Category Archives: Passport Required

At Home In Copenhagen.

As much as I enjoy researching and planning where to eat out while traveling, there’s nothing like receiving an invitation to a local’s house for a home-cooked meal when you’re living out of a suitcase. I love seeing how people in other areas cook, eat, and entertain, while my inner voyeur gets a kick out of being inside buildings I’d otherwise only glimpse from the street. Plus, that little frisson you get when you think about sitting down with a bunch of perfect strangers with only a bottle of wine for a buffer? Impossible to replicate.

I was informed early on in the Copenhagen meal-planning process that our Saturday night was spoken for—my cousin has a friend in the city, and her family had invited us all over for dinner. Magic hour was just hitting when we got off the train in Hellerup, a well-kept suburb to the north. (Fun fact: If you stand in the spot where I took the picture above, turn about thirty degrees to your right, and look out over the water, you’ll see Sweden. Hi, Malmö!)

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Ten Things In 2012.

As 2013 rapidly approaches, we pause to take a look at our top food memories and discoveries of the year.

Jill: My itinerant adventures included a spring trip to Nicaragua and Costa Rice, summer visits to New York City and Cleveland (yes, a worthy destination) and a last-minute trip to San Francisco spurred on by World Series baseball. Below are a few things of note as I look back at the year that the world was supposed to end.

1. One-Course Meals.

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In 2012, I realized that while I may not be able to afford three courses of fine dining, I can create my own buffet of great eats by visiting several places for one course each. San Francisco was the perfect backdrop for this style of eating, and I found myself slurping oysters not once, but twice in the ten-day stay. The key, by the way, is to be upfront with servers from the beginning. And to tip a little extra before heading out for the next snack.

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Snack Snickers.

Because I have the sense of humor, roughly, of a twelve-year-old boy, this is one photo from my recent trip that never fails to make me giggle.

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Those Norwegians sure know their snack food. (Yes, Norway. Surprise! Stay tuned for more pictures of fjords than you ever knew you needed, plus a rundown of the unusual mammals I managed to consume in less than twenty-four hours in-country.)

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Friday Five: Postcards from Copenhagen.

We were in Copenhagen for nearly a week, and during that time we managed to cover quite a bit of ground on foot. Narrowing down the list for today’s Friday Five took considerable effort; consider this an amuse bouche, a handful of images from various corners of this picturesque city, both on and off the beaten path.


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Hello, Copenhagen.

Historically speaking, Denmark was never one of those places I was dying to visit. I wanted to see the Nordic countries the same way I want to see, say,  Montana—in a vague sort of way, never with any sense of urgency. Over the past few years, though, as the capital city began to pop up more and more on the food-media radar, it quickly earned a place on the list: I wanted to go to Copenhagen, and I wanted to eat.

When the opportunity to visit with family recently presented itself (thanks, Mom!), the first thing I did after booking my plane ticket was to try for reservations at the best restaurant in the world three years running; sadly for us, happily for our budget, Noma was booked solid months in advance. Happily for us, though, and sadly for our budget, this new-Nordic pioneer spawned a movement that has taken over the city; we would have multiple opportunities to sample modern Danish cuisine—maybe not as highly decorated as Noma’s, but beautiful food nonetheless—during our week here.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before experiencing the contemporary version, we needed an education in the basics. Our first meal would be a traditional one: smørrebrød, those iconic open-faced sandwiches, at Restaurant Kronborg.

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San Juan Del Sur Selections.

Thanks to Nina’s excellent negotiation skills, we awoke early to a dorm room full of empty beds. With the exception of some midnight dog choruses, very little noise kept us from sleeping, which is unique for a hostel. We woke up early with a plan: visit the market, have breakfast, learn to surf. The first two, I’ll cover in this post; the latter will be for another day.

After being told by a server the previous evening that the market wouldn’t be open until 10 a.m., we decided to find another source. A market that opens at mid-morning? It seemed unlikely. Our instincts were correct, which allowed for plenty of exploring — and fruit buying — before our surf lesson. Half of our selected fruit would be left in the hostel kitchen the next morning; the remaining would accidentally be left on a bus in Costa Rica. Oops.

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Beachfront Bonanza.

San Juan Del Sur is for hippies, beach bums, expats, surfers and — it makes me cringe to write it — yogis. And it was research on this west coast party town that solidified Nicaragua for Bethany as a solid choice for our visit to Central America. This blog post convinced her that the place would be the perfect venue to relax and ease out of the daily stresses of social work. With yoga, surfing and a chance to “hike to the world’s second largest Jesus,” I couldn’t say no.

We arrived and immediately found Yajure, the “surf hostel” that a friend-in-passing had recommended to Nina. At the time, we didn’t know the name; we just knew that it was “on the other side of the walking bridge.” (The address on their Facebook page is “Just left of the walking bridge after the Crazy Crab, San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua.” Effective.) Shortly after unpacking and scheduling a surf lesson for the next day, we went directly to Nicaragua Beach Lounge for lunch, based on the recommendation of Chely, the hostel’s owner.

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Friday Five: Things To Do On Ometepe.

Here’s a list of things to to while visiting Ometepe in Nicaragua.

1. Walk past the cabbies when you get off the ferry.

You can do this pretty much anywhere in the world, and you’ll save a few bucks. That first guy, the friendly one who’s making you a deal? He’s not. I always forget this. Luckily I travel with people like Bethany or Maya who aren’t as easily walked over as I am. So, keep going. The price will go down.

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