Tag Archives: lasagna

CV! Part 190 – “The Days Between” part two (Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon)

CV! Part 190 – “The Days Between” part two (Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon)
EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING ACROSS THE WESTERN UNITED STATES!
WEARAFUCKING(DOUBLE)MASK! STAYTHEFUCKHOME!
DO NOT TRAVEL! DON’T STOP SOCIAL DISTANCING! 

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The Grateful Dead early 70s

August 1st is Jerry Garcia’s birthday.
August 9th is the anniversary of his death in 1995.
The nine days from August 1st to 9th, are known as “The Days Between”
named for the Grateful Dead’s song on “So Many Roads” released in 1999.
CELEBRATE THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF JERRY GARCIA!

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First LIVE performance of “So Many Roads”:
February 22, 1992, at the Oakland Coliseum Arena.

Thought I heard a blackbird singing
Up on Bluebird Hill
Call me a whinin’ boy if you will
Born where the sun don’t shine
And I don’t deny my name
Got no place to go, ain’t that a shame?
“So Many Roads” by the Grateful Dead
written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter

Grateful Dead – “So Many Roads”
From the last Grateful Dead concert: – July 9, 1995, at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois

 

Friday, August 6, 2021 – “Puff puff, give.”
“’cause it’s Friday; you ain’t got no job… and you ain’t got shit to do.”
Happy birthday Lucille Ball!
(“I Love Lucy”)
Happy birthday Andy Warhol!
– “Art is what you can get away with.”

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Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s 32 Soup Cans at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Read our previous Blog Post “Warhol Wednesday”

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The Grateful Dead at Watkins Glen Raceway, New York July 28, 1973

8:30am: And TGIFriday! It’s Friday!
We were up all morning long, and we laid down after sunrise.
And then the dogs were awake and barking.
The dogs went outside. The dogs got fed. 
We drank a cup of espresso. Drink Coffee. Drink Water.
We just published Part One of “The Days Between” Blog Posts.
We worked on future Blog Posts this morning too.
But TRAVEL MUST WAIT AGAIN, so we are in LIMBO right now.
There are ROOFERS on our street, and they start too early.
They are replacing the wood shake roof across the street this week.
(Can’t even imagine how HOT it must be up there in August!)

Today’s SECRET WORD is HELP:
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-make it easier by offering one’s services/resources
-serve someone with (food or drink)
-improve (a situation or problem); be of benefit to
-aid, assist, improve, remedy, support
-the act of helping someone to do something; assistance
-a person or thing that helps, a domestic employee
-giving assistance to
-an appeal for urgent assistance
– a song title and the fifth studio album by the Beatles

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The Beatles’ “HELP!” was released on August 6th, 1965.
(WOW! We did not know that, and that’s a really weird coincidence!)

10:55am: We made another iced espresso.
Watching TV: “Flight of the Conchords” in concert on HBO.
+Surfing the interweb, and working on this Blog Post for a couple hours.
12:00Noon: We did a little dog grooming, and brushed out all the dogs.
We do a little bit everyday of course, but they all got brushed this morning.
We took them outside and now they are happy in the kitchen.
And we might be hungry.

JoshWillTravel: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.


It’s HIROSHIMA DAY! (aka “A-BOMB DAY”)
The anniversary of the first World War II Atomic Bomb attack on Japan.
Hiroshima Heiwa Kinen Kōen is a public park in the center of Hiroshima, Japan. It is a memorial dedicated to the first city to suffer a nuclear attack, the memory of the victims (as many as 140000), and to WORLD PEACE. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is visited by more than one million people every year. The annual August 6th Peace Memorial Ceremony is sponsored by the city of Hiroshima.

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The A-Bomb Dome is the former Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall.
The building is the nearest building to the bombing that remained partially standing.
It’s now another memorial to the August 6th, 1945, 8:15am nuclear explosion.

“the Peace Memorial Ceremony has never once been cancelled since the Cenotaph for the A-Bomb Victims was built in Peace Memorial Park in 1952, the Peace Memorial Ceremony will be held this year in a similar manner as last year with strict COVID-19 infection prevention measures.”


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JoshWillTravel: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

10:22pm: Recapping Friday afternoon. We made some lunch.
TV, interweb, YouTube, podcasts. We were mildly entertained.
We fell asleep with the dog and slept.
We woke up and then we went back to bed and slept some more.

On The Menu: Fried chicken breast, quesadilla with salsa verde,
and a dill pickle. With an iced espresso to drink.
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We woke up again. The dogs got fed and went outside.
We made and ate some dinner at 10:00pm. GOOD SHABBOS!

On The Menu: Double helping of Mama’s homemade lasagna. And a coke.
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NOTE: We were invited to Friday night dinner again.
We don’t feel it is safe to eat and party
with people not inside your bubble again….
WE DON’T KNOW: WHO IS FULLY VACCINATED?
WE DON’T KNOW: WHO IS INFECTED AND CONTAGIOUS?
Is it really safe to party indoors with people who are vaccinated? 
Do you know where they’ve been and who’ve they’ve contacted?
Are they being honest about their status and contacts?
So, we didn’t go the party and we ate our dinner alone.
And then we had a little dessert.

On The Menu: Chocolate Cake from Benes Bakery with Haagen-Daas
vanilla ice cream, Hershey’s chocolate syrup, and whipped cream229426016_5009305815762611_3786892256874291047_n

Thought I heard that KC whistle
Moaning sweet and low
Thought I heard that KC when she blow
Down where the sun don’t shine
Underneath the Kokomo
Whinin’ boy got no place to go

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Jerry Garcia and John Kahn – Old & In The Way 1975

TRAVEL ALERT! DO NOT TRAVEL!
Spirit Airlines cancelled over 2000 flights this week!!!!! 
with more cancellations coming this weekend.
Passengers have been left stranded at airports across the country for days.
TOTAL FAIL. And there won’t be any penalties of course. 
Can you even imagine being stuck in line with hundreds of strangers
for hours with the Delta Variant spreading?


Las Vegas Livestream on Friday night!
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STAYTHEFUCKHOME! STAYTHEFUCKHOME! STAYTHEFUCKHOME!
ZERO CONTACT. ZERO CONTACT. ZERO CONTACT. ZERO CONTACT.
WEARAFUCKING(DOUBLE)MASK! WEARAFUCKING(DOUBLE)MASK!


Saturday, August 7, 2021
Happy B
irthday Ralph Bunche! Born in 1904 in Detroit, Michigan.
He was the first African-American to receive the Nobel Prize in 1950.
BLACKLIVESMATTER!

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3:50am: Still awake. Working on Blog Posts, watching TV, surfing the interweb,
and watching YouTube vids and Livestreams. Sleepy time soon.

JoshWillTravel: ZZZZZZZZZZ

7:15am: We are awake again. The dogs got fed and went outside.
We drank a cup of espresso. Drink Coffee. Drink Water.

8:00am: We took the dog outside again. Now it’s nappy time for the dogs.

Today is the midpoint of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere
and Winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

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9:10am: The gardeners are here.
They’re going to work in the backyard today.
We did a little dog grooming. And we thought about some food.
But we don’t know what we want to eat right now.
And we’ve had our coffee already, and we don’t want to drink more right now.

10:00am: Okay, we made an iced espresso. Still no food.
We’re chilling’ in the Home Office with the dog again.

Thought I heard that KC whistle
Moaning sweet and low
Thought I heard that KC when she blow
Down where the sun don’t shine
Underneath the Kokomo
Whinin’ boy got no place to go

JoshWillTravel: ZZZZZZZZZZ

12:25pm: We woke up and took the dogs outside.
We ate some food. Then we fell asleep again.
On The Menu: Leftover lasagna for lunch
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JoshWillTravel: ZZZZZZZZZZ

7:30pm: We woke up again. Crashed hard. 
And the gardeners were just finishing up in the backyard for the day.
It’s Saturday night. We got the dogs. The dogs got fed.
The dogs went outside. Now we’re chillin’ in the Home Office again.
BORING. So BORING.
We put on some music and the dogs are napping now.

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8:40pm: ONE MORE SATURDAY NIGHT.

So many roads, I tell you
So many roads I know
So many roads, so many roads
Mountain high, river wide
So many roads to ride
So many roads, so many roads

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Recapping Saturday night. We worked on our future Blog Posts.
We watched TV, surfed the interweb, watched YouTube vids and livestreams, 
and we were entertained, occupied, and distracted into the early AM hours.

Criminal Complaint filed against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Sexual harassment and retaliation? The Democrats are giving him up.
Albany, NY Police press conference today. Not good for him.
The NY Attorney General’s press conference was also not good for him.
THIS IS JUST MORE GOOD MEDIA DISTRACTION
FROM TRUMP AND THE GOP TRAITOR’S TREASON!

The Senate is meeting today to vote on the “Bi-Partisan” Infrastructure Bill.
And 700000 Bikers are still gathering in Sturgis, South Dakota, this week!
They didn’t learn their lesson from last year, of course.
YES, PEOPLE ARE REALLY GREEDY AND STUPID.
sturgis

United Airlines will require ALL EMPLOYEES get vaccinated.

firstaid

THE NEW LAMBDA VARIANT IS SPREADING IN THE UNITED STATES!
“highly infectious, may also be able to evade vaccine antibodies”

The SARS-CoV-2 Lambda variant, also known as lineage C.37, is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It was first detected in Peru in December 2020. On 14 June 2021, the World Health Organization named it Lambda variant and designated it as a variant of interest – wikipedia

Investigators in Chile conclude that the lambda COVID-19 variant is not only more infectious than standard SARS-CoV-2, but could also possibly shrug off vaccines. The first case in the United States has been spotted at Houston Methodist Hospital. – July 30, 2021

120000 New COVID-19 Cases in the United States yesterday.
The highest daily number in six months! Delta Variant is spreading fast.
619900+ Reported US DEATHS from COVID-19 as of this morning!
Hospitalizations are rising. Children are being infected.
And so, LET’S SEND THE KIDS BACK-To-SCHOOL. WTF?
Deaths are increasing again. The unvaccinated are dying.
And so, LET’S REMOVE MASK MANDATES and RESTRICTIONS. WTF?
And only 50% of the US population is Fully Vaccinated.
And so, WTF? Are they just waiting for the vaccine-resistant variant?
WE WANT TO GO OUT! WE WANT TO TRAVEL! WE DON’T WANT TO WORRY!
WHO THE FUCK IS IN CHARGE OF THE PANDEMIC RESPONSE?
WHY ISN’T THERE A NATIONAL EMERGENCY MANDATE?
WHY AREN’T THERE DOMESTIC TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS?
quarantine-flag-300x200
THERE NEEDS TO BE A 40 DAY TOTAL SHUTDOWN.
QUARANTINE EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE, except for actual essential workers.
NATIONAL GUARD/LAW ENFORCEMENT if necessary to enforce the shutdown.
REQUIRE EVERYONE GET VACCINATED IF THEY WANT TO GO OUT IN PUBLIC.
EVERYONE. And Rapid Testing for EVERYONE EVERY WEEK until it is eradicated.
ARREST AND PROSECUTE ANYONE SPREADING MISINFORMATION AND LIES!

The Delta Variant is VERY CONTAGIOUS and it might kill you.
4,304,980 Reported Deaths from COVID-19 Worldwide!
(the actual number is much higher)
COVID-19 is currently affecting 220 countries and territories.

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If it was just the “vaccine-deniers” that were dying, that would be okay.
THEY ARE THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE AND THE STATE NOW!
Hospitals should refuse to accept patients who have not been fully vaccinated.
The unvaccinated should be restricted from ALL PUBLIC SPACES.
Masks that cover the nose and mouth should be required EVERYWHERE.

STAYTHEFUCKHOME! STAYTHEFUCKHOME! STAYTHEFUCKHOME!
ZERO CONTACT. ZERO CONTACT. ZERO CONTACT. ZERO CONTACT.
WEARAFUCKING(DOUBLE)MASK! WEARAFUCKING(DOUBLE)MASK!
measlesquarantine

One More Saturday Night!
JER
 

Sunday, August 8, 2021 – the 220th day of the year!

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“Dear Jerry” Envelope Art (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

2:30am: We finally made some dinner at 1:00am.

On The Menu: 2 beef soft tacos with avocado and salsa verde
And an iced espresso to drink.
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Thought I heard a jug band playin’
If you don’t who else will?
From over on the far side of the hill
All I know the sun don’t shine
And the rain refused to fall
And you don’t seem to hear me when I call

7:15am: SUNDAY! SUNDAY! Sunday morning. And we’re awake early.
We drank a cup of espresso. Drink Coffee. Drink Water.

8:05am: We fed the dogs. We took the dogs outside.

9:10am: We made an iced espresso and played with the dog.
Now he’s napping under the desk.
The other dogs are sleeping in the bedroom.

11:45am: We just made and ate Sunday Brunch.
On The Menu: Toasted bagel with lox and cream cheese; dill pickle,
pita chips, and cherries
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JoshWillTravel: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

9:10pm: We fell asleep and really slept.
The dogs went outside. The dogs got fed.
We woke up and thought it was morning, but it was actually sunset.
Wait, it’s Sunday night. We took a shower. We made an iced coffee.

10:15pm: We drank our iced coffee. We played with and groomed the dog.
We haven’t eaten since Brunch, so we’re thinking about food again now.

BOB and JER

Wind inside and the wind outside
Tangled in the window blind
Tell me why you treat me so unkind
Down where the sun don’t shine
Lonely and I call your name
No place left to go, ain’t that a shame?

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We miss Jerry! We think about the music he could have made. RIP

STAYTHEFUCKHOME! STAYTHEFUCKHOME! STAYTHEFUCKHOME!
ZERO CONTACT. ZERO CONTACT. ZERO CONTACT. ZERO CONTACT.
WEARAFUCKING(DOUBLE)MASK! WEARAFUCKING(DOUBLE)MASK!


Monday, August 9, 2021
Remembering Jerry Garcia today (and everyday).
May his memory be blessed!

jerry

Jerry Garcia

So many roads, I tell you
New York to San Francisco
So many roads I know
All I want is one to take me home
From the high road to the low
So many roads I know
So many roads, so many roads

1:20am: And we still haven’t eaten yet. 
Time to watch “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” on HBO.
FUCK TUCKER CARLSON! FUCK FOXNEWS! 
The Olympics are over? Yeah, we gave up on NBC last week.
FUCK RUSSIA! Fuck Vladimir Putin! FUCK MOSCOWMITCH!
FUCK THE RUSSIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE!
AND FUCK THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE TOO!
LOVE John Oliver! Brilliant! Mindblowing! The Voice of TRUTH!

3:00am: The dogs went outside.
Still no food. But we made and drank a mocha milkshake.
Drink Coffee. Drink Water. Eat Chocolate. Eat Ice Cream.

POP Funko Jerry Garcia:
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“Don’t cry now, don’t you cry, don’t you cry anymore.
Sleep in the stars, don’t you cry, dry your eyes on the wind.”

9:15am: We woke up very early, but didn’t really sleep at all.
We took the dog outside. The dogs went outside.
The dogs got fed. We made and drank an iced espresso.
We ate a piece of leftover lasagna for breakfast.
We watched “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse” on Amazon Prime.

And it’s Monday morning. 
The roofers are working across the street again today.
They arrived at 6:45am and started at 7:00am….

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Mondays only happen once a week!

10:45am: We made another iced espresso.
The housekeeper is here today to clean.
We took the dogs outside. It’s a beautiful day in the SFV.
Now we are all chillin’ in the Home Office. It’s going to be HOT.
Watching “VAL”, the Val Kilmer documentary on Amazon Prime.

JoshWillTravel: ZZZZZZZZZZZ

We took a nap.

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The Grateful Dead Movie 1977 directed by Jerry Garcia

JoshWillTravel: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

9:21pm: Recapping Monday.
The gardener came and worked in the backyard all afternoon.
Making a change to the landscaping and the “rock garden”.
So we had the dogs in the Home Office all afternoon too.
The dogs went outside. The dogs got fed.
And we fell asleep again. 

Recapping Monday night on Tuesday morning again.
We woke up and made dinner. NO SALAD TONIGHT.
On The Menu: Toasted bagel with lox and cream cheese, dill pickle,
potato chips and cherries with an iced espresso to drink.
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John Belushi and Jerry Garcia
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From the land of the midnight sun
Where the ice blue roses grow
Along those roads of gold and silver snow
Howlin’ wide or moaning low
So many roads I know
So many roads to [unverified] my soul

Get your Jerry Merch!
Get your Garcia Hand Picked Brand Cannabis!
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Aloha Jerry!
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STAYTHEFUCKHOME! STAYTHEFUCKHOME! STAYTHEFUCKHOME!
ZERO CONTACT. ZERO CONTACT. ZERO CONTACT. ZERO CONTACT.
WEARAFUCKING(DOUBLE)MASK! WEARAFUCKING(DOUBLE)MASK!

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DONALD TRUMP AND THE GOP TRAITORS REMAIN
A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER TO THE WORLD in Summer of 2021!

abombtrump

THE GOP TRAITORS ARE LYING TO YOU!
DON’T BELIEVE THEIR LIES!
YOU KNOW WHAT REALLY HAPPENED!
YOU SAW IT WITH YOUR OWN EYES!

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SEVEN MONTHS AGO, TRUMP AND THE GOP TRAITORS
TRIED TO OVERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES! 

Breaking News from the State Department: (Why isn’t Mike Pompeo in prison?)
A $5,800 bottle of Japanese whiskey gifted to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by the government of Japan in 2019 is missing. Pompeo said he never received the bottle of whiskey and had no idea it was missing, or what happened to the gift. Pompeo’s lawyer, William Burck, told the Wall Street Journal that the former secretary of state had “no recollection of receiving the bottle of whiskey and does not have any knowledge of what happened to it.”
Earlier this year, the State Department’s independent watchdog group, Project on Government Oversight, found that GOP Traitor and Trump stooge Pompeo and his wife Susan “violated federal ethics rules by making over 100 personal, non-work related requests to department employees” (including ordering gifts, booking salon appointments, and taking care of their family dog).

FIRE AND ARREST TRUMP STOOGE
AND GOP TRAITOR LOUIS DEJOY NOW!

El6IK32VcAAcG-r

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and she’ll xxxx xxxx xxxx for a thousand dollars.

Masks are required indoors again in the County of Los Angeles!
WARNING! COVID-19 (the Delta Variant) is spreading 
and case numbers are rising in all 50 states.

MONDAY’S NUMBERS:
COVID-19 is still the leading cause of death in the United States.
617000+ Reported Deaths in the United States from COVID-19
as of today.
64780+ Reported Deaths in California from COVID-19 as of today
53350+ Reported Deaths in New York from COVID-19 as of today
(these are the reported numbers, the true numbers are much higher)

NOTE: THERE IS ANOTHER REPORT THAT COVID-19 NUMBERS
IN THE US MAY HAVE BEEN UNDER-REPORTED BY AS MUCH AS 60%!
The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
reports the number of COVID-19 DEATHS in the US at more than 900000
(that’s 57% higher than the official data according to their analysis)

STAYTHEFUCKHOME! STAYTHEFUCKHOME! STAYTHEFUCKHOME!
ZERO CONTACT. ZERO CONTACT. ZERO CONTACT. ZERO CONTACT.
WEARAFUCKING(DOUBLE)MASK! WEARAFUCKING(DOUBLE)MASK!

**GIVE BLOOD!***
THE RED CROSS NEEDS BLOOD AND PLASMA DONORS!

redcrossblood.org 1-800-RED-CROSS Blood Donor App

“This is The End , my only friend The End”
And so we now end “The Days Between” 2021

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Be Grateful. Be Kind.
“We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.”
~Japanese Proverb



Las Vegas, Nevada! “Vegas Baby! Vegas!”

Las Vegas, Nevada!
“Vegas Baby! Vegas!”

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Back from Las Vegas.
A fun trip to “Sin City”
Happy to be Home!

JOSHWILLTRAVEL! And travel to Las Vegas last week is what we did.*

*well, it wasn’t last week…. more like last month. Tempus fugit!

We were invited (very last minute) to our friend Frank’s 65th Birthday Adventure:
(via a series of text messages)
– Come to Vegas if you want we have extra rooms
– We arrive Wed and lots of different rooms. Party on Saturday
– The party at Topgolf should be good even if you dont golf. Has a private pool for us
– Then we got a big cabana by our pool Friday Saturday and Sunday

So, let me think about it….. and Road Trip to Vegas!
Left the beautiful San Fernando Valley at 1:30am on Thursday morning.
Highways to Las Vegas: 101north-134west-210west-10west-15north
We drove a rental truck, a no-frills silver Nissan Frontier, with unlimited miles.
No traffic! Driving 285 miles at night with the truckers on I-15 north.

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“World’s Tallest Thermometer” in Baker, California

Stopped along the way in Baker, California, for gas and to see the “World’s Tallest Thermometer” once again lighting the side of the 15 freeway. It was “non-operational” for many years, but has been repaired and now it is again a beacon at night on the desert highway.
NOTE: Gas prices were “too f*ckin’ high” in Baker! 

Stateline! No stopping until we get to town.

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Stateline! Primm, Nevada

Arrived at South Point Hotel and Casino before 6am on Thursday.

We have always heard good things about the SouthPoint. People regularly recommend their buffet as being very good. They were also recently featured in the Showtime series “Action” about legal sports gambling, so as we rolled into town we decided to stop there.

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SouthPoint Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas, Nevada

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!

 

Self Parking at SouthPoint is FREE. We parked outside, instead of in the structure, and it was only a short walk to the Casino entrance. We had to go to the High Limit Slots counter to get a Player’s Card because the Club Desk doesn’t open until 7am. We played some blackjack and a little video poker and won a little money.

We also earned 300 club points which entitled us to “spin the wheel” and we won 5000 points (so we cashed them out for $15.00), wandered around the casino, and then headed for their Breakfast Buffet.

NOTE: Get the SouthPoint Player’s Card and the Breakfast Buffet is only $9.95 + tax
(Really nice breakfast buffet for ~$11.00 + $5.00 tip for our server/waitperson)

Breakfast Buffet Time! The Las Vegas “Buffet Experience”! And we were hungry…..

On The Menu: Everything. It was a Good Buffet!

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!

 

After breakfast we headed out and drove to the Wyndham Grand Desert Resort near the MGM Grand and across the street from TopGolf at the south end of the strip.
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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!

 

Wyndham Grand Desert Resort

Parked near Tower 3, walked to registration at Tower 2 and Checked In.
Our friends had the rooms reserved and a quick phone call was made, our ID was checked, and we were handed a keycard and welcome instructions. We walked back to Tower 3 and met one of our friends in the lobby. She gave us the “nickel tour” of the resort property and showed us the adult pool and the cabana they had reserved for our party weekend. We walked back to Tower 3 and grabbed our luggage and weekend supplies out of the truck and rode the elevator upstairs.

The SMELL in the hall.
Okay, something died. rotting trash beyond rotting. it was terrible. really terrible.
FOR THE WHOLE TIME! It was disgusting. It reeked. It stank.
Yes, we complained. And they tried to mitigate the smell with deodorizers and sprays, but they should have called for sanitary cleanup immediately. They were really good about apologizing and they gave our hosts credit for the inconvenience.

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“It’s Kubrickian!”

The Sweet Suite!
Tower 3, Room 392 at the Wyndham Grand Desert Resort:

Happily, the smell was only in the hallway. Once inside the room, a “lock-out” connecting room, adjacent to the first room our hosts stayed in…. they moved to the Presidential Suite, and her brother moved into their room. More on that later.

Each room had a nice kitchen area, living room space and private bedroom and bath. Mine was a little smaller than the room next door which also had a bar and bar seating in the living room space. I was very happy with the accommodations and also the fact that it was FREE! My hosts were treated to drinks, gifts and other forms of thanks all week long in appreciation for the invitation.

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After the little tour of the resort the it was nappy time. Then once we were awake and active again, we joined our friends for a quick visit to the TopGolf mega-entertainment center across the street. We met our friends in the inside bar and had a cocktail while they finished their food (we were still full from the morning buffet).

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Our friend’s birthday party was scheduled for Saturday afternoon in the Chairman’s Suite, complete with private pool and lunch buffet, so they went to check it out.  More on that party later……
We wandered around and toured the massive four deck facility. There were lots of bar and seating areas, and a public pool area with lounges, private cabanas and a “swim-up” bar. There were televisions and monitors everywhere, and really big multi-screens by the pool and in the gathering and game areas. And there were a ton of people having fun at midday on Thursday! The Golf Area has private driving areas for rent, with computer monitoring, that tracks your ball and gives you distance, replay, and other fun golf info. And of course there is plenty of food and beverage service available everywhere.
Just mind the warning signs and watch for errant golf balls and clubs!
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And then back across the street to the resort.
Our friends moved their stuff to the Presidential Suite with a Private Veranda and we hung out there and waited for them to get settled in.
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We made a run to the local market and picked up provision for the week. And then later we went back across the street to TopGolf for a late dinner.

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TopGolf Photo Op!

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On The Menu: More cocktails
and Boneless BBQ Wings w/veggies & ranch dressing at one of the bars.
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FRIDAY at the Wyndham

Good morning! Cabana Time!
Our Large Private Party Cabana in the shade for Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

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Large Private Party Cabana in the shade for Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday began the same way each day: Tiki drinks for brunch! And some kind of food from the resort kitchen, along with snacks we brought from the room.

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The cabana was equipped with a nice television and a noisy ceiling fan, and the public smoking area was right next door and there was a public cabana in that area. Most of the pool cabanas were positioned in the sun, and must have been really hot inside, while our cabana was on the other side and in the shade set back but facing the adult pool area.

 

Dinner time on Friday, and we had a meeting in the Presidential Suite to decide where to go to eat. There are many choices, so the group reviewed them, and eventually decided to go to Burger Bar (inside the Luxor Hotel, which we didn’t know at the time).

NOTE: Everything we did took a long time to get it together and actually do it. It wasn’t a problem, and we resolved to just ride along and see what happens (most of the time).

And then it started raining. A real Desert Storm! And a wet Friday night.
One of our new friends was the non-drinking designated driver, and he was a cool dude. But his driving was not cool. And it was dark and wet and it took a long time to get there. And then we toured the parking lot, for a long time, before finally parking.

We made our way into the Luxor and found the Burger Bar. Basically a $20 hamburger without anything else, so we decided to go spend our money at The Peppermill instead.

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MGM Grand Hotel and Casino on a Rainy Night in Las Vegas, Nevada

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And so, after another wild ride in the rain around Las Vegas, we arrived for Dinner and Drinks at The Peppermill Restaurant and Lounge!

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We had dinner and tiki drinks in the restaurant and then went into the lounge and had more drinks. The rain was really coming down and we were in no hurry to leave, so we rode out the storm in the lounge and met some fun new people.
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On The Menu: Tiki Cocktails!
A Lava Flow and a nice Beef Dip Sandwich with fries and extra au jus

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A good time was had by all! We enjoyed our dinner and drinks at The Peppermill. Frank had a big Scorpion drink (in a glass, not a bowl) and the rest of us had a few different drinks from their cocktail menu too.

One more drive around Vegas in the rain and back to the resort. We survived! We returned to the Presidential Suite and then back to our suite in the other tower. We decided to take a hot bath and then sleep in the next day.

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“Wanna take a bath?”

SATURDAY at the Wyndham and TopGolf

Cabana Time! Basically the same routine as Friday: tiki drinks, food, people hanging out and new friends stopping by until it was time to get it together and head over to TopGolf for the big shindig!

Frank’s 65th Birthday Party in the Chairman’s Suite at TopGolf – Saturday 2-5pm
Golf, balls, a buffet, more drinks and a private swimming pool just for us.

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Party at TopGolf in Las Vegas, Nevada!

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The Guest of Honor in the Private Pool in the Chairman’s Suite

On The Menu: Tacos (chicken, steak and pork), Sliders (cheeseburgers, battered fish and pulled pork), chips with salsa and guacamole, salads, and of course more tiki cocktails!

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The party was a lot of fun, we got out drink on, and there was too much food! We ended up taking a lot of it back to the resort afterwards. There was golfing (unlimited balls, or something like that) and swimming too. The pictures are just a sample before it got crazy wild.

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A beautiful day at TopGolf Las Vegas!

Saturday Night in Vegas!

And so we returned to the resort and hung out until it got dark. We decided our next destination would be (more) Tropical Cocktails at Frankie’s Tiki Room! 

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Saturday Night on the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada

After the wild road trip on Friday night, we decided we would drive to Frankie’s and meet the crew there. We cruised past The Strip and downtown to the bar.

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More cocktails! Famous tiki drinks! And it was really dark inside.
Here are some pics:

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We enjoyed a Mai Tai and then there was a lot of conversation and more drinks. We moved around from our table in the cabana to a seat at the bar. Lots of kitsch and weird decor to see, even in the dark. Eventually, they decided to return to the resort and we decided to go back to The Strip and have some Las Vegas fun.

We drove to The Wynn, Las Vegas Hotel and Casino – FREE SELF PARKING!
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The Wynn is a beautiful property! And it was crowded, which was nice. We played a little and wandered around taking in the different areas of the casino and environs. We had some luck and cashed out and drove back to the resort and went to bed.

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SUNDAY (Mother’s Day) morning after waking up and getting ready, we walked over to the Presidential Suite for Breakfast/Brunch and more Cabana Time! It was a leisurely day of drinking and hanging out. There may have been an afternoon nap involved.

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So we were volunteered to cook and we grilled some steaks for dinner at 9:30pm on Sunday at the community BBQ Grills. There’s a curfew for cooking at 10pm, so we had to be quick! We took them upstairs and enjoyed a great meal on the private veranda (and of course, there were more cocktails).

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Then we went on a mission to The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” Sign!
It was designed by Nevada-born graphic designer Betty Willis (1923-2015) in 1959.
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“The rounded diamond shape of the sign was inspired by the Goodyear logo and the idea for the starburst came from the one in Disneyland’s emblem, which to her meant a happy destination. The seven silver dollars were a symbol of good luck for visitors entering the world’s gambling capital. (Betty) Willis’s design was never trademarked.”

The sign was built by a small local company Western Electric Displays Inc, aka Western Neon. Western Neon was bought by YESCO (Young Electric Sign Company) and they have maintained the sign ever since. The original sign has been rebuilt, restored, and recognized as a cultural and historic landmark for the City of Las Vegas over the years.

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Safe and legal public access to the sign was finally made possible in 2008, when parking spaces and a pedestrian walkway were finally constructed. Clark County and the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office had the sign listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

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NOTE: It was “Helldorado Days” a big holiday in the State of Nevada. There was a parade on Saturday and the Rodeo and other events were happening all weekend in downtown Las Vegas and on Fremont Street. So, we didn’t go there.

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Old Vegas! Glitter Gulch!

We returned to the resort and stayed up until MONDAY morning!
“It’s HOT in the Hot Tub!” 
And sometime before dawn we hit the Jacuzzi and Pool! (the pool and jacuzzi at Tower 3 are open 24 hours) It was very Early AM, at Tower 3, after it was cleaned, before the crowd and we were almost alone.

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We had stayed up all night and after our adventures we finally decided to try out the 24 hour pool and jacuzzi in our Tower. The pool area was empty except for one couple, so we waited until they were out of the water and then we moved in. We spent about a half hour enjoying the warm, bubbly spa, and swam in the cool pool until the calm was interrupted by two small children and their mother….. as we left the pool area at 6am the mother was screaming at the children in the shallow end of the pool, “Get over here dammit, you pulled this sh*t all yesterday, I’m not gonna have it today!” 

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Went up to the room and took a hot shower, ate some leftover tacos, and went to bed.
Requested and was given a late checkout time of 12 noon via the telephone.

And then,
Housekeeping knocked on my door three different times between 9:30 and 11am!
AND THERE WAS A “DO NOT DISTURB” SIGN HANGING ON THE DOOR HANDLE!
They also started cleaning the other half of the “lockout suite” and made noise like they were doing construction next door, making it impossible to sleep.

NOTE: We complained and Dan, the resort manager, gave us a $50 credit to use at our choice of restaurants “off-property” at a Caesars Hotel (there was a list of restaurants to choose from at each hotel) for our inconvenience and also took care of our friends who invited us. That’s real good hospitality!

Checked out of the Wyndham and drove back over to the Wynn. FREE Self Parking again.

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We walked to the Palazzo and Venetian, then went outside, crossed Las Vegas Blvd and went over to the Mirage. It was a beautiful day, but it was too hot of course.

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We visited the MLife desk, and asked about a MyVegas room rate. They offered us a Monday night room for $63.00 + taxes and the ridiculous resort fee, so we passed.

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We walked through the Forum Shops to Caesars Palace and enjoyed the weirdness!

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Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino was once the best place to stay and play in Las Vegas. Then they turned it into “Disneyland”, and they threw away all the class and quality that made it great. And then they added RESORT FEES and PAID PARKING.

We went to Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill and got a seat a the bar, but when we looked at the menu there was nothing that we wanted to order…. so we thanked them and left. We wandered around Caesars enjoying the sights while trying to decide where to eat.

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The Bar and Sportsbook at Caesars Palace Las Vegas

Then we decided on dinner at Rao’s Italian Kitchen, Las Vegas at Caesars Palace!
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On The Menu: Good bread, an excellent Caesar salad and their tasty meat lasagna.
We ate the salad and half of the lasagna and bread, and had the other half packed “to go”.
No drinks or wine because we were driving later, so only ice water with dinner.

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It was getting dark after dinner, so we started walking back, watched the sunset behind Caesars Palace across the street, and then stopped at Harrah’s and the old Casino Royale on The Strip.

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Casino Royale!

 

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And then we walked back to the Wynn. We enjoyed our after dinner walk at night and took in the sights along The Strip on our way back. We returned to our car and hit the road. Destination: Los Angeles.

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LEAVING LAS VEGAS around 9:30pm on Monday.
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Stopped at the new Mega-Gas Station Terrible’s Road House on the way back to California and filled up the gas tank and emptied mine. They have 100 pumps for “rush hour”, but the place was almost empty when we stopped in around 10pm on Monday night.

It was a quick stop, with lots of light and easy highway access. After getting gas, we took some pics and then got back in the rental truck and made a non-stop, no traffic, night drive back to Los Angeles. Home again before 2am. Had a really fun trip!

SouthPoint Hotel and Casino

Wyndham Grand Desert Resort

TopGolf

Peppermill Restaurant and Lounge

Frankie’s Tiki Room

The Wynn Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

 

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Dinner at Gio Cucina Napoletana Italian Restaurant in Encino!

Dinner at Gio Cucina Napoletana Italian Restaurant in Encino, California

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Berry Panna Cotta & Berry Sorbet at Gio Cucina Napoletana Italian Restaurant

Thursday evening and time for another happy birthday dinner! Neapolitan Italian Food at Gio Cucina Napoletana in Encino. We’ve eaten here before and the food has always been excellent. Tonight’s dinner was a lovely dining experience and the meal was great.

The restaurant is located on the 2nd Floor of a small shopping center/mini-mall on Ventura Blvd and in addition to the small storefront dining room and kitchen there is a large outdoor patio available for dining.

There is limited free parking in the shopping center’s front and rear lots and metered (8am-8pm) street parking available.

The restaurant has been here for years and the food is made with only fresh ingredients. The pasta and gnocchi is made from scratch. They offer rice pasta as a substitution for the “gluten free” diner and have a number of vegetarian options on the menu.

There’s a nice selection of appetizers, vegetable soups and fancy salads (and they have a Caesar Salad that’s off the menu but easily ordered with or without anchovies). There’s pizza, pasta, meat and fish entrees on the menu and always creative daily specials on the whiteboard in the dining room. If you like lasagna, try their beef or chicken lasagna.

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Gio Cucina Napoletana Italian Restaurant in Encino

We got there early and chose to sit inside. We had the dining room all to ourselves for most of our meal. It got busy inside just as we were finishing up.

Everything is made to order and you can almost watch them cook from across the dining room. Fresh baked bread and olive tapenade are offered as a starter. They have a nice selection of wine by the bottle or glass to choose from and their desserts are very tasty.

This picture and cutout from Valley Magazine was above our table in the dining room and provides a wonderful description of the restaurant and the dining experience:

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Dinner at Gio Cucina Napoletana Italian Restaurant in Encino

“Gio’s Cucina Napoletana is a tiny restaurant with a big heart. Toques off to chef and owner Roberto Castellanos, who cooks with olive oil rather than butter, makes pasta from scratch and bakes mini-loaves of killer bread for each table.From his minuscule open kitchen, Castellanos presides over a menu of variety and quality. His dairy-free pureed vegetable soups have deep, rich flavor. His radicchio, endive, fennel and shaved Parmesan salad could pass muster at a  far fancier restaurant. And his homemade spaghetti with seafood in white wine-tomato sauce with roasted garlic is hearty, tasty,old-fashioned fare. I’ve yet to try the cracker thin pizza, but it’s next on the list. Prices are reasonable, making it easy to go back.” – Valley Magazine May-June 2008

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On The Menu: Meat Lasagna, 1/2 Caesar Salad, fresh baked bread with olive tapenade, fried calamari with marinara sauce, berry panna cotta & berry sorbet, tiramisu and a coke

NOTE: There was also lobster & vegetable risotto and mushroom & vegetable pasta as the other entrees (not pictured). Both dishes received excellent reviews!

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Meat Lasagna with pasta and sauce made from scratch!

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NOTE: We sent the fried calamari back. It was pan fried, not deep fried, in a very light batter and two of us were fine with the preparation, but two of us didn’t like it.

Here’s a pic of one of the best dishes we ordered at a previous dinner: Hawaiian Prawns with spaghetti, garlic and olive oil:

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From a Previous Dinner: Hawaiian prawns with spaghetti, garlic & olive oil

Gio Cucina Napoletana Italian Restaurant15826 Ventura Blvd., 2nd Floor, Encino
818-905-7446

All photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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Dinner at Gio Cucina Napoletana Italian Restaurant in Encino

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Gio Cucina Napoletana Italian Restaurant in Encino at Night

 

Updated December 29, 2016
A nice dinner at Gio Cucina Napoletana
Fresh baked bread, fried calimari with marinara sauce, beef lasagna and a coke

 

Updated Friday, April 7, 2017
Dinner delivered!
Spaghetti bolognese with parmesan cheese and fresh baked bread: Excellent!

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Spaghetti Bolognese with parmesan cheese and fresh baked bread

 

UPDATED Friday April 28, 2017:

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Beef Lasagna at Gio Cucina Napoletana

My old college friend Kent came out to the valley and took me to dinner. We went to Gio Cucina Napoletana and had some great Italian food. Carpacchio, fresh baked bread and olive tapenade, fried calamari, Caesar salad, beef lasagna, tiramisu, red wine (cabernet sauvignon) and a coke. So much fun.

Happy Mother’s Day! Dinner at Cafe Carolina!

Happy Mother’s Day! Italian Cuisine at Cafe Carolina in the San Fernando Valley.

Cafe Carolina (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Cafe Carolina – Italian Cuisine (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

My brother chose the restaurant for our Mother’s Day celebration. Cafe Carolina (pronounced Caroleeeeena) is a small Italian restaurant on Ventura Blvd. that we’ve driven past but never tried until last night. We had an early reservation at 6pm and by the time we finished the restaurant was full. Everyone was celebrating Mother’s Day and the atmosphere was festive.

Cafe Carolina

Cafe Carolina – Italian Cuisine (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

The decor is simple “no frills”, nice-casual, with art-for-sale on the walls by a local artist.

Cafe Carolina (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Cafe Carolina – Bruschetta (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

On the menu: I enjoyed the Bread with red sauce, Bruschetta, Lasagna (with meat), Tiramisu and a Cream Soda. We also tried the Ravioli and Linguine specials, a Caesar salad, Rigatoni with meat sauce, red/white wine and a Berry Cobbler ala mode’.

Everything was excellent! The pesto sauce on the bruschetta was delicious. My tasty lasagna was made with organic pasta and angus beef. There was only a little red sauce, so the wonderful flavor of the spiced meat and pasta wasn’t smothered in tomato.

Cafe Carolina (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Cafe Carolina – Lasagna with Angus Beef (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

The Ravioli special with beef & cheese was perfectly spiced with nutmeg and herbs.

Cafe Carolina (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Cafe Carolina – Ravioli (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

The linguine special with Italian sausage wasn’t too spicy. The wine was excellent and the pricing by the bottle and the glass was very good!

Cafe Carolina (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Cafe Carolina – Linguine (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

The Tiramisu was billed on the menu as “the best in the valley”, and while that might not be true, it was pretty good.

Cafe Carolina (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Cafe Carolina – Tiramisu! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Cafe Carolina (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Cafe Carolina – Berry Cobbler ala mode’  (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Cafe Carolina –  17934 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91316  www.organiccafecarolina.com/

Cafe Carolina is CLOSED. (as of November 2018)

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They are working on a cookbook with recipes from the restaurant.
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