Tag Archives: travel channel

Best resources for planning our Portugal trip

Hard to believe that in my youth, I rarely planned trips and never used guidebooks. In middle-age, with limited time to travel, a slightly bigger budget and advanced pickiness, I’ve taken to booking lodging and sometimes meals in advance using an array of guidebooks and travel articles. Here’s what’s come in handy for Portugal:

Lonely Planet guide – Got this from the public library and have used primarily to find lodging and bone up on cultural activities.

Rick Steves’ guide – It’s not as detailed as the Lonely Planet guide but Rick was helpful in narrowing down where to go during a two-week period. His guide is not as encyclopedic as Lonely Planet – with info on far fewer locations and for the locations it does list, offering fewer options. I didn’t use his lodging suggestions much – Lonely Planet had a wider range, more interesting off-the-beaten-track places and good subtitles like “rural inn” to help narrow things down. I don’t like big hotels or resorts. I prefer smaller family-run places where you can sort of get a feel for what real life is like and connect a little with locals/local life. But I think Rick’s guide will be helpful for actual sight seeing, with some good walking tours in places like Lisbon and Porto…

Newspaper travel stories – The NYTimes has a few including a story on The Other Algarve (which I found a bit late, after I’d spent considerably time trying on my own to figure out the least touristy places to visit) and a 36 Hours Lisbon; But I also found some really helpful stories from the Travel Channel (Anthony Bourdain’s show), the British press including some stories from  the Telegraph and the Guardian, plus Afar magazine.

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town topic, savoy grill, oklahoma joes, Lulu’s, chez elle in Kansas City


My stepdaughter reports that there was a recent episode of No Reservations in Kansas City featuring some great looking BBQ places including Oklahoma Joes. She was also intrigued by Town-Topic Hamburgers and the Savoy Grill. (see: www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/anthony-bourdain/episodes/kansascity)

It would be hard for my husband and I to give up Gates or Bryant’s BBQ for the great unknown but Oklahoma Joe’s has been on our radar. We haven’t been to the Savoy Grill in years but it’s a place-that-time forgot, a Mr. and Mrs. Bridge-era restaurant that’s probably worth revisiting. (Fun wiki facts: The restaurant’s fantastic murals were painted in 1903.  The restaurant is KC’s oldest. The Savoy Hotel is the nation’s oldest continuously operating hotel …west of the Mississippi River.)

And Town-Topic – never been but always liked their  neon sign (more authentic relic than retro, I think.)  Some other relatives in Kansas City also recommend Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop and Chez Elle, a creperie/coffee house at 1713 Summit St., near the new Kaufmann Performing Arts Center.)



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