DDD: Dad’s Kitchen

Do you know the show from Food Network, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (DDD)?

With roadside diners, vintage drive-ins and out-of-the-way “dives” enjoying a resurgence of hipness among foodies, host Guy Fieri travels across America in search of some of the best “greasy spoon” eateries. The restaurants that Guy visits are usually well-known among locals and other people in the region. While at each location, Fieri talks to the staff as well as the customers to get their thoughts on the food. Many episodes feature eateries that are connected by a common thread, such as burgers or comfort foods

Click here to see the list as I add them, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives: #2 out of over 800

Dad’s Kichen is located in my hometown of Sacramento, California. I have been here several times for breakfast (or brunch), lunch, dinner, even picking up food to take home. All the food I have eaten have been pretty yummy. They also keep a nice rotating beer menu on tap.

The day I took a photo with Guy’s DDD poster, we were there for lunch and enjoyed the french dip, fries, and onion rings. They have a nice enclosed patio seating (inside seating too, but small area).  I highly recommend.

Have you been to a DDD location based off seeing it on that show? Have you met Guy Fieri?

This location was featured on Season 11, Episode 8 – Soup and Sandwiches

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Get Donald Trump to Autograph This Book

This book “2001 Things to Do Before you Die” was printed back in 1997. It was still funny to see this item to get check marked from the list. I really didn’t (& still don’t) think I’ll get this accomplished. Mainly because I live on the West Coast.

Last year, I had the bright idea to try sending it to the White House. I knew they would be getting TONS of mail and most likely I wouldn’t get anything back. But I also thought it might be quirky enough to make it through. I enclosed a letter and the book. I even added a return envelope. Then I sent it off. Now, you can go to the White House’s webpage to get where to send mail, and they say it will take a couple of weeks to get any response.  It took about two months and by that time, I went ahead and purchased the book again because I didn’t really know if I would get the other one back.

IMG_4333Imagine my surprise when there was an envelope with the White House address at the front door one day. I opened it up and was happy to see the book returned and a letter with a response that I wasn’t surprised about. The president was thankful for my letter, but unfortunately too busy at this time. Here’s a photo and a copy of his signature for you.

Well, I guess I could go ahead and count that as a half check for this item. I did get his autograph, just not in the book. I really don’t know if I will ever have the opportunity to ask for him to sign it. Politics and likes or dislikes aside, it would be fun to get this done. (and while at it, get the “shake hands with someone famous” checked off too)

If you have any ideas to help with this, I would appreciate the assist.

Would you like the extra copy of this book?

 

Eat Alligator

In 2015 I decided I wanted to celebrate my October birthday in New Orleans. The other reason I chose to travel to that city was because I had been wanting to experience Halloween and visit a friend that had moved there. We made plans and set the dates at the beginning of the year. Another friend that lives in Dallas said she would come visit at the same time and we could hang out. This would be both of our first time in New Orleans and I was very excited.

We had so much fun exploring the area seeing all the landmark sites, as well as ate and drank throughout the town. One of the first places our friend took us to was a place called Oceana Restaurant in the Famous French Quarter district. Walking into the restaurant, looked like some fun décor. That is also when I realized the places there had courtyards. I had thought it was just patios on the side of places like they mostly have where I live. It was really pleasant to sit in the courtyard and relax. We order several sampler dishes and drinks. One of which was some alligator. Couldn’t come all that way and not try alligator.

I didn’t think to get a close up photo of the alligator. It’s the breaded dish that looks a little like nuggets. And it did taste like chicken nuggets, definitely not chicken, but similar. I’d eat them again.

We also enjoyed oysters, gumbo, crab cakes, and pasta. Very yummy and filling lunch.

Have you tried alligator?

Ride in a Dune Buggy

Every year I head out to a convention for my Active 20-30 International organization (philanthropy & service club). July 2017, I went a few days early and there were some pre-convention options. One was a chance to ride dune buggies. I was so excited to do that for the first time. We got on a bus and headed out to Florence, Oregon and ended up at Sandland Adventures. There we learned that we would be riding in giant dune buggies and get a tour of the sand dunes.

It was fun to be in a group and go along for a ride and look around. The driver would point out interesting spots and talk about the sand dunes and the water table.

It was also interesting to see a bunch of people sliding down a hill. Later learned that they were skiing on the sand. I’m used to skiing on snow but hadn’t thought it for a sand hill.

It would be fun to drive a dune buggy but for now I can say I’ve ridden in one and got to experience going over the sand.

 

 

Have you ridden in a dune buggy or driven one? California, Oregon, or another state/country?

Wear a lei

Found a photo taken after a trip to Hawaii in 1987, where my sister and I are wearing lei’s. No interesting story to it. Cannot remember if some friends that moved to Hawaii gave us these or we bought them.

Wanted to include this postcard photo that we posed and paid with birds. It was a fun touristy thing to do.

Have you been lei’d? Any interesting story to it?

Go Skiing

I was lucky in that my family was able to use cabins from family friends & relatives, so we went skiing quite a bit. When I was old enough, I joined a program with a friend and we would go every Saturday for the winter season. We met way early in the morning at a parking lot, got onto a bus and went to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows (half the season at each resort). First there was the group lessons, then lunch break, after that we had our own time to go ski.

At the end of the season, they would host a family ski day. All the kids in the program got to race down a solemn course and compete in age groups for trophies. The families get to come and ski and have lunch. It was sooo much fun.

Now that I would have to pay for myself, I’ve only been able to go a few times for the last decade. Every season, I say I’ll get up to ski and then its over way too fast. One of these days…

make angels in the snow

The author also had this item listed at #1353 make a snow angel.

I know I’ve made snow angels in the snow as a kid, but writing this when I went in 2013 and got to go play in the snow like a kid again. Some friends and I went up to Lake Tahoe (area), California to go to sledding. It was a little overcast, but perfect snow weather. This was the first time I’ve gone to a sled park.

They had a couple of lifts for those that wanted to ski. But we walked over to the sled area. You then grab a big inter-tube and step onto a moving walkway (like those in airports). You line up to one of the lanes (they had them grooved out so no one would bump into each other) and slide down. Super fun and easy, since you don’t have to do to much work in walking in the snow up each time.

Snow sledding 1While there, I wanted to make a snow angel. We took a break from sledding and laid down on our tubes and chatted for a bit. I took this opportunity to walk over to an area that was packed down. Then I fell backwards into the snow and moved my arms and legs. When I got up, it didn’t really look like much of an angel, as you’ll see. But the point is, I made one since buying this book and can cross it off the list.

 

When is the last time you did something child like?

 

Throw a coin in the Fontana di Trevi in Rome

I went to Italy with my roommate for thanksgiving vacation time during my college semester abroad. We stayed at a little hotel near the Roman Colosseum and went to many of the different sites to see in Rome. So, loved it there. I would go back in a heartbeat. My favorite food has always been Italian and was in heaven. I will say it was hard to get used to eating dinner so late, as their restaurants didn’t open til around 8pm. First time I tried and fell in love with Gelato and specialty coffees while there.

I can recall being surprised a few times of the sites in Rome. The Trevi Fountain, for instance was in small square. Of course it might have felt small as the fountain took up a lot of space and there were crowds sitting around the rest of it. Enjoying the view and sipping their coffees. The other sites amazed me by their size or just the fact that I was there seeing and touching things that have existed BC.

My roommate will have to verify this, but I think this was the first experience I had with a cappuccino. We had walked down a small alley and came upon the square. Was in awe of the huge fountain and got a cappuccino at one of the shops surrounding the square. And of course threw a coin over our shoulder into the fountain. Hoping the legend will come true and I will be back to Rome someday.

I think I will post more photos of this trip another time.

For more information and photos of the fountain, head over here to it’s wikipedia page

Photo below borrowed from wikipedia (who took it from a flicker album) to show you a bit more of the square.Have you been to the Fountain? Throw a coin in?

See Stonehenge and Join the Druids

I didn’t join any druids at Stonehenge, but it definitely was a highlight to see in person.

I saw Stonehenge in 1998 when I was there for a college semester. Just so you know it is located in the middle of nowhere in England. It was really neat to see in person, just sad that we can no longer walk among the stones. I can’t recall who this is in the photo with me other than it was another girl that was also in the semester abroad program. Going to Stonehenge was one of the extra group trips that one could take during our time in England.

In May 2010, my mom, sister, and I did happen to walk in the druid garden area in Blarney National Park (located in Ireland). We walked along the garden path and stopped at different places that had plaques explaining a little about different druid monuments where they once did different druid stuff. One of the places was the Blarney Witch Stone. People would leave offerings on the stone for good luck and also so the witch wouldn’t get you if you stayed there after dark. My sister tried putting a coin in the stone, but it kept falling off. We weren’t sure what that was supposed to mean, did the witch want more money?

On the way to Killarney, we found one of Ireland’s stone circles. As you will see, at this one you can still walk around the stones. It is called the Dromberg Stone Circle and has been around for a very long time. It may not look as mysterious as Stonehenge’s large stacked stones, but it still is impressive with the way people formed them and used it for seasons and such (as far as we know).

Have you seen Stonehenge?

Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

I went to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany around 2002. I thought I’d write up a condensed list of some of stories/memories/experiences I had. I would LOVE to go to Oktoberfest again sometime, especially since I only was there one evening.

What I learned from my First Oktoberfest adventure in Germany:

  • Don’t wait until the day before to decide to go. You’ll only be able to get a room at a B & B outside of Munich in the middle of no-where.
  • Learned that Dachau is a little town outside of Munich, not just a concentration camp. Did you know that?
  • Don’t forget how you got to the B & B, you’ll need that information later
  • Learned they had carnival type rides there. Whoa, is that really a good idea?
  • Don’t be with people that decide to bring a little baby. They won’t let you in the tents/halls where there is beer, food, and fun music and dancing because of all the smoking that fills the air.
  • Beer and some food are available outside, and tables, but it looked more fun inside
  • If you are with people with a baby, you can sneak some free beersteins out, maybe. otherwise you have to buy them
  • Be careful handing your phone off to friends as a precaution to getting split up. Your dad might call to say hi and that friend will have a conversation with him, who has no idea who the person is. Luckily, I was nearby to grab the phone.
  • Do not lean against walls, ever! If you wonder why they are wet, just wait, you will see why lines to the guys bathrooms are so short.
  • You make all kinds of friends sitting at the long tables, sometimes you can understand each other and other times you just smile, laugh, and go along with what each of you are saying even though you have no clue.
  • Shepherding drunk friends back to the train station requires more than one sober person to help, depending on the group
  • You might think Dachau was small in the daylight and easy to navigate the roads, but at night the roads all become circles.
  • It’s spooky driving right past the remains of the concentration camp, especially when you realize that’s what it is and had never seen it. Don’t let your drunk friends convince you to stop to check it out. Don’t worry I didn’t let them.
  • Once you finally get on the road to the B & B in the middle of no-where, try not to get stuck with a train going through. The drunk friends in their wife beaters will try to speak to the occupants in another car for directions. Whether they understood the slurred English or attempts at German are unknown.
  • Make sure you can get into the B & B in the late evening. It took a while for someone to unlock the door
  • Make sure the couple with the baby have diapers. There are no places to buy some in Germany as everything is closed on Sundays.
  • Don’t forget a camera to take photos of all these antics, especially if you need proof when telling some one what they did

only photo I have, this is Dachu’s concentration camp ruins

Have you been to the Oktoberfest in Germany?  Or other big Oktoberfests? Crazy adventures to share? Been to Dachau?

Enjoy the Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity

Apparently the original one is located in New York, and that’s the main one people said I had to go to. When I was looking around for “things to do” in Las Vegas, I came across a Serendipity there near Caesar’s. I had hoped to be able to go and enjoy a frozen hot chocolate. On the last day, a friend and I went walking around and got there for brunch. We walked up and gave our names to reservations. She took down my friend’s phone number and that became our pager when a table was ready for us. That was pretty neat. It allowed us to be able to walk through the stores at Caesars.

When we were seated, my friend decided to get one of their sandwiches. I went with a Banana Cream waffle. Both were quite large in size but very yummy.

Then we got the main treat. a Frozen Hot Chocolate. I assumed there was only one type, but they had a few different ones. Both of us decided on the Mint one. It tasted like liquid Andes chocolates. VERY YUMMY!!

Interesting enough they spell it as Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. And you can order to make and have some at home. Might just have to do that.

Have you been and had the frozen hot chocolate? Which Serendipity? 

 

 

How cool, an Ice Bar in Vegas

I read about an ice bar experience in a Vegas hotel a few years back. I knew whenever I went, I was going to track it down and go check it out. Last year was my first time in Las Vegas and I can say I had a blast. A number of people in a group I was with was interested in going too. The Mandalay Bay was just down the street from our hotel, so on one of the days there, a few of us went to the Minus 5 bar.

There were a few different packages to getting into the bar. Most of us chose the basic one (this includes a parka, gloves, and 2 drinks). If you want more drinks, you can open a tab. We had to put our purses, shoes, and all electronics (they said it was because of the cold) in a locker. When we were all ready, we walked in. First thing I thought of was that it was small. That actually makes sense because everything was ice, the walls, benches, tables, light fixtures, bar, and drinking glasses.

We all got a drink and hung out around a table for a little bit. A photographer came in and we took a couple of photos. Then an alcove in the back corner was open, so we sat down and chatted. One of the guys was from Indiana and took off his parka for a bit, he said the temp was about average at home. Not so for the rest of us, being all from Northern California (oh, and one from Oregon).One of the guys started stacking our cups and another guy decided to knock his into the tower. This made them crash and break. The photographer was back making the rounds and saw this occur. She gave the guy the “look” he shook his head and pointed to others, which made us all point to each other and she caught that moment on camera. It completely summed up the experience. I couldn’t have had a more fun group in there for this memory.I don’t remember what we all talked about, but we laughed so much and I guessed looked like we were having so much fun, that other people came over and joined us for a little bit. We finally decided to leave to get ready for dinner. Chipped in for the photo package and marked this off the list.

Have you been to an ice bar? thoughts? Would you go more then once?

 

Eat a Hot Tamale

This could be for eating the candy ~ Hot tamales

 

or for eating the dish. By definition a tamale is “A Mexican dish of seasoned meat wrapped in cornmeal dough and steamed or baked in corn husks”

tamaleI’ve enjoyed hot tamales wrapped in corn husks several times from the grocery store. In 2012, I was coming home from a trip and had a layover at an airport in El Salvador. While there I had my first experience of eating a tamale that had been wrapped in grape leaves. It didn’t taste all that different.

 

What are some different ways you have received and eaten a hot tamale?

Go Wine Tasting in Sonoma County, California

The first time went wine tasting in Sonoma County I think was in 2009. My family rented a house in the Russian River area for the weekend. This was a lot of fun because a number of them had been living in other parts of the country and so it was a big family gathering. While visiting, I went with one of my cousins and his girlfriend (at the time) to a few wineries.P1010199The only one I know is Hop Kiln because I got the name in a photo. There were two other places that were beautiful and had tasting rooms outside, but I’ve forgotten their names. Guess I’m just going to have to go back to match the photo to the place and re-taste the wine.P1010203What is neat about Hop Kiln is that the tasting room is in a California registered landmark.

This structure served the important hop industry of California’s north coast region, once the major hop-growing area in the west. Built in 1905 by a crew of Italian stonemasons, it represents the finest existing example of its type. The building consists of three stone kilns for drying hops and an attached wooden cooling barn with a two-story press for baling hops.

I definitely want to go back and explore more and taste more of the wineries. I would say that Sonoma, especially the Russian River area, is more pretty then Napa. But I would bet the prices for tastings are about the same.

Have you been to wineries in Sonoma, Russian River, or Napa? How was your experience?

Become Familiar With The Façade of Notre Dame de Paris

Before my college semester abroad studies began, we had the opportunity to go to a few other countries. (year 1998) One of the stops was Paris, France. I got to see several “things to see” while there. One of them being Notre Dame.Notre Dame Paris 1Unfortunately while I was there, they were working on the front of the cathedral.Notre Dame Paris 2I was able to walk in and take in the magnificence and feel of it all. There are plenty of times, I’ve walked into these old churches and just let it soak in. There really if a different feel to them then newer churches. I tend not to take many photos because it is more about the moment at that time then pretty settings. At the same time, how can you not take a photo? The craftsmanship and grandeur is something one won’t see again, unless you live there and go to the church for service.Notre Dame Paris 3Super glad that I got to see Notre Dame in person, and hopefully I can make it back to see the restored front. Also, need to finish reading that Victor Hugo novel someday.

Do you feel that difference in old churches?