Search Result For: Giving birth

Things I LoveThings You Should Know

GIVING BIRTH: DIFFERENT OUTCOME

lab dogmom and child

Obviously it’s been a long time since I had that kind of pleasure!  Nevertheless, the joy of birthing this Travel with Teri B website has been exciting and full of surprises.  It also required a considerable amount of time, growth pains and unknown challenges.  To me that sounds like the other kind of birthing!

 

My feelings about this new website!
Mom and Offspring

It is with great joy and pride that the big reveal is here.  Everything Travel with Teri B in one location:

  • Exquisite Photos (if I do say so myself) — click on one and have fun scrolling;
  • Hotel recommendations, airline stories, where to eat and on and on;
  • The ever-unpredictable hubby .. my (travel) partner in crime and in life.

Posts go back to the roots of the blog — to what seems like an ancient time of 2012.  So much has changed, but the destinations remain fascinating and fun, at least to me.

While the Travel with Teri B content may have evolved over time (I believe better), the intent has been the same since the inception.   My job is to inform and entertain readers without getting too far “into the weeds.”  No technical jargon, little “inside baseball” where the readers’ eyes tend to glaze over.  Rather bursts of information both from personal experiences and from vast intake of content from multiple resources.  The good, valuable stuff gets passed along.  What is the takeaway?

  • Learning while not investing a good deal of your time;
  • Providing incentive to visit different parts of the world you had not previously considered;
  • Learning about different cultures from someone you relate to.

The travel planning page has the same goal:  I explain about giving me your bullet points, and I will run with it while you tend to your day.  Here’s a favorite of mine: “Recognize your limitations and compensate for them.”  That means, stick to things like your career and making money so you can delegate the other tasks that eat up your time. Nobody — NOBODY — is good at everything.  Me balancing my checkbook: #fuggedaboutit

 

Take the road less traveled!
What’s it going to be?

 

I hope you enjoy exploring the site.  Be sure to “hover” over “Categories” up at the top — that tags and cross-references prior posts based on topics such as “Wining/Dining” and “Things You Should Know.”  Not on social media?  No worries!  Go all the way to the bottom to see Instagram posts —  you might even sign up.

So just like the other “birthing process,” this has been a labor of love.  Please follow along as I continue to explore, observe and report back to you.  It’s my pleasure and I hope yours too!

 

International TravelThings You Should KnowWining/Dining

SANTORINI, GREECE — Last stop for a milestone birthday

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Thank you to the Greek weather Gods for allowing us to arrive in Santorini to glorious sunshine.  Beautiful blue skies against the white abodes literally built into steep hillsides provide gorgeous contrasts.

Every room has it’s own terrace.
Dining area at the resort.

Our last resort for this trip was in the town of Oia (pronounced “e-a”), about 40 minutes from the ferry in Fira.  Naturally the resort — Mystique — is steep as well, just like pretty much everything else on the island.  The view of the caldera is quite stunning.  “Caldera” refers to the vast opening from the long-ago volcano eruption which formed Santorini itself along with several much smaller islands.  One could sit facing the water and do nothing else.  Of course, navigating up and down the steps required to get anywhere provides added incentive to stay put.  And there’s no “ADA” provisions; it’s simply climb or else.

Our resort with another right above it.
50 steps so far; about a million to go. No handrails.

We did walk into the town to browse around and have lunch at Mezzo Cafe.  It was like the U.N. there with very close tables that lent to conversation.  French folks (from Lyon) to the left and a group of Aussies to the right provided a wonderful opportunity to chat and hear respective impressions of the landscape and life in general.  Our French neighbors immediately asked if I was ok sitting next to their dog.  My response:  “As long as he doesn’t smoke,” which is hardly guaranteed in these parts of the world — especially sitting at an outdoor cafe.  We lucked out on all counts and had a thoroughly terrific time.

Mezzo Cafe
Go-to lunch: Chicken sovlaki with tzatziki, pita and “chips”

Much like our arrival in Santorini (described in the previous post), we experienced a similar “your driver was delayed” challenge upon leaving for a particularly ideal spot to view the sunset.  In this part of Greece, sunsets are like a religious experience.  But they must be well-timed.  We were booked at Ovac, a beautiful spot we were told was best for viewing.  We had a pre-arranged pick-up at 6:15 for a 6:30 arrival at the restaurant, giving us a solid 30 minutes until the sun fully set.  And then it’s 6:20, 6:25.  Tick tock.  Two hotel courtesy cars were waiting, but both had other commitments.

Mind you, I am not walking back down to get to the main office, because I’ll have to walk back up!  Three phone calls later (from a borrowed cell), one of the cars finally took us (ours was still “delayed”), driving at breakneck speed around the curves and we arrived with enough time to get our photos, but not nearly as relaxing as we had hoped.  We did have a delicious dinner and were glad for the experience.

Amazing salad at Ovac.
That view. That sunset.

I’m now convinced not much runs on time in Greece.  In fairness to our two other stays, both had excellent staff and great service (King George Athens and Bill & Coo Mykonos).  But Santorini had some issues to say the least.  Is it Greece in general?  Hmmm.  The country is not exactly stellar in many aspects.  Maybe with this exquisite location, the expectations are lower.  Good question to ponder.

The final day of our stay in Greece was spent at the resort — reading, spa and a wine tasting in their cellar — really a cave of sorts.  Greek grapes are interesting; they are grown without any water other than rain, humidity and/or mist from the sea.  The volcanic earth retains the moisture.  We tasted four local varietals:  sparkling, white, red and a dessert wine, accompanied by various cheeses, fruit, nuts, etc.  It was a lovely experience followed by a small dinner.

Wine tasting a deux.

Fortunately we were back in the room before the anticipated rains came for we would have not been able to negotiate either the steps or steep slope to our room.  It positively gushed water — and it supposedly only rains 20 days per year on the island.  Timing is everything.

Moderate rain flowing past our room.
The deluge a bit later.

For the journey home, American/British Air booked us via our miles from Athens to an overnight at Heathrow then nonstop to LAX.  I’ve complained before about really disliking BA’s biz class (Club World) configuration of front/back seating and having to climb over the aisle seat from the window seat.  However, we were on a brand new plane and it was really “quite lovely” as the Brits would say.  Next year that seat configuration goes away, and everyone will be facing front.  Hopefully staggered.  Better yet, single seating next to the window.  That is the best!

My cubby for 11+ hours. Plenty of room.
That privacy screen was up after the photo!
International TravelThings You Should KnowWining/Dining

LOOK WHAT I FOUND!

Foodie-01

Does anyone NOT spend a lot of time on the internet in the course of researching and planning travel?  I think not.  It was in this spirit that I was noodling around and thought for fun I would Google myself.  I know, you’ve never done that; right?

Most of what I found I knew … no, I don’t have a criminal record nor am I a deadbeat.  But on about the fourth page, I found a link to an article I wrote in 2015!  And it’s held up quite well.  While I’ve writing/posting as “Travel with Teri B” since 2012, this website is just two years old.  That means the link to the column has not  previously been shared.  And so here you are from Travel Post Monthly:

Eating in Spain: “Basqueing” in the Glow of San Sebastian

View from Hotel Maria Cristina

Oh, how I remember the meals so well:  Arzak, Martin Berasategui (possibly my favorite restaurant ever) … the extraordinary Guggenheim Bilbao Museum and the beautiful Hotel Maria Cristina.  I’m often asked about favorite places and/or return visits.  San Sebastian is at the top of my list.

So enjoy this piece from a few years ago.  Que aproveche!

 

Composed salad at Martin Berasategui
International TravelThings I Love

BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS

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In keeping with tradition, here’s the recap of 2019 (linked to all posts) ::

BIG BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION IN NYC

SOUTHEAST ASIA (Taiwan, Hanoi, Saigon, Hoi An, Cambodia, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong)

PUERTO VALLARTA

ROAD TRIP (Philly, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati) 

(Fall travel got the boot in favor of house renovations ..)

 

 

And the 2020 trips ::

PANAMA

ITALY (Our family of four heading to Rome/Florence/Venice/Milan)

ROMANIA & BULGARIA

ROAD TRIP (Chicago/Detroit/Cleveland)

Maybe’s ::

CARIBBEAN ISLANDS (Anguilla) -or-

NAPA Thanksgiving -or-

More house renovations!! 

 

Thank you for reading.  Wishing everyone the very best in 2020.

Wining/Dining

WHY PORTLAND?

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Many regular readers know that the hubby and I have a several-years-old tradition of spending Thanksgiving somewhere outside of LA with the son and the daughter.  It started in 2007 with a trip to London and has continued since with domestic trips to NY, Chicago, New Orleans (twice), Napa, Nashville and this year in Portland.  Why Portland?  Why not?!  This hip town is a mecca for food and wine, not to mention no sales tax, gorgeous scenery and easy access. So off we went.
Yours truly typically lays out the things to do and see for these trips.  But having son Sam as the family’s resident sommelier (and founder of The Cellar Beverly Hills) in this wine-centric region certainly took the burden off me; he secured the winery visits (five the first day) and I sourced the restaurants.  I’m not sure why Higgins wasn’t originally part of the plan, but in retrospect I am delighted the hotel sent the hubby and me there the first night (the kids flew in later).  It was a spectacular choice and a harbinger of the food scene in the area (dishes below).
Above:  the most perfectly cooked fresh halibut with vegetables;  Below:  am I the only one who never heard of Bostock?  Wow — a combination of bread pudding and scone but crispy on the outside and tender inside.  Oh my.

The Willamette Valley — roughly an hour outside of Portland — produces some of the finest Pinot Noir wines around.  That is my drink of choice so I was a happy camper to the extent I could taste a bit and still be the designated driver.  While not tasting, the scenery provided an exquisite backdrop — fall foliage at it’s peak with pockets of mist.  We were thankful to experience such beauty all around.

 

Newberg Ferry Crossing — positively ethereal

 

 

Breathtaking foliage
Portland’s iconic landmark, Powell’s Books, was open Thanksgiving Day making our “what should we do until dinner” decision an easy one.  The store comprises a full city block with multiple floors and a massive amount of titles.  I’m not sure how shoppers found one another before everyone had a cell phone, making the “where are you” challenge much easier. Fun fact:  If you’re perplexed as to how to get your purchases home, Powell’s calculates shipping cost by the number of items and not by the weight.  So the son purchased five hefty coffee table books and the cost for shipping was $9 — much less than UPS ground.  Avid reader Hannah made not one but two trips to Barnes & Noble on Black Friday for amazing deals.  We did our share to help the Portland economy for sure.
Bistro Maison in McMinnville laid out a beautiful table; traditional Thanksgiving meal (there were other options); deserts (pecan pie and fruit crisp)
A most fun surprise for us NCAA basketball fans was discovering the PK80tournament taking place in Portland in honor of (Nike founder) Phil Knight’s 80th birthday.  The boys went off to see beloved Ohio State Buckeyes take on Gonzaga after Thanksgiving dinner. It was great fun seeing lots of players and their families at our hotel (UConn, Butler and Texas).  
 
Exploring the Nike Headquarters in nearby Beaverton is a must.  The vast campus offers every type of training facility — full size — including track, soccer, basketball, beach volleyball and work-out facilities not to be believed.  It is a spectacular setting  with a serene lake right in the middle.  Although pretty much vacant (Friday), one still could see just how cool a place this must be to come to work.  We did wonder if EVERYONE in the company is fit and works out.  Any diversity allowed in that department?

 

The “last supper” was at The Hairy Lobster; photos and description below.
Shared plates: seared scallops, whole trout; indulgent ribeye and a chocolate/peanut/mousse concoction!
Morning view of Mt. Hood from our hotel room across the Willamette River
By now, the “Why Portland” question should be well settled.  A visit is highly recommended.   By the way, next year is already decided: a week in Charleston & Savannah.
Accommodations:  Portland Downtown Marriott on the Willamette River
Wineries:  Bethel Heights, Cristom, Eyrie, Arterberry Maresh, Domaine Serene, Bergstrom
Dining:   411 Lounge, Valley Commissary, Bistro Maison, The Hairy Lobster, Higgins, Little Bird Bistro, Cheryl’s on 12th
U.S. TravelWining/Dining

2014 BEGINS WITH NEW YORK CITY CELEBRATION

I can’t think of a better way to start off this year’s postings than with the story of my 60thbirthday celebration … the self-annointed “national holiday” of January 8thwas duly commemorated this year with a quick trip to New York City followed by the most fun birthday party …


The linchpin for this particular trip (other than my big day) was an exhibit at the Met.  Since the hubby and I had already enjoyed a week in Mexico as a joint celebration (see my previous post), having a second birthday trip seemed a bit indulgent. BUT, since this exhibit is only running until March, and early-January travel works in spite of the record cold, the trip was on!
 

I found a reasonable “hacker” fare via Kayak, which sounds bad but is actually the bundling of fares from two different carriers (outbound on Delta and return on Jet Blue).  I didn’t want to burn AA miles — the travel Gods will tell you to save the miles for the REALLY big trips — but rather opted to spend a few extra $$ on more legroom plus priority boarding and free baggage privileges.   In spite of a rather inauspicious start — a major delay out of LAX having nothing to do with weather — all turned out well once we finally got to our destination.

You know how some people waste time by channel surfing or playing electronic solitaire (guilty!) or other mindless activities?  Well, some might consider my endless looking for a better hotel than the one(s) I’ve booked as a waste of time.  Especially in a place like NYC where so little time is spent in the room, why needlessly fret over the accommodations? I want clean (goes without saying) and a great bed, roominess, service, location and a “reasonable” rate … too much to ask?  The winner this trip: The Park Lane on Central Park South.  We had a terrific park view, big clean room, plus a delish continental breakfast for only $1 more!!  And being around the corner from Bergdorf’s was certainly a plus in my mind. 

View from the room

 

 
Earrings by JAR

The exhibit I mentioned at the Met featured the remarkable work of the NY-born/Paris-based jeweler Joel A. Rosenthal — aka JAR.  His sought-after and coveted pieces have rarely been shown to the public.  Read all about him and the exhibit here.  Suffice to say, it was well worth the journey to see his works of art … although some of the pieces are so large that I can only imagine wearing them might weigh one down.  I should only have the chance.

 







As for the dining choices while in this culinary mecca, a great deal of time was also spent on that … the hubby went a bit nuts after I co-opted his Open Table account as well as mine for booking/changing/cancelling a number of choices depending upon my mood at the time. Feeling emboldened to pull out all the stops, I consulted both Michelin-starred restaurants plus Forbes Magazine’s 2013 List of All-Star eateries. If nothing else, I will be able to look back on this time feeling certain no stone was left unturned (an understatement to say the least).  The surprise in this endeavor was how many top restaurants were booked a month in advance, in freezing early January, mid-week.  Apparently business is good in NYC.




At least a healthy lunch ..

First stop (the day before the BIG day) was the aforementioned Bergdorf’s which is a shopping experience like none other. The amount of shoes in every size (and on sale) was amazing. The hubby finds a hubby chair and sits, pretending to read, but really giving unsolicited advice to women on their potential purchases.  And sometimes they even listen.  Next was lunch at Fred’s located in Barneys New York on Madison Avenue.  People watching is truly an art form here and the food is actually very good.  The Met exhibit was next, followed by browsing a bit more, but it was SO cold (approximately 8 degrees) that walking around was very challenging.  


White Bean soup
(amuse bouche)

For dinner we enjoyed Ai Fiori on 5th at 37th Street (in the Langham Hotel complex).  It was quiet, elegant and delicious.   The evening was capped off by meeting a friend for after-dinner drinks …


Roasted halibut on apple puree 
Agnolotti with veal parcels; butternut squash sauce

 

Starting the day before




















Laurent Perrier “Cuvee Rose”

And now on to the BIG day.  I’ll backtrack a bit to say I have forever been a devoted reader of the New York Social Diary.  I have loved reading about parties and fashion and society since W Magazine debuted (early ’70’s) and tracked Jackie O’s every move.  This site keeps me informed and entertained, and I know from reading that Michael’s is the place certain NY’ers go for lunch every Wednesday, so the choice was simple for me. Brilliant restaurateur Michael McCarty greets every table — whether you’re a regular or not.  That was a very welcoming part of the experience. Plus meeting NYSD founder David Columbia, together with his dining companion, well-known Vanity Fair contributor Jesse Kornbluth, was just wonderful.  I even enjoyed a few minutes of internet fame the next day .. 

Mache, beets, marcona almonds

 

Wonderful roasted chicken






After browsing every shop on Madison Avenue, it was on to the dinner at Daniel.  I have previously written about my love of Chef Daniel Boulud, and have enjoyed dining in NY and Beijing at his establishments. What made this particularly memorable (besides the food) were two things:  a wonderful friend and client surprised me with a gift delivered to the table of Daniel’s book — inscribed to me! — plus encountering the chef himself on our way out. Timing is everything.  A blessedly uneventful flight home the next morning was a wonderful end to this trip.

Tuna with salsify and sweet potato

 

One of the fabulous desserts … 

 

 



Part 2 (if you can imagine there’s more) will follow — I must share about the aforementioned funnest party!