The Bloody Mary – My Newish Obsession

The Bloody Mary – My Newish Obsession

Eric doesn’t like tomatoes. He will eat pizza, and tomato sauce. But any tomato that still holds some resemblance to its original shape he avoids like the plague. When I force him to try a tomato in a way I think he is going to like, he scrunches up his face, shakes his head, and generally responds with yuck. This is even the case with a Bloody Mary. It’s sacrilege. How I Lost Interest in the Bloody Mary I’ve always loved Bloody Mary cocktails. My favorite memories of when I used to be a golfer involve a Bloody Mary, made on the course, by a girl in a cocktail cart. When we lived in Chicago, I would go gaga over make your own Bloody Mary brunches. In recent years, though, I’ve almost given up my Bloody Mary habit. It’s unfortunate indeed. Some of that is because we spend most of our time in Asia. We don’t frequent brunches like we used to. We also generally don’t start drinking in the morning anymore. Well, not frequently. Maybe it is because we don’t hang out at places I trust enough to make a quality Bloody Mary. But, really, I blame Eric. If he and I could enjoy our Bloody Marys together, I would probably enjoy them more often. If he didn’t make that gag me face when I drink a Bloody Mary, I would probably enjoy them more. Mostly, though, I just blame The Husband for everything. It’s just easier that way. How I Regained My Interest in the Bloody Mary During our most recent visit to the Renaissance Hong Kong, we...
Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge – The Pier

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge – The Pier

The battle between international airlines to win over premium passengers isn’t just reserved for the inflight experience. On our recent trip from Hong Kong to Frankfurt, we had the pleasure of experiencing a revolutionary new design and passenger experience at the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge at their home in Hong Kong International Airport. Dubbed “The Pier,” this one of a kind airport lounge provides first class passengers with a wide range of services all set in a simple yet contemporary setting. Cathay maintains over a half dozen lounges at Hong Kong Airport, spread throughout Terminal 1. With names like “The Wing,” “The Bridge,” and “The Pier,” each lounge offers premium passengers a space to unwind before their flight. For me, it’s another time to make the most of our business class or first class flights. Unfortunately, our Cathay Pacific First Class flight to Frankfurt was scheduled to leave Hong Kong just after midnight. Fortunately, because we came from Macau by ferry, we had about 7 hours to fill before our flight. The Design of the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge First opened in 2001, The Pier experienced a complete makeover in 2014. For the #AvGeeks out there, Studioilse, a London firm, designed the lounge. They aimed to capture the look and feel of a contemporary apartment. Or, an apartment that happens to seat 231 passengers. Flying out on a Sunday night, The Pier was nowhere near capacity. I’d love to return to The Pier at a peak travel time to see if the design maintains a sense of being at home. As soon as we walked inside, The...
Unique Foods – What We’ve Eaten in 2016

Unique Foods – What We’ve Eaten in 2016

There are loads of blog posts out there talking about unique food challenges. In fact, I wrote one before we left the US almost 4 years ago. I should mention, we’ve eaten virtually none of those unique foods. Where once we wanted to seek out these dishes, now, we are more interested in continuing to eat the foods that we love around the world. Many people limit the foods they eat because they are picky and don’t like a lot of foods. For us, that’s not the case. We like loads of different foods, so we have a lot of variety to choose from. The thing is, when we are in Hong Kong for 4 nights, I want BBQ pork and wanton mee. When I’m in Hanoi for 3 nights, I want pho bo and bun cha. I want the dishes that I’ve come to consider as comfort foods in those countries. What Are These Unique Foods? That said, in the last few months, we’ve eaten some unique foods, even without seeking them out ourselves. Now, this isn’t scorpion on a stick unique food. Instead, they are just foods that are a little strange, and ones we would not order ourselves. So, how did we end up eating these unique foods? Many times when we travel, we are at the mercy of tasting menus or chefs who put all sorts of foods in front of us. We oblige. Most we end up loving. Some, we end up tolerating. Some, we eat to be polite. What are some of the unique foods we’ve eaten so far this year? Liver in...
Cathay Pacific First Class Review – 777-300ER

Cathay Pacific First Class Review – 777-300ER

Cathay Pacific consistently ranks as one of the best airlines in the world. A young modern fleet of mainly Boeing 777-300ERs and Airbus A330-300s. A focused dedication to the passenger experience both on the ground and in the air. They are known for exceptional inflight service. We previously experienced Cathay Pacific Business Class flying from Chicago to Hong Kong. Amber and I were eager to experience Cathay Pacific First Class as we set off to Germany to attend the ITB Travel Expo. Booking Cathay Pacific First Class   We wanted to use our American Airlines miles for our flight to Europe. Our initial goal was to fly from Hong Kong to Frankfurt, in Cathay Pacific Business Class. Because it’s hard to book Asia routings using miles on American’s website, we called American Airlines Reservations. We knew it would cost each of us approximately 52,000 American miles for a one way Business Class ticket. We were pleasantly surprised that for an additional 18,000 miles each, we would be able to experience Cathay Pacific First Class. This was music to our ears. With the average price for this ticket at $17,000 a person, what’s an additional 18,000 miles? Tickets booked, my inner #AvGeek, couldn’t wait to this flight. By the way, American Airlines recently devalued it’s miles, so it costs a lot more to book Cathay Pacific with American Miles. I’m glad we booked our flight when we did. Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Cathay Pacific has coined #LifeWellTravelled as their company hashtag. To paraphrase from their marketing materials, when you travel well, your trip becomes memorable. From the moment we arrived at Hong Kong International...
Ritz-Carlton Bar Macau – A Proper Gin and Tonic

Ritz-Carlton Bar Macau – A Proper Gin and Tonic

For someone who once swore off gin, solely because it tasted like an old man’s drink, I am little stunned that I am writing my second post about how to make a proper gin and tonic. And of course, if you want to have a properly made cocktail the Ritz-Carlton Bar in Macau is the place to do it. The Ritz-Carlton Bar Macau Menu We strode into the Ritz-Carlton Bar on the 51st floor, just after sundown. The place was busy, with a nice vibe. It was unusual because we felt a lot of the time we spent in the Galaxy Macau was pretty chill and quiet. But it seemed all of the hotel action was concentrated in that one bar. The bar itself is stunning, which is what you would expect from a one of the premier places to drink, and eat in Macau. The curving, marble topped bar, and enormous circular window were the perfect place to enjoy an end of day cocktail. What we weren’t expecting was a signature gin and tonic menu unlike anything we’ve seen recently. I didn’t even know where to start. Although the Ritz-Carlton Bar offers an apertivo menu, essentially a happy hour offering a selection of Tanqueray 10 cocktails, we wanted the full on gin and tonic experience. I started salivating at all of the gins that we’ve never heard of before, like Aviator Gin (of course, Eric the #AvGeek went straight for it) and Death’s Door Gin. Once we selected a gin, we were able to select a tonic mixer and the perfect aromatics. But, we let the expert choose for us....
Where to Eat in Galaxy Macau

Where to Eat in Galaxy Macau

One similarity between Las Vegas and Macau is that both areas are infamous dining destinations. The Galaxy Macau complex is loaded with dining options, from food courts to soon-to-be Michelin Star restaurants. Here’s our pick on where to eat in Galaxy Macau. Lai Heen at the Ritz-Carlton Macau When creating a list of where to eat in Galaxy Macau, I of course had to start with the most glamorous of the restaurants we tried – Lai Heen in the Ritz-Carlton Macau. Chef Fu Man Piu came from the two Michelin Star Tin Lung Heen at the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong. I would not be surprised if Lai Heen Macau earns a Michelin Star soon. It was one of the best Cantonese meals we’ve had. The food was as decadent as the surroundings. Every inch of the decor at Lai Heen was purposely designed to incorporate elements of Chinese, Macanese, or Portuguese architecture. From the glass tiles along the wall, to the ancient Chinese vases, the stone work, the Portuguese tiles. Even the flatware was gorgeous, with mother of pearl and black checkered silverware. I kind of wanted to slip a set into my purse they were so beautiful. I resisted this urge. The service was also top notch, from the sommelier who poured us our Louis Roederer champagne, to the tea sommelier, who recommended the perfect tea for our afternoon dim sum lunch. We sat in a table near the window, offerings us a few from the 51st floor, making Lai Heen the highest Cantonese restaurant in Macau. It was experience before we even started eating. We walked through a...
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