TASTY TRAVELS

New York
For this small town girl from Nashville, Arkansas, population of about 5,000 with one McDonalds and a Sonic, it did not take much for the city of New York to win my heart.  My first impression after leaving the airport at Newark:  I was fascinated by the 8 lanes of traffic merging in to fit inside the Lincoln Tunnel...There was a time that I was nervous to get onto the Interstate in Little Rock for the first time!  Our first stop was Rockefeller Center.  As soon as my car door was opened at The Hilton on Avenue of the Americas, I immediately smelled the food.  I couldn't wait to eat in New York City.

Trump International
Jereme once read an article in Esquire about an eatery frequented by the elite and the stars.  He asked if I'd heard of it.  21 Club.  Maybe we had tried to get in?  Sure, honey, we've eaten there.  You'd be amazed by what a concierge could do for you when you're staying at The Four Seasons...it also helps to be in the company of a woman who carries herself in the same fashion as Jenny from the block.  (The block of Prada, Chanel, and Dolce & Gabbana!)  Your name goes on a list, and then there's VIP Bottle Service, no waiting in long lines, bypassing the crowds as the bouncer pulls back the rope for your entrance.
21 Club
Tao NYC
I was fortunate to have a companion who spent almost half her life in NYC for her husband's business, and she knew her way around.  On occasion they would "summer" there, not in The Hamptons, though, closer to Riverside Drive, one of Trump's establishments.  Yes, there are people in Arkansas who live this way. 

My friend made reservations 3 months out for our 9 o'clock seatings.  We were huge fans of Sex & The City, so Asia de Cuba was on our itenerary.  Le Cirque 2000 (the one that was at The New York Palace Hotel on Madison) was the restaurant where I ate a 7 course tasting menu, and knew that this was the absolute best meal I would ever have in my life!  After that location closed, we later visited the new Le Cirque at the Bloomberg Building on East 58th Street.

The thing I liked about the new location was that when we went outside to take a smoke break (Thanks Mayor Bloomberg for starting this restaurant initiative that spread all the way to Arkansas) and yes, I used to be a smoker...we would come back inside to find our meals covered with a big silver dome.  Such outstanding service!

Heading to Gramercy Tavern with Angelica & Frankie
Since I'm an avid watcher of Food Network, and especially Iron Chef, I've become fascinated by these culinary experts.  Joel Robuchon  is a name that has been spoken as if he invented good food.  And if you develop a love of foie gras, I suspect he makes the best of it.  At L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in NYC at The Four Seasons, you can have foie gras in every course. 

So Alicia Keys & Jay Z, I share your sentiment in "Empire State of Mind."  Every time I hear your song on my iPod, I feel the same love!  And these pictures are only of foodie type places!  I also have memories of Bergdorf, Bendels, Barneys......xoxo NYC!!  Thanks to you from this small town girl who was lucky to see the best of you.

Budapest
In the pharmaceutical industry, there's a thing called Presidents Club.  My manager Marie said that the stars had to be perfectly aligned to win it.  Every time I look back at the year that I won it, it still seems like a dream that I was living, in which I did not realize that this might be the best that it could ever get for me.  I do remember driving around listening to Irene Cara and singing along to "What a feeling" and fully believing that I could have it all.  I was building my dream house in my dream neighborhood, picking out every detail of it, and King Pharmaceuticals furnished it when I won a national contest of increasing market share the most..   

Then I was rewarded with a trip to Budapest - all expenses paid for me and my husband - and only the top 5% of the sales team would attend with the President, CEO and the Eastern & Western Vice Presidents.  How funny that during the awards dinner in the castle, where we were driven from our hotel in black Mercedes cars, the Eastern Vice President announced us as the couple who reminded her of "Guns and Roses."