Las Vegas – Downtown Summerlin & Red Rock Resort

Downtown Summerlin parking lot

Downtown Summerlin parking lot

As soulless as parking lots may be, it would be a lie to say I wasn’t elated when I opened up the curtains at my Las Vegas resort and saw the sunny parking lot above. I mean, look at those palm trees! And sun (keep in mind, I live in Seattle).

Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa

Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa

I chose this hotel for my trip in November purely because Sunset magazine had recommended it, but was pleasantly surprised by the gorgeous surroundings. Next time I’d like to rent a car and head out to Red Rock Canyon nearby. (I’ve heard amazing things about Zion National Park too, just a three-ish-hour drive to the northeast.)

Pride and Prejudice for your Friday


September 24 will mark the 20th anniversary of BBC’s 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries release… So who’s ready for some tailgating? :)

To start, here’s “Elizabeth observed”–one of my favorite musical interludes from the series, which clues us into the depths of Darcy’s affection for Elizabeth. Like much of the official soundtrack, it was composed by Carl Davis, who, according to Wikipedia, was born in the United States but has lived in the United Kingdom since 1961.

Give the whole playlist a listen!

Trader Joe’s Roasted Eggplant Parmesan

Trader Joe's Roasted Eggplant Parmesan

Yes, I have recently discovered the incredible tastiness of Trader Joe’s Roasted Eggplant Parmesan, and all I want is to shout it from the rooftops. (This is not even a sponsored post!) The eggplant is the best texture; just enough cheese; good amount of sauce; microwavable/highly convenient… I’m just in love with the whole thing.

Trader Joe's Roasted Eggplant packagingI’ve also noticed that Trader Joe’s can carry three+ kinds of eggplant parmesan at a single location, so, for information’s sake, here is a package picture as well.

<–Mangia!

San Juan – Palacio de Santa Catalina

La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina grounds and fountainsTwo years have already passed, but it recently occurred to me I never posted about one of my favorite Old San Juan walks: a $3 tour of La Fortaleza – Palacio de Santa Catalina (aka the Governor’s house). It was built between 1533 and 1540, and, according to Viator, is the the “oldest functioning executive mansion in the Western Hemisphere.”

The house doesn’t have the normal gloss of an official residence–instead the structure and grounds offer sumptuous blooms, palm trees, and ceramics (not to mention a view of the bay).

La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina view of the water

La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina grounds and fountains

La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina - mansion

La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina - palm trees