Domaine de Puychene

Located in southern France, in the Languedoc-Rousillon wine area, is an absolutely wonderful place to stay.

Domaine de Puychene in Saint Nazaire d’Aude is relaxing and inviting.

More to come on this place…we’ll be back.

What Are You Drinking This Summer?

Did you know more people in France drink Rose than white wine…at least that’s what I’ve read. There are good reasons for that.

Rose is an easily drinkable wine that’s relatively inexpensive.

Typically, producers pick the grapes early to keep the acidity high and the alcohol level low. There is minimal contact with the skins, thus the rose color.

Rose is ready to drink now. While you’re waiting for your Cab to spend its time maturing, you can drink Rose.

So…why not try some this summer? I am.

Check Please, Bay Area

BackDoor Bistro and Check Please, Bay Area…what a fantastic combination.

BackDoor Bistro is in Vacaville…a wonderful, small bistro and wine bar. Lindsey, the chef, features local ingredients, creating dishes with foods that are in season. Her wine list is varied and well thought out. We are lucky to have her and her restaurant here in Vacaville.

Check Please, Bay Area features three different restaurants each show. Regular people, not food critics, check out each other’s restaurant and then get together to talk about them. I was fortunate to be one of those for one show.

This was the perfect opportunity to showcase BackDoor and to eat at two other wonderful restaurants. We had a blast filming and I can’t wait to see the finished product.

This show airs for the first time on Thursday, May 26, at 7:30 pm. The repeats are Friday, May 27, at 8:30 pm, Saturday, May 28, at 12 pm, and Friday, June 24, at 8:30 pm.

You can also stream in after it airs at KQED.org. Just look for Check Please, Bay Area.

Let me know what you think.

Does Your Credit Card Company Know You’re Traveling?

I’ve written before how you need to call your credit card companies and bank to let them know you’ll be traveling. This is true for a trip across the US or one to Europe.

What happens if a charge is something your credit card company doesn’t recognize? Do they call you? If so, do they have the right number to call? Does your phone work in Europe? Or, do they send a text which you won’t receive until you’re home?

Make sure you not only notify them, but that you leave the best contact information with them.

Check Please, Bay Area

Check out KQED, Channel 9, San Francisco on Thursday, May 26, at 7:30 pm.

I will be on the show, talking about the restaurant I recommended, Backdoor Bistro in Vacaville.

It repeats on Friday, May 27 at 8:30, Saturday, May 28 at 12 noon, and Friday, June 24 at 8:30 pm.

This was so much fun. Everyone was terrific and I had a blast.

Guell Park, Barcelona


Park Güell was commissioned by Eusebi Güell who wanted to create a stylish park for Barcelona aristocracy. Check out the famous Gaudi dragon fountain, all done in colored tile, at the entrance.


Meander through the walkway, supported by twisting rock pillars that appear to be growing right out of the ground. Gaudi used nature in his works and it is evident here.

At the top of the park is a terraced area where you can view the entire park and Barcelona. Take some time to sit on one of the many vibrant, multi-colored tiled mosaic seats. They look hard and not very comfortable. But, the way they are constructed provides a delightful seat with just the right amount of back support.  

The park was built between 1900 and 1914 and officially opened as a public park in 1926. Guell and Gaudi wanted this park within the entire park to be for the group of homes surrounding it.

To Lock or Not to Lock

Does your cell phone have a password or it is locked?

When traveling, it would be a good idea to have your phone protected with a password so someone else can’t use it.

Log out of all apps and stay away from unusual sites. You might want to think about not using public Wi-Fi spots.

What do you do?