Travel

California Dreamin’

While snow on the ground in the middle of March, I’m getting more & more excited for our upcoming Spring Break trip.

We’ll be heading to San Francisco, California!

I haven’t been to San Francisco but there are plenty of pop culture references that make this look like a fun place.

Full House

As a 90’s kid, I loved watching this show and clearly remember the theme song. I was an even bigger fan of Mary-Kate and Ashley and all of their VHS movies, especially the ones where they played detectives and solved mysteries.

The town house filmed in the show wasn’t a set; it’s a real house located in San Francisco. At the end of 2016, the creator of Full House purchased it for over $4M. Read more here

Photo Credit: thefullhousemedia.blogspot.com              Photo Credit: The Hollywood Reporter

Rice A Roni

Rice A Roni logo

Photo Credit: Amazon.com

 The commercial’s  jingle “Rice A Roni – The San Francisco Treat ” brings back another childhood memory of a  red plastic wind- up toy cable car I played with. Now I think of Rice A Roni as an easy to make side dish that has inspired many Pinterest recipes.

Wake Me Up in San Francisco

In 2011, not long after Katy Perry’s California Girls was a hit, the group Cascada had a similar sounding California – themed song called “Wake Me Up in San Francisco”. If you like catchy, upbeat pop music – enjoy the official music video on YouTube.

The Mindy Project

Photo Credit: Fox

In 2015’s Season 3 of The Mindy Project, several episodes took place in California, which I mainly remember by the amusing wordplay title of Episode 13: “San Francisco Bae”. For more cute pics of Mindy & Danny’s sight seeing adventures click here.

I’m still working on our itinerary, so let me know in the comments if you have any restaurant recommendations or sight-seeing tips.

 

When in NOLA

 

nola

To celebrate Mardi Gras, today’s post is a recap of our Spring 2015 trip to New Orleans. We’re bringing you 5 recommendations of fun things to do and see.

  1. Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel bar

  2. Café du Monde and Jackson Square

  3. Mardi Gras World

  4.  The French Quarter & Hurricane’s at Pat O’Brien’s

  5. The French Market

Hotel Monteleon’s Carousel Bar

After seeing Hotel Monteleon’s Carousel Bar on a travel channel show, I knew I wanted to go there during our trip.

The carousel bar is a real functioning  revolving carousel that moves at a pace more comparable to the Earth than a carnival ride as not to displace the bottles & drinking glasses. The carousel completes one rotation every 15 minutes.

Being a popular location it was very crowded and at first it was hard to find a seat. We ordered our drinks at another bar area that was farther back from the carousel. Luckily, an older couple was kind enough to wave us over to their table as they were leaving. We sat at a small, round table for two and crunched on Gardetto’s snack mix that was served with the drinks.

The Sazarac – the official cocktail of New Orleans: whiskey, sugar, bitters and absinthe

Café Du Monde

No trip to New Orleans would be complete without a visit to Café du Monde. It’s an open air café with lots of tables close together under a green and white striped awning. The lines for to-go orders and for seating seemed equally long and we wanted to have the experience of eating at the famous café. The menus are printed on the napkin holders and it’s best to be ready to order when the waiters come by. Napkins are essential – as you can see in the photo, these airy doughnuts are covered in piles of sweet powdered sugar. Yum!

  

Jackson Square

Café du Monde is found near Jackson Square, which is a park located in the French Quarter. The St. Louis Cathedral, a well-known New Orleans landmark is surrounded by beautiful greenery and gardens.

Mardi Gras World

At Kern Studios’ Mardi Gras world – it’s Mardi Gras all year long. For a family friendly activity, you can tour the factory where floats are made. As soon as the current year’s Mardi Gras parade is over, float builders are back to work creating for the next year. It’s amazing to see how large-scale the floats are along with the talent and intricate attention to detail it takes to decorate them.



Before the tour begins, there is a short presentation about the history of the holiday and traditions of the parade. King Cake is a coffee-cake like iced pastry served only during Mardi Gras season (but of course Kern Studios has it specially made for every tour group). Following tradition,  each King Cake has a small plastic baby baked inside. Whoever gets the piece with the baby is the host of the next year’s Mardi Gras party.

The French Quarter

The French Quarter is the fun, touristy area known for nightlife on Bourbon Street. The truth is that New Orleans is a party even during the daytime. One afternoon we sat on the patio enjoying the sunshine at Pat O’Brien’s Courtyard. While the Sazarac takes the title of official New Orlean’s cocktail – I would argue that the hurricane is a more well-known drink outside of NOLA. The hurricane was created at Pat O’Brien’s Bar  in the 1940’s and many would say they still make it better than anywhere else.  Pat O’Brien’s hurricanes are sweet and strong. Ours were served in plastic cups instead of the namesake glass – which is fine because unlike the Midwest, New Orleans allows alcoholic drinks to-go and it’s not unusual to stroll down the street with a drink in hand.

nola-bourbon-st

The French Market

The French Market is lined on both sides with vendors selling all kinds of souvenirs, novelties, food & drinks. We enjoyed a piña colada and a frozen daiquiri from Organic Banana – they offer a variety of daiquiri flavors along with non- alcoholic fruit smoothies.

You can find a  variety of items ranging from the expected tote bags, shot glasses, and keychains (many of which were covered in the fleur de lis) to alligator head bottle openers. Most vendors offer low prices, making The French Market the perfect place for souvenir shopping before you return home.

Have you visited New Orleans or celebrated Mardi Gras?

Tell me in the comments!

“To Travel” List

Style & Savings Jet Set

Traveling is something I have always wanted to do and one of the perks of “adulting” at an accounting job is that I finally have the paycheck to do it.

Here is my “To Travel” list of destinations in no particular order I will mark them off (and add to it) as I go!

  • California (LA/Hollywood, San Francisco)

  • Vegas

  • Texas (Dallas, Houston)

  • Hawaii

  • Georgia (Atlanta)

  • NYC

  • St. Louis, Missouri

  • Miami, Florida

  • Washington DC

  • Atlantic City/Jersey Shore

  • The Hamptons

  • Monte Carlo, Monaco

  • Seattle – (Pikes Place market, big fancy Starbucks)

🎶 Come Fly With Me 🎶

                          

The Getaway


                                                         
     

As sad as I was to lose the Style Channel to Esquire Network this past file, one good thing that has come of it is “The Getaway” 

The Getaway is a travel show in which celebrities travel the U.S. and international locales for sight-seeing, experiencing the culture and trying new (and sometimes exotic) foods. While the food part is really not my thing, I am very interested in travel. So far my own travel experience has been a handful of states, Windsor Canada, and a week of Study Abroad in Paris. I hope to see a lot more of the world and in the meantime while I’m saving money, it is fun to experience different places through this show. 

So far the episodes have included:

                                                 
Boston                                    
LA
Hong Kong, China 
Paris, France
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Kingston, Jamaica
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
London, England

Where have you traveled? Where would you like to go?