And YOU Get an Avocado, and YOU get an avocado, EVERYONE HAS AVOCADO

and it was good. The END

Oh wait...you want me to continue? I had you at avocado, didn't I?

The Avocado Show is situated in the hip, and trendy De Pijp area in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Great area for shopping, drinking and you guessed it...eating. I have been looking forward to this place since I first heard about it last November. It was supposed to open early 2017, and it did.

This past February Amsterdam had a NEW yet not so leafy green...THE AVOCADO SHOW. Where every dish features avocado. A glance at the menu:

They also have a special breakfast that is not on the menu. It is basically a eggs benedict with softer bread and heavenly chorizo. It melted in my mouth...

And of course Itried there signature Avocado Daiquiri. It was surprisingly delicious, and I showed some restraint in the fact that I only had one. It was on 1030 in the morning for goodness sake.

The Avocado Daiquiri...YUM!

The Avocado Daiquiri...YUM!

Now for the real deal....the intel:

COLD HARD PLASTIC...yup you read that right..no cash, money, dinero, euros, pounds, baht...CARDS ONLY!

If you go past 1015...you WILL wait. This was my THIRD attempt to eat here. The first two were once late afternoon (1430) and then yesterday evening (after 7) each time it was over an hour wait. I decided to try for breakfast and it worked like a charm. I walked in and had my choice in tables...within 15 min the entire restaurant was FILLED. I arrived at 1015...and if I would have shown up even 15 min later ...I would have earned myself a 15-30 min wait. So GO EARLY...they open at 9.

The food was quite scrumptious and hearty. Not something I'd eat everyday but when in Amsterdam. Seriously the bread was so soft, with the avocado, and tomato based salsa with chorizo, topped with a yummy hollandaise sauce. I get excited by the memory. Now what was pleasantly surprising was the cocktail. It was sweet yet very refreshing. I could easily see myself having 10 of them...sigh.

All in all, the food is delicious and I'll definitely go again. However, I'd rather get a solid start on my day so my game plan (and I recommend you do the same) save yourself some time and get the most important meal of the day, go early for breakfast. Bonus: they still serve the booze. You're welcome.

 

 

48 Hours in China...A Kitty's Tale

The Great Wall has been on my 'bucket list' since forever. Actually I have quite a looooonnnnggg bucket list but traveling is one I have been fortunate to obtain fairly easy over the last few years. With this being said I had put off China as I was waiting for a good time to go, or someone who wanted to go, however as I have learned DO NOT WAIT ON OTHER PEOPLE, even if they say they will go or can go. If you have an opportunity just GO. My own sister promised she would join me on a trip, I bought the ticket and guess what...life happened and she didn't join me. After that I learned not to wait...just do it.

After a wild time in Bali, tours, swinging over the jungle, getting sick as a dog with Bali belly and the worse being in the same city in a foreign country with former President Obama and still not getting the chance to meet him...I was heartbroken but the show/trip must go on...Beijing, China was next on my list.

Beijing was overwhelming to say the least but thanks to the lovely folks at Tour Beijing made it easy as 1,2,3. I took two tours with this company. Both days I had the same guide 'Lucy' as well as driver Mr Chia (not 100% of the spelling of his name, but I believe Lucy is correct or at least the pronunciation). They were punctual, polite and all around great people. Both tours were private, so we got to know each other quite well.

The tour on the first day was amazing and short. I arrived at 558 am, made it through customs and made it to my hotel (St. Regis Beijing) by 715am. The staff their is lovely but as a world class hotel I was hoping for a few more bilingual/english speakers. It was quite aggravating. However I made my voice known and management listened. And when in Beijing, I will return. Back to the tour:

Day 1: The Half day Cooking tour. We began early morning around 930 am. Lucy was in the lobby when I arrived. We drove to a lovely neighborhood and went shopping at some of the local vegetable markets. It reminded me of bodegas back home in NYC. We walked for a bit and she gave me an overview of the streets as well as Chinese culture and dynasties. It was very interesting. Soon we went deep into the Hartongs (streets) and she took me to the house where we would learn how to make authentic Chinese dumplings and have lunch. She explained that dumplings are the simplest of dishes and many Chinese mothers use it as a litmus test for women who want to marry their sons. And well...while I had a grand old time, Lucy and I both agreed that I should be glad that it's 2017 and many Chinese men cook, as my dumplings..well let's just say they were not on fleek. But I had a great time:

I can cook too, on top of the rest my dumplings are the best in the town...ha!

While there, we met a wonderful artist who hand painted the most beautiful designs inside of glass bottles. I fell in love and of course Lexie had to have one. (and by Lexie I mean me)

Lexie buying this beautiful blue hand painted bottle

Lexie buying this beautiful blue hand painted bottle

The next day was the day I had been waiting for...THE GREAT WALL...check!

We Did this...A girl and her frog

We Did this...A girl and her frog

Afterwards I took the toboggan down as I was tire, hot, old and pudgy...I did not have the heart to walk anymore...mama was done. As luck would have it. I got the "Michelle Obama" car. I will happily put my rear end where hers has been any day of the week. I love her. I wanted to add a pic but squarespace is being a bit dicey. You can see it on my INSTAGRAM tho.

The day was also spent in Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City:

Side Note: TWB- Traveling While Black in China can be a bit oppressive if you aren't ready for constant staring, and picture taking. I honestly felt like an animal at times. Some people (especially in that part of the world) have NEVER seen a black person, and are curious. THAT I understand. They would come up and talk to me and ASK to take a picture, which I have no problem with. It was the people who tried to sneak photos, or would physically put their hands on me and force me to be in a picture. I had a few #jesustakethewheel moments, but all in all it was a wonderful experience.

 

 

 

 

I ATE ALL OF INDIA..and I liked it

While traveling, I love to find out different aspects of the culture but it's usually the fashion, booze, beauty and food. While in India I had lots of food...lots AND lots of food. It was Heavenly.

If you are EVER in New Delhi, the ONLY (well it's not the only one but it definitely is the BEST one) Food tour you need is run by "India Food Tour" (click on words if you want to check out their site). This tour was RIDICULOUS! And I mean that in a great way.

I signed up originally for the "Single Traveler" option. I believed it was just gonna be me and a guide trying things out. I was shocked but delighted when it was not just me but 12 others. I could tell you about how amazing everything was and write about it for days. Raj, one of the guides as well as a professional chef was perfection: funny, witty, charming, dad-like (he was always on hand with sanitizer and wipes), and boy did he know his food. He is like a wizard. He taught me more about food, blends, tastes and my pallet in six hours than I have known my entire life. I will NEVER eat food the same way again...I've been changed. I AM A BELIEVER. And I believe that pics are better than my words. This is what we ate: (*note: click on pics if slide show doesn't load to see all the food)

1) Kachori (peas & lentils) with potato curry
2) Samosa (potatoes)
3) Nagori halwa
4) Sweet Lassi
5) Fruit sandwich
6) Allo chaat
7) Naan khatai
8) Kulfi (pomegranate & saffron pistachio)-ICE CREAM
9) Chola bhatura & kulcha
10) Gulab Jamun
11) Golgappe (hallow ball with spicy water): there was both a savory and a sweet one. My fave was the sweet.
12) Mushroom Patty, Chicken patty & Shammi kebab
13) Chicken tikka rolls & Paneer rolls (YUMMY)
14) Thumbs up (soda)