moving, including the ticket purchase. You need to know what line you are buying and if it is one-way or roundtrip by the time you get up to the window or the machine. Be sure to save your ticket!! It is the same ticket to get back. Don’t plan on asking people for assistance, we were not successful in that. Ha!! Forgot that we were no longer in Hawaii for a brief moment. Not much Aloha on the New York subways.

As with most memorials, it is very quite on the grounds. In fact, there are even signs along the streets right outside of the memorial that say “No Honk Zone”. I personally believe everyone should experience the 9/11 Memorial. You really can’t imagine how large the towers were until you look straight down into the reflection pools which are each an acre in size. The memorial is open daily from 730 a.m.- 930 p.m. and is free to walk around. The museum is a separate entrance with tickets priced at $24 for museum only, $44 for museum plus museum tour, $39 for museum plus memorial tour. Prices are discounted for children, students, veterans and seniors. Allow 2 hours to complete the tour of the museum. We did not have time to tour the museum and there was a very long line to get in. The name of each person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed on the Memorial pools. 9/11 is the largest loss of life due to a foreign attack on American soil and the greatest loss of rescue personnel in American history.

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1 World Trade Center

One World Trade Center is the most beautiful building I’ve ever seen. The picture above was taken up close on a foggy day which seemed appropriate for a memorial site. However, on a different day, I was able to capture it in all of it’s beauty, standing tall in the sun as I sailed by on the Hudson River.

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1 World Trade Center

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The Circle Line Tour

 

img_1413The Circle Line Tour~ The Statue of Liberty was top on our list but we didn’t have time to make a day of it. So we opted to catch a boat and cruise past Lady Liberty instead. We walked to the The Circle Line Tour located at Pier 83 at W 42nd & 12th. The Circle Line Tour offers 3 different cruises, 1, 1.5 and 2.5 hour trips. We chose the 1 hour tour that sails within 100 feet of the Statue of Liberty, offering views of Midtown and Lower Manhattan all for $29 per person! This is the best deal in the city. There is a café on board selling snacks and drinks. The 1.5 hour cruise is called the Landmarks Cruise which includes cruising under the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges for $37 per person or take the Best of New York cruise for $42 to see 5 boroughs, 3 rivers and 20 bridges!!

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The Today Show was a must-see on the list as my mom and I have watched the show every morning for years. Located in Midtown, Studio 1A is on 48th Street between 5th and 6th Ave. We went to both the NBC Store and right outside the actual studio.

The picture above sitting at the desk is a prop inside of the NBC Store located at 30 Rockefeller Center. The other Today Show prop was in front of Studio 1A. Arrive early if you’d like to be in the audience on the Today Show taping. They were just packing up the outside crowd railings as we arrived. We stopped in front of the Tonight Show as well to snap a couple of pictures.

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I would like to end with some pointers on WHAT NOT TO DO IN MIDTOWN! Do not take pictures with any people dressed up in costume. What looked like it would be fun and silly, turned into a full on mob swarming us for money. Yes, lesson learned the hard way. They were waving and motioning for us to come over and take pictures with them while strolling Times Square. So, we stopped and thought, why not? After taking several pictures, they removed their masks so they could talk and started begging for money, to the point of swarming. Then once you take your wallet out, other people dressed in costume, whom we didn’t even take a picture with, started begging for money and pushing us. It was a horrible experience and they formed a circle around us. With that said, The Naked Cowboy seems fun and you can watch him play the guitar without going up and asking for a picture.

img_1081Where not to stay if you take a trip up the Hudson to Poughkeepsie!!!! The premise of this travel blog is to travel while saving money. However, sometimes you really do get what you pay for. I would like warn anyone traveling to Poughkeepsie to steer clear of the Mercury Grand Hotel, in fact we ended up fighting with Priceline to get our money back. Unbelievably, it is rated 3 Stars by Priceline. It was the only hotel available for the night and thank God we only booked one night. The hotel should have been condemned, full of mold, broken, sharp, metal towel racks that were hidden behind the towels, leaking toilets, windows that wouldn’t lock on the ground level, phone in room didn’t have a dial tone, bathtub wouldn’t drain, ice machines broken with signs on them, coffee maker without the pot, rust in the bath tub (pictured) and the entire hotel wreaked like smoke. In addition, there isn’t an elevator and they originally had us on the second floor but we couldn’t drag our luggage up the flight of stairs. Thankfully, we stayed at the Hampton Inn the second night in Poughkeepsie which was so clean – it felt like the Ritz in comparison to the Mercury Grand Hotel.

 

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Times Square

 

A Blistery Day at Stonehenge

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There are no accidents, only unsolved mysteries

Stonehenge is actually a bucket list item for my husband. I have seen many documentaries on The History Channel, National Geographic and Travel Channels. While visiting London, we decided to schedule a tour two hours away to Stonehenge. It was a dreary day in December with blistering wind and mist. I highly recommend booking a tour if staying in London to take in the scenery along the way and enjoy a beverage without the worry of driving and directions. We hopped on a tour bus that picked us up at a nearby hotel and stopped at two other sights along the way to include Windsor Castle and the town of Bath.

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Bus ride to Stonehenge

There are so many stories and hypotheses about Stonehenge as the site was created by a culture that didn’t use any written documents.

Stonehenge’s ring of standing stones are located in Wiltshire, England. It is believed that Stonehenge was created 3000-2000 BC. The earliest phase of Stonehenge was the circular earth bank and ditch dating back to 3100BC. It is a mystery how the bluestones, also known as spotted dolerite, were brought 200 miles, from the Preseli Hills of Southwest Wales, to the area of Stonehenge.  Each stone weighs several tons and some predict the stones were transported by dragging while others believe they were possibly floated over water or a glacial act. The bluestones were present from the beginning phases and throughout the completion of Stonehenge. Stonehenge is thought to have possibly been a burial ground in the beginning, as human bones were found during the digging of the ditch dating back to 3000 BC. There is no evidence of how the stones were constructed to design Stonehenge and this is why there is so much fascination around the mystery. Many have suggested that the construction was supernatural due to the size and weight of the stones which would make it impossible for humans to have relocated them 200+ miles without a wheel or pulley system. In 1995 a team of 100 people decided to conduct an experiment using a sleigh along a animal fat-greased track carrying a 40 ton stone which was successful for 18 miles.

Interesting Facts~ Stonehenge has been legally protected since 1882. In 1986, the site was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. Stonehenge is owned by the Commonwealth and managed by English Heritage Trust. The site is aligned facing the sunset of the winter solstice and the sunrise of the summer solstice. The design allows for a celestial observatory, which some believe was for the purpose of predicting the eclipse, solstice, equinox and other events of importance at that time.

There are newer theories which have surfaced to include the idea that Stonehenge was a place of healing, thus explaining the high number of burials. The thought isn’t that it was only a burial but more a of a multifunctional worship area. Analysis shows that remains have been found from other regions. Another theory is that Stonehenge may have been part of a ritual landscape to celebrate the past and recently deceased.

One of my most memorable observations was the size of Stonehenge. I had expected the stones to be much larger and taller than they were. Looking up towards the top of the formations is an awesome sight. It is mindboggling how the rocks sit on top of each other and have remained there, perfectly still all this time. The ring also seemed much smaller than it looks on documentaries. It was very quiet at the site, even though it was packed with tourists.

$$ Saving Tips~ You can walk along the grounds without paying for the guided tour or listening to a headset. If you’re visiting the site during the winter, be sure to bring an umbrella, jacket, scarf and gloves. We were SO cold, to the point of misery! We purchased souvenirs in the gift shop to bring back. I try to collect an ornament from each place that I visit. I was pleased that they sold a cloth ornament of Stonehenge which I could easily pack and bring home.

Stonehenge with Mom

Stonehenge with Mom

“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life- and travel-leaves marks on you.” ~ Anthony Bourdain  

Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall!!!!

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“There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless” ~ Simone de Beauvoir

Many of us grew up watching the Rockettes perform at the Macy’s Day parade on Thanksgiving and a sneak peek of their Christmas Show on The NBC Rockefeller Center Tree-Lighting Ceremony. In my mind, the Rockettes are synonymous with wintertime, blistery weather, glitz & glamour and the holidays. One day as I was reading a travel magazine while waiting in a doctor’s office, I saw an advertisement for the Rockettes performing at Radio City Music Hall in the summer!!! It just so happened to be when we would be in Manhattan.

The summer show theme is the magic of New York and since this would be the first time my daughter and I would visit Manhattan, I thought what better way to experience the city.  The show had a storyline including many of the iconic New York attractions while using larger than life puppetry, detailed costumes and songs to include classics, new compositions, and pop music.

Since my daughter has enjoyed years of participating in theater, tap and jazz, I knew she would love the storyline about siblings Emily and Jacob who are lost while on vacation in Manhattan and take off exploring the sights without their parents. It couldn’t have been more perfect, as we had just been to the top of the Empire State Building and walked Central Park and Time Square that day.

Stage

Stage

Photography is not allowed once the show begins. We made sure to take as many pictures as possible prior to the start of the show. The lighting is extremely dim inside. Be sure to stop off at the bar to grab a signature Rockettes cocktail with a souvenir stir stick. They also have popcorn and non-alcoholic drinks.

The show absolutely blew our expectations!!! On tv it is apparent that all of the ladies are the same height as well as similar measurements. What we could not believe was the PRESICION. Not one dancer was off, not a hand, a finger or head turn, nod or smile. The timing, the sharpness, facial expressions along with their infamous high kicks were unbelievable. We could not believe that our tickets were $38 per person!! I have paid $150 for shows that do not come anywhere close to watching the Rockettes in person. At the end of the show, everyone was standing, clapping, cheering and we all had chills.

The Rockettes were founded in St. Louis, Missouri in 1925 and have been performing at Radio City Music Hall since 1932.

Foyer

Foyer

The Rockettes present five shows a day, seven days a week during the Christmas season. I would love to see their Christmas show! At every Rockettes performance you are sure to see the eye-high leg kicks performed in absolute unison in a chorus line.

3 Generations

3 Generations

Fun Facts~ 400 to 500 women audition each year. The Rockettes draw over 2 million viewers per year, as one of the most-watched live shows in the United States. The Rockettes have performed annually at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since 1957 as the last pre-parade acts to perform.  IMG_1004

$$ Saving Tips~ Try booking the matinee for slightly lower prices. All seats are fantastic due to the circle seating arrangement as well as the large screen projecting the dancers.

The Best Thing About Paris~ le Croissant

“Until I discovered cooking, I was never really interested in anything” ~ Julia Child

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Chocolate Croissant ~ Paris

IMG_5506Blog posts are inspired by so many different things. Sometimes, it’s just a picture that I reflect on. This post was inspired by a picture and then the memory of one food item. Travel is as much about food and aroma as it is sights and sounds. In fact, food is a huge part of traveling for me. When I think of Paris in December, it draws on the memory of freshly baked croissants, hot out of the oven in a small pâtisserie tucked away in an alley. I had visited Europe in May and September but never in the winter. Paris is very cold in December, even snowing the day we went to Reims. As we roamed the streets, nothing sounded better than a hot coffee, croissant and French onion soup. I think we lived off of these three items for a week!! What more do you need? A hot croissant is not complete without a coffee or espresso!

I am going to assume that everyone has enjoyed a hot croissant at one point in time. They are buttery, flakey and well-known for their crescent shape. Viennoiserie are puffy pastries that have been around since before the middle ages, made of a layered yeast with lots and lots of butter. Croissants should be light and airy not heavy and greasy. Everyone has had that hard, store-bought, greasy croissant at a banquet or conference and they are terrible! The key is eating them while they are fresh. Croissants are a popular item featured at Continental breakfasts. I have had the pleasure of dining at many high-end, five star restaurants and hotels and trust me when I say- nothing is better than a fresh croissant from a corner pâtisserie. If you go to Paris, you must try a freshly baked croissants. Rather than purchasing a croissant from the case at the pâtisserie, we chose to wait for the hot ones to come out of the oven, resulting in the picture below. Bliss! It’s equivilent to drinking chianti in Italy or paella in Spain~ a must. While in Rome…..

Interesting facts~ Making croissants are rather labor intensive and time-consuming. In the 1970’s, factories started making frozen, pre-formed dough which can be baked at home or by fast food outlets. This process is called croissanterie, which is completely Americanized. Today, 30–40% of the croissants sold in patisseries are made from frozen dough.

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Best croissant of my life! Paris, France

Usually when I blog about food, I attach a recipe at the bottom. When it comes to croissants I couldn’t find an “easy” recipe from scratch. Most of the recipes involved multiple days and anything over a couple of hours is not defined as “easy” in my book. For those of you who are craving a croissant and are willing to tackle this, I have posted a recipe which claims to only take 45 minutes just for you. Have at it! I will attempt this recipe at some point in time for myself and post a picture. Please feel free to post a picture in the comment section if you are brave enough to try this recipe. I challenge you!

Ingredients

  • 1 package yeast (2 & 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1cup warm water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 3 1cups flour, about
  • 1 cup real butter
  • 1 egg white (beaten until frothy)

Directions

Proof the yeast in the warm water and set aside.

Beat egg yolks,stir in warm milk,sugar,salt, yeast mixture,and 2/3 cup of the flour.

Beat until smooth and set aside.

Cut butter into remaining flour until particles are the size of LARGE PEAS.

Pour in yeast mixture.

Mix lightly with a spatula just until flour is moistened.

Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

IT MUST BE COLD.

Turn out onto a floured board and knead lightly.

Divide into thirds.

Roll each into 16 inch diameter circle and cut into 12 pie shaped wedges.

Roll wedges starting at the wide end.

Place point side down on a greased baking sheet.

Cover with towel and let rise at room temperature until doubled.

Brush each with beaten egg white.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

Serve warm or re-heat in low oven– not microwave.

Makes 36 small, but you can make as big as you want.

The recipe is courtesy of Barb Gertz at food.com and can be found at http://www.food.com/recipe/too-easy-croissants-72309

A View From the London Eye

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

London Eye

London Eye

Remember your first experience on a Ferris wheel? They have been creating memories for all ages around the world and remain popular for several reasons. Some passengers ride for the unparalleled views and the thrill of being high above, while others prefer the wind in their face while going around and around on a wheel.

In 2014, I wrote an editorial in Destinations Travel Magazine titled Worlds Best Ferris Wheels with Scenic Views. The London Eye was featured in my article, but at that time I had only researched the observation wheel. I am happy to say, 7 months later I had the opportunity to ride the London Eye myself!!

How did it all begin? The Ferris wheel is named after George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., who designed the first wheel for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago standing at 264 feet tall. The Ferris wheel is usually the first object that catches your eye when approaching a carnival, fairgrounds or amusement park due to its height.
Ferris wheels may be referred to as observation wheels, big wheels or giant wheels, which are basically one in the same. The term “observation wheel” refers to the phenomenal, panoramic views which can be seen while riding the wheel. The Ferris wheel turns at a fairly slow speed to allow passengers the ability to get on and off at the bottom, take in the view and snap pictures while riding. The modern observation wheels tend to be much larger and more sophisticated than Ferris wheels. Ferris wheels usually include the classic, two passenger, open air seating while most observation wheels offer enclosed, air conditioned seating for groups called capsules or pods. The picture below provides a sneak peak inside the capsule with hardly anyone in it- besides my mom! December is a great time to tour Europe as most people are no longer on holiday. We pretty much had the capsule to ourselves!
Inside the capsule

Inside the capsule

IMG_6639The London Eye stands at 443 feet tall and is located in the heart of London on the South Bank of the River Thames. Since the opening in 2000, the wheel has had several names to include British Airways London Eye, Merlin Entertainments London Eye and the Energy London Eye. Also known as the Millennium Wheel, it is the tallest in all of Europe attracting 3.5 million people annually. Take a 30 minute ride with panoramic views of the London skyline highlighting the Palace of Westminster, Charing Cross railway station centre, Waterloo railway station and Big Ben. On a clear day, you can see as far as the Windsor Castle. The London Eye has 32 capsules which hold 25 passengers each. Interested in reserving a private capsule? The London Eye offers an array of options, choose from the Champagne Tasting Capsule, Hotel Chocolat Capsule, Cupid’s Capsule, Wine Tasting Capsule, Children’s Birthday Party Capsule or create your own!

Riding the wheel is all about a view from the top! The anticipation of riding slowly, higher and higher until you reach the very top to take in the view is worth the wait in line. The picture below is from the top of the observation wheel on a cold, December day in London. Bliss
View from above

View from above

Ferris wheels are a great way to view cities from high above. They are fun for all ages and just keep getting bigger and better. On Labor Day Weekend 2016 The New York Wheel on Staten Island is expected to open at a height of 630 feet! In 2013, Dubai announced plans to construct The Dubai Eye, inspired by the London Eye, expected to reach 689 feet on the new Bluewaters Island.
Get ready!

Get ready, we’re going up!

Roman Baths, England

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The Great Bath

When visiting London, there were several sites that I wanted to venture out to. Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and the town of Bath to name a few. We visited in December, which is very cold, rainy and cloudy, reflective in the pictures. Bath is where I first sampled the true form of cider. Do not make the mistake I did, thinking it was the American version of hot, apple cider. It looks and smells just like the American version of spiced apple cider. The United Kingdom has the world’s highest per capita consumption of cider. The most notable difference between American cider and European cider is the alcohol content! In the UK the law states that cider must contain 35% apple juice whereas in the U.S. it must be 50% apple juice and in France, the cider is solely made from apples. The cider in Bath will knock your socks off, but anything hot was wonderful in December. A warm beverage is a fantastic addition to the Christmas caroling in the streets. The cider in Bath is served from a big copper pot, continually stirred. Perry cider, made from pears, is quite common in England as well. I would recommend grabbing a hot cup of cider AFTER touring the Roman Baths, just speaking from experience.

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The town of Bath, pronounced both as in moth, is located 97 miles west of London in the county of Somerset, England. The town is well-known for Roman-built baths in 60 A.D., which were created from bath stone and feature four areas: the Sacred Spring, Roman Temple, Roman Bath House and the Museum. Over 1 million tourists per year stay in the town of Bath to visit the baths and the Grand Pump Room. 3.8 million visitors come for the day per year. Visitors are prohibited from entering the waters as they are considered unsafe for bathing. The waters pass through the original lead pipes. Bath stone has a warm, honey color and is easy to cut, square and shape without crumbling. It is interesting that the Roman Baths are actually situated below street level. The buildings above street level are from the 19th century. Bath has their own sports team called Team Bath.

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The Water System

It is fascinating to view what the engineering was like 2000 years ago. This is a picture of the water system at the Roman Baths, which were naturally heated by use of warm water from the local springs that would enter through the water system. The Romans were able to design complex plumbing systems to provide hot water to run into their baths. Where does the water come from? The water comes from the rain in the Mendip Hills and then bubbles up from the ground at Bath Falls. The water then filters through the limestone between 2,700 and 4,300 meters, causing the water temperature to rise between 69 and 96 °C. The pressure forces the heated water to rise to the surface.

Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey

In the picture above, you are able to see a portion of Bath Abbey, also know as the Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint1505197_10152903067556838_6691900010662982068_n Paul, which is visible from all over the town. Bath Abbey was founded in the 7th century and rebuilt in the 12th & 16th centuries as one of the largest perpendicular structures in Southern Western England, seating 1200. While the abbey is a major tourist attraction, it is also an active church, concert & lecture hall inclusive of hundreds of members. At the outdoor market, vendors sold locally made items for tourist to browse. Christmas is a wonderfully festive time to visit Bath.

Stormy Day in Bath

Stormy Day in Bath

Interesting Facts~

Jane Austen lived in the town of Bath in the early 19th century. The Roman Baths were featured in 2005 on the program Seven Natural Wonders as one of the wonders of the West Country. Bathing in Rome was considered a communal activity, not private as it is practiced in the United States.

Cheers, headed to Bath!

Cheers, headed to Bath!

$$ Saving Tips~

If visiting Bath for the day, it is best to book a tour from your hotel. If you are not staying in a hotel, than you can still book a tour and can be picked up at a hotel in town. We booked a tour and the pick up location was the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel. Our tour had several stops which was a 12 hour day. Shop around, compare prices and decide what you want to see in the span of a day. We loved the convenience of being able to have a couple of drinks and not have to worry about driving, getting lost or viewing maps. In addition, the tour guide was extremely knowledgable providing historical facts along the way. It is about a 2 hour ride from London each direction. We chose a tour that included wine (of course) and lunch. Many of the tours allow free time as well, so not to feel smothered or restricted. Be sure to inquire where the drop off location is. We assumed that it was the same as the pick up and after a very long day, we discovered we were on our own for a cab ride back to our hotel from downtown London.

Harrods ~ The Ultimate Shopping & Dining Experience, London

Harrods

Harrods

 

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Omnia Omnibus UbiqueAll Things for All People, Everywhere, Harrods Motto

IMG_6796 (1)I love the picture above which shows one of the confectionery display cases. It’s as if you’ve stepped into a movie, complete with staff in uniform and hats, bright and cheery smiles, and the ceiling laced with light fixtures every 12 inches. The cases, shiny and absent of fingerprints, simply go on and on for what seems like miles to include the finest of chocolates from all over the world. It is not just chocolates in the confectionery case, you will find an assortment of nuts, chews, Turkish delights, truffles, caramels, brittles, bars, mints, chocolate covered coffee beans, gold foiled coins, biscuits & fruits, pralines, alcohol-free selections, florentines, toffees, candied fruits, and hand-crafted selections just to name a few. It gives a whole new meaning to a kid in a candy store. Everything is exciting. Even when I saw something that was familiar, the packing was unique or the colors and flavors were original. Keep in mind, this is just the sweets section of Harrods.

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Harrods is located on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge in London. Harrods is difficult to describe as there isn’t anything else in the world that compares to the 5 acre, 1 million square foot store with 300 departments within. Harrods was founded in 1834 by Charles Henry Harrod, it is the largest department store in Europe and the third largest in the world. While Harrods may not be the largest store, it is by far the most spectacular, displaying the finest products from around the world.

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Picture yourself walking around for hours and not fully experiencing the entire store. I found Harrods to be absolutely fascinating for several reasons, one of which is their dress code which was implemented in 1989. How many stores have a dress code? It is common for fine restaurants to require a jacket and tie, but this was the first I had heard of a department store requiring specific dress, not to be confused with their “afternoon tea dress code”.  The first time I had been to Morton’s Steakhouse, my husband and I were young and not aware that suit jackets were required. Fortunately, they had a closet full of jackets for people like ourselves.

To be a patron of Harrods, you may not wear ripped jeans, high cut Bermuda or beach shorts, swim wear, cycling shorts, spandex, flip flops or thong sandals, dirty or unkempt clothing, bare feet, radical hairstyles or exposed midriffs. While growing up, my grandmother told stories of when she was a little girl and wore gloves and a hat to shop at the departments stores in San Francisco and when boarding a flight.

Harrods is so much more than a luxury department store, inclusive of 32 restaurants, a personal shopping-assistance program known as “By Appointment”, a watch repair service, tailoring, pharmacy, beauty salon and barber shop, Harrods Financial Services, Harrods Bank, Ella Jade Bathroom Planning and Design Service, private events planning and catering, food delivery, wine steward, fragrance formulations, and arcade machines.

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Coffee assortments

Coffee: For all the coffee connoisseurs out there, Harrods sells the most expensive coffee & teas in the world! What are luxury coffees? For starters, the beans are hand selected. The coffee is scarce and has very low production.

Terra Nera is the rarest coffee in the world sold exclusively at Harrods. It is sourced from Quechua (Peruvian Andes) due to the altitude. The coffee beans come from coffee berries fermented through a cat’s digestive tract, creating a fragrant, flavorful bean with hints of cocoa, hazelnut, buttery body with a velvet finish. Six different grades of coffee are available. Grade 0 is the finest of all the beans which are hand-selected. If you’re asking, what do I get when ordering the Grade 0 coffee? The Grade 0 coffee is sold in a 24-carat gold-plated sack.  Harrods has arranged for each sack to be individually engraved and hand-crafted with the customer’s name by renowned and award-winning silversmith, Rebecca H. Joselyn. The customers who place orders exceeding 500g will be offered a complimentary coffee machine. Prices for Terra Nera coffee range from £140 to £6,800.

Shopping

Lulu Guinness Luggage

IMG_6807When it comes to shopping, I love luggage. Maybe is has something to do with my passion for travel or the ability to spot my bag as it comes down the belt at the airport? I don’t necessarily have the need to “travel in style”, but I know that I am fascinated by great, durable bags. With that said, I also am realistic in that there are very few items in which I can afford at Harrods, luggage being one of them. However, I still love to look. I took a couple of photos of luggage and texted them to my daughter as she shares the love of luggage. Did you know that Harrods has stores in two airports? Harrods is located inside Heathrow and Gatwick. Harrods luggage selection is broken down into four categories: Alpha Collection, Alpha 2, Arrive Collection, and Tegra-Lite. Harrods even has a section called Children’s Travel. What does all this mean? It is overwhelming  in the sense that there are over 20 brands of luggage at the department store. A few of the brands which may sound familiar are Samsonite, Lulu Guinness, Mulberry, Kelsey and Burberry. The imagine to the left is the Ted Baker line, notice the print on the outside continues into the lining of the luggage. The luggage is also available in light pink starting at £275.00 ($391) for the small size.

Let’s talk food

Harrods Restaurant, Rotisserie

Harrods Restaurant, Rotisserie

Harrods 1849 Lager

Harrods 1849 Lager

Dining at Harrods is an experience in itself, offering 10 classic restaurants, 12 contemporary options and 6 cafes. When dining at the Rotisserie, be sure to try the Harrods 1849 Lager. After a cold, blistery day in December, we ducked into Harrods for hot, succulent, free-range chicken, roasted over a flame. Sit up to the bar and watch the chefs cook your dinner and saute with flames, while listening to the clanking of pans, laughter, International aromas and languages fill the air. The décor at the Rotisserie dates back to the turn of the century. Try one of the specialty kebabs and side dishes such as roast potatoes and gratin dauphinois (potatoes and crème fraîche).

Harrods restaurants are categorized by Classic, Contemporary and Cafe. There are 26 restaurants including some familiar companies such as Cafe Godiva, Disney’s Wild West Cafe by Harrods, and Bentley’s Sea Grill. I love that Harrods is not super fancy, you can bring children and dine someplace fun. It is a great place to pop in and just have dessert or hot tea. This blog post would never end if I attempted to describe everything in the store but there are certain things that caught my eye. I thought of my daughter who absolutely LOVES ice cream, when I passed by the Ice Cream Parlour.

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Ice Cream Parlour, Harrods

Located on the second floor, the Ice Cream Parlour is decorated like an old fashioned soda parlor. Sit up to the counter, choose your favorite flavor and build a dessert! Items found on the delicious menu consist of freshly made sundaes, shakes and decadent desserts with an array of flavors. All 13 traditional gelato and sorbet flavors are made using only the finest of ingredients. Other places to find dessert are YooMoo, Cafe Godiva,

Inside Harrods

Inside Harrods

Egyptian Decor

Egyptian Decor

The most interesting part of touring Harrods were the two memorials of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed. The first one, a picture of the two behind a pyramid display along with a wine glass with Diana’s lipstick from her last dinner which was unveiled in 1998 and is located at the base of the Egyptian Escalator. The second memorial is located at the escalator by the door titled “Innocent Victims”. It is the first time I have seen a memorial in a department store. The bronze statues show the couple dancing on the beach under an albatross. The statues were unveiled in 2005 and are very peaceful and beautifully designed by William Mitchell, who was a close friend of Mohammed Al-Fayed, Egyptian multi-millionaire and the father of Dodi Fayed.

In 2010, Al-Fayed sold Harrods to Qatar Investment Authority  for £1.5 billion.

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Display window

Harrods at Christmas Time….

Window display

Window display

Just when you think it can’t get any better….visit Harrods during the holidays. Magical, like you’ve never seen before. The display windows are out of this world. Bright with color, music playing, gowns made of jewels, snow falling and the displays move. Absolutely spectacular! We rode in the taxi cab with the windows down in December (freezing) just so we could hear the music playing in the display windows. Parents with children, couples holding hands and people passing by, stop to look into the windows on a cold, dark evening pointing with excitement and speaking in various languages.

 

 

Interesting Facts~

In 1898, Harrods debuted England’s first “moving staircase”, known today as an escalator. Harrods is the only department store in Britain that has continued to sell furs. Female employees are required to wear six kinds of makeup at all times. Harrods has been connected with several high profile crimes over the years, including the 2012 theft of a £24,000 designer dress. A memorial statue of Michael Jackson was unveiled in April 2011 at the rear of Craven Cottage football ground and then removed in September 2013 on the orders of Shahid Khan.

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Dinner of a lifetime at Harrods!!