Jennifer Kitchen


Jennifer Kitchen

It's a good year when my updates are lagging behind my travels...

North America » United States » California » Venice September 30th 2011

AKA The Birthday that Started at the Spa and Ended with a Sprain I decided this year to mark a big birthday, all I wanted was a place near a beach where I could celebrate with friends and lots of food. Since two of my best friends (Dan and Ilya) live in Los Angeles, and I happen to really love sunshine, a weekend jaunt down the coast sounded perfect. After a great Virgin America flight, I kicked off my birthday weekend in style-- by using a Travelzoo local deal for a massage and mani/pedi at Spa Luce at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel. I had never been to Spa Luce before, but I will definitely go back. The space was relaxing, with lots of white/natural decor and plush seating. My massage therapist was great-- not timid about ... read more
Venice Beach from the Water
Breeze Cottage Kitchen
Breeze Cottage Patio

North America » United States » Hawaii » Maui » Lahaina September 14th 2010

We started the day with a delicious breakfast at 808 Bistro , which is from the same owners as the previously mentioned 808 Deli. Four words: Banana Bread French Toast. Breakfast couldn't have been better, with the exception that Sharmon and Grant were headed back home to Seattle right afterwards. This left Jeremy and me with three and a half days to ourselves to explore the island. After saying goodbye to our friends, we decided to rent some better snorkeling equipment for a day, and head to a black sand beach. It was at the base of a lava cone, so the black sand was really just small pieces of the lava (another time I was happy to have water shoes!) I tested out the snorkeling first and although it was already getting windy and the ... read more

North America » United States » Hawaii » Maui September 11th 2010

Saturday morning, with all four adults and one baby loaded into the Kollets' Jeep, we headed toward West Maui to see the sights and find our way down to the Olivine Pools , which are tide pools in the middle of barren lava rock that you have to hike down to. We had heard Sharmon and Grant talk about how cool it was there, and we were glad they were with us so we'd have an easier time of finding the trail and knowing how to climb down to the pools. The drive was really pretty, with hairpin turns, green hills and cliffs overlooking an endless ocean. In fact, most rental car companies will give you a map that says these areas aren't "covered" by them since the two-lane road can be a little treacherous in ... read more

North America » United States » Hawaii » Maui September 9th 2010

AKA The Best Bet I've Ever Won After winning a bet with Jeremy, I somehow turned the "prize" of a camping weekend into a week in Hawaii. Now, I can be very persuasive, but I think the truth is that we got a great deal on airfare through Alaska Airlines, plus were able to use a companion fare ticket so that both of us could fly round trip from Seattle for about $400 total. The other selling factor was that our good friends would be there as well, overlapping with our trip for a weekend, so we would get to see their favorite places too. As it turned out, Alaska Airlines capped off a nice direct flight with free Mai-Tais for everyone on board, which was a great way to welcome us to Maui! We were ... read more
Wailea Beach
Mango Scones!

Oh Canada Part I While my mom was visiting the Pacific Northwest, we decided to get some use out of our passports and head to Victoria, BC, for a girls weekend. We made our way from Seattle to Victoria on the Victoria Clipper and I have to say it was a pleasant experience once I got the tip to pick up our boarding passes as early as possible to avoid the cattle drive that happens when they announce the boarding groups. In true "first-in-line" fashion, I picked up our boarding passes a full 6 days early, so that we were in the first boarding group. Of course, this meant that we were able to head upstairs on the Clipper and grab our choice of window seats for the best view. A few minutes later, a group ... read more
Hotel Grand Pacific

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland February 16th 2009

A.K.A. Long Live the Bacon Maple Bar Jeremy and I headed to Portland, Oregon for the long Presidents' Day/ Valentine's Day weekend. Neither of us have spent much time in Portland, even though it's only a few hours away from Seattle, so we wanted to see a little bit of everything, and as always we mostly love to eat and drink things. We enjoyed the drive through Washington and then battled the traffic through the southwest Portland area to experience a few wineries. We stopped at August Cellars, where we tried at least 4 of their wines, as well as 4 more from another winery that was housed in the same facility. This was really our first foray into Pinot Noirs (which Oregon is known for), and we were a little slow to warm up to ... read more
Beer Flight
Public Art
Bacon Maple Bar

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Stellenbosch September 16th 2008

9/16/08 & 9/17/08 Another early morning, another tour bus-- this time headed to the winelands with a German couple and a couple from New York traveling the world for a year (so jealous!) First stop: Nelson's Creek in Paarl. One of the winemakers, Lisha Nelson, led us on a cellar tour and tasting while her dog, Tyson, followed close behind. 5 half-glasses of wine and some cheese later and we piled back into the van for the 20 minute drive to Franschoek. In Franschoek, we visited La Corrone for another 5 wines and, thankfully, lunch. Courtney and I both had an upscale version of bobotie before crawling into the van again. Before our last winery, we were let loose for a bit of browsing in downtown Stellenbosch. We found an amazing store that sells products made ... read more
Nelson Estate
Live ones!

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape of Good Hope September 16th 2008

9/14/08-9/15/08 I love bargain shopping. This is why Court and I were ready to wheel and deal at the Green Point Market, which is held each Sunday across the street from our guest house. Philip told us to haggle-- in fact, he told us to halve their asking price, then halve it again as a place to start, but that seemed extreme (we're new at this...) As we walked around the market, we got better at it, buying all sorts of gifts and mementos. In fact, we got so good at it that after a few hours of browsing and bargaining, we ran out of cash completely, even after avoiding the overly aggressive vendors! That night we ate at a grill where Court had warthog ribs and I had an ostrich fillet, and we both shared ... read more
Full trailer

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town September 14th 2008

Friday 9/12/08 An 8 hour bus ride from Kruger, and it was time for me to say goodbye to the UW crew at the airport. I felt like a lone farewell committee as I hugged almost everyone, then headed to my gate alone. It's a strange thing to slip back into single traveler mode after traveling with a group of 37 for almost two weeks. I was pondering the differences at the gate when one dreaded word popped up next to my flight number: DELAYED. As it turned out, I didn't have to beat myself up over having chosen a low-cost airline for long. It was only a half hour delay and then I was in the air on my way to Cape Town. Once again, I found myself on a cocktail cruise at 30,000 feet! ... read more
City from above

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Kruger National Park September 11th 2008

I Spit Poop, and Other Stories Thursday morning, I put on my swimsuit, grabbed sunblock and my book and headed to the pool at Sefapane. Halfway between my hut and the pool I noticed that it seemed very dark for 9am. Did I read the clock wrong? I looked up to see an overcast sky, and it honestly took a moment to process. There hadn't been a visible cloud since I arrived in South Africa 9 days ago, and the 100 degree heat we battled yesterday was now working overtime to hit 65 degrees. It was windy. It was cold. Swimming was not going to happen. I passed some time talking to Mark, our guide who knows everything about nature and animals in South Africal. He's never been to the States, but would like to RV ... read more
Bumpy ride

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