The Whiskey Chronicles (in Buenos Aires)

The Whiskey Chronicles (in Buenos Aires)

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Hiking the Wild Wall

When our friends Jeff and Susie offered to put us up in Beijing, we were more grateful than they expected. But after three months of hotel life, the opportunity to crash out in a real apartment, to dig through a refrigerator instead of a menu, and to relax with friends was something we couldn’t pass up.

Besides showing us around Beijing, Jeff and Susie also took us to their cottage by a remote section of the Great Wall. We spent the night there and helped out in their garden the next morning before setting off on an afternoon hike. Other parts of the Wall have been restored to include such jarring "improvements" as Ferris wheels and luge slides. Here it was just the Wall.

In Shanghai, the director for Chivas told us that "once you join the drinks industry, you never leave." I could see his point as we finished off a four-course meal at Sens&Bund, a French restaurant with incredible views founded by a pair of three-star Michellin chefs. From there we hit babyface, one of the city's most popular clubs - and one with a usually strict anti-foreigner policy. "Expats don't drink enough, and they don't drink the expensive drinks" our Chinese host said.

She was right - every table in the bar had from 2-5 bottles of whisky, mostly Chivas, which in China is mixed with green tea. Tastes better than it sounds. With our 4:30am departure from babyface, we were lucky our friend Justin had a comfortable apartment for us to recover in the next day.

Photos from all of our Asia travels - Thailand, Vietnam, and China - are up on the right. We're in New Zealand now, after ten days of r&r in Sydney. We'll get more posts up in the next week.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Beware of our return...

The couple that brought you uncooked rice casserole (Dana) and firemen-at-your-door chicken (Bill) finally took a cooking class during our recent trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand. We'll be recruiting brave friends with strong stomachs to let us experiment in their kitchens when we get back to the U.S. at the end of May.

We've lagged a bit on the Asia updates, but will post some more photos and stories soon.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

U.S. Radio Media Tour

Many of you will get this too late, but we're doing 15 call-in radio interviews with U.S. stations today, April 11. Some are taped and some are live. The cities and stations are:

New York WTBQ-AM Magic Morning Show with Frank Truitt (live)
Philadelphia KYW-AM Morning News with Don Lancer
Chicago WBIG-AM The Big Morning Show with Brian Felsten
Hartford WICH-AM Morning Show with Mark Wayne
National Voice of America Global Wrap with Faiza El-Masry
Cincinatti WLW-AM Morning Show with Russ Jackson
Boston WNTN-AM Paul Roberts Morning Show
Baltimore WICO-FM Afternoon Spotlight with Bill Reddish
Kansas City KRES-FM Morning Show with Stephanie Ross
Cleveland WEOL-AM Other Side of Morning Drive with Larry Wright
Memphis WREC-AM Morning News with Tonya Powers
Seattle KPQ-AM Morning Show with Ken Johanneson

Monday, April 10, 2006

Expedition Bhutan

Who says the dollar isn't strong? Dana and I arrived in Paro, the only city in Bhutan with an airport (there aren't any railways or domestic flights) and promptly met the guide, cook, cook's assistant, and horseman who would be guiding us and seven mules on a 6-day trek through the mountains.

It can be a little embarassing having so many people looking after you, doing everything from fixing five-course meals to digging the hole that you...use. But trust me, you get used to it. We hiked from Paro to Bhutan's capital, Thimphu, through unseasonably cold and snowy weather, eating vegetarian food the entire time because it was an "auspicious month", which means that no meat was sold in Bhutan's stores.

When we got to Thimphu, we promptly fired our guide for being completely incompetent and took on a new guide, Tashi, who was encyclopedic in his knowledge of the history and culture of Bhutan, which basically involves knowing Mayahana Buddhism inside out. We spent our last five days touring dzongs (fortresses) and monasteries, meeting young monks, and learning more than we could ever want about this tiny Himalayan kingdom.

By the end of our two weeks, Dana was mocking me for recognizing the "eight manifestations" of the Guru Rinpoche, the 12 stories of Buddha's life, and the difference between sacred mandalas.

"You're a dork, dude, a dork. That's the only word for it," were her words to me on the tarmac as we boarded our flight back to Bangkok.

We've posted some photos on the right.

Monday, April 03, 2006


You pick up some real nuggets of wisdom on a trip like this. We thought we'd share our favorite quotes from the journey so far:

1. "This is where they put all that shit from the Collosseum." - two American teenagers, upon entering St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.

2. "Looks back in Thai cuisine magical was a secretely to check who required hot and spicy." - sign in front of our hotel's restaurant in Bangkok

3. "If you take this stuff, you will be able to make love 5 times in a night. Of course, I can already do that, so when I take it, I can make love 12 times." - Turkish man in Istanbul's Spice Bazaar, to Dana