Monday, February 23, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The Kona coast has many wonderful places to stay, but this has become our favorite over the many years we have been traveling to Hawaii. Many of the folks here are either permanent residents, or spend the winter months away from the cold. The grounds are beautifully landscaped with so many varieties of tropical plants it could almost qualify as a botanical garden.
The question of the day is always "will there be a green flash?" When the atmosphere is perfect, the light of the sun, as it slips below the horizon, shines through the water and there is a flash of green light.
There was no flash last night, but Bill will keep trying to capture one to share with all our friends.
I have been gathering ideas for future posts on this blog. Yesterday was a hike to our favorite beach, last night was the "sunset social hour" and coming soon will be a rescipe for "Fresca de Lulo". So I hope you will come back for more!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Saturday morning it was time to visit my favorite market...the Keauhou Farmers Market. Unlike some other markets in the area, this one sells only 100% Hawaiian products and it is such fun to talk to the farmers and bakers and listen to the music of a local trio palying ukuleles and singing favorite Hawaiian songs.
For $5.00 we bought a "Dancing Lady" orchid to brighten our already sunny lanai (balcony). then we filled our shopping bags with local fruits...tangerines with wrinkly skins, green apple banans that will need a couple of days to ripen, avocados (so ripe the grower gave them to me...perfect for guacamole), papayas, limes and lulos (more about them on a future post). And of course my favorite Kona coffee..."Kona Lisa". Please note (if you can see it on the label) that "Kona Lisa" wears a haku lei on her head and holds a cup of coffee in her hand. You can order this wonderful coffee shipped to the mainland from Ron and Mary Lake ... http://www.konalisacoffee.com/
In the next few days I hope to add more posts about our current adventures in paradise. We have been doing this for over 25 years and there is always something new to experience and share.
If you add your e-mail address to the Subscribe box, you will get an announcement when there is a new post. Coming up next...what is a lulo and what do you do with it?
Aloha and Mahalo!
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Last May I had the pleasure of touring the hotel, wearing hard hat and boots, tripping over pneumatic hoses and dodging dangling electrical wire. Then we went to the roof, something not too many people will ever have the opportunity to do. Here is the proof!
People who haven’t been to Las Vegas in many years, ask where the Wynn and Encore are located. If you recall the Desert Inn (it had a golf course) that is where Wynn and Encore stand. Sadly, there is rumor that the golf course may give way to additional condominiums, but for now it is a green oasis with a $500 fee for 18 holes. Personally I think the hotel/casino complex is the classiest looking structures in the “City of Sin” and no dollars were spared to make them absolutely gorgeous. Both are decorated in a style to attract visitors from Asia where gambling is a popular pass-time.
Are there bargains in Vegas? For now room rates are lower than usual to attract business in a weak economy, unless there is a big convention is in town…then they go back up. Dining out in signature restaurants is not inexpensive and a really good meal with pre-dinner drink, appetizer, entrée, dessert and wine will average $100 and up per person. But Bill’s experience is quality is very high. His personal favorite is SW at the Wynn. I had the best crème brulee of my traveling life while there. Better than Paris. For Italian we like Enoteca San Marco in The Venetian Hotel. Developed by Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich…it is so authentic.
So the excitement is over! We have both learned a lot … negotiating the Southwest Airlines web-site, arriving and departing McCarran Airport, the best meat market in Vegas (Larry’s Western Meats), Trader Joe’s (sure wish Kansas City had one) and some of the worst driver’s in the world. We also learned how much we take for granted about living in the mid-west … green grass, green trees (not now!), fresh fruits and vegetables from our garden or a local farmer.
So in a few days I’ll fly to Vegas and help pack the Trailblazer, clean the condo and then a two day drive home. Hope the weather cooperates!
Sunday, January 4, 2009
This is a travel story of sorts. In the late 70’s, my husband Bill, the architect, was supervising construction of an addition to a small hospital/nursing home in Jena, Louisiana. This town is so small he had to spend the night in the nursing home, or at the home of the administrator, because there were no hotels or motels. He often took his meals in the existing hospital cafeteria, but for a “special” dinner he would go the "The Cock Of The Walk" in Natchez, Mississippi… about a one hour drive away.
Anyway, Bill would come home and rave about the fried dill pickles he had eaten at the restaurant, mostly known for it’s fried catfish. Well, like most people, when he told me about them I said “What?” Then I had a chance to drive to Jena with him on a photo safari. It seems that the administrator wanted pictures of the local Louisiana countryside to put on the walls, as most of the residents of the nursing home had never been outside of the parish (county). While on the trip I finally got to taste those pickles. WOW!!!
My recipe was developed in an attempt to duplicate what I had eaten … but a small deep fryer can not do the same job as the giant vats of fat in a commercial kitchen. Frankly, deep frying is a pain in the you know what, so this snack has been relegated to the status of “only before Christmas dinner”. There are exceptions, of course, but not many.
This post is dedicated to my all male family…Bill, Will, John and Grampa V. It seems I can never make enough!
Fried Dill Pickles
or other vegetables
3/4 Cup self rising flour or biscuit mix
1/4 Cup corn starch
1 Cup beer
Keep in proportion but increase volume of each ingredient depending on how many pickles you want to do. Batter should coat pickles (or vegetables) evenly -- Add flour if too runny (thin) or beer if too thick to "flow" evenly.
Kosher Dill chunks or chips, a big jar.
Drain pickles well, pat dry with paper towels. Shake in sack of flour, 6 - 8 at a time. Shake off excess, coat with batter. Deep fry in oil at 375° until golden brown. Drain, sprinkle with salt. You can do 20 - 30 minutes before serving and keep warm in oven. Or, freeze after cooled, and re-heat at 425° for 15 to 20 minutes.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
A profession in travel has allowed me many indulgences … and the ability to share it with fellow travelers. This blog will give my friends an opportunity to experience, through words, some of my favorite places. Maybe a family recipe for fried dill pickles, a special museum in my home town (or abroad), the construction of a mega resort in Las Vegas, the simple pleasure of an urban garden.
The world is full of indulgences…simple and grandiose, I want to share my experiences and hope you will join me in future adventures.