Curaçao

First of all we stayed at the Marriott about 15 minutes away from Willemstad, it was $15 taxi to and from, so we ended up not going out to dinner a lot because it added $40 to our total.  We did not know this, wish we would have stayed closer to Willemstad.   Food is kind of bleak.  Everywhere we went was too touristy and too average.  So during the day, I would love to have had a car to drive around more and find great places to eat.  I did research restaurants before I left so I knew they existed.

Book everything before your trip, because cruise ships arrive and book out all the cars and tours!

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http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g147277-Curacao.html

 

Fishalicious-  If you want a decent glass of wine or cocktail, most places have terrible, sugary, sweet bullshit cocktails served in plastic cups..  the kind that make you sick if you drink too much.

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Walking to Fishalicious, you see the best part of town. There’s beachfront bars and restaurants along the way, gorgeous, dilapidated houses gated off.  Across the street from Fishalicious was Serafina, it looked really cool too.

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We ate at Ginger (Asian/Indian fusion) one night, that was really good, if you have four people, they will pick you up from your hotel.  I know it sounds weird, not sure if they bring you back to your hotel.

Even walking by http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g147278-d1151556-Reviews-Mundo_Bizarro-Willemstad_Curacao.html this cute little bar, I thought they would have good cocktails, no sugar, sugar, sugar.

We rented a car one day and drove around the whole island, which was amazing and made the whole trip. If you book ahead of time, you probably can get a car for every day for $30 that would save you money, to and from the airport and instead of taking tours, you could have your own car.  Then stay near Willemstad .  I would have liked to stay at the http://www.marriott.com/hotel-search/willemstad.hotels.curacao.renaissance.travel/

Driving around, notice where the gas stations are, because you have to fill up before you leave so plan accordingly.

My favorite stop driving around the island was Sint Willibrordus. Otherwise known as Williwood, complete with a Hollywood style sign! There’s a little bar across the street from the sign, where you can stop and have breakfast, snack or beer for some local color and don’t forget to stop at the Flamingo Lake before entering Williwood!

There’s two large grocery stores, I would go in just to look around, because there’s cool stuff to get for inexpensive gifts, they had the best wine selection if you want wine in your room. Centrum Supermarket Piscadera Weg naar Bullenbaai, Willemstad, Curaçao

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http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g147277-Activities-Curacao.html what to do around Curacao

 

The most beautiful beach was Grote Knip on the map it’s called Kenepa Beach here on TripAdvisor http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g147278-d3916500-Reviews-Kenepa_Beach-Willemstad_Curacao.html#photos

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The Ostrich Farm was a fun outing http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g147277-d147992-Reviews-Curacao_Ostrich_Farm-Curacao.html

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There are a few places they tell you to be careful around the island, I would read on forums.

Hiking mountain http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g147279-d148152-Reviews-Mount_Christoffel-Christoffel_National_Park_Curacao.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#rudewaitersfrance

Bordeaux 705

I hardly ever get poor service no matter where I go, when people tell me they get bad service, I always wonder about them. France is no different from anywhere else I’ve been touristy, sometimes in hot spots you might get the grumpy waiter but for the most part I’ve had memorable servers in France. My favorite waiter taught me something that I might not have ever discovered, I think of him every time I eat fancy cheese. He didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak French, but when I signaled to him that I would eat anything off the cheese tray, he looked at me with delight and told the other waiter to tell me to put butter on my bleu cheese! Heaven! It’s nice connecting with people and having a magical evening especially in France!

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#9 Pork Bahn Mi

#9 Pork Bahn Mi

Le’s Sandwich Shop & Cafe is one of the best sandwiches Charlotte has to offer, I don’t know if it’s the desolate mall or the parking lot filled with potholes as deep as swimming pools, but when you leave Mr. Le’s with your sandwich wrapped in white paper with a rubberband wrapped around it, you can’t wait to devour it. Four dollars, why would you ever eat fast food?

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PUNKWOK Asheville, NC

If you are lucky enough to be in Asheville on a Monday or Tuesday you can take advantage of Punk Wok. Elliott Moss takes over MG Road, offering small plates of dumplings, noodles and tartare. Specialty cocktails are offered and be sure to ask about house carbonated, fruit and herb infused Sake. Worth a visit and easy on the pocketbook!

MG Road 19 Wall St
Elliott Moss @blacktablecloth
pork rillettes

sweetbreads

tartare

chicken sandwich

house carbonated, lemon + rosemary infused Sake

house carbonated, lemon + rosemary infused Sake

punk wok

oysters and saltines

pork dumplings

papaya salad

amuse bouche

Midori Milk Greeter

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The Future is Bacon and the Future is Now.

Two things you can count on in my house at all times is homemade bloody mary mix and cooked bacon in the fridge.  The best way to cook bacon is on parchment paper (not to be confused with wax paper) in the oven.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment, make sure a little bit is over the edges to catch the grease, not too much or it will burn.  Place bacon on the sheet not touching.  It can overlap a little, place in the oven, midway through when it shrinks, make sure you separate, if the bacon is touching, it won’t cook evenly.

Bake for about eight minutes, then check on it, never over cook the bacon where it looks crispy, if you overcook to look crunchy, it disintergrates in your mouth, not pleasant.  And you also want it a little undercooked so you can reheat in the microwave when you want to use in the future. When you reheat your bacon in the microwave, it takes like ten seconds.  Very easy to overcook, so keep an eye on it.

You can flip the bacon or leave it alone, when it looks done but not overdone, place on newspaper or paper towels.

If you want to cook another batch of bacon, just place it right on the pan with the grease from the previous batch.  An important tip, place pan on stove or on hot pads on the counter and let cool, the grease will congeal and you can carefully pick up the parchment paper (over the trash can), then take your trash out so you house won’t smell like grease.

Place cooled cooked bacon in a Ziploc bag and presto you have cooked bacon, if you can resist eating the pound of hot, yummy bacon.

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Million Dollar French Toast

Billy and I walk up to the counter to pay for two loaves of bread at Dean & Deluca, the girl at the register cheerfully said, “$15.60”, after I made sure I heard her correctly, I asked “how much is that bread?”  Twelve dollars.  Well, this better be good.  So this magical twelve dollar bread is cinnamon babka.  I wonder if babka should be capitalized.  There’s a Seinfeld clip on youtube about babka.  Cinnamon being the lesser babka. Who knew?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i78azsi7M94

I get up bright and early today to make some French toast!   I also made whipped cream, it made me very happy to break out my Kitchen Aid, really, I had to wash everything because it was so dusty.  It sits on the kitchen island shelf all sad and lonely.

All in all, a great day today, fresh brewed coffee and French toast made with cinnamon babka.  I hope Billy enjoyed it, because I can’t imagine splurging again.  Twelve dollars for a loaf of bread. Rolls eyes.

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Birthday Cake

I am not exaggerating, my first thought when I wake up on photography wedding days, is…. I get to eat cake today!  No different from birthday parties.  My friend sent me an email telling me his son’s party was at 1p.  First thought, CAKE!  YAY!!!    There is something special about cake and ice cream.  No matter if it’s store-bought crappy Crisco icing or homemade delicious cake with buttercream frosting, chocolate, pink, yellow, carrot, cupcakes,  it will all disappear.  Happy 8th birthday Spencer!!  Thanks for letting me crash your birthday.

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