August 5, 2014

Lyon, France

After a whole week of exploring around Italy,
we were ready for a change of pace. 
I'm always excited to check out cities that I've never visited before,
and Lyon seemed like a logical place to stop by on our way to Paris. 
It is, after all, known as the gastronomic capital of the world,
so how could I pass? 

Situated in the Rhône-Alpes region, between Paris and Marseille,
Lyon is the third largest city in France. 
Getting to the city is relatively easy - 
we arrived by plane into Lyon's Saint-Exupéry Airport, and took the Rhônexpress to get to city center.
Easy peasy. 

I picked to stay at the Mama Shelter Lyon during our stay,
and I seriously can't find enough great things to say about this boutique hotel. 
Highly recommend!

We spent only two nights in this beautiful city,
which was honestly not enough,
especially considering the fact that I was out of commission for half that time. 
Why?
Welp... you see... I got a little carried away with the whole foodie-capital-of-the-world thing,
and I ended up getting food poisoning. 
What I can tell you, is that I would go back,
and I would eat as much as I could all over again, 
because that's just how I roll.  
#worthit
The only thing that I'm sad about is that we had to pass on dinner reservations with Paul Bocuse.
Buh... guess we'll save that experience for next time!

natasha

July 24, 2014

Tacos Perla

There are sooo many new restaurants opening up around San Diego,
that I can barely keep up. 
Tacos Perla is just one of the new kids in one of my favorite SD neighborhoods - North Park. 

The concept is pretty straight forward - we're talkin just tacos. 
While I opted for the taco Del Mar, as well as the Vegan option with extra portobello mushrooms,
the guys I was with couldn't stop raving about how good the Adobada tacos were. 
Noted for next time. 
The house-made corn tortillas were on point, 
and the cucumber agua fresca was super refreshing on a hot summer day like yesterday. 

If you care to spice up your traditional tacos,
feel free to choose from the add-ons of cheese, chicharonnes, or.... crickets. 
Yes. Crickets
They sell them. We bought them. I ate one. Boom.
House made salsas. No. 2 was my personal favorite!
Hahaha don't worry, I didn't accidentally find this guy in my taco. He was consciously ordered.
Vegan and Del Mar tacos. Yum!
Traditional tacos de carne asada and adobada. 
3000 Upas Street
San Diego, CA 92104

natasha

July 22, 2014

Venice, Italy

Venice, a city that's disappearing before our very eyes. 
Although it will probably be around for decades to come,
the heritage sight has been on my wander list for years. 

It was our last stop in Italy,
a perfect parting image before we bid adieu to the land of carbs and wine. 
It's a place like nowhere else in the world.... 
I personally think it should be its own country,
but alas, this is not a political blog, but rather a place to share memories from my time abroad. 

In total, there are 118 islands, separated by canals and linked by bridges. 
There seem to be more tourists than actual residents,
especially on days when the giant cruise ships make their way in.
It's kind of annoying, and a tad bit sad in my opinion. 
But such is life, so one must look past the crowds and take in the beauty of their surroundings. 

First of, where to stay?
Not gonna lie, it's kind of a pain to get around this place, 
so it's all about planning ahead. 
We stayed at the Hilton Molino Stucky,
a gorgeous hotel situated in Giudecca, and offers a free shuttle to and from San Marco square all day long. 

Then there are the must-sees of San Marco square - 
Palazzo Ducale, Bell Tower of St. Mark and the Clock Tower.
Squeeze in some shopping in the Rialto market,
and, if you can afford it, take a traditional gondola ride (be prepared to shell out no less than €80).
And of course, take your time when it comes to meals. 
Grab a seat by one of the canals and try the Polenta Nella Seppia, 
a fried corn meal with the black ink of a cuttle fish, one of Venice's trademark foods.
Feel free to skip Venetian pizza... it has a rep as the worst in Italy. 
Wash it all down with a traditional Bellini, a mix of white peach juice and Prosecco,
invented at the famous Harry's Bar in Venice

Lastly, take a walk on the wild side. 
Break some rules and feed some pigeons.
The activity is technically banned in Venice,
but the photo ops are SO worth it. 

natasha