…and We’re Off! SavoryGirl Heads to Ecuador & Peru

It's been a little over a year since our last big trip to Thailand and Cambodia and we are itching for some exploring and gastronomic globe trotting.  Up next...Ecuador & Peru!  We're heading to South America for a little over 2 weeks on our very first organized/guided trip.  We typically like to do our own thing and create our own itineraries, but since the focus of this trip is two activities that you are required to have authorized guides for, the Galapagos Islands and hiking Machu Picchu, we figured this was the right trip to try out a guided tour.  So we did some research and booked this tour with G Adventures.  A few of our friends have vacationed with G Adventures in the past and they have a sustainable and local flavor focus, so it sounds like a good fit for us...fingers crossed!

 

In case you're interested in following along on our adventure, a high-level itinerary is below.  I'll get into the good stuff, all of the local cuisine that we are going to try to hunt down and try during the little bit of free time that we have, when I return.  All of the foodie related activities that I have on my list are recommendations from my fellow T-Bird alumni who are either from Ecuador or Peru or have lived there for extended periods of time...so I trust they'll be spot on, but I'd like to try everything for myself and have photos before recommending any food to you...

Foodie Itinerary: Sonoma, California

Ah, Sonoma.  This is a different experience than Napa...a bit slower paced and gives you a glimpse into what Napa maybe used to be like before it got so popular.  Don't get me wrong...there are still plenty of tourists, but there's just a different vibe.  The people working at the winery linger to talk to you longer and there's a sense of simplicity that is both welcome and comforting.   You do have to drive a bit more in between wineries if you follow my list below, so as with all wine tasting please be careful and make sure you have a designated driver.  Sonoma's a bit harder to do in a day and get the full experience so I suggest a weekend to truly enjoy it at the leisurely pace you should adopt while visiting this unique and tasty region.

My recommendations for what to do, where to eat and of course where to taste are below...and to see some pictures of many of the wineries and surrounding valley check out my Sonoma Photo Album.
Foodie Itinerary: Napa!

Summer is right around the corner; the grapevines are starting to fill out and soon will be heavy with grapes and lush foliage.  It's a wonderful time of year in wine country.  Living in the Bay Area and being passionate about food and wine means I often get asked for wine country suggestions, particularly since I actually used to live in Napa and worked at a winery for a summer.  I love wine country and boy do I have lots of recommendations!  So consider this the first of a three part series on Wine Country....Napa, Sonoma, and Beyond. First up, Napa!  If you've never been to wine country before, Napa should be first on your list. Yes, it's touristy and at times a bit cliche but it's Napa!  You should experience all Napa has to offer first and then move onto the smaller and more quaint wine regions like Sonoma, Russian River and Alexander Valley.  Exploring and understanding Napa will allow you to appreciate the others even more.  Trust me. If you can, try to go during the week since the weekends are more hectic. My recommendations for what to do, where to eat and of course where to taste are below...and to see some pictures of many of the wineries and surrounding valley check out my Napa Valley Album.  It will inspire you to start planning your trip right away!
Foodie Itinerary: Chicago, IL

Chi-town, the Windy City, Chicagoland, Second City, New Gotham (God, I love the new Batman movies!)...whatever you call it, Chicago is an exciting city.  Especially in the summer and fall before the frigid lake breeze starts to pick up.  So we considered ourselves pretty lucky when I had a business trip to Peoria, IL scheduled for late September... weekend trip to Chicago, anyone?  Definitely!

I actually haven't been to Chicago more than quick stop overs in years, but my Grandfather lived there and I have lots of friends who have lived there for extended periods of time so we had lots of good recommendations and resources when planning this trip.  Christian's never been to Chicago at all, so it will be excited to explore it together.  We only have 2 1/2 days so it will be a quick trip, but we're packing as much in as we can!

Of course, please leave me a comment if you think we're missing out on any must-eats or must-sees from our itinerary below...
Foodie Itinerary: Austin, TX
 

Austin, Texas...boy have we heard great things about this place!  But until now, we haven't had a chance to get there so we were super excited when we found out that our good friend Michelle was getting married there.  So excited that we decided to take a normal quick wedding trip and turn it into a 5 day trip so we really have time to explore.  As usual, I've tapped into my fellow T-Bird network and done my usual research to create the itinerary below.  Not surprisingly, there's a big focus on BBQ and music which sounds like a fun vacation to us!

We're leaving on Friday 9/23 so if you think we're missing something big from our trip leave a comment and let us know!  As always, our itineraries are meant as starting guides, but totally flexible in nature so we can swap things around and abandon others completely once we land and start talking to locals...
SavoryGirl in Thailand & Cambodia…
 

We’re off to savor our way through Thailand and Cambodia for the next 2 ½ weeks, which unfortunately means that there won’t be any new menus or recipes during that time (stupid iWeb...working on changing this limitation of my site for the future!). I encourage you to go back through the archives to try out old menus and recipes. I promise to bring back lots of yummy authentic Thai recipes from my cooking class and of course many photos of my foodie travels.  I will also be tweeting as I travel so if you’re interested you can at least get small bites of our travels while we’re away. So where are we going?  Here’s our anticipated itinerary of places we’d like to go and thins we would like to do, but we’re always flexible so we’ll see how it changes:
Help us plan our next trip to Thailand & Cambodia!

Christian and I are heading to Thailand in less than 2 months...yippee!  We’re super excited and just starting to get into planning mode and we’re looking for foodie recommendations from all of you!  What were your favorite foods that we must try (besides everything from what I hear!), favorite restaurants in Bangkok, island shacks, picnic spots, cooking classes, etc...   As of right now we’re planning to go to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, lots of beaches/islands in Southern Thailand (tbd) and Siem Reap in Cambodia.  But we’re flexible, so let’s hear what you have to say and I promise to bring lots of photos back to share!