Thursday, December 31, 2009

the 20 hamburgers you must eat before you die

In 2006 Alan Richman wrote an article for GQ Magazine that had a list of the 20 burgers you must eat before you die. I do like a good hamburger so I was intrigued by the list. To tell you how much I like burgers, whenever I stay in a hotel I usually order a hamburger just to see what that particular hotels tastes like. I've even been known to pick a hotel because of the burger (ok actually the room service).

So far I've been to ten of the restaurants (some really can not be labeled restaurants...) and eaten nine hamburgers. Yes, I was denied in Newport, RI because of the dress code. They wouldn't even let me take it to go. 

The last place I ate one of the burgers on the list was at Houston's in Santa Monica, CA. This particular burger would not have made my list but that is just me. The best one I have tasted so far was at Barclay Prime in Philadelphia, PA. ADM (Ay dios mio for those not in the know), that was a GOOOOOD kobe slider. And the rest of the meal was phenomenal. I want to go back to Phillie just to go to that restaurant. The burger at Louie's in New Haven, CT reminded me the most of a home cooked burger. Not as good as my mom's burgers but it was still good.

The one that really puzzled me as to how they made the list was Keller Drive-In in Dallas. I mean this was a dive and not in the best neighborhood (or so it seemed). Sometimes greasy is not good.

The next trip to NYC, I want to make a side trip to Brooklyn to try out Peter Luger's burger.

Here is the original article with little tidbits on each pick.

my 15 seconds of fame

In my previous Chicago (Dec 09) post I mentioned that one of the staff from the Chicago Blackhawks organization interviewed me.  Well, it made it on to the Blackhawks website.  I look like such a DORK.  Let me repeat that for you.  I LOOK LIKE SUCH A DORK!  Whenever I get excited I get overly animated and this was no exception.  I cringe whenever I see it but am so glad I had that experience and such a great time on the trip.

Yes, that's me with my hands trying to cover my face and then being interviewed.  My friend Kelly who went on the trip with me is sitting to my right.

Sad to say, but yes I did mention how cute Patrick Sharp was. I can't help it - the man is a dreamboat.

Thank you to the Chicago Blackhawks and to Meijer for sponsoring the Hockey 101 Contest.

Oh, and I updated pics in my original post of my trip here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New York -- December '09

I can't believe I forgot to write about my recent trip to NYC in early December. I had to go for work but was able to get in some downtime while I was there. I went with a co-worker and a donor.

One thing I haven't done in a while is eat at Tavern on the Green so it was nice to do that. We also took a carriage ride through Central Park.

The food was delicious.

This was the front of the menu.

They lit the Rockefeller tree when we were there but it was raining so I didn't go see it. Lots of beautiful decorations around the city. It is always so crowded at this time of year.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chicago - December '09

I won a Chicago Blackhawks and Meijer contest for a hockey 101 clinic, dinner and tix to the Blackhawks/Tampa Bay Lightening game. Since I love Chicago I decided to make a weekend of it and invited my friend Kelly to go to the clinic and game with me.

I flew in on Saturday morning and met Kelly downtown where we went to eat at Berghoff's. We had burgers and some of their famous rootbeer.

Then we went walking around Millennium Park and were able to see the ice skaters. There was a cute little future hockey player there. Too precious!

We went to the Chicago Pier because I had never been through there just drove by it once. That is probably better done during the summer. Saw some of the lights before my hip gave out and we went back to the hotel. After a short nap we went to have a late dinner at Miller's Pub which was really quaint and cozy.

Sunday was the big day. We went to the ESPN Zone for lunch and were surrounded by both Bear fans and Green Bay fans. Good food there too. Only bad thing was I lost one glove that belonged to a co-worker.

Then we went to see the window displays at Macy's. There was a couple at one of them that had just gotten engaged. The guy had Macy's put his proposal in the form of a letter to Santa in the window. Then he popped the question. Too cute. Everyone was oohing and awhing.

Then it was time to head to the United Center. We got there and they signed us in and then took us upstairs to a conference room. We boogied to the front row where our goodie bags were waiting for us. A cap, mug, bobblehead, puck and much more. SWEET! You know I love me a goodie bag!

Then the instructors came in. Eddie Olczyk who is the tv color analyst was one and then also Annie Camins, the Director of Youth Hockey was the other.

We got to ask questions and when it came my turn he asked me how I got into hockey and how did I hear from them that I won the contest. So I told him that I went to Chicago last October and went to my first hockey game. I fell in love with the sport and the team. Then I entered and won and couldn't believe it because I never win anything. He was impressed that we flew from TX just for this. So we had the clinic and leaned so much about the rules. It was great. Then they had a drawing for a hockey stick signed by all the players. When Eddie read off the numbers and he took his time saying the last one I screamed when he said 9. I was like "No frickin way!" When he had started to announce the numbers I said I can take it on the plane. But they offered to ship it for me.

We then all got pictures and autographs from Eddie. Then they took us in to dinner. Unbelievable. I was thinking hot dogs and chicken strips. Not for this first class organization. They served roast beef, turkey, chicken Marsala, fish, fettucine Alfredo, roasted potatoes, grilled veggies, salads and more. They also had a mean dessert bar -- cheesecake, lemon bars, brownies and so much more.

One of the employees asked if they could interview me since I won and came from TX. I know I looked like a fool and my eyes were probably popping out of my eyes from the excitement. I can't even remember what they asked but I remember telling them I wouldn't pass up a chance to see the Hawks or Patrick Sharp!

Next it was off to our seats. They were pretty good seats and everyone who was around us were contest winners so it was like a little family.

Jim Belushi threw down the first puck and Toews and Vinny Lecavalier (#4 hottie from TB Lightning) were the ones out there with him.

Some of the gals around us got text messages from family members that said we were on tv. Then they texted again and said they had mentioned us an said we had come from TX for the game. How cool is that!!?!
Thank you Eddie!

It was a great game (Hawks won 4-0) and fantastic day of events.

Thank you to the entire Chicago Blackhawks organization and to Meijer's for sponsoring the contest. It was unbelievable!

** Updated with pics from my Flickr account of the trip. **

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Aint Too Proud to Beg

I'm reading this book by Susan Donovan (she also wrote He Loves Lucy which I loved) and this line made me laugh....

"And what's with Super Fly in the Lexus?"

Travel pet peeves

So on my recent trip I've found that I have lots of pet peeves. Let me lay them all out there for you.

Nobody wants to hear your entire conversation so you don't have to talk so loud when you are on the phone while waiting for your flight. Use your inside voice.

Same goes for the plane - shut up already. You are not that important that you can't wait until you get off the plane to start yapping.

When you are boarding the plane have some consideration for other folks. Don't take your time putting away your bags and standing in the aisle. The sooner you get you ass in gear the sooner the plane will start to move.

Do you really need to put your coat in the bin all by itself? And kudos to the gentleman who folded up his coat and put it on top of his suitase and not in the way of someone else.

If you are in an exit row - don't fall asleep. If something happens I want your ass wide awake and alert to get me out safely.

The rows are really tiny and there isn't room for you to be putting your seat back all the way. Get over yourself and go back just a smidgen. If you want to be comfortable buy your own plane.

DO NOT pass gas on the plane. Seriously people! That shit stinks up the entire plane.

OK I am certain there are more but for now that will do.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, November 22, 2009

All My Recipes

Well I have moved my recipes o a separate blog...

They should all be there and I'll continue to post my favorite recipes there and update my Weight Watchers progress.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kindle book giveaway

Are you interested in a free Kindle II? I am! Bibliofreakblog is giving one away and there are lots of ways to enter. You can sign up for one by going to this link:

Good luck!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Funny line from a movie

Daddy's Little Girls

Said by a little girl when her sis told the family she pees in bed.

"Why you gotta put my business out there like that!"

-- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Momologie Giveaway

Saw this free giveaway and signed up for it. I love tiered platters! You can win a couple of prizes for following @momologie, signing up for their newsletter or blogging about it. Please follow the link below for details.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New England

I had a business trip to NYC and decided to spend a few days traveling through New England with a co-worker/friend to enjoy the beautiful fall scenery. In Texas we only get green and brown leaves and our weather is hot or hotter so I am always interested in seeing a change of seasons.

We started out by taking the train to Providence, RI and then getting a rental car and heading to Cape Cod.

We had the Nissan Cube--isn't it the cutest little car?

I have never really traveled in Massachusetts - through it but not stopping. The Cape Cod area is absolutely beautiful. We stopped in Barnstable and ate at a little place by the water, Osterville Too. It was the first time I had lobster bisque and it was wonderful.

I also had the crab cakes and they were the best ever.

We did a little shopping and made our way to Provincetown.

We got there late so we didn't get to go whale watching or hang at the beach. It was also raining so that curtailed some plans too.

We spent the night in Plymouth MA and then headed to Boston where we did some shopping and went to eat at the Cheers bar....

....and nobody knew my name.

The food was pretty good. I had a panini and it was wonderful.

I bought lots of souvenirs from the gift shop. And even took a picture with Norm!

We then headed to Salem so we could see all things related to witches. That stuff doesn't interest me so I sat it all out. The traffic was awful and we wanted to try and make it to Maine in daylight so we didn't stay there long.

Then we headed to Gloucester MA.

It was beautiful and a quaint town.

Ever since I saw the movie the Perfect Storm I have wanted to see the memorial to the lost seamen.

The memorial they have is surreal especially as they list all the names of men lost at sea.

Then we headed towards Kennebunkport Maine. We got there as the sun was setting but we did get to do some shopping. We saw some beautiful houses and even traipsed through someone's yard to get a good view. We spent the night in Saco ME and decided to come back the next morning to get some pictures.

Kennebunk Beach is absolutely beautiful and has some very cute houses. I picked up some sand for Sydni.

We have been picking leaves to add to the stash of leaves for Sydni--she is going to love them.

We then made our way to New Hampshire and got some amazing photos of all the beautiful fall colors.

Our last stop was in Mystic CT. They have great shopping and the place is just too cute. We ate at the Mystic Pizza again and I got another tshirt for myself.

We then headed back to Providence RI to spend the night and catch the early train to NYC.

One last note:

I just have to note that on this trip I found the drivers in RI to be awful drivers--I actually had to ask the cabbie to slow down. Worse than NYC drivers. And in MA 100% of the drivers were absolutely rude. That state needs to come to Texas for some training in kindness. Seriously put me off MA--couldn't wait to get out of there. Loved Maine, New Hampshire and Connecticut.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, October 04, 2009


I had to go to LA/Santa Monica for business last week. This is my third trip to LA/second for business. The trip out wasn't bad as I was able to get a direct flight and got upgraded. Although the First Class in American Airlines is not as good as a Continental flight it was still First Class.

My organization launched Domestic Violence Awareness Month with Tim Gunn on October 1 in Santa Monica. He is an absolute delight and I was glad I got to take a pic with him. When I met him in NYC a couple years ago my hair was in a banana clip so I wasn't pleased with the pic.

We also got to go see a taping of the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson since Tim was on the show that taped Thursday night. I had never seen a taping of the show and I have to tell you it was wonderful. He is highly entertaining.

We ate at a couple of good restaurants while there. The first one was Houston's only because I wanted to taste the burger there as it was on the Top 20 burger list in GQ. This one did not do a thing for me. Not good.

Next, we ate at Gladstones after our event where I had a fabulous order of crab cakes. Delicious!

I also saw the son-in-law from the Cosby Show. He was leaving as we were being seated. Also took photos of the beach while heading to lunch.

On Thursday night we ate at the Lobster where I had a delicious sole for dinner. This is a happening place as it is right at the entrance to the Santa Monica Pier. Friday we left a little after lunch so we went to In-N-Out Burger where I had a cheeseburger and fries. There were very good and I can see why it is always busy. The only thing that bothered me was that the planes fly entirely too close to the highway as they are landing.

-- Posted from my iPhone


Well I have been having vision problems lately so I went to go see the optometrist and they took like eight tests on me. It turns out I am very nearsighted on my left eye and need glasses. I will eventually need bifocals but hopefully not this year.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, September 25, 2009


I recently had to go to Dallas for a couple of days for a business meeting. We stayed at the Omni Mandalay which was a very nice hotel. Everything was great - the hotel, the room, the service, the food.

The first night I felt like I was getting a cold so I stayed in instead of going out to eat with my colleagues. I had a grilled chicken sandwich and only ate the chicken so I could stay Weight Watchers friendly. I did have some chips but not all of them. I loved how they had the food on the the little condiments and the flower. Especially the ice bucket with the coke. Nice!
I am a person who always takes the bath essentials they leave you....and love when they have q-tips and cotton balls. The only thing that could make it better is to have a face cleanser.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cool art in Austin

These cool pieces of art were at the baggage claim area at the Austin airport.

Loved the Mexican loteria themed guitar.

-- Posted from my iPhone

New York City and DC

Back in New York for business meetings. Had a great flight in (see First Class blog) and staying in a good location.

I got in Sunday afternoon and didn't get much sleep since my flight was so early. I rested and watched the end of the Cowboys game. Yeah Cowboys!!

Didn't even know until monday morning that the MTV VMA Awards was a couple of blocks down the street. Lots of star gazing missed opportunity.

Lunch on Monday was at Bryant Park. Lovely place and great Caesar salad. Didn't know until I got back to the hotel for the night that the Fashion Shows this week are being held in a tent there. Totally another missed star gazing opportunity.

Sex and the City 2 is filming a block away. Went over there for lunch Tuesday but didn't see any celebs.

Lots of eating from room service because I am just too tired to go out. I did do bad and had one roll with butter. But it was with noodles and baked chicken.

Will be heading to DC next via train. I absolutely love taking the train. The seats are bigger and you have more room to spread out. I did flash some folks though while I was in the toilet. I thought I had locked the door but it must not have latched on because we hit a bump and the door went flying open as I was on the pot. So embarrassing.

Had lots of meetings and a gala to attend. Was in the elevator with Patti Ausin and didn't even know who she was -- just chatting away. She has an awesome voice. Nothing too exciting in DC. Back in the cattle section on the way home.

Travel again next week.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Great Wolf Lodge Review

My sister and I took the kids to the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine as a belated birthday/end of summer vacation.

The kids were good on the long drive there. We stopped in Waco at the Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco on the way so that cut up the drive.

Caleb brought out his Boy Scout instincts and was "searching" for the lodge the closer we got.

This place is huge. It was easy to find and there wasn't a line when we got there. The kids were so excited when they stepped in they ran up to me and hugged me and thanked me.

The lobby has a huge window that allows you to see into the waterpark. There is also the big tree house and the area were they tell bedtime stories. It is all a great wilderness vibe.

Registration was a breeze and I was blown away by the wristbands they have you wear. This allows you entrance into the waterpark, is your room key and your credit card. It is genius! You don't have to take anything to the waterpark as you just show them your wristband and the charges are put on your room. No more looking for your room key or trying to remember where you put it. I wish all hotels had this.

We took advantage of their offer of a free night with two nights stay. With that offer we weren't able to pick one of their fun rooms but this one was fine. It had two beds and a sofabed as well. Next time though we will definitely get the one with the cave theme. They don't have room service but they have places to eat in the waterpark and within the hotel. To save money we brought some snacks and sandwich fixins. This was great as we were so exhausted from doing everything that we didn't want to go out.

We did get food in the snack huts and the kids loved the corn dogs, and the chicken, and the french fries and the dippin dots--they liked it all. Diane and I split a steak from one of the restaurants and it was more than enough food for us both. We did eat at one restaurant for lunch because the boys had a coupon for a shot glass at this one. They had fun doing that and the food was great.

They sell these pup passes where for like $49 you get free stuff (stuffed animal, t-shirt or pillow case, tumbler, coins for the arcade and the aforementioned shot glass). The boys got that since Sydni was able to spend time at Scoops.

Scoops is a spa for little girls. It is much smaller than I thought it would be but it was absolutely precious. Sydni got a manicure and facial. They let her pick out her colors, lotion and smells for both. For the pedicure you sit on a banana split. They forgot to offer Sydni the robe until I asked about it. They did let her wear a tiara during the whole thing. For her facial she sat at a bar and was given a chocolate facial. She really enjoyed her time and loved the stuffed animal I bought her which also has a robe. It is a parent-free zone so I had to stay outside but I would sneak in to take pics.

MagiQuest - well this is a marketing genius because all the kids want the wands that allow you to play the game and you have to go up and down all eight floors finding the clues. It is not as much fun for parents as it is for kids. And it is tiring --my poor sister had to do this with the kids as my hip would not allow me to go up and down the stairs. It seems as if all the kids were having trouble defeating the dragon. Lot of upset kids so the parents had to help out.

The waterpark is great. Not too big and a variety of different things to keep the kids excited. They also were good about not letting kids go in without an adult. Caleb lost his goggles and luckily they were turned in at the front desk so I had a very happy boy. We never even made it outside to that portion of the waterpark -- next time hopefully.

I thought the elevators would be a nightmare because that is what I had read but we didn't have any complaints. I've stayed in hotels where you had to wait 20 mins. so 5 wasn't bad.

The registration staff was wonderful. We had to ask the cleaning crew to come clean the room because Jacob had put out the "Do not disturb" sign out when we left and didn't notice. They came right away.

The negatives:

The staff at the MagiQuest and the boy at the stuffed animal shop have no business working at a place for kids. They had no personality and were very short with the kids. It really irked me. If you don't enjoy your job then quit and stop messing up little nine-year-olds vacation.

The fire alarm went off THREE times within 24 hrs. Once while I was taking a shower and Sydni came running in that there was a fire -- freaked me out. Another time it was lightly raining and we had to stand outside.

Our last night we were rudely kept up by a bunch of squealing teenagers who had the three rooms surrounding us. I kid you not when I tell you that they were trying to have a sleepover in the hallway. One room got locked out so they ALL decided to hang out in the hallway until after midnight. Very bad parenting from their chaperones.

All in all we had a great time and tried to let the negatives roll off our backs. The kids can't wait to go back.

It is very pricey so budget and plan your time wisely. Take food because that does help and the kids munched and were able to eat breakfast in the room before heading out.

You can see photos on my post in the kids blog about our trip here.

August 2009

-- Posted from my iPhone