It’s just the foodie in me- american version

A a very picky person who loves to travel, it is sometimes difficult for me to balance having a healthy meal while navigating through my finicky palate.  I can pretty much count the foods that I can and will eat on two hands.  Yes, I am just that picky (worse than a kid to be exact).  But, nonetheless, I manage to find a few good places to eat on my trips.  Although usually do not do this, I am choosing to share the names and geographical locations where I’ve managed to find “good eats.”

Florida
– La Rosa (Miami)

Georgia
– Maggianos (Atlanta)
– Boneheads (Atlanta)
– Supreme Fish Delight (Atlanta)

Illinois
– Grand Luxe Cafe (Chicago)

Louisiana
– Muriels (New Orleans)
– Burbon Heat (New Orleans)
– Willies Chicken Shack (New Orleans)

Maine
– Alisson’s Restaurant (Kennebunkport)

Maryland
– Harris Crab House (Grasonville, MD)

South Carolina
– Captain Georges (Myrtle Beach)

Texas
– Pappadeaux (Houston)

Virginia
– D’Egg (Norfolk)

 

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Do the write thang

You know that age-old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”?  Well, it just doesn’t apply to career and school, it is also applicable to travel.  Think about it.  Would you really want to schedule a trip to Australia on a wing and a prayer and hope everything turns out right?  Of course not, so why not put every aspect of your trip in writing.  Doesn’t matter if it is a weekend trip or a week-long trip, make sure you make a list and check it twice.  Do you have your accommodations reserved?  Have you printed or at least recorded the confirmation number?  Did you remember to check which airport you are departing out of in your hometown or arriving at when you reach your destination?  Sounds silly, but I have actually missed a flight by going to the wrong airport– and it cost me dearly.

Do you need a rental car?  If so, have you finalized the reservation?  Do you have an itinerary planned for your excursions, if you plan to take any?  Did you remember to pack X-amount of undergarments?  Rain gear?  Did you pack your medication in your carry-on bag?  Do you have your passport?  Did you remember to put a bit of cash and at least one credit card in your wallet?  If you are using a discount card for a hotel or car reservation, did you remember to bring the card? Did you put the mail and the paper on hold?  Did you set the timers in your home?  Did you remember to gas up your vehicle the day before your trip?  Did you remember the chargers for all of your gadgets?

Seems so simple, but trust me, with the hustle and bustle of life, it is easy to over look a key item or two.  I recommend devising a check list that meets your needs, update it when needed and use it frequently.

 

Now, get to planning those trips people!

St. Barths is for shopping not sainthood

So, as I mentioned in a previous post, birthday trip 2015 had me visit 3 neighboring islands for some fun in the sun.  One of the islands that I explored was St. Barths, a french territory in the eastern caribbean.  I journeyed to St. Barths by ferry from St. Martin (french side) and it took approximately an hour and fifteen minutes to reach.  The cost for the journey is roughly $80 and it is not necessary to book in advance during low season as plenty of space is available.

Upon arrival in St. Barths (at approximately 10a.m.) I noticed the beautifully colored buildings and to the left of the dock, I noticed the high end stores that would beckon most shopaholics (good thing I am not a shopper).  I set off on foot, with a fellow passenger, to visit one of the local beaches – Shell Beach.  This beach is approximately a 10 minute jaunt from the dock by foot in front of a really nice and cozy local restaurant.  Oh yes, restaurants in St. Barths do not typically open until 12p.m. so that means not as much as a french fry until 12p.m.  My new travel companion didn’t care for this beach as much, so we set out for a new beach location.

Heading back to the dock, we stopped in a few local shops where I was able to get my obligatory souvenir shotglass and converse with some of the locals (je parle un petite français).  The locals advised us to visit Nikki Beach (which sounds like Naked Beach when they say it) as it is a little more lively than Shell Beach.  So, off we go to Nikki beach.

The beach is much larger and less crowed that the other beach, but that is about it.  There is a restaurant which opened about 30 minutes after we arrived, but I must say that I found the staff rather snooty.  Apparently in order for the men to work there, they have to be like 6’6″ or so.  Everyone wears white and, while the staff speak english, they are more comfortable conversing in french.  I order a six-inch plate of spaghetti with shrimp at a cost of $30US (34 euro) and didn’t need water because I traveled with a 1.5l bottle.

Neither my new travel buddy  nor myself are big shoppers so we stayed at the beach and restaurant until 4p.m. (an hour before the boat was due to come pick us up).  At that point, we hailed a taxi for the 5 minute ride to the dock, paid the man the $25 euro fair (paid in US dollars) and walked around on the streets to kill time.  I stopped at a local grocery story to grab a bottle of the local vanilla rum and some snacks for the voyage.  We still had another 30 minutes left so we had a nice refreshing fruit cup at a local restaurant, chatted with a few locals and another couple that we saw on the boat earlier.  5p.m. couldn’t come sooner.

While St. Barths is a nice place, aesthetically, there isn’t a lot to do there by way of tourism.  You can laze at the beach all day if you want, but if you are looking for adventure, pack your patience.  One thing for sure, do not visit without a full wallet as a bottle of water in a restaurant will run you $5 (and I don’t mean the good stuff).  It is definitely not a repeat offender type of place for me, but I am happy that I can cross it off my list and get one country closer to completing my second bucket list.