Travel


I use to go to work everyday just so I could pay for my next vacation.  Besides paying the bills that are necessary for living, Vacation was what most of my extra money went for.  Well, I changed jobs last year.  I left my retail job of the past 9 years and started my own business with a new company –  PartyLite!

I was new to PartyLite, hadn’t really heard of it before.  Hadn’t bought any of there products.  How I missed it with all the other home show products I’ve sold and bought, I don’t know.  But this company has changed my life and for the better.

As, I’m writing this, I already feel another blog coming – to tell you my PartyLite story in detail . . . but today’s blog is about where my wanderlust road is leading me to this year.

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Cabo San Lucas Mexico

With only 6 months in PartyLite, I was able to earn the incentive trip.  An all expense paid vacation to an all inclusive resort, Hyatt Ziva..

Does your job provide you with these kinds of benefits?  And after only 6 months!  I love PartyLite! Check back for the details of my amazing company as well as all the fun I plan to have on this trip.

 

 

wanderlust. Though it’s only August, and I still have 2 trips left for this year – One being the big one to Jamaica, my wheels of my brain are turning for my next big adventure.  The truly big ones take lots of planning, lots of money, which means lots of time.  But the time doesn’t bother me when I know that at the end of the road my wanderlust will be satisfied (at least for a short time) with the vision of a new and amazing place. So, I’m thinking 2015 – where do I want to go . . . I’m thinking the South Pacific!  I’ve been to Hawaii several times and the BIG place on my wish list is AUSTRALIA.  But Australia is too far to go and not hit as many of the lovely South Pacific Islands in between.  So by all means, if you  have been to Bora Bora, Fiji, Tahiti, Australia, and have ideas, suggestions, places I must see or must eat, by all means send me a comment.   Come with me and let’s see if my seed can develop into another trip of a lifetime!

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Matt’s Big Breakfast

Matt’s Big Breakfast

Visit Date:  March 18, 2012

Phoenix, AZ

Cost: $8 – $10

Matt’s is located in downtown Phoenix.  It is as tiny as this picture implies.  When they are busy, (like a Sunday monring), you add your name to a list and wait outside on chairs and benches on this corner, but on both of my visits it was worth the wait. (Since I wrote this post over a year ago – Matts has moved. Right down the street to a bigger location. But the food was just as good.).

Entree

The Chop & Chick

Food Description:  A Pork Chop with Scrambled Eggs and Home fries.  Yes, I ordered a side of bacon. The DDD episode said they had slab bacon that they ordered in “special” from a local butcher.  Plus, who can pass up bacon.  So I went for the pork overload.

 I order another side dish, this Toast with homemade preserves.  I’m not a bread fanatic, but for those of you who are, I’m sure you’d enjoy it.

 Rating:  8.5      –    The only thing stopping me from giving it more, is the simple fact that I couldn’t order everything I wanted to try.  I did go back the following month and had the Belgian Waffle.  It was equally good.

Menu – Click on the link to see Matt’s full menu.  They are only open for breakfast and lunch, and it truly is a good way to start a Saturday or Sunday morning.

 

Matt’s Big Breakfast

801 North 1st Street

Phoenix, AZ

(602) 254-1074

It’s been about a year since I Iast blogged. I don’t know why, but I’m feeling in the mood again, and truthfully . . . I miss it.  So I’m going to continue where I left off, with DDD blogs.  I have several drafts that I never published. So today is as good a place to start as any so. . . Hopefully I can get inspired and inspire some of  you to follow your travel paths.

Giuseppe’s

Visit Date:     March 16, 2012

Giuseppe’s on 28th

Phoenix, AZ

My Cost:   $  About $25.00  (that’s what happens when you wait too long to blog, you lose receipts.  lol)

Giuseppe’s was the first DDD I visited when I was on my Stay Cation, back in March.  I had a full meal, including an appetizer, with plenty of leftovers to bring home.

Entree

Bolognese Ragu

Food Description:  Fresh homemade pasta, with a rich 7 meat sauce.  It was good and filling.  (It tasted even better the next day, though I was wishing I had saved more.)

My Rating:  7     (At least one for every meat – lol)

Giuseppe’s has an extensive Italian menu, and I picked the Bruschetta for my appetizer.  Of the 7 choices (that number seems to be a repeated theme), you can choose 4.  Making that choice was hard.

Though, I finally decided on, #1 – Fresh Tomato with Fresh Basil, #3 – Creamy Gorgonzola cheese, honey, #4 – Prosciutto, fig and goat cheese, and #6 – Chevre (goat cheese) and marinated sun dried tomatoes. (Pictured in that order).

Giuseppe’s is located in a strip mall in central Phoenix.  I arrived around 4:30 p.m. right before the dinner crowd started.  Good thing, otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten a seat.

It is small inside, and they have a take out window as well.

But they make good use of space, and have a good wine selection as well.

Giuseppe’s On 28th

2824 E. Indian School

Phoenix, AZ  85016

(602) 381-1237

While in Rockland, I found Fiore’s.  As the sign says the sell Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars.  Now I never gave my olive oils much thought past whether it was Virgin or Extra Virgin, and maybe the quality of one brand over another.  Well, unfortunately those days of blissful ignorance are gone forever.

I walk in and all the outer walls are lined with these small metal barrels.  I hear a voice asking me if I’d been here before.  When I say no, the lady says, “Well, you know this is a tasting bar.”

She then tells me how the store is divided into sections.  Red or dark Balsamic Vinegars are first. Then White Balsamic Vinegars, in the next section.  Followed by 2 walls of Olive Oils, plain in the first section and flavored in the second section.

I started with the Whites.  My first sample was the Summer White Peace.  Oh my . . . I could have just pour a glass and drank it.  I moved on to the strawberry, and the grapefruit.  They were just as delicious.  The flavor of each one was so pronounced that there was no mistaking the fruit it was flavored with.

I then moved to the Reds.  My friendly clerk was back, and she encouraged me to try the vinegars that were aged 18 years, as opposed to the standard 12 and to compare the difference.  Of course like anything that is aged, wine or beef, the older the better.  Well I fell in love with the Vanilla.  It has a rich deep flavor, that I can’t wait to experiment with.

She then encouraged me to try her newest vinegar, Espresso.  I’m thinking coffee flavored vinegar . . . hmmm.  But again, WOW, this was beyond good.  So, I ask her what would I use this on.  (Cause I’m pretty sure that just pouring it in my hand and licking my fingers is not it’s most practical use.)  She says have you tried it with the olive oils. . . . . ?

. . . . . Of course I haven’t, I’ve been too busy drinking vinegar.  She then begins to mix the vinegars I seem to like the best with different olive oils for me to taste.  One that could be paired with all of the above vinegars was this Blood Orange EVOO.  Again, she is good – because the different pairing bring a whole new dynamic to the flavor.  She begins to tell me how I can use the different combos on  — Salads, fish, meats, vegetables, desserts, cheeses.  By now I’m taking notes, (and pictures) of my favorites.

The shop bottles your picks right there when you buy them.  They come in 3 sizes, and good thing for me they will ship them.  I returned on another day, to have a equally nice and informative clerk.  I try a few more get more ideas as well as information on the shipping process.  I promise to come back right before I leave to finalize my purchases and the shipping.

small & medium bottle

When I go in Sunday morning, on my way to the bus station and home, the Espresso that had just arrived on my first day in the store (I went back 3 times before I left Rockland), was sold out Sunday when I was buying and leaving.   I was heart broken —  when they lady, who gave me my tour on my first day (I unfortunately didn’t get her name – though she turned out to be the owner), comes out and says, “Oh, I think there’s enough in there for one small bottle.”  And she went in the back to I guess “literally” Scrape the Barrel.

I spent $80 on oils & vinegars on my last day in Rockland.  I got 4 vinegars and 2 oils, and they shipped them back to AZ for me.  My six bottles arrived well packaged and in one piece.  So I am a happy camper.  Be sure to look for the creations that come from this purchase.  I already know I’ll be ordering more.  : )

I wake up hungry, sooo I figure Lobster for breakfast.  I dress and head to the Lobster Tent.  I figure today I need the double Lobster Dinner.

Afterward I head out to walk.  It’s a good way to burn off the calories from the butter, as well as a great way to explore the town.

The weather is beautiful, and I head down to the waterfront.

From there I venture into some of the neighborhoods,

and end up back on main street.

I browse through the shops and stores, previewing what I might like to take home with me . . . when I come upon Fiore’s.

I s o o o o o   loved this place, that I am devoting a whole blog entry to it.  So be sure to tune it.  You cooks won’t want to miss it.

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