So-Thanksgiving trip reports anyone?

Old Nov 27th, 2001, 07:32 AM
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So-Thanksgiving trip reports anyone?

Especially those that had inquired about Chicago, would love to hear about everyone's travel experiences over the break!
Old Nov 27th, 2001, 08:40 AM
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Had a terrific trip to Chicago over Thanksgiving. American Airlines flights on time and airports not crowded. Liked the W Lakeshore's location and the room but not the service; we had several overcharges on our bill that were not easy to resolve and I would therefore not recommend it (although getting it for $41 on Priceline made it worth it). Had a great Thanksgiving dinner at McCormick & Schmick's, loved the Michigan Ave. shopping, and had a terrific pizza at Gino's East.
Old Nov 27th, 2001, 09:27 AM
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Glad to hear you had a positive experience at McCormick & Schmick's on Thanksgiving. I was trying to chose between there and Blackhawk Lodge, and unfortunately chose the latter. Am already a dedicated McCormick's fan, but wanted to try someplace new for the holiday. While I did not sample the turkey entree, the prime rib and the trout entrees, as well as the desserts, were disappointing at Blackhawk. On the up-side though, everyone in my group actually lost weight after the holiday!
Old Nov 27th, 2001, 12:05 PM
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Aloha all,
While it wasn't Chicago, we had a very, very nice 3 day stay in Yountville (Napa Valley)for T'giving/22nd wedding anniv.

Stayed at the Bordeaux House. Very nice, large room and bathroom and it had a fireplace which was perfect for the one rainy night we had. Innkeeper Jean is a very sweet, helpful, laid back person. We will stay there again.

It was also within walking distance to all the good restaurants in Y'ville, Fr.Laundry, Bouchon, Livefire, Bistro Jeanty, Paitti's and Napa Grille.

We had T'giving reservations at Livefire. 2 great meals. Mrs Kal had the deep fried turkey, very juicy, and I had the smoked ham. Good.

Friday morning brought us bad news. We hoofed it down to one of our favorite breakfast place institutions, The Diner, and found out that it went out of business. Rumor had it that she was just tired from workin' it for almost 20yrs and the owners Mustard's may buy her out and open up a small place???

We ate at our second fave b'fast place, Pacific Blues Cafe.
Had fun at Y'ville's "Festival of Lights". All the area restaurants and a lot of wineries were there. Ice Carving competition, music, clowns, jugglers and, of course, Santa!

Sat. we hit the oyster bar at Bouchon's for lunch. We've been to Boston, NYC, NOLA, Anchorage, SF etc and this has to be one of the best OyBars we've ever visited. Fresh, meaty clams from all over. Randy the b'tender was a hoot, too.

Later, we hopped into the local taxi service, "Taxi CABernet", and attended the opening of Pat Kuleto's new restaurant up in St Helena, "Martini House" and to say this was one of the best restaurant experiences in our lives would be an understatement.

He knows how to build and run a restaurant. Outstanding food, service and a great "bar in the basement".
Pat even came over to wish us a Happy Anniv. The man can schmooze!

Long drive home on Sunday afternoon. I'm still sweating purple sweat.
33 mo' days.
ps to lisa2...Ahhhh Gino's East...My home away from home...cheeseburger pizza rules!! My wife is a Giordano's fan..boooooooo!
Old Nov 27th, 2001, 04:12 PM
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My wife and kids and I spent the weekend in Palm Springs. We had a great time.

We stayed a place called "A Place in the Sun". It was great for us, since they had a 2-bedroom villa available. Turned out to be a full apartment with kitchen, LR, DR, 2 BA, 2Bdrm, Patio, Jacuzzi. 1500 sq ft. They also have a hot tub and pool in the center of the complex. Not real 'fancy' but very reasonalble, clean, and convenient. They built the place for the film crew for the movie by the same name in 1950.

We had lunch downtown at an outdoor Mexican place, Del Rio's. Very Expensive for what we got. Food was good, nice outdoor eating area, but meal for 5 was $115 before tip. Ouch.

Dinner was Japanese, at Otani, accross from the convention center. Cool restaurant. Excellent food (sushi/sashimi). A definate recommendation.

Saturday was golf at Desert Dunes (great course in Desert Hot Springs). Just right for my son and I, not too hard, not too expensive. My wife and daughters went shopping at the outlet malls on I-10.

We then went shopping in Palm Desert. Great main drag (El Paseo) and expensive. Tommy Bahama's is one of the best I have seen.

Dinner at Magie's in Palm Springs. Very good Italian food, but their wine by the glass could be better. Next time I'll order a bottle and cork it.

On Sunday, on our way out, we stopped in Palm desert and had lunch at Roc's Firehouse grill. Excellent choice. It's a small place on El Paseo, and not too expensive. Great Pastrami and burgers... cold beer. Couldn't ask for more.

BTW... this vacation was the first with our dog (pug/poodle mix) in tow. He ate with us for lunch... most restaurants are OK with this if you eat outside.

Old Nov 27th, 2001, 05:40 PM
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Hey Kal: 33 and counting? It sounds like you and Mrs. K had a great Thanksgiving trip.

We did a three day tennis weekend at the Ihilani and had a blast. A little luxury at the spa, a little snorkeling, and a fabulous and romantic lobster dinner w/T at Aqua.

BTW, are you and Mrs. K spending any time in the Big City on your way to Kauai?

Old Nov 27th, 2001, 09:07 PM
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We had a lovely white Thanksgiving in Anchorage with old friends. (We used to live there.) Only about a foot of snow on the ground, temp. around 25F. Drove around looking at former stomping grounds and ex-houses (a sometimes dreary but interesting pilgrimage), ate at the Tempura Kitchen (still one of the best Japanese places in the US despite its oh-so-humble location on Spenard Rd.) and at the flat-out-best Middle Eastern restaurant we've been to in this country, Alladin's, in a strip mall surrounded by video and pizza places. Lamb with pears followed by Tunisian honey cake - oh, my.

The Thanksgiving meal at our friends' house in downtown Anchorage started a little late because we were watching two very large bull moose browsing on the shrubbery outside the dining room window. Our host was ready to get hostile if they went for his apple trees, a rarity in Alaska. Fortunately, they seemed to prefer the Mountain Ash, probably mistaking the red berries for cranberry sauce. Moose are big but they're DUMB. When we finally ate, it was grand, as usual.

Friday we went shopping then succumbed to the hype and joined several thousand of our best friends to see "Harry Potter" at a multiplex (showing on 4 screens). Addicting - we're now reading the books. When we got home from the movies the Northern Lights were making a big show of it - green curtains, red haze, the works. We stood thinking Hogwarts has nothing on this place.

Saturday before going to the airport we went to a crafts bazaar at the beautiful new Alaska Native Heritage Center in the frosty woods outside town, and bought some nice articles from sweet old eskimo men and ladies, for ourselves and as gifts.

The flights were as full and unpleasant as always, the airports no big deal. A good getaway week up in the Great Land.
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 05:33 AM
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Our family had a great trip to Chicago. Arrived on Tuesday and went to Ed Debevics for dinner (50's style diner). As it turned out Tuesdays are 1984 prices night, so dinnerfor 4 was under $30. Got the world's smallest sundaes for dessert which amused all. As an retired waitress (I gave up waiting table to practice law) I always chat with the wait staff-they clearly were hurting in that business has been slow this fall. They sing and dance on the countertops and teased our kids. Son # 2 is now know as Sparky and my husband is now Pops. Went to several musuems-Broadcasting, where the kids made an audio tape of a play by play of a Cubs or White Sox game. They got to practice for a while and had a ball. The display is very nostalgic-nothing our kids would remember but it brought back lots of memories for my husband and me. Spertus Judaic Musuem-disappointing, but a nice gift shop; Shedd Aquarium on Thanksgiving Day-a beautiful and interesting Aquarium; Chicago Art Institue-world class-I could have spent 3 days there and we didnt even get to go to the special Van Gogh exhibit. Thankfully, they left their normal Van Goghs on display. It has an amazing permanent display of minature rooms of diffrent eras (mostly 1700-1940s) Also caught the Thanksgiving Day Parade. thanks to the Diet COke marketing people who handed my son a 12 pack of Diet COke Lemon. It was great to stand on during the parade to get some added height. Great people at the parade..everyone near us was friendly and filled us in on local information. Great Thanksgiving dinner at Mike Ditkas. Tried Fried Turkey and it's really good. Also a fun meal at the Cheesecake Factory. Our teenage son was given some shares of stock in it and we wanted him to see what his investment was-must being doing well as there was a 2 hour wait at times. We were lucky and only waited 30 minutes. We scattered some shopping along the Magnicent Mile in between our adventures. Stayed at the Embassy Suites on State Street which was very nice but the whirlpool was so over-clorinated that 2 swimsuits were ruined. Staff seemed overwelmed (possibly they were understaffed) at times even though the hotel has not seen full capacity since before 9/11. A fun trip all in all. Where should we go next?
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 08:42 AM
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Alohaaaa Kalena,
Sounds like a perfect T'giving for you and yours! Too bad by "2 day body" probably couldn't take a "3 day" tennis weekend!

Put me on a bicycle and I could prob ride for 3 days but tennis, basketball, skiing(H2O and snow) are pushing it and I miss them.

Say...a bike ride from Ke'e beach to Polihale??...We can make it an annual charity event and promote K at the same time? Hmmmmm...."Della...Get me the Mayor"...

Will be bypassing the Big City this year and, much to Mrs Kal's chagrin, her customary "Dbl mai tai" at Stinger Ray's in the I-Island terminal!
We got the non-stop from SFO to Lihue on United...if they still are running know UAL!

If you happen to be out Kauai-way from 12-30 to 1-15, drop me a line before
12-29. I got a bartender that makes the world's best mai tai and the first 3-4 are on me!
Mucho mahalos

ps...This Chicago foodie talk is making me hungry! May not be able to wait for our August Chi Cubs trip.
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 09:04 AM
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We spent Thanksgiving in Pittsburgh with my in-laws. That afternoon, I took my girls out to a park/wooded area to shoot photos for our Christmas cards. Ate dinner with the whole family shortly afterwards. Saturday morning, I took the girls downtown to watch the Christmas Parade. As soon as it was over, we headed to Point Park. We toured the rinky dink museum on-site. We got what we paid for ($4 total for the 3 of us), but it gave us a perspective of what we saw. Saw the block house and foundations of Ft. Pitt and Ft Duquesne. Something they enjoyed was the different angle of the sights. We always go through the Ft. Pitt Tunnel. We stood at the point and I pointed out the confluence. Looked over and saw the Carnegie Science Center and submarine, Heinz Field, PNC Park, the Incline, Ft. Pitt Tunnel, and the Pittsburgh skyline. As we were heading home Sunday, I pointed out all these same landmarks. Suddenly, they had a much better grasp of what they had seen and where they had been.

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