Grocery Shopping has become really hard

Wish I was posting on our travels, but Covid-19 locked down still. So this is what I do, work all day often at home, but still a lot in the hospital or doctors offices working until dinner time, then clean, cook, watch TV at night with my husband David. Not much to talk about, but did want to say, here in the Detroit Michigan area, we have Covid-19, fairly severe and I am grocery shopping every week for my family and my parents and starting this week with my mother in law. So it is hard, we get our list, get their lists and then put on our masks and we shop with separate baskets (because I mix things up and that causes issues). About 1.5hours to shop, then we wait in really long lines for 30mins – 6 feet apart, then load it into the car and go home and wipe it all down with bleach water then put away our groceries and then drive the rest to our families. It takes pretty much all day, which is fine.

I have noticed EVERY time I have shopped for the last 5 weeks, I have been accosted, or yelled at or was standing right in front of some one who was yelling at someone else. I have never yelled back or raised my voice. Some examples: Was told:

1-“wearing a mask just holds in the germs – it is wrong”

2- “your walking the wrong way down the isle – this is a one way isle, why don’t you know that – look at the floor” He really smugly walked away with his nose in the air – and Nope I did not know.

3- Saw a shopper try and pick up some coffee creamer from the milk shelf, and the store worker who was loading it told her – to “get off my ass” then the shopper said “sorry I was ON your ass” then the shopper said – let me speak with your manager and the store worker said ” get her yourself I am busy working” then the shopper cried and looked at me, I had my mouth open and looked at the store worker and then she made a head butt move toward me. BTW, told the manager about that whole thing.

There were other rude shoppers as well, many more stories. So I came up with a response so my mouth can do more than hang open. Tell me what you think.… “I know things are hard for all of us right now- but speaking like that is not respectful to me and while things are still happy in my life right now, I will not accept it” If I get trouble, my husband is shopping around the corner, and I am going to tell them then – “I will call my husband and the two of you can talk about this further if you like”

I will honestly listen to whatever you have to offer in suggestions, I am empathetic and willing to listen.

Best Meal San Juan, Puerto Rico

This is the second time this year we had a meal worthy of adding to our top ten best meals ever. This meal is the Mofongo – skirt steak with garlic sauce at Punto de Vista Rooftop Restaurant.

https://tapterminals.com/punto-de-vista-restaurant/

The guide at Barcardi tour said this was the place to eat, and we love local recommendations for dinner. Monfongo is plantains fried and crushed. And at this restaurant it is then shaped into a shallow bowl then filled with skirt steak, and topped with a light cream garlic sauce. There was so much flavor in the sauce and steak and the plantains were delicious, like a fried potato. This dish was very reasonably priced and although we only shared a meal – hope to go back and eat again. Reservations were required. Pictures are not great, because the lighting was all blue.

Other best of best meals: #1 Nobu – Las Vegas – Miso Cod, #2 Bourbon House, New Orleans – Shrimp and Grits #3 Monfongo you are reading about.

Bacardi Tour, Puerto Rico

What should we do other than eat, swim, sleep in late, enjoy each other, and hang out on a Beach…. we decided to Tour the Bacardi Distillery. We Uber it over… and David says as we pull into the Bacardi complex, they should name a building after you. I do love Bacardi Silver Rum!

The Sunrise, a sweet orange tropical drink we could purchase upon arrival.

We decided a history tour of the distillery, a mixology course on three infamous Bacardi drinks. All super delicious and what a fun experience, we were laughing thru the entire mixology course. We are sharing a few pictures of our time here. More to be added as soon.

Coins we were given to purchase one drink upon arrival, we both choose the sunrise drink. Orange, Lime, Grendine, Rum – Delicious!
My finished product of a Bacardi Mojito at our Mixology course.

More pictures to add this afternoon, awaiting David’s photos to add, and lets face it, his are superior to mine.

Café Du Monde & Walking around New Orleans

We are in New Orleans, LA for Mardi Gras. We always have wanted to travel to the worlds greatest festivals and celebrate life. So, last night they closed up the Endymion parade, because for the second time this week a person somehow was crushed by a float and died. Prayers and Love to these families for their great losses. So we will post the few pictures of just the beginning of the parade after we have a few more parade pictures to share.

We did have some incredible beignets at the historic Café Du Monde. A tasty treat after a night of drinking. Coffee and super powder sugar beignets. The Coffee here is a mix of coffee and chickory, dark and woodsie tasting to me. I took a couple of spoonfuls of the powdered sugar to mix with my coffee and it was sweet and like a dessert drink.

At Jackson Square, across from cafe du monde. It is filled with artists, music, tourists and fun.

Trip to Puerto Rico

Ok, finalized a trip to Puerto Rico. We wanted to donate supplies while there, but can find nothing online about donations when visiting, so I am going with a trip to a local church and then dropping off kids toys and school supplies. Wish we had a real list of what is needed, so if you have suggestions, let us know. No China for now, but Puerto Rico and a Cruise while visiting.

Happy New Year from our family!

Happy New Year from our family, May 2020 bless you and your family with Health and wonderful times. We celebrated our New Years Eve by first stopping over to took Laura’s parents to help them fix a circuit breaker that gave us some trouble on Christmas Eve dinner – the lights went out 4 times. David replaced the breaker. Then we toasted with some champagne and then out to Dinner, then Lauras parents were done with all the fun and headed back home. We stopped at Dave and Busters, a giant arcade by our house for about 40minutes of game playing fun. Back home for a drink and celebrating the New Years!

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co Lunch at Chicago’s Navy Pier

Quick Break from RSNA (Radiological Society of North America) meeting for Lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co location at Navy Pier, Chicago. This is a fun restaurant location with the Forest Gump movie theme with Forests and Lt Dan’s Shrimp business as the inner theme. All kinds of Shrimp – we love the place and the food.

I had the crab stuff shrimp. I could not finish it – so had some for a late night snack afterward!!!
Walking out Navy Pier after a wonderful Lunch!

Les Nomades, Chicago

Next year, we are going to try this restaurant out, but looks like reservations are required. We loved the feel, look and menu of this place. It is so close to our hotel, we could walk over. Date night idea 2020!

We would do the early menu and just splurge!

Dim Sum in Chicago

A quick lunch between lectures with my friends at a Dim Sum Restaurant –

dim sum[ˌdim ˈsəm]NOUN a Chinese dish of small steamed or fried savory dumplings containing various fillings, served as a snack or main course.

We ordered too much, but loved it. The salt and pepper soft shell crab was the tastiest! I also love the sesame balls for dessert.
My boss Ray and close friend Vince.

3 Best things on our Ruby Princess Alaska Cruise Trip

If you have followed us for even just a few posts, you have noticed we like to keep our posts nice and short and to the point. On our recent trip to Alaska we enjoyed these three things the most:

1- The peaceful, spiritual feelings when out in nature. Whether we were staring at a glacier, hiking thru the woods, or out in the bay watching whales. We loved the outdoor time. Alaska is truly the last frontier feeling for us and we absorbed it all in. So the walk over to the Mendenhall glacier/Nugget fall, the Whale watching tour and the time off the bus ride that took us up the mountains – were all the best. Laura was truly not interested in going to Alaska, and agreed for David, who wanted Alaska for years, but Laura became a true believer in Alaska and we both cannot wait to return.

2- The Ruby Princess Cruise ship was beautiful with many high end accents everywhere. Compared to Holland America it was decadent. There was a greater cross section of people on the Princess Cruise, all age ranges and style and we preferred that over Holland America significantly older cruise ages. The Food was superior on the Holland America Ship, but both ships were really tasty.

3- The time together. We are still really in love and find each other interesting to be around, we are each others best friends and playmates. When we are at home, we are so busy with work and kids and household chores. It was nice to enjoy each other again.

We are back to real life, and going to catch up on a few posts, but still enjoying our trip and the memories.

Date Night back on Ruby Princess Leaving Alaska

Were back on the Ruby Princess Cruise ship and having a date night. We are celebrating our Anniversary on Board, before headed over to Vancouver, British Columba. We buy the upgraded King Crab dinner for $29.00 each.

Having crabs for dinner

Its a love boat Anniversary Cake!

We did think the upgrade pricing was worth it, and enjoyed the nite celebrating!

Local Alaskan Products we love and did not love

I am sure you have experienced this, your on vacation, you check out the local stores, and tend to see the same items over and over again. No matter where you go, there they are, so must be what everyone wants. No pictures of T-shirts, but as you imagine, every kind of T-shirt was available. We saw these unique items while in Alaska, and bought few.

We bought a mini totem pole to put in with our Christmas tree, these are hand carved by local Indians, and mid priced, but we don’t typically buy things on trips so splurged.
There were a variety of locally made products for natural healing and we bought this soothing rub made from Devils Club, we have used it several times since this purchase and it worked for David’s sore arm. We love natural products – so will be ordering more from their website in the future.

We did buy some blueberry jam – we like to have our family parties, and thought that this with stories of the Alaskan frontier served with cheese and crackers would be perfect.

You can find smoked Salmon EVERYWHERE. We were told if it is in a can, it is probably Chum Salmon, and that is salmon for their dogs, so be careful when buying (we opted out of this purchase).
For David to shave Boldly!

Kelp Salsa and Kelp Pickles, curry flavored. I tried the kelp pickles on the whale watching tour, so would have bought these again, but doubt any body but me would try them, so did not get any of these kelpie foods.

Unique Alaskan Store products we typically saw while on our Alaskan Cruise.
You can find Blue Berry and Huckle Berry everything in stores. We bought a Huckle Berry Chocolate Bar and when we got home and tasted it, it was … well we would give it a 3 out of 10.

We also bought an ULU – What is that? Check out our Next post….. to find out.

Whale Watching in Juneau, Alaska

Were in Juneau Alaska – On the excursion agenda – Whale Watching, with Allen Marine Tours – and guess what we saw …Whales, lots of them. First lets set the stage, they pick us up in a bus from the pier, and it is overcast and raining – a lot of rain. But when I see the boat I am excited, it is covered and at least we can stay inside. I am not a cold weather girl, so am dressed warm and ready for this.

Heading on to our ship for whale watching, lets Go!

Inside the boat it is warm and we are headed out to look for some whales…

Babe did you get that, nope missed it, but here is a great picture from my husband!

Yes, we saw this!
A whale tail. We were told if you see a whale tail, you are blessed with another year or two of life. Well we saw dozens of tails, so glad to live to 90!

There was a guarantee, if you do not see a whale you get back $100, no worries there, we saw lots of whales.

We also had a wonderful buffet dinner on the whale watching boat and it was all Alaska based locally made foods, we loved it!

A Yummy dinner of everything delicious from Alaska.
The Blueberry dessert was my Favorite, but David loved the Reindeer.
Honestly, I am falling in love with Alaska, and this was supposed to be a trip for David and me just tagging along. One day in and I am enjoying this A LOT!

Space Needle – Seattle, Wa

Second on our list while in Seattle, Wa for one day on our way to Alaska is the Space Needle. We honestly do not know much about the space needle, except it is tall and cool and we want to check it out. I did just learn today that the space needle was built in 1961 for the world’s fair. The glass floor is new from a recent renovation – which is good, because it turns out the glass floor is our favorite part.

Walking up to the Space Needle after a quick Lyft ride over.
We bought our tickets – and did not realize thought we would not have enough time to make it over to Chihuly gardens, and turns out the gardens are right next door, so missed out on the shared deal you can buy as we purchased these tickets at the base of the space needle.
TIP: Really look into a joint deal on travel sites, prior to dismissing the option.

Video (from the top) of the elevator we just rode up to the top of the space needle.

Picture from the top and the glass bottom, people love to lay on the floor and snap a picture of the suspended look. It is for sure an uneasy feeling walking over the glass portion for the first time.

David having fun with the glass bottom from the top of the space needle.

You can buy at drink of wine or beer or a soda/water at the top or a light snack meal. We did not, but instead just reviewed the views from the top.

Wait a minute: “This will be to Seattle what the Eiffel tower is to Paris” – then we have back to back seen Both the Seattle and Paris towers… this is us in June. (wait it was late July, time sure does work weird when your on vacation).

https://daveandlaurasdream.com/2019/07/10/eiffel-tower/

From Tokyo to Seattle, Washington

This trip is just David and myself, our kids are back at home safe and sound. We flew to Seattle to travel to Alaska, but first stopped in Seattle for the beginning of our travels.

David and I have never been to Seattle, so we researched as we always do a TripAdvisor search, a WordPress search for blogs on the area and last – when we arrive, we ask as many locals about everything fun to do within a short period. We narrowed down our less than 24 hours in the area to a visit to:

1. Pikes Place Market

2. Space Needle

3. Chihuly Gardens

Straight off the plane, we head to our hotel – Seattle hotels are expensive ($230-300/nite) down town, but since we only have one day, we want to be where the action is and stay at the Motif Hotel (just purchased by Hyatt this very week). It is a clean and cool hotel. In fact the entire ride from the airport over in our Lyft, the town looks young and hip – we see many people walking around with dogs and lots of public art. Our first thought is – this town might be too cool for us – lol, so we will soak in the youth and try and learn a new trick or two.

Our view of Seattle coming in from the airport. We head straight from the hotel with an early check in to Pikes Market.

Pikes Public Market is a huge fish, art, collectibles, dining & farmers market – where you walk for what feels like miles up and down and lengths, both inside and outside. It is a wonderful sunny day – warm and perfect for walking. We are only 0.6 miles to the market from our hotel. As we approach the market we realize it is busy, really busy – but we love these types of out door/indoor markets. The first thing we see is….

There are flowers – huge long stalls of flowers. I want to buy some, the flowers are fresh and different from anything I have seen, and really well priced, but we are only in town for one day, so no flowers for us.

Walking around Pikes Place Market.

We buy a cup of hard pressed apple cider at a vendor. Then a BBQ Pork bun and pork meat stick at Mee-sum pastry – the lines were long at Mee-Sum, so that had to mean it was a good place, and it was the bun was fluffy and the BBQ pork stick was perfect.

We looked at so much – I will add in more pictures here as soon as David gets his together, we are in transit today so posting while moving can be hard, but nice to remember while still fresh.

Date Night – Tokyo, Japan – Grilled meats and giblet hotpot

We have been back from Tokyo for a little while now and wrapping up these posts. So just a few left. Then on to our next adventure.

David and I always try and sneak away from the kids for an evening – we try to do it once a week, but it does not always work, but we steal away time even if just a walk down the street to a mini eatry – the giblet hotpot for some yummy meats on a stick. We tried the chicken skin, chicken wings, asked for a surprise (yep could have been anything, guessing it was heart) and some pork belly. All was delicious.

Cooking up our dinner date snack.

Tokyo Sky Tree at Sumida district

We thought we were at Tokyo Tower, but were recently corrected this is Tokyo Sky Tree at Sumida district an Eiffel Tower inspired lattice communications and observation tower in the Shiba-koen district of Minato, Tokyo, Japan. It is huge, actually 332.9 meters and is the second-tallest structure in Japan. When we visited Tokyo Tower, we had no idea what to expect, but it is like a HUGE mega mall. So pictures of what we were up to at Tokyo Tower! We walked in and first saw a huge food market, with so many choices, of everything, then later a food court, and then shops, so many many many shops. We were there for over 3 hours and had to start walking faster, just to get to the stores we really wanted to see – Pokemon’s second store, and some clothing stores the girls wanted to look at.

Totoro character – we bought quite a few gifts at this store.
Moomin House Cafe – ran out of time for eating here, but fun place.
Pokemon store at Tokyo Tower

Japan Wendy’s Fast Snack

The kids wanted a quick Wendy’s Hamburger while in Tokyo, Japan. David and I figured we could eat a Wendy’s Hamburger right around the corner from our house just like the ones here. Nope, there is a difference… Check out this Tokyo Wendy’s.

TIP: 550yen is approximately $5.50 US.
So a single Wendy’s Hamburger, is $5.50, pretty close to the prices we pay at home. The hamburger looks the same, but it tastes slightly different – but check out the rest of the menu, pasta, shrimp, green tea drinks….
There is even a hamburger bun hamburger, and the funniest thing of all, a Jim Beam mixer.
David, had to try one, I took a sip, it was cold and frothy.
Sabrina loves this green melon soda, and her Corgi stuffed animal from the crane game earlier in the week.

Disney Tokyo

This is what I have been waiting for the Entire Trip, the one thing I REALLY wanted to do in Tokyo – Go to Tokyo Disney. I actually want to go to every Disney Park in the world, so all that is left is the waterparks in Florida and Shanghai and China Disney parks. I researched that today is a great day to go as the Tokyo Disney crowd calendar says it is moderate, which is the lowest crowds at the park the entire time we will be there – Never go during high, because it turns out it was still pretty darn busy there.

TIP: Use a Disney Crowd Calendar – just do a quick web search on this and it is easy to figure from there.

Disney Sea Map
The map including rides and details of Disney Sea, Tokyo
Entrance to Tokyo Disney Sea – Wide shot

We take a train about 45mins from our Airbnb to the entrance to Disney Tokyo, and wanted to visit both Disney Sea and the Disneyland Parks, there are two Parks. But you cannot swap between – no Park Hopper options. No using the tickets we have from the Florida park you have to buy new ones. A one day price one park (we decided on The Seas based upon previous online research) is 7400 yen or $74.00, in comparison todays price for Disney World is $109.00 for one park one day.

The best price deals though were inside. Food and snacks in comparison to Disney World are extremely well priced you can buy an ice cream large for $3.00, this frozen treat is made of a frozen jello on the bottom, shaved ice in the middle and rice crisps sprinkled on top with a creamier than you get in the US style frozen custard on top – it was 550yen or $5.50, Bargain in Disney!

You can buy a quality tasty chicken curry bun sandwich for $5.00, and it is cute! More on food in a future post.

View from when you walk in
View of Arabian Coast
The boys in front of Indiana Jones Adventure Temple of the Crystal Skull Ride

Check out my two bearded guys faces on the screen – nothing just pan face nothing, lol!

This is a YouTube Video of the Indiana Jones Adventure Tokyo ride for more details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OEkTOubp8g

Around Tokyo – 1st Day

We learned the subway system really quick, you have to – my main goal was to NOT get separated. We did have the plan of if you get lost, stay there for 2hours, if still no one comes back, get a taxi back to the house.

We wanted to go to Tokyo Disney the first day, but it was Raining pretty hard, and by the time we got our luggage we realized we only had a half day, so we decided to check out the area after the mall visit and here are a few pictures from the first afternoon.

We had Shabu Shabu, Pork Loin. Shabu-shabu is a Japanese hotpot dish of thinly sliced meat and vegetables boiled in water and served with dipping sauces. Apparently we were eating it so wrong, we were drinking the dipping sauce like a soup and dipping the vegetables one at a time and eating them. Some one from the next table came over to explain how to eat it correctly. You take the vegetables and put in the boiling pot for 5mins, then add the meat strip in the boiling vegetable water for 1min, pull it out, dip it in the sauce and eat it, eat the vegetables in between. Honestly this was a delicious meal and we LOVED it, wish I could have eaten this everyday.

Delicious, so Good

TIP: In Japan, people will stop and help you if you look confused or lost, this is a wonderful benefit for a tourist.

This is our street where our AIRBNB was, it was filled with little stores for shopping, pets, a mini grocery store, 7-11, wine store, and about 10 restaurants. We checked out everything we could.

We played a little Pachinko – a Japanese form of pin ball, but combined with a Video Game.

Tomorrow is Disney Day!

Paris Date Night

We like to date, even when traveling, we think it is part of what keeps us together – grown up time to re-connect. My daughter recently asked David, what was he looking for in a date when he was first dating me – he said companionship – he wanted a companion to do things with, talk with, travel with, enjoy his time with. That is part of what Date night is for us. So we date.

Were exhausted, after 20 hours of traveling, but we make time for a date.
Date night dinner of roast beef with mushrooms and au gratin potatoes for me with a glass of cabernet – 20Euros.  David had cheese and bacon risotto with a coke – 23Euros.  A wonderful meal at the little café about 2 blocks ~5mins walk, from our Airbnb.

TIP: Wine is cheaper in Europe than a Coca-Cola (soda pop).
I say go with the local lifestyle and drink wine!
We sit and talk away the evening, people watching and amazed at the beautiful buildings that surround us. I love this man and our time together.
Parisian buildings that surround our dinner.
The view all around us
Liked this wall posting we saw on our walk home. David, Architecte, 1821 – lol!

Next posts: Notre Dame and The Louvre Museum.

Chinese Lantern Festival – Philadelphia, PA

At the end of our visit with our Son in Phily, PA, Brett had to head back to his job at Dover Air Force Base for a 6am Shift on Sunday. While we only had Friday and Saturday to be with Brett, the visit was wonderful and this left a date nite for us parents. We chose to visit the Chinese Lantern Festival -which was at Franklin Square, within walking distance from our rental apartment. The festival moves from town to town and is in downtown Philadelphia thru June 30, 2019. This website has more information: http://historicphiladelphia.org/

Walking into the Festival

The Festival has these Extreme oversized light sculptures, some that move and change colors. There is also food, alcohol, acrobats, snacks, vendors and these incredible visual explosion of color and showmanship of what looks like paper or silk lighted lantern art. I loved this and would recommend it with a 10 out of 10. The price was $20 each, and even though it rained the entire time, I did not even notice I was so memorized. Fun night, and my husband is wonderful company.

David with Angel Wings – he says – see I told you I was an angel
In front of the mouth of a dragon!
Panda Tree that Changed Colors, it was Magical!
As it became darker it was even more magical.