Kaua’i – a week in paradise

Two weeks ago, we were in Kaua’i or Kauai – one of the islands that make up Hawaii and known as the ‘Garden Isle’ for its lush green vegetation. Sometime towards the end of last year, we were thinking about what we’d like to do to celebrate five years of being married. Hawaii appealed to us as the perfect destination for a laid back and easy short holiday – we’re trying to make the most of living in the US and even though the flight to Hawaii is about 5.5 hours, it is still a lot closer to California than say, Europe.

I was expecting Kauai to be a place overflowing with tourists and with beaches strewn with resorts and souvenir shops typical of any popular beach destination. My fears were put to rest the moment we got into our rental car and took off to our rental studio apartment in Hanalei Bay. Yes, there were tourists and plenty of them but we somehow, as fate would have it (although Peter would disagree and say it was his diligent research that made this possible), ended in the most picturesque of spots that wasn’t overrun by visitors. Our apartment was only a 5 minute walk from the beautiful crescent shaped Hanalei Bay – a popular spot for surfers, beginners and experts alike, and also the spot where parts of the much acclaimed movie, ‘ The Descendants‘ starring George Clooney was filmed.

kauai

hanalei hawaii

hanalei town center

hanalei hawaii

hanalei kauai

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IFBC 2014 – A Taste of Seattle

The IFBC opened on Friday evening and ran through Sunday afternoon. On Saturday evening, we had a ‘Taste of Seattle’ fair  – a showcase of some of the best local gourmet products and food from some of the best restaurants in town. There was a lot going on. There was vegetarian and regular sushi, tuna poke, root beer floats, spiced and candied nuts, and sous vide steaks to name just a few nibbles on offer. All this was accompanied by wine from local wine merchants and even an eclectic fashion designer who fashioned costumes out of mussel shells and the backbones of deer. If  you’re curious at all, the complete list of vendors who were there, can be found on the Foodista website.

food fair ifbc

Food Fair Seattle

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IFBC 2014 – Opening Evening & Sessions

The elevator doors opened and there I was on the fourth floor of the Westin where all the action would take place. Just as I expected, there was a crowd of faces, all strangers – I did not know a single soul! Of course, I could have networked before the conference and exchanged tweets and made friends even before getting to Seattle but of course, I didn’t do that. I wanted to take a slow organic approach to it all (or at least that’s what I kept telling myself).

ifbc seattle goodies

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IFBC 2014 and Seattle – First Impressions

We spent the last weekend in Seattle – Peter explored the city while I was busy attending the International Food Bloggers Conference hosted at The Westin. This conference has been bringing together food bloggers from all corners of the country (and some corners of the world) every year since 2009. When we were still living in Europe, I was always envious of people who lived in the US and could easily travel to the conference location. So now that we live in California, this was my chance to experience first hand what a gathering of food bloggers is all about. Conference and air tickets and hotel reservations were all arranged well in advance. All I had to do was to remember the dates, pack my bags and make sure I was there, exciting!

Seattle Washington

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Beautiful El Paso de Robles

The last couple of months have flown away in a whirlwind of 9-5 days. Yes, that’s right, am back working a regular office job albeit a temporary one! Exciting as it has been to have a daily routine again, my love for cooking and experimenting in the kitchen have taken a backseat. The result? No new posts here for quite some time now!

As I work on remedying this, I thought I’d share moments from our recent weekend trip to Paso Robles (short for El Paso de Robles or ‘Pass of the Oaks’), a wine region not too far from where we are in the South Bay. A few weeks ago, we had a much needed public holiday on a Monday and decided to make the most of the long weekend. We packed our bags, got into our car and drove through the mad holiday weekend traffic to get to our destination – a lovely little cottage set in the vineyards at Berardo Winery. Run by a couple with Italian roots, that showed in the Italian grape varietals they grow, it was in the best spot possible. Our backyard opened out to the vineyard. The patio was just a few feet away from the vines themselves. We couldn’t have asked for a better view and a better deal!

paso robles trip

vineyard in paso

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