What Is It Like Dining at The French Laundry? Dreamy & Sublime!

dining at the French Laundry

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.

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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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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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Vacation Rentals – Rent a home in East Hampton NY? Yes Please!

rent a home in East Hampton

Would you like to rent a home in East Hampton?

Have you ever thought about it? Yes, me too. But I always wondered how would I go about it? How much would it cost? How would it all work?

Lucky for us, Roni McGuire, an almost Empty Nester, took a chance and reached out to me via email. Why not she thought? Roni was looking for an additional way to market her exquisite rental property in East Hampton. So she researched empty nester travel writers and thought she and I would hit it off. She was right. After several phone conversations we have easily become fast friends. Empty nesters have so much in common and can connect on so many levels. We all totally understand each other from a parental perspective as well as a myriad of other topics.

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Dreamy Day Trips in Mallorca – Local markets, cafes on the beach & turquoise water

day trips in Mallorca

It has only been a couple of months since we returned from the incomparable island of Mallorca Spain, but I can’t stop thinking about it! My photos barely come close to the beauty of this place.

Day trips in Mallorca ~

My memories of the seaside towns, colorful architecture, café tables and icy cold beer have stayed with me in such vivid detail! The quiet, sunny, relaxing atmosphere coupled with scenery like this is unlike anything we have ever experienced. I nearly swoon when I look at the photos from the trip. Check these out…

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Luxury in San Diego: A Sensational Stay in a Presidential Suite

Presidential Suite

To stay in a Presidential Suite is VERY special!

Being loyal is an important personal attribute and being loyal to a particular brand(s) will help a great deal when you travel. We have been traveling for years together as a couple and my husband travels almost every week for business. We discovered years ago that paying special attention to your choices in accommodations as well as the airlines, makes a HUGE difference. If you stay within one chain of hotels, you build loyalty points that can be used for more travel, upgrades and for status.

If you travel a lot, it is especially nice to be upgraded and/or offered lovely amenities, bottles of wine and delightful snacks. Traveling isn’t always as glamorous as it seems. It can be frustrating, exhausting, confusing and there is no one there patting you on the arm telling you all will be ok. If we have issues with our travel plans, we have to solve them. If there are delays, we have to endure them.

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