Jul 27, 2013

N O R W A Y ( AN OUTDOORS PARADISE)

                                                      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 outdoor activities to enjoy but Norway is an expensive country. I guess that's the price one has to pay to live in a country that's practically perfect.

In my next post I'll write about all the things to see and do in Scandinavian NORWAY.

Jul 21, 2013

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). The highlight in Cancun is the abundance of sports that revolve around water. There's swimming and snorkeling of course but not to be missed is a boat ride. Whether it's a small boat or a ferry there's something very soothing about gliding across the calm turquoise waters of Cancun's Caribbean Sea.

Cozumel a small island is one of Mexico's most famous destinations. Here's you'll find lighthouses, fantastic scuba diving and snorkeling. There's also Chankanaab National Park where you can swim with dolphins and witness a landlocked pool connected to the sea through an underwater tunnel. A good option in Cozumel is an "all inclusive vacation" which includes lodging, meals, and activities for a set price. Other popular beach resorts in Mexico are;  Ixtapa, Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita, and Tulum.

Mexico City one of the most populated cities in the world struggles with air pollution but it's a very exciting city that shouldn't be missed. With first rate public transportation getting around Mexico City is quite easy. If you have a few days in Mexico City visit 1) Casa de los Azulejos, 2) Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe, 3) Bazar del Sabado (Saturday market), 4) Floating Gardens of Xochimilco, 5) Palacio Nacional and the Diego Rivera Murals and 6) Cathedral Metropolitana. After a relaxing siesta take advantage of Mexico City's performing arts scene and enjoy world class ballet, music concerts, opera and theater. The Pyramids of  San Juan Teotihuacan about 30 miles from Mexico City are one of the most important ruins in the world. Allow yourself a full day to explore the palaces & pyramids of San Juan Teotihuacan.

I love Mexican food and I thank the Mexican people for creating such delicious tasting food. When in Mexico be sure to try tacos, tamales, tortillas, and salsa. Mexico has plenty of fresh avocados, chilies, corn, papaya, and tomatoes. These foods are used daily in Mexican cooking. Another standout is the great beer, coffee and tequila. Incidentally the Mexicans are the highest consumers of the soda drink "Coke/Coco Cola."

So learn some Spanish, bring along some pesos and explore enchanting MEXICO!

For more information on the country of Mexico visit the website Mexico Tourism.

www.visitmexico.com


A d r i a n n a 's   F a v o r i t e   G u a c a m o l e

3 ripe avocados
1 ripe tomato, cut into small pieces
juice from 1 lime
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 minced chili (remove seeds and stem)

Scoop out three ripe avocados and mash with a fork, add lime juice, cilantro, chilies, and tomato. Mix gently in a medium size bowl. Serve guacamole with tortilla chips or use the guacamole as a quesadilla filling.




Jul 12, 2013

SMALL BUT GRAND MONACO

                                
                                   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.

M O N A C O   (THINGS TO SEE)

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 these countries are in such close proximity that one can easily make a day trip to one of the lovely coastal towns of France or Italy. Below is a listing of lodging and restaurant options in Monaco.

LODGING OPTIONS:

Hotel Hermitage offers lots of pampering and is located in the heart of Monte Carlo.
www.brasseriedemonacohttp://www.hotelhermitagemontecarlo.com/?xts=44280&xtor=SEC-957-GOO-[Hotel-Hermitage%2f+Monaco+(%2b)]-[]-[S]-[%2bmonaco+%2bhermitage+%2bhotel]&xtdt=22894086 

Feel like King Louis XV at the opulent Hotel de Paris http://www.hoteldeparismontecarlo.com/?xts=44280&xtor=SEC-5365-MSN-Hotel-de-Paris/MonteCarloexact-hoteldeparismontecarlo-S&xtdt=22894120

Airbnbwww.airbnb.com.airbnb.com/   If you prefer a home-stay check out all the local people renting out private rooms in Monaco. Rates tend to be lower than in hotels with AIRBNB.

RESTAURANTS:

Avenue 31
Bilig Cafe
Brasserie Cafe De Paris
Elsa
Joel Robuchon
Le Bureau
Le Circus

Whether you're seeking traditional French fare or other ethnic specialities Monaco has a variety of restaurants to choose from; crepes to steak, salads to pizza. fresh seafood to burgers. There's something for everyone.

Although expensive MONACO makes a great travel destination whether you come for a day, a week, or a month.




Jul 9, 2013

MALTA DREAMING


With summer in full swing most people dream of being at the beach to enjoy surfing, swimming, and lots of blue sunny skies. The small country of MALTA is a blend of beautiful beaches, idyllic towns, rocky terrain and desert. Malta consists of three main islands which are all worth visiting.

Summers in Malta can be dry, long, and hot but a swim in the Mediterranean Sea will soon make you forgot about the heat. 

Popular Malta Beaches:

Armier Bay
Golden Bay
Mellieha Bay
Paradise Bay
Ramla Bay

There are countless options for lodging in MALTA which consist of apartment rentals, hostels, hotels, and guesthouses.

Things to do in Malta:

The capital city of Valletta is loaded with history and has lots of things to do and see.

Mdina has narrow winding streets and lots of medieval charm.

Gozo is a lovely island surrounded by beaches.

The Megalithic Temples are a popular attraction.

Food in Malta:

The Maltese like to eat soups, fish, stewed rabbit, olives, pasta, sheep cheese, rice, and breads.


                                       A N C H O V Y   P A S T A


Boil 400 grams of spaghetti, drain and set aside. To prepare the anchovy sauce; fry three cloves of garlic on a pan with 5 spoonfuls of olive oil. Add two cups of tomato sauce and 1 cup of anchovies cut into small pieces. Cook the anchovy sauce for about 20 minutes. Pour the anchovy sauce over the cooked spaghetti and mix gently. Put a dash of salt & pepper, and a handful of fresh parsley on top of the pasta dish! 

Enjoy a little taste of MALTA. 

MALTA, a European country welcomes you anytime of year!!!




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