Showing posts from 2013

The Winter Wonderland of Traverse City, Michigan (U.S.A.)

Downtown Traverse City at Christmas

Two months ago I relocated to Traverse City never expecting this much snow BUT it does snow a lot around here because of the lake effect. As I get to know this region more and more each day I'm in awe of the beauty that Northern Michigan has to offer.

Traverse City a jewel of a city is nestled between two gorgeous peninsula's "Old Mission" and "Leelanau," The area is an outdoors paradise with fresh air and lots of sporting activities in the winter months. There's lots of lakes around here as well as vineyards and cherry orchards.

Traverse City is a "foodie town"with a multitude of tasty foods ranging from sushi to pasties. There are historic movie theaters, playhouses, yoga studios, art galleries, interesting shops and so much more.

As I get ready to prepare a Christmas Eve meal from the groceries I bought earlier today I marvel at spending my Christmas in such …

Hints about Huanchaco

Huanchaco, a village on the northern coast of Peru won me over with its authenticity and friendly people. Although the beaches here are beginning to look a little run down it's still an amazing place to surf and enjoy the beaches.

It's very easy to walk around Huanchaco and you'll be rewarded with plenty of shops and restaurants to choose from as you circle your way around marvelous Huanchaco.

Adrianna's Recommendations:

Don't miss out on nearby Chan Chan, a World Heritage site. Chan Chan is a Pre-Columbian city and archaeological site. A visit here will let you witness what life was like in South America centuries ago.

Take a walk on the pier for great views.

Hostal El Ancla is a charming place for lodging.

Chocolate Cafe is irresistible. I ate her twice in one day. The house speciality is the melt in your mouth hot chocolate.

Unforgettable Peruvian Hot Chocolate (Serves 4)

4 ounces authentic Pe…

Culinary Wonders of Peru

Spending a couple of weeks in Peru this past June really gave me a taste of what Peruvian life is all about. Peru has hundreds of treasures scattered everywhere. I just didn't have time to absorb it all but I did find time to eat some of the fabulous dishes that Peru is famous for. Ceviche is one of the most popular dishes in Peru and is considered a "national heritage."

While visiting Lima for a few days  I got to meet friendly Carlos who shared a "ceviche" recipe with me that his grandmother taught him to make. It's possible to make "ceviche" anywhere in the world but in beautiful coastal Peru it's truly the ultimate, My thanks (gracias) to Carlo's for showing me the Lima coastline and being kind in providing a delicious recipe for ceviche. (recipe is below)

The coastline of Peru where fish is caught to make


2 pounds of fresh fish, cubed (Corvina, similar to halibut and mahi …

Choices, Choices in Laid Back Mancora

Melt away your stresses on Peru's northern coastin laid back M A N C O R A:

Where to Stay:
Hotel Las Olas faces the beach. There are hammocks, lounge chairs and a reputable restaurant in the lobby area. A very nice place to stay.
Don Giovanni has beachfront rooms and an awesome gelato cafe.
A stay at Samana Chakra will have your senses feeling perfect from head to toe.
Enjoy the beach life at Casa de Playa Bungalows.

Where to Eat:

Cevicheria Jasusi serves delicious Peruvian cuisine and their ceviche is the best in town.
El Aji  has tasty Mexican food.
La Sirena d Juan rarely disappoints it's customers. The fusion dishes are excellent.
La Mosca en la Sopa is known for Argentine grilled meats and fresh seafood dishes.
Jugeria Mi Janett is the place to go for tasty food, refreshing fresh juice, and great smoothies.

Surfing Rules in Mancora

Where to take Surfing Lessons:
Victor's Surf School has really good instructors and they also rent surfboards.
Where to learn Spanish:
Wasicenter Spanis…

Five Days in M A N C O R A ( P E R U )

Peru, Peru, I wish I were in Mancora, Peru....

Moto Taxi
These days the whole world seems to know of an amazing place called MACHU PICCHU. It's Peru's top tourist attraction and with good reason but if you're longing for a relaxing time in a picturesque seaside town on the Pacific coast than choose Mancora. Mancora is the kind of place that captures your spirit with it's beautiful beaches, pretty buildings, swaying palms, incredible surfing, and seaside charm. Whether you stay here a day, a week, or a year you'll soon see why so many South American's love to vacation in lovely Mancora.
Surfing rules in Mancora and some of the best surfers in South America like hanging out in Mancora. There are plenty of water activities to choose from. How about beach yoga? When I was in Mancora I gave a few free yoga classes on the sandy beach and we all enjoyed views of the ocean while doing are asanas. Mancora is famous for it's ceviche and almost every restaurant in town…

A Peek at Peru

South America is a diverse continent with much to offer. Lately all eyes have been on PERU because it has a multitude of treasures; the Amazon River, Chan Chan, Huanchaco, Machu Picchu, Mancora, Puno, Uras Islands.....

The Peruvians have some of the best cuisine in the world and eating meals in Peru is an experience in itself. The national drink "Pisco Sour" is something you just have to try. Check out my recipe below.

Follow me on my next post as I share the treasures of Peru and provide recipes for delicious dishes like the famous "Ceviche."

Coming soon: PERU (The country of adventures and treasures)

Pisco Sour

3 ounces pisco
1 ounce syrup (recipe below)
1 ounce lime juice
1 egg white
Angostura BItters (2 dashes)

Mix the pisco, syrup, lime juice and egg white in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake.
Strain in a drinking glass and sprinkle two dashes of bitters on top.

Pisco Sours are great to drink anytime of year!

How to make the syrup:

Boil 1 cup of water in a small pot. Dis…

The Finger Lakes of New York State

New Yorkers are very lucky people for many reasons 1) they have New York City 2) they have Niagara Falls 3) they have the Catskills and the Hudson Valley 4) they have Long Island with the famous Hampton's not to mention Fire Island National Seashore and Montauk 5) they have 6 million acres of unspoiled Adirondack Mountains 6) they have the Thousand Islands 7) they have awesome pizza......and they have The Finger Lakes!

When I first arrived in Ithaca to take a two week course at Cornell University I fell in love with this gorgeous town. In fact you'll see plenty of bumper stickers and t-shirts with the logo "Ithaca is Gorges" because the area is home to gorges. A gorge is a deep narrow passage with a rocky side and it really is gorgeous to look at. Living in this college town is a dream come true because:

1)   Cornell University and Ithaca College are here.
2)   It's a pedestrian friendly town with great biking too.
3)   The restaurants are crowd pleasers like the…

"The Bronx Medley" A Legendary New York Borough

If you have two days to spare follow this "Bronx Medley."

Day One:

Take a bus, subway, or taxi to the Bronx Zoo and enjoy one of the largest zoos in America. Afterwards visit the New York Botanical Garden and connect with horticulture. Head over to Wave Hill and relax on the grounds of the public gardens and cultural center. Craving pizza? Little Italy on Arthur Avenue is the answer. Giovanni makes delicious pizza that has been enjoyed by such famous folks as the New York governor and the late Mother Teresa.

Day Two:

Chances are that you've been so smitten by the old fashioned Italian neighborhood of "Little Italy" that you want to return. No worries there's plenty to do in the Belmont section of the Bronx known as Arthur Avenue's Little Italy. The Arthur Avenue Retail Market sells everything from hand rolled cigars to fresh pasta. Over at De Lillo's Pastry Shop you can fix your sugar cravings with marvelous desserts. (The cannoli's here are some …

Brooklyn (Rocks) as a New York Borough!

Brooklyn, the most populated borough in New York City really rocks.

There are more famous Americans born in Brooklyn than anywhere else:

Woody Allen, actor and filmmaker
Paul Auster, author
Lauren Bacall, actress
Mel Brooks, director & writer
Tony Danza, entertainer
Harvy Eisenstat, Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher
George Gershwin, composer
Mos Def, rapper
Alyssa Milano, actress
Willie Randolph Jr, New York Mets manager
Joan River, comedienne
Jerry Seinfeld, comedian
Barbra Streisand, singer
Joe Torre, New York Yankees manager
Mae West, actress

and a whole LOT more!

PLUS these are just a handful of things to love about B R O O K L Y N..................

Bay Ridge
Brooklyn Heights Promenade
Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn Botanical Garden
Brighton Beach
Carroll Gardens Historic District
Coney Island & Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park
Greenwood Cemetery
Junior's Cheesecake
Manhattan Beach
Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs
New York Aquarium
New York Transit Museum
Park Slope
Prospect Park
Red …

Manhattan's Upper West Side (Adrianna's To Do List for the UWS)

The Upper West Side (UWS) for short, is a terrific neighborhood. I arrived her one January day to audition for the American Musical & Dramatic Academy all the way from Michigan. I didn't really plan on staying for long but as luck turns out I got accepted into the American Musical & Dramatic Academy and my first apartment was on the Upper West Side. Since than I've lived in quite a few neighborhoods but the Upper West Side is where my heart will always belong.

With Central Park on one side and Riverside Park on the other, the Upper West Side is one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Manhattan. It's not unusual to see a celebrity dining in one of the area restaurants or to hear the sounds of "Juilliard"students displaying their musical talents from their apartment.  This terrific neighborhood has ever…

A Chocolate Haven in Soho (New York)

When in Soho be certain to enter the doors of 350 Hudson Street. This is where you'll find the most irresistible chocolate desserts created by a genius pastry chef named Jacques Torres. French born Jacques Torres is known as "Mr Chocolate" and anyone who tries his chocolates dreams of eating them again and again.

The first Jacques Torres opened in Brooklyn's neighborhood known as Dumbo. This is where the chocolate factory is located and where spectators can watch delectable chocolate treats being made from the windows. The adorable shop is filled with chocolate treasures. There's a cafe with tables for those that want to indulge in tasty treats right there and then.

The Soho "Jacques Torres" is also very magical and is definitely worth visiting for an unforgettable chocolate experience. These are just some of the treats to be found; big daddy bars, champagne truffles, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, ice cream sandwiches and incredible hot chocolat…

Hanging out in Soho (Oh, So Cool)

New York City consists of five amazing boroughs; Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Manhattan. Every borough has unique things to offer but MANHATTAN is where a lot of the action takes place. With so many neighborhoods to explore even New Yorkers can't always catch up with the hot local spots. Manhattan's neighborhoods are so diverse and exciting that it's worth to hit every neighborhood in a New York minute or New York day.

As a concierge for a major hotel in Manhattan it was my job to know New York like the back of my hand. To this very day it's hard for me to pick my favorite Manhattan neighborhood because I'm partial to all of them. One neighborhood that's really cool to hang out in is Soho. Nestled between the West & East Village, Little Italy, and Nolita, SOHO has a multitude of trendy bars, restaurants, and shops. Once a haven for artists this expensive neighborhood with cobblestone streets is where you'll find art galleries, spacious lof…

Inside Schroon Lake (A Sweet Summer Place)

Adirondack chairs, beaches, boating, fresh air, hiking trails, pine trees, performing arts, serenity, solitude, relaxation...these are just a few of the things synonymous with Schroon Lake!

Stepping into the town of Schroon Lake on a warm summer day is like stepping inside a Norman Rockwell painting. For some reason time stands still in this small town in upstate New York where the fragrant smell of Adirondack pine trees and the calming waters of the lake make everything feel so clean and pure.

The hilly terrain of Schroon Lake Town Beach is the perfect place to read a book or have a picnic. There's also a gazebo, and tennis courts. Lifeguards are on duty daily during the summer months and one couldn't ask for a more refreshing body of water to swim in. There are plenty of places to park near the town beach but if you're staying in or around Schroon Lake you'll soon find out that it's a pedestrian friendly town that's fun to walk around.

One of my favorite places …

New York State (The State of Plenty)

NEW YORK STATE is certainly the state of plenty. It contains 6 million acres of unspoiled wilderness, has one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, offers incredible hiking in the Adirondack Mountains, boasts hundreds of freshwater lakes for boating and swimming, and has plenty of seashore on Long Island. It's one of the few states in America that offers outstanding public transportation and pedestrian friendly cities and towns. 

New York State attracts people from all over the world that come to see the stunning Niagara Falls, tour the Catskill Mountain region, eat chicken wings in Buffalo, and marvel at the wonders of metropolis New York City. No matter what region of New York State you visit chances are you'll be smitten by this amazing state that has plenty to offer residents and tourists alike.

Having lived and worked in New York City and other parts of the state I consider myself a New Yorker. I cherish this state with all my heart. So join me as I share the secret…

Bergen to Oslo on a Budget

NORWAY is expensive no doubt about it that's why I worked a short term job there which fortunately provided me with free housing. I made some Norwegian friends while in Kristiansand and after finishing my three month commitment of work I was invited to camp in Bergen with my friends. They had a caravan so we spent three days in Bergen camping and enjoying the outdoors.

BERGEN is the land of fjords. A fjord is a long narrow deep inlet of the sea between high cliffs typically fomred by sumbergence of a glaciated valley. Fjords are stunning in appearance so have your camera or smart phone ready for taking pictures. BERGEN is an outdoor's paradise and although there are plenty of hotels and bed & breakfasts to choose from camping is the way to go when in Bergen. Two of my favorite campgrounds are Bergan Camping Park and Grimen Motell & Camping AS. You'll definately be in tune with nature when staying at one of these places.

The top attractions in Bergen are Floibanen, a …

A day or two in Stavanger

After three months of working in Kristiansand I had my heart set on spending a few days in Bergen but before getting to Bergen I was rewarded with a full day in Stavanger. A blend of beaches, culture, and mountains Stavanger is often associated with the title "oil city" because offshore oil was discovered here back in 1969. The fourth largest city in Norway, Stavanger attracts visitors from around the globe.

A guided walk or hop on, hop off bus tour is a good way to tour Stavanger. If an escorted tour doesn't appeal to you there are many attractions to visit. Start with the Norwegian Petroleum Museum and than check out "Old Stavanger" a mix of of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th century. The Mosvangen Park is a good spot to relax and enjoy the greenery. Other popular attractions are the Canning Museum. Stavanger Maritime Museum, Stavanger Cathedral, Norwegian Emigration Centre and the Iron Age Farm. An interesting side excursion is the Utstein Monastery. This mona…

Three Months in NORWAY

Kristiansand, NORWAY

When I arrived in Norway at the beginning of June to start my summer job at a vacation farm in Kristiansand I had no idea what was in store for me. The Norwegian farmer who owned the farm put me up in a small house that he once lived in with his wife and son. I couldn't believe that I was given a whole house to myself but within a week I felt that I earned the perk of living in that cozy Norwegian house. Each morning I was up by 7:00 am to have breakfast and start my workday. I worked seven days a week with no days off but  I didn't mind, after all I was in beautiful NORWAY surrounded by the sea. People from around NORWAY came to the farm on a mini vacation. There were cabins to rent on the premises and a lake nearby for boating and swimming. I had plenty of chickens, cows, goats, and pigs to take care of in addition to all the other tasks that keep a farm running. Often I would take guests on tours of the farm and help host the picnics that we held each w…


       N O R W A Y

Back when I was in performing arts school one of my classmates sang a beautiful song from an operetta called "Song of Norway."  At that time I never imagined myself going to Norway but a couple of years later "Norway" was beckoning  to me and I knew I just had to go there.

I went to the local library and checked out a book called "International Job Guide." I was thrilled when I found a listing of temporary jobs in Norway. I applied with an organization in Oslo and a few weeks later a farmer from Kristiansand contacted me about a three month position working on his farm resort. I would work about 40 hours a week and in exchange I would get to live in a beautiful house near the sea with my own room, have home cooked meals and get paid a weekly salary. How could I refuse an offer like that? So off to Norway I went.
Norway is clean and safe, the people are friendly, the food is fresh and delicious, the scenery is stunning, there are lots of ou…

M E X I C O.....OH....M E X I C O

North America's M E X I C O is an enchanting country full of wonders. There are archeological sites, beautiful beaches, desert landscapes, jungle settings, and mighty mountains not to mention mouth-watering cuisine and great tequila. This is the country that gets lots of college students during their spring break hanging out at the beach and honeymoon couples enjoying a romantic vacation. Whether you come here to explore the excitement of Mexico City or swing in a hammock at one of the popular beach resorts. MEXICO is synonymous with vacation.

So where do you head first? Well if the beach is on your mind "Cancun" is a very good choice. Here the waters are turquoise and the sun as warm as fresh made tortillas. Cancun is full of hotels and resorts that stand in front of the Caribbean Sea. Just be certain to wear lots of sunscreen because it's very easy to get sunburned the first few days (I can attest to this having gotten sunburned the day after I arrived in Cancun). …


M O N A C O       

When American actress Grace Kelly attended the Cannes Film Festival in 1955 she probably never thought she'd meet Prince Rainer of Monaco, fall in love and get married but like a Hollywood love story the beauty got her prince and her marriage to the prince in 1956 was a world wide event.
Monaco's tourism boomed after the marriage of Prince Rainer and Grace Kelly. Visitors still flock to the small but grand Monaco to enjoy its attractions. Monaco a relic of medieval Europe is the second smallest country in the world with a population of about 35,000. Monaco sits on the French Mediterranean coast near Nice and is roughly 499 acres in size. The big attraction is the Monte-Carlo Casino and Opera House but there are also other places to visit.


Monte-Carlo Casino and Opera House

Prince's Palace

Le "Rocher the Rock"

Fort Antoine

Oceanographic Museum

Monaco Cathedral

Monaco neighbors are France and Italy, both of the…