Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day...Remembering Dad

National Cemetery in Keokuk, Iowa

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Domaine de Puychene

Located in southern France, in the Languedoc-Rousillon wine area, is an absolutely wonderful place to stay.

Domaine de Puychene in Saint Nazaire d'Aude is relaxing and inviting.

More to come on this place...we'll be back.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

What Are You Drinking This Summer?

Did you know more people in France drink Rose than white least that's what I've read. There are good reasons for that.

Rose is an easily drinkable wine that's relatively inexpensive.

Typically, producers pick the grapes early to keep the acidity high and the alcohol level low. There is minimal contact with the skins, thus the rose color.

Rose is ready to drink now. While you're waiting for your Cab to spend its time maturing, you can drink Rose.

So...why not try some this summer? I am.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Check Please, Bay Area

BackDoor Bistro and Check Please, Bay Area...what a fantastic combination.

BackDoor Bistro is in Vacaville...a wonderful, small bistro and wine bar. Lindsey, the chef, features local ingredients, creating dishes with foods that are in season. Her wine list is varied and well thought out. We are lucky to have her and her restaurant here in Vacaville.

Check Please, Bay Area features three different restaurants each show. Regular people, not food critics, check out each other's restaurant and then get together to talk about them. I was fortunate to be one of those for one show.

This was the perfect opportunity to showcase BackDoor and to eat at two other wonderful restaurants. We had a blast filming and I can't wait to see the finished product.

This show airs for the first time on Thursday, May 26, at 7:30 pm. The repeats are Friday, May 27, at 8:30 pm, Saturday, May 28, at 12 pm, and Friday, June 24, at 8:30 pm.

You can also stream in after it airs at Just look for Check Please, Bay Area.

Let me know what you think.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Does Your Credit Card Company Know You're Traveling?

I've written before how you need to call your credit card companies and bank to let them know you'll be traveling. This is true for a trip across the US or one to Europe.

What happens if a charge is something your credit card company doesn't recognize? Do they call you? If so, do they have the right number to call? Does your phone work in Europe? Or, do they send a text which you won't receive until you're home?

Make sure you not only notify them, but that you leave the best contact information with them.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Check Please, Bay Area

Check out KQED, Channel 9, San Francisco on Thursday, May 26, at 7:30 pm.

I will be on the show, talking about the restaurant I recommended, Backdoor Bistro in Vacaville.

It repeats on Friday, May 27 at 8:30, Saturday, May 28 at 12 noon, and Friday, June 24 at 8:30 pm.

This was so much fun. Everyone was terrific and I had a blast.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sagrada Familia

This is a preview of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona...more to follow.

Stay won't believe the inside.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Guell Park, Barcelona

Park Güell was commissioned by Eusebi Güell who wanted to create a stylish park for Barcelona aristocracy. Check out the famous Gaudi dragon fountain, all done in colored tile, at the entrance.

Meander through the walkway, supported by twisting rock pillars that appear to be growing right out of the ground. Gaudi used nature in his works and it is evident here.

At the top of the park is a terraced area where you can view the entire park and Barcelona. Take some time to sit on one of the many vibrant, multi-colored tiled mosaic seats. They look hard and not very comfortable. But, the way they are constructed provides a delightful seat with just the right amount of back support.  

The park was built between 1900 and 1914 and officially opened as a public park in 1926. Guell and Gaudi wanted this park within the entire park to be for the group of homes surrounding it.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

To Lock or Not to Lock

Does your cell phone have a password or it is locked?

When traveling, it would be a good idea to have your phone protected with a password so someone else can't use it.

Log out of all apps and stay away from unusual sites. You might want to think about not using public Wi-Fi spots.

What do you do?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Some travel experts suggest changing passwords after a trip. Why? If you've used sites or an ATM where you used a password, you could be subject to identity issues.

If you like the password you have for your ATM for instance, change it before you go to something you can remember. Then, change it back to your favorite when you return home.

I've never done this. How about you?

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Stop the Mail!

If you are planning on being gone for an extended trip...longer than a day...what do you do about your mail or your newspapers?

If you have a house sitter, the problem is solved.

But, if you don't have someone staying in your house or don't have a neighbor picking up your paper and mail, what do you do? It would be a good idea to stop both the mail delivery and the paper delivery.

That way, no one can see the pile of newspapers in your driveway and figure you're not at home.

Visit to use its Hold Mail Service. They'll hold your mail for a minimum of three days and a maximum of 30 consecutive days.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Will it Rain?

Before leaving, before packing for your trip, do you check the weather at your destination?

You can check it a week or so prior and then again the day before. Will it be exactly as the forecast? Probably not...but at least you'll have some idea of what to pack.

Then, pack accordingly. You can almost always pick up an umbrella from a street vendor in case of unexpected showers. If you plan to dress in layers, you'll probably be ready for most weather changes.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Did You Pay Your Bills?

If you're going to be gone for an extended period of time, you'll probably have bills that come due during that time.

You could make advance payments before you leave. Check the due dates and schedule or make those payments in advance.

Monday, May 2, 2016

How Much?

Before traveling, check your wallet. It's a good idea to have cash so you don't have to use an ATM right away. Avoid those ATM fees, if you can.

And, if you've made that trip to the ATM, you probably received $20 bills. This is great...until you want to leave a tip for the taxi driver, the maid, or the doorman.

Make sure you have some smaller bills as well.