I am so thrilled to share some exciting news! On October 1st, I will formally launch my brand NEW podcast! It is called Travel Connections and I wanted to let you know first so you could subscribe and tell all of your friends it is coming your way! As of now, you can listen to the short Welcome Episode! So fun! More exciting episodes will publish every two weeks starting in October.
Ok, true confession, this is my very first Hatch Chile Season! For a very long time, pepper lovers from everywhere have been enjoying this prize produce which is grown in fertile soil along the Rio Grande in Hatch, New Mexico. Hatch peppers are harvested within a short six-week season and now I am a BIG fan.
After my first collaboration with my friends at Melissa’s Produce, I was thrilled to join their new cookbook launch, the Hatch Pepper Cookbook and it was published just in time for Hatch Chile Season. This delightful culinary anthology is their second book and it is bursting at the “seeds” with delicious recipes!
Dining at The French Laundry has been a dream of mine since my passion for food, restaurants, and the presentation of dishes bordered on obsession. This world-famous, three Michelin Star, pinch me I’m dreaming restaurant is the place where food lovers spend an evening of a lifetime.
Seven years ago, my wish to dine at The French Laundry came true and Craig and I experienced this spectacular dinner for the first time. As expected, it met every one of my expectations and more. The entire food adventure was dreamy and surreal, delicious and memorable. I wrote about my experience here on the blog way back when I first started Adventures of Empty Nesters.
Fast forward to 2020 where it was a challenging year for everyone. (I know it’s an understatement!) We put our travel dreams on hold and continued to postpone and cancel every trip, every adventure. However, it was time for me to plan my 2021 60th Birthday celebration during this lockdown even where we saw no end in sight. But I planned it anyway! Always the optimist and planner, I thought, why not, let’s plan something, we can always cancel.
I have always associated certain smells with people, places, and experiences. Maybe it was a perfume my teacher wore, or the aroma of a glorious meal while traveling, or the familiar scents of the holidays. Do you associate meaningful smells with exceptional memories?
Why do we travel? One reason: For travel connections
I am often asked – Why do you travel?
Whenever or wherever I travel, I look for special connections, unique moments, and delightful conversations. What do I mean by travel connections?
My goal is to gather stories, backstories, inspirational stories, and going deeper into the lives of the people who live in these glorious destinations. Now that is traveling! Of course, we visit the local attractions, but there is so much more.
Tell me about the food you grew up eating? Please share with me your favorite local place to relax and soak up the surroundings! What cafe do you go to with your girlfriends? Where can I see a gorgeous garden or unique architecture? I want to dive deep!
I ask questions like: Who did you meet on the train? Where were they going and should you go there too? These are the best parts of travel, the connections we search for and often just stumble upon.
Just for you! A Springtime cocktail for toasting friendship & family!
Spring is the perfect time for a new cocktail adventure! I just love bright new beginnings, sunshine, handcrafted cocktails, and a beautiful asparagus appetizer to accompany the tasty beverage.
We have been raising our cocktail game and consistently trying to include the very best organic ingredients and search for empty nester-friendly recipes. I found a gorgeous Blood Orange Margarita on Instagram, created by The Bitter Fairy. We have made it two other times already and thought it was time to share it with you!
The Eastside of Seattle – Visit Kirkland, Our New Home
Come over to the Eastside of Seattle and visit Kirkland, WA. Eight months ago, we made the challenging decision to move to the Pacific Northwest to be close to our newborn grandchildren.
We sold our perfectly appointed Empty Nest in Southern California and bought a modern, sleek home with a view of Lake Washington. I have written about our experience HERE and HERE, and for the most part, I would say we are thriving.
Among the many lessons learned from the Covid quarantine, embracing life’s simple pleasures must be at the top. Life was so restricted that we needed to look for happiness in different locations.
Where I would normally embrace going out to a new restaurant, this was now not an option; shopping in a fun boutique, nope, not happening. We all ended up just accepting the circumstances and staying home to stay safe.
We cooked, we learned, we read, we baked, we did puzzles, we stayed home.
In our house, we created Cocktail Adventures– I was so desperate to talk about travel and share travel stories that Craig and I created a video series where we shared our favorite cocktail recipe and paired it with a travel memory. Click hereto watch – these videos were pretty popular!
How did books about food and travel save me during the COVID pandemic? They provided me a way to escape during a challenging time and envelope myself in a world that means so much to me. Exploring interesting destinations, reading about exciting adventures, and real-life memoirs about chefs and food entrepreneurs is my passion. In addition to a personal escape, reading as much as I do helps to make me a better writer! As a brand ambassador and travel writer, the lockdown was particularly agonizing because I wasn’t planning and experiencing travel, nor was I working.
Some days were slow and relaxed, while others were depressing and sad. Most of us felt this way during the Quarantine, right? Confusion, sadness, and a longing for normality were the catalyst for my positive, uplifting reading choices.
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