Tag Archives: Travel

Our Great Western Adventure ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #14 ~ Onward!

It’s eight o’clock in the morning and we’re already headed down the the road before us. We wanted to get a good head start to the day as we made our way towards the Badlands National Park.


I found it fascinating all the different colors of the rock formations. We stopped at one of the overlooks, walked up to the rail and here’s these two Big Horn Sheep, MAN! And the Prairie Dogs here, I’ve never seen so many in one place, and fat !   We had a picnic lunch at the Visitor’s Center and then motored on to…

Wall South Dakota

What, you’ve never heard of Wall Drug and the free ice water? It was a blast, I didn’t know that it was so big. We decided on a snack after walking and shopping.

Their doughnuts were outstanding, so were the pies, we tried our slice ala mode along with some free ice water, that’s what they’re known for.

our hotel in Wall South Dakota

We found our hotel, not that difficult, Wall South Dakota is not very big. We only stayed one night, so we made supper just a simple salad in our room and it was to bed early, so that we would be fresh for our next stop.

Happy Aloha Friday From…




Pineapples From Where?

The other day I took my bi-monthly trip to my favorite Green Grocer.  As I walked around the store deciding what all I wanted to buy, I could smell something familiar.  I turned a corner and there it was.

Gorgeous Pineapples












Pineapples from where?

But they’re from where?  “Product or Costa Rica/Mexico”.  It’s the Del Monte Gold Pineapple, really delicious; they cost how much?  $2.99 EACH!!!  WHAT?!

Very little Pineapple is still grown in Hawaii any longer, mainly due to the value of land.  Del Monte left the Pineapple business in Hawaii back in 2008, leaving only 2% of the World’s Pineapple production to Maui Land and Pine and Dole.  You can still take a box of Pineapples home to the Mainland (2-3 Pineapples per 10 pound box) for about $24.00.  Not exactly cheap, but at least you can enjoy a little piece of Aloha long after your vacation.  When we still lived in Kaneohe and would go to visit relatives on the mainland, I would order a box shipped ahead of us to our host family.  They were gobbled up in no time flat.

A HUI HOU! (Until we meet)

Eggs, Fresh From The Hens

While we were visiting with our dear friends in CHI-CHI-CHI-Chino Valley, once again Missus DF made sure that we went home with some of her uber  fresh eggs that her ‘girls’ had produced.

These are such beautiful organic eggs, not only on the outside, but look  at the shell on the inside too! And the yolks are such a deep golden, well, egg color… very much unlike the commercial eggs that we get at the megamart. The girls are some of the best fed chickens that I have ever met. My girlfriend orders this special feed for them and then they get the odd goodie from the kitchen, which they go crazy for.

Our favorite way to eat these gems from Northern Arizona is just as a simple scramble made with butter for the pan (sshhh, please don’t tell my husband, he claims to HATE butter, but loves the way that I prepare his eggs), a pinch of salt and some chives. Serve it all up on a warm plate with Rye toast (lightly toasted and dry please), cold smoked salmon and some tomatoes, oh and loads of freshly cracked black pepper on DH’s plate and then for myself, Trader Joe’s whole wheat Italian bread (Tuscan Pane), butter, yes more butter and a dollop of my homemade Meyer Lemon Marmalade




We’re home!

What a whirlwind Christmas season we’ve had! My darling husband and I went to the Carolinas to spend the school break with our two grand-nephews.

What a fantastic time!

We flew this time as opposed to driving from the middle of the desert to North Carolina, and that was a breeze on Southwest Airlines. We were fondly greeted with a group hug from the boys and their mom in the Raleigh-Durham airport; then whisked away for our 3 hour drive to Camp Lejeune, where our nephew is stationed (he’s deployed AGAIN somewhere in the Middle East, please support our troops). We decided to stop and have dinner somewhere along the way.

Tribeca Tavern.

On the table was: Fried Calamari, Nacho, `Burgers (for the boys), Bison Meatloaf, and Fish Tacos served with a Black-eyed Pea Salad.

`Scotch the Doggie

The boys had school the next morning, so we were greeted by `Scotch the Golden Retriever, our furry nephew. He became my DH’s fast and steady friend.

… this left the adults to find lunch for themselves at Smithfield’s Chicken `N Bar-B-QOH MY GRAVY ALL OVER MY TWO SCOOPS OF RICE  (that’s OMG in my world) MAN! That’s good eats. I wanted to get the full effect, so I ordered the ‘Combo Dark Platter’, which is comprised of two pieces of dake meat fried chicken, BBQ Pork, your choice of two sides (I got cole slaw and potato salad) and hush puppies. We went back a second time with the boys, it was that good. Different. They serve Eastern Carolina Q which is a vinegar based sauce and the potato salad was loaded with yellow mustard. The chicken was heaven!

We made several trips to the Commissary, what with two growing boys, and look what I found!

look what I found!

I got two jars of my beloved furikake that I can no longer find here in the middle of the desert, can you believe this?

our niece cooked for us every night that we were at their home

Someone cooked for me for a change. Our nephew’s wife, Liz, whom we refer to as our niece, served us many delicious meals, but I didn’t always have my camera handy. On this evening, it was tortellini with sausage, bacon, asparagus, grape tomatoes and fresh basil.

Now, no one can say that either my husband nor I aren’t kids anymore. The boys got rounded up most afternoons (mostly someone would knock on the front door and ask “can your Uncle come out to play”) for some kind of game … nerf gun warfare, touch football, basketball or my personal favorite: Silly String fight on the front lawn at midnight on New Years, in our PJs!

We took a ride over to Wilmington one day to do a little Christmas shopping. The boys insisted that we try their new favorite burger joint, which they claimed was better than Five GuysWHATCHU SAY?  NO WAY!

Um, well, I… yeah okay! Here’s why I like P.T.’s Olde Fashion Grille, BEER! I mean come on man, who over 21 years of age doesn’t want a cold beer with their cheeseburger and fries?

Our niece, Liz, received a new food processor as a gift from her in-laws and wanted to christen it by making homemade pizza, I’m game. It was wonderful!

a fabulous Christmas Dinner, thank you Liz!

After all of the presents had been opened, assembled and played with, we all sat down to fantastic Christmas meal of Rib Roast, and I didn’t have to cook, again! Great job Liz!

Wow, I’m getting pretty long winded, I think that I’ll continue our Christmas story in my next installment…


Wahoo, New Kicks!

DH and I spent the Christmas Season with our two grand-nephews and their mom. We had SO MUCH FUN!

We all exchanged gifts on Christmas morning, early. The boys got pretty much what they had on their lists, as for Uncle and I, we did too.

Those sweet and thoughtful things made up a Shutterfly photo book of their Spring Break vacation out in Arizona with us and new kicks for Auntie!

Auntie's new kicks

I also got Jack to ‘donate to the Auntie cause’ with a pair of rockin’ socks!

Thanks Jackson B!

I love it!

Thank you Liz, Jake, Jack and `Scotch

So Very Bittersweet


We have spent the last three weeks in the Carolinas with our two handsome grand-nephews and their beautiful mother.  We all watched a breath-taking sunset at the end of our visit with so many different colors; it seemed to symbolize so much to me.

Leaving them all to fly back to the middle of the desert was difficult.  Both my husband and I had a blast!

This was a Christmas vacation that will stay with us forever.

We miss you Liz, Jacob, Jack and puppy `Scotch…

Something Different To Take Home

Whenever DH and I travel, whether it’s across the country or the Pacific Ocean, I like to bring back different types of souvenirs. Last year from Hawaii, I brought back a Maki Sushi form so that we could make Cucumber Sushi the easier way. Now each time that I make it, I think about that trip.

Last week we were at the Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. There are no words in any language to describe it, you just have to go there and feel it, not just see it. I could easily have sat in one spot (preferable outside on the patio at the El Tovar with a glass of wine), and simply stared off into the abyss for a day. Our time at the Park was spent primarily on the Eastern side of the South Rim; we plain needed more than one day. At each of the different venues that we stopped to look at wares for sale, I was thinking of something different, but nothing struck me. Later that evening, while wondering around the small town of Williams where we were staying, our niece and I went into one of many cute shops along Historic Route 66, and there sat a bar in the middle of the trinkets. Interesting. A lovely woman offered us wine samplings from some of the local vineyards that she had. I chose a nice dry white wine and asked if there were glasses for sale as well. Why, yes, yes they did. NICE!

There’s my memento to take home! No one else in our party found theirs, unfortunately.


Taking The Weekend Off

It has been a whirlwind here in the middle of the desert. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED  having family stay with us, don’t get me wrong! We had so much fun, but it seems like we have had so much going on over the past few months. I think we need to slow down and smell the roses…

The World’s largest rose bush, located in Tombstone Arizona

The World’s largest rose bush, located in Tombstone Arizona

World's largest rose bushThe World’s largest rose bush, located in Tombstone Arizona



Dining Out In Williams Arizona

Sometimes when you’re on vacation with others, there needs to be compromises made when it comes to choosing a dining locale, that’s just a fact of life. On our trip to the Grand Canyon, our niece and I studied Tripadvisor.com for suggestions. We also walked around town, checked out the menus in the windows and chatted up some of the locals.

Red Raven in Williams Arizona

DH and I had been to Williams on a previous excursion with my husband’s brother and his wife, some years back. The four of us had enjoyed Red Raven on Historic Route 66. Dear Niece and I thought that there were enough different dishes to satisfy our gang.

We had originally been seated at a smallish table, but then were “upgraded” to a much larger and comfortable spot. Our drink orders were taken and two baskets of bread and garlic herb butter brought out. I had to stop myself from eating the entire basket.

Chicken Frittes at the Red Raven in Williams Arizona

DH requested an appetizer for the table, Chicken Frittes with marinara, which were chicken tenders in a nice Panko and Parm crust and lovely sauce for dipping. They were gone in no time, what with two young guys and their Uncle to help them. I did manage to get a snapshot and a taste. We have a few food allergies, so our five-top consisted of:

Penne with Prawns at the Red Raven in Wiiliams Arizona

Buttered Penne pasta with prawns

New York Srtip Steak at Red Raven in Williams Arizona

New York strip steak with roasted red potatoes and tempura style broccolini

Pork Cilantro at Red Raven in Williams Arizona

Pork Cilantro (fantastic cilantro pesto over char-broiled pork loin medallions) with southwest mashed potatoes, which we are still trying to figure out, and yes we did ask but nobody was talkin’

Ginger Beef Salad at Red Raven in Williams Arizona

Ginger Beef salad

Grilled Chicken Breast Salad at Red Raven in Williams Arizona

Grilled chicken breast salad

Everyone indulged me a photo (I did ask the back of house if it was okay with them) and they wasted no time in cleaning their plates. Our older nephew wasn’t crazy about the broccolini, so he handed that off to his brother and me, yum. I never thought to try that before, but I will now.

It was a nice supper, in a nice place, with very nice company