Ippudo: Ramen

We’ve tried the popular, line out the door, Ippudo of New York and unlike everyone else who has eaten there, we have yet to return. Yes, the pork buns were very tasty, but overall, the ramen was much too salty (maybe it was the dish we ordered?). Maybe they/we were having a bad day – we will never know. Whatever the case may have been, our sentiments towards Ippudo of Japan were a complete 180! (Thanks for bringing us there, Tyler!!) The gyoza (pot stickers) was so good!! Perfectly seared on one side with steamy goodness on the other! Of […]

“Japan Town”. The Real One!

It has been a long time coming. Japan has been one of those places so high on our hit list that quite honestly, it was bound to disappoint. Sure, Carmela has been there already, but she fell terribly ill during her previous visit, and this was her chance to make peace. Besides, Raymund took two semesters of Japanese in college, and could sing the Toys ‘R Us song in the native tongue – how could we falter, right? Right! Well, sort of. Yes, unfortunately, Carmela once again got the food bug. But all things considered, with the help of good […]

Choose Your Own (Māori) Adventure

With it being our last day in New Zealand, we booked a tour, which was scheduled to last the full day in Rotorua. First stop: Waitomo caves. Our humorous guide showed us through his ancestors’ ancient dwelling place, discerning the difference between stalactites (“holding tight to the ceiling) and stalagmites (“one day might reach the ceiling). He even sang for us a traditional Māori welcome song in the holiest depths of the caves, which were highly conducive to such an exercise. Naturally, it was also a place of prayer. After a brief tour, it was now time for the long […]

Harboring Great Grub

South Island’s natural beauty spoiled us so after spending several days there, we experienced a strange (albeit brief) culture shock when arriving back in Auckland. Diverse faces and food options, traffic lights, noise, and a faster pace were a sharp contrast to the tranquility of Queenstown. From the airport straightaway, we boarded a local bus into town and an hour later, we found ourselves winding the hilly cityscape to our hotel, The Quadrant (many musicians have stayed here while on tour!). The room was very quaint so despite having commuters fatigue we visited the bustling wharf and fish market, stopping […]

The Sound of Silence

“In the following moments please do not talk, make noise, walk around, or use any electrical device that will beep or chirp. Just listen.” These were the instructions given to us by our captain on our boat in the Doubtful Sound just before the engine shut off and we were left in the complete absence of any sound. Well… human-made sound that is. Bird song, water undulating, foliage rustling against the wind – that’s it. Without a doubt (wah wah), this was such a unique way to experience this Sound. We debated visiting Milford Sound, which is the other, smaller […]