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SoCal Seafood Review

“As soon as I get home, all I want to eat is seafood.” 

~Quvenzhane Wallis

 

Me too, Q! Me too.

One of the benefits of Southern California living (other than the weather, of course) is access to deliciously fresh seafood. And as a lover of crab and shrimp and lobster (oh my!), I supremely enjoyed compiling (and taste testing) for this roundup. So when you next visit SoCal—or if you are living here and looking for a new seafood joint—check out some of these options. You won’t regret it.

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BarrisTourista is Back! New Design and New Content

It’s Our Anniversary!

I can’t believe it has been a year since the inception of BarrisTourista.com. Even though there were only a few posts the first few months, this week marks a year since the start of the site. Since then, we have covered cultures of different countries, foodie recommendations, street art and style, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in NYC, and more. It’s been one hell of a ride.

And now, after several months and much planning, we are proud to bring you the launch of the re-design of BarrisTourista.com. And along with the site re-design will be some new content for you, our much appreciated readers.

So what should you expect?

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Got Pork? The Big Bite Bacon Fest Does

A friend once told me that bacon makes everything better. She was right.

And this mantra was definitely confirmed by the chefs, food trucks and general pork lovers who attended the 2nd Annual Big Bite Bacon Fest this weekend. The festival, held at The Queen Mary in Long Beach on August 1 and 2, featured a vast array of pork-filled dishes, live music, games, and did I mention pork?

I was in heaven. It was a pork smorgasbord of epic proportions. Signature dishes included bacon mac ‘n’ cheese, bacon quesadillas, pulled pork, bacon-wrapped shrimp and drumsticks, bacon maple donuts, and even bacon cinnamon rolls.

“We are committed to growing the Big Bite Bacon Fest in order to welcome all passionate bacon lovers,” commented Big Bite Event’s Chief Bacon Officer, Mark Entner. “We have expanded the festival into two-days and secured double the number of bacon purveyors to participate to create a sensory overloaded environment where bacon enthusiasts can truly enjoy all things bacon.”

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Solo Travel Tips Guide

The idea of solo travel can be scary. Especially if the travel is for pleasure, not business, where your time will be occupied with work-related events and meetings. The idea of leaving it all behind—traversing the globe all by your lonesome—can be frightening for some many.

It certainly was for me. But after I got tired of waiting for others to get on board with my travel desires, I was forced to pull the trigger or give up. I chose to pull the trigger, and it was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. I had such a memorable experience that I would definitely do it again in the future.

And you can have the same thing. But before you embark on that journey, there are some considerations to take to ensure an unforgettable trip. Below are my reflections, having just taken my first solo trip, for newbies and experienced travelers alike, on how to have an amazing solo excursion.

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5 Tips for an Amazing Staycation

Sometimes we just can’t get away. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take a moment—a weekend or even a week—to take some time to ourselves.

Enter the “Staycation.” But what exactly is a staycation? My idea of a staycation is a mini getaway, either in your hometown or somewhere within a quick drive of home. The purpose: to have a vacation in your hometown and feel like you are getting away while kind of “staying” put.

So if you aim to get some rest and relaxation and rejuvenate yourself, check out these 5 tips that make for a successful staycation.

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Embracing Independence: My Solo International Adventure

“Never did the world make a queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without traveling.

~Roman Payne, The Wandress

I would love to say that my first foray into solo international travel was based on some grandiose plan, some well thought out quest to see the world. But really, it was because I was simply tired of waiting.

Sure, in my Goals post that I wrote earlier this year, I laid out the fact that I wanted to take a solo, international, pleasure trip. But when I wrote that, I wasn’t sure I was ready to do it so soon. But I made a goal for myself—along with the goal to see one new state and one new country every year—and I wanted to stick to it. And all of my friends had reasons—some valid, some not so much—about why they couldn’t travel with me internationally this year, even though I had been trying to orchestrate a trip for well over a year. I had finally reached my ‘put-up-or-shut-up’ point with myself. So I pulled the trigger and booked something on my own.

I can’t believe I waited so long.

Initially, I had chosen Turks and Caicos as my destination. But after a series of unfortunate events, I ended up with a solo ticket to Panama.

And. It. Was. Awesome.

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A Walking Tour of Panama City

“No tengo Instagram. Mi memoria fotographica. / I don’t have Instagram. My memory is photographic.”

~Author Unknown

I had one request: To try some great, authentic food in Panama City. That simple request turned into an expansive walking tour of Panama City, complete with views, history, photo ops, rooftop bars and street art.

To be fair, we did hop a $3 cab because a restaurant I wanted to try was closing. And we also took a 3-stop, 35-cent subway ride. Yes, the subways of Panama, which are only about a year old and cleaner than most streets, were only 35 cents per person. Score.

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The Rich Afro-Latino Culture of Panama

Panama’s a really wonderful country. There’s obviously the Panama Canal, which brings a lot of tourism, and a huge American influence; it’s just a mix of so many great things: African, Caribbean, Latin American Spanish, all kinds of influences there.

~J August Richards

I will admit, when I booked my trip to Panama, I didn’t know much about the country. The booking was caused by a change of plans, and the location was chosen on a bit of a whim. I knew, quite obviously, that a huge draw was the Panama Canal, that Panama City had supposedly become very metropolitan, and I knew I enjoyed neighboring Costa Rica. That was all I had when I booked.

So I decided a couple of weeks before leaving that I should perhaps look into this country I had just committed myself to visiting. A friend from a travel group I am in had a contact who lived there and put me in touch with him. And when I did some basic research, I realized that this country had some amazing cultural aspects that I wanted to explore. Another traveler from the travel group said she was going the same time I was, so we decided to explore together the country together.

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Thrillist’s Culinary Roadtrip Brings the Nation’s Regional Specialties to LA

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”

~James Beard

Been hankering to eat your way across the country on a coast-to-coast road trip but don’t have the time? Thrillist has the solution for you.

Whenever I visit a new location, I try to experience the local food delicacies. I want to enjoy the foodie spots and items that a local experiences. Well, Thrillist had the same idea. So this weekend it hosted the “Culinary Roadtrip,” which was a smattering of local delicacies at Siren Studios in Hollywood.

All of the delicious food and none of the driving? Let’s dig in.

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