Georgia on my mind with children

One of the finest restaurants in Athens

One of the finest restaurants in Athens

I know most of my followers are from Europe and quite a lot from Brasil. Well, here is a destination where a normal European tourist would not dare to go. We wouldn’t! Unless our son did attend a summer course in Athens. I mean Athens, Georgia. I mean Athens, Georgia in USA. I studied many travel magazines beforehand, and almost nothing touristic is written in them about Georgia. Maybe some about Atlanta, which I will write about in the following weeks. But a road trip from Atlanta to East Coast-Savannah is a nice and fun trip with a stopover in Athens. And when you stop in Athens, 5&10 is one of the finest restaurants, where you can enjoy a dinner with children. Just make sure to make a reservation.

Wine and dine

Wine and dine

Wine of the day is a Pinor Noir of Lange

Wine of the day is a Pinor Noir of Lange

This is a nice restaurant, on a nice green road, beautifully restored historic house with private parking. Opened in 2000 by Hugh Acheson and has a very Southern Menu with seafood, chicken, lamb, pork and nice fresh vegetables. The decoration is simple, with some touch of 19th century furniture.

Mixed Greens

Mixed Greens

Frogmore Stew

Frogmore Stew

Local Vegetable Plate

Local Vegetable Plate

More to come in the coming weeks about Athens and further East.

But I also want to write about a summer in the UK. Let’s follow and see.

Breakfast at Ana Crown Plaza Kyoto

Father's plate

Father’s plate, healthy

Mother's plate, a bit healthy

Mother’s plate, a bit healthy

Our son's plate, ???

Our son’s plate, ???

Typical type of plates we make, all around the world. It is almost impossible for our son to take even a tiny bit of healthy food to his plate. Kyoto was not an exception.

Arriving to Kyoto and Sakura by night

Our typical dinner in Japan, open buffet

Our typical dinner in Japan, open buffet

Remember here our day in Hiroshima. In the evening, with the help of Japan bullet trains, Shinkansen, we arrived from Hiroshima to Kyoto in 1 hour 40 minutes. The only handicap is, you can not take your luggage with you, that’s why you need it to be sent to your next hotel by courier, which arrives a day after. Needs a good planning.

As soon as we arrived to Kyoto, we settled in a restaurant with our group, once more an open buffet, with many food we did not know. Thankfully, this time, there were a few sushi, our son enjoyed, and that’s why, we did not try to find a sushi restaurant around.

From open buffet

From open buffet

From open buffet

From open buffet

From open buffet

From open buffet

After dinner, we went to our hotel, Ana Crown Plaza, which was the best hotel we stayed in Japan. Just across the Nijo Palace, and very convenient to go around in Kyoto. Since we did not have our luggage with us, it wasn’t hard to settle down. So we went out to see Sakura by night to “Dotonbori” of Kyoto, which is the old town center with red, white and black lanterns, tiny wooden restaurants and cafes, narrow streets, “pink hotels” where you get in with credit card and there is no staff at all to meet you.

Dotonbori streets

Dotonbori streets

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Sakura by night

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Cherry blossom trees with tiny shops

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Cherry blossom trees on the calm water

We finalized the night, relaxing at a local bar with our sake.

Next morning: Nijo palace

 

A sushi experience in Japan

Sushi monster is happy

Sushi monster is happy

On our second evening in Japan, it was more than enough to be eating in not-worth-to tell restaurants and our son -as a sushi monster- was getting angry with the food. So we were lucky to come across a sushi bar/restaurant, before checking in to our hotel in Hiroshima.

Not so easy. In many (almost all) restaurants in Japan, there is always a waiting time to be seated. The good thing is you spend this time, comfortably sitting on the chairs provided by the restaurant. The bad thing is this waiting time can be frustratedly long, sometimes. But before to be able to be seated to these nice chairs, there is always a little exam to pass. By the end of our trip, we were experienced in answering these questions, but in the first experience of sushi restaurant;

First exam

First exam

So, we went in (as normal), asked to be seated for three (as normal) and the waiter asked us something that we did not understand one single word. So we asked “Do you speak English?” (as normal), and she said “Yes” (as normal), but we understood that the only English she speaks is the word “yes”. She showed us the exam questionnaire similar to the one above and expected to understand it. With the struggle of about 10 minutes with still waiting to be seated, an English speaking gentleman among the customers helped us at last. In short, actually the questions were very simple: Name, how many people and where do you want to be seated (Can be inside/outside or smoking/non smoking, or bar/table or a combination)

Waiting our place to be ready

Waiting our place to be ready

And so we were accepted to sit inside at comfortable chairs, in order to wait for our table and after about a 10 minutes waiting time, there we were, sitting on bar stools and started to choose and eat from the sushi plates on trails passing in front of us.

Just grab and eat

Just grab and eat

However, when we tried to grab a fake sushi from the bar to eat, all staff made fun of us, as some of the plates did have a fake sushi on them and they were made to order, which we did not know as you may guess. We understood that, higher priced sushi, were not done in advance and either a picture or a plastic (believe me looks like real) of it was moving on the trail, for customers to order.

The pricing is another exam of these restaurants, which we did not consider much because, all were very cheap compared to the sushi we eat in our hometown. But if you need to calculate what you eat in advance, there is usually such a wall:

Menu on wall

Menu on wall

On this wall you try to understand the colors of the plates that are 130 yen. The plates other than these are more expensive.

Some interesting plates on the trail

Some interesting plates on the trail

Next: Hiroshima and around

Shopping time in Osaka and travel to Hiroshima

Nice shops

Nice shops

Remember my previous post about rainy morning at Osaka Castle. It took a while, to get dry, basically, to reach to my dry clothes, finding a suitable toilet and change. And I threw away my white blouse to wastebasket, as it was now half purple, because of my purple trousers. After this change and a lunch in a not-worth-to-tell restaurant, it was time for: SHOPPING!!

Where would you go in Osaka to stay dry on a rainy day and to do nice shopping. Shinsaibashi area is a perfect place, where open air street shops are safe from rain, because of the covered street.

Nice shops for a girl like me

Nice shops for a girl like me

Unfortunately, we had just about an hour before leaving for Hiroshima, so we just enjoyed some souvenir shops and some girly shops.

Interesting things to buy or see

Interesting things to buy or see

In the afternoon we headed for Hiroshima, with our bus. 280 km far, about 5 hours drive by bus. Normally, on a trip like this you would not have anything to tell. But in Japan, this is not the case. We stopped twice during the travel, and both our stops were including many amusements and yummies.

How did I bought so many things at a highway stop?

How did I bought so many things at a highway stop?

First thing to explore was the toilets. People who have been to Japan, will definitely understand what I mean, right? It takes quite some time to get out of the toilet safely and dry. Lot’s of electric buttons, to make sure that you make the most out of your toilet experience. Well, we did manage.

The second challenge of the highway stop, was the delicious looking food. They all look nice, but only some taste good. So it is a real puzzle to find the right food.

Little chestnuts, definitely the right yummy.

Little chestnuts, definitely the right yummy.

Various crepes, would be lucky if you find the right one.

Various crepes, would be lucky if you find the right one.

No idea, what they are

No idea, what they are

After an explore of the shops and nice and funny chat with the chestnut lady, it was time to leave for Hiroshima.

Next: Do you think it is easy to eat in a sushi restaurant?

Jonah’s Whale Beach, Sydney

Jonah's restaurant

Jonah’s restaurant

Remember our seaplane adventure with Sydney Seaplanes from my previous post. Well, Jonah’s was the restaurant we arrived in 20 minutes, not on an island, but on an island-like part of Sydney, which takes about an hour, by car.

Jonah’s was more than we expected with a good variety in menu and a nice wine list. Moreover, every plate looked like a piece of art.

A taste to start

A taste to start

Wine of the day

Wine of the day

Australia has really good wines. I will be writing another post soon about Hunter Valley, a wine paradise. Today we chose a Pinot Noir of Tasmania.

Scallops, gooood

Scallops, gooood

Piece of art

Piece of art

In many day trips in Europe, if lunch is included, you come across with ordinary local dishes, sometimes really good and tasty ones but never so elegant.

The deserts...

The deserts…

...and another desert...

…and another desert…

...and another. Yummyyy

…and another. Yummyyy

So, finished with our three course meal in 3 hours, enjoyed the view of the whale beach and watched a local wedding next room, we were taken back to the beach to return with our seaplane back to Sydney.

Sure I can live here

Sure I can live here

 

A visit to a Michelin adviced restaurant

As you can read from the “about us” section, we prefer enjoying wine and dine in our travels, instead of budget traveling. Not every evening, but at least one evening of our travel, we look for a more elegant restaurant, with local wine variaties and dishes. The recent Geneva trip was not an exception. After eating 2 nights at a moderate Italian restaurant “Casanova”, just by our hotel, in our final night, our choice was Les Cepages, a very elegant looking, Michelin Adviced restaurant.

First I should tell you how we got there:

Staying 4 km to Thoiry, and getting lost twice with our BMW Navigation-not knowing the street of our hotel, we passed through the restaurant a couple of times and tought that a dinner there would be nice to have. So in our hotel we asked the reception guy about the restaurant, and he said, it is very pricey therefore he would not recommend. Well, a Saturday evening, and third night in the same Italian restaurant does not fit in our travel expectations, so we asked him to make a reservation in Les Cepages. After asking a couple of times if we were sure about it, he made our reservation. But instead of the prices, our concern, was if it would be suitable to get in there with our Jeans:-)

Well, everything went well. (Almost everythng let’s say), we went to the restaurant, selected our courses form a French manu, which we did not understand any of the words, and surprisingly, everything we have selcted were perfectly good.(well, almost everything). The only exception was our son’s choice. Actually, it was not his choice, because he could not find anything to choose from. So we asked them to make something with chicken. However, the chichken he got was with a nice souce (nice for us, not for him) and some nice vegetables (Again, nice for us, not for him). Thanks god he likes to eat olive oil and bread, so that was all he could eat:-)

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A perfect pastry stuffed with very well cooked beef, with a perfect souce and some vegetables.

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Nicely decaorated table, and a perfect wine list

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Best escalopes we had ever had in our lives

The result is;

Well yes it is pricey, not because the prices in the list are high,but because the portions are, how can I say, very “French”:-)

Well, yes, it was a bit too much to expect a 10-year-old to eat these.

Well, yes anyway it was worth it.