For fans of Facebook foodie photos.

Yes, I post a ton of pictures of food on Facebook. Sure I get shit for that, which makes me laugh. You post a ton of pictures of your kids, dogs, cats, art projects, selfies, self-improvement quotes, political statements, or whatever strikes your fancy. That’s what makes us individuals.

For those that actually do “like” my Culinary journaling, thank you for your love. I will continue to like those God-awful posts of yours too.

Today’s post was inspired by our stay in Miami, where you go to see and be seen, whether at a James Beard award winning restaurant, or the hottest South Beach club. You know if you aren’t judging someone, they are very likely judging you, just like on the interweb of life called Facebook.

IMG_4561.JPG

IMG_4696.JPG

IMG_4746.JPG

IMG_4739.JPG

One if by land, two if by sea

“All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.” – Samuel Johnson

For the third time in as many years, My Guy and I have sailed in and around Europe to explore its many great countries and cities. While MG has been on other cruises (some for work, some for pleasure), the cruise in 2012 to the Western Mediterranean (which I can never seem to spell correctly without checking first) was my first cruise.

I was a bit apprehensive as I imagined getting seasick as soon as we set sail. Thankfully, that was an unrealized worry. And I was immediately hooked on cruising. The biggest benefit to cruising for me is the floating hotel aspect, allowing me to unpack just once for all of the nations I visit. Each subsequent cruise, I have packed less and less, but I still don’t want to have to pack and unpack for each new place. Therefore, a cruise is ideal for me.

In the summer of 2013 we cruised to the Baltics and Russia. This year’s cruise was the fjords of Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Norway, and my favorite cruise. It may be because it is most recent in my memory. It may be because of my familiarity of Celebrity cruise ships, first having sailed on the Solstice in 2012 and then the Eclipse in 2013 and 2014. Or perhaps, it was this year’s pre-cruise destination that marks this year’s European adventure as my favorite… I mean, it doesn’t get much more magical than Paris. But Paris is a story for another time.

So why was this the best cruise (yet)? Iceland was stunning, and didn’t need the romance of a rich history to win me over. The beauty of each town and city surrounded me, and I was moved by the serenity of the diverse landscapes, from barren moonscapes to lush meadows, from gentle streams to raging waterfalls, from sheer cliffs to snowy glaciers.

I cannot imagine a life without traveling, either by land, sea, or air. I enjoy experiencing new cultures, new foods, and new sights. And yet, there are some people who don’t enjoy to travel at all, even within their own town. I’m not sure I could ever understand those people. If you are that person, maybe you can try to explain to me why you dislike travel.

If you enjoy traveling, tell me your favorite mode of transportation and your favorite destination(s). At this point in my life, I truly enjoy cruising. Paris may be my favorite city, but Iceland is my hands-down favorite country.

Today’s post was inspired by High West Distillery’s Barreled Boulevardier. It reminds me of Paris, my favorite European city. From the High West website:

“Erskine Gwynne, the creator of the Boulevardier Cocktail, moved to Paris and began The Boulevardier, a monthly magazine patterned after The New Yorker, catering to the upper-class expatriate. Its contributors included such luminaries as Joyce, Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and Sinclair Lewis. Literally speaking, a Boulevardier was a wealthy and fashionable man who had knowledge of advanced cultural pursuits and frequented Parisian boulevards, New York City, and possibly Park Avenue (Park City!).”

Paris, someday… soon

I’m searching the web for the “best restaurants in Paris”, “best tartare in Paris”, and “best cocktail bars in Paris”. Taking a break from so many lists, I peruse social media and see the article “French strikes: Air traffic controllers, shop assistants to join the inaction.” Huh? Gulp. When?

With only a week before My Guy and I leave for a 21-day European trip, and with our first stop being Paris, today’s news of the impending air traffic controller strike has me a little concerned. If only because Paris is a city I have longed to visit, and a city I knew, ever since I was a child, I would visit.  My inner-me is doing my best imitation of a child’s whiney voice “I don’t want to miss a day in Paris” (foot stomp, arms crossed, pouty lip).

Honestly, I have no idea if, or how, our flight might be affected. And as with any trip, we will be flexible for you never know what experiences change will bring.

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu

 

Today’s post is inspired by the American drink with the French name, the Vieux Carré. Cheers!Image

March Madness

And so it begins. Not only is it the first day of spring, it is also the start of March Madness 2014. Many people have filled out their brackets. It’s just that some are not basketball brackets, but brew or booze brackets.

I’m too busy watching some good basketball, and drinking some great bourbons to fill out any kind of bracket. I hope if you are the type to fill out a bracket, you take the time to enjoy the games, beer and bourbon!

In honor of spring, this post is inspired by Willett Straight Rye.

Cheers to a wonderful Spring!

Bourbon Love

I moved from Maine to Kentucky 14 years ago.   It has taken me nearly all of those 14 years to go from I-sort-of-like bourbon to I-love!-bourbon.  It was a steep learning curve. But recently, Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse and Raw Bar sped up that process.  This past fall, they hosted nearly a dozen Bourbon Flight Nights.  I attended all but one.  After those events, I was smitten with the brown liquid.

The bourbon tastings were held each Tuesday night.  Only one distillery was represented each Tuesday.  That distillery offered four different tastes.  After trying all four, you selected your favorite bourbon, and the bartenders would make an Old Fashioned with that bourbon.  This helped me to learn quite a few things:

  • Four tastes, plus one Old Fashioned is a lot to drink in one night.
  • I’m a big fan of the higher proof bourbons (100 proof +).
  • I like the spice from a higher rye content.
  • This was a convenient way to learn which bourbons come from which distilleries.

While these events might have been a one-time thing (I hope not!), you can replicate the process, at a bar near you, to find your own bourbon wheelhouse.  If you think this liquid gold is just so-so, using this process just might change your mind.

Cheers!

Image

Today’s spirited post is inspired by George T. Stagg Jr. bourbon from the Buffalo Trace Distillery.  This particular bottle is 134.4 proof.  Here are the tasting notes (provided by Doc Crow’s & Buffalo Trace):

Nose: Heavy spice backbone with burned sugar and sturdy vanilla barrel char

Palate: Rich, sweet chocolate and brown sugar, bold rye spice

Finish: Lengthy with intense clove, cherries

Image