December 30, 2011

Goodbye 2011!

The final hours of 2011 are winding down. Only three more hours of work until next year - woot! As the years come and go, we can reflect on our yesterdays and make resolutions for our tomorrows. Me? I plan to keep on, keeping on. I have a long list of must-do adventures, and I resolve to continue to do as many as I can.

One change for the new year is where I store my photos. I've given up on my various picasa web albums and subscribed to SmugMug. To get it started, I've created a gallery which covers my favorite photos from this year, plus a few that are a bit older. Give the "Best of the Bunch" a look.

Have a safe and happy new year! May 2012 be better than ever.

December 29, 2011

Year in Review: Food & Drink

Our dining adventures have taken us coast to coast. And all that eating has made us thirsty. We’ve tried dozens of new beers this year. When looking back, some food and drink has been more memorable than others. Here’s the scoop.

Coast vs. Coast: Langer’s Deli (LA) and Katz’s Deli (NYC)

Langer’s Perfect Pastrami

Katz’s Incredible Corned Beef

What I crave the most: Furikake Dog, Dogzilla (L.A. Food Truck)

Most messy, but oh, so delicious: Dungeness Crab, Crabhouse, San Francisco

Best new discovery: Banh Mi, Saigon Sandwich, San Francisco

Best new find on the road: El Indio, San Diego

Taquitos like no other

Their tamales were the perfect Christmas gift. We loved the taste of San Diego at home.

Eats I hate to love: Double Jalapeno Cheeseburger, White Castle, Chicago

Worst meal: Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion, Summerlin

Shellfish Sampler

Meal to most exceed expectations: Jean-Georges, Aria

Start to finish, fantastic! But it’s the key lime dessert I cannot stop thinking about.

Worth the drive: Casa Serrano, Laughlin

Favorite cheap eats near home: Windy City Beefs N Dogs

Chicago dog and fries

Most reliable near home: Circo, Bellagio

Most reliable on the road: Con Pane Bakery, San Diego

Some of the more memorable suds I’ve had this year are Mama's Little Yella Pils, Abita (various), Jamaican Lager, Artichoke Basille’s Artichoke Beer, Yuengling, Lightning Thunderweisen and Las Vegas’ own Tahoe Blue, but the one that left the greatest impression on me this year is Belgium’s Delirium Tremens.

I don't know what sorts of delicious days lie ahead, but I'm certain we will eat, drink and be merry.


December 28, 2011

Got Beer?

Before all the holiday hubbub we took a tour of the Joseph James Brewing Company. Based in Henderson, they've grown quite a bit since first getting their start 2006. They bottle at least seven different beers and two sodas. Their keg business is growing and they've recently gained canning capabilities.

We sampled all of the alcohol they had on site. I'm most fond of their lagers, but it's the Tahoe Blue that led me to them and it remains a favorite. We tried some unusual varieties with coconut and pumpkin, and a heavy hand of chocolate. Those were least to our liking. The Weize Guy hefe wasn't a strong crowd pleaser, either. Fox Tail, the Gluten Free beer was better than expected. Not something I'd choose over any of my favorites but it's good to know it gives those with dietary restrictions an option. Nevada Steem, Hop Box IPA and Red Fox aren't typically beers I'd order, but each went down easily.

Tours are held once a month or so. Friend them on facebook for dates. You must RSVP ahead of time, you pay $5 for a glass and then it's all the free samples you can handle. Matt, and the head brewers are friendly and informative. They work hard to keep your glass full and to answer any questions.

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December 27, 2011

A Very Vegas Christmas

Over the holiday weekend, we got over to Bellagio and Ethel M's to enjoy the Christmas decorations. Here's a peek, enjoy.

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December 26, 2011

Year in Review: Travels

At the end of 2010, I suspected we'd have to move in 2011, but I was ok with leaving our home behind because it would provide us with more freedom, and I yearned to travel. Thankfully, we were able to stay put, and I did not let go of my desire to travel. Life is too short, and talk is cheap, I wanted 2011 to be about making things happen. I didn't want to just talk of places I wanted to visit, I wanted to have those experiences, and we did... We covered a lot of ground.

We had traveled to San Diego and Phoenix a few times, San Francisco twice, Chicago, New York and Anaheim. And there was Brian Head, UT, and we even got to New Orleans. We were very fortunate that we were able to travel a great deal. You'd think I might have tired of it, but nope. The more I see, the more I want to experience.

Italy is still my dream trip. It's getting closer to reality. We've saved a nice sum this year, the trip is technically doable in 2012, I just have to find a deal for the right time. I'm working on it. I'm shooting for Spring, so I'll have to figure it out pretty quickly.

We developed a greater appreciation for San Francisco, this year. We just love it there and it's very affordable for us to travel to especially when considering the expense of trips to cities likes NYC and New Orleans. We are anxious to return next month. February, we are looking to escape to San Diego. It's our home away from home. March, we'll head out to Phoenix for Spring Training. And you'll have to stay tuned to see where else we head. Louisville is likely. And we intend on many weekend getaways. We are dying to enjoy more Razor adventures.

December 25, 2011

Santa Came! Santa Came!

Gosh, Christmas mornings were such an exciting time when we were small. The magic of the holiday is so special. Still, being grown and getting the family together is always nice. I just wish there weren't 1800 miles between us here, and the rest of my family in Chicago.

It sounds like they had a nice holiday, though. Nicky made the "nice list" and Santa brought him guns! His favorite. I asked what kind? "All kinds," he said. Big ones and little ones? "No, just big ones?" He was one happy kid.

We got a later start to our Christmas than friends and family. It's fun being on the west coast, when I got up at 7:30, everyone back east had already shared their holiday cheer and treasures on facebook. It warmed my heart to see all that joy. I prepared a Christmas feast, a bit nontraditional with Gouda stuffed pork chops, but that's how I roll. Mom made her delicious Parmesan salad and snow tunnel cake, and my brother curbed our appetites with deviled eggs. Frank's family joined us for eats and games.

Santa brought me a new lens for my camera so I am excited to get familiar with it. It's a Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX , which is the last one on my wish list. I also received great gifts like beef jerky, gourmet eats, beer and money toward accessories for the Razor. I am very lucky.

December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

May the Christmas season,
fill your home with joy,
your heart with love,
and your life with laughter!

December 23, 2011


We were fortunate to receive club seats for yesterday's MAACO Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium. Frank has been a BSU fan for sometime, he loves the way they play the game. They always pull out some of the craziest and most unexpected plays. They did not disappoint going against ASU. I enjoy watching Boise State even though I've never been a big NCAA football fan, mainly because of the BCS. You know what that stands for right? Being Constantly Snubbed. I dislike the ranks, I much prefer a true champion. If college football implemented a bracket system like they have for basketball I'd be all about it. December Madness, can you imagine?

Anyway, back to the game. We were able to park in the VIP lot. Getting in and out of the stadium couldn't have been easier.

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The sun was setting when we got to our seats. They were great by the way. In the club house, there was a nice spread of eats and non-alcoholic drinks were complimentary. Beer and cocktails were half-price. Inside seating filled up quickly because it was mighty chilly in the desert last night. We snacked and then took our seats outside, and waited for the game to get started.

I love it when they bring out the field sized flag for sporting events. Fighter jets flew over after the National Anthem.

Frank was thrilled that this was the first sporting event he was able to place bets while attending the game.

Boise wasted no time getting this Bowl started. How long before the first touchdown? 14 seconds. Yep, that's right. And the rest of the game was non-stop action... from BSU's end zone to end zone touchdowns and interceptions, to ASU;s missed field goal attempt and a pointless touchdown. All in all, it was a good, good, night. A profitable one, too. Frank snagged two out of three bets, that pointless touchdown cost him second half BSU -7. Still, he netted a nice sum.