Seville, Spain 2012


After two nights exploring Cordoba (read about it here) we were headed to Seville for four nights.   There are so many trains each day from Cordoba to Seville that I did not bother to buy train tickets in advance.  We went on the 11:44am train and arrived in Seville about 12:30pm and took a taxi to Hotel Amadeus.  This hotel is on a tiny narrow street in the Santa Cruz barrio (the Jewish Quarter) with great small streets and beautiful plazas, located not far from the cathedral. Read More →

Cordoba, Spain 2012

After spending two nights in Granada (read about it here), we took the train to Cordoba for two nights.  I had purchased my train tickets in advance on the RENFE website, not without some frustration I might add.  The train was an easy two hour and twenty minute ride to Cordoba. We arrived in Cordoba about 8:30pm and hailed a taxi for five euros to our hotel, Balcon de Cordoba, located literally around the corner from the Mezquita in La Juderia. Read More →

Granada, Spain 2012

As many of you know from reading other posts, we always travel during our kid’s spring break, the last two weeks in March.  However,  since Lauren went off to college the kid’s spring breaks do not coincide any longer.  For this year’s spring break, Michael asked if he could go on the school Italy trip.  While we have been to Italy three times, we have never made it south of Rome and the trip included Pompei, Naples, Amalfi, Positano and Sicily so we decided to let him go.  That meant we could travel with Lauren during her spring break.  She only has a week off so she came with us to Andalucia, Spain and then Stephen and I continued on for our first international adventure alone to Provence. Read More →

Gusto – Los Angeles

The only direct flight from LAX to Medford leaves LAX about 8:30pm, so we always have an early dinner and get dropped off at the airport.  The past two years our favorite place for preflight dinner was Angeli Cafe.  A simple, casual restaurant that put out amazing food , including the best roasted chicken.  Sadly, they closed about 6 months ago and so we have to find a new favorite place.  We decided to give Gusto a try.  Gusto opened a few months ago, located on W. 3rd St. between Beverly Center and The Grove.

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Parks’ BBQ – Los Angeles

We had a quick trip to Los Angeles to get our daughter settled into her new rental house – as a junior in college she was looking forward to not having to live in the dorm.  While we mostly spent our time at Bed Bath & Beyond and Target and putting together “adult assembly required” Target furniture, we did make sure we had a few good meals.

First up, dinner at Park’s BBQ in Korea-town.  We had been there several months ago when we were down for parents’ weekend and knew this was a must for a return visit.  This is a casual restaurant located in a strip mall in Korea-town on Vermont Ave.

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Brunch at Bottega Louie

We had lived in LA many years ago, and back then downtown LA was really just about working Monday – Friday.  Weeknights and weekends it was pretty dead.  Our daughter kept telling us it was now the cool place to go with LA Live and tons of new restaurants and nightspots opening up.  So, when deciding where to head for Sunday brunch she suggested we try Bottega Louie.  We were staying in Pasadena so it was an easy drive to downtown and not too difficult to find a parking space.  They are known for their pastries, and macaroons are their specialty as one can see from their brightly decorated displays and pastry cases.

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Hanoi and Halong Bay


After spending four nights in Hoi An (read about it here) we left our Hoi An hotel at 8am for a 10:05 flight to Hanoi.  The new terminal in Danang is really very nice (though not sure what the old one was like).  About 15 minutes before we should start boarding the plane there was an announcement over the loud speaker, “Vietnam Airlines regrets to inform you that flight 1508 to Hanoi…….will depart 10 minutes late.”  We were all holding our breath, sure that such an important sounding announcement meant that they were going to be canceling the flight – to hear that it would be ten minutes late we almost broke out laughing – most airlines do not even let you know their leaving 10 minutes late!!!

We arrived in Hanoi and had the hotel van come pick us up.  Much longer drive from the airport to the city center than I had been led to believe.  We were staying at Hanoi Elegance Ruby (#4). Read More →