Grillmarket :: A Fantastic Restaurant in Reykjavík, Iceland

restaurant in Reykjavík
At the bottom of the grand staircase sits this gorgeous bar

Discovering a new restaurant in Reykjavík

Last week I wrote about the unique food of Iceland and shared how we experienced quite a wide spectrum of tastes. Whether we embraced every dish or not, we LOVED the entire adventure. What’s the point of visiting a new country and spending your time looking for American food? There is more to life than hamburgers and french fries don’t you agree? Did you know that many tourists insist on keeping their diet exactly the same as when they are at home?

Unless a person has dietary restrictions, it is incumbent upon every traveler to embrace a new country and this includes the local culinary traditions! Hello? Isn’t this part of the reason we travel? Check out our delicious adventure…

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The Unique Food of Iceland is Truly An Adventure!

The food of Iceland is an intriguing adventure

For me, the food of Iceland takes second place behind the breathtaking abundance of nature.The beauty of the vast flat lands, numerous snow capped volcanoes, enormous waterfalls, and pale blue icebergs continue to keep me dreaming of our Northern Lights Tour. Reykjavík is the capital of a country with only 350,000 people and is the culinary barometer for this fascinating destination.

The culinary scene in Iceland is different. Not different in a negative way, just different. We were able to sample their unique fish focused cuisine and also discovered the most popular hot dog in the world, an organic tomato farm and the freshest farm to table dairy products. What a combination!

In early days it was necessary for Icelanders to utilize what they had access to like the ocean fish, including arctic char and herring and the lamb they found on land. In present day, they still eat a great deal of fish and lamb served many different ways. Additionally they do serve horse as well Minke whale. Yes, they do. Although I would not eat these dishes myself, many locals and tourists do.

I will focus on the food we enjoyed and I want to emphasize that a city like Reykjavík caters to tourists with an international palette, so rest assured, if you explore enough, you can find what you want to eat. Craig and I found several super cool, hip, foodie-type restaurants where we enjoyed friendly service and the dishes were eye-catching and delicious. Next week I will share our time at Grillmarket, an extraordinary establishment in Reykjavík. It blew us away.

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Food Photography Trends & A Colorful Restaurant Doing It Right

food photography trends
Even this delicious white sangria with fresh fruit served in adorable mugs was photogenic.

Food Photography Trends

Do you take pictures of your food? Do you think it is silly? I have actually been doing this for years, way before Instagram came along. I have always loved the beauty of the presentation of a dish. I saved the photos just for me, but now I have a convenient way to share my passion: social media.

Do I photograph every thing we eat? No, not everything, but a lot of it. My poor Instagram husband, doesn’t touch his plate until I give him the green light. I try to do it quickly and of course with no flash. Flash is a food photography no-no. For one it makes the food look ugly, two, it is such a rookie move and three, it definitely disturbs the other restaurant guests.

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The Most Romantic Dinner Ever – Mallorca, Spain

most romantic dinner ever
Here, we are up the hill from the restaurant earlier in the day.


Today I will take you to Mallorca, Spain where the Mediterranean Sea is so magical and so deeply blue, the sun is bright in the sky and the air is sweet with vacation vibes. A relaxing time for two was spent with my favorite person in the world, my husband.

My Most Romantic Dinner … Ever!

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and some of us may be in the beginning stages of making some romantic dinner plans? What really qualifies a meal as “the most romantic dinner ever”? This is certainly a very personal opinion and preference. Some couples enjoy snow-capped mountains and a picnic by the fire sipping champagne or some love watching the sunset at the beach, while others may enjoy a private dinner at their favorite restaurant.

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A Quiet Vacation for Two in Mallorca, Spain

vacation for two

Vacation for two please

Now that we are experiencing more rain, grey skies and in some areas of the country, harsh winter months, does warm sun on your face, eating tapas by the beach, watching cliff divers and gazing out at the spectacular turquoise blue Mediterranean Sea sound good? Yes, it does to me too.

For the second year in a row we visited an island off the coast of Spain that is spelled two ways (Mallorca and Majorca)and actually most people have not heard of it. Just a 45 min plane ride from Barcelona, sits an unspoiled, quiet vacation for two. The stuff that dreams are made of.

vacation for two

We discovered this magical place last year and we could not wait to return. This past summer Craig and I traveled with our family to Italy and the trip to Mallorca from Florence, Italy is an easy one. We needed a vacation from our vacation. Not really, but we had such a special time that we wanted to try to replicate it. And it was such a quick flight.

Side note: If I am stressed and need to imagine a quiet place that could transport me the calmness I hope for, I think of Mallorca.

Can everyone fly off to a tiny Spanish island to “get away”? No probably not. I do believe that this is the kind of place I would spend my vacation fund however. It is so amazing, so special, so unique that I want my friends like you to know. If for nothing else than a 5 minute escape from whatever you were doing before you sat down to read this. We saved airline miles and hotel points and created this perfect vacation for two.

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Eat, Drink & Discover – Culinary Travel to Northern Italy

Culinary travel to Venice

A Springtime Adventure! Venture to Veneto with me!

Come discover the sights, smells and tastes of the region of Veneto in Northern Italy on a culinary tour with Oldways. See the production of Prosecco (and taste yes please!) first hand and meet the artisans that make delicious cheese and local olive oil.

What better way to get to know a new region than to be introduced through culinary travel? I am joining a tour of travelers who share the same passion for food that I do. Another added bonus… Chefs Kevin O’Donnell and Michael Lombardi of the acclaimed SRV restaurant in Boston will be traveling with us sharing their knowledge and expertise as well. Oldways culinary tours takes small groups of travelers off the beaten path. Each tour is led in partnership with a culinary expert or chef, planned with a firm belief that the heart of any culture can be illuminated by exploring its food, wine, and culinary traditions.

culinary travel

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Your Most Favorite Posts of the Year! Did you miss any?

Another year of adventures

Well, another year has passed lightning fast, hasn’t it? We have all turned another page on the calendar that signifies the end of 12 more months of adventures. I don’t actually use a paper calendar but for some reason I visualize this large calendar with the word January 2019 printed at the top. Do you do that?

I went electronic with my personal calendar years ago and only write on paper in my bullet journal and book journal. I am a thank you note writer and card sender, but all of my calendar activities are stored in my computer and on my iPhone.

Life has evolved to the point that we all seem to need instant gratification. I could never be discussing a potential event or trip and say “Hold on, I need to go home and look at my calendar, I will get back to you.” It seems rather dramatic, but we expect instant decision-making. Don’t we?

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Happy New Year! What is it really like to see the floats at the Rose Parade?

Standing next to the Queen and Court Float on New Year’s Day

What is it really like to see the floats at the Rose Parade?

Absolutely amazing!

Are you planning to come this year? Hey Oregon! Hey Wisconsin!!

Although we rose at 6:00 am in 30 degree weather on New Year’s Day, our trip to see the floats at the Rose Parade was magical! You can feel the positive energy and excitement of the thousands of visitors. Observing the pure delight in the eyes of children as well as adults as they walk past these magnificent floats is a New Year gift. As a former Rose Princess, (celebrating my 40th anniversary) and growing up in the Pasadena area I have been privileged to enjoy an insider’s seat at the Rose Parade my entire life. Although I only watched two parades in person, rode on a float once and now for the past three years made the early morning stroll to the parade to see the floats BEFORE the parade begins – I am an expert of sorts. See below 🙂

Yep, that’s me!

I am bottom right.


Over one million people line the streets of Colorado Boulevard every New Year’s Day morning to watch the spectacular Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA. For over one hundred years, visitors from around the world have been making this journey to Southern California to experience this wondrous one of a kind event. Millions and millions more watch from their warm, cozy living room.

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Deep Dive: An Intriguing New Cocktail Bar in Seattle

Deep Dive - a new cocktail bar in Seattle

An alluring new cocktail bar in Seattle

I love discovering new places and intriguing spaces. Don’t you? If a friend shares a hot new restaurant or an insider bit of travel news, I am forever grateful. Well my friends, I too have something compelling to share!

On this recent trip to Seattle we struck new-restaurant-gold. Only a few months ago Renee Erickson chef and creator of Sea Creatures restaurant group, opened a new cocktail bar called Deep Dive. We heard it was “like a New York speakeasy”, super small and really hard to get in to. There were reports of three and four hour waits to get in! Who waits that long? Not us. But hold on, there is more…

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A Luxury Getaway in Southern California at The Four Seasons Santa Barbara

a luxury getaway in Southern California
All dressed up for the holidays! Look at that incredible ceiling too!

Our luxury getaway in Southern California – The Four Seasons Santa Barbara

What is it about the wonder of the holiday season? It is such a lovely time of year to travel isn’t it? We recently returned from a very special wedding in the chic, Southern California coastal community of Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara is rich with California history and situated on a south facing beach which is the longest on the West Coast. The climate is described as Mediterranean and the architecture reflects this description as well. The downtown buildings with white stucco walls and red tile roofs help tell the story of the city’s Spanish colonial heritage.

a luxury getaway in Southern California

In addition to the gorgeous beaches, upscale shopping and trendy restaurants, you can visit the Mission Santa Barbara which was founded in 1786!

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