Food and travel (or rather travel for food!):  the two experience that I have always valued and have tried to pass on to our kids. We are finally at that sweet spot where it is no longer daunting, but rather such a pleasure.  I know you guys, I didn’t always feel this way.  Before the kiddos, I always prioritized travel – even dreaming of selling all my possessions to buy a boat and set sail.  Then I actually had these small people, and my priorities changed.  House, yard, good school district – you know the drill.  But now that they are a little older, we can finally have it all!

It starts with flying on the right airline.  First, yes, I am one of those fliers that look up safety rating – I have a slight fear of flying.  That aside, I try to always fly direct.  And I have a handful of favorite airlines.  On our recent trip to Africa, (yes, Africa, more on that later) we flew Emirates Airline, which is definitely very high on my list.  This was our first experience with Emirates, we have heard really good things about it – they’re business class and first class is crazy luxurious – but ok, we are not in that demographic, so I can only give my opinion on their international economy class, which by the way, is pretty darn good.  

Check out these cute plush animals that turn into blankets!

Check out these cute plush animals that turn into blankets!

The kids loved their stuffed animal blankies!

The kids loved their stuffed animal blankies!

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If you are in the Los Angeles area, the best burger on the westside is located at this West LA institution:  The Apple Pan.  Come and grab a seat at the wraparound counter on one of the red, vinyl barstools.  Sit elbow to elbow with tourists and locals.  You will love the old school charm at this burger counter with burger patties sizzling off the griddle, iced cold soda pop served in paper cone cups and waiters that have been serving here for years.  Enjoy the basic menu of burgers, sandwiches and fries and some of the best pies ever!

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Fall is here! Orange and red leaves, goblins, ghouls and Halloween candy are just a few things that come to mind when this season hits us. You know what comes to my mind every October? German beer and yodeling at Oktoberfest at The Phoenix Club Anaheim! So put on your German Oktoberfest outfits and bring your stein for a fun evening! 

Oktoberfest at The Phoenix Club Anaheim

Oktoberfest at The Phoenix Club Anaheim

Oktoberfest people dressed in traditional German outfits!

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Sometimes I get a mean craving for Thai food. When that happens, my go-to place is Wheel of Life in Irvine. The best part for me is that it’s vegan. This is one of the few restaurants that I’ve come across that offers meat substitutes of surprisingly good texture and flavor. 

Vegan Thai Restaurant in OC: Wheel of Life

“Beef” Broccolli

Whether you are a vegan/vegetarian or meat eater, Wheel of Life is sure to please all types of palates. My family’s favorite dishes are the Pad Thai, Orange Chicken, and Beef Brocolli. For a special treat on nights when no one feels like cooking, I’ll order takeout and enjoy dinner at home. You might have to double order the Orange Chicken. At my home, that dish is the first to go! If I plan ahead, I make rice at home. On spur of the moment nights, I’ll order rice with my takeout. If you have a large family, I recommend ordering extra everything as their portions are on the small side.

Vegan Thai Restaurant in OC: Wheel of Life

Pad Thai

Vegan Thai Restaurant in OC: Wheel of Life

Orange “Chicken”

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We don’t just live on alcohol alone – we love our coffee too!  There are two kinds of coffee shops:  one that you can pop in to grab a quick coffee to take with you: these places often have uncomfortable and cramped seating to discourage lingering – I’m looking at you Starbucks; then there are the places that just scream welcome.  I love those coffee shops and I have had a bit of a hard time finding one that I really like.  But Eureka!, I finally found a great coffee shop that has ample seating with bright, natural light. The wifi code is posted at the counter, and you can borrow a portable charging station!  Decent pop music played at a medium loud volume that can be heard above the pleasant hum of other customers.  

Cool Coffee Shop Vibe at The Lost Bean

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