February 27, 2009

Good Eats: Santa Monica, California, Rustic Canyon

 
Rustic Canyon  1119 Wilshire Blvd., (310) 393-7050. D daily; $$$. Elegant yet casual, sleek yet comfortable, this relatively new dinner house has already claimed a loyal following. One feature that brought our large family group in is the tasty vegetarian options. A roasted beet salad was our favorite among many creative appetizer choices, and we all especially liked the pumpkin mezzaluna with brown butter and sage. A root vegetable shepherds pie fell short of expectations, but hand-cut french fries with aioli and the Niman Ranch burger topped with crispy onion rings didn’t—however the onion rings were missing from the burger (the kitchen can get frazzled when everyone shows up at once). Service is pleasant, and there are plenty of comfy booths.


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image courtesy of restaurant

February 24, 2009

Travel Tunes



My all-time favorite car-travel CD is The Rolling Stones "Let It Bleed." LOVE it, but have to watch that I don't push my pedal to the metal a little too hard.  Check out some more travel tunes. 

 
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February 21, 2009

Things to Do: China, Hua-Shan trail



At the end of China's deadly Hua-Shan trail is a snack shack where the chow is free.  More information.



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February 18, 2009

Puerto Vallarta all-Inclusives



Thinking of traveling to Mexico?  Read my article.


More things to do in Puerto Vallarta.

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image depicts Barcelo La Jolla de Mismaloya
image copyright 2009 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

February 17, 2009

Missed Flight


Good grief, this woman is upset about missing her flight.


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February 16, 2009

Sights to See: Chile, Isla Negra



Poet Pablo Neruda’s former home on Chile’s coast is located in an area that is similar to Carmel in California, with windblown pines, rustic walkways, and the constant sound of waves breaking over the rustic rocky shore. Getting there from Santiago takes you through the lush Casablanca Valley, where grapes, avocados, lemons, and almonds grow. My tour bus took a scenic eucalyptus-edged shortcut past a 1,000-year-old cemetery. Neruda was a big collector “of things” and they are well displayed throughout: toys, bottles, ship figureheads (seen in the stone living room), piano leg supporters (though he never owned a piano), colored glass (Pablo thought everything tasted better from colored glass), wood carvings, model ships in bottles, 2 hummingbirds on pins. An entire room is devoted to a shell collection. Neruda bought the land with a small house in 1939, then, according to guide Phillipe, built out buildings to his “decide.” He included many arched doors and barrel-ceilinged rooms, including a dining room where his placemat indicated he was “the captain of his ship” (though he never sailed). The bedroom has a stunning ocean view and a bed with a white popcorn-stitch crocheted bedspread; his desk overlooks the sea (he wrote with green ink because of its closeness to nature). This was the most beloved of his houses “basically because of that ‘big pool’ (the ocean) outside.” Neruda passed away in the Santa Maria hospital by the Sheraton in Santiago, but is buried here—his grave looks like a stone ship’s bow—where he lived out his life with his third wife, Matilde.

Videos that depict the house, described in Neruda's own words in Spanish
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbEqInBpHts

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Paeqg_ZuaM


More things to do in Chile.

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

image depicts Pablo Neruda's gravesite
image copyright 2009 Carole Terwilliger Meyers