NYC Bound!

It has almost been a month since I have been home. What was to be a 2-day trip, turned into a 10-day and now a month. I am always up to traveling but now a spontaneous trip to New York to visit a client allows me to visit New York City, one of my favorite cities in the world. I’m a happy girl.

If you are following my blog or my social media accounts, I have spent most of my recent travel time in Louisville, Kentucky. Thank you to the Springhill Suites for taking good care of me there.

As I write this, I am leaving Albany and am on my second ever Amtrak train ride to New York City. My first ride was in February 2019 and there was a lot more snow on the ground. My Uber driver this morning stated they have had a mild winter. I am enjoying the scenery and my feet up with my seat reclined.

I do not have any confirmed plans and am not sure which friends I will get to see this weekend. My sommelier friend and former employee of mine, Thom, is again bouncing around and not in New York til May. He is enjoying the warmth Florida has to offer. My friends, Nick and Carrie, will probably hit up a karaoke bar. That was fun last time. Nick even has his photo up on the wall! Mariana, I met while on my first cruise in the Mediterranean in 2012. She’s a Domenican beauty. I befriended my Burburry sales rep, Fatima, and while on that same trip, a lady from London popped her Burburry cherry on the same day! I love meeting people on my travels. I look forward to exploring more of New York. Your recommendations are appreciated!

Safe travels, Everyone!

OBB Weekly – 3-3-20

Hello, March and Happy Super Tuesday! Right now, as I look out the window of my hotel room from my desk in Louisville, Kentucky, the sun is shining, I have a roof over my head and my family is safe from the tornado that hit Nashville, Tennessee this morning. The death toll is currently up to 22 and the videos and photos of damages is devastating. The coronavirus is spreading, friends on flights show empty seats next to them and large companies like Facebook are cancelling events to take the necessary precautions and avoid travel. Be thankful for another day on this beautiful earth but also always be prepared!

TRAVEL

My heart is with you Nashville! As a country music lover and having family there, I can say that I love Nashville. It is a great place to visit. From the honky tonks, historical venues like the Ryman Auditorium and all the Tennessee Whiskey you can drink, there is a lot to see and do. Music will pour out of every window walking down Broadway. Roof top bars aplenty. Country music with a dash of family is always a good combo. Stay strong, Nashville! Learn how you can donate HERE.

EVENT PLANNING

Emergencies can strike at any time. Plan to be prepared today! With the coronavirus being a news story everyday, shelves are bare of hand sanitizer and the Surgeon General urging people to stop buying face masks, the time is now to check and/or start your emergency kit. The CDC has provided a checklist for families HERE.

I have an emergency kit at home in a closet and in the trunk of my car. When I get back to California, it will definitely be updated.

#WEREHUNGRYTOO

Water in Kentucky makes the bourbon. The water alone is definitely one of the freshest, cleanest water I have ever tasted. As part of the tasting and tour at Michter’s distillery, we had Kentucky water. Delicious. The beignets made at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, Louisiana are best eaten there because of the water. And of course, it’s fresh. If you haven’t tried a box of the mix at home, unfortunately it won’t taste the same. The water makes a difference. In the kit mentioned above, the CDC states you should have a 3-day supply of water and non-perishable food. Get your water on! HERE are 9 smart products to help you drink more water.

Michter’s

MOTIVATION

The coronavirus has effected the market. Forbes just released an article on what to do with your portfolio. They ‘Don’t panic!’ We have been thru this before with SARS, swine flu and ebola. We will bounce back. If anything, live like you were dying. Thanks, Tim McGraw. And when things don’t go your way, such as you made a bad investment or you got shot down for a date, that was a risk. It was probably scary but you were brave enough to do it. Live a little. Don’t panic. Everything will be OK.

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Louisville Slugger Factory & Museum

Louisville and Kentucky is commonly associated with whiskey and bourbon. For sports lovers, it is where Major League Baseball bats are made. Family-owned since the late 1800s, Hillerich & Bradsby have been making bats for professional athletes and fans. The museum has 35-minute tours often starting at $16. Tour the front of the museum while you wait for your tour. Take as many photos as you would like in this area as photography and videos are not allowed inside the factory.

See all things baseball with statues, historic photos and a display of bats used by your favorite players. You also have the opportunity to hold and pose with actual Louisville Sluggers used during games. The listing of available bats said Willie McCovey’s bat was available but when it was my turn to step up to the plate, his bat was retired from the exhibit due to wear and tear. In its place was Puerto Rico’s own, Orlando Cepeda’s, bat. As a Bay Area native in Louisville, I didn’t complain.

Every baseball fan knows Babe Ruth. A bat and signed documents are on display including one that states “All of my records have been made with Louisville Sluggers.” You can even see the dents in the bat!

During the tour, you will learn about the forests where the trees are grown for the bats, how they’re selected, processed and made. They are carved via a machine, sanded, polished, engraved, painted, stamped and packaged. Right now, they are making bats for the upcoming spring season.

The tour will end with an opportunity to ask questions. You will also be given a mini bat. You can explore the gift shop or hit the batting cages. I decided to take a photo on top of the limestone glove that was carved by a member of the Hillerich family.

This is a must stop for baseball fans. I have specially ordered gifts for my nephew who is currently playing baseball and a gift for my Cugino, who works closely with the San Francisco Giants. Get custom made gifts on-site if you are willing to throw it in your luggage. And I just discovered that they will have event space available soon. Smart move.

What is your team?
Would Louisville be on your list of places to stop now if it wasn’t already?

Family Time in South Lake Tahoe

We’re booked!

Santana Row, San Jose, California

Two years ago, my family was ready for a beachy area and a cabin for the family reunion. I scoped out accommodations to rent and a place on the water for a fun day together in the sun with BBQing, games and of course, a few drinks. Then, fires swep through Northern California and the family decided to cancel the reunion in case of fires spreading to Truckee, California. The air quality was been so bad. Unfortunately, the cancellation only gave us 50% of the payment returned. We are now keeping our fingers crossed we are in the clear this year.

Carksbad, California
Discovery Bay, California

I have been planning our family reunions every other year since 2004, rotating locations to spread out the travel inconvenience between the family. It started in Pacheco, California, just up the street from my house, then to Monterey and then Southern California. My generation of cousins remember the aunts, our mothers, pulling us all together when we were kids at our Lola’s house (grandmother in Tagalog.) Now that time has passed since the family got together as a group in some time, I decided to start it. It is nice not having to wait for a wedding or sadly, a funeral, to get together. It is on the same weekend every other year to plan accordingly. The proposal for a reunion in the Philippines didn’t get the reaction I wanted. Maybe another year!

Vacaville, California

Good times. We are looking forward to more!

Where would you like your family reunion to be?

92%+ in Blog Hits

Woodford Reserve Distillery – Versailles, Kentucky

Happy March! I have just completed calculating stats for February and this blog has reached 92% more hits over January. I am thankful for the support, hits and organizations like the Louisville Restaurant Week and Proof on Main account.

Re-share by Proof on Main – Louisville, Kentucky

Thanks again!

And correction from an anonymous viewer, the term is views, not “hits.” Thanks!

800 #WereHungryToo IG Followers!

Louisville Restaurant Week dessert at Neighborhood Services
Baked Alaska at Neighborhood Services – Louisville, Kentucky

It’s difficult to keep up with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat and now the latest thing is TikTok. This One Busy Bee has accounts for my personal life, my travel agent life and my other love: food and drink. I remember when a coworker and I named this account. It was going to be a team effort but it slowly became just me. When we got our first 100 followers, we were so happy. Now, I’m at 800. It took quite a bit of time but I would consider it still an accomplishment.

instagram.com/werehungrytoo
FOLLOW!

Thank you to those that follow WereHungryToo on Instagram. Please continue to follow, like and comment. I love the comments and hearing if you have had the same dish or it has inspired you to try to make the dish yourself or go to the dining establishment!

Tonight, I added to my foodie experiences by going to the Troll Pub Under the Bridge during my stay in Louisville, Kentucky. The below photo was taken as the sign out front was sent to the restaurant for possible use on their Facebook page. Fingers crossed!

The troll under the bridge and I
Makers Mark beanie.
History of The Troll Pub

The Hot Brown open faced sandwich started at the Brown Hotel downtown. This the pub’s version.

The pub's version of the Hot Brown

With a coupon from my Springhill Suites front desk, I got a free dessert when I spent $15 or more. I shared it with new friends and locals, Bonnie and Andy. Nice couple. The brownie was soft and fluffy, not dense. This was my kind of brownie.

Thank you again for your support!

Cheers!

#502RestaurantWeek – Proof on Main

Having recently supported restaurants in Oakland, California during Oakland Restaurant Week, I unfortunately did not have their ORC specific menus. But good job, Z Cafe & Bar and MUA. I have dined with you a few times. While in Louisville and on business, I am taking advantage of these multi-course meal offerings for Louisville Restaurant Week benefiting Coalition for the Homeless and Goodwill. The first stop was Proof on Main.

When I first looked at the map of its distance from my hotel, I thought it wasn’t too bad. When I reached the corner where I thought Proof was going to be, I was mistaken. I kept on walking. If it wasn’t so cold, I wouldn’t have mind clocking more steps on my Fitbit. I passed the Galt House Hotel, the PNC Tower and even the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience. And then I found the golden statue of Michelangelo’s David (saw the real thing in Florence) at the corner that I remember seeing on my way out of downtown when I was here in November. Art at every corner. At this same corner, stood Proof on Main.

I checked in, got my Opentable points and was seated in a nice corner booth for one. I was presented with a thick drink menu, the regular menu and the Louisville Restaurant Week menu on top. I already knew what I was getting, though the regular menu looks like something I might try again while I am in town.

I looked over the cocktails and I knew I wanted something bourbon based. I went with the Kevin for $12 and made by GG. It’s nice that they give the bartender credit for their creation. Kevin had 21c selects Woodford Reserve, cold brew pecan orgeat and cardmaro whipped cream.

While waiting for Kevin, my first course arrived. An unexpectedly stout Kevin shortly followed. He perked me right up! If you are following my blog, you would know I love salad. I went with the Kentucky Gem Lettuce salad with shaved radish, roasted grapes, grana padana and banyuls vinaigrette, French fortified or dessert wine. It was fantastic, light and perfectly coated with the dressing that the plate appeared to not have any excess.

John was my server and he was very nice and informative. He approached my table as I was attempting to look up the design background of the restaurant. It was very unique with two big red penguins, Native American sienna framed photos, flowered wallpaper and bison heads hanging from the wall. John described the very differently designed rooms and I had to see them for myself. I asked if it was OK to walk around and take photos.

The other dining was more political.

The bar was to honor the LGBTQ community. Photos of staff also hang in this bar.

And the private dining room was about the owners. One side was for the wife and the other for the husband. Items were taken directly from their own for this this room. As an event planner, I thought this spot was extremely unique. I would recommend it.

I returned to my table and my main course was coming around the corner as I sat down. Perfect timing! I typically don’t order the pork chop but the trout sounded too light and the herb cavatelli seemed to heavy. This Californian Goldilocks went for something in the middle and a protein – the cast-iron pork chop with smoked grits, shallot confit, red-eye jus and walnut relish. It was quite the plate. I did ask John to please drain the oil in the wide, shallow bowl. He did and returned with a fresh plate and perfect. The pork was moist and flavorful. Unlike many other Filipinos in my family, I trim off the excess fat. I love grits so I was happy to dig in. The walnut relish was plentiful and to my liking. I didn’t waste a bite.

Oh, goodness, and then the butterscotch pot de creme! I have had many pot de cremes in my time and this is probably one of my favorites. It was delicious, the soft whip and sea salt was a nice contrast in texture to the dense creme. I unfortunately couldn’t eat more than half of it as the pork chop now occupied majority of my stomach. My taste buds argued but I pushed the plate back. I’m sorry to the perfectly round pecan cookies as well. I nibbled a bite but I just couldn’t.

John topped it off with some cotton candy. I welcome the bill that came with it.

For my first Louisville Restaurant Week experience, this was an excellent way to kick it off! And thank you to their social media for re-sharing my posts and the follow. You will hear more from me!

Next: Walker’s Exchange.

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OBB Weekly – 2-25-20

Silverswords on Haleakala, Hawaii

While watching the Democratic Debate, this week’s OBB Weekly will be mentioning blue states for Travel, Event Planning, #WereHungryToo and Motivation. Read on for Blue Hawaii, blue boxes, a blue state surrounded by red one and urging relocated Californians to Arizona to vote. In one week, it will be Super Tuesday!

TRAVEL

The blue state of Hawaii is one of my specialties when it comes to drafting your travel itinerary. With having been to Maui and Kauai several times and a visit to Oahu and the Island of Hawaii, I can go on and on about the islands. Another trip back to Maui will take place in October for the Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival.

If you have a chance to watch the sunrise at Haleakala, do it! It is definitely an experience. Be sure to pack your The North Face jacket like I did. I failed to bring a beanie and gloves. It gets cold up there.

Watch the sunrise we saw HERE.

But if you are more a beach person, there are plenty of those!

EVENT PLANNING

A Tiffany’s blue box is always welcomed and exciting for the special someone in your life. Visiting the flagship store in New York City at 727 Fifth Avenue is a must even if you do not like jewelry. At least go and act like Audrey Hepburn with a pastry. Visit the multi-floor building with diamonds, apparel, purses, sunglasses, home goods, dog accessories and eat at the Blue Box Cafe. I have tried on engagement rings at this location. That was fun. Planning a big event after a trip here might be needed.

No, I didn’t buy myself a tiara with blue sapphires. I already have one, just not by Tiffany’s. But yes, my collection is complete of Elsa Peretti‘s Apple collection. I had a necklace and now I have studs to match. And why not when you’re in the Big Apple.

#WEREHUNGRYTOO

I was lucky to make it to Chicago three times in 2019. I also traveled thru Illinois on my OBB Roadtrip across country last summer. There, I enjoyed a steak tartare at Benny’s Chop House while a female pianist, Lynn Hilton, played California Dreamin’ by my request. The cocktail I ordered also benefited PAWS Chicago, a no kill shelter. I was happy to cheers that cause! The next morning on my way East, I stopped off at Stax Cafe for a delicious breakfast outside.

My previous posts include Stan’s Donuts as well. They are constantly tempting me on my Instagram feed. Sadly but thankfully, there are many miles in between me and those calories.

MOTIVATION

270towin.com shows Arizona is a tossup. Democratic candidates urged people to vote. I sent my cousins that live in that state to vote. They are originally from California. Every vote matters. And they are both women. They need to practice it as women of the past fought long and hard to ensure that right. 2020 will be 100 years since the 19th Amendment was ratified. VOTE!

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Bakersfield in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, Ohio

For this One Busy Bee California girl, Bakersfield means something different. Bakersfield is something you pass on your way down to Los Angeles from the Northern California. In Cincinnati, Ohio, Bakersfield in the Over-the-Rhine district means tacos and strong margaritas. Coming here was a recommendation I was given by the Executive Director at one of my customer sites. I completed all my site visit and I needed a cocktail. I will have to tell him that he pointed me in the right direction.

Between the skyscrapers of Cincinnati, the streets will turn into one-ways like most downtown areas have. The parking lot on the same block is $9 for any period of time. Be sure to enjoy the beautiful mural as well.

I grabbed a seat at the bar as I usually prefer. The gentleman to my left wasn’t very much of a gentlemen at all by allowing me room to scoot into the open seat. He also continued to elbow me without apologizing. Sorry, Friend. I asked if anyone was sitting there before I moved in and no one contested. The other guy next to me was having a good night and was very colorful. His name was Joseph.

“Are you a basic bitch?” asks Joseph.
“No, Honey, I’m not.”
“Well, I am.”
“Well, rock it, Man!”

Saving the evening was the nice gal behind the bar. She explained the menu, provided her recommendations and made the experience. I went with four small tacos and a house margarita with salt.

The margarita was made with El Jimador tequila, triple sec, agave nectar and fresh lemon/lime for $9. I would like to think that I can handle my alcohol, but this cocktail was pretty strong and well made. I know it was because I didn’t finish it as I have been exhausted and I had more work to do that evening.

The food was fantastic. I am trying to do a better job of not over ordering. My eyes are usually bigger than my stomach and as my bartendress stated they were small, I ordered three tacos originally. I eventually ordered four tacos in total.

I had the bistec, al pastor, baja shrimp and vegetarian huitlacochie with corn truffle, roasted poblano, corn, onion, cotija cheese and cilantro. The vegetarian one was definitely my favorite one. They were all delicious and the tortillas are housemade daily.

Another place I dined in Cincinnati back in November is called Boomtown Biscuits and Whiskey. That will be for another post. Come back and visit soon! I will be in the Midwest for a few weeks.

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OBB Weekly – 2/18/20

Not Indiana but Placerville, California

Greetings from Anderson, Indiana on this Travel Tuesday! I am finding rain this time around in this area where it was incredibly windy taking out power and our beloved internet connection the last time. How was the weekend with your beloved on this past Valentine’s Day weekend? Let’s talk about things we love.

TRAVEL

What do you think about staying for the next 30 days?” asks the CEO on Valentine’s Day while in Louisville, Kentucky. With no defined plans in my near future and unprepared to wear the same five outfits over the course of the upcoming weeks, I said “OK.” I’m no quitter! I will be completely immersed in the Midwest culture. A year ago, I was contemplating leaving and going to explore a new town for six months to a year. I figured I would be able to find work somewhere, meet new people, go where I don’t have a huge support system and explore. I saw myself sitting at coffee shops, using their wifi and blogging about what I was experiencing and what I haven’t had time to blog about. This trip will be a taste of doing that. I haven’t voiced a strong love for it yet as I feel something is missing but I am grateful for the opportunity and it benefiting my love for travel and adventure. This is definitely an adventure. See this blank canvas of an office space? Think of all the possibilities!

What would you give up to do travel more?
Who would you be leaving behind?
Would they understand?

EVENT PLANNING

With traveling so much and uncertainty of what the future holds, it is hard to commit to event planning and add to my busy workload. Unless it’s the Kentucky Derby! I met some very energetic and well-connected women at an event that work together on events for this crazy part of the year in Louisville Kentucky. Although I love the beauty and strength of horses, unfortunately, I am allergic. However, I would be very interested in such a high profile event. The Fairfield Inn & Suites that I will be calling my home will cost $700 a night, at least! If anyone has any further connections, please do send them my way! I will bartend, plan and coordinate or whatever…as long as I get to wear an amazing hat!

Cheers!

Which event do you look forward to each year?
How far in advance do you plan?
And save?

#WEREHUNGRYTOO

It is National Drink Wine Day! Who has a glass of wine their hands? As much as I love wine, I unfortunately do not. This One Busy Bee has both of her hands full of tasks that are piling up. However, the event I spoke about above was a private wine tasting event for Italian wines from Tenuta Torciano Winery. The spread was incredible, the Rosso di Montepulciano was my favorite and the company was top notch. Lilo, the rep, was your typical Italian charmer calling every woman “Bella” and answered all of my questions well. Cheers to you on this wine-filled day!

I own 3 bottles now.

Do you prefer new or old world wines?
Which region is your favorite?

MOTIVATION

As I was drafting this, I was pulled on an-hour long call regarding company finances. With my workload, coworkers are trying to help me by taking tasks off my plate. One of the things I am holding onto dear life is is our finances. If you knew me twenty years ago, you would know I was not doing well with my finances. I love seeing my father laugh when I tell him I am very involved with a company’s money, budget, projections, approving expenses, access to bank accounts, accounts payable and then some. He doesn’t believe it. Frankly, neither do I but here I am. Having control of your finances, no matter what kind of money you make, is power. If you want the business to succeed, you put your resources to work. If you want to go on that trip to Ireland for your 40th (ahem!), you make it happen by planning and saving. You have control whether you want to buy that $5 cup of coffee from Starbucks or spend that $5 on two pints at a real Irish pub.

Guilty of buying that cup of coffee. I never said I was perfect. Sometimes you just need caffeine.

Sadly, personal finance is not taught in school. Nor is home economics, right? How can the future generation know how many hours they have to work to pay for their rent? Do they know they can save money by cooking for themselves?

Homemade latkas, eggs and salad for brunch at home on a Sunday.

I encourage you to keep track of every dollar you spend so you know where your money is going to. Read a finance and budgeting article every now and then. And save for that trip you’re going to book with me! Like how threw that in?

How about a trip to the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, France?

So where am I booking you next?
How do you like to save money? Under the mattress? Old savings account?
Do you know how much you’re spending on going out?