Epic Europe Trip & The Yacht Week W35 Croatia Black Route

Day 1 – Munich.  Marienplatz, Karlsplatz, Olympic Park.  An Nam Vietnamese Restaurant for Dinner.

Day 2 – Munich.  Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle.  Trains got cancelled due to a major storm and took a 160 Euro 2 hour taxi ride back to Munich.

Day 3 – Munich. English Garden. Chinese Tower. Biergarten.

Day 4 – Train to Salzburg. Mirabell Palace, Mozart’s Birthplace, Bridge with lots of Locks. Salzburg Cathedral, and Fortress Hohensalzburg.  Dinner at the top of the fortress.

Day 5 – Salzburg.  Eagle’s Nest, King’s Lake.

Day 6 – Train to Vienna.  Stephensplatz Cathedral, Old town walking tour, MuseumsQuartier, Mariahilferstrasse. Dinner at Vapiano.

Day 7 – Vienna. Schonbrunn Palace and Zoo.  Dinner at Schweizerhaus for Pork Knuckle.

Day 8 – Vienna. Relaxing day at the old city center for souvenir shopping.

Day 9 – Flight to Split.  Walked around the marina and the old city center.

Day 10 – Yacht Week Day 1 – Check in, grocery shopping, sail to Supetar.  Benny’s Bar night party.

Day 11 – Yacht Week Day 2 – Sail to Palmizana.  Explored Hvar via Scooters.  Sunset Party at Hula Hula’s.

Day 12 – Yacht Week Day 3 – Palmizana / Hvar.  Riviera Chic White Party at Carpe Diem.

Day 13 – Yacht Week Day 4 – Komiza. Circle raft party then sailed to Komiza.  Awesome seafood dinner by the waterfront.

Day 14 – Yacht Week Day 5 – Vis.  Rented bicycles and rode along the water.  Wine tasting inside a military cave then went to Fort George for a nice dinner.  Afterwards, Tropical Retro Party at Fort George.

Day 15 – Yacht Week Day 6 – Tunnel raft party in a natural bay.

Day 16 – Yacht Week Day 7 – Regatta Day and sail back to Split.  Celebrated Carlos’ birthday at Vanilla Bar.

Day 17 – Flew to Zurich, Chicago, then back to Phoenix.

 

Week long Guys’ Trip to Cancun, Mexico

This five night trip was all planned during the past Summer with all my current and former work buddies.  I was actually in Austria at the time when I got a message saying “hey, we booked Cancun, book your flight.”  From there, I knew what trouble we were going to get into here since we were going to combine All-Inclusive, Beach, Pool Bar, and Mexico all in one trip.  We booked the GR Solaris All Inclusive Resort in Cancun, Mexico via Expedia and including flights, our package for 5 nights came out to just under $1000, an incredible deal.

After a little debacle at Skyharbor International Airport in Phoenix which left one of our sans-documentation friends behind, we arrived in Cancun to this beautiful shot.  Unreal clear blue waters with miles of fine white sand beaches coupled with 80 degree weather.  Nothing better than you can ask for.  

The pool bar kept the unlimited drinks flowing and we all had an amazing time in Cancun.  

The Cancun tourist sign that was everywhere.  

On our last full day in Cancun, we took a catamaran boat tour to Isla Mujeres with our new friends from Australia.  The tour had included open bar (of course), snorkeling, lunch, an hour stop at Isla Mujures, and a spinnaker activity.

 Again, the waters out here were nothing short of amazing.  We snorkeled for about an hour in the clear blue Gulf of Mexico but did not get to see any special water species. 

Photo op with me standing awkwardly with the crew on board the catamaran.

Isla Mujeres – the island of the women, a holiday destination for Mexicans known for Playa Norte and their white sand beaches.

 

Weekend Trip to Bay Area – Meet Fresh

Didn’t get to capture as many food pics as I wanted to but did get to try this new place that my brother has been raving about called Meet Fresh in Cupertino.  We came to this awkwardly named dessert place at an odd lunch hour however the line was still about 40 mins long!  While my brother and my mom stood in line, I took my little niece to get cotton candy and boba.  It’s great to see kids faces light up with happiness when they see a huge cotton candy ball placed in front of them.

For those that don’t know what this dessert is, it is  Taiwanese shaved ice.  This isn’t just your typical shaved ice with food coloring and flavoring, however.  This is piled mountain high full of mochi, jellies, beans, almond shavings, coconut, and boba.  The consistency of the ice is similar to fresh powder on a ski resort, which is what sets this dessert apart from everything.  Definitely worth a try if you have never experienced anything like it before, but beware, this thing can feed 3-4 people easily and is best enjoyed on a hot summer day!

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Quick Weekend in Chi Town – Kuma’s Too, Purple Pig, Firecakes

Healthy burger at Kuma’s Too.  Great place after our 4.5 mile walk from River North toward Wrigleyville to catch Game 6 of the Cubs vs Dodgers NLCS series.

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Brunch at The Purple Pig .  Got first seating right when they opened at 11:30am.  Perks of living 2 blocks away from the restaurant in River North!purple-pig-4

Not a broccoli guy…but after all the terrible eating this past weekend, this ain’t too shabby.  My rule of thumb is to never order something that I can make at home.  Trust me, I can’t make this at home.  Delicious creamy greens.purple-pig-1

Melt in your mouth sweet ass lamb ribs.purple-pig-3

Rounded up morning with dessert at Firecakes donuts.firecakes-2

MMMMMM…Pistachio donut is AHHHMAZZZINGGGfirecakes

Weekend Getaway in Las Vegas

Quick weekend trip to Vegas with co-workers who flew in from our headquarters in Pennsylvania.  Apparently Vegas is a once every few years kind of thing for them, where for me its a more than once a month ordeal.  12+ times this year already…and counting.  Had to stop by Giada after hearing rave reviews of this Food Network queen!

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I felt like I was in her kitchen or living room the entire time I was dining here.  Service was excellent, even with my less than sober friend dining with us at this fine establishment for a late brunch.img_0839

The Antipasti menu.img_0841

Stuff to dip your toast in.  Almond butter, marscapone butter, raspberry jam, pepper, salt.img_0843

The god-tier Giada burger.  A blend of Wagyu, short rib, brisket, chuck & pancetta, all grilled to pink perfection with the BEST zucchini fries that I have ever tasted.img_0844

Before leaving Vegas, had to stop by Tacos El Gordo, super authentic, Tijuana style fingerlickin tacos.  You know this is the real deal when you walk in and everyone is mexican, including the families that dine to the cooks preparing the food.  Al Pastor pictured below.  Had to order 3 more to satisfy my hunger.img_0853

Carne Asada tacos.img_0852