Get Happy: How to Keep That Vacation Happiness Going
We know from an article in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life that the only kind of vacation that will give you continued happiness after the trip is over is one that involves very, very little stress. Seems simple enough, right? Sure, if you have a well planned out vacation, you should be able to have a low-stress trip and maximize that happiness. This means you probably don’t want to be trying to see everything it is possible to see or filling your itinerary to the max. Just see the things that are most important to you, and allow plenty of time for reflecting, resting, and hanging out with your loved ones. The following are some tips for keeping your time away from home low-stress and relaxing.
Don’t Leave Your Trip to Chance
As fun as it can be to shoot from the hip and improvise, these are not activities you want to indulge in if you are looking to relax on your vacation. Flying by the seat of your pants can make for some high highs and some low lows. If you don’t want high highs or low lows, but rather desire low stress, make sure to plan out your trip, day by day, in detail. By the same token, though, you don’t want to get overly nitpicky about your itinerary. It’s enough just to plan to go out for breakfast. You don’t need to find the restaurant and decide what you’ll order before you even leave home on your trip. Overplanning can stress you out before you go on your trip, making you feel overworked and underappreciated. And if it turns out that restaurant you had your heart set on is booked or they have run out of the meal you planned to have, you are all the more disappointed because of your high level of anticipation.
Be Realistic—Don’t Expect Miracles
While you should expect to have a really good time on your vacation (as it is likely to become a positive self-fulfilling prophecy), you should not expect that there will be zero glitches or that your family or your romantic relationship will emerge from the vacation totally transformed. Don’t expect the highly improbable. Set you expectations at a realistic level. That way, if something disappointing happens, you won’t be totally crushed; and if something unexpectedly wonderful happens, you will be super-jubilant.
Easier said than done, I know. But this one is really key. If you take your work on vacation, you will never really be on vacation. You will have be half with you family and half away from your family, back in the office. They will notice that you’re not really there with them. It will be hard for you to relax and hard for them to relax if it is not 100% obvious that the family is your focus and top priority while away from home.
Enjoy Being Together
While on vacation, you will likely have to sleep in the same room with family members you are not accustomed to sharing a bedroom with. Make sure that you think of this not as an inconvenience but as an opportunity to bond. The difference between stress and relaxation is in how you perceive things.
The perfect hotel for a stress-free vacation is Extended Stay Hotels. With all of the on-site amenities, you won’t have to stress about details like where to do your laundry, how to surf the web, or how to get a home-cooked meal.
I Love Los Angeles!
When most people think of Los Angeles, they think of the things that Woody Allen focuses on in his film Annie Hall—the weather and the stars. But LA has so much more going for it than that. Which is not to discount the weather and the stars—or Annie Hall. The weather is consistently comfy, just to Goldilocks’ liking—rarely too hot or too cold. And if you find it thrilling to see famous people doing regular-people stuff, LA is the place for you. You might see Ashton Kutcher buying a cucumber or Miley Cyrus rocking out to her iPod. But the stuff to do in the City of Angels doesn’t stop there. Not by a long shot!
Hermosa Beach is the best place in the country for singles, according to Money magazine. So if you’re looking for love, or you’re just looking to soak up some rays on a beach that is not packed with families, this is the place for you. There is a classic beach-boy/beach-girl vibe here. There are enough shaggy surfers and fun-loving volleyball players to make it feel like you’re hanging out in a Saved By the Bell episode. Indeed, hanging out in Hermosa Beach, you begin to feel like you’re in a TV show. As on a lot of TV shows, many people seem like they don’t have jobs. Despite the fact that a lot of Hermosa Beach residents have high-pressure finance careers, they seem to be living the good life without a care in the world. That’s how powerful the laid-back vibe is here.
The Walt Disney Concert Hall
The Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry, is a space that is stunning both inside and out. Outside, the building looks, in typical Gehry fashion, like something you’d see on the horizon in a dream. Inside, the Yasuhisa Toyota-designed acoustics are truly cathedral-like. Angelinos hope and pray that when their favorite musicians come through town, they play this venue, because it is here that musicians can realize their full live potential. Just as Walt Disney was a perfectionist about the look and sound of his animated films (famously drawing far more frames than his competitors or experimenting with stereophonic sound not long after the invention of talkies), there is an obvious perfectionism about the Walt Disney Concert Hall—which was built with money donated by Lillian Disney, Walt’s wife. The young and exciting music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel, will be conducting a program of Tchaikovsky and Carl Nielsen, played by the much-praised pianist Lang Lang.
LA Loves Food!
If you’re looking for great food at a casual LA restaurant, I recommend Food. Their no-nonsense name is indicative of the seriousness with which they take their craft. If you’re looking for upscale dining, look no further than Patina—the last word in fine French dining in LA. Conveniently located in the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Patina offers the finest wines, cheeses, chocolates, meats, vegetables, fruit, and caviar in Los Angeles. It is appropriate that the restaurant is in the building where the Philharmonic plays, as its plates are simply symphonic.
At the end of your wonderful LA day, you’ll be ready to kick back. I recommend a hotel with everything you’ll need on-site (like a kitchen and laundry), so you won’t have to run out for anything.
Phoenix Is a Great Museum Town!
I’m just guessing that if I conducted a survey and asked people what comes to mind when they think of Phoenix, Arizona, lots of folks would tell me that they associate the city with stuff like nightlife, sports, and desert hikes. It’s true that Phoenix has all of that in spades. It’s a great town for eating, drinking, and dancing, for watching and playing sports, and for experiencing the arid wonders of the Sonoran Desert. What I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t hear in response to my survey question is that Phoenix and world-class museums go together. People generally don’t find out what a great museum town Phoenix is till they are drawn there by other extracurriculars.
The Musical Instrument Museum pays tribute to the long and venerable history of the musical instrument craft, as well as the new and exciting history of pop stardom. In the museum’s five geographical galleries, the visitor can travel the globe via the world’s instruments and music. Hear Chinese music played on a variety of stringed instruments, and see the instruments (one of which is quite similar to the guitar). Hear the music of West Africa, and marvel at its similarities to American blues. These exhibits are not all about difference and exoticism. The discerning listener will notice similarities between different music of the world.
The Artist Gallery is all about our modern-day mania for musical superstars. The newest exhibit is dedicated to Taylor Swift, a superstar who became a superstar by singing about how big a fan she is of another superstar—Tim McGraw. Her exhibit features the guitar and boots she wore in the “Tim McGraw” video, as well as her handwritten lyrics for the song. Also featured in the Artist Gallery is the piano that John Lennon composed “Imagine” on. Here’s a surprise: It’s not the iconic white grand piano made by Steinway you’re imagining right now. Lennon actually wrote “Imagine” on a much humbler, more workaday instrument than the one featured in the song’s video—still a Steinway, but a brown upright model rather than the majestic white grand piano. You’ll learn quite a lot at the Musical Instrument Museum, but you won’t realize you are—since you’ll be having so much fun.
Any museum town worth its salt has something for the little ones in the family. At the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, kids learn in a hands-on, playful way. Children are encouraged to relate to the exhibits however they would like to. The folks at the Children’s Museum trust that kids’ intuition and curiosity will guide them right. In the Art Studio: Creative Expression exhibit, children learn about the how the art world works by making art. There are “Playologists” and studio assistants who will help your kids have the most rich and fun learning experience they can. In the exhibit Market: Role-Play Paradise, children get to do one of their favorite things: play make-believe. Parents rarely stop to think that children are actually learning quite a lot when they are acting out the roles of grownups and experimenting with social situations. This role-play is in a food market and will exercise your children’s minds and bodies.
After a day experiencing the riches of Phoenix’s museums, you’ll be ready to head back to a hotel that measures up to the museums. There’s only one hotel that is as family-friendly as Phoenix’s museums—Extended Stay Hotels. Every suite has a kitchen, a TV and free Wi-Fi.
City Bike Touring is Fun, Fun, Fun!
Nothing combines action and leisure quite like a bicycle tour around a city. If you want to unhurriedly pedal by the sights, and maybe hop off to smell the flowers, see a landmark, or stop in a café occasionally, you can. And if you want to barrel down the boulevard, feeling the wind rush through your hair, experiencing the city as an invigorating blur, you can do that, too. Biking is quite possibly the perfect way to experience a new city, or to experience an old city in a new way. And it’s as green as you can get!
New York City, New York
The bad old days of fighting your way through taxicabs and buses as a bicyclist on New York City’s streets are over. New York is now one of the most bike-friendly cities around. Bicycling in New York has never been easier or prettier. The bike path through Hudson River Park runs all the way from Battery Place down at Manhattan’s southern end to West 59th St., where it hooks up with Riverside Park South’s lovely bike path. This route is really picture perfect. You’ve got the best of both worlds. On one side is bustling, frenzied, exciting Manhattan, and on the other side is the Hudson River patiently, placidly rolling along, and the tree-lined New Jersey coast.
If you’re looking for a less touristy ride, I suggest cruising north all the way into the Bronx. You’ll find a paved bike path that will take you under the majestic George Washington Bridge and into Inwood Hill Park, New York City’s most untouched natural location and home to its only remaining salt marsh. From there, you head into the Bronx across the Harlem River. If you stay on the bike path till the end, you’ll find yourself in City Island, a charming little village in the very urban borough of the Bronx. It’s the sort of little settlement you’d expect to find on Cape Cod or the end of Long Island. If you’re hungry, and I don’t doubt you will be after such a long ride, I recommend heading to Sammy’s Fish Box—the locals’ favorite joint for seafood. And you can bet these locals know their seafood!
San Francisco, California
There are bike lanes in San Francisco now pretty much clear from the über-hip neighborhood known as the Mission to Ocean Beach, which is in the neighborhood called the Sunset. One of the most fun and useful bike routes in the city is the Wiggle, so called because it wiggles in between San Francisco’s many steep hills between Duboce Triangle and the Panhandle to ensure the cyclist a relatively flat ride. The Duboce Park Café is a great pit stop on this route. There, you can refuel in style. Have a high-calorie meal or a cold lemonade while sitting just across the street from picturesque Duboce Park, which is generally full of folks strolling and sunbathing.
When you’re through with your exerting bike-riding outing, you’ll surely be looking for some relaxation. And nothing’s more relaxing than a hotel with all the charms and amenities of home—like a kitchen and free in-room Wi-Fi. If you treat yourself to the comforts of home while you’re on the road, you’ll wake up with a smile on your face—trust me!
Niagara Falls: It’s Not Just for Honeymooners
Niagara Falls has long been considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is truly awe-inspiring. The reason people traditionally go to Niagara Falls on their honeymoons is to be in the presence of something whose power conquers all, something that won’t let anything stop it—in the hopes that that power will rub off on their unions. But you don’t have to be in love to appreciate the awesome power and beauty of the falls. Just as anyone who jumps into the falls is bound to be pulled over, anyone who lays eyes on them is bound to be transfixed.
Feel the Falls
Going back to the 1840s, there have been steamboats taking people to the base of the falls. Taking one of these traditional coal-fired boats, which are run by Maid of the Mist, is a great way to do something historical and absolutely thrilling. These boats come very near to cruising right under the massively strong downpour that is the falls. You’re going to get wet. That’s part of the fun. The folks at Maid of the Mist will equip you with rain gear.
Get Inside the Falls
It’s one thing to see the falls from the outside, but quite another to see them from the inside. Journey Behind the Falls takes you, via an elevator that drops one hundred and fifty feet down, into the caverns that lie behind the roaring curtain of water. The water, which falls from thirteen stories above, shoots by your face and makes a storm-like sound as it crashes into the mighty Niagara River below. You access Journey Behind the Falls on the Canadian side of the river, from the Table Rock Welcome Centre.
Skylon Tower rises a stunning 775 ft. above the falls, making it 160 feet taller than Seattle’s Space Needle (which it looks rather like a sturdier version of). At the top of the tower, where you will find a revolving restaurant and an observation deck, you get a perfect view of all the surrounding falls on the American and the Canadian sides of the Niagara River. The revolving restaurant offers a continental dining experience in a relaxing, convivial atmosphere. The turning of the room is not at all vertiginous. Its once-an-hour rotation is so gradual as to be hardly noticeable. It is quite charming that every course of your meal is paired with a new view of the falls.
If you want to get some history and a beautiful view, stop by Old Fort Niagara—a fort that dates back to the 1600s and changed hands a number of times between the Americans, the French, and the English. The fort commands a wonderful view of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario. In the old days, that view was good for spotting enemy ships. Now that you won’t see any enemies sailing up the Niagara River, the fort’s perch is good for gazing at painting-perfect vistas.
After a day in Niagara Falls, you’ll likely have worked up an appetite. That’s why it’s a good idea to stay in a hotel with in-room kitchens. Nothing’s better on the road than a home-cooked meal!
Small Cities That Are a Big Deal
There are a few cities in the US that hog all the attention. All the songs are written about them. All the movies are set there. They are the superstar cities. And these cities—New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago—deserve all the attention they get. They are some of the most culturally and financially important, beautiful cities in the country. But these superstar cities shine so brightly that they obscure some of the country’s great smaller cities. Just as it takes a whole team of valuable players to make a great baseball or football team, it takes a whole team of valuable cities to make a great country. And our country is certainly great!
For a while, the only person talking about how great Baltimore is was John Waters. But ever since the new Baltimore Orioles stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards (a park with a retro look but all the modern conveniences), opened in 1992, Baltimore has been getting attention from all sorts of people in the know. The stadium serves as the anchor for the neighborhood known as Inner Harbor. This neighborhood, which has been the centerpiece of the city since the eighteenth century, is just loaded with family-friendly activities. The National Aquarium, one of the city’s most popular attractions, is smack dab in the center of Inner Harbor. At the National Aquarium, you can experience what it is like to be circled by sharks—without getting wet or being in any danger. The aquarium has a donut-shaped tank that you can stand in the center of (in the “donut hole”), staring predator sharks right in the jaws. If you didn’t get enough fright at the aquarium, why not head over to the Edgar Allen Poe House and Museum? I’m just kidding. The house isn’t scary. But Poe did write some scary stories there; you can see the desk he wrote them on, as well as some other items of his—such as the only portrait of his wife, Virginia Clemm Poe.
Probably the most iconic phrase associated with Houston is “Houston, do you read me?” That’s because of NASA’s importance to the city. NASA’s mission control center is based in Houston, housed in the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. You can experience the wonders of space exploration yourself at the Johnson Space Center’s visitors’ wing, called Space Center Houston. On the NASA Tram Tour, you get to see actual engineers and astronauts hard at work on the next chapter of space exploration. On the tour, you will get to visit the Apollo Mission Control Center—the brain center for all US manned space travel. It is here that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were guided to the moon and back and here that the last space shuttle flight was directed. This room has known greatness and trying situations. You can feel the energy. When you get hungry, I recommend heading over to Peli Peli, where you can get South-African fusion cuisine, made with distinctive South African chili peppers. The food is not the only thing that’s hot at Peli Peli. The restaurant also serves up smoking jazz.
When the day’s small-city adventure is done, there’s nothing like heading back to a hotel where you feel at home. That’s what you get at Extended Stay Hotels, where you’re equipped with your own kitchen and free in-room Wi-Fi.
Toronto: A World-Class City Not Far from the US
Toronto, Canada, the US’s metropolitan, cosmopolitan neighbor just to the north of Niagara Falls, is a great introduction to Canada. While the city in many ways has an American feel (Hollywood frequently shoots movies set in the US there), it is also very much Canadian. It is, after all, Canada’s largest city—its flagship. In order to come into contact with Torontonians’ love of country and countrymen, all you have to do it look down. Canada’s Walk of Fame (plaques in the sidewalk, à la the Hollywood Walk of Fame, except with maple-leaf-shaped emblems) honors prominent and important Canadians—such as Nelly Furtado and Sarah Polley.
The Distillery District
Toronto’s Distillery District has a historical look and a modern flavor. It is a cozy neighborhood of Victorian-era brick, industrial buildings, minus the coal smoke and soot. The buildings have all been beautifully cleaned up and restored, and they now house charming shops, cafes, art galleries, restaurants, and theatres. This wonderful example of preservation is a very popular destination for those visiting Toronto for the first time and for those who come often. The Mill Street Brewpub really has the flavor of the neighborhood. The Mill Street Brewery, the brewing arm of the brewpub, is the first brewery to set up shop in east Toronto in more than 100 years. It is ideal that it opened up in the Distillery District, a neighborhood once known for its liquor distilleries and breweries. The wait staff is very knowledgeable and will gladly suggest beer pairings for your meal from the brewpub’s extensive list of artisanal beers. David Brown’s gallery is another unique feature of the Distillery District. Like the Mill Street Brewpub, Brown practices a traditional craft (in Brown’s case, painting with the encaustic medium) in a new way. Encaustic painting, which is the application of pigmented hot wax to a surface with a brush, is a technique that dates to the fifth century B.C.E. Brown takes a technique developed by the ancient Greeks and modernizes it—making postmodernist collages. He and his method of updating tradition are great symbols of what this neighborhood is all about.
Shoes are generally looked upon as only important for as long as they are fashionable. Not so at the Bata Shoe Museum. The folks at the Bata understand the true depth of meaning of the phrase “The clothes make the man.” The clothes that people wear tell you a lot about their social position and the values of their society. All you have to do is compare the sabatons (shoes of armor) from the late fifteenth century and the high-heeled, high-topped, many-buttoned shoes from the turn of the twentieth century (both in the museum’s All About Shoes: Footwear Through the Ages exhibit) to get a feel for the people who wore them and the world that they lived in. Another important exhibit is Beauty, Identity, Pride: Native North American Footwear. There is far more than just the standard moccasin in this collection. There is a significant Native population in and around Toronto. It is fitting that the shoe museum features these finely crafted, beautiful shoes of Native North Americans.
When your day in Toronto is done, and you’re ready to relax, why not kick back at a hotel that is both amenity-rich and reasonably priced? That’s the right call!
Vegas Is More Than Gambling—You Can Bet on It
Las Vegas is the sort of town it is because of gambling. It was built up in 1950s because gambling was legal there. But the town that resulted from the gambling boom has much more going for it than just gambling. Many non-gamblers shy away from visiting Vegas because of its reputation. This reputation is well-earned. True to form, gambling is in your face immediately when you come into the city. There are even slots in the airport terminals.
If you don’t gamble, though, you can just treat things like slot machines as decoration. After all, a slot machine is considerably more attractive than a blank wall. Vegas really is a must see for everyone who wants to experience America—the home of pop culture for the world.
Cruise the Strip
Many travelers are disappointed when they get to Hollywood. They expect non-stop spectacle, and what they get is a neighborhood going about its business. The showbiz spectacle that they were expecting can be found on Las Vegas Boulevard—nicknamed the Strip. The Strip has its own scaled down Eiffel Tower, its own mini-Brooklyn Bridge, and a sea of luscious palm trees. I recommend ascending the Paris Hotel and Casino’s aforementioned Eiffel Tower after the sun’s gone down. The city lights twinkle like stars—which is appropriate, since they largely blot out the actual stars.
The Bellagio’s Dancing Fountains
Time magazine declared the Bellagio fountain show the only free one worth checking out in Las Vegas—and that’s saying a lot. There are a lot of free shows in Vegas. This one is really quite remarkable. The fountaining water, which dances to the songs of standard Vegas crooners, like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, is as tightly choreographed as an expert dancer—only a bit more fluid. You won’t find this many people staring at water outside Niagara.
The Cirque du Soleil, a very humane circus, does not use animals at all—earning it an endorsement from PETA.The show does not suffer for its lack of animal entertainment at all—far from it. The performers at this very theatrical showperform acrobatic, stunning, rather risky tricks that will have you holding your breath from excitement. A friend of mine once told me a story that demonstrates how dedicated the performers are: visiting Cirque du Soleil’s offices, he noticed that a number of the performers were wearing casts from circus injuries and making light of them. You would never know, watching the show, though, that anything ever goes a little wrong.
Soar Over Las Vegas’ New York-New York
Vegas’ New York-New York Hotel and Casino, which recreates Manhattan in miniature, is legendary. There’s no better, or more thrilling, way to experience it than by flying around its Chrysler Building, Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building on a world-class roller coaster—complete with intense drops and thrilling loops. It’s like Manhattan and Coney Island all in one.
After a day experiencing all the many, many thrills Las Vegas has to offer, you’ll want to take it easy. There’s no better hotel for kicking back than Extended Stay—where you can fix yourself a meal in your room’s kitchen and enjoy free in-room Wi-Fi.
The Beat Goes On: On the Road with the Beat Generation
America’s mid-twentieth-century rebel writers, the Beat Generation, the group who spawned the pop-culture phenomenon known as the Beatnik, left an indelible mark on American art and culture. Their let-it-all-hang-out artistic ethos had a lot of influence on the work of figures like Bob Dylan and Hunter S. Thompson and on the attitude of the hippies. The Beat Generation’s canonical texts, chief among them Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl,” are still popular with the young, hip, and bookish today. Like The Catcher in the Rye, these texts speak across generations. This is why both “Howl” and On the Road have recently been turned into films starring popular youth-oriented actors. Howl stars James Franco, and On the Road stars Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund.
The Beat Museum: San Francisco, CA
The Beat Museum is located in the heart of San Francisco’s North Beach, one of the Beat Generation’s spiritual homes. The first floor is the bookstore, where you can buy any Beat Generation book you’ve ever heard of and many that you haven’t. The second floor is the proper museum, where you will find many Beat artifacts (such as one of Kerouac’s favorite jackets and the typewriter he used to write many of his opuses) and learn quite a lot about this literary and cultural movement. As you enter the museum, you discover the key fact that the term “Beatnik” was coined by San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen as a glib contraction of the words “Beat Generation” and “Sputnik.” The museum has many different editions of On the Road in many different languages on display—each edition’s cover design bearing the mark of the time and place it is from. This museum is such an authority on all things Beat Generation that Walter Salles, the director of On the Road, did much of his research here. You can benefit from his relationship with the museum not only by watching his wonderful film; Salles also donated the car driven by the central figure in the movie (Dean Moriarty—played by Hedlund) to the museum. This classic late-‘40s Hudson now sits in the museum bookstore—bringing the road into the museum.
City Lights Bookstore: San Francisco, CA
City Lights Bookstore, which is right across the road from the Beat Museum, was started by Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1953. A few years after opening the store, the shop’s publishing operation published Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems. It would go on to publish many other Beat Generation classics—such as Gregory Corso’s Gasoline and Ginsberg’s Kaddish and Other Poems—keeping the Beat flame alive and serving as a sort of Beat Generation shrine for many visitors from around the world. The store, which seems little changed in appearance from its Beat Generation glory days, remains current. It still sponsors regular readings and sells works by up-and-coming writers alongside the work of Beat Generation standbys.
After a day checking out the history and work of the Beats, you’ll surely want to pull off the road for the night and take it easy. It doesn’t get any easier than an Extended Stay Hotel—the most comfortable and convenient hotels around.
Museums for the Foodie
Food and museums: the two do not seem to go together. Certainly, most museums do not allow you to bring food into their inner sanctums. Food is about enjoying the moment, savoring the ephemeral. Museums are about preserving the past, holding on to what can be archived of life.
However, there are food museums. Food has been of such importance in shaping cultures and expressing their characters that a people’s history is really incomplete if you do not consider what they put on their plates. The saying “you are what you eat” is not merely about the physical dimension of food. What one eats is also frequently an expression of one’s connection to one’s culture and of that culture’s values and history.
New York Food Museum: New York, New York
The New York Food Museum is currently featuring an exhibit that details the dietary habits of a wide swath of New Yorkers at the time when the city’s four boroughs were incorporated and New York City was formed—the turn of the twentieth century. You will learn in this exhibit why New York City did not abandon its slaughterhouses and import its meat from the Midwest—as much of the rest of the country did. Kosher standards demand that meat is consumed no later than three days following the animal’s slaughter.
You will also learn that at the turn of the century, New York Harbor and the Hudson River were extensively fished. Fish was very, very popular at the turn of the century, and consumption of it cut across class divisions—and across meal divisions. You might be surprised to learn that at the turn of the century, fish was so popular that it was regularly consumed for breakfast (not just lox but all sorts of fish). During the twentieth century the harbor and the river became so polluted that fishing was no longer safe. But there has been an effort to clean up New York’s waterways for some time. Recently, oysters have been employed as pollution removers. In the not-too-distant future, you may just be able to order fish at a New York City restaurant that was actually caught in the city.
Southern Food and Beverage Museum: New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleanians are known the world over for their lightheartedness. But there are some things that they are absolutely serious about: food, drink and merriment. The exhibit Louisiana Eats! Laissez Faire—Savoir Fare at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum delves into the legendary fare of the kitchens of Louisiana—particularly of cosmopolitan New Orleans.
New Orleans’ wonderful dishes have come about because of its diverse collection of ethnic groups, the fact that it is a port city and the fact that the local food supply is rich. The really satisfying part of this exhibit is sampling some of the city’s signature dishes, such as a king cake, red beans and rice and calas. I recommend a coffee with chicory (one of the city’s specialties) as a special treat for your palate after the samples. Bon appétit!
After a day of picking up culinary information, you may just want to attempt to cook some of the delicacies you have learned about. This generally is not a possibility when you’re on vacation—that is unless you are staying at an Extended Stay Hotel. Every Extended Stay suite has its own kitchen so that you can whip up any local dish you desire.