My Virtual Vacation Day 11—Strasbourg France

We had hoped in retirement to travel the world. So far we have done a pretty good job with trips to Mexico, Hawaii, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and The Czech Republic. However the pandemic has stopped all of that for a while. So while waiting for Africa, Alaska and Scandinavia, our current travel is going to have to be virtual. Today’s stop is Strasbourg in the Alsace region of France

Strasbourg is the capital city of the Grand Est region, formerly Alsace, in northeastern France. It’s also the formal seat of the European Parliament and sits near the German border, with culture and architecture blending German and French influences. Its Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame features daily shows from its astronomical clock and sweeping views of the Rhine River from partway up its 142m spire.

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Strasbourg France

Real Onion Soup

Rhine River

Strasbourg FR

Strasbourg FR

My Virtual Vacation Day 7—Orléans France

We had hoped in retirement to travel the world. So far we have done a pretty good job with trips to Mexico, Hawaii, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and The Czech Republic. However the pandemic has stopped all of that for a while. So while waiting for Africa, Alaska and Scandinavia, our current travel is going to have to be virtual. Today’s stop is Orléans France. I was so excited to visit this city since I have spent a fair amount of time in its sister city of New Orleans.

It is a short train ride from Paris and provides a wonderful day away from the vibrant Capitol. The setting is beautiful along the banks of the Loire river. The culture and history is fascinating and best known as the home of Joan of Arc and her statute dominates the main square. The statue was partially destroyed during World War Two and rebuilt with help from the city of New Orleans in the USA. I hope some day to cruise the river and hopefully return.

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Orléans France

Orléans City Hall

Joan of Arc

Siam Restaurant

Saint Anne

My Virtual Vacation Day 4—Paris

We had hoped in retirement to travel the world. So far we have done a pretty good job with trips to Mexico, Hawaii, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and The Czech Republic. However the pandemic has stopped all of that for a while. So while waiting for Africa, Alaska and Scandinavia, our current travel is going to have to be virtual. Today’s stop is Paris in the summertime. Of course the trip would not be complete without some real onion soup and a real french terrine.

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Bienvenue a Paris

Paris from the Pompidou Centre

L’Université Paris-Sorbonne

A delicious terrine in a Parisian Cafe

Real Onion Soup

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

We had never taken an ocean cruise before but after taking a river cruise we decided to try it. We selected the Mediterranean because we figured it would be calmer than the Atlantic or Pacific. Research was discouraging because either the ships were too big or if smaller than real expensive. We selected Azamara because they seemed to offer the same sort of luxury that Regent,Viking and the other small ships but at a better price point. The Azamara Pursuit was their newest ship and completely refurbished.

Azamara is a brand of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines aimed to compete in the small ship luxury market. The ship had 770 passengers and 450 crew. We were upgraded to a small suite and the service was exceptional. The ship had everything you could want want and because of the small size able to go to smaller ports like Elba and Port Vendre in France. We were always one of the smaller ships in the harbor. One of our guides pointed to an MSC Cruise Ship and told us it had 7000 plus passengers. We I sw that ship I knew we had chosen wisely and now we are thinking about our next adventure.

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

Hamming it Up

You can buy excellent prosciutto aka Parma Ham in the USA. Every good Italian food store and deli will offer a variety. They are always in delicatessen cases. Most USA Italian restaurants offer a variety of dishes offering this delicacy.

The restaurants that we visited in Italy didn’t hide it away. It was almost presented like a lead actor in a play. If a dish require Parma Ham a waiter or chef would go to the center of the room where this beauty was displayed and with a very sharp knife cut what they needed. Food and entertainment.

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Parma Ham

Peggy Sue’s Diner

Peggy Sue’s Diner is located on the I-15 Freeway at the Ghost Town Rd exit near Barstow California. Conveniently located to provide breakfast or lunch if you are traveling from Southern California to or from Las Vegas. It is really good food, character waitresses in Pink 50’s dresses and the service is brisk. Worth the stop for hokey decorations, fun service and really good food.

Oh did I Mention the dinosaurs?

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Peggy Sue’s Diner

Dino

King Kong?

Corned Beef Hash–Pittsburgh Style

When I was a kid, corned beef hash came from a can. It was all I knew so it was ok but when I became an adult it was not. Then I would order corned beef hash at diners. Sometimes it was great and some times it was awful and usually it was greasy.

Over the years I found a couple of breakfast places that made it well. In Pittsburgh acceptable corned beef hash can be found at Pamela’s (tell them well done.) The Square Cafe is very good and very expensive. The best we have found is Kelly O’s in the Strip District

Then one day my wife finally tried it and liked it and we began to make it ourselves. We use kosher extra lean corn beef, red potatoes and onions. Its never greasy and kind of pretty to look at too.

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Corned Beef Hash

Happy Hour

Everything in a resort is geared to get you to drink. One pool bar has happy hour from 3-4 PM, another from 4 to 6 PM. Happy hour at the “sunset docks” is from 5 to 7. This one taken at the famous :Ble Docks” in Cancún. The cocktails shimmer in the setting sun. Cheers!

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Happy Hour

Welcoming 2018

I try to keep my blog free of politics and full of pictures and personal observations. Last year I allowed myself to rant a little about the previous year with my New Years post. I was truly upset about fascism in The United States and still am. However I realized talk is cheap and contrary to the mission I set for this blog. I have over 2000 followers and they don’t visit to listen to me rant.

So this year I just offer you this amazingly sweet and delicious torte and wish you the best for a Healthy and Happy 2018! This was waiting for us in our hotel In Milan Italy when we arrived in 2009.

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Happy New Year

French Meatloaf

I have always liked Pâté. As a Jewish boy in Pittsburgh I discovered chopped liver which is really nothing more than liver Pâté but made with rendered chicken fat or schmaltz. In Europe I discovered terrine. People said it’s just another word for Pâté but no its not. Both are served cold or at room temperature but they are different.

Pâté is spreadable and usually spread on bread or crackers. Terrine is like cold meatloaf and can be eaten with a knife and fork. Both are usually served as appetizers but also found for lunch and as part of a dinner. It can be made from really anything and you can find vegetable terrines as well as meat varieties. One of my favorites.

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Terrine