Capital Brewery–Put It on Your Santiago To-Do List

•May 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’m a gin girl. A wine girl. A mojito girl, in a pinch. I am NOT a beer girl. At least I thought I wasn’t until I went to the Capital Brewery yesterday.

Capital is a microbrewery here in Santiago, Chile, started in 2003 by a former California-based winemaker, who really understands and appreciates the art of beer making. On our tour, he described his role as “1/2 winemaker, 1/2 chef.” I’d add in “artist,” too, as I think the creative element in beer making is key. Capital has four beers now: pale ale, amber ale, IPA, and negra. I’m partial to the negra, myself, but they’re all pretty tasty.

The “tour” is an amazing way to spend a Chilean afternoon. They send vans to come pick you and your group up in Santiago (at the ungodly hour of 10:30),  and then you drive about 30 minutes to the brewery. It’s a small operation, so the actual tour takes very little time, but that leaves lots of time for tasting, drinking, and other tomfoolery, most notably keg throwing and keg rolling. Along with the beer, they serve the most delicious empanadas, including vegetarian options, because, as they’ve noted, “A lot of the gringos are vegetarians.” So, if you’re in Santiago, and you’re looking for something a little different and lots of fun to do, check out Capital. Two buzzed thumbs up, for sure! http://www.cervezacapital.cl/

Matador’s “80 Things We Wish We Knew Before We Started Traveling”

•May 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

80 things we wish we knew before we started traveling

This Matador article has some good travel reminders–both for rookies and for seasoned travelers. I don’t necessarily agree with all of the suggestions, but many of them are quite helpful.

•May 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Casa Felix’s menu and cute bill, Cocina Sunae, and Sudestada–YUM!

I’m in Love!

•April 25, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Every time I come back to Buenos Aires, I fall in love all over again. As cities go, this one has just about everything anyone could want. Delicious food? Check. Great shopping? Check. Hip nightlife, good looking residents, and beautiful weather? Check, check, and check. Somehow, just being here makes me feel infinitely cooler, too. That scarf that usually looks unkempt? Well, in BA, it suddenly drapes just right and looks kinda fashionable. My messy, lazy bun? Effortlessly chic. What is it about this city? Is it the fact that being in love with a place just makes you feel better all around? I don’t know, but I can tell you one thing: I need to make more trips over the Andes!

Highlights this time? The meals, of course! We went to two closed-door restaurants: Casa Felix and Cocina Sunae. Both were positively incredible, but Casa Felix ended up with a slight edge, mostly because of the yummy after-dinner burnt mate, but also because of the lively diners. Candice, a psychiatrist from Chicago, joined us at our table and had us in stitches the whole night! Sudestada was another winner, with wonderfully spicy pad thai and a scrumptious peanut creme brulée with chocolate ice cream. Pictures to follow. Trust me, you’ll be booking tickets to BA as fast as your little fingers can type Aerolineas Argentinas…

manic maniac monday (via The Heart of Art)

•April 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I am officially in love with Yellena James’ artwork.

manic maniac monday Happy Monday Maniacs, So I feel like the reason for my lack of arting and blogging can be summed up perfectly by a line from the song Keep On Rockin Me Baby by the Steve Miller Band, and it goes something like "Well I've been lookin' real hard, and I'm trying to find a job, but it just keeps getting tougher everyday". Voila. So let's get inspired by these amazingly beautiful and colourful illustrations full of lines and life! Yellena James has am … Read More

via The Heart of Art

Buenos Aires, Here I Come

•April 20, 2011 • 1 Comment

Buenos Aires is a food lover’s paradise, and my stomach is counting down the hours ’til I’m there again. My flight leaves really late tomorrow, so I won’t actually get in until after midnight. Of course, by Argentine standards, I’ll be just in time for dinner!

So what will I be eating while I’m there? Well, for starters I have dinner reservations at Casa Felix (http://www.colectivofelix.com/eng/casa-felix.html), where Argentine chef Diego whips up pescetarian delights with the help of the lovely Sanra. They serve five of the most heavenly courses your taste buds will ever enjoy for just $150 Argentine pesos (about $37 US). The wine flight is worth the extra money–the pairings are perfect and the pours generous. The best part about an evening at Casa Felix, though, is simply enjoying the company of the other random guests, hearing Diego and Sanra’s stories, and soaking in the atmosphere in the back courtyard.

On this trip, I’m also going to try a new in-home restaurant, Cocina Sunae (http://www.cocinasunae.com/). The four-course Asian-inspired meal has my mouth watering already. I’ll be sure to report back upon my return. I have to admit that I’m most looking forward to their (decidedly un-Asian) Key Lime Pie, though.

Then there are the old faves: Olsen for brunch (http://www.buenosaires-argentina.com/restaurants/olsen.html), where they bring fresh bagels to the table before you’ve even ordered! The vibe is very Scandinavian, and the outdoor area is great in warmer weather. Sure, they can sometimes be a tad snooty, but the food is delish. Another favorite is Bar Urriarte (http://www.baruriarte.com.ar/), where the delicious fig and prosciutto appetizer is to die for. And I adore Milion (http://www.milion.com.ar/eng/index.html), which is perfect if you want a nice bar scene or a romantic dinner in the garden (or both!). The food’s good, but it’s really all about the atmosphere there. Sucre (located at Sucre 676, Belgrano), Bar 6 (in Palermo–in the picture above), and Central (also in Palermo) are also worth checking out. Not sure I’ll have time to fit them all in on this trip!

A Few Faves

•April 18, 2011 • 2 Comments

Traveling is where all my extra time and money goes, so I’ve definitely come across some pretty amazing places. In no particular order, here are a few of my must-sees/must-dos:

  • wandering around Angkor Wat in Cambodia
  • passing time with penguins in Antarctica
  • watching the sunset over the temples of Bagan in Myanmar
  • ice climbing outside of Reykjavik, Iceland
  • giving early-morning offerings to the monks in Luang Prabang, Laos
  • dune surfing in Swakopmund, Namibia
  • playing mas in Trinidad’s Carnival
  • spotting colorful prayer flags in Bhutan–and getting a view of Everest on your flight from Kathmandu
  • pondering the secret of the moai on Easter Island
  • swimming with sea lions in the Galapagos
  • cruising across the salt flats in Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia
  • hiking in Zion and Arches National Parks in the U.S.

And topping my to-see/to-do list:

  • diving in Belize
  • riding camels near the pyramids in Egypt
  • staying in an over-water bungalow in Fiji or Bora Bora
  • seeing the wildlife of Guyana
  • kayaking on Milford Sound in New Zealand
  • taking a trip on the Trans Siberian Railway
  • gorilla-spotting in Uganda
  • making the journey to Timbuktu

What tops your must-see/must-do and to-see/to-do lists??