WineWednesday again! Dancin Vineyards in Jacksonville Oregon

#WineWednesday again!

Dancin Vineyards in Jacksonville Oregon

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Dancin Vineyards in Jacksonville Oregon

“If you had a penny for every kind act, you’d surely be a millionaire.”
– fortune from the fortune cookie from the Chinese food last night

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Chinese Food! Kung Pao Chicken, Broccoli Beef, Steamed Rice and Chicken Egg Rolls

Good Morning! It’s Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 and please join me as we Blog our day. We tried this last week and it turned out okay, so let’s do it again.

8:24am We have had our first cup of espresso (with non-dairy creamer) and enjoyed a toasted bagel with cream cheese. The puppies are fed and have been outside to do their business, and now they are playing in our office while we begin this Blog, surf the interweb, post on fb and watch the morning news…..

NOTE: The next door neighbors’ gardeners are here and the unending construction continues over the back wall. Our gardeners will be here later in the afternoon.

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8:30am Puppies Playing in the Office

Oh yeah, we didn’t sleep very much last night and we have about a thousand e-mails to go through today along with several errands to run and a couple of tasks that require our immediate attention. Be right back.

9:10am Second cup of espresso, puppies went outside again, briefly because the hawk is hunting. We just remembered we have leftover Chinese food from last night for brunch and we are going to take care of the first major task now.

10:12am Puppies went into the pen, came back inside and are now caged for a short nap. Working on the first major task…. just taking break. It’s already pretty warm outside (currently 71 degrees and rising) and we must hurry!

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Hummingbird on a wire!

12:22pm Lunchtime! Leftover Chinese food as planned. Major task #1 completed.

There are two hawks, a mated pair, that have been roosting in the tree over our backyard and hunting in the neighborhood. (See our previous Blog)

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Hawk in Flight

1:00pm We worked up a sweat and got dirty with Major task #1, so we just took a quick shower. The dogs are napping on the bed in our office. It’s time for the One O’Clock “Not News”. And our gardeners are here.

2:24pm We’ve dealt with some e-mails! Time for errands! But first an iced espresso.

5:12pm And we’re back! We went to get our hair cut and had a 3:30pm appointment… and as usual we waited 30 mins! We were ON TIME as always, we always expect to wait, so we weren’t disappointed, except we were disappointed. He’s been cutting my hair for 30+ years and he does a great job, but we hate to wait when we have an appointment!

NOTE: We used the 30 minutes of wait time to work on getting rid of more e-mails.

9:25pm We fed the dogs and watched some of the news. We fell asleep around 6:30pm and took a nap with the puppies. We woke up around 9pm and made dinner: a chicken and jalapeño cheese quesadilla with salsa verde and an iced espresso.

 

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Chicken and Jalapeño Cheese Quesadilla with Salsa Verde

The Dodgers game is ON local network television, a deal Spectrum Cable (aka TimeWarner and SportsNetLA) made with KTLA channel 5 to air ten games disguised as advertisement. Constant promotion and marketing, even during the game, it’s like a 3 hour commercial with commercials and some baseball thrown in tonight.

The Dodgers game is ON local network television, a deal Spectrum Cable (aka TimeWarner and SportsNetLA) made with KTLA channel 5 to air ten games disguised as advertisement. Constant promotion and marketing, even during the game, it’s like a 3 hour commercial (for the asshats holding the games hostage) with commercials and some baseball thrown in tonight.

WE ARE STILL BOYCOTTING THE DODGERS AND TIME-WARNER/SPECTRUM!
Read the previous Blog!

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BOYCOTT THE DODGERS! BOYCOTT SPORTSNETLA! BOYCOTT TIME-WARNER/SPECTRUM CABLE!

9:52pm the Dodgers are leading 3-1 in the bottom of the 9th inning with two outs.
Can they hold on and win? Or will they CHOKE? Third out! Dodgers Win!
WE DON’T CARE!
We have currently lost all interest in the Dodgers and might have to find a new team (like the winning Chicago Cubs) to support.

And that’s the Blog! It was a cute little experiment. We may or may not do this again…..

 

Dancin VineyardsWine Press Northwest 2017 Oregon Winery of the Year!

Dancin Vineyards4477 S Stage Rd, Medford, OR 97501 (near Jacksonville)
(541) 245-1133 dancinvineyards.com

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Dinner at the Lakeside Cafe in Encino

Dinner at the Lakeside Cafe in Encino, California

NOTE: This Blog is still under construction!
Once again wordpress is acting weird, so we published before the Blog was finished!

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Dinner at the Lakeside Cafe in Encino, California

It’s Thursday night and let’s go out to dinner!
Chinese? Japanese? Deli? Where do you want to go?
I don’t know, someplace different.
Okay, ….

How about the Lakeside Cafe in Encino?

We went there one time for dinner a long time ago, it was soon after they opened in the old El Torito building on Ventura Boulevard (just east of Balboa Blvd) adjacent to Los Encinos State Historic Park with a fantastic view of the lake.

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El Torito Mexican restaurant had been in the same space for years and was an Encino “constant”! After they closed, a couple of other restaurant/bar/club ventures tried to make a “go” of it and failed. And now the tenant is the Lakeside Cafe, a combination coffee house and bar-restaurant and now also a performance space with live jazz and other music.

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El Torito Mexican Restaurant

We went there just for dinner at about 6:30pm. They have Valet Parking for $3.00 in a lot off Ventura and there’s metered street parking that operates 8am-8pm everyday except Sunday. We found a spot on the street and entered through the Valet lot entrance (there’s also an entrance on Ventura).

 

The “Front-of-House” on Ventura is set up like a coffee house.

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Lakeside Cafe “Front-of-House” on Ventura Blvd – Coffee House

 

You can enter the restaurant from Ventura Blvd through the coffee house area and center room. There is additional inside table seating here away from the bar area.

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Lakeside Cafe Center Room, Host Desk Entrance from Valet Lot, Additional Indoor Tables and the Waiting Area as seen from Coffee House side

If you enter through the Valet lot you walk into the center room and arrive at the Host desk and the waiting area. There are couches, a coffee table and benches for additional seating against the wall.

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There is a side guest table as well. Would you care for some literature?

Sunday Brunch, Happy Hour 3pm-6pm, Live Jazz on Saturdays and the Catering Menu are featured on the promotional material available on the guest table, on your table and inside the menu. Quality marketing and promotion is good business (direct to customer inside the restaurant).

The Dining Room, the Bar and the Outdoor Deck Patio on the Lake

The restaurant’s dining room is open to the elements because of the outdoor seating and deck. It was a lovely evening, the doors were open, but as the sun set it got cooler, and then colder due to its location on the lake. We knew this was inevitable and we decided to sit inside the bar area dining room away from the doors when we arrived.

There was a good crowd, but it wasn’t too crowded when we arrived. They have it set up as a “cafe” with wood 4-top tables and nice chairs in the dining room. On our previous visit we sat at a bar table on tall stools and it was not comfortable. The dining areas are wide open, so it has a cafeteria vibe where you’re eating with everyone in the room. Also, there are only hard surfaces indoors (wood floor and glass windows), so it gets really loud inside even when it’s not crowded. I would not recommend trying to have a romantic dinner inside, although it might be nice place for a rendezvous outside during the afternoon or on a warm summer night.

There is a small covered outdoor deck patio, which is separate from the other outdoor seating by the lake. It would be nice for having a small private cocktail or dinner party.

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They have a very nice bar, unfortunately it takes up a lot of space in the Dining Room area, and makes the dining room part of the bar area, adding a lot of traffic and noise to the room.

NOTE: There is a DISCLAIMER NOTICE in the menu!

 

 

Outdoor Seating – Dining Al Fresco on the Lake!

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The Lake and the Dining Room Entrance from the Outdoor Seating Area

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There’s outdoor seating by the lake, which is a beautiful place to dine al fresco on a warm San Fernando Valley day or night. Be sure to read the Disclaimer in the menu though!

The Dinner Menu and Bar Offerings:

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Cocktails $12?
It’s a nice place, but they have “westside” prices in the heart of the valley!
The food was good, but their food items and drinks are expensive compared to many other neighborhood restaurants, which is probably the reason we haven’t been back since the first time we ate here. We most likely would have ordered drinks otherwise.

On The Menu: fried calamari, a Santa Fe salad, fettucine chicken alfredo and a coke

The calamari was excellent, lightly fried and crispy/chewy! The Santa Fe salad was good, but The Cheesecake Factory’s salad dressing is the standard to which all other Santa Fe salads are compared. This one “not as good”. And the fettucine chicken alfredo was tasty, but just a little bland. The thin sliced chicken and pasta was cooked perfectly, which is sometimes hard to accomplish with a pasta sauce. The service was only okay, it was a little scattered and could have and should have been better. Our entrees arrived pretty soon after the appetizer (while we were still eating the calamari), which is good for fast service, but bad in relation to “timing the meal”. Nothing to really be upset about though.

According to the literature, they have Sunday Brunch and Happy Hour at the bar 3pm-6pm. They have live music on Saturdays and they do catering too.

Here’s their Catering Menu:

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Lakeside Cafe Catering Menu

Lakeside Cafe16817 Ventura Blvd., Encino, California 91436
818-616-2430  www.lakesidecafe.com @LakesideEncino

Read our previous Blog Los Encinos Park

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Visit & Win at the Lakeside Cafe!

GBTA 2013 Convention in San Diego! (Global Business Travel Association)

GBTA 2013 Convention in San Diego! (Global Business Travel Association)

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NOTE: For ThrowbackThursday and FlashbackFriday we found this Blog draft. We laid out all the type and captions back in 2013 and never added the pics or details. So we went to the files for collateral from the convention, found old travel picture files on our other laptop for pictures that were never seen and also went hunting for the pics that we had already downloaded or posted, then we filled in all the details we could remember and constructed this Blog! And even though the event happened in 2013 we still hope you will enjoy this Blog for TravelTuesday in 2017!

We were invited to attend the GBTA 2013 Convention as a “Hosted Buyer”, but we had prior commitments and could only attend the first and second day of the event. So we made a one-night hotel reservation and arranged to attend the “preview day” on Sunday and the first day on Monday.

GBTA 2013 Convention Schedule for Sunday and Monday:
(Vendor Parties not shown) CLICK to SEE A LARGER PIC!

Road Trip to San Diego! – Ride along with me!

It was a foggy Sunday morning when we woke up very early and hit the road to San Diego. We left the San Fernando Valley at 7am to avoid traffic and drove south on the 405 and 5 freeways for about three hours. We were successful and drove fast (we also took pictures as we went) but other drivers were driving really fast! We were really amazed at the speed of some of the cars passing us at very high speeds like we were parked.

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GBTA 2013! – On The Road to San Diego (405 freeway south to 5 freeway south)

Ride along with me to San Diego, just click on the pics below:

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GBTA 2013! – Downtown San Diego

Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego (A Hilton Hotel)

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GBTA 2013! – Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego

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GBTA 2013! – Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego Atrium & Skylight

We arrived in San Diego and found our hotel, the Embassy Suites Downtown, sometime after 9am. We found metered street parking two blocks away from the hotel which was FREE and available because it was Sunday. We walked over to the hotel, had breakfast at the complimentary buffet and got an early check in.

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GBTA 2013! – Breakfast Buffet at the Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego

We went up to the room, checked it out and dropped our luggage. We set up the laptop, hooked into the hotel’s wi-fi and did our morning business via the internet and cell phone.

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After a short time in the room, we walked over to the Hyatt Regency and caught the Free Shuttle to the Convention Center.

Sunday was a “preview” day, so it was not very crowded, just busy. There were a lot of people checking in and the vendors and staff were making preparations for the week ahead. The Exhibition Hall didn’t open until Monday, but we were invited to the “First-Timers” lunch and the Welcome Party at the Hilton on Sunday evening.

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GBTA 2013! Global Business Travel Association Convention in San Diego

We rode the shuttle to the Convention Center, walked to Check-In, checked in and got our credentials, and then we walked to the “first timers” lunch in an adjacent meeting hall.

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GBTA 2013! – San Diego Convention Center

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GBTA 2013! – “First Timers” Lunch, Orientation and Welcome

On The Menu: Turkey sandwich with mozzarella cheese balls, lettuce & tomato and a slice of apple pie with iced tea, water and coffee

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After lunch, we attended the “Going Global” session, walked around the Convention Center and then we walked to the shuttle pickup point, rode the shuttle back to the Hyatt and then walked back to our hotel. We cleaned up and enjoyed a free cocktail and complimentary appetizers at the Embassy Suites’ afternoon Happy Hour downstairs.

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GBTA 2013 Welcome Reception Party Buffet at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront

After the Happy Hour we drove over to the Hilton Bayfront Hotel and paid $15 to park for the Welcome Reception and Party on the Great Lawn which runs along the Marina.  An outdoor evening buffet for 7000 people or so, with beer/wine and magaritas at the bar.

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GBTA 2013! – Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

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GBTA 2013! – Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

NOTE: It was a huge convention! Every hotel in San Diego remotely close to the Convention Center was at capacity and filled with Travel Agents, Vendors, Travel Writers and other attendees from all over the United States and other parts of the world. We commented on the size of the crowd to a staff person at the Convention Center and they just laughed because Comic-Con had been in town the week before and the size of GBTA convention wasn’t even close to the overflow crowd for Comic-Con.

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GBTA 2013 Welcome Reception Party on the Great Lawn – the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

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GBTA 2103 Welcome Reception Party on the Great Lawn – the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

On The Menu at the Welcome Reception Party Buffet at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront:
Buffalo chicken meatballs, lamb meatballs in a tomato sauce, pasta in lobster sauce, pita chips and a bunch of types of hummus, prime rib sliders with cheese, chicken potstickers, veggie potstickers, pork potstickers, other stuff too, and then on to the dessert table! Nice truffle selection, chocolate covered strawberries, candy lollipops in a bunch of weird flavors and mini-pastries…

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GBTA 2013! – Sunset Over A Sea of Travel Industry at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

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We walked to over to Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant for the next party. It was a long “Las Vegas” walk just after dark along the Marina and Bayfront to get to Roy’s, but it was worth it! We immediately regretted eating at the Welcome Party Buffet, because there was an amazing assortment of incredible food at Roy’s!

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GBTA 2013! – The Kitchen at Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant in San Diego

There were all kinds of sushi and cut rolls, egg rolls, chicken and beef satay skewers, Hawaiian style ribs, other tasty appetizers and finger foods, fresh fruit and a lot of fancy desserts. We ate and drank and networked until it got too crowded inside the large restaurant and we didn’t take any pictures (except the one of the kitchen above). We left the party early and took a little food “to go” for later at the hotel. We didn’t want to do anymore walking or make the long dark walk back to the Hilton parking structure, so we negotiated with a pedal cab guy and survived a really fast and wild nighttime ride back to the hotel along the Bayfront for $10+tip.

We walked to our car and drove back to the Embassy Suites. We valet parked our car at the hotel and retired to our hotel room. We did some work, ate the “to go” food (ribs, sushi and little chocolate balls) after midnight and went to bed.

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Monday morning, we were up early and we enjoyed the Embassy Suites’ breakfast buffet again. We took the food up to the room, ate and did some more work, and then packed up our stuff, went downstairs and had a second breakfast. After eating again we got our stuff and checked out of the hotel. We picked up the car from the valet, drove to over the Convention Center and paid to park there. Parking was $15 for all day until midnight.

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GBTA 2013! – Embassy Suites Hotel Breakfast Buffet (in the room)

We arrived in time and got a pretty good seat for the Keynote Address and Lunch for 6000 people with a presentation and performance by singer/songwriter Jewel. All of the front area tables were “Reserved” so we took a seat at a forward table in the first section behind the front area. The hall at the Convention Center was massive! Lunch for 6000 is not an easy task!

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GBTA 2013 Keynote Lunch with Jewel at the San Diego Convention Center

Monday’s GBTA 2013 Keynote Speaker Jewel performs
“Who Will Save Your Soul” live at the San Diego Convention Center

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On The Menu: iceberg lettuce salad, bread & butter, stuffed chicken breast with pesto sauce, vegetables, a fruit tart dessert and iced tea.

After lunch they opened the massive Exposition Hall which ran the entire length of the Convention Center and was filled with Vendors and Suppliers. There were also Vendor meetings scheduled for the afternoon. We walked a portion of the Exhibition Hall, collected brochures/information/swag and received invitations to events later on that evening and later in the week. It would have been impossible to cover the whole Exhibition Hall in one day, so we didn’t try. Instead we did what we could between 3-6pm and dropped all the promotional material in our car before beginning the evening activities.

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GBTA 2013! – The Gaslamp District Sign in San Diego

The Gaslamp District!
The Historic Heart of San Diego is located across the street and train tracks from the Convention Center. Bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels and plenty of gift shops are within easy walking distance (unless you’ve already walked all day).

Let’s get this party started!
We were invited to eight different parties happening at different locations around the Gaslamp District and the Bayfront near the Convention Center.

Monday Party # 1 – Sunset cocktails and dinner at the Altitude Lounge

Our first invitation was for a party at the Altitude Lounge on top of the Marriott Gaslamp Hotel. We walked over to the Marriott Hotel next door to the Convention Center, but it was the wrong Marriott. So then we walked over to the Gaslamp District and found the right hotel. We ate and drank and watched the sunset from the rooftop patio.

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Excellent view of San Diego and Mission Bay from the outdoor patio!

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GBTA 2013! View from the Altitude Lounge in San Diego

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GBTA 2013! – View of Petco Park from the Altitude Lounge in San Diego

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GBTA 2013! – Sunset in San Diego from the Altitude Lounge

On The Menu: tray passed appetizers and a buffet with eggrolls, beef on toast, beef and chicken satay, tuna on wonton crisp, crab on cracker, pita bread and hummus and more… catered by Flemings Steakhouse!

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Monday Party #2 –
We crashed The Parking Spot Party at Lou & Mickey’s at the Gaslamp

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GBTA 2013! – The Parking Spot Party at Lou & Mickey’s at the Gaslamp

We left the party and walked across the street and crashed The Parking Spot’s party at Lou & Mickey’s restaurant. We ate and drank and met the nice folks from The Parking Spot and told them we crashed their party. They didn’t mind. Their party ended early, and the place emptied as the crowd left for other parties that were just getting started.

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Monday Party #3 – GBTA 2013 “AMPED” Party at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego!

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GBTA 2013! – Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Guitar at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

We walked over to our next event: the AMPED party at the Hard Rock Hotel! We ate and drank and met a bunch of really nice people. It started slow but soon the crowd at the main bar was five people deep, the music was rockin’ and it got pretty hopping.

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This party was on a very large rooftop patio, with several permanent bars, a couch area with fire pits and portable heaters, several floating bars and a bunch of buffet stations with a great selection of food. There was good music, of course, and a stage was set up for performance, but it didn’t get used until later. There was even a photo booth for taking pictures with silly wigs, hats and props.

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GBTA 2013! – Buffet Station at the AMPED Party at the Hard Rock Hotel

We asked permission before taking these pics of one of the Go-Go Dancers on a raised pedestal (there were several). She said “Go ahead, I don’t see why not” and posed for the first one. And she was a fantastic dancer too!

Monday Party #4 – Level Skye Club at the Andaz Hotel in San Diego!

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GBTA 2013! – The Bar at Level Skye Club at the Andaz Hotel in San Diego

We had one more party to check out or we would have just stayed at the Hard Rock, instead we left the hotel and walked over to Level Skye Club at the Andaz Hotel. We walked a lot and we were wearing our dress shoes, so by the end of the night our feet were really hurting. We were also tired from a long day at the convention and a long night of partying.
When we got to the club the upstairs was deceptively quiet because downstairs in the basement it was raging! The party at Level Skye was really “off-the-hook” with funky dance music and lots of light and a lot of drunk travel agents. Travel industry people love to party! Thanks American Express!

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GBTA 2013! – Big Party at Level Skye Club in the Andaz Hotel Basement in San Diego

We didn’t eat or drink anything alcoholic because we still had to walk back to the car and drive home to Los Angeles. So, Monday late night we walked back to the car on sore feet before they closed the Convention Center Garage for the night (at midnight).

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GBTA 2013! – San Diego Convention Center Parking ($15 all day – closes at midnight)

We drove back to Los Angeles on the 5 freeway north after midnight and hit a impossible “Stop-and-Go” traffic jam along the way because of construction at 2am in the morning.

When we finally made it home after 3am, we unloaded the car and crashed hard. We had a really good time, did a lot of business and networking, saw Jewel play live music, enjoyed our “budget” stay at the Embassy Suites, and ate and drank and danced and partied in San Diego for two days.

NOTE: We did a lot of walking, a whole lot of walking in our dress shoes, so next time we bring and wear more comfortable walking shoes.

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GBTA 2013! – San Diego Convention Center Stairs at Night

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GBTA 2013! – We did not attend GBTA 2014 in Los Angeles

FINAL NOTE: We finished this Blog and hit “PUBLISH” and it did not. WordPress lost the Blog and the draft(s) totally disappeared! We had to use Google Cache to rescue it and then we had to start over and rebuild the original Blog again. Total waste of time. There is a flaw (BUG) in the wordpress program, because when we went looking for help we found that this has happened to other people as well. So, please ENJOY THIS BLOG, a lot of time went into it.



 

UPDATED Wednesday March 29, 2017 – We posted this Blog yesterday!

We collected a bunch of FREE stuff in the short time we were there, two bags full of stuff actually! Most was promotional “paper”: sell sheets, pamphlets, maps and brochures. But there was some fun giveaway stuff and cool “incentives” for visiting certain booths.

We were given a “Swag” bag at check-in provided/sponsored by Delta and the padded bag was very nice. We recently found it in Storage (see our previous Blog about Storage) and we are now using it as a laptop bag.

UPDATED April 5, 2017 – TRAVEL TIP!
We found these “hospitality cards” (restaurant and bar coupons, freebies, come-ons, etc.) from the San Diego trip. We had so much FREE food and drink and were only in town for one night, so we didn’t use any of them. They can be found at the Concierge Desk at the San Diego Convention Center (and these are just a few of the ones available).

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Hospitality Cards (Restaurant and Bar Coupons, Freebies, Come-Ons, etc.)

Super Bowl Sunday! Super Bowl 51 Party!

Super Bowl Sunday!
Super Bowl 51 Party!
February 5, 2017 – Houston, Texas

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Super Bowl 51

WHO DO YOU LIKE?

PREGAME:

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Super Bowl 50 – LEVI Stadium in San Jose, California

We don’t care who wins,
but we would like the New England Patriots to lose today.

We procrastinated and waited until this morning to do our party shopping.
So, we made an early Supermarket run for groceries and party supplies:

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Groceries and Super Bowl Party Supplies!

We weren’t sure what we were going to serve.
We planned on hot dogs (defrosted from the freezer).
We also thought wings and meatballs. So, that’s what we did.
Guacamole (had 2 ripe avocados), check. Chips, pretzels, etc., check.
We also did some of our shopping for the week.

We prepped the food, cooked the meatballs and then the wings,
made hotdogs for lunch and settled in for the Pre-Game Show.

Superbowl Sunday! Let’s get this party started!

LUNCH!

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GAME TIME FOOD!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

ON THE MENU: 2 hotdogs with mustard, onions and cheese on Hawaiian bread buns! Watermelon! Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, kiwi fruit and red & green grapes. Hot Wings! Crudité: celery, carrots, persian cucumber with ranch dressing and dill pickles. Meatballs with marinara sauce! Fresh made guacamole! Tortilla chips, pretzel sticks, pistachio nuts, cool ranch Doritos, BBQ kettle potato chips, teriyaki beef jerky, milk chocolate Milano cookies and peanut M&Ms. Coca-Cola, Dr Pepper, cran-raspberry-orange-pineapple juice and iced espresso.

ITALIAN MEATBALLS (with Marinara Sauce):

Mix 1/2 lb ground beef, 1/2 lb pork sausage (we used links and removed the casings), chopped onion, bread crumbs and spices: black pepper, salt, garlic powder, minced garlic, and Italian seasoning in a medium bowl. Roll into golf ball sized meatballs.
Heat a large pan with a little olive oil to medium heat and brown the meatballs turning so all of the outside is seared but the inside is still slightly uncooked. Remove from pan and let sit for 5-10 mins. Warm marinara sauce in a pan and add meatballs, rolling them in the sauce until they are completely coated. Remove from pan and let sit for 5-10 mins.
Add cornstarch to the marinara sauce and drippings and stir until it thickens.
Pour sauce over meatballs.
Bake meatballs in the oven at 300 degrees for 5-10 mins before serving.

HOT WINGS (with celery, carrots and ranch dressing):

10 wings (cut up with the ends trimmed off)
Mix 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp cayenne powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl. Coat wings completely and place in the refrigerator for an hour.
Heat oil and deep fry the wings. Place on paper towels to drain.
In a separate bowl mix 1/2 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (or other hot sauce), a dash of black pepper, a dash of garlic powder. Dip each wing in sauce and place on baking sheet. Bake in oven at low heat for 15 mins on each side, then broil for 2 mins on each side. Serve with ranch dressing, extra sauce, celery and carrots.


Let the Commercials and FOX Promos begin! The “Pre-Kick” Show!
National Anthem and Who is Luke Bryant?
Coin toss with ex-President George H.W. (Senior) and Barbara Bush.
The Atlanta Falcons win the coin toss and defer to receive in the Second Half.
New England will receive and gets the football first.

NOTE: To be honest, we watched the game and commercials while enjoying the food and the Super Bowl party. We did LIVE POST all the scoring plays on our personal facebook timeline as they happened, but it was so we could get the pics for this blog, which we are writing at Midnight long after the game is over.
We recorded it, so we are watching it again as we write this Blog.

SPOILER ALERT:
The New England Patriots Won Super Bowl 51 in Overtime 34-28.

KICKOFF TIME! First Half

Nobody scored in the 1st Quarter!
First Score!
2nd Quarter Touchdown ATLANTA FALCONS!
(following a stripped ball fumble by the New England Patriots)

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TOUCHDOWN ATLANTA! 7-0

Second Score: 2nd Quarter Touchdown ATLANTA FALCONS!

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TOUCHDOWN ATLANTA! 14-0

Third Score: Interception! Pick Six! Touchdown ATLANTA FALCONS!

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PICK SIX! TOUCHDOWN ATLANTA! 21-0

Fourth Score: End of 2nd Quarter Field Goal NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS!

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FIELD GOAL NEW ENGLAND! 21-3

The First Half was ALL ATLANTA.

THE HALFTIME SHOW!
Lady Gaga flies in from the roof as advertised!
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No Wardrobe Malfunctions.
Flying “Poker Face” on wires. Dance number. Crowd work.
Lighting effects and fireworks. Boring.
Who likes her music? (yes, some people like her music…)
And why is she the Halftime Show at the Super Bowl?

KICKOFF! Second Half

First Score: 3rd Quarter Touchdown ATLANTA FALCONS!

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TOUCHDOWN ATLANTA! 28-3

Second Score: 3rd Quarter Touchdown NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS!

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TOUCHDOWN NEW ENGLAND! Missed Extra Point! 28-9

Third Score: 4th Quarter Field Goal NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS!

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FIELD GOAL NEW ENGLAND! 28-12

Fourth Score: 4th Quarter Touchdown NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS!
(following a forced fumble by the Atlanta Falcons)

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TOUCHDOWN NEW ENGLAND! 2 POINT CONVERSION! 28-20

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Edelman’s Miracle Catch!

“After further review, the ruling on the field stands.” Completed pass!

Fifth Score: 4th Quarter Touchdown NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS!

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TOUCHDOWN NEW ENGLAND! 2 POINT CONVERSION! 28-28

The Second Half was ALL NEW ENGLAND!
New England scores 25 unanswered points to TIE the game 28-28!

OVERTIME! (First time in Super Bowl history)
Overtime Coin Toss will decide the game.
New England wins the toss and will receive.

First Score: SUDDEN DEATH! Touchdown NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS!
PATRIOTS WIN!

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OVERTIME! TOUCHDOWN NEW ENGLAND! PATRIOTS WIN! 34-28

THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS WIN THE SUPER BOWL…..

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“Say What?”

“Turn out the lights, the party’s over!”

The Atlanta Falcons choked and lost the game in the Second Half. The New England Patriots beat them by a touchdown in Overtime making what looked like a complete “blowout” in the First Half into an exciting game in the Second Half. Tom Brady led his team to the WIN and Atlanta was unable to respond after the early 3rd Quarter touchdown.

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Sleepy Puppies!

 



 

Cooking With Kenny Rogers!

COOKING WITH KENNY ROGERS!


A DOLE COOKBOOK with Food & Drink Recipes:

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The cookbook was a thrift store find!
Cool “All- American” recipes from “The Gambler”
(sorry, they’re not in order and just camera pics of some of the recipes):

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away And know when to run
You never count your money When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for counting When the dealin’s done.”


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Kenny Rogers’ Roasters Cornbread Muffins Recipe:

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KENNY ROGERS ROASTERS FIRE-AND-ICE CHILI

1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks in syrup
2 pounds lean boneless pork roast cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion chopped (1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic minced
1 28-ounce can tomatoes cut up
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 4-ounce can diced green chili peppers drained
1 green pepper chopped 3/4 cup)
1 medium yellow onion chopped (1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup chili powder
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 to 3 tablespoons seeded and finely chopped jalapeno pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Chili toppers: sliced onions, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese.

Directions:
1. Drain pineapple, reserving juice.
2. In a Dutch oven, cook pork, half at a time, in hot olive oil till brown. Return all the meat to the pot. Add the first chopped onion and 1 clove garlic. Cook over medium heat till onion is tender, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the reserved pineapple syrup, undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, green chili peppers, the green pepper, 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic, chili powder, cumin, jalapeno pepper and salt.
4. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer the chili for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the pineapple chunks. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes more.
5. Let diners add their own toppers. Makes 8 to 10 servings. Note: To increase the spiciness of the chili, add 2 more tablespoons of the jalapeno pepper.


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KENNY ROGERS BARBECUE SAUCE:

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1/3 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons bottled red hot sauce

Directions:
Add all ingredients in order as listed into a blender.
Blend with on/off speed on high until very smooth.
Cook on stove over medium high heat until thickened.
Remove from heat and cool until lukewarm.
Refrigerate in covered container to use within a few weeks
or freeze to use within a few months.
(If desired you can add a few drops of red food coloring).

KENNY ROGERS ROASTERS BBQ SAUCE:

Ingredients:
1 cup Applesauce
1/2 cup Heinz ketchup
1-1/4 cups Light brown sugar, packed
6 tablespoons Lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon.

Directions:
In heavy saucepan add all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil.
Stir constantly about 4 to 5 minutes.
Turn heat to low and continue to stir (3 to 5 minutes) so sugar is completely dissolved.
Allow to cook without stirring for 15 minutes on lowest possible heat, uncovered.
Transfer to top of double boiler over simmering water if using as a basting sauce for ribs or chicken during baking; or cool sauce and refrigerate covered to use in 30 days.
This BBQ Sauce freezes well.

NOTE: The first Kenny Rogers Roasters Restaurant opened in Coral Spring, Florida in August of 1991. The last Kenny Rogers Roasters Restaurant in North America was located in the Ontario Mills Mall in Ontario, California. It closed December 31, 2011.

In April of 2008, Berjaya Corp Berhad (BCorp), a Malaysia-based corporation, wholly owned subsidiary of ROASTERS Asia Pacific and master franchise for Kenny Rogers ROASTERS fully acquired the chain’s parent company, US-based Nathan’s Famous Inc.
Berjaya Food Berhad (“BFood”) incorporated in Malaysia in October, 2009 and was converted into a public limited company in December, 2009. In May of 2010, the Berjaya Group Berhad was added to the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Malaysia Index. BFood was listed on The Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad in March, 2011.

Kenny Rogers’ Roasters Restaurant Locations in Asia: http://www.kennyrogersroasters.com/branch.shtml

 


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Disney’s Secret Recipes
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FUN COOKING RECIPES
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FUN COCKTAIL RECIPES
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/cocktails/

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Recording “We Are The World” A&M Studios Los Angeles Jan 28, 1985 [AP photo]

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Everyone knows his song “The Gambler”
so please enjoy an earlier hit from way-wayback:

Kenny Rogers and The First Edition
“Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)”

Lip-synced performance from the “Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” television show:

Live Vocal (with canned music) performance for television 1968:

Live Performance from the “Kenny Rogers Rollin’ On The River” television show and the “Remember the 70’s” DVD:

“Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)”
written by Mickey Newbury and first recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis in 1967

(Yeah, yeah, oh, yeah) / (What condition my condition was in)

I woke up this mornin’ with the sundown shinin’ in.
I found my mind in a brown paper bag within.
I tripped on a cloud and fell-a eight miles high
I tore my mind on a jagged sky.
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in.

(Yeah, yeah, oh, yeah) / (What condition my condition was in)

I pushed my soul in a deep dark hole and then I followed it in.
I watched myself crawlin’ out as I was a-crawlin’ in.
I got up so tight I couldn’t unwind,
I saw so much I broke my mind.
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in.

(Yeah, yeah, oh, yeah) / (What condition my condition was in)

Someone painted “April Fool” in big black letters on a “Dead End” sign.
I had my foot on the gas as I left the road and blew out my mind.
Eight miles outta Memphis and I got no spare,
Eight miles straight up downtown somewhere.
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in.

(Yeah, yeah, oh, yeah…)

Produced by Mike Post. Some top studio musicians including Glen Campbell and Hal Blaine played the backing music and Post used effects, like phasing and backward mastering innovated by The Beatles, to give the song the psychedelic sound of the 60’s. It was released in 1968 to lukewarm reception until it was performed (lip-synced in a psychedelic video) on the “Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” television show.
The song hit #5 on the “Billboard Hot 100”.

“Gutterballs” dream from the film “The Big Lebowski” with the song as the soundtrack:

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“Far Out Man!”



 

JoshWillTravel’s 600th Blog Post!

JoshWillTravel’s 600th Blog Post!

http://www.JoshWillTravel.wordpress.com Blog! February 2013 – October 2016

600-posts

THANK YOU LOYAL READERS!

THANK YOU VISITORS!

THANK YOU FRIENDS!

JoshWillTravel

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600 Blog Posts! Celebrate!

Use Categories/Tags below to SEARCH for Blogs (use the Search Box top of page^^^^^^)

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600

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Mother’s Day Sunday Brunch at The Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks

Mother’s Day Sunday Brunch at The Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! Let’s have a Brunch Party!

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Sunday Brunch on Mother’s Day in Sherman Oaks in the beautiful San Fernando Valley at The Hamburger Hamlet was a very good choice! We didn’t make the reservation, our sister did through the Open Table website. We arrived at the restaurant at the appointed time and parked the car in the large lot behind the building on Moorpark. There’s a $4.00 flat fee for parking on Saturday and Sunday that will be refunded with a validation on a yellow ticket (not a white ticket) before leaving the lot. There is also metered street parking with limited availability on Van Nuys Blvd and other neighborhood streets.

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Sunday Brunch at The Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks

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Sunday Brunch at The Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks

From the Hamburger Hamlet website:

WE WELCOME YOU TO THE HAMBURGER HAMLET

LIKE MANY OF US WHO GREW UP IN LOS ANGELES, THE HAMBURGER HAMLET PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILIES LIVES. FROM DINNER IN WESTWOOD BEFORE SEEING A MOVIE, TO SUNDAY BRUNCH IN BRENTWOOD, THE HAMBURGER HAMLET WAS ALWAYS A HOME AWAY FROM HOME KNOWN FOR SIMPLY MARVELOUS FOOD & DRINK.

OUR MEMORIES INCLUDE WATCHING A VERY DAPPER MAN NAMED HARRY LEWIS GO TABLE TO TABLE GREETING HIS GUESTS OR SEEING MARILYN LEWIS WORKING WITH THE STAFF AND ATTENDING TO THE GUESTS NEEDS. STILL FRESH IN OUR MEMORIES IS OUR FAVORITE BURGER PAIRED WITH A HAAGEN DAZS SHAKE, THE FAMOUS LOBSTER BISQUE AND THE APRICOT CHICKEN WINGS.

SO INSPIRED BY WHAT THE HAMBURGER HAMLET REPRESENTED, THAT WHEN WE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE OVER SUCH A HISTORIC BRAND, WE COULD NOT RESIST THE CHANCE TO BRING IT BACK TO THE PROUD TRADITION AND FOUNDATION CREATED BY YOUR FORMER HOSTS, HARRY AND MARILYN LEWIS AND PAY OUR RESPECTS TO WHAT THEY ACHIEVED.

WELCOME BACK!

YOUR HOSTS KEVIN MICHAELS AND BRETT DOHERTY

Welcome to The Hamburger Hamlet! There’s a lot of history behind this restaurant!

The first Hamburger Hamlet was opened in 1950 on Sunset Blvd. At its peak the chain grew to 24 restaurants in multiple states. The Lewis family sold the sit-down chain for $29.2 million after opening Kate Mantilini in 1987. The owner Hamlet Group Inc. filed for bankruptcy on April 5, 2013.

The last remaining location in Sherman Oaks was acquired in 2014 and remodeled in 2015 by Killer Shrimp’s Kevin Michaels and Brett Doherty. They have refreshed the menu with brand new items and still feature the popular items that people loved growing up in Los Angeles.

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FLASHBACK!

The interior of the restaurant was extensively remodeled, and the famous red leather booths and chairs are no longer available…but there is still something familiar about the redesign.

There are many pictures from the history of The Hamburger Hamlet restaurant chain on the walls, which is a really nice touch. Many Angelenos have great memories of the restaurants and their menu dishes. Mine are of family experiences growing up: lunch with my Grandmother on Sunset Blvd (her office was across the street in the Union Bank building and they knew her by name), going there for special occasions, and parties and dinners at the locations in Sherman Oaks, Hollywood and Brentwood.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

And so it seemed appropriate for Mother’s Day that we revisit the location on Van Nuys Blvd which turned out to be a very good decision. As we drove to our destination, we passed packed restaurants on Ventura Blvd with people waiting outside to be seated (Marmalade Cafe, Blu Jam Cafe, The Cheesecake Factory at the Sherman Oaks Galleria, etc.). When we arrived at The Hamburger Hamlet there were empty tables and we were seated at our reserved table without having to wait.

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Have a Cocktail in The Bar at The Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks

The remodel of the restaurant was very well done. The Bar is beautiful. The dark dining room of the past is now a large open space with lots of light and the kitchen area was given a major upgrade and is semi-open and dining room adjacent.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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Sunday Brunch at The Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks

The Menu has also retained it’s history!  The still have the “signature” dishes along with some new items and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner all day.

NOTE: the Saturday and Sunday Brunch Menu is only available 9am-3pm on weekends.

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On the Menu: 1/2 Caesar salad, cornbread, Hot Turkey Sandwich with steak fries, cranberry sauce & gravy and a Mr Pibb soda. Our table also ordered eggs benedict & hash browns, a club sandwich & salad, a Cobb salad with cornbread, an Arnold Palmer, grapefruit juice, bacon & eggs and pancakes.

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The food was good. Classic American “comfort food” for brunch. The portions were large. The service was good, but slowed down as they got busier. The prices were reasonable (entrees are in the $13-$26 price range) and there wasn’t a “Mother’s Day Menu” or price increase because of the holiday which was particularly nice. We enjoyed our food, the memories, the brunch experience and Mom had a very good time!

The Hamburger Hamlet4419 Van Nuys Blvd (at Moorpark), Sherman Oaks CA 91403
http://www.hamburgerhamlet.com 818-784-1183

Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11:30am – 10pm and Friday: 11:30am – 12am
Saturday: 9am – 12am and Sunday: 9am – 10pm

Most photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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Harry Lewis’ Picture on the Wall at The Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks

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Harry Lewis at The Hamburger Hamlet Brentwood

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Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Inventions!

p.s. We really miss Hamptons Hollywood Cafe on Highland and the Old World Restaurant in Westwood, both offered the upscale hamburger experience in Los Angeles.

Dinner at the Texas Roadhouse BBQ in Medford, Oregon

Dinner at the Texas Roadhouse BBQ in Medford, Oregon

Our first night in Ashland, we had the fine idea to drive up to Medford (only about 20 minutes north on the 5 freeway) to the Texas Roadhouse BBQ for a big dinner.

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Dinner at the Texas Roadhouse BBQ in Medford, Oregon

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Dinner at the Texas Roadhouse BBQ in Medford, Oregon

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Dinner at the Texas Roadhouse BBQ in Medford, Oregon

The first thing you’ll notice about the Texas Roadhouse BBQ is the decor. Lots of wood, brick, neon beer signs, farm and western chotckes, and more wood.

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“New Country Rock” on the Jukebox at the Texas Roadhouse BBQ

The second thing you’ll notice is the noise… it’s very loud inside! The place is always busy and full of people. The hard wood surfaces and concrete floor amplify the noise and they play LOUD “New Country” music throughout the restaurant.

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Shelled Peanuts at the Texas Roadhouse BBQ in Medford, Oregon

On The Menu: BBQ baby back pork ribs, bone-in ribeye steak with fries, side of chili, dinner salad, bread & butter, salted shelled peanuts and a coke.

 

The food was good. The steak was done right. They boil their ribs and they boiled these a long time. If you like boiled BBQ ribs you’ll probably like theirs. The portions are large, there are lots of side items to choose from, and it’s good “country music” time. If you don’t like loud country music, best to find another restaurant. It’s a good concept and the waitstaff will keep on dancing for your enjoyment!

Texas Roadhouse BBQMedford, OR

All photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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Moosehead mounted over the front doors…

Best “Weekend Getaway” From Los Angeles?

Best “weekend getaway” from Los Angeles?

Here’s a Q&A from another saved draft. This is a Travel Blog.

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Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Q: My mom is coming to visit me in Venice for a week in April and we want to getaway! We’re looking for a destination to relax, hit up the spa, wine taste or have a great meal, do some boutique shopping, and maybe go for an easy hike? Since this will be for 1-2 nights, would like to keep it within 3 hours (one way). Out of all the amazing places, if you have to pick 1 destination for a visitor to see, what is the best destination for a weekend getaway from L.A. and why?

A: A fantastic Spa Weekend “Getaway” that meets your description can be experienced at the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village. It’s a beautiful full-service, luxury four star resort just north of Los Angeles with free self-parking.

The hotel has an amazing spa and pool facility with all the amenities. There’s fine dining on-site and in Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Agoura, Moorpark, Malibu or the Pacific Palisades (and the hotel also provides a shuttle that will take you to the beach).

Watch the sunset and enjoy a cocktail on the deck at Moonshadows Malibu or have an amazing $u$hi meal at Nobu Malibu. Enjoy a sumptuous dinner at the Saddle Peak Lodge, Cafe Firenze or one of the many fine restaurants nearby. We’ve heard about (and seen pictures of) the fabulous desserts at CHOCOLATINE Café French Pastries.

There is great easy hiking nearby in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. We recommend the Paramount Ranch (“Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” filming site), Malibu Creek State Park (“MASH” filming site) or Point Dume State Beach.

There are also some nice wineries to visit nearby: Malibu Wines, SIP Malibu, Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate Vineyards, Cornell Winery & Tasting Room and others are open to the public.

Horseback riding, shopping of all kinds, beach activities, nightlife options and more are all available locally. The hotel also offers cooking classes, other educational programs and fun activities.

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Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Good hikes in LA or surrounding areas?

Q: I have done a few in Malibu and Hollywood but looking for more ideas!

A: A great place to hike in Los Angeles is the Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills and other trails in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Park entry and parking are free! Topanga State Park, Malibu Creek State Park, Rocky Oaks Park, Stunt Ranch State Park, Will Rogers State Historic Park, Temescal Canyon Park and Point Dume State Beach all have great hiking. Entrance fees and parking vary by location.

To Paramount Ranch: Exit Kanan Rd off the 101 freeway, turn left towards the beach, just past Agoura Rd make a left on Cornell Rd and drive to the park entrance. Park near the Ranger Station and enter through the Western Town film location.

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Paramount Ranch Park in Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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It’s Wine Wednesday Again!

It’s Wine Wednesday! (again)

It’s Wednesday. Time for Wine! (again)

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Bella Fiore Winery 2014 Sauvignon Blanc