It’s 2015 and we are jumping on the blogging band-wagon. Truth is, we started a blog back in 2008 that lasted a couple years. Our corporate jobs started consuming more of our time and we let it go. We have missed the opportunity to journal all of our adventures.
“Eat Well, Work Hard, Travel Often”
This is our motto and we can’t wait to document our adventures to hopefully help inspire your next date night, family outing, special occasion meal or vacation! Corporate America can suck you in if you are are not careful therefore we have vowed to work hard and play hard! We know we spend far too many hours at the office, however we look at it as an enabler to our true passions…..eating, drinking and traveling!
“Collect moments, not things”
We frequently shop on the clearance racks, we love bargain hunting at flea markets and yard sales and most of our house was furnished from Craigslist. On the flip side, we splurge when it comes to food, drink and traveling. We can recount each meal, city, adventure or destination. We relive these moments through pictures and stories and for us, it’s worth every penny. This blog will be our means of sharing our moments both past and present.
To get started, we have each answered a few questions so you can get to know us both a bit better. You can get the full overview of us here.
Top 3 Travel Moments:
1. Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef – this was a childhood dream for me therefore I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to fulfill it!
2. Completing the 4 day trek to Machu Picchu – This was not on my “list” of things to do, Brian actually coaxed me into giving it a try. I was filled with self-doubt that I could not do it therefore the sense of accomplishment I felt in completing it combined with the awe-inspiring landscapes along the way make it a top moment for me.
3. Staying in a water bungalow in Bora Bora – hello, have you seen the pictures?!?! It was one of our most romantic, relaxing vacations to date!
1. Shark Cage Diving – South Africa
The shark biting the side of the cage right in front of us was awesome!
2. While in Scotland, we took a ferry to the Isle of Arran. We spent the day at the Isle of Arran distillery for their annual Opening Day. We began by sitting in for a tasting class and sampled many kinds of scotch. We also toured the distillery, socialized and continued to sample the many varieties of scotch. After a long day of drinking, we finally loaded on a bus to drive through the rolling mountains back to the port to take the ferry back to the mainland. About 2 miles away from the distillery, Amanda realized she had left her bag on the back of a chair during the tasting class we had done that morning! The bag contained our passports, money and other travel necessities. We asked the bus driver if there would be another bus to bring us back to the distillery once we arrived at the port, but we were informed that we were on the second to last bus of the day. In a moment of panic, I told the bus driver to pull over and we got off the bus to run back to the distillery to retrieve the bag. We were left on the side of the road of the rolling mountains of Scotland, with lush green fields all around. It would have been an amazing spot to take pictures, but we were on a mission. No time to stop. We began to run back up the road (mind you, we had been drinking all day) and at one point a herd of sheep filled the road that we had to navigate through. We ended up making it back just in time to retrieve the bag which was still attached to the back of the chair and catch the final bus back to the port.
3. “Party of one” in NYC. If you want to experience New York City, go alone! Amanda went to NYC for work and I tagged along. While she worked, I explored the city. I ate at some great restaurants, sat in the front row for David Letterman, saw multiple Broadway shows and also Jimmy Fallon. No matter where I went, there was always room for one…
Worst Travel Experience:
Amanda: We have experienced lost luggage, no-show tour guides, crummy weather, literally getting lost etc. But I would take any of those headaches in lieu of white water rafting the Zambezi River. It is a category 5 rapid and we have no rafting experience therefore we had no business being on the water. I was literally scared for my life and after we made it through the day, I didn’t feel a sense of accomplishment but rather foolish for partaking in such a dangerous activity.
Brian: Food Poisoning – We boarded our plane in Zimbabwe to head to South Africa. I was served a “traditional” Zimbabwe meal of mystery meat, rice and some sort of stewed tomato sauce. I consumed half of the meal with a glass of Shiraz. Later that day I began to feel sick. Feeling sick became a horrible sickness while “both ends” of my body were evacuating my insides. I was awake with terrible pains all night with stints of sweats then chills. I did fall asleep a few times for a couple minutes while laying next to the toilet. The sickness lasted a good 2-3 days. It was a horrible experience and to this day, I won’t eat the meal served on an airplane or drink Shiraz.
Most Unusual Meal Abroad:
Amanda: I will defer to Brian because I know we have the same story and he’ll tell it better 😉
Brian: While in Iceland, we had an appetizer plate of “Traditional Icelandic Bites”. The plate consisted of horse, puffin, mink whale and reindeer. In the center of the plate, there was a small mason jar with two small cubes of shark meat. The server said to “save it for last”. After finishing off everything else on the plate, we decided to move on to the shark.
We opened the lid and the smell of bleach filled our nostrils. We were disgusted by the smell but popped the pieces in our mouths. The taste was worse than the smell. It was a combination of bleach and ammonia. We took a quick couple of chews and then a forced swallow followed by quickly rinsing our mouths out with anything available on the table. Our server came back over and proceeded to tell us the shark was called Hakarl. It is a species of shark off the coast of Greenland that has no evacuation system. Everything it eats never leaves its body, so everything soaks into the meat. When caught, the shark cannot be eaten right away because the meat is poisonous. To prepare the shark, it is buried in a hole in the ground for six months then dug up and hung to dry for two months. This allows the poison to leave the body while it rots and ferments. After the dry hang, the chef cuts off the outer layer and you are left with “edible” shark meat.
Top 5 Future Destinations:
3. New Zealand
5. Sweden Ice Hotel
5. Lyon, France
Death row meal: (Brian’s Question)
Amanda: I would snack on salt ‘n vinegar chips while the following meal was prepared. Start with tuna tartare followed by a caesar salad. I would then have a salmon sushi roll. The main course would be a bone-in ribeye steak cooked medium rare accompanied by broccoli and lobster mac ‘n cheese. For dessert I would have a trio of carrot cake, creme brulee and a cup of watermelon. A nice bottle of cabernet sauvignon as well as sparkling water with a lime would wash it down.
An array of aged 20+ year old bourbons & aged cheese to start
Terrine de Foie Gras from Daniel in NYC
2 dozen raw oysters & 1 dozen char grilled oysters
Haggis & Blood Sausage with two over easy eggs & Philly crab fries, a cornbread muffin with a 1/2 gallon of grape juice + Heinz ketchup
6 – Black Truffle Explosions from Alinea in Chicago
Homemade pasta with meat sauce + a bottle of Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon
6 – Wimpy Burgers from Baby’s Restaurant at Penn State + Heinz ketchup
2 – Pork belly bao’s from BaoHaus in NYC
A double shot of Sambuca
12 cookies(3 balls of dough + 9 cooked) – Peanut butter, Oatmeal, White Chocolate chip cookies with 1/2 Gallon of 2% milk. Also a Reese’s pieces Blizzard from Dairy Queen.
Top 3 Restaurants:
1. Daniel in NYC
2. Alinea in Chicago
3. La Colombe in South Africa
1. Alinea – Chicago
2. Daniel – New York
3. Marchiano’s Bakery – Philadelphia