Friday, September 23, 2011


Perfection is not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Buenos Aires First Impressions

Because much of my travel is business related, my first sight of a new country is usually the taxi ride from the airport to the office. When traveling in the winter, this may be my only view of the city due to short daylight hours. Buenos Aires is no exception.

What struck me most about Buenos Aires is how beautiful the area around the airport is, even in the dead of winter (which is August in the southern hemisphere.) Huge stands of magnificent trees line the freeway on either side, alternating with open meadows, soccer fields, and a few pretty buildings.

As you move closer into the city, the trees become fewer and the sky scrapers begin. There was very little character or style to most of the architecture. A friend likened it to Russia because all the buildings are simple and functional, with no ornamentation. Most were fairly modern and well maintained; very few were run down. There are very few historical buildings or artistically architected buildings, so when I saw one, it really stood out.

When we left the freeway, most of the streets were narrow two-lane streets, bordered on each side by multi-story buildings. Close up, the buildings looks more worn and a surprising amount of litter cluttered the sidewalks. Many of the sidewalks are chipped or broken, with loose stones.

Florida Dining - Asian Food in The Villages

While visiting The Villages in Florida, one concern we had was the availability of Asian cuisine. Growing up in the California Bay Area and Sacramento exposes you to a variety of cultures and their food, and we have grown used to excellent Asian restaurants.

The Villages Thai Ruby Cuisine does not disapoint. The Thai Spring Rolls are light and crisp and are served with a Thai peanut sauce. The Amazing Beef lives up to its name: tender bites of beef drowned in a satisfying sauce. The Nam Sod is both a beautiful and extremely satisfying spicy pork salad. The atmosphere of the restaurant provided a perfect combination to satisfy.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Where to eat at The Villages - Easy Cheesecake Dessert at TFI Friday's

If you take the trolley tour of The Villages, near Orlando, Florida, you will hear that there are 90 restaurants to choose from. So how to decide?
TGI Friday's is an easy choice. It is a national chain, so you may find the menu familiar.
We stopped in on $2 beer night. The local Parrot Club had taken over the outdoor patio, so the atmosphere was even more boisterous than usual for a TGI Friday's.
If you are looking for desert, I recommend the vanilla bean cheesecake. It's neither too light nor too heavy, a perfect layer of cheesecake with a lighter, whipped topping. There is a hint of vanilla to make this treat out of the ordinary, with a contrasting swirl of chocolate for a sharp contrast. End the creamy with a sweet strawberry and you have a very satisfying dessert.