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Angele – Napa


Whilst in Napa, we remembered eating at the this restaurant. It was delic!

We’re pretty sure we had the duck and the pork chop.

We’ll have to go back after fewer tastings.

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Morimoto – Napa


We just got back from yet another trip to Napa and were lucky enough to enjoy the cuisine at Morimoto – Napa. It was all you’d expect from an Iron Chef.
We got spicy king crab, spicy chirachi, and the chefs choice sushi.
Drinks and dessert were also amazing. We’d absolutely go back.

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I’m a huge foodie. Although, it seems everyone is these days. Regardless, I’d like to start keeping track of where I’ve eaten. Maybe it’ll be nice for readers, but for me it’ll be nice so when I can’t think of a place to eat, I can look no farther than my own blog!

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Our dining experience at Le Petit Paris, Chicago.


So when my mom and I went to Chicago for labor day weekend, she wanted to go to a French restaurant while we were there. Before we left I looked up a few, and focused on those that were affordable and had the most authentic menus. We decided on Le Petit Paris.  Per the write up online, this was truly a unique experience. By unique, I mean one of the most ridiculous dinners we’ve had to date.

First of all this place was difficult to find from the direction in which we were coming.  After noticing a small neon sign in a window of what looked to be an apt complex or office building, we went through one set of doors, looking for the door to this restaurant.  Wedged in the corner, I noticed a door with a Zagat sticker on it. Upon walking in, we were greeted by the owner, Alain. He was huffy and always seemed to have better things to do unless it involved singing along with the French music he had blaring early in the evening. What’s more is that all of the clientele seemed to coo and fawn over him. The restaurant looked like the AAA on Colorado Blvd. You either know exactly what I’m talking about or have no idea. If the latter is the side on which you fall, let me sum up.  The whole place looked like a converted office space, dark wood paneling, and dark carpet. French flags were everywhere, lest we forget the cuisine. The tables were nice though with tablecloths etc.

We were meeting one of my oldest and dearest friends, so we said there would be three of us. Alain grabbed an extra chair to add to a two-person table, but there was plenty of room. As soon as us two sat down, he kept circling the table, gruffly asking if our third party had shown up yet. Obviously, the empty chair to my right wasn’t indicator enough. We ordered wine and an app to get to him to go away. It seemed to work. My mom started in on the bread and still swears it’s the best bread she’s had outside of France.

After my friend Erin eventually arrived, we perused the menu, and accompanying specials list.  My mom chose the beef bourguignon (beef stew) and Erin and I chose the canard a l’orange (orange duck). The waiter, Jeff, returns to tell Erin and me that they are out of duck. I then choose the steak and Erin, the Mahi Mahi off the specials menu. This time Alain returns to our table with a folded menu, telling us he’s out of the steak and the Mahi Mahi. He doesn’t apologize mind you. He’s put out really. “Look“ he says, “I have 28 items on the menu, I can’t keep them all available all the time.” I find this amazingly absurd. I ask him if he has the filet. He says yes. I ask him again if he’s sure. He says yes. Erin ordered the salmon.

Well Jeff the waiter feels the need to assure us that the food at this place is phenomenal and that he used to work at some other fru fru restaurant that we didn’t know about and that this place has the best food. Going on about how everything is so fresh and brought in daily. My mom keeps pressing him about the bread because I’m pretty sure she’d buy stock in whatever bakery created the delicious morsels she couldn’t keep out of her mouth. Of course, Jeff doesn’t know. It’s something of a secret apparently. Along with what items on the menu might actually be available. Jeff keeps coming back to tell us inane details about the restaurant. For example, the restaurant was expecting a party of 18 and a party of 22. There were only 4 people working there, so we were interested to see how awesome that would turn out.

We received our dinners without much fanfare. As we were eating, the geriatric bus obviously showed up and 18 people all piled into the entryway to be told there was no duck, steak, or Mahi Mahi. The party of 22 started streaming in shortly thereafter, but they kept going into the bar, which we didn’t know existed. The dresses and shoes we witnessed from that party were sites to behold. Stilettos with visible- zipper dresses. You know the ones with the zipper that’s gold. Oh, but our dinners were good. Not amazing, but good, respectable French cuisine.

Well it was soon dessert time. We intentionally ordered the easiest and most difficult items to see if Alain would tell us they weren’t available. So we ordered the baked Alaska, bread pudding, and crème brulee. The baked Alaska was obviously the gamble here. With every time Jeff came to share some more useless info we kept hoping almost that he was tell us it was a no go on one of the desserts. We were actually disappointed when they all showed up. When the desserts were left, Erin said, “I thought the baked Alaska had a flambé element to it.” Well on cue, Alain shows up with some cheap alcohol and Jeff with a lighter. They set the dessert aflame. Then Alain nudges my mom, “Blow it out honey, you don’t want to waste all that alcohol. It’s 60 Proof”. The desserts were really good. I mean, really good.

The piece de resistance was the bathroom break at the end of the evening. We hadn’t noticed the silk flower adorned, 8ft Eiffel Tower at the base of the steps up to the second level. Again, lest you forget the cuisine. The bathroom doors were full length swinging kitchen/saloon doors. The once regular ol bathroom had been painted with kitschy cancan girls and sayings like “oui, oui, oui” “Tres Sexy”, and “Tres Chic”. There was also a ceramic bunny on the floor in the handicapped stall. Not sure what that was about. Erin and I dashed back to our table and told my mom she immediately had to go to the bathroom to see it in all its glory. When she returned, she said she couldn’t stop laughing the whole time she was in there.

After concluding our meal, we saw the bar that the party of 22 had been hanging out in. The saloon doors made a second appearance, only the proper short version. This bar was the only portion of this restaurant that seemed to have been updated any time in the last 20 or so years. There was a wrap around black pleather couch with pillows and a jukebox! A ceramic cat we had “missed” was in the entryway on our way out.

Upon returning to the hotel, we realized my mom had printed out the information on the restaurant from their web site. There was Alain with arms outstretched standing in the updated bar. First sentence in the write up? “Le Petit Paris offers patrons a truly unique dining experience.” Well it certainly was. Moreover, we would absolutely go back.

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Our trip to Mexico


Joseph and I were invited by my boss to attend his wedding in Mexico. We decided we had to go, not because it was my boss, he rocks and there’s no pressure like that there. We decided to go because neither of us had been to Mexico before, Joseph’s never been out of the country, and Joseph shooting a destination wedding would be huge for his business. This was all decided after Joseph lost his job too, which I’m sure many people were shaking their heads, but whatever.


So I bought our tix, hotel, and transportation to and from the airport online with our refund in Feb. I love that their resorts are all inclusive. That’s such a huge bonus. We were both so excited to go on this adventure together. And that’s what it turned out to be, an adventure, not unlike the out of towners movie.


Let me preface the rest of this story by saying we loved our trip and had a good time. The business possibilities it’s going to provide for Joseph are huge. We really do believe that we just got lucky, er unlucky with the shenanigans that happened. After all that, you’re expecting this amazing story, well I promise nothing.


Between my buying our trip and our leaving, Mexico became the absolute last place anyone should go between the gang/drug violence along the borders and the damn h1n1 virus… we were even banned from going to Mexico by our company. This led to my boss and I working from home for a week each, as a precautionary measure.


Two of our flights were cancelled before our departure. One time the flight was just rescheduled, leaving us in Mexico City overnight. So after getting those squared away, we were on our way. I actually felt bad for my boss and his now wife as some of their guests ended up not coming due to the health scare. And I know there was at least a glimmer of concern in general. It all worked out and was a beautiful wedding.


On our way from NC to Mexico, there was an hour flight delay to move us to a smaller plane. I would definitely do direct flight next time.

Then when we get down there the room they put us in wasn’t supposed to be avail as it was missing a shower head and had no cable. As my friend Stephen said, “you were drunk anyway”. So not the case the first day!
The next room they wanted to move us to, the bed wasn’t made, so room number three was fine.

The next day Joseph and I made the conscious effort to get drunk. We’re from the mountains so getting drunk at sea level proves to be a challenge.

I was told that we needed bug spray, so I grabbed what I could find last minute at Target, which ended up being this bug spray spf 30 combo. Perfect!

Until I realized it wasn’t water proof…


Then the wedding, which after viewing all the pics, I realized I was so burned a drunk, I don’t remember most of it. Well done!

I know it was fun though. So hey.

The next day we received a piece of paper informing us that the building we were in was low occupancy and they would upgrade us if we changed buildings. This was an awesome upgrade as we got a two room suite with a private swim up pool.

The next day, the day before we left, I thought I’d better get our transport back to the airport all squared away, which was easier said than done.

It seems everything is by appointment and no less than one day in advance for things. If you want to go on some all inclusive tour, eat at the restaurant at the resort rather than the buffet, and even transport to the airport. Rather annoying.

I missed our appointment with the company to get us back to the airport. In fact, the day before we needed to leave we wander around and ask one dude who does transportation for another company, and he said oh, you missed your appointment? And you’re leaving tomorrow? oooh. I was like, are you kidding?
We FINALLY get that straightened out and took a cab out to Tulum to look at the ruins in the middle of the day, over 90degrees and 100 percent humidity. GMFT. I was visibly sweating. NOT CUTE. The ruins and the accompanying beach were awesome though. Our experience, not so much, but that was more my fault for making us go at that time.
Then the day we needed to leave, our transport doesn’t show up, that we wasted hours the day before squaring away. So then we took a cab to the airport, go to the wrong terminal, have orbitz pick up the tab, and wait for more transport to the right terminal.

Not to mention I totally didn’t trust the ticket agent dude. I was even more surprised that our luggage arrived in Denver.

Anyway, lots of travel issues, being burnt, and drunk. However, so happy we went. Will we be in a rush to get down there again anytime soon, probably not. Nevertheless, we owe them another try. Everyone was REALLY nice down there, I mean really. So that was a bonus when dealing with things going awry.

Good trip.

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