Phew! What a holiday season! But now that I have caught my breath and enjoying being home. I can start to tell a few stories of a magical holiday season, that was had by me!
As I hinted back in December, I went to New Orleans to celebrate a BIG birthday. New friends met us for the big birthday weekend, which was their first visit. This trip had fun, fun written all over it!
This wasn't my first trip to the "Crescent City", but I had a few things to see, do, eat and drink. Please note that not one item is on Bourbon Street.
I don't "do" Bourbon street, but for our "newbies", we walked down Bourbon, at 8:30 in the morning, on our way to Cafe Du Monde. Anyone who describes New Orleans and uses Bourbon street as part of the describtion, is doing New Orleans a great disservice. That's all I have to say about Bourbon street.
My "Must Do" list included several items, here were a few:
My favorite was The Sazerac Bar, which claims being the place were the drink was invented. BUT this is highly disputed, depending where you get your resource material. Anyway, the Sazerac Bar is the type of bar that I love and usually they are set in old established hotels that exudes an old world elegance & style.
The Roosevelt Hotel is one of these hotels.
The Christmas decorations at the Roosevelt are part of the Holiday experience in New Orleans. Sorry this photo doesn't do it justice but it was magical.
Travel Tip # 1: The woman's public restroom is one of the elegant ones. If you are around Canal street, it's a good thing to know in a city with few public restrooms. Remember to tip the attendant.
Just off the lobby is the bar.
After many hours of walking, eating and shopping, this was an oasis in the middle of the desert. It was time to taste the famous drink.
For those of you who watch the series "Treme", it was a Sazerac, that Jeanette threw in the NYC critic's face. Sorry, I digressed.
You ask, "What's in a Sazerac"? Well....................
A true cocktail with 3 ingredients. But this isn't a sissy drink, it's a true sipper. It is the perfect cocktail to partake while relaxing in this elegant bar. Watching the bartenders is entertainment in itself.
The drink being prepared in this shot, is a Ramos Fizz. At home, I use a blender, not sure if I have the skill for this technique!
As I find myself crawling above the stacks of work and personal obligations, I wonder, "Where did the holidays go? Wasn't it Christmas & New Years, yesterday"?
It doesn't help my diminutive sense of time, that I went from a glorious 50th birthday celebration weekend, in New Orleans (more on that later) to the frozen tundras of Kentucky for work.
There in Northern Kentucky, I found fellow associates, born & bred Californians complaining about the quality of the fruits & vegetables, especially citrus. This discussion made me stop and think , "Do I take for granted the daily bounty of California?".
Winter months in California provide an abundance of citrus;from grapefruits (Oro Blanco, the best), Mandarins, Navel oranges to the ever present Cuties.
Citrus is everywhere.
Growing up in the Central Coast of California (a.k.a. Salad Bowl of the USA), citrus was part of my Christmas flavors (also Dungess Crab, See's Candy & sourdough bread). I have lived in places where I had avocado, fig & citrus trees growing in a backyard. The idea of not having easy access to these fruits/flavor, is foreign to this Cal Gal.
Where am I going with this diatribe?
As I peel my "Cutie", I give thanks for living in California.
Did you all have a good Christmas? Well, I had one of the best, in fact I would say it's in the top 5 of great Christmas's.
Now I am approaching a little old milestone of birthday and in true Robinson style, it will be celebrated in the most intimate way and in a very wonderful city. A city that is on my top 5 list of favorite cities, by the way.
Side note: Hhhmmmm, I see a trend of the number 5 here. Could this be an omen?
No, I am not going to lament about how many birthdays have been celebrated before this BIG one or of my progressing age. Nope, it's not my way.
I am going to celebrate this moment and I will be taking more pictures this time, I promise.
So without further ado, I leave you with the legendary Fats Domino.
I am asked this question so many times over the years, that my answer is starting to sound canned and contrite. This year's visit to her beautiful shores (Kauai is female to me) started the internal conversation within in myself.
Here are my answers.
It's the color of the sunrises, over the Pacific ocean.
It's the rain and the rainbows.
Each island has a color. Kauai is purple.
It's her hidden coves and beaches.
And not so hidden beaches..................................
It's the small towns that still have the feel of the "old" hawaii of yesterday.
It's her majestic Waimea Canyon.
These are only a few of the reasons, I return to Kauai. Feeling the warm trade-winds on my skin, listening to the doves & Mayna birds sing outside the window makes my soul soar.
It's my definition of paradise. That's why it's Kauai.
One of my "new" favorite Italian blog sites is Ciao Christy, an Atlanta, GA gal that now lives in Florence, Italy. Every Monday, she and a group of other Italophiles and expats write about the "sweet life" of Italy.
Today is my turn.
One of my last trip's to Italy, I discover the wonderful tradition of "Aperitivo". No, it's not like the USA's "Happy Hour", which usually means discounted drinks and maybe mediocre munchies. An aperitivo can be anything from a great side spread of wonderful Italian specialities to a little bowl of chips.
After the Roman Death March, I needed to get my mother a glass wine, pronto! The nearest spot was the Snack Bar on Piazza un Piscinula, and here's our aperitivo. See even, the little snack shop provided something for us.
Yes, that's right. I am having a horrendous longing to be on my beloved island, Kauai.
The longing starts to rear it's painful head, around this time of year; the "vacation" season or mid-summer. Watching others post their vacation pictures or update their blogs of wonderful locations or joyful respites from the daily grind of life, makes me pine even more for a summer playtime.
To combat these summer/vacation blues, I start to count the days until I too can relax and play. Once the countdown starts, I reminisce of past visits to the lovely Garden Island.
I try to remember the smell of the ocean, the plumerias, a proper Mai Tai, suntan lotion and sun rising over the Pacific Ocean.
You ask, "Why don't you plan a vacation in the summer"?
Now that it's the half way point of summer, I start to yearn for that sultry, summer vacation. It's about this time of the year, that my heart & soul yearns for the Hawaiian trade-winds to brush my skin and to taste the salt from the sea on my lips. To listen to the waves crash below the lanai and the sweet sounds of the Ukulele from the stereo, while I nurse my Koloa Cocktail; the perfect vacation moment.
But due to scheduling conflicts of two jobs and pickiness for certain type of accommodations; the month of October is vacation time for this gal. So this picture will have to suffice, for now.