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Archive for December, 2011

Kable’s at Four Seasons Hotel – Chef’s Table at Kables. Chef creates a personalised 5 course menu, paired w…

Posted in Sydney on December 31st, 2011

Kable’s at Four Seasons Hotel – Chef’s Table at Kables. Chef creates a personalised 5 course menu, paired w…
Chef’s Table at Kables. Chef creates a personalised 5 course menu, paired with wines, followed by a guided tour of the kitchen. Tuesdays to Saturdays from 7 pm. A 10 guest minimum applies. Bookings essential.

360 Bar & Dining – 360 Set Lunch Special, from $30. Including salad and freshly baked bread….
360 Set Lunch Special, from $30. Including salad and freshly baked bread.

Bilsons – The Ultimate Evening for 2 – Dinner, accommodation + a bottle of Moet & Ch…
The Ultimate Evening for 2 – Dinner, accommodation + a bottle of Moet & Chandon and chocolate strawberries in your room upon arrival. Petite Degustation Menu with a glass of Champagne + hot breakfast served in your room. $750. Call 02 8214 0000.



Leave a Comment, Win an HD Video Camera!

Posted in Miami on December 31st, 2011

Leave a Comment, Win an HD Video Camera!

I owe my readers a lot. Now it’s time to give a little something back. This brand new 8 GB Flip Mino HD video camera can easily be yours.


Leave a Comment, Win an HD Video Camera! is a post from: The Expert Vagabond | Around The World Adventure Travel Blog

Flip Video Contest

Win a Flip HD Video Camera!

The contest is now over! Congratulations and Merry Christmas to Kristina from Croatia! She is the proud owner of a brand new Flip HD Hero! :D

I owe my readers a lot. You guys rock! Now it’s time to give a little something back.

This brand new 8 GB Flip Mino HD video camera can easily be yours. It’s a perfect tool for travel. Small, lightweight, powerful, and easy to use.

How to Win:

Step #1: If you haven’t done so already, either “like” my Facebook Page here, OR sign up for my bi-monthly travel newsletter here. Of course feel free to do both if you really want to!

Step #2: Leave a comment on this post, telling me what you will do with the camera when you win it!

That’s it. Pretty simple, no? :D


Right now I’m exploring the Republic of South Africa for the next couple of weeks with some fellow travel bloggers.

Check out the #VisitSouthAfrica tag to see what we’re up to on Twitter!

Once I return from my adventures here in South Africa, one of you will be named the proud new owner of this awesome HD video camera that easily fits in your pocket.

It doesn’t matter where you live, I’ll ship it out to you in Antarctica if I need to! ;)

A lucky winner will be chosen at random from the comment section below using Random.org.

May the Force be with you!


Leave a Comment, Win an HD Video Camera! is a post from: The Expert Vagabond | Around The World Adventure Travel Blog

Cute Baby African Penguin [PHOTO]

You could adopt him.


Cute Baby African Penguin [PHOTO] is a post from: The Expert Vagabond | Around The World Adventure Travel Blog

South Africa Penguin SANCCOB

Baby African Penguin at SANCCOB

Can you see this image hanging on your wall?Buy a Print

This is George. He’s an African Penguin who was rescued by the good folks at the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (aka SANCCOB). George has many brothers & sisters. They are all up for adoption, and need your love. Want to adopt your very own african penguin? You can do it here.


Cute Baby African Penguin [PHOTO] is a post from: The Expert Vagabond | Around The World Adventure Travel Blog

Giant Scorpion in the Darien Jungle [PHOTO]

Watch where you step.


Giant Scorpion in the Darien Jungle [PHOTO] is a post from: The Expert Vagabond | Around The World Adventure Travel Blog

Panama Darien Jungle Scorpion

Cuddly Creatures of the Darien Gap

Can you see this image hanging on your wall?Buy a Print

The Darien jungle along the border between Panama & Colombia is absolutely filled with things that want to bite & sting you. We found this large black scorpion sitting on a rotting tree while bushwhacking our way through the rainforest. It was a great reminder to always watch where you step or place your hands! Poisonous spiders, deadly snakes, and even a strange bug called a botfly that burrows under human skin all call the Darien home.

Who wants to try some fresh scorpion for breakfast?


Giant Scorpion in the Darien Jungle [PHOTO] is a post from: The Expert Vagabond | Around The World Adventure Travel Blog



All done!

Posted in Chicago on December 31st, 2011

All done!
When it comes to 2011 dining, it’s time to clear the table. But first, a look back at what got our attention

It was the best of times (particularly for new steakhouses), it was the wurst of times (pork products remained en fuego). And it was another year of dining in Chicago, and there was no dearth of compelling stories. Here are the ones that resonated with us.


Brand-New Bars

The PitchThe Pitch

Need another reason to drink? How about a full roster of them? Just when you thought you had tabs on all the places to get a wet one, another Golden Tee machine is ordered, more Tanqueray is stocked and a new bar opens it doors. Here are some recent scene-joiners to add to your to-drink list, plus some that are on the way.

More: Find new restaurants | Daily deals
Chicago Bars A to Z | Write your own review

Bottoms Up!

The Bar 10 Doors goes global
Co-owners Narsi Salivendala and Patrick Frazer have assembled a menu that leans on flavors from around the world, such as the Mediterranean olive plate or the South American mahi tacos. Further exceeding expectations is the beer list, featuring a number of decent offerings, including beers from local brewers Metropolitan and Warrenville’s Two Brothers.

Turtle Bar & Grill keeps ‘em crawling in
Pocketed in a residential building overlooking Armour Square Park, just north of U.S. Cellular Field, Bridgeport born and raised Tom “Turtle” Mancine presides over this simple sandwich-and-pasta sports pub. In here, a clean set of hi-tops tables, a half dozen flat-screen TVs and a rotating cast of regulars keep company with a Bud and Miller-slim beer list.

Come out and play on The Pitch
It’s soccer morning, noon and night at this three-level Lincoln Park sports bar, from the owners of Rocks and in conjunction with the Chicago Fire. Find the place open early for European matches and open all day, serving up quality bar food like burgers, wraps, wings and salads.

A Benchmark for success
Four Corners Tavern Group unveils its latest offering, a summery Old Town bar with all the amenities. Expect a retractable roof on the outdoor patio and a bank of flat-screen TVs behind the bar that can be turned into one huge mega-screen.

Racine Plumbing Bar & Grill is no place for drips
No, it’s not an after-hours plumber bar. It’s a Lincoln Park sports bar, named after the owner’s dad’s plumbing company. Find plenty of beer and cocktails, complementing a menu chock full of sandwiches and other bar food. And don’t forget to save room for a fried Twinkie.

Break The Curse of being a Cubs fan
The curse of the billy goat is probably the last thing you’d want to remind people of when they’re just a block away from Wrigley Field. Yet the owners of Red Ivy have done just that ? but with the aim of breaking the curse, not embracing it. With an array of fish bowls, cocktails and beer, you’ll have good reason to forget about all those losing seasons.

D.S. Tequila Company brings the fiesta to Boystown
Sip tequila and mahcine-made margaritas while you eat burgers and tacos at this new Boystown hot spot. The side patio is perfect for people-watching in the neighborhood.

Grace Street Tap makes for a charming dive
Find great beers (Oberon, Dirty Bastard, Dogfish Head, Three Philosophers and more) and home-made cocktails at this dive bar with character in North Center.

Curio: The classiest basement bar around
River North hot spot Gilt Bar gets this underground cocktail lounge, which mixes up about 30 different (strong) concoctions.

The Belmont Lounge classes up the neighborhood bar
Part swanky lounge, part neighborhood bar, The Belmont offers up something for everyone in the former Touch (and Bungalow before that) location.

Blue Frog 22 keeps the party going
Kick back and have some fun at this River North spinoff of the popular Blue Frog Bar & Grill that looks more like a basement rec room. Board games and karaoke rule this bar.

The Boiler Room heats things up
It’s all about beer and pizza at this spot from the folks behind Simone’s Bar. Microbrews sit alongside old faithfuls like PBR. Specialty pies dominate the menu, like the namesake pizza, Boiler Room 4, which is topped with PBR meatballs, giardinera and oregano.

Jimmy Green’s Bar & Grill takes it up a notch
This self-described “all-American sports bar” serves up everything from pizza to hummus in the South Loop. The beers are poured with care and food is a marked step up from your average bar fare.

Barely Buzzed

Crossing
Find four bars (including a full bar in the back patio) at this new sports bar offering from the Four Corners group.

B Bar
DePaul students can party until 4 a.m. (5 a.m. on Saturday) at this late-night basement bar in the heart of Lincoln Park.

Proof
Grab a specialty cocktail and check out the Gold Coast’s best eye candy at this two-floor club in the former Level spot.

Fedora Lounge
Head to this gangster-themed River North bar for a cocktail fit for prohibition, along with solid sandwiches and other bar food. Nighttime performances include burlesque shows and an open-mic night on Mondays.

IPO
Get in on the ground floor at this bar in the W Chicago City Center.

Illuminati
The former Vain spot re-opens as this three-story dance club in Lincoln Park with a VIP level on the third floor overlooking the rest of the party.

Chizakaya
Adding to the growing izakaya (Japanese small plates bars) trend is this Lakeview spot. Expect Japanese food without the sushi — ramen, udon, yakitori.

Grami
Free of the kitschy Three’s Company theme, Streeterville’s Regal Beagle re-opens as this contemporary American bar/restaurant with a focus on beer and comfort. A dozen flat-screens show the sporting event of the day, and DJs take over at night on the weekends.

Blokes & Birds
This British-themed bar in Wrigleyville plans to offer communal seating, 20-plus beers on tap (including many American craft brews), pool tables and more.

Dore Lounge
Sip specialty cocktails in style on plush black couches at this French-inspired River North spot, which features an entire wall painted gold. There is also a small menu of appetizers to nibble on.

Cork & Kerry at the Park
The popular Beverly bar opens a new location just a few blocks from U.S. Cellular Field in Bridgeport.

Still Sober

Moe’s Cantina (River North)
The popular Wrigleyville bar plans to open a River North outpost in October.

Leader Bar & Grill
This Avondale establishment (with thin-crust pizza as a specialty) from the owners of Uberstein and MaxBar is aiming for an October opening.

Haymarket Pub & Brewery
Rock Bottom brewmaster Pete Crowley is leaving his post to open this West Loop brewpub sometime in early November.

Tantrik
Get sensual at this new River West club, opening later this year.

Aviary
A new cocktail lounge from Alinea’s Grant Achatz and his team will open in the former Fulton Lounge space in the West Loop, sometime this year. We think.

Wolcott’s
Grab a local beer or martini and order up from the menu full of comfort food favorites at this quaint Lincoln Square bar, opening later this year. There will be TVs to watch the game and a patio coming soon after.

Exchange Urban Hang Suite
Head to this South Side for a night of bottle service or just to chill on the outdoor deck – beginning later this year.

Check out Centerstage Chicago food and drink deals!

Phil Vettel recommends
Christmas Day dining options few, but impressive

Dining out on Christmas Day is never easy, but it’s not impossible. Most people know that Chinatown is always a good dining-out bet, and nearly every hotel restaurant has to provide some sort of food service, even on Christmas Day (can’t let your guests go hungry).




Feature – Sushi menu vocabulary and fish/seafood glossary

Posted in Tokyo on December 31st, 2011

Feature – Sushi menu vocabulary and fish/seafood glossary

XEX
XEXLeafy Ginza is home to the hippest most romantic jazz bar in the Orient. Pronounced Zecks, it’s an ultra-modern space, with a baby grand and majestic floor-to ceiling-windows in its main room; and an extraordinary terrace with reflecting pool, lanterns and mini-waterfall beyond. The dusty tones and sleek low-slung furnishings and cushions resemble a Schrager design hotel in a desert, although you’…



Mishkin’s – review

Posted in London on December 31st, 2011

Mishkin’s – review
Restaurant of the week: Mishkin’s is where to go to nosh, kibbitz and kvetch

Barchick: Burger & Lobster
In this laid-back Mayfair hangout, the guys behind Goodman’s steak restaurant have tanks big enough to house dozens of lobsters



The Queensbury, Willesden Green – Review
The real ale credentials have vastly improved, with three hand pumps for regular and guest ales, occasional extra kegs, and a manager dedicated to bringing in more



Dawn Patrol

Posted in New York on December 31st, 2011

Dawn Patrol
A three-month late-night parade through bunker lounges, dance fortresses, and gin joints inside coffee shops.

25. Because You Can Dance and Booze in a Chinese Restaurant, a Jamaican Luncheonette, a
The China Chalet doubles as a Chinese restaurant and more.

Aluminum Beauties
Five craft beers, newly available by the can and begging for the beach.

Teeth of the Sons
Sam returns home to Brooklyn after a long absence, looking for shelter for himself and his pregnant girlfriend.



DNA LOunge

Posted in San Francisco on December 31st, 2011

DNA LOunge

bars / clubs / cafes
*****

Great Place for a show

2 reviews - last on 02/12/07 by Unsubscribed

Artisan cheese makers abound in Sonoma and Marin
If Seana Doughty wants a motto for her new Bleating Heart creamery, she might consider “No Guts, No Glory.” Doughty’s saga of transformation from bored office paper pusher to professional cheese maker has enough…

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customers

bars / clubs / cafes
*****

customers

1 review - last on 06/09/08 by Unsubscribed



Garden Court Restaurant at Sofitel Sydney Wentworth – Dine for Free on your Birthday Celebrate your birthday at Garden Court and …

Posted in Sydney on December 30th, 2011

Garden Court Restaurant at Sofitel Sydney Wentworth – Dine for Free on your Birthday Celebrate your birthday at Garden Court and …
Dine for Free on your Birthday Celebrate your birthday at Garden Court and enjoy your dinner on the house. Experience the French touch and indulge in an intimate dining experience for your birthday, with the one’s you love most.

Hi Lights Revolving Restaurant – Pre Show Dinner Menu Available Saturday only between 5.30pm – 7.00pm Show…
Pre Show Dinner Menu Available Saturday only between 5.30pm – 7.00pm Show Begins at 8.00pm in the Diamond Showroom 2 Course Menu $25.00pp



Cute Baby African Penguin [PHOTO]

Posted in Miami on December 30th, 2011

Cute Baby African Penguin [PHOTO]

You could adopt him.


Cute Baby African Penguin [PHOTO] is a post from: The Expert Vagabond | Around The World Adventure Travel Blog

South Africa Penguin SANCCOB

Baby African Penguin at SANCCOB

Can you see this image hanging on your wall?Buy a Print

This is George. He’s an African Penguin who was rescued by the good folks at the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (aka SANCCOB). George has many brothers & sisters. They are all up for adoption, and need your love. Want to adopt your very own african penguin? You can do it here.


Cute Baby African Penguin [PHOTO] is a post from: The Expert Vagabond | Around The World Adventure Travel Blog

Thank You. (Plus Squeaky the Duck)

I’m typing this blog post out on my brand new laptop computer. I couldn’t have done it without you!


Thank You. (Plus Squeaky the Duck) is a post from: The Expert Vagabond | Around The World Adventure Travel Blog

My Replacement Laptop

Thank You So Much!

I’m typing this blog post out on my brand new laptop computer. I couldn’t have done it without you!

Last week I had my computer stolen in Panama City, Panama.

This pretty ridiculous event threw a giant monkey-wrench into my travel plans. At the time I decided it couldn’t hurt to reach out to my readers for a little help getting back on-track as fast as possible, not really expecting too much…

I was completely blown away by the response.

My incredibly embarrassing story was shared by a ton of different people within the
super-awesome travel blogging community.

I truly want to thank you guys for helping to humiliate me. :D

Some readers even decided to buy a few of my photography prints or send in direct donations to help me purchase a replacement computer.

Thanks to you, I was able to raise almost $700 towards that goal.

In fact I’m working on my new computer as we speak. I’ll now be able to continue sharing my crazy adventures, travel photography & budget backpacking tips with you through this blog.

Unfortunately the incident was just one of many reasons why I suddenly needed to fly back to the US. I’ll be working my ass off here for the next few months before I’m able to continue on my extended journey. Although I’m hoping to be back on the road by February 2012.

But the good news is I still plan to post more stories, photos, and video from Panama’s Darien Gap in the meantime.

Plus I have a big surprise to share with you pretty soon… ;)

My Gift to You

To thank you all for what you’ve done, I have a special treat for you today.

Technically this week is my One Year Travelversary, marking 12 months of constant travel around Central America.

Yeah, I know.

I really haven’t gotten very far in my quest to explore the world, have I? 8O

But rather than post a long article on the many lessons I’ve learned from a year on the road (there’s time for that later), I’ve decided to celebrate my Travelversary in a slightly different way.

So instead, I’d simply like to introduce you to Squeaky the Duck. He’s kind of a big deal.
Oh, he also has a thing for feet.

Enjoy!

Squeaky the Duck: Watch the Video

Meet Squeaky!

trouble with the video?


Brought to You By: Have you ever wanted to visit the Caribbean? The island of Barbados has beautiful beaches, great weather, and plenty of water-sports activities. Many fun options are available for holidays to Barbados. Consider an exotic Caribbean island vacation on your next holiday trip!



Thank You. (Plus Squeaky the Duck) is a post from: The Expert Vagabond | Around The World Adventure Travel Blog

Next Stop: South Africa!

Yup. I’m finally visiting a foreign country where Spanish isn’t the official language. Can you believe it? Actually, South Africa has 11 official languages. So I guess I’d better start practicing…


Next Stop: South Africa! is a post from: The Expert Vagabond | Around The World Adventure Travel Blog

South Africa Sharks

Great White Shark Capital of the World

Yup. I’m finally visiting a foreign country where Spanish isn’t the official language. Can you believe it?

Actually, South Africa has 11 official languages. So I guess I’d better start practicing…

In the beginning of December I’ll be soaring through the air across the Atlantic Ocean on a 14 hour flight to the Republic of South Africa. I’ll be spending 2 weeks exploring the country.

This action-packed trip has been made possible by South African Tourism, and it’s safe to say I’m more than just a little excited about what’s in store for me over there. 8O 8O 8O

I’ve always wanted to visit, so it’s going to be quite a treat.

A few possible highlights on the journey:

  • Working with Rescued Penguins
  • South African Wine Tasting
  • Travel to a Zulu Village
  • Ultralight Flying Tour
  • Snorkeling under the Indian Ocean
  • African Safari
  • Cage Diving with Great White Sharks
  • Lake Kayaking
  • Cave Spelunking
  • Exploring the African Bush on Horseback
  • Night Observation of Nesting Sea Turtles
  • Devouring South African Food

Tell Me What to Do!

Throughout my wild South African expedition, I’ll need your help deciding what I should do next. Tell me what adventures you’d like me to take part in, and I’ll do them.

I’m putting you in complete control!

Using social media, I’ll explain to you what my options are. Then you can vote for your favorite one. :)

After I’ve done what you’ve told me to do, I’ll eventually be posting the stories, photos, and video here on the blog.

All updates will be tagged with #VisitSouthAfrica if you’d like to follow along.

Ready to Vote?

To Vote on Facebook: Click Here
To Vote on Twitter: Click Here
To Vote on Google+: Click Here
Tell me which adventures you’d like to see me participate in!

Have you ever been to South Africa? What would YOU do?

Shark image (minus edits) provided by South African Tourism


Next Stop: South Africa! is a post from: The Expert Vagabond | Around The World Adventure Travel Blog

Starlight Over the African Bush [PHOTO]

A night safari in the Zulu Kingdom.


Starlight Over the African Bush [PHOTO] is a post from: The Expert Vagabond | Around The World Adventure Travel Blog

South Africa Night Safari

Night Safari in South Africa

Can you see this image hanging on your wall?Buy a Print

This is the Phinda Private Game Reserve located in the KwaZulu-Natal provence of South Africa. After an evening safari drive spotting lions, hyenas, zebra, and antelope, we ate dinner by lantern light deep in the African bush. Due to the remote location in the heart of the Zulu kingdom, the sky above was completely filled with stars. A brillant night in more ways than one.


Starlight Over the African Bush [PHOTO] is a post from: The Expert Vagabond | Around The World Adventure Travel Blog



Please be seated

Posted in Chicago on December 30th, 2011

Please be seated
Looking for a last-minute New Year’s Eve reservation? You’ve come to the right place

You can’t count on snow for Christmas. You can’t count on a 7-3 Bears team making the playoffs.


Phil Vettel recommends
Christmas Day dining options few, but impressive

Dining out on Christmas Day is never easy, but it’s not impossible. Most people know that Chinatown is always a good dining-out bet, and nearly every hotel restaurant has to provide some sort of food service, even on Christmas Day (can’t let your guests go hungry).


Release Fridays
DJs Dannyboy, Victor R, Billy the Kid and Technique spin. $125 Belvedere bottle specials available.