Archive for ‘Americas’

July 19, 2019

Restaurants of Mexico!!!

Ok so even if have written on many in my trips to pretty Mexico in previous posts, I like to highlight some of the memorable moments there going to eat out. Food is very important there and one of the best in the world, and I have enjoyed it all the time. Lucky to been able to visit often in the last 20 years and last on oct 2018.

Do not know when life instances will take me back to the land of the Aztecs but the memories will lingered forever. Not only good friends but family too there. Now for the souvenirs of my visits here are the nostalgics restaurants I visited in Mexico lindo y querido!

I will start with the Bistro 77 at Calle Samartin 77, Tepatitlan de Morelos, Jalisco State about 70 km from the  state capital Guadalajara on the M80 road.

I was introduced to this wonderful spot  by local friends on a business trip that was memorable for the good food and good friendship that have lasted and will continue. At this this little restaurant in an old home I had wonderful Pulpo(octopus)  beers and pizzas with Mexican hot chili, great TV screens and wonderful friendly service. Its situated in the heart of the town, just one block up from the main plaza.  It has been made into a restaurant, a former old house. No much done to the building itself.. The food is simple, but delicious, pizzas, sandwiches and traditional Mexican additions. Great selection of beers and some wines.

More info on Bistro 77 here: Official Bistro 77 restaurant

Official Tepatitlan de Morelos on restaurants and Bistro 77

Tepatitlan de morelos

While repeating at this wonderful town of Tepatitlan de Morelos , I was introduce to the restaurant Don Kamaron.  The sport TV all over, the friendly service, good food, good company was all it took; I came back always to eat here!!! It is at Dr. J. Ricardo Alcala Iñiguez 284, Alameda. Tepatitlán de Morelos Telephone +52 378 715 5140 .

The kitchen and service in this restaurant is very nicel. There is Mexican food, fish dishes and traditional style The food was delicious and we were able to taste many seafood platters. One of their dishes, camarones endiablada or sort of devilish shrimps was very spicy and very hot! Be careful but very good!. With all its desserts and strong spirits, beer, etc. The food was quite affordable. We will then visit Don K no doubt next time we go to Tepatitlan.

More info on Yelp on Don K restoYelp reviews on Don K restaurant in Tepatitlan

tepatitlan de morelos

Going down to Quintana Roo had lunch as well in Las Tortugas resto in Calderitas just next to Bacalar, along the Bay of Chetumal, wonderful fresh fried fish, fries, sweet bananas, yellow rice, and beers Modelo Especial, nice.

I was really comfortable and ate very goood here, before the dishes arrived , I was toasted a snack that included the region’s specialty black beans with totopos and a ceviche, as attractive is one sitting by the sea with its incredible view by its colors, highly recommended.

More info here: http://www.guiacalderitas.com/restaurants/restaurant_12.html

Calderitas

Back in the capital city of Mexico DF , I had gone to the Wing’s Army bar on Insurgentes Sur to see the football/soccer matches, with always a great ambiance ;nice and plenty of good Miller High Life beers by the liter which have been a long time not drank again, this was neat and the Army hamburger was great with good company ;I later came back in the week and it was equally as good. Therefore is my stop for a sport game and beers while in DF.

mexico

This is a chain all over Mexico, the official webpage is here: Official Wing’s Army Mexico

Yelp reviews on the Wing’s Army on insurgentes sur

mexico

mexico

El Paisa, is a more rustic restaurant in a working class area with a nice second floor terrace, a very nice welcome with lots of Mexicans families there; nice ambiance and great conversation with many. The area is nice around a corner, and serve in the terrace in the back upper level. One of the places to go when you know the area and want to get away from tourists. Here we had more goodies of the Mexican cuisine such as the alambre with meat and cheese melted sort like a pizza but chewy and yummy, Pacifico beers and coffee expresso, first we had some chicharones and all good.

The place is typical of the basic restaurant and the food is simple and awesome. You can also order Tepache, a fermented drink made with pineapple peels and zest. Actually very good. All in all, the food was excellent and I would recommend anyone to go there to try the real local food.  More info here: Yelp reviews on El Paisa of Mexico DF

mexico

Puerto Làpice, here it was the filete tampiqueño (Tampico) real beef that was the plate with Mexican wine Chateau Domecq. It’s a place where some old Spanish dishes can be had as well. Located at Poniente 128 647 ,Azcapotzalco, corner of Norte 45 ,in a working class area near the Vallejos industrial park.

Whether for a business lunch, with couples, friends or family, the Puerto Lápice restaurant presents in its menu the most traditional dishes of Spain, all, seeking to satisfy the desire for tasty food at a good cost and in an area where   you’ll not find a lot of quality restaurants. More info here: Chilango review site on Puerto Lapice

mexico

mexico

This is a meat heavens place in Mexico city for a change. Cambalache, an Argentine jewel small but all kinds of cuts beef that is, at Insurgentes Sur 1384. If you’re looking for meat, and good meat, Cambalache is your place.

Cambalecbe is a private chain more info here! Official Cambaleche restaurant on Insurgentes Sur

Yelp reviews on Chambaleche resto on Insurgentes sur

Mexico

And last but not least, I need to tell you about a special experience in Zona Rosa a populat vibrant area that I have stayed most of the times in Mexico city. I had repeated good experiences at the steakhouse Angus Butcher House, Copenhage 31 , steaks are big, beers are cold, and the ladies are all beautiful !

mexico

The Angus restaurant was founded at Zona Rosa in February 1977. This restaurant provides an innovative option for Mexico. They are the pioneers in the introduction of beef imported from U.S.D.A. Choice and Certified ANGUS ® Beef on demand. Moreover, they were the pioneers in introducing the concept of Hostess in Mexico, which is about a host or waitress, usually good looking women, who will assist diners from the beginning to the end of the evening.   The restaurant design is based on the culture of New Mexico, with details and paintings by the most prominent artists of American West Art. More info here: Official Angus restaurant on Zona Rosa

Yelp reviews on Angus Butcher Restaurant Zona Rosa

Mexico

And there you go another round of wonderful times, friends galore, and great food in pretty Mexico. You will do well to visit these in your next trip in the country. Hope you enjoyed the post and buen provecho!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

July 18, 2019

Restaurant: Brazil!!

So here I continue my saga of my memorable restaurants in my travels amongst many. This time I take you to lively Brazil and three different cities and restaurants. Hope you enjoy them as I did

Taverna do Chef Nico Rua Pardais, 490 – Jardim Italia, Vinhedo, State of Sao Paulo.  We eat very well!! The atmosphere was nice. ! The waiters were nice. ! A great selection of excellent Italian meals!! Very good wine . There is a large table of good choices of salads, hot dishes, grilled meats. The story of the memorable moment is that I was visiting the city and had a friend there who was welcoming his daughter’s in laws so I was left to walk around alone at first. Feeling hungry and knowing the language decided to take a walk a spot one place to eat. There I came across this lively place and some it seems known regular customers so I settled in to eat. Later I told my friend what I did, and he weeks later decided to bring a group of local friends here as he had never been! And it turn out the friends agree it was a great place to eat. So I told my friend if need to know where to eat in his town to call me jejejeje!!! I still joke about it with him lol!!!

Vinhedo

In total, the tavern menu contains 50 dishes between antipastas , pasta, risotos, meats and fish. It is one of 60 Brazilian restaurants with the Ospitalità Italiana label granted by Unioncamere (Chamber of Commerce of Italy). The certification is granted to establishments with 70% of the wine list composed of Italian labels, which use Italian raw material, have Italian ambient music, decoration that refer to Italy, at least one official who speaks Italian fluently and Italian-Name dishes. Recipes prepared by the matriarch of the family of Angeli.

Nicoló Ferdico was born and studied in Palermo. He traveled to Italy from north to south and specialized in Mediterranean cuisine. The chef also commanded kitchens in the United States, where he lived for a few years. Its restaurant, the Taverna of Chef Nico, in Vinhedo , State of Sao Paulo, is one of the 60 restaurants with the seal Ospitalità Italiana of Brazil, and it’s also accredited by FIC – Brazil (Italian Federation of Cuochi) .

They have a page in Facebook here: Taverna do chef Nico in Vinhedo

vinhedo

Churrasqueria Estancia Grill, Avenida Albino Jose Barbosa de Oliveira 271 Jardim Santa Genebra II, Campinas, State of Sao Paulo.

The story here was that coming over I was to meet an old friend who had invited me to eat here. I was with another couple of local friends and they tag alone. Well so happened my old friend knew them as they were in the same line of business!! Needless to say the conversation was lively and technical afterward many caïpirinhas!

The Churrasqueria or steakhouse with the best Rodizio of Baron Geraldo, with the best choice of noble meats. Complete Rodizio with Buffet at will! Hot table, cold table and salads, pasta table, Sushi and Sashimi, Experience their Picanha steaks, that painted on the Ember, and the most succulent Lamb of Baron! And on Sundays, come and taste the salmon in the caper sauce. The staff were very friendly and helpful. The buffet also includes freshly made pasta dishes and other hot dishes. Price of the Rodizio on weekdays, 35.50 BRL, lunch or dinner and 45.50 BRL for the weekend.

Official webpage of Estancia Grill Campinas

Campinas

Pinga Com Torresmo , Avenida Princesa do sul 29 A, Varginha, State of Minas Gerais.  Varginha is a municipality in southwest Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Varginha stands out as one of the major centers of commerce and coffee production in Brazil and the world

varghina

The memorable story here was that was taken to Café Com Pinga by a local friend to a place specialising in Pinga been a rum alcohol base drink similar to Cachaça but cheaper. It is another term for it a bit cheaper. And the place was great with pork ribs, fry fish, and great Itaipava premium beers. The views over the city as the night fell was fantastic and live music playing oldies but goodies was a king size top off to a wonderful night . I should be back here::)

varghina

varghina

A bit of explanation to some Latin American readers as the Portuguese word can be dirty. But is not the thing I can assure you ::)

Cold beer and good bar food with live music on Fridays. No doubt, the best bar of Varginha! Service note 10 and the wonderful menu!!! All done with excellence… Cozy atmosphere, perfect! That’s a restaurant where you can go and try every food on the menu.  I have done twice since 2015  and food still the same as first time. If you want to eat really good food and drink the best Caipi in the State of Minas Gerais you should considered going there. Really good food and services!!!!

They have a Facebook page here: Facebook page of Café com Pinga or Torresmo

varghina

And there you go , some happy memorable moments in lovely Brazil. Always waiting to be back and see these again in Vinhedo, Campinas, and Varighina!!! Enjoy restaurants in Brazil!

And remember, happy travels, good health and many cheers to all!!!

July 11, 2019

Las Olas, beaches, Ft Lauderdale!

Ok so lets get back to the fun youthful days and my time in Florida (18 years strong!) . We were west of I75 expressway and we enjoyed a lot coming to the beaches especially in Ft Lauderdale that were straight east of us.

Again, I have written some posts on the city but felled in debt to do one on the beaches of Ft Lauderdale so here it is ,hope you enjoy it as we did.

fort lauderdale

 Las Olas Beach, has a small stretch of sand that attracts beachgoers of all ages. It is a smaller beach right of the chic Las Olas blvd and so beach amenities are not as plentiful as those offered at the bigger  and equally nice Fort Lauderdale Beach Park. However, visitors have access to beach chair and water sports equipment rentals, restrooms and metered parking. Restaurants, bars and shops are also available across the street. Just do not come during college Spring Break time as it gets rowdy and crowded otherwise is a great place to be at the beach.

fort lauderdale

The transportation to the beaches here is king Car but there are nice public transports from the city to the beach and back. The local bus lines 11 and 40 will do the trick. Here is their schedules in Broward county (where Ft Lauderdale is located).

fort lauderdale

The particular buses that comes to the beach are the No. 11 or 40 bus, see their schedules here: http://www.broward.org/BCT/Schedules/Pages/default.aspx

Another option is to take Sun Trolley’s Las Olas sort of like a little train on wheels : https://www.suntrolley.com/routes-schedules-fares/beach-las-olas/

Or the wonderful Water Taxi: https://watertaxi.com/

In the same venue of beaches , if you’re looking for more out of your beach day head over to Fort Lauderdale Beach Park just south of Las Olas blvd. At the bigger Ft Lauderdale Beach you’ll find a calmer and less chaotic version of other well known beaches in Florida, but with the same sugary sands and crystal clear water. There ,you’re more likely to find families relaxing or leisurely walking the waterline . Backing the shoreline, the palm tree-lined promenade bustles with visitors looking to shop and dine in the many establishments along it. All  just south of the wonderful Bahia Mar Resort, at 1100 Seabreeze Boulevard, this picturesque park has everything you need to maximize your fun in the sun time, from sand volleyball courts to a boat ramp to outdoor showers. There are grills for cooking, a basketball court if you get bored with the sand and a kid’s playground to keep the little ones busy. Park Facilities and Amenities available daily from 06h ( 6 a.m.)  to 21h (9 p.m.) include: Boat Ramp – non-motorized, Grills and Picnic Tables, Outdoor Showers, Restrooms,  Basketball Full Court, Children’s Playground, and a Volleyball Court. The above Broward bus schedule look for No 40 that takes you here. More info from the city of Fl Lauderdale here: City of Ft Lauderdale on the beach park

fort lauderdale

Here you will see closed by the Bonnet House , this came to be when in 1919, a wealthy settler gave the 35-acre property (named after the bonnet lily flower that grew on the grounds) as a wedding gift to his daughter . In 1920, began construction of Bonnet House, and later was donated to the city now open to all to marvel at its gardens and architecture along the beach! More info here: https://www.bonnethouse.org/

You will have another memorable spot for us there and lots of walks indeed in the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park located a few blocks north of the above Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. The park is position between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean makes it a fun locale for all types of folks. Those looking to get a little wet can canoe or kayak in the largest of the park’s coastal dune lakes. Adventurers who want to get their adrenaline pumping can bike along the nearly 2-mile paved park drive. Meanwhile, visitors who prefer to explore by foot can hike the Coastal Hammock Trail, which snakes through a native maritime tropical hardwood hammock ecosystem, one of the last of its kind in the county.(marvellous indeed!). More info here: https://www.floridastateparks.org/HughTaylorBirch

The Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea welcomes visitors to enjoy its beautiful beach, multitude of sidewalk cafes, frequent live music and enticing public plazas, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is widely acknowledged to be the South Florida shore diving capital. Snorkelers and divers come from all over to swim from the beach to reefs alive with tropical fish, turtles and even lobsters. And the Sun Trolley Las Olas can take you here too! You are worth coming up to El Prado Park( at 4501 N. Ocean Dr.) , this is the town’s most popular beachfront park and parking facilities just across at El Mar Drive (st)

And to close out let me tell you a bit on my fav Las Olas Blvd. A very chic place in So Florida which fame has relegated behind the more famous SoBe in Miami-Dade county. However, for my tastes this is more private, cosy, and chic a family event. Therefore, let me show you a bit of Las Olas Blvd, Ft Lauderdale, Florida, USA!

fort lauderdale

Las Olas Boulevard  runs from Andrews Avenue in the Central Business District (downtown/city center)  to A1A (road along the beachfront) and Fort Lauderdale Beach. The easternmost section of the boulevard is interlaced with canals and waterfront homes. The commercial stretch, approximately 1-mile (1.6 km) or the Golden Mile ::)  in length, features cool sub-tropical breezeways and courtyards with bars, nightclubs, bridal stores, shops, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and the historically nice  Riverside Hotel. https://www.riversidehotel.com/

fort lauderdale

The name “Las Olas” means the waves in Spanish. All but the westernmost fourteen blocks are also signed as State Road 842 (SR-842) . Las Olas has its own historic house, a nearby IMAX cinema and movie theater within a short walk. Las Olas Boulevard can be accessed by the water taxi. The boulevard is a popular dining and shopping destination for locals and visitors as it is situated close to Fort Lauderdale beach, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades. (cruise ship terminal), and has a wonderful arts museum such as http://www.moaflnsu.org/

The boulevard was constructed in 1917, when Las Olas was just a dirt road that crossed the swampy wetlands to the barrier island at Fort Lauderdale Beach. The boulevard begins at the famous Elbo Room bar where the beach meets the boulevard and ends in the west at the Arts Museum.  A few of the most notable who lived here are: Johnny Weissmuller, actor who played Tarzan and invented the signature yell. Wayne Huizenga, CEO of Waste Management, Inc, Blockbuster Video and AutoNation. Connie Francis, actress and movie star who was featured in the movie, Where the Boys Are which was filmed on Las Olas Blvd at the famed Elbo Room. Lee Majors, actor who played The Six Million Dollar Man and former husband to Farrah Fawcett. Sonny and Cher, singers and actors. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, television and movie stars. Stars of I Love Lucy fame. Gloria Vanderbilt, designer and socialite. Frank and Ivy Stranahan, founding pioneers of Fort Lauderdale and the first residents of Las Olas Boulevard. Their trading post Stranahan House is located between the boulevard and New River. More info on the house: Official Stranahan House

Official Tourist office of Florida on shopping at Las Olas blvd

fort lauderdale

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here and is a must when in Florida are

Official webpage of Las Olas Boulevard

Official tourist office of Ft Lauderdal, SUNNY

Official tourist office of Florida on Ft Lauderdale

This is a wonderful art festival on its 32nd edition! and has grown very nice right at Las Olas well recommended. Art Festival of Las Olas blvd

And there you go , a nice hommage to my last home in the USA. There were very nice 18 yrs in Florida and before that 13 yrs in New Jersey. Memories forever, as do not think will ever go back as France is awesome too, but the visits yes, and the memories forever, after all was married and my 3 boys were born in Florida! Enjoy Fort Lauderdale!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

 

 

July 11, 2019

St Augustine, Florida!

So looking back into my blog I sadly realised have not written a post on the city of St Augustine, Florida! It is a shock to me as used to lived for many years just 55 minutes from it and went there even for lunch/dinner, played soccer/football, and just plain sightseeing first with my parents and later with wife and kids. Oh well busy traveling and writing elsewhere and you tend to forget what you had next door lol! Time to remedy that even if photos are scarce on a period where my youthful hormone did not allow for picture taking lol!!! Bear with me please.

St. Augustine is a Florida town in the southeastern United States on the Atlantic coast. This is the county seat of Saint Johns. about 60 km (37 mi) from Jacksonville and 90 km ( 56mi) from Daytona Beach. Today, Saint Augustine is one of Florida’s most popular destinations.

It is considered the docking place of the first European explorer and the oldest city in the United States, following the Spanish maritime explorations of the 16C, the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, arrive on the future territory of the United States, on March 27, 1513, as well as more widely on the American continent proper (Columbus and Cabot in the previous century had only landed on islands). Founded by the Spaniards on September 8, 1565, under the leadership of Admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, the city is also the oldest establishment of European origin that has remained continuously occupied on the continental United States!

The French tried in vain to come here! The French explorer Jean Ribault, on April 30, 1562, was commissioned by Admiral Coligny and recognized the coast of Florida. He then went north to the St Johns River near Jacksonville. There was raised a column with the arms of Queen Catherine. Further north, Ribault settled on Parris Island by building a home he named Charles fort in honor of King Charles IX. In response, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés came to expel the French from these lands in the name of the King of Spain.

In 1565, during a second French attempt to colonize Florida, Laudonnière took the lead of an expedition of 300 persons. There they built Fort Caroline on the shore of the St. Johns River, which, justifiably, can be considered the origins of Jacksonville (name after American General Andrew Jackson and later President of the USA) . The resumption of the place by the Spaniards ended the war between France and Spain for the control of Florida. It was during this year that the final settlement of the Spanish in Saint Augustine began ,after been massacred by the Spanish in a great battle Fort Matanzas (massacre in spanish).

The Treaty of Paris (1763) ended the Seven Years ‘ War and altered considerably the map of the North American colonies: Spain must cede Florida to the English in exchange for Cuba. The Treaty of Paris (1783) gave Florida back to Spain, without specifying its borders. The United States wants the old pre-1767 limit to be resumed. The Treaty of San Lorenzo ratified this choice in 1795. Florida was ceded to the United States by the Adams-Onís Treaty, signed in 1819, and formed a territory in 1822. The capital is located in Tallahassee, halfway between Saint Augustine and Pensacola. On March 3, 1845, Florida became the 27th state of the United States.

It has wonderful beaches we enjoyed at St Augustine Beach and Anastacia Island. Briefly , vehicles are permitted on  St. Augustine Beach  within designated areas. However, access may be limited dependent on weather, sand, or tides. Traffic is regulated and a ten mile per hour speed limit is strictly enforced.   St. Augustine Beach is located on Anastasia Island where you can enjoy white sand beaches, the St. Johns County Pier, a playground, pavilion, fishing pier, volleyball courts, bait shops, fine restaurants, shopping and more. RV and cabin camping areas are located nearby.  Location: Old A1A Beach Boulevard south of State Road 312 at the St. Johns County Pier, less than five minutes from downtown/city center St. Augustine.  Anastasia State Recreation Park is a protected bird sanctuary and consists of 1,700-acres and five miles of beautiful, sandy beaches. It features swimming, lifeguards, a bath house, hiking, nature trails, a boat ramp, fishing, a volleyball court, beach equipment rentals such as umbrellas and beach chairs, canoes, nature trails, grills and picnic areas, concessions, a covered pavilion, gift shops, playgrounds, and camping. Vehicles are prohibited from driving on the beach in this area.  Location: 1340 A1A South between the St. Augustine Lighthouse and the Surf Station approximately one mile from the Bridge of Lions on Anastasia Island.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are

City of St Augustine on heritage

Tourist office of St Augustine Ponte Vedra on things to see

Tourist office of St Augustine

Tourist office of Florida on St Augustine

There is a huge amount of things to see in St Augustine and even my favorite over those years are many so will condense as much as possible. My favorites were/are:

Colonial quarter St Augustine , 33 St George St Historic District: Visitors can experience three centuries of St. Augustine’s vivid history through interactive activities and more at the Colonial Quarter.

St Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum , 12 S Castillo Drive Historic District: Explore the world’s largest collection of authentic pirate artifacts in a city that has seen its share of pirates.

Fountain of Youth Archeological Park , 11 Magnolia Avenue Historic District: The Fountain of Youth gives visitors a chance to experience history at this important archaeological site and to drink from the famous springs.

St Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum , 100 Red Cox Road Anastasia Island: Climb 219 steps to the top for breathtaking views of the nation’s oldest city and the Atlantic Ocean.

Oldest Wooden School House 14 St. George Street Historic District : Take a lesson from the Oldest Wooden School House in the country, complete with replica displays and museum on the inside!

Oldest House Museum  14 St. Francis Street: The Oldest House Museum Complex offers guided tours, two museums, a colonial kitchen, ornamental garden and museum store to its visitors.

Oldest Store Museum 167 San Marco Ave.: Step back in time and explore the “modern” wonders of an early 20th century general store.

Ripley’s Red Train Tours  19 San Marco Avenue Historic District:  our the nation’s oldest city and learn its fascinating history while hopping on and off at various attractions, restaurants, and more with Ripley’s Sightseeing Trains.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum  19 San Marco Avenue Historic District: Amazing exhibits and unbelievable artifacts from around the globe make Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! a one-of-a-kind experience.

Mission of Nombre de Dios & Shrine 27 Ocean Avenue : Founding Church mission in St Augustine Walk the scenic grounds dating back to the city’s founding. Discover the role of Christianity in Florida at the Mission Museum. https://missionandshrine.org/

Father O’Reilly House Museum  32 Aviles Street:  Built during the first Spanish Period, the Father O’Reilly House Museum is one of the oldest structures in St. Augustine.

Marineland  Dolphin Adventure: Discover the oceanfront playground that has delighted visitors since 1938. https://marineland.net/

Ximenez-Fatio House Museum 20 Aviles Street Historic District: Welcome to 1800s St. Augustine with a fascinating tour of this beautifully restored colonial house and museum.

Villa Zorayda Museum 83 King Street Historic District: The Villa Zorayda was built in the late 19C to replicate a portion of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain.

Potter’s Wax Museum 31 Orange Street Historic District: The whole family can enjoy interacting with famous figures from history as well as modern movie stars and more at Potter’s Wax Museum in St. Augustine.

Lightner Museum 75 King Street Historic District: Enjoy the atmosphere and artwork of another age at this elegant Museum, formerly the Alcazar Hotel.

San Sebastian Winery  157 King Street Historic District: Come by for a free wine tasting and fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of how wine is made.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine 38 Cathedral Place: America’s first parish and the oldest Catholic Church in the city. Explore this exquisite building and view the Spanish-inspired architecture. Official First Parish on the Cathedral

St Augustine

St Augustine

Flagler College 74 King St.: (played football/soccer against them!) Flagler College built in 1884  is a unique combination of the past and present, and an architectural icon of the city of St. Augustine.

st augustine

Fort Matanzas  8635 A1A South (along the bay next to the Bridge of Lions) This park and historic site offers a glimpse into history as well as scenic trails and shoreside access for fishing and collecting shells. Fort Matanzas

Castillo de San Marcos  1 South Castillo Drive: The oldest masonry fort in the continental U.S. and a National Monument, the Castillo is the focal point of historical St. Augustine. https://www.nps.gov/casa/index.htm

Government House 48 King Street: Located on the Plaza de la Constitucion, the Government House site has served colonial governors in St. Augustine for centuries.

Old Jail 167 San Marco Ave.:  Home of St. Augustine’s most violent criminals from 1891–1953.

Peña-Peck House 143 St. George Street: The Peña-Peck House is a historic house that offers guided tours to visitors and locals.

Pirate & Treasure Museum  12 S Castillo Drive: Explore the world’s largest collection of authentic pirate artifacts in a city that has seen its share of pirates.

Spanish Military Hospital Museum 3 Aviles Street: This museum offers an intriguing look into colonial medicine and early settlement life in St. Augustine, Florida.

St. Augustine Alligator Farm 999 Anastasia Blvd: See wild reptiles, lemurs, Komodo dragons and toucans at the only place in the world to see all 24 species of crocodilians. https://www.alligatorfarm.com/

St. Augustine Aquarium 2045 State Road 16: This family-friendly aquarium offers exciting encounters with a variety of marine life. https://www.saaquarium.com/

St. Augustine Distillery  112 Riberia Street: Explore St. Augustine’s first legal distillery since Prohibition and sample some of the award-winning spirits being crafted there. http://staugustinedistillery.com/

Whetstone Chocolates  149 King Street: Take a chocolate tour at this classic St. Augustine chocolatier, which offers a sweet look behind the candy-making process. http://www.whetstonechocolates.com/

This is a must when visiting FLorida even if most go down to S Florida, the Central North section is awesome. Enjoy St Augustine, and again sorry for the pictures, but feld a must to tell about it in my blog.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

June 15, 2019

Havana, La Habana, a beautiful postcard of vintage beauty,my Habana!

Ok so I would have like to reblog this post but could not do it so will just copy paste and reproduce here my post from February 2012. This is my Habana and would like to share it with my new readers as well as the old .Enjoy it!

Well sometimes surprises in life do happenned, and lucky me from work  I needed to go to Havana, Cuba. A whimsical place of many years and family memories, I was born there but left too young as a boy, came back once to see my grandparents who raised me, and now back again. What a change, what a shock full of wonderful memories and honest, too good people, humble ,nice, friendly, like been back into the family again.

This is La Habana Havana or the complete real name San Cristobal de la Habana; St Christopher the Saint in honor of Christopher Columbus and the indian taino word Habana meaning a savannah between two rivers the Cojimar (of Ernest Hemingway fame) and Almendares,(the best baseball team on the island,and my family’s team).

Upon arrival I had my cousin, husband there to greet me, but as in official company trip ,had a very nice friendly Cuban name Pedro Luis, who took me to the Casa Particular of his father Rogelio in the district of Playa, old Miramar, near the hotels Melia Habana,Commodore,Panoramico, and the Miramar Business Center. The house was built in 1923, and wonderfully renovated, huge bedroom,and bathroom with AC and TV, telephone on the hallways,central to all. The service was very friendly, the owner Rogelio chatted with me every morning for the ritual Cuban coffee expresso, strong and black and sweet!!! You and I were set for the day lol! His son Pedro Luis always in contact with me will come to pick me up for the business and took me around Havana for eateries and sightseeing a bit. Every night upon my return, the security person already knew me by name and hand me the key to the room!

I went to the wonderful Malecon, Plaza Vieja, Church of St Francisco de Asisi, saw the statue to the Caballero de Paris, gentleman of Paris a beggar who knew like Enstein and told wonderful stories to passerbyers from the 1950’s. We went by the bourse of commerce or Longia; and of course, we sip a daiquiri at Floridita Bar,(in 1957 Esquire magazine name it the best bar in the world!). We went inside the hotel Nacional, and walks it historical alleys and patio with its Aguiar canons, magical.

havana

havana

havana

havana

I saw my Morro castle, and the excavations of the Zanja Real or royal sewers now open and shown above ground to tourists.  Coming by grand Miramar on my way to visit my old native place, I saw the clock tower on 5th avenue of Miramar, the Palacio de Convenciones, and the wonderful old houses now occupy by foreign embassies.

havana

havana

havana

Foremost, wandering the streets of Havana, and Playa(Miramar),and Punta Brava took many memories of me, exciting and sad ,curious and forgetful; did not wanted to pass by the house I was born, too many strong memories,and better enjoy the sights tourists see. I am now a tourist in La Habana.

punta brava

We had lunch at El Bosque inside the hotel Melia Habana, Avenida  3rd. between  76 and 80 streets, Miramar , the Spanish chain of hotels have done a wonderful job here, by far the best in Havana. We ,also,, had our meetings there in the 9th floor breakfast business center with wonderful views of Havana.  I had lunch with the family at a parador private folks have at Parrillada 84  y 15, Playa, all done by charcoal, with my Aunt and cousins. The highlight was at El Palenque, near pabexpo Cuba, wonderful typical Cuban place and food, very nice lechon or pork with yucca,moro (blackened rice), and the local Cristal beer, address at Calle 17 & Calle 190 , Playa, La Habana  . In Havana we ate at Factoria Plaza Vieja, at Plaza Vieja, terrace outfit with shrimps and lobsters,pork,and chicken grilled platters. All very cheap compare to Europe.

havana

havana

havana

For a nostalgic trip we passed by El Potin resto, my Mom Gladys used to take me here as a little boy, just a sandwich and light platters place and ice cream,juice and soda drinks, still there!!! and it looks nice after 43 years!!!! Inspired by French immigrants! at Línea corner of Paseo, Vedado section of La Habana.

havana

Coming and going thru Madrid, I try for the first time the newer terminal T4 and T4S; very modern, spacious, lots of eateries, and shops, with a automated train between the two,and easy walking to the metro station of line 8 that ends there. 2,50 euros one way to Madrid. I had my lunch at Vinea, a nice tapas and wine place.

My return was to Nantes, almost by 11h (11pm) and took my car to arrive home here by 12h30 am. Very tired but happy to be able to see my family again (many of them most are already out of the country!) , even if now look more like a tourist than a native; the reception by all was very nice. Cheers,  enjoy the pictures from Feb 2012.

The tourist office showing Havana is here in English: Official Cuba Travel on Havana

Tourist office of Cuba in English

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

May 3, 2019

Menceys and Tenerife!

Ok I will once again deviate a bit from my usual posts to tell you about a personal place of mine. I grew up with the traditions and came to live in Spain, and visited Tenerife as an adolescent only to think for it always. As they tell me, the DNA is strong or blood is thicker than water! La sangre es màs espesa que el agua!

I like to tell you a bit about seldom heard history or misplace in the travels of many. This is my rendition of a special place for all of us Islenhos or islanders of Tenerife from whatever we are now! I will tell you about the square, the basilica, and the statues read on….

The Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias is a large square located in the main center of the Marianne Villa of Candelaria  on the island of Tenerife. It is located next to the Basilica of Our Lady of Candelaria (Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria or Notre Dame) ,the patron Saint of the Canary Islands, and is the meeting place for pilgrims and celebrations of the most important festivities of the municipality.

In the place where the square is located, once was the Playa de la Arena beach, the place where the Convent and the old Church of the Virgen de Candelaria were situated. In the center of the beach was the castle of San Pedro, which was built in 1697. This bastion was designed to defend the Church and the Convent of the Virgin of pirate attacks and lootings, the castle was practically destroyed in the storm of November 1826, the same in which the original image of the Virgin of Candelaria was lost. After the start of the construction of the Basilica of Candelaria in 1949 was thought the need to create a wide square that framed the basilica taking advantage of the great natural esplanade of the beach. The foundation works of the square began at the end of 1950. Finally, the Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias is inaugurated on January 31, 1959.

The Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias has two main entrances, the Calle Obispo Pérez Cáceres, which is the pedestrian and commercial street of the town, and the Calle de los Principes which is the vehicular entrance street. One of the attractions of this last street, are a series of mosaics made in volcanic stones, located in a small tunnel  and where the seven Canary Islands are represented next to each other, except Tenerife which is in front of the other islands on the front wall.

The Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria ,and the Royal Convent  are located on the south side of the square, on the east side by the sea, is the sculptural ensemble of the Menceyes of Tenerife, meanwhile in the north wing is the Calle Obispo Perez Cáceres and on the west side is the main artery exit of the square .

On one side of this square are the statues of the nine Menceyes that ruled the nine Menceyatos (pre-Spain kingdoms) of Tenerife. Nowadays they are bronze statues, which replaced other volcanic stone sculptures that were moved to another avenue in the 20C. Specifically, it was August 13 ,1993 when the new figures of the Menceyes were inaugurated, the work of the sculptor José Abad. These statues are very appreciated by all the Canaries, because they represent a very essential part of our culture.

These bronze statues represent the nine Guanches kings (Menceyes in Guanche languages or Spanish Castilian -Reyes), and were the descendants of the Mencey Tinerfe the Great, son of Mencey Sunta, who had his court in the Menceyato of Adeje (one hundred years before the conquest by Spain) and ruled the entire island. Hence the name Tenerife or Tinerfe Anichet the land of Tenerife. These were divided into 9 menceyes or kingdoms as Acaimo: Mencey of Tacoma; Anjona: Mencey de Abona.; Añaterve: Mencey de Güímar (the one of my grandparents, that today is the territory of the modern towns of El Rosario, Candelaria (paternal grandparents were born here), Arafo, Güímar (my maternal grandparensts comes from a village south of here call Pajara),and parts of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and San Cristóbal de La Laguna). Bencomo: Mencey of Taoro.(last King 1496)  Beneharo: Mencey of Anaga. Pelinor: Mencey de Adeje. Pelicar: Mencey de Icode. Romen: Mencey of Daute. Tegueste: Mencey of Tegueste.

Candelaria

Candelaria

One of the statues held in his hand the “ Zanata stone “, in particular the Mencey Romén held it. It is a small rock of elongated form with inscriptions supposedly of Guanche origin ,the original  people of the Canary Islands. Currently, the Zanata stone is held at the  Archaeological Museum of Tenerife, city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Some webpages on the above to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Tenerife on the Plaza in English

Tourist office of Tenerife on the Menceyes -kings

A bit more on our Basilica of Our Lady Virgin of Candelaria . Even thus pictures are not allowed in for good reason.

The Basilica is consecrated to Our Lady  Virgen de la Candelaria (patron Saint of the Canary Islands) whose original image was found in 1390 by two Guanches shepherds. The Basilica of Candelaria was built in the place where the Guanches venerated the Virgin after the conquest; the Cave of Achbinico is situated behind the sanctuary. Today, the Basilica is one of the main Marian shrines and pilgrimages of Spain. Every February 2 (Day of the Virgin of Candelaria) and August 15 (Popular Day of the Virgin of Candelaria chosen by the Bishop) This Basilica welcomes the thousands of pilgrims who arrive at the Villa Mariana, to venerate the Virgin of Candelaria the days of her major feasts.

Candelaria

Basilica Ntra Sra de la Virgen de Candelaria, credit WebTenerife.com

The height that gives it its bell tower of 45 meters makes it a dominant feature on the horizon of the Villa Mariana of Candelaria and its surroundings. The Basilica of the Virgin of Candelaria is one of the greatest examples of neoclassical architecture in Spain. Next to the basilica and attached to it is the Royal Convent of Our Lady of Candelaria, run by the order of the Dominicans, religious order in charge of the sanctuary, in it is the Museum of Sacred Art.

In 1596, King Felipe III declared protector and patron of the Virgin of Candelaria, a position that his successors maintained. The monarch, after ascending to the throne, declared himself patron of the Royal Convent of Our Lady of Candelaria, hence the rank that the sanctuary has since. It is therefore the first Marian shrine in the Canary Islands to receive royalty title from the Spanish monarchy. On January 24, 2011, the temple was elevated to the dignity of Basilica minor  of very good degree by Pope Benedict XVI.

Tourist office of Tenerife on the Basilica

So therefore, go there for more than the beaches, and our mojo, there is more to Tenerife with its history of old and new and its wonderful monuments. Hope you enjoy the post as much as me writing it did. Candelaria, Pajara, Tenerife are with me is in my blood.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

April 12, 2019

Wines of the world!

So in continuing with the good news on the wine world, my world maybe your world too, let me tell you some numbers. Even with the pressure to reduce comsumption the trend is up because wine is an integral part of our cultures and cannot be eliminated. It is like taken down Notre Dame Cathedral ,etc etc. En vino veritas!

According to the International Vine and Wine Organization (OIV). Italy confirms its rank as the first producer in front of France. World production reached a record level of 292.3 million hectoliters, up 14.5% !!, according to the OIV . It needs to  go back fifteen years to regain a comparable volume. This situation is all the more remarkable as the vineyard has not ceased to decline since 2004. It stabilized last year.

Some numbers: A world vineyard area of 7.4 million hectares in 2018. A strong increase in production, with 292.3 million hectoliters, representing a growth of 42.5 Million hectoliters compared to 2017. A quasi-stabilized consumption of 246 million hectoliters.  World trade in wine rising with 108 million hectoliters and an increase in value of 1.2% to reach the 31.3 billion Euros!!! Thank you world!!!

In Europe, the area would grow most in Italy between 2017 and 2018, of about 5000 hectares to reach 706 millions ha, unlike other European countries that show a stabilization of the vineyard areas. Nevertheless, Spain remains in the lead in the world ranking with 969 million ha. In Asia, after more than 10 years of strong progression, the growth of the Chinese vineyard  with 875 million ha slows, while that of Turkey 448 mil ha  sees its size stabilize in 2018 after a steady decline since 2003. In the American continent, the vineyard is increasing in Mexico, which is 34 mil ha. The vineyard of South Africa continues to shrink slowly since 2012, to reach 125 mil ha in 2018. In Oceania, the Australian vineyard of 145 mil ha) would see its recent decline slow, while the New Zealand vineyard remains almost stable, with an area around 39 mil ha.

Italy confirm its place of the premier global producer with 54.8 Mil hl, followed by France with 49.1 Mil hl and Spain which registers 44.4 Mil hl. On the other hand, weather conditions have been less favorable for some European countries. In Portugal  6.1 Mil hl, attacks of mildew and powdery mildew have had an impact on the production in 2017, which remains even all with a higher production than the average of the last years.

The United States would record in 2018, with 23.9 Mil hl, a production of wines excluding juice and musts greater than + 0.5 Mil hl compared to 2017. Argentina, with 14.5 Mil hl, grew by + 2.7 Mil hl. Chile recorded a strong progression: + 3.4 Mil hl, with 12.9 Mil hl, opposite Brazil, whose production declined with 3.1 Mil hl in 2018. South Africa sees a drop of-1.4 Mil hl per compared to 2017, explained the impact of drought and reached 9.5 Mil hl. In Oceania,  Australian production with 12, 9 Mil hl  in 2018 remains stable. The New Zealand production is 3.0 Mil hl, registering + 0.2 Mil hl increase compared to 2017

In 2018, World wine consumption, estimated at 246 million hectoliters, would seem to pause in its progression, mainly influenced by a decline in consumption in China and the United Kingdom.  The United States is still the world’s largest consumer since 2011 and reached  33. Mil hl, a slight increase from the previous year  + 1.1%. In South America, there is a slight setback, except in Brazil where consumption 2018 remained almost unchanged from 2017 and amounted to 3.6 Mil hl. In Europe , wine consumption stabilizes in the majority of countries, with the exception of Spain,  increase for the third consecutive year with 10.7 Mil hl in 2018, Portugal , 5.5 Mil hl in 2018, Romania 4, 5 Mil hl, and Hungary  2.4 Mil hl.  In China, the consumption by  in 2018 would drop by 6.6% compared to 2017, and would reached  18 Mil hl.  South Africa also registers a slight setback to reach 4.3 Mil hl. In Oceania, however, Australia increased by 6.1% compared to 2017 and reached 6.3 Mil hl. New Zealand remains almost stable at 0.9 Mil hl.

Spain continues to be the largest exporter in volume with 20.9 Mil hl, representing 19.4% of the the world market. France is still the world’s largest exporter in value with 9.3 billion Euros exported in 2018. Exports of  wines are still largely dominated by Spain, Italy and France, which account the three, more than 50% of the world market volume in 2018, or 54.8 Mil hl the first five importing countries are Germany, United Kingdom, USA, France and China-represent more than half of total imports.

First 2019 harvest estimates in the southern hemisphere  the harvest show a decline in most of the southern hemisphere countries (notably Argentina, Brazil and Chile).  In light of  high temperatures recorded were reportedly impacted by the harvest and South Africa would still be severely affected by drought. The only country that will harvest upwards from the previous year is New Zealand.

OIV entire article on World Wine Production here in English

The next OIV Congress will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, July 15-19 2019. This will be the  42nd World Congress of Vine and Wine. Who is the OIV well a brief description follows.

The International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) is an intergovernmental organization established in 1924. It works in the scientific and technical fields of the whole wine sector. The organization is comprised of 46 States that account for 85% of world wine production and almost 80% of world consumption.  In addition, ten international non-governmental organizations also participate as observers.  The International Organization of Vine and Wine was created on April 3, 2001. It replaces the international vine and wine office of 1958, replacing it with the international wine board of 29 November 1924.

There you go , wine is nice, good health, and helps provide millions of jobs for families of traditional values all over the World. Enjoy it wisely, consume smart, and share it. And remember, happy travels, (to vineyards is awesome) ,good health, (wine is an anti oxydant good for you), and many cheers to all (with wine the cheering will be better) !!!

 

March 26, 2019

The battlefields in France of WWI

Dates come and go and come and we sometimes find no time to write about certain dear things to us. This is the case of the efffort of many for a free Europe/World. I am particularly thankful to the Americans ,who I am and active voter from France on all elections. I like to pay tribute to those who fought and or died for our freedom from all Nations in this humble post. I have visited these places one time or another.

Suresnes

I married a French women from the Battlefields of the Marne, Monument Americain or American Monument on the Route de Varennes near Meaux, today , there is a wonderful WWI museum there that you all should visit.  Museum of the Great War, Webpage here :Museum of the Great War or WWI in Meaux

meaux

meaux

The Battle of the Somme in WWI was a huge battlefront of 750 kms (about 465 miles) including two periods. Since September 1914 the course to the sea around the monuments of Ovilliers, Guillemont, and Flers. And then a north south line along the villages of Beaumont-Hamel, Thiepval, La Boisselle, Fricourt, Maricourt, Curlu, Dompierre, Fay, Chaulnes, and Maucourt.

It then , came again in June 1916 in the second Battle of the Somme, from Beaumont-Hamel and Bapaume to the north to Chilly,Chaulnes to the south; here the British and French fought side by side until a line at Maricourt. The battle involves about a million men and 200 000 horses as the official encounter began on June 24.  By July 2nd the losses were big already 58K men of which 22K killed especially by the British, their biggest losses up to that point in any war. Total by the December 1916 the losses were big, 1,2Million men out of combat for a total of 3M; the British advance only 12 kms the French 5-8kms alone the line.  Here too it talks about the great British offensive of Yprés from June to October 1917, the battle of Cambrai in November (first using tanks), and the tragic offensive of the French at Chemin des Dames.  1918, mark the commandement unique of the allied army to Marichal Foch March 26 at Doullens, the offensive by the Australians at Villers-Bretonneux, the American monument at Cantigny, monument to the 2nd division Australians at Peronne and the Canadian memorial at Le Quesnel, all evoke the counteroffensive that led to the armistice of November 11 at Compiegne.

You should visit the Historial de la Grande Guerre at Peronne: Historial museum of the Great War at Peronne

peronne

You can see the Cross to the 16st Irish division at Guillemont and Ginchy with Irish Treffles  for heroic action on September 3 and 9 1916. Also, remembering all the Irish who lost their lives in WWI.  At Longueval,  and the taking of Bois Delville by the South Africans  on July 15-20 1916. at specific Longueval, we honor also the New Zealanders that took bravery here on September 15 1916 taking objective near Flers the wood of Fourcaux, or high wood done by the 47th London division of New Zealand! You can see the South African memorial of Bois Delville with 63 hectares land of South Africa from 1920. Behind you will find a museum too with a replica of Fort du Cap. The New Zealanders have their memorial with a cross of the 12th battalion of Gloucestershire and the cementary of Caterpillar Valley, Scottish monument of the 1th Cameron Highlanders, 1st Black Watch, and the 47th division with a Cairn of 192 stones coming from Scotland to honor the 192 who felled here from the 9th battalion Highland light Infantry (Glasgow highlanders) and the London cementary.

le quesnoy

The Canadians are here too, Memorial Canadien on the road D929 to the right hand side in granite stone toward the village of Courcelette, took part here September 3 to November 18 1916. Losing 24K of their sons. You have the memorial to Newfoundlanders  with 16 hectares done in 1925, you can see while getting there on the road a statue of a Caribou ,their mascot in bronce.  You can see at La Boiselle the Lochnagar Crater of 100 meters in diameter around here you saw the 34th Division of Scottish and Irish, there is a monument with a bas-relief in Bronce of Saint George attacking a dragon, cross of Saint Andrew(Scottish), and a large celtic harp(Irish) with inscription engrave in the stone relating to this battle of July 1,1916.

The great battles around Albert,  with great efforts by the British , the town was destroyed 90% and the town reconstructed with the help of the city of Birmingham in England. You can see the wonderful Basilique Notre Dame de Brebiéres, and not to miss the museum ,Musée Somme 1916Museum of the Somme 1916 at Albert

albert

You drive around the area and can visit the Monument to the American and French nurses at Chaulnes, a gift from the USA and France Red Cross; at Lihons on August 21 1916 died in combat after volunteering to fight the nephew of Napoléon Ier Marshal Murat, a prince, you can see it on the road entering Lihons coming from Vermandovillers there is a small route on the left after the town cemetery. See the wonderful Arc de Triomphe at Proyart , a huge memorial for a small town donated by a rich Champagne men who lost his only son in the war.  You can see the old train line that supplies the front lines, the P’tit Train de la Haute-Somme; and now its a tourist attraction at Eclusier-Vaux for the little train ride and a trains museum. More here: Little Train ride appeva site

On May 28 1918 ,just when the French retreat from the Chemin des Dames and losing Soissons, the Americans land and engage for the first time in the front of Cantigny, and they take the town on May 31.  The American who lost their lives here are buried at the huge American cementary of the Somme in Bony, not far from the imposing memorial of Bellicourt on the road N44, it has a chapel, secretary office, and welcome center. It is honoring of the Big Red One Division on the borders of the town in the road D26 direction Montdidier.(not far from the A16 direction Amiens.

At Villers-Bretonneux, you have the Australian Memorial on the road D23 direction Fouilloy/Corbie, two huge white towers with an even bigger one in the middle and the names of the dead written on it. It opened in 1938 and here it is held every year the ANZAC Day celebration. They were 331K volunteers from a population of 4,9M and casualties of  58500 men including 16000 dead. See ,also at the Le Hamel the Parc Memorial Australien built by Australia in August 7,1998; free to all with trenches intact.  It is here too in July 4 1918 Australian and American troops fought alongside with infantry, artillery, aviation, tanks, and paratroopers to begin the modern war tactics… More here: Museum Franco-Australian at Villers-Bretonneux

From the above webpage see more into ,visit the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, where over 72,000 men with no known grave are remembered. Climb to the top of the Newfoundland Caribou Memorial at Beaumont-Hamel for a moving view of the former battlefield.  See the enormous Lochnagar mine crater at La Boisselle, created at the beginning of the Battle of the Somme, on 1 July at 7h28 (7:28 am). Explore Delville Wood and the South African Memorial at Longueval, a former battleground today at peace. Take part in the moving ANZAC Day Dawn Service on 25 April at Villers-Bretonneux.  Participate with the commemorations of the Battle of the Somme at various sites of remembrance on 1 July.

Today, you can pay tribute to these great men in various cemetaries all over France,these are: The French are care by the Ministry of Defense and in the Somme there are 20 national cementaries.  More here Memories of men French Defense site can be in English

and for those seeking a love one,  this place can help: Memories of men French Defense ministry to search names can be in English

A site in French of many of them from many mostly Commonwealth nations here: Picardie 1418 on battlefields and men of WWI

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission takes care of the dead from the areas known as the Commonwealth UK, it takes care of 410 cementaries in the Somme along ; more here: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

From the USA, it is the American Battles Monuments Commission, who handles and maintain them, here is their webpage: ABMC cimenteries and memorials

In addition footnote information, for the Australians the most memorable places other than Villers-Bretonneux are Amiens, Corbie Plateau, Le Hamel, Albert, Poziéres, Sailly-le-Sec and Peronne.

Towns in general of WWI history and conflict are Doullens, hall of the sole command, Froissy, petit train de la haute somme, Thiepval, memorial Franco-Britanique, La Boiselle, Beaumont-Hamel, Rancourt, Longueval, Albert, Chaulnes,Cantigny,Lihons, Aveluy, Soyécourt, Frisé, Eclusier-Vaux, Maricourt, Feuilléres, Bouchavesnes-Bergen, Flaucourt, Courcelette, Martinpuich, Mametz,Fay,Moislans, Corbie, and Montauban-de-Picardie.

And of course, there are many others like Vimy, the Indian Memorial at Neuve-Chapelle, Notre-Dame de Lorette monument in Ablain-St-Nazaire, National Museum of Franco-American cooperation at Blérancourt, the Clairiére de l’Armistice at Compiegne, the Memory of Walls Museum at Verneuil-en-Halate, Caverne de Dragons and Chemin des Dames near Laon, Second battle of the Marne Memorial and Dormans Ossuary at Dormans, Navarin Ossuary at Souain, The First battle of the Marne memorial at Mondement, Vauquois Hill near Fleury, The world peace center at Verdun, as well as the Verdun Memorial, Douaumont Ossuary and Vaux fort.

For me including those of WWII as well is the American Cementary of Suresnes (dept 92 Hauts de Seine just outside Paris), And , also, the Lafayette Escadrile located inside the gates of Domaine National de Sainte-Cloud, (dept 92 Hauts de Seine as well)  of where I have been the most and event took visiting friends there. The  ABMC site has more info.

Rememberance is to honor them, never forget. As I see many who likes to come to cemeteries for the rich and famous, why not come to these ones, the feeling is much better and the experience unique!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

March 24, 2019

Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach, this is Florida!

OMG!, I just look back of my blog and realise not written on these wonderful spots since 2011! Times flies, this was my last stronghold in the USA before leaving permanently to France in 2003. I had not been back there since 2009 and now had 3 great days in the area. This is a re blog from November 2015!

This is the South Florida area where I still have lots of family.

It has a lot to offers other than the beaches and night life, but I let you mingle and decide on that with the tourist offices there of MiamiOfficial tourist office of Miami and the beaches

and Fort Lauderdale,  Tourist office of Ft Lauderdale area at Sunny

I was Lucky to have on my way back from Mexico the company ok to attend a finance conference in Fort Lauderdale arriving at Miami airport on American Airlines.  Airport info here! Official Miami International Airport  . I must add nothing compares with Air France ::)

Fort Lauderdale

 

One of my cousin was there to greet me and take me to eat at a local Cuban restaurant now very popular for the last 10 years or so;but there for over 30, Molina’s in the nearby city of Hialeah on which hospital my twin boys were born!!! The place was typical of old Cuba and the food very Cuban, something did not had for yearsss! picadillo ,moros rice, sweet plaintains, and a nice corona beer ::)  More here: Molina’s Ranch restaurant

Hialeah

Afterward ,I was taken to my conference hotel at Fort Lauderdale, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel; right off the ocean drive and very near Las Olas blvd chic area, the hotel info is here: Ritz Carlton hotel FT Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale

 

OF course, the hotel was top luxury, glad was not paying ::) the room well the apartment as it was two rooms with living room and bedroom, TV in both in addition to a smaller one in the bathroom. There had bathtub and shower and lavs for two. The wonderful beachside restaurant was wonderful too. A great place ,location, and friendly prompt service.

The evening had the chance to eat dinner there overlooking the ocean and Fort Lauderdale beach , nice oysters, shrimps, and cocktails mojitos was wonderful right at the bar with a friendly bartender. Needless to say went to bed very late into the morning hours lol!!!

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale

Once the conference was over, we were invited for dinner as part of it, to the wonderful Brazilian charrusqueria Chima’s right on Las Olas blvd and about 15 minutes walking back to the hotel which me and a group of warriors found out. More on Chima’s here: Chima’s steakhouse at FLL

Fort Lauderdale

Chima’s has a wonderful front terrace to mingle and drink, and then great laidout indoor tables for the feast of bringing those different cuts of meats charrusqueria style (call here steakhouse) all night long with wonderful glasses of red wines. Good company and pleasant evening afterward on the way back and at the hotel bar ::)

The last day got pickup by my cousin again and given a right in the laberinth of roads and tolls the area has become, really change feld big and different already. Saw the new Marlins baseball stadium, the Lincoln Road Miami Beach area, and the bridges before finally depositing me at Miami airport for the trip back home. A nice nostalgic if short trip to what was once call home ::)

Florida Marlins baseball

Lincoln Road Mall Miami Beach

Miami Beach

At Miami before flight had some snacks at La Pausa in concourse J Mia for a mahi mahi sandwich fries and a glass of California Hogue cellars red wine. A nice send offs more here MIA La Pausa Restaurant

The flight back was my first ever ,believe or not, delayed in airport, happening after a heigthening of security tension for the atrocious terrorist acts in Paris, they found two bags checked-in but no passenger so the plane was ask to return to gate!! wait and wait finally departed to Paris. There, as was getting ready to board my last flight to Nantes, once already in the passarelle to the plane we were ask to return back inside as they was a fuel leak on the plane, wait wait, finally took off. Arrive home five hours late missed by twins birthday outing and needed to catch up today lol! Now ready for another long journey tomorrow to Brazil!!!

Hope you enjoy the short trip ,for me a memorable spot always will be. I am thankful of all my previous experiences no matter what it always enrich your mind. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

March 19, 2019

How to be a Parisien…..really!

Re blog and still holds true, how to be a Parisien!

This came out in my favorite newspaper and magazine Le Figaro, so I am translating here from the French. The 100 ways you can be or are sure to be a Parisien. That fits my bill alright ::)

1. Had dinner at Tokyo Eat (16éme) and not needing to open the door to the Palais de Tokyo

2. Taken a breakfast in the terrace of Café Marly (1 éme)

3. Be seated at a table in l’Abtrance (16 éme)

4.  Had organise a goodbye party to a colleague at the Train Bleu, gare de Lyon ( 12éme)

5.  Had dinner at Lipp (6 éme) at the first floor and street side with preference next to a famous head statue

6. Had eaten an onion soup at Halles (1 éme)

7. had bought a ice cream cone at Bertillon, the main house in the 4éme

8.  Had tasted a Paris-Brest by  Philippe Conticini in the Patisserie des Reves in rue du Bac (7éme)

9.  have the pleasure to fill your basket in the Grande Épicerie du Bon Marché (7éme)

10.  Have fallen for the caramel macaron with salted butter at Ladurée (8éme)

11.  had taken a mint tea at the Mosquée de Paris  (5 éme)

12.  had for lunch a tamoul at Pooja ( 10éme)

13.  Clean plate of a côte de bœuf for two at 6am in Chez Denise or La Tour de Montlhèly (I éme)

14.  Believe you were stuck in New York having a club sandwich at Harry’s Bar  (II éme)

15. Had ordered a cheese dish at Marie-Anne Cantin (VIIe)

16.  Ruined yourselves a Sunday morning at the bio market in boulevard Raspail (VIIe)

17.  had lunch un bento at Kunitoraya 2  (Ier)

18.  had drank and participated with the winegrowers while the feast of Fête des vendanges de Montmartre, early October

19.  had eaten un fallafel a Sunday at As du Fallafel , rue des Rosiers (IVe )

 20. had spent 80 euros for two of a roasted chicken with potatoes afire in Ami Louis (IIIe)

21.  had found the bag to go buy the flowers at Rungis  and eat oysters

22.  had purchase the favorite tea at  Mariage Frères

23. had a picnic on the pont des Arts

24.  had taken a bite of a libanese sandwich  at avenue George-V to think you are in Beirut

25. had a stop a pause at New Nioullaville (XIe) to enter into the Chinese new year

26. had taken a cafe at Flore

27.  be seated in front of a breakfast « plateau » at Coupole, sitting on the red benches but not in the terrace

28. to not swear if by the head of veal at Apicius  (VIIIe)

29. to be hug on the quai de la Tournelle

30. to have order a cocktail at the Bar Hemingway in the Ritz, at the eye color of the invited person, (do it before it closes for renovations)

31.  to have rented a room at the Hotel Chopin at  passage Jouffroy (IXe)

32.  to have mark your name and of your love one in the walls of the catacombes

33.  had played the card of double winner, champagne plus plaid on one the bridges of a Bateau-Mouche toenjoy the lights of the city of llights

34.  to have appointment at least once on the parvis de Notre-Dame, the fountain of Saint-Michel or the steps of the Opéra Garnier

35.  to have taken a glass facing the sun set at Bourbon, behind the Assemblée nationale

36.  to take a walk at cementary Père Lachaise  passing in front of the tombs of Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde

37.  to have descended on the sewers of Paris to breath its odors !

38.  to have done a jogging in the jardin des Tuileries at sunrise

39.  to take a tour around the place des Vosges in trying to find the appartments of Jack Lang, Maître Binoche, and   DSK

40.  to have gone to Aubervilliers in the home camp of Bartabas

41.  to subscribe for a ride iin rollers blades in Paris

42.  to go walking in the city while celebrating a white night or Nuit blanche

43. to have purchase a subscription to a Vélib’

44.  to have taken the electric stairs at the Beaubourg

45.  to admire the windows of Christmas or  Noël in the big department stores

46.  to look for the Café des Deux Moulins, rue Lepic, thinking of Amélie Poulain

47.  to get lost in the basements of the  Châtelet-les Halles

48.  to walk along rue Saint-Honoré without spending nothing

49.  to be confused with  Shirley McLaine in  Irma la Douce (Billy Wilder) while walking  rue Casanova (Ier )

50.  to have missed a change in the change at Michel-Ange-Molitor and do a tour for nothing on the line 10 of the metro of paris

51.  to have assisted at march of the 14 Juillet  in the  Champs-Élysées

52.  to have put a small sailboat to ride in the lake of jardin du Luxembourg or des Tuileries

53.  to go see the old crocodiles at porte Dorée

54.  to finish reading a romance novel in a green chair (hard to find) at the jardin du Luxembourg

55.  to have purchase a ticket for a night of Pedro Almodovar or Lynch at the Cinema CHampollion (Ve) or for an episode of Star Wars at the Grand Rex  (IIe)

56. to have yell at and insulted the taxis that goes by all full

57.  to go dance at a  Bal des pompiers, an evening of the 14 Juillet

58.  to have waited for the tour Eiffel to flips it lights from the Théatre de Chaillot, at the entrance.

59.  to have taken an aperitif on the canal Saint-Martin, between two rounds of the game pétanque

60.  to have dance for a song of a DJ at Batofar

61.  to have dance on the salons of Maxim’s the friday evening for the parties of Belle Époque

62.  to have walk an evening of winter on the racecourse of trotters in Vincennes

63. to be seen been refuse entrance to chez Castel

64.  to have come in on foot a morning, because of no bus nor metro

65.  to have waited for the sunrise from the steps of Sacré-Cœur

66.  to go to the Collége de France and assist of its courses for free

67.  to be one evening on the presentation at the gallery Kamel Mennour (VIe) to see an artist such as Claude Levêque,or  Daniel Buren)

68.  to have seen an opera at the Bastille

69.  to have gone to the Louvre, simply to smile at the mona lisa and delayed your stay at the salle des Rubens

 70.  to have seen Podalydès play at the Comédie Française

71.  to have look and see at the aisles of La Hune (new address) or of the Écume des Pages (VIe)

72.  to have admired the work of  Nuit étoilée by Van Gogh at the museum of Orsay

73.  to have entered the Shop/atelier of Delacroix at  place de Furstenberg

74.  to have try to enter the Chateau des Brouillards in the butte Montmartre

75.  to have seen the work  Porte de l’enfer inside the park of the museum of Rodin

76.  to have understood what is Austerlitz at the Invalides

77.  to have entered the metro by the mouth of Guimard ,porte Dauphine or that of Othoniel at  place du Palais-Royal

78.  to have walk between the girafes and elephants in the Galerie de l’Evolution, jardin des Plantes

79.  to have seen a musical play at the Théatre du Chatelet

80.  have seen play the Philarmonica of Vienna or Berlin on the TCE

81.  Be entered in the drawers of the Bank of France while a heritage days event or Journées du patrimoine

82.  to have taken your companion to the oldest theater of Guignol of Paris , rond-point des Champs-Élysées

83.  to found yourselves seduce by shopping on Sunday in the rue des Francs-Bourgeois (IVe)

84. to have purchase old 45/78 vinyls music records at Crocodisc (Ve)

85.  to have pushed the doors at the Herboristerie du Palais-Royal (Ier) and ask plenty of questions

 86. to have obtain from your sample mold of a shirt at  Charvet (Ier), high temple of made to order

87.  to come out of Colette (Iéme) with many things of no use whatsoever

88.  to have desire to buy a pet dog right away at the animal stands along quai de la Mégisserie (Ier)

89.  tohave assisted to an Orthodox mass in rue Daru (VIIIe)

90.  to enrich yourself but not much in a sales room at Drouot

91.  to have taken time to take care of yourself in a spa on a palace hotel such as Plaza Athénée or Meurice hotels

92.  tohave spend 90 cents for an egg mayo at Voltaire  (VIIe)

93.  tohave try to walk the sidewalks of the palais de l’Élysée and be reprimend by the police force

94.  to have fallen for a ride with a nice taxi driver

95.  to have taken a glass at the first floor of Café Germain and see past the young bust of Sophie, the  sculpture of Xavier Veilhan

96.  to have attended a march of the ballet in the Opéra de Paris, and be ready for its reverence

97.  to have been mistaken for a statue in the columns of Buren

98.  to have done the experience of the high rise hair on the head of the electrostatique room of the Palais de la Découvertr

99.  had try the guitars n the stores of the rue de Douai (IXe)

100.  to have spent the month of August in Paris

Yes its sublime Paris isn’t it….Paris forever. The saying simply the best was created for it. Cheers ! Parisiens.

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