The Tastiest Dishes & Most Delicious Cocktails of 2019

tastiest drinks
A celebratory Piña Colada on a sunny afternoon in Maui

Tasty Dishes & Enticing Cocktails

I began my search for the tastiest dishes of the year by sifting through my photos starting in January. However, by the time I reached the month of June, I had already chosen 30 different tantalizing feasts for the eyes! How to choose?

Be honest, do you want to see that many of my “highlights”? I don’t believe so. Therefore, I carefully looked for colorful, unique meals and surprisingly incredible drinks that are worth celebrating once again. A few of them are favorites due to their unique nature or element of surprise!

I have narrowed down this list to a more manageable number and I hope you enjoy revisiting them as much as I do!

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My Connection Between “Lost in Translation” & My Stay at Park Hyatt Tokyo

stay at Park Hyatt Tokyo
Cheers from my table at the New York Grill at Park Hyatt Tokyo

The recent celebration of the Academy Awards prompted me to share this special story of my spectacular stay at Park Hyatt Tokyo and how a movie influenced my experience.

A movie that sparked a dream

17 years ago, back when I was not a travel writer or even much of a traveler, I saw a film that captivated me. Lost in Translation was a film with an Oscar-winning screenplay starring comedian Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, a fantastic rising star. A large part of the movie essentially took place in an impressive, upscale, chic, I had never seen anything like this hotel in Tokyo, Japan called Park Hyatt Tokyo. 

stay at Park Hyatt Tokyo
One of many spectacular views of Tokyo from Park Hyatt Tokyo

I was enchanted by the dazzling city views out the hotel’s high rise windows. The elegant interior design and chic cocktail bar were total fantasy to me. Travel to Japan just wasn’t that common in my circle and this fact made the movie seem even more exciting and mysterious.

Back then, I truly never dreamed I would ever see and certainly never stay at a hotel like Park Hyatt Tokyo. I was a suburban mom with a limited budget, a packed schedule and busy children where this type of travel was not a realistic endeavor. Travel here was just too far out of my realm of thinking. 

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What a fantastic year! My Top Travel Highlights of 2019


travel highlights
Our spectacular view from the Hyatt Residence Club, Kaanapali, Maui.

Hello friends & Happy New Year – I hope that you were able to hang out with family and friends, devour some delicious meals and maybe even find a little adventure! We enjoyed all of these things too!

travel highlights in Wyoming
Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole, Wyoming – Absolutely breathtaking!

It has been a fabulous year of travel!

Wow, to narrow down my top travel highlights of the year was truly a challenge. 2019 was one heck of a travel adventure full of eclectic destinations, firsts and second time visits, discovery and nature so big it takes your breath away. Literally.

January began with a relaxing but rainy week in Maui and then the travel wheels got moving very quickly! No time for resting, extraordinary destinations were waiting for us to arrive.

I know that you are super busy and you cannot always make time to read every single one of my posts… so here are some of the top travel highlights and links to their respective posts. I once again want to thank you for being here and for reading and commenting on my adventures. I truly appreciate you.

My goal is to provide you with helpful, interesting info that you couldn’t find anywhere else!

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Travel in Japan is Easier Than You Think! Part Two

Buckle up, we are headed to Kyoto!

If you somehow missed Part One of the Trip ==> Click HERE

Travel in Japan! Riding on the Shinkansen or bullet train you will find that it is extremely clean, super fast (199 MPH) and just as cool as you think it might be. I sat there like a bullet train geek anticipating this transportation adventure as I watched many locals just chill out and read the paper. No big deal, they ride it everyday!

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Travel by Train on a Trip to Japan – Plus So Much More!

trip to Japn

My trip to Japan was over the top amazing – Again!

Does a trip to Japan seem a little intimidating? I think so too, but I just returned from my second trip to this intriguing country and I believe I have the hang of it now. Or at least the cities of Tokyo, Hakone and Kyoto!

As a guest of two Japanese companies Odakyu and Keihan, rail companies who offer many kinds of transportation as well as hotels and restaurants, I discovered how much easier it can be to get around Japan, if I actually knew about these helpful ways to get there. Once introduced to these options, I now can share them with you for your next trip to my new favorite place to visit. All opinions are my own honest observations and any enthusiasm you feel from me is genuine. My trip to Japan was unapologetically fantastic.

I traveled to three cities I have visited before, but this trip was entirely different as we saw new things, stayed in new hotels and ate delectable local cuisine in totally different restaurants. However, even though I have been to Japan twice in less than two years, I still feel like I have only scratched the surface of possibilities. I am ready to go back!

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A Japanese Dish You Have Never Heard Of ~ It’s Like a YUMMY Asian Flavored Tostada

Japanese dishes

More food info today – I just can’t help myself. I have been introduced to so many delicious dishes recently that my inner foodie is doing cartwheels!

A delicious Japanese dish you and I have never heard of!

While in Japan we ate some ridiculously amazing food that I could really write about for days. I am spreading it out so as not to make you hungry every freaking time you come to the blog!

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Japan is For Food Lovers :: Pack Your Bags & Go!

Japan is for food lovers

Japan is For Food Lovers Everywhere!

Part of the fun of travel is to immerse yourself in the local culture. To visit the farmer’s markets, fish markets and fruit stands to see what is fresh and in season is always at the top of our list of adventures. Our trip to Japan with Collette Travel was no exception, we were treated to some fantastically prepared meals, visited charming local markets and ate like kings and queens.

Japan is for food lovers
Cheers to Trudee and Tony! We enjoyed an icy cold Kirin occasionally too!

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Find Adventure with Me on My Amazing Tour of Japan

tour of Japan
Under the 1,000 torii gates.

A tour of Japan and so much more.

Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo. It is the busiest intersection in the world. 2,000 people cross the street at every light.

Where is my favorite destination? I often get asked this question and truthfully this is nearly impossible to answer! We travel to many extraordinary places, so I usually answer with whatever place I have just returned from! So today, my favorite place in the world is Japan. Seriously it is. My recent tour of Japan, Cultural Treasures of Japan by Collette Travel, allowed me to dive in to a culture and experience things I never knew existed!

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A Memorable Moment From My Trip To Japan (It is actually one of many)


tour of Japan
Photo by Pascal Bidois ~ Enjoying a cappuccino with my Australian friends Sandra and Jan while we gaze at Mount Fuji

A View of Mount Fuji

An email arrived yesterday from a new friend from the trip to Japan with the photo above attached. Pascal and his wife Laure who are French, but who live in Wales (very interesting!) sent me this snapshot from a very special afternoon.

We had just arrived in Hakone, a quiet idyllic town in the mountains. I was reminded by this moment in time that I will never forget.


The story goes like this . . .

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A New Adventure :: Suzanne in Japan with Collette Travel

Japan with Collette Travel
Mt Fuji from Chureito Pagoda

Come with me to Japan with Collette Travel ~

Buckle up friends, I am taking you to Japan! Please join me on all of my social media channels starting Friday! I will be traveling with Collette Travel on their tour 14-day Cultural Treasures of Japan.

Yes, this is a pinch moment and I couldn’t be more excited. The best news is that I can take you with me (kind of). I will be sharing photos, details and video of my adventure all along the way. What better way to get to learn about another culture than to hear all about it from a friend. (That’s me).

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