Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Santouka, Costa Mesa

Within minutes of my arrival in Orange County my mom and I were on our way to the Mitsuwa Market in Costa Mesa.  We enjoyed two bowls of ramen - shio and miso.  The ramen was great of course.  I always enjoy a good miso broth ramen although I'll give the edge to the signature shio broth today.  After lunch I picked up 4 liters of my favorite jasmine green tea, a glass of sake and some cheese almond crackers.  Mitsuwa is a fantastic market.

I'll have to come back and sample a few more tasty Japanese treats from the food court during my stay in Newport Beach.   

Northern Lights

I just found this photo on my card.  I took this shot on my flight home from Asia - NRT to ORD.  I always love seeing the Northern Lights when I'm traveling home from Asia.  The picture, of course, doesn't do the real thing justice but it will just have to do until my next trip. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Deep Blue View, Bonaire

Just booked my 4th trip to this magnificent dive resort.  The job market is awful and I'm not having much luck these days finding my next career move.  I don't want my dive skills to get rusty and I've been itching to get some good bottom time.  So it is time to go diving!  I'm hard pressed to think of a more enjoyable and relaxing place to spend a week of my life than at the Deep Blue View with Menno and Esther.  Perhaps we'll be celebrating the Oranje's first world title on Menno's new boat during the sunset cruise.  Yes, there are several great places to eat on the island of Bonaire as well as plenty of cold Amstel straight from Holland.  Much better than the Amstel Light we get in the States.

Newport Beach

Coming out to Newport Beach next week to celebrate the 4th of July and catch up with my family and friends.  I'll be doing my fair share of budget dining during my time there.  Of course I will be knocking back lots of beer and wine too.  Lucky for me there are lots of good dining choices in the area and I have an ambitious schedule of eats planned:

- Bear Flag Fish Company (daily dose of fish tacos)
- The Galley (chili cheese omelets)
- Santouka (shio ramen)
- Little Saigon (so many choices)
- Mama D's (let down potential is big)
- Big Belly Deli (is it as good as Casey and the Yelpers say?)
- Lots of home cooking from the General's kitchen
- Possible blow out wine dinner for the Stuman's 50th

I'm excited to see my family (including my Dad who is staying around instead of going to Lake Charles).  Dave O is coming out from Chicago.  Randy is looking to come down and ogle at all the amazing eye candy.  Hopefully the Godfather and Marybeth can come down after their big move.  Wheels up early morning Wednesday, June 30.  

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hotel Bich Duyen, Saigon

I stayed here for 6 nights on my recent trip to Saigon, Vietnam.  I booked it based upon the stellar reviews on and its #2 hotel rating in all of HCMC.  The stay there was nothing short of great.  The manager is named Chanh and he speaks great English.  He can take can of anything you need in terms of tours, airport transfer or bus tickets to Mui Ne.  The facilities are spotless.  Nice bath, strong A/C and good beds.  There is free internet in the lobby and free WiFi in the rooms.  Not the fastest connection in the world but it gets the job done.  The location is on a small alley amid the urban jungle in the Pham Ngu Lao area.  My room could sleep 3 people for the all in price of $25 USD (tax and breakfast included).  It is deals like this that make me love SE Asia.  If you are looking for a good value room in Saigon, I highly recommend checking out Bich Duyen.