Monday, July 6, 2009

2nd The Food on NCL

Great! In one word...Great. That sums up the food experience. On board the NCL cruise line you will experience what is called 'Freestyle Cruising'. You don't have a set time for your meals, you are free to choose the times.

There are several specialty restaurants, two elegant main dining rooms, and last, but not least, the buffet cafeteria. (Plus 24/7 room service) The specialty restaurants charge a small cover charge of around $10 to $20 dollars us, and you will enjoy at least a $100 meal for just that cover charge. otherwise the cost of admission and food was paid for when you booked your cruise.

In Freestyle cruising you really are free to order what you want, and how ever much you want. So eat up and enjoy.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

1st The Cruise Experience

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll post some of the sights, and perhaps a sound or two, from Alaska. But to begin, I want to share some information about the cruise experience.

This was my second cruise, both of my cruise experiences so far, have been with NCL. I cannot imagine, a better way, to take in the beauty, that is Alaska. Alaska is described as 'the last frontier', and most of what I saw was unsettled, breathtaking nature.

But, here are some of the lessons, that I learned, on this cruise. The 11th deck on the NCL Star, is the highest deck for lodging, the rooms are larger, and you won't have a cabin of unruly children above your head all day. The ideal scenario aboard the ship, is to have a balcony room, you have more space, and fresh air. This cruise offered spectacular sightseeing right from the ship itself, having a balcony room was especially nice.

However, we had, the whole trip, above our heads,several families, with adjoining rooms, how did we know the were adjoining rooms? From the moment we first entered the room, the pounding, the running, the yelling. of children had already started.

Advice, ask the agent, at the time of booking, for the top floor, or if you want a restful and quiet time, without pounding above your head, ask for assurance, that a family, with numerous children, won't be above you!

Otherwise it was smooth sailing. Cruising the waters of Alaska was like being on a lake. No sea sick experiences.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Amazing Alaska

Alaska was indeed amazing, I have tons of photos and videos to share with you. It was endless beauty! The predictions for cold weather were wrong. Perhaps it was due to global warming, but the temperatures in Alaska got up to the mid seventies, with blue skies, and gentle breezes. This was not the weather I had packed for. Weeks before the trip I researched the weather, all indications showed highs in the low to mid fifties, with overcast skies, and some drizzle. But I had a lot of company, most folks had packed for, and expected cold weather. Of course this was a pleasant surprise.

In the days ahead, I'll be posting photos and information from the locations I visited on board the NCL Star. So book a return visit to the Travel Log Blog, and treat your eyes to a well deserved dose of nature. Vicki

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Muir Woods

Redwoods grow taller than any other tree species in the world. These trees thrive in the cool foggy climate near the coast. At Muir Woods the average age of the redwoods ranges from 400 to 800 years old. There is nothing like a peaceful walk through Muir Woods.

When I moved to bay area from Florida, Muir Woods became my favorite spot to breathe in nature. It still amazes me that the fifth largest city, San Francisco, is only a few minutes away from the nation's 10th national monument. Muir Woods is the last remaining strand of redwoods in the heart of Marin County.

For more information about Muir Woods, follow this link to the official Muir Woods site,

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Day On The Farm at Harley Farms

[Pescadero, California] "Harley Farms Goat Dairy is nestled in the picturesque village of Pescadero, California. American Alpine goats roam freely in the lush pastures on this coastal farmstead."

I love to visit Pescadero, several times a year, to enjoy the
Cream of Artichoke, mixed with the Cream of Green Chile soup at Duarte's.

I had heard about the goat cheese farm located at the end of town, and the fresh cheese on sale in the farm's on site store. But, this was my first time to visit Harley Farms.

I had such a fun time, and here's why. It's out in the country, but not far from the main town road in Pescadero. It's beautiful countryside. The cheese shop on the farm, offers samples of the many cheeses, olive oils, plus skin care products they produce. My partner and I bought fresh farm eggs (really fresh!), an olive oil, infused with garlic and rosemary, and of course two different kinds of goat cheese.

It beats going to the grocery store, when you can bring home fresh, locally produced products.

*For more information about Harley Farms, including how to get there, visit:

*For more reviews on Harley Farms visit Yelp:

Harley Farms Goat Dairy
205 North Street
Pescadero, California 94060
(650) 879-0480

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Taylor's Refresher

When you're coming up St. Helena HWY N, a.k.a-29/128, a.k.a- Main St., on your way to Calistoga, look for 933 Main St., 'Taylor's Refresher'. If you have never taken the time to have lunch here, you're missing out. Taylor's Refresher has 3 locations, but this location, just before Calistoga, has to be the best.

There is often a line of hungry people waiting to order, but don't let that keep you from stopping. Taylor's has the process, of keeping folks fed and happy, down to a science, the line moves along quickly, and the food is prepared fresh, and usually your food will be served in no more than 15 minutes after you place your order. They have someone preparing the drinks, and milkshakes very fast as well, so your beverages will come up first.

It's outdoor dinning, the food is delicious, and you will definitely be '
refreshed' after your lunch. vlb

*For more information visit,

*For reviews of Taylor's visit Yelp at:

Monday, May 11, 2009

Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

My weekend trip to Calistoga, included a special treat. We stopped off at the Jacuzzi Family Vineyards to stretch our legs for a moment. Inside we found a welcoming staff, helpful, knowledgeable, plus free wine tasting to the left as you walk in, and in addition to the wine, The Olive Press, offers free olive oil tasting, that's located on the right, as you walk into Jazucci Family Vineyards.

We found two excellent reds, the Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Primitivo Morine Ranch Lake County 2006. Both of these wines tasted so smooth, rich and full of flavor, even the texture of the wine was wonderful, the moment it touched your lips, you knew that you were in for a treat.

The olive oils, there were so many to choose from, it was delightful! The lemon, and the lime infused oils ended up being the choices for us. In addition to the olive oils, there are also various vinegars to compliment the olive oils.(*Special note, The Olive Press has a very clean, and orderly set-up, and the staff is right there to assist you with any questions. *I've been put off at other olive oil tastings, because of unclean conditions. You won't find that here.)

Jacuzzi Family Vineyards is a must see, when you're driving through Sonoma, California, along highway 121, not far from highway 37.

*For more information go to
*For more information about The Olive Press, at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards, visit,

For more reviews about Jacuzzi Family Vineyards visit Yelp: