Eolo Sicilian Kitchen and Wines

by Mark Graham on April 21, 2014

After a morning of walking around NYC and touring the Empire State Building we were quite hungry and looking for a restaurant that would be casual, simple, inexpensive and have good wine. We found Bar Eolo while wandering down 7th Avenue in Chelsea (190 7th Ave at 21st Street to be exact!). There were several restaurants on this block, but this one just struck us as the right choice. They serve Sicilian-inspired contemporary fare and they have an award-winning selection of Sicilian wines.

They offer a very nice 3 course Prix Fixe lunch menu for $19 which offers a nice selection of appetizers, plates and desert or coffee.  If the Prix Fixe doesn’t appeal to you, they also offer a nice a la carte lunch menu.  All of the pasta dishes can be ordered full or half size, which is a also nice option.  I had the short rib panini, Derek had the chicken salad panini.  We shared a bottle of Le Rosé Regaleali – 2012, Tasca D’Almerita (a blend of Nero D’Avola & Syrah) which was quite nice.  As they say at Bar Eolo:  “Bonu vinu fa bonu sangu” – …Good wine makes good blood” – a Sicilian Proverb.

Wrapped lunch up with a nice espresso and were ready to take on more of this amazing city.

Enjoy a meal at Bar Eolo and experience our chef Melissa’s love letter to the region of Sicily!



Mustangs and Express Passes make NYC Rock!

by MPI Traveler on April 14, 2014

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Ford Mustang at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York Ford is repeating the amazing stunt of hoisting a brand new 2015 Mustang to the 86th floor observation deck of the Empire State Building.

Read about it by clicking here!

NYC from ESB 2014We visited the impressive building  a couple of weeks ago and it is something that should be done at least once. We visit New York a lot, and try to stay away from touristy things, but this time we just could not help ourselves!  Tip to those who hate waiting in lines (anyone in my family!): Buy the express pass.  You need to buy them online and you will not have to stand in line…ever! (Well, you will have to wait for the elevator to get there and the doors to open!)

We showed up about 11 AM. and flashed our express pass to the first person we saw and we were quickly escorted past the very long line of people waiting to get to the first check point, then we were escorted to the front of the security line, then once through security we were escorted to the front of the elevator line.  We were on the 86th floor 15 minutes after arriving at the building.  The people standing next to us looking out said they stood in line just over 3 hours – yikes!

Granted the express tickets are $21/ticket higher than the standard adult rate, but I figure not standing in line for three hours with cranky people (those in my party) is well worth that cost. :)

Enjoy your visit and if you are there this week, go see the Mustang, and splurge for the 102nd floor, it is worth it.



reenactment 1814

200 Years After Napoleon’s French Campaign, An Epic Battle Reenactment

by Mary Winston Nicklin

April 9, 2014

Two hundred years ago, Emperor Napoleon won a short-lived victory over the Prussians and Russians at the Battle of Montmirail-Marchais. To mark the bicentenary of the French Campaign, the town of Montmirail– smack dab in the heart of Champagne country– will be staging a reenactment on Saturday, May 31, 2014 in the exact same place.

battle of montmirail 1814

This will be the largest such reenactment in France, bringing together more than 1,000 soldiers and 100 cavalrymen. There will be skirmishes, a dinner with the Emperor and his military staff at the chateau of Montmirail (upon reservation), and bivouacs for visitors to discover what soldiers’ daily life was like during the campaign. The actual battle reenactment will conclude with the Awarding of the Legion of Honour by the Emperor, a parade, and a concert.

The reenactment will also commemorate the centenary of the Great War, 100 years after the first fighting of the Battle of the Marne in 1914. Indeed, Marie Louise soldiers will pass the baton to the 1914 pioupiou (WWI soldiers) on Sunday, June 1, as Taxis de la Marne carry soldiers to the field and reconnaissance biplanes aircrafts fly overhead.

The goal of the organisers is “to pay tribute to soldiers’ courage” and to “appreciate the European Reconciliation.” For more information, visit www.1814v4.fr.


Eastertime in France

by MPI Traveler on April 2, 2014

Eastertime in France

by Sarah Dunn

April 1, 2014

easter time in france ‘Tis the season. The dazzling vitrines of France’s chocolatiers are a sign that Easter is right around the corner. Almost too pretty to eat, the carved creations– chocolate fish, chickens, eggs– are filled with even more delightful bonbons.

Easter treats at La Manufacture de Chocolat by Alain Ducasse

Joyeuses Pâques!

Easter is a holiday that is celebrated just as enthusiastically in France as it is in America, although traditions do differ. One of the best French Easter traditions is that of the Cloche Volant, or flying bell. On Good Friday (vendredi saint) all the church bells in France are silenced. As legend has it, the bells fly to Rome to see the Pope. On Easter morning, it is said that the bells return from Rome just in time to ring out and joyously declare that Jesus has risen again.

easter in franct

Much like the American Easter Bunny, the main symbol of the Easter season in France is the Poisson d’Avril, or April Fish. Children play at sticking as many paper fish onto the backs of ignorant adults as possible, and then run away screaming “Poisson d’Avril!” These paper fish start swimming into stores as early as April 1st, joined by more fish, this time of the chocolate variety, a week later.  Classic chocolate Easter eggs can also be found in sweets shops throughout France—the first chocolate eggs were made in France and Germany in the nineteenth century.

From the France Today archives


Fredericksburg’s Exciting News!

by MPI Traveler on March 24, 2014

Field of Indian Paintbrush and Bluebonnet, Central Texas.

Did you know that Fredericksburg, Texas has really moved up on many “Best Of” and “Desirable Location” lists?  Take a look at these:

“Movoto Real Estate”

 recently named Fredericksburg the  

#1 Best Place to live in Texas!

   If you are not familiar with Movoto Real Estate, this is an online licensed brokerage service representing over thirty states. They service both buyers and sellers, along with providing statistical data on cities throughout the United States. Our uniquely German Texas town made it to the top of their list for its low unemployment rate, low student to teacher ratio,  our median home price, and some of the best weather around.

Our charming town has also recently been named among the:

  • 25 best places to retire in 2014 — Forbes
  • Where the middle class thrives  — CNN Money
  • Eight emerging cultural hot spots you need to visit in Texas - Huffington Post
  • A top destination for 2014 spring travel — FlipKey (a subsidiary of TripAdvisor)
  • One of America’s most romantic winter destinations  — Travel & Leisure
  • 10 best wine travel destinations for 2014 — Wine Enthusiast Magazine 
  • 10 best wine destinations – USA Today



Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

by MPI Traveler on March 17, 2014

st.patrick's day


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

         From MPI Traveler


Surfs Up at Rancho Santana Nicaragua!

March 14, 2014

C’mon to the Ultimate All Girls Surf Retreat this summer at Rancho Santana, Nicaragua.  Bring your BFF’s and join the fun! For all the details contact:  Isabelle Delfosse isabelle@ranchosantana.com  

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Fort Worth Friends in Fredericksburg, Texas

February 28, 2014

February 22, 2014 Several of our Fort Worth friends stayed in Casa Grande at the Willows this past weekend.  Here they are in down town Fredericksburg.  Glad y’all had a good time!

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NYC weekend on a budget – it can be done with style!

February 2, 2014

We love New York City, but it is one of the most expensive cities to visit, so when we saw super low fares on American we grabbed them up.  It also helps to travel in the winter…no one really wants to go when it is snowing and there is a good chance your flight will […]

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Fort Worth Stockshow and Rodeo – This Thing is Legendary!

January 31, 2014

 Whether you come for the bull riding, the bucking horses or the pretty girls (and handsome men), the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo has something for everyone.  Cutting horses, like graceful dancers, move through the arena while the rodeo clowns are funny and helpful distracting a bull when a cowboy goes air born.  A tour […]

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