Friday, July 22, 2011

Always Time to Eat, Drink and Be Merry - TAG Restaurant - Larimer Sq. - Denver, CO

I love to have friends come and visit me, because that gives me a reason to try out new restaurants and bars. Not to say I need any encouragement, but it's always fun to experience a great place with a friend.

Bar @ TAG Restaurant - Denver, CO
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of one of my friends visiting me, and let  me tell you, we ate, drank and were extremely merry! We didn't cause a raucous or anything, but we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

In order for us to be able to partake of libations, we decided to stay downtown. Everything is close and in walking distance, so that was an easy decision to make, plus our hotel at the Westin, had a great pool to lay out on...come on, life just does not get better than that...or can it?

Mini Chicken Tacos (yum!)
There were a few places I took my friend to, where I had been before, (some of which are my favorite haunts). On Friday evening, we strolled into TAG restaurant during their "Social Hour." My friend had a "Black Rose" (which she loved) and I just had a simple vodka tonic, but as you can see from the picture above, the bartenders here are mixologist! The muddler was working hard that evening, as our bartender mixed up a bevy of cocktails. While the drinks were delicious, our food was absolutely fantastic! I had the appetizer of chicken tacos, and my friend had some delicately, exquisite sushi rolls. I can not begin to tell you the joy my mouth felt as I took in the delicious mini bites of tacos. The chicken was chopped small and crispy, served with shredded napa cabbage, a light sauce (of some sort) and a slice of avocado. While it may sound simplistic and easy (which I'm sure is what they are going for), the taste was big, bold and in your face. We did not stay there for dinner, but I assured our bartender that TAG would now be on my rotation of restaurants to go to on a regular basis.

The atmosphere  is laid back; although, some may consider it a bit foo, foo...I revel in foo foo, so it worked just fine for me. Also, it seems they have a sense of humor too, as the decor is sleek and contemporary with beautiful lighting; yet, fun and interesting paintings on the wall.

We ate at more places during the course of the weekend such as, Snooze, a delightful breakfast joint that is oh, so, worth the hour long wait (I'll be showcasing them in the future). Also, Rioja, again, this will be its own write-up as the food there was divine and intoxicating, and is well deserving of its own kudos. All in all, we had a great time and relaxed. Ah, for the lovely summer days!

*photos provided by that Chick Té

Monday, July 11, 2011

Part 21 of Series: 101Reasons To Use A Travel Agent

Part 21 of Series: 101 Reasons To Use A Travel Agent

There has been a lot of chatter in the news and in the Travel Professional community about travel to Mexico. I am not going to belabor the point, because I know it is a "hot button" topic; however, I did want to show my support regarding travel to Mexico, and in so doing, here is a link to a site that is requesting support for Mexico travel:

Many points have been discussed within the travel community regarding our responsibility to advise our clients on the pros and cons of any travel destinations; not just to Mexico. While there is sufficient reason to be alarmed regarding some of the news we've been hearing, there is also another side, and to that point, many agents that reside in Mexico (year round or part of the year), have been vocal about the misleading information in the news, although conceding that there are some areas that are dangerous; however, there are dangerous areas in every major city throughout the world, and I always recommend to my clients to be aware of their surroundings and exercise good judgment whether they are in New York City, or Amsterdam.
What to Pack - Your travel expert can give you great advice on what to pack to those exotic destinations.
Plan a Trip Where you Bring the Kids but Can Still Get Some Alone Time - Many cruises and resorts now offer activities throughout the day for young children that make the day fun for them and give you some time to yourself. Travel experts can help you find great family destination options such as these.
Higher Productivity Benefits - You have your trip planned while you are hard at work in the office.
You Get to be the Boss - You get to tell someone what to do for a change (politely).
Great Group Trips - Trying to organize a trip for big group of people? A travel expert can help get all the details finalized and do the work of updating everyone in the group.

*Source: American Society of Travel Agents

Friday, July 1, 2011

Stress Reducing Your Travel!

Stress Reducing Your Travel!

It's that time of year again, where anxious travelers all over the world are gearing up for their holiday travel. The air in their houses is thick with the anticipation of a new adventure; beach lounging; hiking; surfing; gallery hopping; browsing, or just plain relaxing. Having done a fair amount of travel in my life, I can say this with great certainty, the way you start your trip is likely an indication of the rest of your trip. NOW, with that being said, I am not saying a trip that starts out a bit whacky can't be improved, or a trip that started out great can't go down hill; however, from my experience, your trip begins before  you even leave your house. If there is a lot of stress prior to your vacation, I can tell you that the probability of you encountering stress throughout your vacation is inevitable. When people are stressed, they are unable to relax, and such, any derailment (no matter how small), is given greater importance; versus if that person were relaxed, and simply took the inconvenience with stride and let it "roll off their back."

Consider this a quick "tune up" for your travels throughout the remainder of this year. None of the tips I am providing are new, nor are they anything you likely haven't heard before, but if I can impart any tiny bit of wisdom and save at least one person from a stressful travel experience - well then, my work is done!

These tips are in no particular order, but I've found that most of my travel experiences are relatively stress free because I do not worry about anything I have no control over, such as flying the plane, the catch my drift.
  • Pack ONLY what you absolutely need - really! Pull out whatever you THINK you might want to take on your trip and reduce it by almost half.
  • Eat a small breakfast, lunch or dinner (depending on the time of your travel) - this helps to keep you energized, as well as keeping you from eating all of the horrible items posing as "food" that are available at the airports. And with that being said, take along some healthy snacks. A few nutrition bars, dried fruits, nuts and an apple are small, compact, and easy to stuff into little pockets on backpacks and in handbags. 
  • While not always possible, get some rest before your trip - you'll need it.
  • Make sure you have a small first aid kit available that contains band-aids, gauze, antiseptic, pepto bismol (tablets only, not liquid form so you can place it in your carry-on) and any prescription medications you may need, and make sure you keep them in their prescription bottles - just in case.
  • Bring two good books to read. You can buy some from the airport, but if there is a book you have just been hankering to read, bring it with you; trust me, you'll have plenty of time to read.
  • Which leads me to this point. NOTHING kicks off a vacation the wrong way than arriving to the airport late and having to RUN at break neck speed through the airport in HOPES you can make your flight. I know that I am one of those freakish people who arrives creepily early, but truly, it reduces so much stress because you are there, through security, and don't have to worry. Yes, flights are sometimes canceled and/or delayed, but if you are there early and they begin locating flights to redistribute the passengers on, you are there, and will have the highest probability of getting on the next available flight to get  you where you need to go, with the least amount of pain.
  • Finally - SMILE, you're going on vacation!
*photo used from: