Lincoln Memorial Shrine, Redlands Bowl & A.K. Smiley Public Library – Redlands

California’s Lincoln Memorial…and more! Lincoln Memorial Shrine, Redlands Bowl & A.K. Smiley Public Library – Redlands No score and three days ago, and dedicated to the proposition that all museums are created equal, I donned my stovepipe hat and traveled out to Redlands to check out the only museum west of the Mississippi River devoted to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War; The Lincoln Memorial Shrine.  Honestly!  While there, I discovered two additional architectural points of interest located within walking distance of the museum that also piqued my curiosity.  My kind of day! First the Lincoln Memorial Shrine.  Why Redlands?  I’m glad you asked, because it’s a rather fascinating story. Robert Watchorn grew up very poor in England, so poor that … Read more…

Wedge Salad with Pancetta and Maytag Blue Cheese Dressing

Maytag Is Back! Wedge Salad with Pancetta and Maytag Blue Cheese Dressing Long, long ago (before I even met Tom!), I was lucky enough to work with my friend, Gloria.  On Fridays, Gloria and I would lunch at a restaurant in Long Beach called Simon & Seaforts and we would almost always start with a salad with this rich and creamy Maytag Blue Cheese Dressing.  Although Simon & Seaforts no longer exists (at least not in Long Beach), I have the recipe card from the restaurant, and while the ingredient list is long, it is well worth the effort.  Simon & Seafort’s served it over romaine greens with toasted slivered almonds, but it is equally as scrumptious on an old … Read more…

South of Nick’s Mexican Kitchen + Bar – San Clemente, CA

Nick’s Strikes Again! South of Nick’s Mexican Kitchen + Bar – San Clemente, CA Visited: August 2017 Since Tracy and I had already visited and enjoyed Nick’s in Long Beach and Nick’s in Laguna Beach, we decided to head south of Nick’s to San Clemente.  We met our friends, Kim and Mary, who had driven up from San Diego on a gorgeous Sunday morning to yet another Nick’s Restaurant, this one appropriately named South of Nick’s Mexican Kitchen + Bar.  The restaurant is housed in a lovely Spanish building adjacent to Avenida Del Mar, which hosts the Sunday morning Farmer’s Market. It opens at 10 a.m., and we were there right when it opened. Hey, we were hungry! Walking inside, … Read more…

San Secondo d’Asti Catholic Church – Ontario & Madonna of the Trail – Upland

Accidental Treasures San Secondo d’Asti Catholic Church – Ontario & Madonna of the Trail – Upland Visited: August 2017 It all started innocently enough a few weeks ago while I was researching our 2018 trip to the Piemente region in Italy.  Specifically, I was looking at the town of Asti and one of its main attractions, the 13th century Saint Secondo Catholic Church, which is the oldest church in Asti. However, when I googled that Italian church, the town of Ontario, California, popped up. Of course, this piqued my curiosity. I immediately decided to delve deeper into this mystery that would eventually take me to a story that included the largest vineyard in California, a deadly train accident, a gorgeous … Read more…

Hot Hatch Chile Chicken Enchiladas Suizas

In Search Of The Perfect Chicken Enchilada Hot Hatch Chile Chicken Enchiladas Suizas What’s a girl to do when her husband brings home a haul of Extra Hot Hatch Green Chiles courtesy of the very generous Melissa’s Produce?  Roast them!  Tom was once again fortunate to be included in an event at Melissa’s Produce, this one featuring La Tortilla Factory.  Not only did Tom score the Hatches and get to taste scrumptious food, but he also brought home a bunch of La Tortilla Factory’s products, too. If you haven’t had an opportunity to taste La Tortilla Factory tortillas, you must hunt them down.  I love, love, love their Original Flour Tortillas in a quesadilla.  And the Hatch Chile 50/50 Corn … Read more…

Chapter Fourteen – Walking The Course at St. Andrews & A Bloody Mess At Heathrow

Fore and Forearm…Our Last Hours In Scotland Chapter Fourteen – Walking The Course at St. Andrews & A Bloody Mess At Heathrow DAYS FIFTEEN & SIXTEEN: Sneaking Into Church, Missing Links, Our Foursome’s All Here, Walking A Famous Bridge, A Cathedral In Ruins, Narrow Minded, Neuk Neuk Neuk, Saving Next Time For Bruce, Go Forth, South Dakota, Last Supper, Everything’s On Track, Don’t Sleep In The Subway and A Bloody Mess At Heathrow We woke up to blue skies in Falkland on our last full day in Scotland.                                                    While Kim and Mary collected our rental mobile, Tracy zipped around town taking a few photos of the village, which after last night’s heavy rain took on a new look. … Read more…

Chapter Thirteen – Dunnottar To Falkland: Witches, Outlander & Bad News

The End Is Near! Chapter Thirteen – Dunnottar To Falkland: Witches, Outlander & Bad News DAY FOURTEEN: The Tide Is Out, Glamorous Glamis, Something’s Brewing, Mums The Word, Costumes Party, Pass On The Scone, Peacock Paradise, It Doesn’t Look Like A War Was Fought Here, TV Hotel, Geez No Photos Again, Town Tour, Get In Out Of The Rain, Computer Glitch and We Better Take The Train After a delicious breakfast at Chapel of Barras, our first major stop was going to be Glamis Castle. Since it didn’t open until 11 a.m. we detoured to see the “charming” seaside town of Stonehaven.  Unfortunately the tide happened to be out (again!), so Stonehaven was not quite as charming as the photos … Read more…

Bestia – Los Angeles, CA

Very Good…But Not Quite The BestiaBestia – Los Angeles, CA After waiting nearly a year to secure reservations at Bestia located in the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles, Tracy, Susan and I arrived for dinner on a Monday evening at 5:45 p.m.  Yes, you read that correctly, it took us almost a year to score a relatively conveniently timed reservation…before 6 p.m….on a Monday night…on Fourth of July Eve.   And I thought getting Hamilton tickets was tough. Several of our friends had already been to Bestia, two of them waiting in line before the restaurant opened at 5 p.m., and another scoring a reservation during Dine L.A. Week.   Reservations open up three months in advance (and they … Read more…

Chapter Twelve – Elgin Cathedral To Dunnottar Castle: Our Day In Ruins

MaiTaiTom Gets The Royal Treatment…Two Weeks Exploring London and Scotland Chapter Twelve – Elgin Cathedral To Dunnottar Castle: Our Day In Ruins DAY THIRTEEN – Is That One Of The Avengers, “Lantern Of The North”, A Garden of Biblical Proportions, No Whisky For You, Too Early For A Picnic, Not Lichen This Road, A Governor Lived Here, How Many Steps To The Bottom?, Did I Lock The Car?, King For A Day, What Goes Down Must (Unfortunately) Come Up, Steer Clear, Catterline Cuisine and The Sun Begins To Set On Our Trip Walking through the corridor at the Newton, as I was about to enter the breakfast room, I spied a table with a cane and a bowler hat. I … Read more…

The TomTini…Citrus Vodka Martini Delight

Martini…With A Twist! The TomTini…Citrus Vodka Martini Delight In many of my trip reports or restaurant reviews, I mention ordering a TomTini on certain occasions. I have been asked by more than a few, “What is a TomTini?”  Well, it all started back in 2001 on a warm spring afternoon in Siena, Italy. Tracy and I (along with Kim and Mary) had just returned to our hotel after exploring the towns of San Gimignano and Volterra.  It has been a long day. Sensing a cold libation was in our future, we noticed that the bar area of the Palazzo Ravizza was open for four thirsty Americans. I ordered a martini, and a guy (who we later learned was a lawyer … Read more…