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bre lisa kellee snorkelingAugust 2015 News from Lisa & We Said Go Travel:

TRAVEL WRITING CONTEST

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Winter 2015 Inspiration contest. The winners can be seen here. I am currently publishing the entries from the Summer 2015 Independence Writing Contest. I expect to announce the winners in early October.
The Fall Gratitude Travel Writing Contest will begin on September 11, 2015. More details: click here. Many updates are coming to We Said Go Travel and there will be a few changes to the contest. Stay tuned!
YOUTUBE
Thank you for watching my WSGT YouTube channel which is now over 351,609  views! Enjoy movies from Los Angeles, Bermuda,  Puerto Rico, Palau, Guam, Hawaii, India as well as Bali and Lombok  Indonesia,  Southern Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), and Nepal.  To find all 370 Videos: click here for the WSGT YouTube Channel. I am over 1000 followers on Pinterest, and up to 700+ subscribers on YouTube!
PREPARING FOR A SHARK ATTACK
From Seth Godin: Because it has always been this wayThat’s a pretty bad answer to a series of common questions.Why is the format of the board meeting like this? Why do we always structure our annual conference like this? Why is this our policy? Why do we let him decide these issues? Why is this the price?The real answer is, “Because if someone changes it, that someone will be responsible for what happens.”

Are you okay with that being the reason things are the way they are?

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Late night st kittsMy time in St. Kitts went too quickly. I loved participating in the first ever restaurant week and exploring parts of the island. For our final morning, I woke up to see the sunrise and to catch our early morning flight. Relaxing in the tranquility of the YU Lounge was a relief after the early wake up call and traveling by Porsche Cayenne to the tarmac was a treat. I loved all the super luxury experiences on this island from Belle Mont Farm, to Christophe Harbour, the Pavilion and Salt Plage! I cannot wait to return!

Read more about our adventures in St. Kitts:

Day One: St. Kitts Arrival at YU Lounge and the St. Kitts Marriott

Day Two: From over the rails to beneath the sea: St. Kitts Restaurant Week

Day Three:  A taste of history to complement local treats: St. Kitts Restaurant Week Day 3

Day Four:  Upscale eats and the writing is on the… tree! St. Kitts Restaurant Week Day 4

Enjoy this video of Sunrise over St. Kitts on our last day and the second video from Sunset at Salt Plage.

Leaving #StKitts @yu_lounge by @Porsche & @Americanair This is #luxury #sknrestaurantwk #lgg4

A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

Thanks #StKitts for a wonderful visit! Flight by @Americanair Photos by @lgusamobile #lgg4 #sknrestaurantwk A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

Great fun #StKitts snorkel with @breannajwilson & @kelleesetgo. Thx to Bre for @Gopro photo

A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

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Sunset St Kitts salt plageOur third day of adventures during St. Kitts Restaurant Week included historical sites and revelations. We began our day at the Wingfield Estate which was the first sugar cane planation. Recent excavations uncovered more of the rum processing on the estate. I wonder what else is hiding under the ground?

The Poinciana is the National Tree of St. Kitts and the giant trees with vibrant orange flowers were a favorite of our entire group. Many things grew well on the island including cotton, tobacco and sugar cane which was grown until 2005!

Saint Chrisopher Island now known as St. Kitts was called the “Mother Colony” as this was the first place the British took up residence in the West Indies. In 1623, the Brits settled in Sandy Bay. Samuel Jefferson who was in charge of this estate was Thomas Jefferson’s great great great grandfather and sold the property to the Earl of Romney and know it is known as Romney Manor. We also visited Caribelle Batik, where you can buy batiks made on the island.

Brimstone Hill is a giant fortress 750 feet above sea level. The views at this UNESCO site are truly incredible. It took 107 years to build starting from 1690. I enjoyed wandering around the windy upper levels and wondering what it was like to build and watch for the French from here.

As we drove the gorgeous coastline, we could see where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. We stopped at Black rocks to enjoy the views as a preamble to our lunch at Ottley’s Plantation Inn. Select Ottley’s Planation Inn for a relaxing stay at the edge of the rainforest. Our tour showed us the secrets of the fan palms and the rubber tree.

I absolutely loved sunset at Salt Plage! Watching the sun set from this spot was like a wonderful show. The colors, the boats, the music and the drinks were fantastic. I loved the light boxes that changed colors. It was so perfect–we went back again another night!

For our fine dining experience, we ate at Carambola Beach Club and Restaurant on South Friar’s Bay, South East Peninsula, St. Kitts. They can seat 128 and they have sushi as well as international cuisine with a Caribbean flair. Everyone loved their meals and wine here!

Enjoy all my videos from our St. Kitts’ adventures!

VIDEO: Day 3 A taste of history to complement local treats

Brimstone Hill fortress #StKitts from 1690. 107 years to build, 750 feet above sea level #sknrestaurantwk #lgg4 A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

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st kitts railwayFor our second day in St. Kitts, we were treated to a tour around the island by Scenic Railway. This is the last railway in the West Indies. I was surprised that there was an a capella choir on the train! I loved the views and the entertainment. I would like to go back and explore the bat caves and the St. Kitts Eco park which reminds me– the airport on the island is run on solar power!

Definitely plan to stop at Timothy Hill and take in the view–you can see where the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea meet. Afterwards we explored the site for the Park Hyatt, the buildings will be three stories and you enter on level two and go up or down one flight of stairs–no elevator needed. There are many green energy choices being made on St. Kitts.

After arriving into St. Kitts by the YU Lounge, we were aware that this was an island for Signature Luxury Experiences. Christophe Harbour will be home to 24 slips for super yachts. The Pavilion Beach Club is stunning and definitely matches the levels of elegance that we came to expect after the YU Lounge. I think we could have simply decided to never leave! But we managed to leave.

We spent the afternoon snorkeling and swimming at Shipwreck Beach. We watched mongoose and monkeys, ate fresh fish and relaxed. You can also paddleboard here. It was great fun to swim with Kellee, Cathy and Bre and have a Go Pro/LGG4 photo shoot!

Outdoor drinks at Ocean Terrace Inn were superb especially because of the gorgeous Caribbean sky. We loved dining at The Verandah. The Asian fusion cuisine included conch, lobster, shrimp, and beef. Chef Joemar is from the Philippines and he creates a magic chocolate cake that makes wishes come true! We finished our night at Vibes Beach Bar with drinks, dancing and a gathering of new friends.

VIDEO: St. Kitts Day two:

More about the St. Kitts Scenic Railway: “The narrow gauge St. Kitts Scenic Railway is one of the most beautiful train rides in the world.  Originally built between 1912 and 1926 to deliver sugar cane from the fields to the sugar mill in Basseterre, the “Last Railway in the West Indies” now provides a fascinating way for visitors to see the island from the comfort of modern passenger train cars and sightseeing buses. The 18 miles by rail and 12 miles by bus make a complete 30-mile circle around the island. Duration: Approximately 2 hours by Rail and 45 minutes by Bus.

Complimentary drinks (rum punch, frozen daiquiris, soft drinks, fruit juices, and bottled water) are served throughout the trip. Guests are treated to a colorful narration of the history of the Caribbean and St. Kitts by the Tour Director, and are entertained by the three–voice a cappella St. Kitts Railway Choir singing Caribbean folk songs, children’s songs, and familiar hymns.”

 

I loved the view at Timothy’s Hill #StKitts #lgg4

A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

Amazing day #StKitts #lgg4

A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

Amazing day #StKitts #lgg4

A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

Chef Joemar’s magic 🍫 #chocolate cake makes wishes come true! #sknrestaurantwk #lgg4 #StKitts

A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

Photo shoot #sknrestaurantwk Shipwreck Beach #lgg4 #StKitts Thanks to @catbug71 & @kelleesetgo for the photos

A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

Lisa Niver Sid Tracey drinks Red O aug 2015Red O Restaurant opened last week at 1541 Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica and is ready for you! The distinguished and delightful Mexican cuisine by Chef Rick Bayless was outstanding. It was a marvelous meal with stellar service and fantastic friends.

You may be familiar with the restaurant’s other locations on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood and Fashion Island in Newport Beach. The menu has authentic sauces from the southern Mexican states of Oaxaca, Yucatan, and Baja. Master Chef Rick Bayless is a James Beard Chef of the year, part of PBS Mexico one plate at a time and one of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters.

I feel grateful that I was invited to try out this new restaurant in a gorgeous location and was able to do it with wonderful people. I wanted to share this week’s message from Stephen Wise Temple which happens to be about food and gratitude from Rabbi Joshua Knobel.

You will eat and be satisfied, and bless Adonai your God for the good land that God has given to you…

This week’s Torah portion introduces the mitzvah of enjoying and giving thanks for our sustenance. Our sages took this message quite literally, using it as inspiration for the birkat hamazon, the blessing after meals. Less common in practice than the hamotzi, a blessing that precedes meals, the birkat hamazon reflects an ideology that places satisfaction and gratitude ahead of anticipation. Rather than focus upon what comes next, the blessing challenges us to consider what has already transpired and give thanks.

Such a practice seems at odds with the frenetic pace of our 21st century lives. After all, how often do we halt our hectic schedules to acknowledge our daily blessings? Rather, our invigorating experiences often seem to merely whet our appetite for the next, as we spend so much of our lives in anticipation that we have little or no time for satisfaction and the gratitude that accompanies it.

The Torah reminds us of our responsibility to pause and remember: that milk does not come from supermarkets, that phones do not come from the Apple store, that every material and spiritual morsel that nourishes our daily lives, whether large or small, is the result of a grand labor of Divine and human hands.

As such, we are not simply encouraged – but commanded – to pause… to enjoy and express gratitude for the vast multitude of wonders that sustain us.

– Rabbi Joshua Knobel

I cannot wait to go back to Red O Restaurant to enjoy the stunning views of the Pacific Ocean as well as the lovely ambiance, service and food. I am glad to have this moment to pause and appreciate all that I have been given to enjoy and share. Enjoy this video from our meal August 6, 2015 and photos from our night at Red O Restaurant.

VIDEORed O Restaurant on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica

 

Excited to dine @redorestaurant tonight! #santamonica #lgg4

A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

Amazing appetizer @redorestaurant Fresh corn and goat cheese tamales with @sidlipsey & @traceylorensteinberg

A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

Live entertainment @redorestaurant Thursday, Friday and Saturday! Amazing food, service and music

A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

sambarI loved dining at Sāmbār in Culver City. Eating here reminded me of my three months of travel in India–see the 57 videos below from my 130+ hours of travel on the public bus all over the subcontinent. The tastes and smells brought back memories of incredible meals because the food here is authentic and tasty. It opened this summer in June and is run by Akasha Richmond (who also runs AKASHA down the street for the last seven years.)

On the site of Ford’s Filling Station, Akasha’s love and affinity for the Indian culture is based on her travels to this rich and diverse country and the food is fantastic. The menu included small plates and snacks like Pakoras and Papadoms, and housemade Turmeric Naan as well as Sevpuri Chaat, Black Quinoa Uttapam and Sāmbār.

I loved everything we tried and we ate cheese thali, sevpuri chaat, coastal organic zucchini kofta, basmati rice, turmeric naan, Kachumber salad, Uttapam (quinoa pancake) and sambar (like dal) with red onion &tomato chutney. The truck stop goat curry was my favorite dish! The Ora king salmon curry was great and try the Punjabi mama greens too! The makki ki roti is gluten freeAnd then there is dessert including coffee ice cream pie, vanilla soft serve sundae and homemade cookie plate. I was impressed with the range of flavors and the variety on the menu. 

As for cocktails, Mixologist Clare Ward oversees the cocktail program introducing spice-forward drinks using exotic ingredients such as Kokum (sour fruit from Southern India), Indian cardamom bitters, as well as fermented ingredients to name a few. Stand-out cocktails on the menu include: The Maharaja, Smuggling Monk with coffee infused scotch, Vegetable Wallah or Bangalore Blues using a turmeric infused gin.

 

Coastal organic zucchini kofta, basmati rice and turmeric naan. The tasty surprises appear @sambar_cc in #culvercity

A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

And then there is dessert @sambar_cc coffee ice cream pie, vanilla soft serve sundae and homemade cookie plate

A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

VIDEOS: 57 Videos from 3 months in India

2015_06_18_19_35_03_OneShotFROM THE JULY NEWS for We Said Go Travel:

Inspiration Writing Contest winners!
First Place Winner:  Stephen Fabes, Don’t Look Down in Bolivia
Second Place Winner: Christina Mehriary, Marine Eyes in Iraq
Third Place Winner: Sheefa Kasar, Fulwa, India
Honorable Mentions:
Congratulations to the winners from the Inspiration Contest.
Thank you to everyone who participated and shared their story!
The Gratitude Travel Writing Contest will open September 11, 2015. Click here to learn more. I hope you will choose to participate.
I loved my visit to NYC in June!
I loved my visit to NYC in June!
July 2015 News from Lisa & We Said Go Travel:
  • I interviewed Kenny Dichter, CEO of Wheels Up in NYC. He is in my latest Wharton Business Magazine article:  Putting People Into Social Media Strategy
  • Ask Men asked me about for dating advice from teenagers: Go on Group dates!
    • Group Dates
      As adults, we may go out with another couple now and again, but for teens, group dating is the norm! “One thing that teens do on dates that adults should do is go out with a group. The stars are great about networking and going to parties as a group. They have a crowd and they easily meet more people. I think adults often want to go out in pairs or individually. I think adults should phone a friend and go with a group,” says Lisa Niver of WeSaidGoTravel, who worked as a set teacher on Nickelodeon’s new show, Bella and the Bulldogs.
    • Thank you to Cadillac, Saveur Magazine and Redbird restaurant. I enjoyed the #RoadToTable Los Angeles event and was honored to receive a social media award!
  • I was inspired by Rabbi Yoshi’s sermon at Stephen Wise Temple about the Three Lessons from the Grasshopper.
  • I sailed the night away with Harrah’s Southern California
  • What do you think Congress should do about the Iran Nuclear Agreement?
  • Thank you to Dean Nelson for sharing about 10 years of marriage equality in Canada!
  • Looking for travel tech gadgets? Cameryn shares five!
  • I am in St. Kitts this week for Restaurant week with a brand new LG G4 phone. I am enjoying testing it out. Look for great photos of my adventures on all social media: Instagram,Facebook, Twitter
  • I hope that your summer is full of freedom and fun.
  • Thank you for your support of We Said Go Travel! Lisa
ImageMy YouTube Chanel is at 343,305 views!
Thank you for watching my WSGT YouTube channel which is now over 343,000+ views! Enjoy movies from Los Angeles, Bermuda,  Puerto Rico, Palau, Guam, Hawaii, India as well as Bali and Lombok  Indonesia,  Southern Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), and Nepal.  To find all 361 Videos: click here for the WSGT YouTube Channel. I am over 1000 followers on Pinterest, and up to 700+ subscribers on YouTube.

 

3 peppersYes I did sleep at the Farmer’s Daughter Hotel. I did not get to swim with the ducks but I will go back to do that! I decided to taste the new tempting summer creations at Tart restaurant and Chef Keith does not disappoint. I loved the grilled trout. I highly recommend it but honestly everything was wonderful. I loved the roasted eggplant and peanut puree, roasted farmers market eggplant and heirloom cherry tomatoes. The Pepper three ways looked like a traffic light with green, yellow and red peppers. It had grilled pardons with lime and salt, pickled farmers market peppers and stuffed sweet peppers with goat cheese, avocado honey, pecans and apricot. Truly fantastic.

I also loved the both salads I tasted: the Summer fruits salad has county line toy box melons, fresh figs, market plums, sprouts and herbs and chile lime vinaigrette and the heirloom tomato salad with gazpacho vinaigrette: shaved salted cucumbers, sourdough croutons and red watercress.

I did not save enough room for dessert but I will be back. Maybe this time I will stay in the No Tell Room! Or maybe I already did!

The Latest News ON TART!

TART Restaurant and Coolhaus Ice Cream are Mint for Each Other
TART Gets Fresh with Frozen Treats and Tantalizing Ice Cream Cocktail, Coolhaus Dirty Mint Chip Julep
LOS ANGELES – July 17, 2015 – TART — the unique, onsite restaurant nestled inside the iconic Farmer’s Daughter Hotel that serves comfort food with a twist — is celebrating summertime by collaborating with the architecturally-inspired and beloved, LA-based gourmet ice cream company, Coolhaus.
To kick off the cool-down, TART’s executive chef, Keith Shutta, has dreamed up a refreshingly naughty but n-ice cream cocktail, called the Coolhaus Dirty Mint Chip Julep ($13). Coolhaus’ fresh mint infused ice cream, chocolate chips and a hint of brown sugar make a sweet partner for the wickedly good blend of Four Roses Bourbon and Crème de Menthe, that make up this perfect treat to beat the summer heat.
TART’s summer dessert menu has two other delicious new recruits: Coolhaus’ Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwich ($8) and the Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwich ($8).
“Adding Coolhaus to the menu and creating a cocktail with its all-natural ice cream is something no one else has done before and we know our guests love those unique experiences,” said Keith Shutta, TART’s executive chef. “Partnering with a local and loved business that also uses locally farmed and sourced goods is the perfect match for TART,” added Shutta.
“This partnership is a meeting of the minds, and taste buds. Coolhaus and TART both blend unusual flavors that develop into famous favorites, and I know that the Coolhaus Dirty Mint Chip Julep will become another local celebrity,” added Natasha Case, CEO and co-founder of Coolhaus.
Coolhaus’ ice cream sandwiches and the Coolhaus Dirty Mint Chip Julep are available at TART now, for a limited time. TART is located at 115 S. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036. For reservations, call (323) 556-2608 or visit: http://tartrestaurant.com/

VIDEO: The Farmer’s Daughter and Tart Restaurant

the little doorI loved celebrating at The Little Door in Santa Monica! The setting is beautiful and relaxing. Sul and the entire team took great care of us. I cannot wait to return and try more wonderful choices. The gluten free chocolate souffle was a real treat at the end of this fantastic meal.

We ate:

ZUCCHINI CARPACCIO, BABY KALE, BABY ARTICHOKES, CHERRY TOMATOES, FETA CHEESE & DILL

Lemon and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Toasted Pine Nuts

FRESH GOAT CHEESE LAVENDER TART, TRIO OF ROASTED BEETS

Frisée and Radicchio, Lemon and Extra Virgin Olive

GRILLED MARINATED WHITE MEDITERRANEAN SEA BASS, SAFFRON ESPELETTE SAUCE

Haricot Vert, Roasted Mini Peppers and Basil Pesto Fingerling Potato Mash

 VIDEO: Dine at The Little Door Santa Monica

Celebrating at @thelittledoorsm the atmosphere is inviting! I love the decor!

A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

Is #glutenfree #chocolate 🍫 soufflé delicious? @thelittledoorsm it smells heavenly and tastes even better

A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

Stellar service @thelittledoorsm from the entire team and especially Sul! Thank you!! A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

 

ABOUT THE LITTLE DOOR SANTA MONICA:

From the same ownership group behind Acabar, The Little Door, and The Little Next

Door, partners Frederic and Nicolas Meschin have teamed up with Paris-born Marc-

Antoine Rambaud, to open The Little Door Santa Monica in September 2014.  The

Little Door has been a fixture of West Hollywood since 1996 and continues to uphold its

longstanding tradition as one of Los Angeles’ most romantic restaurants.  With Executive

Chef T. Nicolas Peter bringing authentic Mediterranean cuisine and charming intimacy to

the denizens of Santa Monica, the new Westside locale captures the spirit of the south

of France with its rustic charm and enchanting ambiance. Bartender Michael Gannon

leads the cocktail program with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients to create farm-to-

glass beverages that compliment Chef T. Nicolas’ menu. Guests are invited to escape

the outside world to a dining sanctuary in which the atmosphere is as divine as the food

and drink.

I loved my visit to NYC in June!

NYCThank you to all the writers who participated in the We Said Go Travel 2015 Inspiration Writing Contest!

The 2015 Independence Travel Writing Contest Entries are being published now. The Gratitude Travel Writing Contest will open on September 11, 2015. I appreciate everyone who has read, shared and participated in all of my contests.

Thank you very much! Lisa Niver, We Said Go Travel

AND THE WINNERS ARE:

First Place Winner:  Stephen Fabes, Don’t Look Down in Bolivia

Second Place Winner: Christina Mehriary, Marine Eyes in Iraq

Third Place Winner: Sheefa Kasar, Fulwa, India

Honorable Mentions:
WSGT Writer Credly

The We Said Go Travel Team thanks everyone who shared, tweeted, promoted and participated in our Travel Writing Contests. We hope you will join in our next  Travel Writing Contest.

 

Thank you to our esteemed judges!

Richard Bangs, the father of modern adventure travel, is a pioneer in travel that makes a difference, travel with a purpose. He has spent 30 years as an explorer and communicator, and along the way led first descents of 35 rivers around the globe, he is currently producing and hosting the new PBS series, Richard Bangs: Adventure Without End

AnneLise Sorensen is a travel writer, editor, photographer, and TV/radio host who has penned – and wine-tasted – her way across four continents, reporting for multiple media outlets, including New York Magazine, MSN, Time Out, Yahoo Travel, Rough Guides, Gourmet, and Galavante. AnneLise regularly appears as a travel expert on NBC and CNN and she teaches popular travel writing classes and workshops at Mediabistro and travel events and shows.

Thank you for your participation in creating a growing global community of engaged travelers and concerned citizens.

 Other Contests, Courses and Books about Travel Writing

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNERS!

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED! 


I hope you will choose to share a story in our next contest. Thank you!