Nyc and miami so cool

Three days is a quick trip or a life time. Some fast travel notes:

1. Miami lowes. Still haven’t found the perfect hotel here but getting closer. Loews isn’t a hardwar store but a big hotel. During the winter break overrun with families and seniors. Amazing pool and east beach access. I love the plastic cups. Great outside veranda and nice seared tuna (they don’t say ahi here).
2. Miami ritz Carlton. Actually rates are quite reasonable particular with the various Amex discounts. Thank goodness for downturn. Very different crowd. Younger. Great bistro that surprised us with the quality.
3. New York chambers hotel. Been hard to find a reasonable price it good location that is small. The Chambers may be it. Rooms are NYC small but very well done. At 5th and 56th so very centrally located. Can walk just about anywhere. On the F line too at ave of the Americas and 56th. Also get a voucher to NY health and racket club so nicer than those tiny hotel gyms. And ur 2 blocks from central park for the morning run. And who doesn’t love free wifi. Skype rules!

Crystal, Flo and Molly Moon’s

Cool day with skiing at crystal. Perfect groomed day. Dinner at Flo’s was great. Too much traffic in bellevue buy an awesome Japanese sushi place. Trythe chirashi and also tuna carpaccio. If u haven’t tried Molly Moon’s for artisan ice cream. Tryviy perfect for the 2C day. Salted caramel is awesome but love the spiced cider sorbet.

And listening to atmosphere now. Great Midwest rap group. I love shazam for identifying them. Very cool.

Snowing in Seattle amd Elastigirl

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Another 20cm headed Seattle’s way. How incredibly beautiful. More shots on the way. Was feeling sad but as my good friend John reminded me there is really one way to handle true sadness. Feel it and then do something about it. He reminded me of The Incredibles, Helen (aka Elastigirl, discovers here world is falling apart.

Helen: [sobbing] Now I’m losing him! What’ll I do? What’ll I do?
Edna: What are you talking about?
Helen: [stops crying] Huh?
Edna: [shouts] You are Elastigirl! My God…
[swatting Helen with a newspaper]
Edna: Pull-yourself-together! “What will you do?” Is this a question? You will show him you remember that he is Mr. Incredible, and you will remind him who *you* are. Well, you know where he is. Go, confront the problem. Fight! Win!
[normal voice]
Edna: And call me when you get back, darling. I enjoy our visits

National geographic adventurer

Wow national geographic has certainly branches out. Love reading third latest guide to adventure travel in their november issue. Some notes via wordpress on iPhone:

Arunachel Pradeah India. Whitewater kayaking in real wilderness

Mont Bell is an amazing lightweight sweater made of goose down packs down to. 20cm long and just 7.5cm around. Perfect for travel. Add to an Rei element packable and it is perfect for winter nearly anywhere but the far north. Plus it comes in orange! Expensive at $160, but the Ex Light. Like everyone else they are running sales online. The U.L. Innter Jacket is just $100.

And then there are the 25 best new trips include:

  • Mark Thorton (thorntonsafaris.com) is their top rated outfitter. Doing the first waking tours of Serengeti National park. 12 days. $7,600.
  • Gapadventures.com going to Benin, Burkina Faso and Togo. $2400. 16 days.
  • Adventuresinafrica.com does Zambia walking tours and then kayaking in Malawi. $4900. 10 days.
  • Islandexpeditions.com Belize kayaking trip. $1599. 5 days.
  • Geoex.com to Galapagos on first Eco-friendly 48-passenger boat. $7000. 11 days.
  • Mtsobek.com to Venuzuela tepuis. Nontechnical. $5300. 11 days.
  • Columbia isn’t dangerous anymore. Columbiatrek.com and santanderalextremo.com for adventure options.
  • Wildplanetadventures.com for pure wildlife in India. $4500. 13 days.
  • Remotelands.com to see Komodo dragons in Indonesia. $4000. 4 days.
  • National Geographic Travel and Lindblad Expeditions has 18-day voyage in Indian Ocean. 12420. March-April.
  • H2outfitters.com kayak in Jordan. $2900. 7 days. March.
  • Zeco.com 700 miles east of new Zealand starts in Fiji on a 338 foot ship. $9380. 16 days. November
  • Tuitai.com to remote islands near Fiji to visit communities there on 140 foot schooner. 7 days. $3600.

And my favorite the top 50 ecolodges in different areas

Islands.

  • Chumboisland.com. Tanzania. $400
  • Kosraevillage.com. Micronesia. Remote. $149.
  • Nihiwatu.com. Indonesia. 3km beach. Surfing. $440
  • Ranweli.com. Sri lanka. Traditional village. $66
  • Soneva.com

Deserts.

  • Adrereameliai.net. Egypt. $490.
  • Al-maha.com 45 minutes from Dubai. $1000.
  • Desertrhinocamp.com. Namibia. $814.
  • Threecamellodge.com. Mongolia. $160.
  • Tsawali.com. South Africa wilderness reserve. $1500.
  • Longitude131.com. Ayers rock. $1980.

The jungle.

  • Tajsafaris.com to see last tigers. India. $1440.
  • Theboatlanding.laopdr.com Laos. Backbacker enclave. $35.
  • Canopytower.com. Panama. Converted radar tower. $125.
  • Daintree-ecolodge.com. Australia. Locals 40 minutes from GBA. $460.
  • Chalalan.com. Bolivia. Locals. $345.
  • Kapawi.com. Ecuador in amazon. $695 pp.
  • Sukau.com. Borneo. Elephants. $370

Mountains.

  • Crosswaters.net.cn. Two hours from Hong kong. $220.
  • Kasbahdutoubkal.com. Morocco. $230.
  • Khrl.com. Golden BC
  • Oreillys.com.au. Brisbane mountains. $327.
  • Tigermountain.com/pokhara. Nepal. $500.

Savanna.

  • Basecampexplorer.com. Kenya. $560
  • Caiman.com.br. Brazil. $448
  • Campiyakanzi.com. Kenya. $1100

Sydney is cool

I liked Sydney (maybe because it was actually sunny. 悉尼 Xī ní) in Australia (澳洲 Ào zhōu). So what is a perfect afternoon in Sydney:

# From the airport take the Train to Circular Quay. It is only about 15 minutes and way more interesting than taking a taxi
# Have a lunch at the “MoS Cafe”:http://www.bestrestaurants.com.au/restaurants/NSW-Sydney-moscafe.aspx. You might think this is the usual yucky cafeteria food, but actually it is amazingly good. Try the curry chicken or the basil spaghetti. Then have a really good latte while watching the street scenes
# Find a building a climb it. The Intercontinental has a really great view in its executive club. I like the view form any of the business offices along there. Aurora Place for instance is spectacular. Has a 270 degree view of the harbor
# Have a beer with the mates downstairs. On Friday’s Aussies love to drink. Everyone heads for the bar. At Aurora or in front of Customs House on beside the Sydney Harbor House
# Get an early dinner at the Cafe Sydney in Customs House. Seating is limited and ask for something on the balcony. The 545 seating means you can watch the sunset make the clouds shine
# Visit the scene around the Opera House. We were lucky enought to see Australian Idol performances.
# Take a picture from the Opera House to the Sydney Hardbor Bridge. It is really beautiful
# Enjoy a Speed Cat trip to Manly. Only takes 15 minutes. When you get there, party at the Manly Harbour House
# If you are lucky you are staying there, otherwise, the Intercontinental or the Hyatt at the Rock are amazing. If you have time, enjoy at Vodka at -5C bar which is an ice bar.
# Spend an afternoon at Manly watching folks on the beach. Have a beer at the Manly Bar watching the inner harbour
# Then return via the Speedcat to Sydney.

Looking out from the “Cafe Sydney”:http://cafesydney.com at the Customs House right at the center of Circular Quay at sunset…
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Sydney evenings are filled with parties. This one is at the bar right next to the Sydney Opera House.
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The sunrise in Manley, you can see Sydney Harbor’s inlet..
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Just 20 minutes from the heart of Sydney are some of the most amazing beaches in “Manley”:http://www.manlyaustralia.com.au/. Surf every morning 🙂
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And 200 meters away, just such great beauty
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Meanwhile, 30 knot winds are blowing through and the sailing was tremendous in Sydney Harbor
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Downtown Seattle Restaurants

!>http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/dayart/20070330/226rest_30_2.jpg! Well, I said you could spend a year exploring downtown Seattle restaurants for lunch. Here’s a sampling of the latest so far in the definitely go there again. As a sampling of where to find reviews, “Gayot.com”:http://www.gayot.com/restaurants/bestof/bestof/seattle.html and The Stranger I’d add to my list. The “Gayot Top 10”:http://www.gayot.com/restaurants/bestof/se_top10foodratings.html is pretty good.

* “Steelhead Diner”:http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/food/309512_rest30.html is right across from Cafe Campagne and it servers some really great and different cuisine. I had gumbo and it was very nice. The chili is hot and don’t think of it as a diner, it has a great view and great good. They hand out Seafood watch, so they care about the environment. Lots of local ingredients and its a family place. Ken Davis is from Louisiana, was executive chef at Arnaud’s there and then was at Sazerac and then Oceanaire. It isn’t just southern, the Black Cod sounds wonderful by the way.
* “Copacabana”:http://www.seattleweekly.com/2006-04-19/food/south-america.php#copacabana. Also at the market and with a nice view over the top. The only Bolivian restaurant in town. Try the Paella, but what I really love are the local cola and the drink from the Amazon. 1520 Pike Pl.
* “Maximilien in the Market”:http://www.maximilienrestaurant.com/reviews/. Nearly impossible to find if you don’t know where it is. (It’s deep inside near the pig). It is a classic French bistro. Try the onion soup or the mussels. They are terrific.
* “Place Pigalle”:http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=9969 is right next to Max’s at the Market. They’ve got a new chef and updated menu. Like Max’s, they have a great view. Food is terrific too. Not as classic a Max’s. But still bistro food.
* “Cafe Campagne”:http://www.gayot.com/restaurantpages/info.php?tag=SERES00174-01&code=SE. This is the downstairs little brother to Campagne’s. Looks like a French bistro. The cassoulet is terrific.
* “Andaluca”:http://www.gayot.com/restaurantpages/info.php?tag=SERES9935&code=SE. The staff here is terrificallly friendly and the tomato bread soup is really good. It is vaguely spanish I would guess, but feels mediterranean I think is the general term.
* “Il Fornaio”:

And here are some places that are on the list to try:

* “Le Pichet”:http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/1/242/Seattle/Downtown-restaurants/Le-Pichet.html. How many French bistro’s are there in downtown Seattle. Its kind of amazing.
* “Metropolitan Grill”:http://themetropolitangrill.com For the day we are so depressed we have to eat a big steak and drink a martini at lunch time 🙂
* “Chocolate Box”:http://sschocolatebox.com Because you can’t live by good alone :_)
* “El Puerco Lioron”:
* “Etta’s”:http://tomdouglas.com/ettas Seafood by the green.
* “Lola”:http://tomdouglas.com/lola Greek food.
* “Palace Kitchen”:http://tomdouglas.com/palace
* “Serious Pie”:http://tomdouglas.com/serious
* “Taste at SAM”:http://tastesam.com. Great cookies!
* “The Triple Door”:http://tripledoor.com
* “Serious Pie”: