August 27, 2014

Dublin Eats - The Punnet

The Punnet is a new health food store and coffee shop on the scene in Lower Mount Street in Dublin City.  You simple can't miss the pale green exterior as you're walking by.

August 26, 2014

Dublin Eats - Le Petit Parisien

Le Petit Parisien is tucked away behind an unassuming storefront on Wicklow Street in Dublin.
We've wandered in a few times to eyeball the cakes and pastries but this time we decided to commit ourselves and stay for lunch.
The sun was shining outside but we were escorted to a dark, cool, and cozy table in the back after a short wait.  This place is popular!
We tried the minted pea soup with brown bread (below) and a ham and cheese sandwich on a baguette (not pictured).  The soup was one of the best I've had in Ireland and was very thick, chunky, and hearty.  The mint added that little something special to the dish.
While we ate, we took a look at the French inspired curios that surrounded us.
Not sure why we waited so long to have lunch here but we'll definitely be back again soon.

August 25, 2014

Dublin Eats - Roasted Brown

We love trying coffee places in Dublin and find that there are a delightful variety of artisanal shops.  Our favorites include the Coffee Kiosk, Art of Coffee, and The Fixx.  We were in Temple Bar recently and finally managed to walk by Roasted Brown when they were open.  Located above Filmbase, it's a great opportunity to get up and above the hustle and bustle of the neighborhood.

August 24, 2014

Travel Vignettes from Westport, Ireland

Westport in County Mayo is easy to do in a weekend from Dublin.  An ideal summertime destination with gorgeous scenery, trails, and festivals; it's sometimes possible to get a train ticket from Irish Rail for 10 EUR each way if you book in advance.  We took the train out there on a Saturday morning and came back on Monday morning at 5 am.  We timed our trip for Saturday June 28 - Monday June 30th to coincide with the Westport Festival of Music and Food.  I thought I'd share some of the highlights from our trip:

The Octagon

The Octagon is the heart of Westport and all roads seem to lead to and from it.  Colorful pubs and homes line the Octagon and it's a great point of reference for exploring the town or to grab a pint.
Westport - County Mayo

August 23, 2014

Commute Chronicles - Mountain View - Shoreline Park

Shoreline Park is another easily accessible walk when visiting Mountain View, California for business.  I budgeted extra time in the morning and spent an hour walking around the trails.  I started off near Rengstorff House which is apparently the oldest building still standing in Mountain View (built in 1867 and restored in the 1980s).

August 22, 2014

Commute Chronicles - Mountain View - Vista Slope

I'm always amazed by what I find when I take time to get up early and take a walk before work when I travel for business.  I worked in Mountain View California for four years and still visit there a few times a year since moving to Dublin.  It was only on this most recent trip that I took time to explore Vista Slope, just across the street from my office.

August 21, 2014

Birding in the Wetlands at Alviso

The advice I got at the Don Edwards National Wildlife Reserve in Fremont was spot on.  Alviso was an idyllic spot for a walk and a bit of birdwatching near San Jose.

August 20, 2014

Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge

We lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for a total of eight years spanning two separate periods of our lives.  However, it's only now that I've moved away and come back to visit as a 'tourist' that I'm coming to appreciate the spectacular regional parks that the area has to offer.  I took time out on a Saturday during my recent business trip to stop into the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge in Fremont.  

August 19, 2014

San Francisco Eats - Brunch at Padrecito

I was back in San Francisco for a week in June and had the opportunity for brunch in Cole Valley.  I met up with friends at Padrecito for a quintessential brunch in the city.  

August 18, 2014

Edinburgh Eats - 2014 Fringe Round-up

When we travel, food is often the memory that lingers the longest.  Here's a round-up of some of the places we tried on our recent visit to Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival.

The Wee Boulangerie

The baking schedule was posted and people were lining up at the appointed time to avail of bread fresh from the oven.  We sat down for a cup of tea and a pull apart fougasse filled with cheese and spring onion.